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Alumni Update: BMHS Grad Yolanda Johnson hurdles to NCAA West prelims

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Beloit Memorial High School graduate Yolonda Johnson, a senior at Colorado State, will compete as an individual and relay team member in the NCAA West preliminaries in Fayetteville, Ark., starting Wednesday at the University of Arkansas.

Johnson will compete in the 400-meter hurdles, where she is seeded 19th and in the 4x400 relay, which is seeded 13th.

Last weekend, Johnson helped the Rams finish second at the Mountain West Championships in Clovis, Calif., winning the 400 hurdles in 58.01 seconds. She led off the 4x400 relay team which finished second in 3:34.57.

Johnson is currently ranked 19th in the West region and 36th in the nation in the 400 hurdles. Her 4x400 team is ranked 26th in the West and 53rd in the nation.

The top 48 competitors in each event from the NCAA West regional vie for a spot in the top 12 to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships on June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore. As a Purple Knight, Johnson placed fifth in the 300 hurdles at the WIAA Division 1 state meet as a sophomore and placed second in the same event as a senior.

CRONIN PLACES: Bailey Cronin (Beloit Memorial), a redshirt junior at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, placed seventh in the 10,000 meters at the Sun Belt Conference Meet at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Cronin finished in 41:53.18.

GOLDEN EAGLES AT NATIONALS: Kaitlin Stefek (North Boone), Madison Carlson (South Beloit), Elli Teubert (Clinton) and Ava Martin (Hononegah) will try to help Rock Valley College’s softball team win its eighth straight National Junior College Athletic Association Division III national championship this week.

The top-seeded Golden Eagles (44-11) start play at the nationals at Carrier Park in Syracuse, N.Y., at 11 a.m. CST Wednesday when they face Monroe College-Bronx (26-14).

Stefek continues to lead NJCAA D-III in games played (55) and stolen bases (56). She is hitting .453. Carlson is 15-7 with a 2.13 ERA. She is also hitting .390. Martin is hitting .364 and Felicia Teubert is hitting .303.

MELAAS’ SEASON: The pitcher who helped RVC win its last national championship, Ashton Melaas (Hononegah), recently finished her first season at Division I Stony Brook College.

Melaas was NJCAA Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore for the Golden Eagles, going 19-3. She pitched 41 1-3 innings for Stony Brook, going 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA. She struck out 23 batters.

Stony Brook finished 31-16 overall and 10-6 in the America East Conference. In the conference tournament, they lost a series with UMass Lowell, two games to one.

SOURCE: Beloit Daily News