KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Olympic Sports Olympic Sports en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 3 May 2016 23:05:35 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 CMU sweeps baseball, softball players of the week awards ahead of postseason play http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-sweeps-baseball-softball-players-of-the-week-awards-ahead-of-postseason-play/ http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-sweeps-baseball-softball-players-of-the-week-awards-ahead-of-postseason-play/ Olympic Sports Mon, 2 May 2016 5:33:20 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer CMU sweeps baseball, softball players of the week awards ahead of postseason play

FAYETTE - Central Methodist's Brad Cuyos and Lauren Geringer each earned the Heart of America Athletic Conference baseball and softball player of the week awards, respectively, the league announced Monday.

Cuyos had big performances against Harris-Stowe in a non-conference affair and Culver-Stockton in a tough four-game series. The senior catcher went 6-for-18 at the plate with four home runs, nine RBIs and four runs scored on the week. He hit safely in four of the five games and improved his batting average to .330 and his home run and RBI totals to 16 and 52.

"Brad had some big moments for us with his arm and his bat this season," CMU head coach Nate Breland said. "None are bigger than the walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth to win the Eastern Division of The Heart."

Likewise, Geringer helped her team to a 5-1 record last week. She went 8-for-16 at the dish with 11 runs, two doubles, six home runs and 16 RBIs. The O'Fallon native is batting .355 on the year with 20 homers, which stands at second in the NAIA. She currently ranks third all-time on NAIA's home run list.

"Lauren had a great power week," CMU softball coach Pat Reardon said. "She set the school record for single season home runs and climbed up in the NAIA ranks. She really picked us up at Missouri Vallery to help us clinch the conference title. Lauren has had a great year and this was a great week for her and the program."

Both Eagles teams return to the diamond later this week as the men open up postseason play in Joplin, Missouri as the No. 2 seed, while the women clinched the top seed in the postseason conference tournament and will face off against Missouri Valley College on May 5, at 2 p.m.

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Lincoln University earns fifth straight weekly track award http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-university-earns-fifth-straight-weekly-track-award/ http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-university-earns-fifth-straight-weekly-track-award/ Olympic Sports Mon, 2 May 2016 3:32:32 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Lincoln University earns fifth straight weekly track award

JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln distance runner Jhevere Hall posted two of the league's fastest times at the Drake Relays this weekend to earn her third MIAA Women's Track Athlete of the Week award this season and the team's fifth consecutive week of claiming the honors.

Racing against some of the top athletes in the nation, Hall placed first in the 4x400m relay and in the 800m circuit. She teamed up with Ebony Rose, Kimona Shaw and Kissi-Ann Brown in the relay and chalked up a league-leading time of 3:42.94.

Her gold medal in the 800m run clocked in at 2:09.88, good for another MIAA-leading time that also ranks eighth nationally.

Hall won this honor back in late January and early February, and she now joins Kimberly Bailey and Venicha Baker to extend the team award streak to five straight weeks dating back to April 4.

Lincoln will compete for its fifth league title this weekend in the MIAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Missouri State University.

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Two Missouri Valley athletes earn weekly honors in golf, tennis http://www.komu.com/news/two-missouri-valley-athletes-earn-weekly-honors-in-golf-tennis/ http://www.komu.com/news/two-missouri-valley-athletes-earn-weekly-honors-in-golf-tennis/ Olympic Sports Mon, 25 Apr 2016 5:19:38 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Two Missouri Valley athletes earn weekly honors in golf, tennis

MARSHALL - The Heart of America Athletic Conference awarded two Missouri Valley college student-athletes in golf and tennis. Junior Kaz Sakai was named the Men’s Golfer of the Week, and sophomore Stefano Benedetti was awarded the Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. 

Sakai took first place in the individual championship at the CMU Eagle Open. He finished with a 139, 3-under-par and was the only golfer to shoot a negative total. Sakai won the tournament by six strokes and helped the Grand View Vikings men’s golf team to a second place team finish. Sakai's weekend performance earned him his first weekly honor of the season at the Hail Ridge Golf Course in Boonville, Missouri. 

The men’s golf team is next in action at the Heart Championships at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City from May 9-10. 

On the tennis court, Benedetti earned his second weekly conference award of the season after helping the Viking men’s tennis team to a win over Baker University. The team closed out the regular season with a 6-3 record. Benedetti went 2-0 against Baker at the No. 2 singles match, 7-6, 6-3, and the No. 1 doubles match with alongside sophomore Abdul Alhamzawi, 9-8. 

The Viking men’s tennis team closed out its regular season with a 14-2 record and will play in the conference tournament April 29-30 in Olathe, Kansas.

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Lincoln sprinter Baker earns third straight weekly track honor http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-sprinter-baker-earns-third-straight-weekly-track-honor/ http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-sprinter-baker-earns-third-straight-weekly-track-honor/ Olympic Sports Mon, 25 Apr 2016 4:38:37 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Lincoln sprinter Baker earns third straight weekly track honor

JEFFERSON CITY - The MIAA awarded Lincoln's Venicha Baker Women's Track Athlete of the Week for the third consecutive week Monday. And for the third straight week, Baker won a trio of events en route to the weekly honors.

The senior grabbed gold in the 200 meter dash, the 4x100 meter relay and the 4x400 meter relay. She recorded a 23.75 in her solo race marking the fifth-fastest time by an NCAA Division II athlete this season. 

In the 4x100 meter relay, she helped Chrisdale McCarthy, Kimberly Bailey and Diana Cauldwell post a winning time of 45.96, the fifth-quickest in the nation for Division II. In the 4x400 event, Baker teamed up with Jhevere Hall, Ebony ROse and Kissi-Ann Brown to clock in at 3:41.68. Once again, this mark was good for the fifth-fastest time this year.

Baker previously won the athlete of the week award back in December during the indoor season as well as in the past three weeks for her fourth of the year. As a team, this is Lincoln's fourth consecutive week sweeping this award as Bailey earned it on April 4 before Baker's trifecta.

Lincoln women's track and field team will face some of the top athletes in the nation at this weekend's Drake Relays.

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Crane awarded SEC Softball Co-Player of the Week http://www.komu.com/news/crane-awarded-sec-softball-co-player-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/crane-awarded-sec-softball-co-player-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Mon, 25 Apr 2016 4:29:15 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Crane awarded SEC Softball Co-Player of the Week

COLUMBIA - Mizzou Softball senior outfielder Emily Crane earned her first career honor from the SEC Monday when the league office named her SEC Softball Co-Player of the Week. Crane played a key role in the Tigers' four-game winning streak against Iowa and a ranked Texas A&M side.

Sunday evening's walk-off victory over the Aggies ended on Crane's game-winning run in the seventh inning.

The outfielder led the Tigers in a host of offensive categories this week. Crane hit .500, hit two home runs and added seven RBIs in four games. She currently is in the midst of a 17-game consecutive reached base safely streak, matching her career high.

Crane's two doubles over the weekend also extended her multi-hit games to 15 on the year and 68 in her long career. Her two home run, five RBI performance against Iowa highlighted her sensational week.

The Missouri native is having an All-American caliber senior season. Crane ranks second in slugging and total bases, fourth in homers, fifth in runs scored, doubles and RBIs and eighth in on-base percentage.

Crane and company seek a series sweep Monday, April 25, against No. 16 Texas A&M at University Field at 6 p.m.

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Sami Fagan has found more than success at Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/sami-fagan-has-found-more-than-success-at-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/sami-fagan-has-found-more-than-success-at-missouri/ Olympic Sports Thu, 21 Apr 2016 5:42:17 PM Chinmay Vaidya, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Sami Fagan has found more than success at Missouri

COLUMBIA - Sami Fagan takes batting practice before practice even begins and the extra work doesn't go unnoticed by her teammates. 

"Her game, if you asked anyone, would be described as a will to win," right fielder Emily Crane said. "She doesn't want anything to get in the way of what she wants to achieve for the team". 

"Every day she's out here like two hours early, an hour on defense and an hour on hitting," left fielder Taylor Gadbois said. "She's a key contributor because she works so hard." 

Fagan said her work ethic comes from her father, Kevin Fagan, who played in the NFL for the San Fransisco 49ers.

"My dad has always talked about he got to the NFL and how he just outworked everyone," Fagan said. "He always told us, if we want to make it, that's what we gotta do."

Her father's influence extended to the softball field as a coach. Fagan said he never took it easy on her or her two sisters, who also play softball. 

"He was the hardest on us because he didn't want it to be 'daddy ball'," Fagan said. "He wanted people to know that we earned our spot and he was never easy on us." 

After starring at Dunnellon High School, Fagan played softball at the University of Florida. Her run as a Gator ended after her freshman year in a loss in the regional semifinal and a dismissal from the team. Fagan said she thought that was the end of her softball career. 

"I had never experienced something that hard before, so I thought it was the end of the world," Fagan said. "I was like, no one's gonna take me, no one wants, it was honestly the hardest thing I've ever been through and I still feel the effects of it to this day." 

Fagan went on four official visits after her dismissal. She said those visits helped her overcome her fear.  

"I can't thank each of those coaches enough for even giving me a chance and wanting me on their team," Fagan said. "That was huge to me and I saw hope in the world again." 

Fagan chose to play at Missouri, but she almost didnt' because she would have to sit out a year due to SEC transfer rules. She said Coach Earleywine convinced her to use the year off to develop her hitting, but her teammates knew it was hard for her to watch from the sidelines. 

"Just watching the sport she loves and not being able to play the game that she loves would be hard on anyone but especially on Sami Fagan," Gadbois said.

"I think that year was a good year for Sami to grow," Crane said. "It was a good transition for her to sit out, have a year to grow her skills and get to where she wanted to be." 

Fagan developed into a power hitter and set Missouri's single-season RBI record in her junior season. She is currently hitting .444 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs. Fagan said she thinks her transition as a hitter came with experience. 

"Just having games under my belt has helped me have a better season this year," Fagan said. "I've developed a better mentality than I had when I was younger."

Although Fagan is in her final year in college, her career is far from over. Fagan was drafted fourth overall by the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch draft.  But, she wants to play, not watch.

"I was thinking about my rookie season and I want to play," Fagan said. "I don't want to sit the bench." 



(Editor's Note: Sami Fagan's statistics are updated as of Sunday, May 1.)

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Lincoln's Baker earns back to back athlete of the week awards http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-s-baker-earns-back-to-back-athlete-of-the-week-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-s-baker-earns-back-to-back-athlete-of-the-week-awards/ Olympic Sports Mon, 18 Apr 2016 5:02:25 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Lincoln's Baker earns back to back athlete of the week awards

JEFFERSON CITY - The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association awarded Lincoln's Venicha Baker a second consecutive athlete of the week award. The senior won three track and field events to help LU clinch the Darrel Gourley Open title on Saturday.

Baker won the 200 meter dash in 23.99 seconds, marking the MIAA's fastest time and the fifth-quickest in the nation. The sprinter also won the 400 meter in 54.78, which was good for another top five conference finish and 12th nationally.

Baker completed her hat trick of gold medals in the 4x100 meter relay alongside Adewumi Ademuwagun, Kimberly Bailey and Diana Cauldwell. The quad finished in 46.45 for the second-fastest time in the MIAA and 13th-quickest in all of NCAA Division II. 

This award marks Baker's third of the season and Lincoln's third straight week having a Blue Tiger athlete honored by the MIAA.

The Lincoln women's track and field team is back in action twice this weekend. From Thursday to Saturday, the 23rd-ranked Blue Tigers will compete at the Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kansas, before heading down to Missouri S&T University in Rolla, Missouri on Saturday.

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Two Westminster ballplayers earn St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference awards http://www.komu.com/news/two-westminster-ballplayers-earn-st-louis-intercollegiate-athletic-conference-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/two-westminster-ballplayers-earn-st-louis-intercollegiate-athletic-conference-awards/ Olympic Sports Mon, 18 Apr 2016 3:57:08 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Two Westminster ballplayers earn St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference awards

FULTON - St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference named two Westminster athletes as part of this week's SLIAC Players of the Week. Outfielder Tanner Branneky and catcher Alyssa Jonhson took home hitting honors on their respective baseball and softball diamonds.

Branneky was awarded hitter of the week after leading the Blue Jays offense to a sweep against Eureka last weekend. The St. Louis native hit .636 on the week with two long balls and five RBIs. He also managed to get multiple hits in each game of the weekend series, finishing 7-of-11 at the plate. Branneky also crossed home plate three times himself.

Johnson earned her hitter of the week award after batting a stellar .692 at the dish with two home runs and 10 RBIs. She helped the Blue Jays go a perfect 4-0 on the week. Johnson finished week with three consecutive three hit games. She went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs in game two of the series against Fontbonne, helping the Blue Jays complete the sweep of the Griffins. On the week, she was 9-for-13 at the dish and crossed the plate three times.

Other honorable mentions from Westminster athletes this week included Deion Hughes and Glenn Teubner. Hughes recorded 11 strikeouts in a seven inning win over Eureka, while Teubner set a school record on the track in the 3000 meter steeplechase. He finished with a time of 10:23.29, which was good for a fourth place finish at the Darrel Gourley Invite.

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MIAA names Lincoln's Baker Athlete of the Week http://www.komu.com/news/miaa-names-lincoln-s-baker-athlete-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/miaa-names-lincoln-s-baker-athlete-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Mon, 11 Apr 2016 3:56:02 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer MIAA names Lincoln's Baker Athlete of the Week

JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln sprinter Venicha Baker was selected as the MIAA's Women's Track Athlete of the Week Monday after posting three of the league's fastest times last weekend. 

Baker won gold in three events in the MIAA vs. NSIC Showdown, including the 200m dash with a conference-best time of 23.99. This mark also ranks fifth in NCAA Division II. In the 400m, Baker posted a 56.01 for another first place finish.

To cap off her trifecta, Baker scored gold in the 4x100m relay. She teamed up with Adewumi Ademuwagun, Kimberly Bailey and Diana Cauldwell to turn in another conference-best time of 47.04 for the event.

This was the second athlete of the week honor this year for Baker, who earned her first award back in December during the indoor season. She also extends the Lincoln streak for track athlete awards after Bailey was recognized by the league last week.

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Lincoln's Bailey earns MIAA Athlete of the Week award http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-s-bailey-earns-miaa-athlete-of-the-week-award-77792/ http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-s-bailey-earns-miaa-athlete-of-the-week-award-77792/ Olympic Sports Mon, 4 Apr 2016 4:17:03 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Lincoln's Bailey earns MIAA Athlete of the Week award

JEFFERSON CITY - After taking three first place ribbons at last weekend's Washington University Invitational, Lincoln sprinter Kimberly Bailey was named MIAA Women's Track Athlete of the Week, league directors announced Monday.

Bailey won three events Saturday and posted three of the fastest times in the MIAA in the process. Bailey won 100m in 11.06 seconds and grabbed gold in the 200m in 24.43 seconds. Both times currently stand as provisional qualifiers and the fastest times by a MIAA athlete so far this season.

She also helped win the 4x100m race in 47.02 seconds, the quickest time in the league. The award marks Bailey's first career honor for MIAA Athlete of the Week and the first for the LU women's team in the 2016 outdoor season.

The Blue Tigers are back on the track for the MIAA vs. NSIC Showdown hosted at Northwest Missouri Thursday, April 7 through Saturday, April 9.

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Two Missouri Valley College tennis players receive weekly awards http://www.komu.com/news/two-missouri-valley-college-tennis-players-receive-weekly-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/two-missouri-valley-college-tennis-players-receive-weekly-awards/ Olympic Sports Mon, 21 Mar 2016 5:55:42 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Two Missouri Valley College tennis players receive weekly awards

MARSHALL — Sophomores Stefano Benedetti and Maca Bielsa were named Men's and Women's Players of the Week, the Heart of America Athletic Conference announced Monday.

This is the first weekly award for either player and the second consecutive week Missouri Valley College tennis players have received the recognition for both the men's and women's sides.

Brazilians Heitor Garcia and Lilian Blasque swept the honors last week for the Vikings.

Benedetti and Bielsa earned this week's respective awards after leading the Vikings to wins over Southwestern College on both sides of the draw.

Benedetti won his No. 2 singles match, 6-1, 6-0. In the No. 2 doubles match, Johnny Taylor joined the Toronto native in an 8-6 victory. The No. 25 men's team went on to win 9-0 against the Moundbuilders.

In the women's draw, Bielsa won her No. 2 singles match, 6-1, 6-2, and she also grabbed the No. 1 doubles point with teammate Juniro Adela Gill. The Spanish tandem scored a critical 8-2 victory to help clinch a narrow 5-4 team victory.

The men are 6-0 on the season and the women check in at 5-1.

Both teams will play host to McPherson College Wednesday, March 23, at Indian Foothills Park.

Both the Bulldogs' men's and women's teams are ranked in the top-20.


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Mizzou's Lowary earns SEC Softball Pitcher of the Week http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-s-lowary-earns-sec-softball-pitcher-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-s-lowary-earns-sec-softball-pitcher-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Mon, 21 Mar 2016 2:45:35 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou's Lowary earns SEC Softball Pitcher of the Week

COLUMBIA — Sophomore lefty Paige Lowary allowed only one earned run in 19.2 innings pitched last week to lead Mizzou to a perfect 5-0 stretch.

Her unblemished 4-0 record and 22 strikeouts earned her the SEC Pitcher of the Week award, as announced by the league office Monday.

Lowary made four appearances in the five-game slate last week and entered as a reliever in three of those outings.

The lefty's first relief gem came on Wednesday, March 16, when she pitched five scoreless innings against Western Illinois.

Lowary featured in all three games of the weekend series away at New Mexico State.

She limited the high-powered Aggie offense to only one earned run in over 14 innings of work.

The sophomore's highlight of her remarkable week came in the first game of a doubleheader, where Lowary was asked to come out of the bullpen and preserve a one-run lead.

She got the job done striking out a season-high eight batters in just three shutout frames.

The impressive week lowered Lowary's season ERA from 4.28 to 3.21.

Lowary also extended her season-best winning streak to seven games following her perfect record. She now sits in fourth among the SEC's top pitchers in victories with 12.

Lowary and company are back in action Monday with another doubleheader at UTEP before heading over to Northern Iowa on Wednesday, March 23, for a date with the Panthers.

The team resumes SEC play on the road against No. 6 Alabama to close out the week.



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CMU adds three soccer players to women's team http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-adds-three-soccer-players-to-women-s-team/ http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-adds-three-soccer-players-to-women-s-team/ Olympic Sports Mon, 7 Mar 2016 4:41:34 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer CMU adds three soccer players to women's team

FAYETTE – Central Methodist University head women’s soccer coach Dan Schmidin announced Monday the signings of three players in time for the 2016-17 season this fall. 

Goalkeeper Ashlynn Freeman from Moberly, defender and forward Kalie Huff from Nixa and forward Sarah Freiermuth from Lee’s Summit are the new signees for the Lady Eagles.

The Eagles finished 11-6-3 overall last season, losing to No. 7 Benedictine in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament. However, they went 7-1-2 in the second half of the season, and the team will return leading goal scorer Nicki Noreen who had 15 goals last year and starting goalkeeper Amy Clason-Messina.

Coach Schmidin said the team is having a good spring season setting the stage for a strong start in the fall.

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Mizzou wrestler Cox picks up Mid-American Conference recognition http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-wrestler-cox-picks-up-mid-american-conference-recognition/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-wrestler-cox-picks-up-mid-american-conference-recognition/ Olympic Sports Wed, 24 Feb 2016 6:07:58 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou wrestler Cox picks up Mid-American Conference recognition

COLUMBIA - Missouri junior 197-pound wrestler J'Den Cox earned his third career Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week award, the conference announced Wednesday.

Cox, the No. 2 ranked 197-pounder in the NCAA Coaches rankings, picked up his 100th career victory in a 16-7 major decision over No. 10 Aaron Studebaker last Sunday in Mizzou's 19-14 victory over Nebraska in the NWCA National Duals.

The milestone win made Cox the 24th member of the 100-win club and he became the fastest in Mizzou Wrestling history (105 matches) to do so. It also extended Cox's individual winning streak to 12 matches as he improved to 25-1 overall on the season.

This is the first time during the 2015-16 season that Cox, a Hickman High School alum, has received the honor after winning two during his sophomore year. Two other Mizzou wrestlers have taken MAC Wrestler of the Week recognition this season, junior 133-pounder Zach Synon and redshirt junior 141-pounder Matt Manley.

Mizzou will head to Ypsilanti, Michigan for the MAC Wrestling Tournament on March 5th and 6th, hosted by Eastern Michigan University. The Tigers are vying for their fourth straight MAC title and fifth overall.

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CMU two-sport athlete grabs first weekly conference honors http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-two-sport-athlete-grabs-first-weekly-conference-honors/ http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-two-sport-athlete-grabs-first-weekly-conference-honors/ Olympic Sports Mon, 22 Feb 2016 5:19:00 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Produceer CMU two-sport athlete grabs first weekly conference honors

FAYETTE -Two-sport athlete Julia Weber earned her first Heart Athletic Conference weekly honor in track and field. The CMU senior competes in both volleyball and track and field.

Weber took to the women’s high jump last Friday at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge hosted by Mizzou. She finished in fourth place with a jump of 1.63 meters. Weber will compete as one of CMU’s top qualifiers in the NAIA Nationals.

CMU Director of Track & Field Mark Nelson said Weber has worked very hard to get to where she is and is excited to see her and the rest of the team at Nationals next week.

CMU will send a number of athletes to represent the Eagles at the NAIA Indoor Championships in Johnson City, Tennessee. The competition will take place March 3-5.

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CMU's Homan receives track and field player of the week http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-s-homan-receives-track-and-field-player-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/cmu-s-homan-receives-track-and-field-player-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Mon, 15 Feb 2016 5:37:56 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer CMU's Homan receives track and field player of the week

FAYETTE—The Heart of America Athletic Conference announced Central Methodist University's Nick Homan as indoor field athlete of the week Monday afternoon. Homan took first place in the pole vault at this weekend’s Heart of America Athletic Conference Indoor Championships.

Homan finished his highest attempt at 4.65 meters. With his gold medal performance, Homan now ranks second in the nation in pole vault.

Mark Nelson, CMU director of track and field, said Homan had an excellent weekend and is very excited to see what he can accomplish at nationals in a few weeks’ time.

Next on the schedule for the Eagles’ track and field team are the NAIA Indoor Championships in Johnson City, Tennessee, from March 3-5.

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Missouri Valley's Simmons earns conference wrestler of the week http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-valley-s-simmons-earns-conference-wrestler-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-valley-s-simmons-earns-conference-wrestler-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Mon, 15 Feb 2016 5:13:59 PM Joseph Gjata, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Missouri Valley's Simmons earns conference wrestler of the week

MARSHALL—The Heart of America Athletic Conference named Missouri Valley’s Andrew Simmons wrestler of the week. The eighth-ranked junior earned a victory by pin in last week’s dual against Truman State University.

At 157 pounds, Simmons pinned his opponent in 1:17 to help the No. 2 Vikings secure a 40-3 rout victory in the season finale and earn his first career weekly conference honor.

The award marks the third straight week a Viking has claimed Heart Wrestler of the Week honors.

The California native will enter Saturday’s regional with an 8-3 record on the year, and Missouri Valley will host the 2016 NAIA Central National Qualifier at the Burns Athletic Complex. The tournament is set to begin at 9 a.m. with three other ranked opponents on hand, including No. 1 Grand View University from Iowa.

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Young Missouri speed skater has eyes set on Olympics http://www.komu.com/news/young-missouri-speed-skater-has-eyes-set-on-olympics/ http://www.komu.com/news/young-missouri-speed-skater-has-eyes-set-on-olympics/ Olympic Sports Sun, 6 Dec 2015 4:42:39 PM Abby Rice, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Young Missouri speed skater has eyes set on Olympics

JEFFERSON CITY - Anna Quinn feels at home on the ice. 

"It's my happy place I would say," she said.

Just a year after placing third at nationals, the St. Louis teenager and short track speed skater has her sights set on making the Junior World Team. 

"I grew up on the rink, so I was a rink rat as they say," Quinn said. "I just started loving it and I started skating and now I do it everyday." 

Anna said she also has Olympic dreams, but she is focusing on one meet at a time.  

"Right now, my goal is just to make the Junior World Team which is kind of big for kids under 18," she said. 

Anna's older brother, Ian, is skating in the World Cup circuit for the U.S. National Team. However, Anna's dad, Dan Quinn, prefers a seat in the stands. 

"No, I can't hardly stand on the things [skates]," Dan Quinn said. "This is their sport. I wanted runners and golfers and I got skaters. You go where they take you." 

Dan Quinn's children have taken him all across the country with speed skating. He said he has spent the last fifteen years carting his kids to speed skating practices, meets and camps. 

"A lot of time, but a lot of time with your kids, so even if they don't go anywhere, the special part about traveling to meets is that you get one-on-one with your kids," Quinn said. "They unplug the headphones and eventually they have to talk."

Dan Quinn also works as the president for the Missouri Speedskating Association. Dan said spending the time with his kids is the special part of speed skating for him.

"You have dinners together," Quinn said. "You share hotel rooms together, so that makes it fun."

Dan said he does get a little nervous watching his kids speed around the rink.

"When they're little, it's okay, but as a parent when they get older and start going faster,  you're on the edge of your seat," he said. 

However, Dan said watching his kids grow up on the ice is priceless. 

"Then to watch the commitment as they get better and go from somebody that's rough and failing to somebody that's very smooth and skilled," he said. "It's a neat transition to watch as a parent."



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TARGET 8: Boone Hospital ICU nurses voice concerns over staffing http://www.komu.com/news/target-8-boone-hospital-icu-nurses-voice-concerns-over-staffing/ http://www.komu.com/news/target-8-boone-hospital-icu-nurses-voice-concerns-over-staffing/ Olympic Sports Tue, 13 Oct 2015 8:04:10 PM Alyssa Casares, KOMU 8 Reporter TARGET 8: Boone Hospital ICU nurses voice concerns over staffing

COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital said it's aware the number of currently employed intensive care unit nurses is not enough.

Below are statements from three ICU nurses who have, or still, work in Boone Hospital's intensive care unit. KOMU 8 News will not name the sources to protect employee identification.

“We see our doctors leaving, we see our nurses leaving and it’s just like, this is bad," one nurse said. "I’m going to lose my license.”

An ICU nurse showed KOMU 8 News an email from Boone Hospital's Chief Nurse Officer sent on Oct. 2. It said in part, "I will be transparent that I am very concerned about the 'health' of the ICU. We have some work to do to make improvements and you have my full commitment to ensuring that the environment becomes stabilized."

KOMU 8 News talked to ICU nurses who said this email comes after months of what they call "understaffing."

“I get two texts every single day. Two texts, every day. Every day telling me that they’re short staffed,” one nurse said.

Another said, “It got to the point that you had to keep your phone on vibrate because you were constantly getting phone calls or text messages for bonus or double bonus. They were always blowing up our phones. And when it gets to the point where you’re offering triple bonus, and you still can’t get people to get in, that’s saying something.”

KOMU 8 News has seen some of the text messages sent by the hospital. 

The nurses said the hospital didn't always have staffing problems, and the shortages are a more recent problem.

"Within the last two years or so I feel like the environment has changed," one said. "Staffing has changed to the point where nurses are taking patients loads that far exceed what we're capable of doing. Then the care that we give people isn't adequate. Both patients, I feel, are in an unsafe environment as well as nurses."

The nurses said employees dread going in to work because of staff numbers.

“You would walk in, or before you even came in, you just knew it was going to be a bad shift," one said. "You were never going to be staffed correctly."

The nurses said the shortage means ICU nurses are staffed with more patients than they believe is safe. One of the nurses said they believe the staff to patient ratio should be 1:2.

“In a perfect world, our census, our staffing ratio should be one nurse to two patients. That’s across the board. That’s an ICU thing. That’s safety. I don’t think that there’s ever a situation or instance where an ICU nurse should have three patients. I mean I’ve had days where I’ve had two intubated patients and then another one who was “stable.” Stable is a relative term. They’re not in the ICU for no reason.”

The nurse said when there are not enough people working in the ICU, patients do not receive the care they deserve.

“If you can’t do everything that you’re supposed to do, for instance, ventilator-associated pneumonia, one of the biggest things you can do to prevent it is to do really good oral care. I can tell you that is something that goes out the window. When you are so busy and you’re trying to take care of three different people and keep everything straight and keep everybody alive, maybe I’m not cleaning out their mouths as good as I’m supposed to.”

Other instances the nurses described include physical injuries and other risks.

"We have had patients fall for sure," one nurse said. "They'd like hit their head. We've had patients pull things out, patients fall."

The nurses also said, because of a high turnover rate, Boone Hospital has a lot of inexperienced nurses on the ICU floor.

“You have nurses who didn’t have the training taking care of patients that they weren’t supposed to be," one nurse said. "Patients being doubled or tripled that didn’t need to be. It was just scary. Every time you went in you thought you were going to lose your license.”

The nurses said patients and their families have noticed the shortage as well.

“When you come to the ICU it’s always going to be the worst day of your life," one said. "There are going to be disgruntled family members who feel like they’re not getting the attention that they need, but it’s kind of funny when family members ask you how many patients you have that day, because they see you buzzing around the whole hallway like a bat out of hell.”

One of the nurses told KOMU 8 News the ICU administration is open to talking about what they call the shortage of nurses on the ICU floor. The nurse said, in a recent meeting, administration told employees Boone Hospital's ICU nurse turnover rate is 25 percent, almost 10 percent higher than the national average turnover rate for critical care nurses. 


"The reason for those meetings were to gauge what's going on, why people are leaving, and it all boils down to staffing," one nurse said. "Everybody is very unhappy with the way we are staffed in the sense that typically ICU nurses should only take care of two patients at a time. And it becomes more and more frequent that we take care of three at a time, and that's completely unsafe."

"I think that's ridiculous," another said. "I think if you're paying people right and you're staffing them appropriately, then you shouldn't have a 25 percent turnover rate."

Nursing association weighs in on ratios

Rebecca McClanahan is the president of the Missouri Nurses Association (MONA) and said Missouri has complex rules and regulations for hospitals.

Missouri's revised statute § 197.289 says:

"1. All hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers shall develop and implement a methodology which ensures adequate nurse staffing that will meet the needs of patients. At a minimum, there shall be on duty at all times a sufficient number of licensed registered nurses to provide patient care requiring the judgment and skills of a licensed registered nurse and to oversee the activities of all nursing personnel.

2. There shall be sufficient licensed and ancillary nursing personnel on duty on each nursing unit to meet the needs of each patient in accordance with accepted standards of quality patient care."

"The license processor for hospitals does require hospitals to present a staffing plan and say 'this is our plan about how we're going to use nurses in our facility,'" McClanahan said.

She said, although some nurses think the state should have a nurse to patient ratio in place, MONA believes hospitals should staff depending on nurse capability, experience and patient need.

"There's a tendency in rules and regulations or sometimes people purpose the solution to say 'this is how many nurses there should be for this many patients,'" McClanahan said. "We believe that is the wrong approach, and it's inadequate because every situation with a group of patients is very different."

National Nurses United is lobbying for what it calls a safe patient ratio, supporting bills in the House and Senate.

Missouri nurse Cathy Stephenson, an RN from Kansas City, is quoted on the group's website as saying:

"It is the hope and dream of hospital RNs across Missouri to have safe staffing levels so that when you need one of us, we can be there for you. Our NNOC/NNU campaign for RN-to-patient ratios in Missouri continues. When we set limits on how many patients RNs are required to care for, patients have better outcomes and receive the safe, therapeutic care that we all expect in a hospital. When a call light goes on, medications are needed, and very personal questions need to be answered. We want the time to be there."

McClanahan said one thing that can help nurses is to make sure they are not being required to do the work for other unfilled or understaffed positions.

"Sometimes we have nurses doing non-nursing duties picking up the slack for someone else," McClanahan said. "That really detracts from their ability to really take care of patients, which should be their primary focus."

This is another practice Boone Hospital discussed in an email to ICU staff. In the email, Smith said supervisors will step in to help with patients. 

“Clinical supervisors have been asked to take one patient until the end of the year," Smith wrote.

She said, “I was in the clinical last evening and the supervisor had two patients, which is not doable, specifically when there is not a unit secretary on duty.”

KOMU 8 News reached out to Boone Hospital to talk about the problems ICU nurses have brought to KOMU 8's attention. In a statement, chief nursing officer Monica Smith said the following:

"Like all hospitals nationwide, Boone Hospital Center’s nurse employment pool is impacted by changes in our population and by health care reforms, resulting in a greater demand for nurses at Boone, especially specialized nurses in areas like our Intensive Care Unit.

Boone Hospital Center has launched several initiatives to attract and retain nursing talent, including a pay range increase that places us as the market leader in nursing compensation. We have also expanded our float nursing pool, a group capable of working in multiple areas of the hospital. The float pool allows us to adjust staffing levels in areas of need across the hospital to ensure we provide the best care possible to our patients. We will continue to develop programs to invest in our nursing staff and to maintain the top level of care that Boone Hospital Center is known for."

The hospital initially declined to answer KOMU 8 News' questions regarding whether this issue affected patient safety, but reached out after the story was promoted. 

In an interview, Smith acknowledged the nationwide shortage and said it is also affecting local hospitals as well.

"Specifically at Boone Hospital Center," Smith said. "But around the entire region we're seeing that. So what we do see is that we're challenged with finding experienced nurses."

Smith said Boone offers excellent care at the hospital, specifically in the intensive care unit. 

"One of our highest priorities is about safe quality care," Smith said. "To the point that all hospital employees hold up our standards of excellence. We have ten of those standards of excellence, but our number one is promoting that safety. And that includes safety of our patients and also safety of our staff."

To view the complete interview with Smith, watch here:

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Day closes out PGA Championship http://www.komu.com/news/day-closes-out-pga-championship/ http://www.komu.com/news/day-closes-out-pga-championship/ Olympic Sports Sun, 16 Aug 2015 7:53:44 PM The Associated Press Day closes out PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - Jason Day led wire-to-wire Sunday at Whistling Straits to close out a record-setting PGA Championship and capture his first major title.

The 27-year-old Australian finished at 20-under 268 to beat Jordan Spieth by three shots. Day is the first player to finish at 20 under in a major.

Day shot 5-under 67, and never let Spieth get closer than two shots.

Branden Grace finished third and Justin Rose was fourth.

A nice ending to the major season for a player who has endured some close calls and his share of heartache.

At the U.S. Open in June, he fell while walking during the second round. He had vertigo symptoms. But he played through the weekend and actually held a share of the lead after 54 holes before fading on Sunday.

At the British Open, he also was in the lead after 54 holes but ended up one shot out of a playoff.

He closed the deal this time.

This was Day's 10th top-10 finish at a major. His first came here, in Wisconsin, at the 2010 PGA.

Earlier this week, Day said he knew if he kept putting himself in position, he'd eventually break through.

He was tearing up as he waited to hit the tap-in putt that would seal the victory. He did it, then raised both fists and buried his face in his caddie's shoulder. His son, Dash, ran to the 18th green to celebrate and Day carried him off the green. Soon, he'll cradle the Wanamaker Trophy.

Day is the fifth Aussie to win the PGA, and the first since Steve Elkington at Riviera in 1995.


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