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Page 7 | The Herald | Friday, February 20, 2009

Y O U R s p or t s IM basketball:

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Pink Out fund-raiser set for Saturday game by Jorge Jaramillo

Staff writer

Breast cancer, be gone! Cornerstone University’s women’s and men’s basketball teams have decided to help the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Pink Zone global effort to raise breast cancer awareness. During the first week of February, Cornerstone’s women’s basketball team set up a table outside of the cafeteria selling “Pink Out” T-shirts for its home game on Feb. 21 against Aquinas. Forward Dani Kraai, who led the effort, said all the proceeds will go to a breast cancer organization in Grand Rapids. To show its support for breast cancer awareness on Cornerstone’s Pink Zone game day, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be wearing Pink Out T-shirts during their pre-game warmups Kraai said. Along with the T-shirts, the women will also be sporting pink shoe laces and pink headbands to top it off. The coaches will join in as well, as they have decided to wear pink ribbons on their official Pink Zone game date. Kraai proposed the idea to women’s coach Carla Fles that the team should participate in the breast cancer awareness ini-

tiative. She agreed, making it the Golden Eagle’s first year of participation in the WBCA Pink Zone initiative. The CU men’s basketball team joined in the effort alongside the women’s team when Kraai continued to seek out more support. She convinced Katie Azkoul, assistant director of commuter life and student activities, and Brent Rudin, associate vice president for university communications, to come on board. “I don’t know how much we’ll raise, but any amount is a good thing. It’s a good cause,” Rudin said. Reinforcing the large scope of Pink Zone, Rudin said there are teams participating all over the country and it is not a new concept. The WBCA also lists Hope and Aquinas College as 2009 participants. All WCBA Pink Zone participants have an official breast cancer awareness game day near a set time period depending on the participating school’s game schedule. According to the WBCA website, the official Pink Zone game week for 2009 runs from Feb. 13 – Feb. 22. Pink Zone was founded in 2007, formerly known as “Think Pink.” More than 120 schools joined in the effort, making “Think Pink” a success in its first

year. One year later, more than 1,200 teams and organizations participated, acquiring over 830,000 fans and raising $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. The WBCA Pink Zone initiative has made its way onto courts, through college campuses and into communities. The NCAA became involved in the Pink Zone initiative in 2008. The NCAA initiated the “Calling for a Cure” campaign. All NCAA women’s basketball officials wore pink whistles around their necks during 2008’s official Pink Zone game week. The NCAA raised $25,000 during their “Calling for a Cure” campaign. Cornerstone University can now say that it too has joined this enormous effort for global breast cancer awareness. According to the WBCA organization’s web site, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women. In the U.S., breast cancer is expected to be newly diagnosed every three minutes, and a woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes. The list of facts goes on and on. Women all over the nation are fighting the disease. Now, Cornerstone athletics are fighting with them, too.

Courtesy/Dani Kraai

Women’s basketball team: pinks out in support of cancer.

Courtesy/Dani Kraai

Pink out: T-shirts will feature this design.

Photos taken by Herald photographer Leah Bailey.

Broomball:

Courtesy/Janelle Brown

Track: competes at GVSU on Friday, Jan. 21, 2009.

CU to compete in WHAC track championships Saturday by zach ripley

Guest writer

Men: Between the men’s 1600-meter relay team, some successful throwers and some ambitious distance runners, this year’s track conference championship meet holds many possibilities for Cornerstone’s men’s track team. The meet itself always poses a unique challenge. With limited competitors, and a wide array of events, most athletes will be required to stretch far beyond their usual range. “No matter what the event group is, we try to finagle the meet in such a way that will allow us the most points possible,” assistant coach Paul Koutz said. “Sometimes it stretches the ath-

letes very broad.” What this means is that, with the top six finishers in every event scoring points, some would be asked to compete in three, four and even five events in one day. They don’t need to win every event, but if they can place in the top six in each event, they not only score points for their team, but also displace potential points from other teams. The reality of the meet is that Cornerstone simply does not have the depth that teams such as Sienna Heights or Indiana Tech have. This brings in the other aspect. Distance coach Nate Van Holten said that for many runners the goals are more long term than the conference meet. “Some are getting ready for nationals, and some may still be trying to get there,” he said. One highlight of the meet will

be the high level of competition. Many WHAC athletes will also be potential recipients for AllAmerican honors at nationals in March. Other events will boast conference records and school records. Overall, the meet will boast steep team rivalries along with personal battles. Many of the athletes have been competing with and against one another for three or four years. There will be no backing down on Saturday.

Women:

Women’s track team must compete well in the indoor conference championship on Saturday to defend its 2008 WHAC championship. All season, the Cornerstone women have been hitting personal records, school records

and national qualifiers. But in order to defend their title, more is needed. Competition will be stiff, and CU has a target on its back. The conference championship meet is by far one of the most challenging meets of the year. The women will be stretched, in some cases further than ever. The most important qualities of the day will be consistency and recovery. In general, this meet is not a place to achieve personal records, but many will be asked to be close. “It will be a big challenge to try and defend what we won last year, and if we are successful it will be a true testament and a whole team effort and blessing from the Lord,” assistant coach Paul Koutz said. “Everyone is going to have a role in trying to score,” women’s

captain Janelle Lindman said. In many cases, runners are asked to do jumping events, jumpers are asked to do throwing events and throwers are sometimes asked to do running events. Head coach Rod Wortley has seen more of these meets than anyone and knows that one of the most important elements involves guess work. The coaches must anticipate what events other teams will enter in and fill in any potential gaps they see. The team has raced well this season, with multiple national qualifiers in a wide range of events. But those numbers only mean so much at the conference championship meet. Another year, another chance for the Cornerstone women’s track team to come together and achieve victory.

Cornerstone-Aquinas rivalry heating up Saturday afternoon by emily hollis

Staff writer

Photos taken by Herald photographer Leah Bailey.

Who knew that Golden Eagles and St. Bernard’s had so much dislike for each other? Tomorrow’s anticipated Cornerstone-Aquinas double-header will determine each team’s fate when the women’s game takes place at 1 p.m. and the men’s at 3 p.m., during the final weekend of WHAC regular season play. “Aquinas is one of the top teams,” men’s coach Kim Elders said. “They’ve become one of our arch-rivals and our biggest competition…and why not? Aquinas

is one of the top teams to beat.” “It’s a bigger game, bigger crowed,” Elders said. “There’s definitely an amount of rivalry.” Last year the Golden Eagles advanced to the WHAC tournament championship after their first victory all season against the Saints. Aquinas was the expected WHAC champions. “Ever since I’ve been here I’ve just known about the rivalry,” junior guard Dennis Jones said. “I guess it’s just the history between us. Like the whole Calvin rivalry, it’s just one of those things where it’s just been going on for years and years.”

For the women it’s a chance to get revenge for a loss to Aquinas on Jan. 28 that ended Cornerstone’s seven-game winning streak and their hopes for a perfect record in the WHAC, and after a loss last weekend to Davenport, Cornerstone will need a win to stay toward the top of the WHAC. Forward Danielle Kraai said that she thinks the rivalry “is a lot more serious for the guys than it is for us. Just ‘cause their guys.” However, she also hopes to learn from the mistakes made a year ago when Aquinas beat Cor-

nerstone in the second round of the WHAC Tournament. “I think it was a growing experience,” Kraai said. “We’re going to go off of a lot of our mistakes from last semester. We just have to make smart shots.” Women’s coach Carla Fles agreed. “We just had a bad shooting day,” Fles said about the last time Cornerstone lost to Aquinas earlier this season. “We’ll definitely try new tactics.” In the last decade, the women’s team has made the NAIA Tournament six times, and they’re hoping this year will be

the seventh. Last year, the men’s team also came close to making the national tournament after beating Aquinas 84-79 in the second round of the WHAC tournament, but a loss to Indiana Tech in the conference championship game prevented that from happening. Both games will have profound implications on the WHAC tournament seedings Cornerstone receives, making the Golden Eagles even more hungry than they were last week against Davenport. So pick up a ticket and watch the Golden Eagles and St. Bernard’s have at it!


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