Special to The Pantagraph
NORMAL — Three IHSA state golf top-10 finishers, including two Pantagraph-area competitors, have signed to play for the Illinois State men's golf team in 2006.
Drew Miller of Bloomington led his University High School team to its third consecutive state title by finishing tied for eighth place after the team made the leap to Class AA in 2005. Tommy Bliefnick of Decatur St. Teresa and Drew North of El-Paso Gridley both tied for 10th place at state in Class A. All three recruits were regional medalists.
Head coach Ray Kralis, making his first comments about the recruits since receiving their signed national letters of intent, believes they are "tournament-tested" and will form the nucleus for the future of Redbird golf.
"These three are proven competitors on the national level," said Kralis. "They are used to winning, and want to compete against the best. They all have a lot of confidence, and their desire to be the best that they can be is very appealing to the coaching staff."
Pair of gymnasts sign
Gymnasts Andrea Orris of Plano, Texas, and Jessica Prousa of Naperville have signed national letters of intent to compete for Illinois State and new head coach Bob Conkling.
Orris shares a hometown and gym with current Illinois State junior gymnasts Anne and Tove Fjordholm. The trio from Plano and World Olympic Gymnastics Academy will compete together at Illinois State for one year.
Orris has been competing in gymnastics for nine years and has national qualifications at Level 10 in 2003 and 2004. She has competed under the instruction of former Soviet Union Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin. Orris also comes from the same gym as current Olympic all-around gold medalist Carly Patterson.
Prousa has been competing in gymnastics for 10 years and has qualified for state, regional and national championships. She is working with coach Keith Carter at Naperville Gymnastics.
In 2003, Prousa placed seventh at the regional meet and 17th at the Junior Olympic Level 10 Nationals. In 2004, she placed 13th at the regional meet and was fifth at the state competition.