With the injuries gradually fading, Michael Fout is beginning to once again put a hurt on much of his cross country competition.
Plagued by a series of physical ailments for the past couple of years, the LaPorte grad has regained much of his good health, and his most recent performance proved it. On Monday, the Florida State junior covered 10,000 meters in 30 minutes, 20.9 seconds, a time good enough for 28th place in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute.
Fout, his team's No. 2 finisher in the race at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, helped the Seminoles earn runner-up status behind Oklahoma State. Fout's clocking was an improvement of more than five seconds over his South Regional effort, which landed him in the 10th position there.
Fout was the 2007 Indiana high school state champion and also won a national title later that same year.
Calvin College junior Nick Kramer (Illiana Christian) achieved All-America recognition by winding up 16th at the NCAA Division III meet, which was held Saturday at Wartburg College. He reached the chute in 24:41 and keyed the Knights' eighth-place finish.
Kramer's national-event success followed his winning of a second consecutive Great Lakes Regional individual title.
Calvin College senior Elaine Schnabel (Chesterton) became just the fourth individual in the history of the Knights' women's program to receive ESPN Academic All-America honors in the college division (NCAA II, NCAA III, NAIA) and the first one to be selected for the first team.
An English major, Schnabel carries a 3.94 grade point average and plans to become an instructor of English as a second language following graduation next spring.
Indiana State junior middle blocker Stacy Qualizza (Crown Point) was tabbed as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after recording 45 kills and 47 1/2 points during a two-win week for the Sycamores that included decisions over Evansville and Southern Illinois.
Qualizza's career-best 26 kills versus the Purple Aces were only four off Indiana State's single-match record, while her .568 hitting percentage was the fifth-best mark.
Trinity Christian senior middle hitter Sara Ooms (Illiana Christian) was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year after helping the Trolls gain a share of their first-ever regular-season conference title. Ooms paced the CCAC in attack percentage (.417) and blocks (110), and ranked second with a per-game average of 3.29 kills.
Also receiving Player of the Year honors was Rose-Hulman junior Kara Hickman (Hobart), who was chosen as the top performer in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference after leading the Engineers in kills (238) and hitting percentage (.319), and also recording 89 blocks and 62 digs.
For her three-year career, Hickman totaled 624 kills, 197 blocks and 187 digs.
Three local products -- Mike Langhurst (Merrillville), Derek DiNino (T.F. South) and Ryan Mizgate (T.F. South) -- were among the four Aurora University players named to the All-Northern Athletics Conference first team. Will Johnson (T.F. North) received honorable mention.
Langhurst, a senior defensive back, led all of NCAA Division III with 13 pass breakups and set a Spartans record with 10 interceptions. He also made 30 tackles. DiNino totaled 48 tackles -- including 9 1/2 for loss - 1 1/2 sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
Mizgate caught 30 passes for 407 yards and five touchdowns as Aurora's tight end, while Johnson collected 41 tackles, 6 1/2 for loss, and one sack.
Sophomore Kyle Kovach (Andrean) was one of three Rose-Hulman football players named to the All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference first team. Kovach led the HCAC with 1,830 all-purpose yards -- including 1,056 on the ground -- and scored 11 TDs.
Senior defensive back Drew Rogowski (Griffith) and junior offensive lineman Michael Johnson (Thornton) were among 10 St. Xavier representatives on the All-MSFA Mideast League team.
Through 12 games, Rogowski has 20 solo tackles, eight assists, seven pass breakups and two interceptions. He's also forced one fumble. Johnson is part of a line that has enabled the NAIA No. 3 Cougars to average 51.9 points and 470 yards per game.
The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. E-mail Ken Karrson at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (219) 933-3249. Karrson can be reached at (219) 933-3232.