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Vote: CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, May 6-12, 2024

Updated: May 17

Last week was the final week of the regular season for some sports and the start of the postseason for others. Many athletes in the Central Illinois area continued to amaze and are contenders to win CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos.

This week’s nominees include conference champions and state qualifiers in track and field, Mid-Illini baseball players helping keep their teams in conference title contention, softball players who put up gaudy numbers, and a conference champion in tennis. 

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The following athletes are our nominees for CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, with information on their standout performances below. There are polls for CSM Boys Athlete of the Week and Girls Athlete of the Week.

UPDATE: Dunlap's Jack Piper and Metamora's Addi Pacha won CSM Spring Athletes of the Week with the most votes in their respective polls. Voting closed on Thursday evening.

Boys Athlete of the Week nominees

Aiden Swanlund, Normal West boys track and field

Swanlund was a three-time conference champion at the Big 12 Conference Meet on Wednesday, winning the 800 meters in 1:56.50 and the 1600 meters in a personal-best 4:29.29. The junior also ran on the Wildcats’ 4x800 meter relay team that took first place, as well as their 4x400 relay that finished second. 

Jack Piper, Dunlap baseball

Piper’s performance in a game on May 6 against Morton was massive in helping the Eagles keep pace at the top of the Mid-Illini Conference. The Dunlap pitcher threw a complete game shutout, allowing five hits which were all singles, in a 4-0 victory. He also drove in a run in 6-3 non-conference loss to Peoria Notre Dame on Saturday. 

Tyler Humphrey, Washington baseball

Humphrey put together a consistently strong week driving in runs for the Panthers as they extended their win streak to eight. Humphrey drove in a pair in games against Canton, Maple Park Kaneland and Plainfield North and added another RBI in a Wednesday win over Canton. The Washington junior also finished his week with a trio of doubles. 

Dylan Anderson, Pekin boys track and field

Anderson was the master of the 400 meters at the Mid-Illini Conference Meet on Tuesday, winning the event in a PR of 50.29 seconds. He also helped the Dragons win the 4x400 meter relay and added a personal-best long jump of 22 feet, 1.75 inches to take fourth in the event. 

Will Rinkenberger, Normal Community boys tennis

Rinkenberger lived up to his No. 1 seed in the No. 3 singles bracket at the the Big 12 Conference Tournament, giving the Ironmen a win. Rinkenberger won 6-0, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before advancing to take on Champaign Central’s Daniel Canivez in the championship. There, he came back from dropping the first set 6-4 to win 6-3 and 13-11 and prevail in his flight.

Girls Athlete of the Week nominees

Addi Pacha, Metamora softball

Pacha tore the cover off of the softball last week and had two of the best single-game performances in the area this season. The Redbirds outfielder went 4-for-4 with eight RBIs and hit three home runs in a 16-1 win over Limestone on Thursday and went 4-for-4 with six RBIs, two doubles and a round-tripper in a 12-1 victory over IVC on Monday. She added to her strong week by adding three hits and three RBIs combined in midweek games against Pekin and Mt. Zion.

Erika Durham, Normal West softball

Durham put up big numbers and came through in the clutch for Normal West, who had a busy week with seven games. Her two-run home run against Champaign Central on Monday helped the Wildcats win 3-2 and take the top spot in the Big 12 Conference. Durham and the Wildcats came closer to that title after she went a combined 5-for-5 with nine RBIs, three doubles and a home run in wins over league foes Peoria High and Champaign Centennial. For good measure, she added two doubles and an RBI over the span of four games at the Rockridge Invitational over the weekend.

Keyli Cogdal, El Paso-Gridley girls track and field

All Cogdal did last week – quite literally – was win as she competed in multiple events and qualified for the state meet. At El Paso-Gridley’s home sectional, she punched her tickets to state by winning the 100 meter hurdles, as well as running on EPG’s 4x100 and 4x200 relays that took the top spot and qualified as well. Cogdal was a winner in those three events previously on May 6 at El Paso-Gridley’s senior night, including running the hurdles in a season-best 16.35 seconds. 

Kiley Black, Peoria Christian softball

The Chargers star continued to baffle batters in the circle and put up big numbers at the plate as Peoria Christian finished its regular season on a five-game win streak. Black started three out of her team’s four games last week and struck out 51 batters combined, including 18-strikeouts performances against Delavan and El Paso-Gridley, while only allowing seven hits and five runs in those games. She was equally as dangerous with the bat, going 8-for-10 on the week with six RBIs, three doubles, a triple and a home run. 

Zoe Carter, Normal U-High girls track and field

Carter was part of a big day for the Pioneers as they won the Class 2A Metamora Sectional on Wednesday, qualifying for state in two events. The junior distance standout won the 3200 meters in a personal-best 10:42.20 and took second in the 1600 meters with another PR of 5:06.87. 

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