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Athletics Preview


Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

Jim Quist

Srikanth Korlapati

athletics We may not be D-I, but as Gorilla fans and athletes, we don’t give up anything else. From brisk fall nights in Carnie Smith Stadium, to the squeaks and swishes of Gorilla basketball, we have been re | animated, determined to make a name for ourselves in the stands and on the field. Our athletes are no different than yours, sweating day and night for the perfect swing or the faster time. And you better believe our fans are the best. Rain or shine, we’re there, because we’re all Gorillas, and we believe in the red and gold.

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Jon Thomas and Cody Holland hold up the MIAA Conference Champions trophy after beating Missouri Southern to claim the title on Saturday, Nov. 12. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati William Ravenstein

Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati John Saunders

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4/4/12 6:00:58 PM


Srikanth Korlapati

William Ravenstein Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

THE DRIVING FORCE

Gorilla fans scream and shout all the way to Alabama Srikanth Korlapati

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Srikanth Korlapati

Srikanth Korlapati

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his was our year. What started as a possibility turned into an actuality as the Gorillas surged through regular season opponents, including rival Northwest at the Fall Classic. Riding the energy from the hard-fought win at Arrowhead, no team was insurmountable as we entered the post-season with a 9-1 record. With strength all over the field on both offense and defense, “All We Do is Win” became our mantra as we found ourselves “‘Bama Bound” for the NCAA Division II National Championship game in Florence, Ala. As promised, the Gorilla Nation “brought the ‘jungle’ to Alabama,” proving for the fourth time in school history that SEK knows football. | Kimber Lane

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Head coach Tim Beck lifts the NCAA Division II National Championship trophy with members of the Pitt State football team after beating Wayne State 35-21 on Saturday, Dec. 17, in Florence, Ala. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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Season Highlights W

ith the Gorillas picked to finish fifth in the MIAA, talks of a National Championship were not the early season topic, although the players had it in their sights from the start of the season. “Growing up here and watching it be done, you know, before,” senior Zac Dickey said. “It’s what we wanted. It was our first goal of the season. We came out as the outright winners of the conference.” | stories by Garett McCullough Srikanth Korlapati

Jim Quist

PSU vs. Missouri Western 34-7

PSU vs. Northwest Missouri 38-35

With the preseason polls against them, the Gorillas headed to St. Joseph, Mo., for the inaugural game of the 2011 season against the Missouri Western State Griffons. After the Pitt State defense forced a three-and-out on the first drive of the game, the ever-exciting John Brown began his All-American season as a return man with an 84-yard touchdown. Zac Dickey led the offensive attack that would become all too familiar to opponents, with 12 Gorillas getting touches and four of them scoring touchdowns. “We had been waiting since Dec. 5 to play that game,” DII Defensive Player of the year Nate Dreiling said. “Our off-season went extremely well. I felt like the team bonded a lot more than it ever had and we were ready to see some rewards from it.”

The Fall Classic rolled around four weeks later with the Gorillas on fire at 4-0, but before they could silence any critics, they would have to dismiss the top team in the nation: the (4-0) Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. The Gorillas were beat down in the first half, heading into the locker room trailing 28-6. The second half was a different story, though. The Gorillas scored on the opening drive as everything began to click on both sides of the ball. The Bearcats were held to seven points in the second half, while John Brown and the Gorillas exploded for 32 points. Brown had 182 yards and two receiving touchdowns, one of which was the result of a reverse-pass from Andrew Castaneda. The Gorillas won the game 38-35 on a last-second field goal by Chase McCoy and proved they were for real. “We talked about going and winning the game and believing you could do that at halftime,” head coach Tim Beck said. “Our coaches did a great job of settling everybody down a little bit. We talked to them about some constructive things, what would help us get it done in the second half.”

STANDOUT STATS OF 2011 ANDREW CASTANEDA

BRICETON WILSON

JOHN BROWN

ELIJAH OLABODE

GUS TOCA

JASON SPRADLING

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439 rec. yards 4 total TDs 2 pass, 2 rec. TDs

857 rush 7 TDs 1 rec. TD

2,191 all-purpose yards 1,216 rec, 12 rec, TDs 18 total TDs

36 tackles 5 int. 11 pass breakups

87 tackles 11 sacks, 4 FF

284 rush 3 TDs in playoffs

55

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Julie Huston

Srikanth Korlapati

PSU vs. Missouri Southern 51-28

PSU vs. Delta State 49-23

The beginning of November created doubts about the team’s ability to make it all the way after the week-nine loss to Washburn. Now with only one week of conference play left, the MIAA title fell into a three-way tie among Pitt State, Northwest and Washburn. Fortunately for the Gorillas, both of those teams would lose in the final game of conference play. Those losses, coupled with a Pitt State victory over Missouri Southern, allowed the Gorillas to claim the MIAA trophy outright and a first-round bye in the playoffs. “I can’t even begin to explain it,” junior Gus Toca said. “This is my third year and the first two years were not up to what Pitt State is used to. Just coming out here and proving everybody wrong is just a great feeling.”

PSU handily defeated Washburn and NWMS in the second and third rounds of the playoffs and moved on to face the Delta State Statesmen for an opportunity to play in the National Championship. There was a feeling going in that it was anyone’s game, but John Brown had something to say about that. After failing to get a first down in the first series, the Statesmen made the mistake of punting to Brown, who returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. The Gorillas continued their dominating streak and beat the Statesmen 49-23 to advance to the National Championship in Florence, Ala. For senior Zac Dickey, there were never any doubts about getting there. “Especially being a senior, I believed it the whole way,” Dickey said. “I saw spurts of it in the last two games of last year. In my heart I knew that we were going to be a good team.”

DLING

JON THOMAS

NATE DREILING

PAUL ROBINSON

JASON PEETE

SPENCER WORTHINGTON

ZAC DICKEY

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551 rec. yards 3 TDs

139 total tackles 3 sacks, 7 int.

54 tacks, 8 TFL 3 int. 2 DTD

55 tackles 3 int. 1 DTD 8 pass breakups

50 tackles 9 sacks

27 total TDs 1,165 rush 2,290 pass

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‘Bama Bound Gorillas travel to Florence, Ala., to claim Pitt State’s fourth National Championship

It’s a perfect dream,” was all senior cornerback Elijah Olabode could say after his late fourth-quarter interception in the end zone to seal the Pitt State 3521 victory over the Wayne State Warriors at the Division II National Championship game in Florence, Ala., Saturday. After just missing an interception three plays earlier, Olabode tipped a Mickey Mohner pass in the air before wrestling it away from the offense with just 1:34 left on the clock and a 3521 lead. Three plays later John Thomas lined up in a position he has become familiar with during the season, 15 yards behind quarterback Zac Dickey as the safety for the victory formation. After taking the lead in the first quarter on a Josh Renel 93yard kickoff return, Wayne State was unable to get anything going other than a field goal attempt that was blocked by Paul Robinson and returned for a touchdown by Aries Herrion. Pitt owned the second quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points. Hometown boy Dickey would get his lone touchdown during this streak with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bristan Kelley. Pitt State’s defense once again had a multi-turnover game, forcing three interceptions and recovering one fumble. The first interception, made by Robinson, came on the heels of a Dickey interception as the Gorillas were already in a 7-0 hole following the opening kickoff

return. The Gorillas’ defense held Mohner to 59 yards on 7-16 passing with three interceptions. Wayne State’s running back, Toney Davis, was a different story. He slashed the defense for 178 yards on 28 carries. He had the most rushing yards in a losing effort since Antonie Oliver did it in a 54-52 4OT loss to Northwest Missouri State in 1999. Pitt State’s offense was evenly spread once again. John Brown led the way with 102 yards from scrimmage (99 rec.), Dickey and Spradling led the rushing attack with 68 and 62 respectively. Andrew Castenada had one catch for 53 yards to set up the score that would put the game out of reach with a Pitt State 14-point lead. All-American linebacker Nate Dreiling led all tacklers with 15, two of those being solo. Olabode had nearly as many interceptions as tackles, but none can argue the importance of his two picks to this game. This team will join the 1991 team as National Champions and is the 10th team since 1973 to win multiple Division II National Championships. After the 13-1 season, the Gorilla players found paydirt, but it wasn’t over as the media began pushing players in different directions. As the players were asked where they were going, one voice rang out. “Where we going?” Dickey said. “We’re going to Disneyland.” | story by Garett McCullough

Hunter Peterson

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Srikanth Korlapati

7 Hunter Peterson

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2011-2012 PSU Football Team and Coaching Staff: Front Row: Andrew Castaneda, Israel Maselera, Elijah Olabode, Jason Peete, John Brown, Zac Dickey, Paul Robinson, Aries Herrion, Bryant Sanchez, Dennis Tanner, Nate Dreiling, Anthony Abenjoa, Josh Heimerman, Justin Woods, Jake Catloth, Naeem Forrester. Second Row: Drew Snyder, Ryan Lundgren, Levi Kuntzsch, Gavin Lutman, Aaron Sawyer, Jon Thomas, Gage McKinnis, Chas Smith, Eric Love, Solomon Watkins, Tyler Disney, Dominick Wilson, Scott Roderique, Jason Spradling, Jeff Seybold, Trent Kinen. Third Row: Joe Windscheffel, Dino Teague, Jake Craig, Jared Vinoverski, Billy Ewy, Briceton Wilson, Herman Ming, Daniel Rank, B.J. Herring, Chase McCoy, Chris Hance, Chris Heffern, Taylor Counts, Colby Hall, Kyler Thompson. Fourth Row: DeVante Bausby, Luke Stringer, Joe Lindsey, Spencer Worthington, Deron Washington, T.J. Davis, Mandel Dixon, Brandon Wahle, Hal Rivard, Eric Brantley, Jeremy Kadoich, Joey Zdeb, Trace Goade, Lewis Foutz, Kyle Swartz. Fifth Row: Shea Miller, Cory Phillips, Jake Remboldt, Reid Schatzman, Jake Taylor, Hunter Luna, Grant Towry, Jeremy Fleming, Nick Pugh, Boston Higgins, Tank Burns, Cale Karigan, Aaron Kolich, Ollie Venegas, Josiah Cody. Sixth Row: Calin Archer, Ty Henry, Cody Holland, Kell Smalley, Tyler Smith, Austin Daniel, Luke Rampy, Brady Letchworth, Trey Meyers, Bradley Argabright, Chance Riley, Conner Combes, Derek Fisher, Bristan Kelley, Trey Derryberry, Joe Uzzel. Seventh Row: Scott Broyles (equip. manager), Montrae Strickland, Cody Moore, John White, Justin Strong, Matt Anderson, Chase Gogel, Will Grissom, Bobby Harris, Dallas Shalz, Gus Toca, J.R. Jones, Richie Woods (equip. assistant). Eighth Row: Devin Linenbrink (student trainer), Esther Campbell (student trainer), StaNisha Garlington (student trainer), Candice Ulrigh (student trainer), Brooke McNerlin (student trainer), Tanisha Trout (student trainer), Todd Brynds (ATC, LAT), Phil Carr (ATC, LAT), Kevin Kalm (ATC, LAT), Luke Miller (student asst.), Ike Eguae (grad. asst.), Chris Swartz (student asst.), John Kemp (asst. coach), Brad Wells (operations). Ninth Row: Travis Greer (student asst.), Chad Weeks (asst. coach), Larry Garman (asst. coach), Steve Wells (asst. coach), John Pierce (asst. coach), Steve Rampy (off. coordinator), Tim Beck (head coach), Davie Wiemers (def. coordinator), Lance Cullen (asst. coach), Carl Roth (asst. coach), Ryan Hellwig (asst. coach), Neal Philpot (asst. coach), Frank Naccarato (asst. coach), Alex Kuhlman (grad. asst.). 132 | Athletics

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Photo courtesy of Photographic Services

Scoreboard

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Wayne State Delta State Northwest Missouri Washburn Missouri Southern Washburn Central Missouri Lincoln Fort Hays State Northwest Missouri William Jewell Truman Emporia State Missouri Western

35 49 41 31 51 25 38 69 38 38 49 27 38 34

21 23 16 22 28 43 17 6 17 35 7 26 14 7

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4Jamie Berberich performs

before the NCAA Championship game in Florence, Ala., on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. | photo by Hunter Peterson

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S h a n e Johnston plays on the PSU drumline during the game against Washburn on Nov. 5, in Carnie Smith Stadium. | photo by Jim Quist

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William M i t c h e l l performs with the Pride of the Plains Marching Band before the NCAA Championship football game on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011, in Forence, Ala. | photo by Hunter Peterson

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three drum majors, leads the cheering band during the football game against Washburn on Nov. 5. | photo by Jim Quist

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All We Do Is Win

Getting hands in the air all the way to Alabama

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5Russell Philpott plays with the Pride of the Plains Marching Band before the Homecoming football game on Oct. 15 against Lincoln. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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am Konek, freshman in computer information systems, says he wanted to be in the marching band ever since he watched the 2004 National Championship football game on TV. “I saw someone holding up a sign that said, ‘Our band can beat up your band!’ and from then on I was dead set on being a part of it,” Konek said. “Being a Pittsburg native, I’ve always admired the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, and it’s the main reason I wanted to stay in town and attend PSU.” This year, he was able to fulfill that goal when the Pride of the Plains Marching Band traveled to Florence, Ala., to play during the 2011 NCAA Football Championship. Three buses, loaded full of band members, left around 5 p.m. Dec. 16 and drove for 12 hours through the night to make it to the game the next day. “Getting to go to the national championship was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Jessica Berberich, junior in English and communication education. “I love that for years I’ll be able to look back on the years that Pitt won national championships and say I was there in 2011.” The band started its National Championship game day by performing a pep rally for Gorilla fans before the game, followed by a few songs for the players as they took the field. Then, during the halftime show, they performed the crowd favorite, “All I Do is Win.” “About 20 seconds into playing ‘All I Do is Win,’ I looked up at the crowd and everyone was on their feet with their hands in the air,” said Tracey Fienen, senior in marketing. “Seeing them so excited made me even prouder to be a member of the Pride of the Plains. I will never forget that feeling.” The marching band also played at other pep rallies, exhibition events, a band banquet, sectional T-shirt contest, a community outreach program at the Grandview, Mo., high school field, the Fall Classic football game against Northwest at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City and all home games. Jesse Denton, senior in communication, doesn’t play an instrument in band. Rather, she is a member of the color guard, another aspect of the marching band. Her job is to learn the marching drill, tape the band playing the song and write it down as soon as possible so they can perform it on the field. She’s been in the color guard for five years and says her favorite part is the family atmosphere. “Everyone in band is friends with lots of other band members, and we, as sections, are families,” Denton said. “There is such an amazing experience about being a part of a big group such as this.” The marching band isn’t the only band on campus, though. Konek was also a member of the Jazz II band, Symphonic band and wind ensemble. Andrew Lee, sophomore in music education, was new to campus in the spring semester. He said he has enjoyed playing for both, the wind ensemble and symphonic band. “There is more to this school musically than just a pep band,” Lee said. “The ensembles here are the cream of the crop and hold a high standard for excellence.” | story by Jen Rainey

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3 The PSU Spirit Squad performs before a home game

behind Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 5. | photo by John Saunders

Pep it up, pump it up

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3Crimson

6PSU twirler Carly Lallemand strikes a pose during

and Gold Dancer Sydney Zortz performs behind Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

the half time show at the NCAA championship game on Saturday, Dec. 17, in Florence, Ala. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

Guys and gals bring spirit and cheer to Pitt State athletics

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Behind the scenes of one of Pitt State’s athletic events, a lot more is going on than may seem. Basketball, football, and other athletic events wouldn’t be the same without the groups that support PSU athletes: the Crimson and Gold Dancers, the Spirit Squad, color guard and twirlers. “It’s been pretty crazy,” Natalie Carroll, color guard captain and senior in music education, said. “We put in a lot of hours, but it’s always a lot of fun.” Carroll said that the color guard practices three nights a week, coordinating with the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, as well as a couple practices by themselves. The color guard team creates its own routines by making dances and moves, which usually takes up to four or five hours. Along with creating their own routines, they have to correlate them with the march of the band. “The band director will give us these sheets and they’ll be how the band moves every step,” Carroll said. “He’ll write us into the drill so we’ll know approximately how far away we are from people. We wouldn’t want to throw a really large toss if we were close to someone because if we throw it up and the wind catches it, it might hit someone. We don’t want to do that.” Carroll said that the color guard is the more visual part of the marching show. “Our job is to add color to the shows,” Carroll said. “People just think it’s cool to watch.”

The supporting groups for athletics are also in charge of pumping up the crowd and displaying school spirit. Mikaila Barbour, sophomore in criminal justice, said that there was even more excitement this year by being on the Spirit Squad because of our sports teams’ excellence on the field and on the court. “You can tell when the crowd is getting excited, so you kind of feed off of them,” Barbour said. These supporting groups also have a responsibility to represent Pitt State, not only on the field or the court by wearing their uniforms, but in everything they do. “It makes you feel more a part of the university in a way that not everyone can be,” Sarah Harmison, Crimson and Gold Dancer and freshman in nursing, said. The Crimson and Gold Dance team and the Spirit Squad also have their own competitions to compete in during the year. The Spirit Squad attends nationals in December and the dance team attends their nationals during spring break. The Spirit Squad placed fifth at its competition and the dance team placed third in the open dance category, in which they performed a jazz dance. “Our goal this year was to get third at nationals. The goal was to place,” Kyndall Swanson, Crimson and Gold Dancer and freshman in biology, said. “We got fourth last year, and I think the year before that they got fifth. It’s just been working up.” | story by Ali Clark

3 Crimson and Gold Dancers perform a routine during the half time show at Carnie Smith Stadium on Sept. 10. | photo by William Ravenstein

7Crimson

and Gold Dancers pump up the crowd before the NCAA championship game on Saturday, Dec. 17. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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On the road again Athletes share secrets of away games

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rowded buses, bumpy roads and the loud ambitious chatter of fellow teammates are the norm for Lauren Brentlinger, whose six years playing competitive volleyball have accustomed her to being on the road for away games. “Traveling can be really fun when everyone is just slap happy from being on a bus for so long,” said Brentlinger, family and consumer sciences major who plays middle position for the Gorillas. “We all just start acting stupid.” Each athletic team on campus travels on road games, although some sports get more travel time than others. The football team has the fewest away games, with a total of five, while track and field has the most with 21 out of 25 meets at other schools. “It’s really hard trying to sleep on the bus when traveling, because you can never really get comfortable, or someone is always keeping you awake,” said Gonzalo Gonzalez, junior in biomechanics and a member of the baseball team. Despite the drawbacks, the constant time together does allow strong relationships to form among athletes. “My favorite part of being involved with basketball is getting to know my teammates really well and becoming a family,” said Sam Pugh, freshman in business management. In addition to the road time, athletes must adjust to new facilities when on the road. “Traveling to other towns is a lot of fun, but having to change and get ready for a big game somewhere that is out of the norm can be kind of nerve-racking,” said Jessica Barnes, undecided sophomore and member of the softball team. While traveling brings challenges, Brentlinger added that games on the road give athletes the opportunity to experience environments that are different from PSU. “I like playing at new gyms the best,” Brentlinger said, “as much as I love playing at our home gym, it’s also fun experiencing new places.” | story by Jessica Looslie

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Members of the PSU softball team travel by bus to an away game. | photo by Kenzi Jordan

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ups Rollercoaster & downs Volleyball squad works through growing season

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he Gorilla volleyball squad set an attendance record on Pack the Weede night and rounded out the 2011 season with four players receiving AllMIAA honors. The women would be tested from the very start when they traveled to St. Paul, Minn., for the Wildwood Lodge Volleyball Classic where they would face four top-25 teams in the two-day tournament. Pittsburg State drew No. 1 Concordia St. Paul in its opening match of the tournament, and the road did not get much easier after that, with No. 25 Northern Michigan, No. 9 Wayne State and No. 6 Southwest Minnesota State on the horizon. After starting the season with six losses, the Gorillas hit their stride, finding two wins in three matches while winning their homeopener against Fort Hays State. The women would continue a season of ups and downs, trading wins and losses, before rounding out the season on a high note at home. In the midst of their roller-coaster season, the women set an attendance record against Missouri Southern on Sept. 21. The Gorillas were unable to come away with the victory, but drew 2,250 fans with help from Pittsburg State faculty, students and the athletic department. The loss may have been disappointing, but the event was a hit among the community and team. “Every year when the word goes out regarding Pack the Weede Night with Gorilla volleyball, the response is always exceptional,” coach Ibraheem Suberu said. “The student newspaper, the Morning Sun, our residence hall administration and student body in the dorms, faculty and staff all put it on their calendar. For the night, the electricity in the whole arena was incredible. Everyone in attendance was a part of showcasing the community pride that we boast of when we bring students and guests to our university.” The Gorilla women hit a six-game skid after the Oct. 15 alumni game, but caught fire in the final two games of the season. They took down Missouri Western in a 3-1 match on | continued...

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Kelley Bugler spikes the ball against Missouri Western in John Lance Arena on Friday, Nov. 11. The Gorillas beat Missouri Western 3-1. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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3Leah

Flynn spikes the ball during a match against Northwest Missouri on Wednesday, Oct. 19, in John Lance Arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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3Lauren Brentlinger and

Kelsey Sullivan block the ball in a match against Emporia State on Wednesday, Oct. 7, in John Lance Arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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Volleyball continued... Nov. 11 and then promptly took care of Truman State 3-2 the following day. Both games were played at home, where the women achieved six of their nine wins. The win against Truman was a good send-off for lone senior Kelley Bugler. “That last game against Truman was awesome,” Bugler said. “It was a great win for my last game and is a good game to build off for next season.” On senior night, Pitt celebrated Bugler with the win in the Missouri Western match while the Gorillas played their most efficient game of the season. “I couldn’t have asked for a better senior weekend,” Bugler said. The Gorillas went on a killing spree with their best kills per set match of the year. Leah Flynn had 25 kills to lead the team to 16.25 kills per set. Bugler was only on the team for one year, but was always treated like she belonged. “I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to play here,” Bugler said. “The girls were really welcoming. We all just really clicked right away.” In the following match against Truman State, the women continued their kill frenzy by recording their highest kill total of the season. Freshman Morgan Voorhes led the Gorillas to 77 total kills with her 19. To throw a cherry on top of the strong finish, four volleyball players received All-MIAA honors. Voorhes led the Gorillas with 346 kills and in kills per set with 2.86 and earned herself a spot on the All-MIAA third-team. Junior Brooke Fay and sophomores Christa McCaw and Lauren Brentlinger also received All-MIAA honorable mention honors. These four bright spots will be returning along with nine others who all saw time on the court this past season. “As far as the season went, you grow and learn with each season,” said Fay, “and we are all working hard and looking forward to next season. Getting recognized is an honor, but I wouldn’t be anywhere without my teammates and coaches.  We’re like family.” | story by Garett McCullough continued...

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Rebecca Pearson and Brooke Fay block a ball from Missouri Western in John Lance Arena on Friday, Nov. 11. The Gorillas beat Missouri Western 3-1. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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Rebecca Pearson celebrates with her team during a match against Southwest Baptist University on Friday, Oct. 14, in John Lance Arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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6Kristen Erikson spikes the ball against Missouri Western in John Lance Arena on Friday, Nov. 11. The Gorillas beat Missouri Western 3-1. | photo by Hunter Peterson

Scoreboard

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them

Truman Missouri Western NW Missouri Washburn Emporia State Missouri Southern Truman Missouri Western NW Missouri Southwest Baptist Fort Hays State Washburn Emporia State Saint Edwards Newman Central Missouri West Texas A&M Saint Mary Southwest Baptist Missouri Southern William Jewell Missouri S&T Fort Hays State Drury University Illinois, Springfield Central Missouri Tampa Southwest Minnesota Wayne State Northern Michigan Concordia University

3 3 1 1 1 2 0 2 0 3 3 0 1 2 3 0 0 3 3 2 1 1 3 1 3 0 0 1 2 0 0

2 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 0 2 3 3 3 0 3 3 0 2 3 3 3 2 3 1 3 3 3 3 3 3

Front Row: Christa McCaw, Samantha Wyatt, Abigail Smith, Nicole Rockhold, Rebecca Pearson, Amanda McDonald, Kathryn Wright, Leann Patterson. Back Row: Danielle Borsari, Leah Flynn, Kelley Bugler, Kelsey Sullivan, Chloe Foster, Lauren Brentlinger, Haylee Gregory, Brooke Fay, Morgan Voorhes, Kirsten Erikson.

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Men’s

Cross Country Strides through season ups and downs 

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he Pitt State Men’s Cross Country team the meet,” coach Jewett said. “We delivered consistent performance were disappointed with fourth throughout the season, sending one runner place; a little better performance to nationals, finishing 23rd in the nation as a team and we could’ve finished second.” and producing an All-American. Having finished 15th Though the men came close to in the nation in the 2010 season, 2011 brought big qualifying for Nationals as a team, expectations for a team of high caliber performance.  Pitt State finished fifth overall with The men kicked off their first meet of the season in 174 points, qualifying one runner, the 6K Alumni Run. Having been the sole participants Volkert, for the Nationals meet. in the  season  opener, the  runners gave themselves Volkert finished fourth overall a progressive start to the year, finishing with a  1-5 with a time of 31:10:40, Collin runners’ gap of 58 seconds. The top runner on the Hubert, 32:46:80, 30th; Matt roster, junior Adam Volkert, placed first with a course Haffner, 32:48:40, 31st; Brice record time of 18:39. Following Volkert was Nicholas Irving, 33:24:50, 53rd; and Nicholas Kiprono with a time of 19:15; Devon Young,19:19, third; Kiprono, 33:57:20, 76th. Tyler Polshack,19:28, fourth; and Brice Irving,19:37, “We saw different aspects of fifth. this race that we struggled with,” Though the men performed well in their first Jewett said. “We have a pretty meet of the season, Pitt’s following performance was young group of guys returning next year; they have bittersweet in a dual meet against Missouri Southern taken a lot away from this season.” on Sept. 21 in Joplin, Mo. Despite Volkert finishing first Volkert returned for his second appearance in the place overall in the 8K race, the men lost to Missouri NCAA Division II Championship in Hoback, Wash., on Southern by three points. Nov. 19. Volkert landed himself in the top 40 finishers “We had a couple of our top runners missing,” category to receive an All-American award. said Pitt State runner Ben Loats. “However, that’s no excuse for that we struggled with. We have a pretty how we performed out there.” Volkert would have taken a lot away from this season” continue to stand out among the team Coach Jewett throughout the rest of “I was concerned at different points in the race,” the season and tried to propel the Gorillas to victory in Volkert said. “I mainly stayed within the 34th to 38th the postseason. spot throughout the race. It was essential for my With the regular season behind them, the Pitt motivation to keep up the pace.” State men headed into the MIAA Championship race According to Jewett, the successful close to the in Joplin, Mo., on Oct. 22. Though the men hoped to season foreshadows a promising year ahead. see a dominating outcome in the 8K race, their hopes “We were able to send one runner up to Nationals never materialized into results, with the Gorillas this year,” Jewett said. “After the race I told Volkert finishing fourth overall out of eight teams with a score that we would aim to get the whole team up there of 80 points. by the end of next season. We’ve got an excellent “We knew we needed to have the right five guys group of men returning next year, and they have the run a perfect race in order to have a chance to win absolute potential.” | story by Zach Wagner

“W

e saw different aspects of this race

young group of guys returning next year; they

|

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y Adam Volkert overtakes an MSSU runner to lead the pack at the PSU vs. MSSU Cross Country Meet. Volkert won the race with a time of 24:08.90. | photo by Jim Quist

Men’s Cross Country Team: Front Row: Brice Irving, Tyler Anliker, Collin Hubert, Matt Haffner, Nicholas Kiprono, Tyler Polshak. Middle Row: Adam Volkert, Billy Mendell, Austin Bogina, Tony Weiss, Isbek Salinas. Back Row: Ben Loats, Chris Musgrove, Devon Young, Ethan Silovsky, TJ Mapp. | photo courtesy of Photographic Services

3Tyler Aniker passes an MSSU runner at the PSU vs. MSSU Cross Country Meet, at Missouri Southern State University on Wednesday, Sept. 21. | photo by Jim Quist

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5Casey

Epps leads the way during the MSSU vs PSU Cross Country Meet held on the campus of Missouri Southern State University on Wednesday, Sept. 21. | photo by Jim Quist

Women’s Cross Country Team: Front Row: Shannon Ahlstedt, Tess Weast, Alex Moase, Erica Testa, Amanda Callaway, Casey Epps, Melissa Peden. Back Row: Bridgette McCormick, Delaney Smith, Kaley Temaat, Katelyn Henderson, Leah Haden, Cate Dunn. | photo courtesy of Photographic Services

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Women’s

Cross Country T

Gorillas bring home state and national honors

he women’s cross country team took its ninth overall trip to the NCAA-II National Championship in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 19. The women took 15th place out of 24 teams with 422 points. The first PSU runner to finish the 6k race was sophomore Erica Testa. Testa finished 65th overall with a time of 23:18.7. “We all pulled together as a team and did what it took to get in the highest places we could,” Testa said. “It was great knowing that my teammates were all with me doing everything they could to ensure we could move up in the ranks.” Coming in four places behind Testa, taking 69th place, was PSU junior Melissa Peden with a time of 23:21.2. The third PSU runner to cross the line was junior Kaley Temaat, finishing with a time of 23:35.7, earning her 79th place. “I was mainly keeping up with Erica through the entire race,” Peden said. “We were just focusing on the best spot we could get, and that took us there.” The women have had a successful season overall, competing in six meets, including the Missouri Southern Dual/5k, Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree/6k, MIAA vs. GLVC meet/ 5k, MIAA Championships/6k, NCAA II South Central Regional/6k and the NCAA II National Championships/6k. They captured the MIAA cross country title on Oct. 22, where the team placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 20, allowing them to win with a low 63 points while also beating the host school, MSSU, which ended with 92 points. “I’m very proud of our women,” head coach Russ Jewett said. “We have an extremely tough squad. What it came down to is that we were tougher than our opponents when we needed to be to win.” Freshman Katelyn Henderson said that it was great getting two solid performances in for her first two races of the season. “I was supposed to just be an alternate for this meet, so I was thankful to just get another opportunity to race with this group of girls this season,” Henderson said. “We each went out and put in good, hard efforts. This season they earned second place at the MIAA vs. GLVC meet on Oct. 8, finishing the 5k race with 74 points, barely losing to Harding, which ended the meet with 71 points. Sophomore runner Casey Epps said that the motivation of the conference win was what kept the girls’ spirits up. “We had a goal to try to beat Truman and Northwest Missouri,” Epps said. “But after seeing the results, it was a definite confidence boost to the whole team.”

The women competed in the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree on Oct. 1, as well, where they fared well, taking 11th place. Pitt State junior Melissa Peden competed well with the Division I runners from Indiana, Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts and took 24th place with a time of 18:07.52 in the 6k. “My only two goals of the meet were to beat Missouri Southern’s No. 1 girl and to win a T-shirt,” Peden said, “and that’s what happened.” On Sept. 21 Pitt participated in a dual meet against Missouri

“W

e have an extremely tough squad. What it came down to is that we were tougher

than our opponents when we needed to be to win.”

| Coach Jewett Southern. The women finished the dual with 25 points, defeating MSSU by eight. Due in part to the successful season the women had, Jewett was selected as the MIAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, his second consecutive year to win the award. His PSU women also claimed their eighth MIAA title, the most of any current conference school, and four Gorillas finished in the top 15 individually, including Melissa Peden, who earned All-MIAA honors by finishing in sixth place. | story by

Zach Wagner

5

Freshman Shannon Ahlstedt runs the 4-kilometer race at the Pittsburg State University Alumni Cross Country Meet on Saturday, Sept. 10. | photo by John Saunders

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4Mitchell Miles, member of the Gorilla Ultimate Frisbee Club, tries to snatch the Frisbee during a game on Tuesday, Sept. 20. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

ULTIMATE FRISBEE students catch Frisbee fever, new club continues to grow

J

acob Rudolph arrived at Pitt State with eight Frisbees in hand, thinking he would play a little catch, until he noticed the surprising lack of an organized Frisbee group on campus. “Ultimate Frisbee is a big sport throughout colleges,” said Rudolph, freshman in mechanical engineering technology. “I was really surprised that it wasn’t here at Pitt State.” So Rudolph started his own Ultimate Frisbee club. He went to the school’s website to learn the steps to start a student organization and passed out information to interested students. With every gathering attracting new people, Rudolph said he enjoys the diversity of people who show up each week.

“My favorite part is learning new names,” said Rudolph. “It’s a great way to meet other students.” Lucas Tuckel, freshman in wood technology, said that he was riding his longboard on campus when he saw a notice about Ultimate Frisbee chalked on the sidewalk. He attended the gathering, realized it was an official club and has continued to attend. “I just want to have fun,” Tuckel said. “I want to do it every day.” Tuckel said he likes it because it’s a simple sport, but it keeps him fit. Lucas Smead, junior in accounting, said the sport makes a great dorm-floor activity and that he’s made a lot of friends through the sport. “We’ve got a great bunch of people to play,”

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4 Mason Stewart, member of the Gorilla Ultimate Frisbee Club, jumps for a Frisbee during a game on Tuesday, Sept. 20. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

Smead said. “They’re very active, and we have a good time. If more people would give it a try, they would love it. It’s like an addiction. Once you start, you won’t stop.” Rudolph calls Ultimate Frisbee a calmer, safer version of football. The rules are simple, and in fact, many—especially girls—have told him that he caught their interest at “no tackling.” “I’m good at running, so it’s the most natural sport to me,” Rudolph said. “It’s more enjoyable and more relaxed, and it brings in more types of people.”

If more people would give it a try,

they would love it. It’s like an addiction.

Once you start, you won’t stop.” |Lucas Smead When the club gets larger, Rudolph hopes to appeal to allocations for money to buy equipment such as jerseys, Frisbees and orange cones. He also hopes the Ultimate Frisbee Intramural tournaments in the spring will help spread the word and that the small club will grow large enough to put a team together to play against other universities in the region. Tuckel and Smead also want the club to compete against other universities. “I would like to see it progress into something bigger,” Tuckel said. “I want to get a team put together and play other schools. It may not be as big on campus as football, but I think we could do it.” Anywhere from 13 to 20 students have shown up each week, including both new and returning members. “I hope that the organization can be continued year after year and is appreciated enough that we can start playing other teams, even after I’m gone,” Rudolph said. “I hope it becomes a tradition.” | story by Jennifer Katzer

4 Jacob Rudolph, president of the club, gives a talk after the first game on PSU’s marching band practice field on Tuesday, Sept. 20. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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Down Last Minute to the

Strong bonds carry men’s basketball to MIAA final

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he 2012 men’s basketball season showed many things, but especially how the team came together as a unit. Making it to their first MIAA tournament for the current roster, they exceeded expectations and proved the doubters wrong. PSU went 15-13 overall for the season, but was highlighted by the epic MIAA title run at the annual MIAA tournament held in Memorial Hall. For the players, it was their first foray into the MIAA tournament as they had narrowly missed it in the past, and for JaVon McGee it was the chance to finally play on his home turf. “Nobody expected us to be in the championship game,” the 6-foot-6 junior from Kansas City, Mo., said, “but I liked it because it was my first time playing in Kansas City in front of my family and friends and the home crowd.” For others, it wasn’t as much a surprise as it was validity of their team’s potential. “We had beat some of the top teams in this conference and played others all the way until the end of the game,” Topeka, Kan., native and starter Eric Ray said. “There wasn’t a doubt in our minds that if we played to our full potential, we could beat any team in the MIAA tournament.” Junior guard Demetrius Virginia agreed with Ray about the tournament run. “There was no surprise; we are good enough to play with anybody in the league, if not better,” Virginia said. “We’ve just got to always be ready on any given night.” Team members agreed that, above all else, it was the team bonding they have experienced that has helped them the most. “I feel like we had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season,” Bailey, 6-foot-4 forward, said, “and my favorite part from this season was the way we bonded with each other on and off the court.” The team is almost always together and says it’s a testament to how well they work together on the court. McGee said that knowing each other personally helped them on the court. “We just understood one another because of the fact that we spend so much time off the court

together,” McGee said. “We do so much team bonding stuff, and we are always around each other so we just know who and what we are about.” The season was full of tight games against numerous conference rivals. “My favorite game for the two years I have been here is Missouri Southern,” said Bailey, one of the team’s leading scorers. “Just everything about that game has you going, from the fan part to the rival part of it, and it is just so intense.” McGee said that the chance to play in front of his family was his fondest memory from the season. “My favorite game was versus UCM at the MIAA tournament,” McGee said. “It was so many emotions: my first game ever at the Municipal, first time playing at home and family and friends were watching.” Ray recalled the chance to avenge two prior losses against the Bearcats in the semi-finals of the MIAA tournament. “We had lost to them twice already, and every one of my teammates gave it their all until the very end,” Ray said. “That is why we were victorious and advanced to the MIAA championship game.” The season finished on a bittersweet note, with the Gorillas narrowly losing hold of the MIAA title 67-63 in the closing minutes of the game against Washburn, but also garnering three All-MIAA Honors for players Eric Ray, McGee, and Bailey. | story by Tyler Smith

6 Arjok Guguai

waits for a shot to drop in the MIAA final game against Washburn in Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium on March 4. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

Adrian Herrera goes to the basket before the match play against Northwest Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 4, in John Lance Arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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3

Marky Nolen defends a Northwest Missouri player during the MIAA semifinal game on Saturday, March 3. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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Record Breakers Women charge their way through competition

B

efore the 2011-12 season began, expectations were already high for the Pittsburg State Gorillas from both within the program and from the community. The Gorillas had established themselves as contenders in the MIAA over the past two seasons under head coach Lane Lord. Now it’s safe to say that those expectations were met. “We have been hanging around third or fourth in the conference, which is the best conference in the country, these past two years,” Lord said. “We had high expectations, but to get to the Elite Eight exceeded them all.” The players knew the season could be special from the very beginning, thanks to a few variables and a record-setting start to the season. “Our coaches prepared us well and we had great team chemistry,” MIAA Freshman of the Year Lizzy Jeronimus said. The Gorillas broke two team records with a win over perennial rival Missouri Southern State University in the 12th game of the season. That win broke the 11-game win streak set by the 1991-92 team. The Gorillas broke another set of records during the stretch in a 111-45 victory over HarrisStowe State on Nov. 26. The 66-point margin of victory set a record, as did the 111 points scored by the Gorillas in the game. The Gorillas also set the record for most field goals made (47) in the same game. During that record-setting stretch, tragedy also struck when junior shooting guard Drew Roberts’ father lost his fight with cancer on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Roberts was given time off to deal with her loss, but still found the time to help propel the Gorillas to a victory against Central Missouri State University the following Sunday. “I think our kids really rallied around Drew,” Lord said. “I thought they really came together when that happened back in December. She sees the players as her sisters, and she really relied on the team and coaches. She handled it unbelievably.” The women won two more games after setting the record for most consecutive wins to continue the best start in program history before No. 17 Washburn stopped the streak at 14 games on Jan. 11.

“I knew we were going to be special, but not the extent of it,” sophomore point guard Alexa Bordewick said. The Gorillas lost their second game of the season a week after falling to Washburn against Northeastern State of Oklahoma. The players and coaches were able to right the ship, however, and string together an eight-game win streak. Pitt State set another record during the streak on Feb. 15 by winning its 23rd game of the season and eclipsing the 22-game mark set by the 1981-82, the 1991-92 and the 1994-95 teams. Success had arrived for the Gorillas, but that didn’t mean it was easy. “It’s amazing,” Lord said. “I don’t think we had the most talented team ever, but we had the best team ever. Everyone bought into their roles and we had great team chemistry.” The Gorillas were already in the discussion as the best team in the program’s history by this point, but stumbled a bit before the NCAA tournament. Their second loss to Washburn followed by a surprise defeat at the hands of Fort Hays State University, which was a middle-of-the-pack team this year, meant the beginning of the only losing streak on the Gorillas’ season. The final game was against the No. 8 Northeastern State Riverhawks, who had beaten the Gorillas earlier in the season. PSU was able to pull out the win, thanks to some last-minute heroics from Roberts and senior Brooke Conley. The Gorillas went into the MIAA tournament with confidence, but the women were knocked out in the first round by the No. 7 seeded Lincoln University Blue Tigers. “We went into the game a little too cocky and it cost us,” Jeronimus said. As the best regular season in school history closed, the Gorilla women headed into the postseason looking for their first ever NCAA tournament win. | story by Garett McCullough

4 Brooke Conley goes to the basket during a

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game against Emporia State in John Lance Arena on Feb. 15. | photo by Hunter Peterson

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3

Larissa Richards leads teammates in a chant before the game against Lincoln on Saturday, Feb. 11. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

6

Amanda Orloske tackles the opponent player on match against Truman on Wednesday, Jan. 25, in John lance arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

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Women’s Basketball

continued...

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3 Lizzy Jeronimus

5Head

coach Lane Lord directs the team during a time-out in a game against Emporia State in John lance arena on Feb. 15. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

3Women’s

Basketball Team: Front Row: Morgan Westhoff, Britnee Foster, Brigit Hesser, Courtney Tate, Drew Roberts, Alexa Bordewick, Sara Molz, Amanda Orloske, Lizzy Jeronimus. Back Row: Y’Cedria Devers, Hailey Roderique, Brooke Conley, Cathy Brugman, Marlianne Louzeiro, Lauren Brown, Larissa Richards, Lisa Elmer, Kristina Willis, Sherenda Campbell. | photo courtesy of Photographic Services

Season Stats

drives to the basket against Truman on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in John lance arena. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati

Scoreboard Shaw Emporia State Northeastern State Oklahoma Central Missouri Lincoln Blue Tigers Northeastern State Oklahoma Fort Hays State Washburn Emporia State Lincoln Blue Tigers Missouri Southern Northwest Missouri State Southwest Baptist Central Missouri Truman State Missouri Western Northeastern State Oklahoma Fort Hays State Washburn Emporia Lincoln Blue Tigers Missouri Southern Central Missouri Southwest Baptist Northwest Missouri State Truman State Missouri Western Harris Stowe State Maryville Central Oklahoma Southwestern College St. Mary’s Tarleton State

us

them

58 79 68 74 77 54 61 45 49 78 88 88 63 72 73 86 48 64 51 66 81 78 59 78 84 79 82 111 80 76 87 61 76

61 67 54 70 83 53 72 59 42 73 74 48 54 67 68 68 61 55 65 60 73 64 46 72 63 78 57 45 67 71 53 56 64

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Athletics  

2012 athletics section

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