WHEELING - Former Wheeling Park High School cross country standout Courtney Yaeger started her senior season at the University of Illinois on the right foot at last week's Illinois Intercollegiate Championships.
The Illini senior ran a personal-best 17:14 to lead Illinois to its first meet championship since 2008.
For her efforts, she was named Big Ten Women's Cross Country Co-Athlete of the Week along with Northwestern's Audrey Huth.
Yaeger, who won the conference honor for the first time, bested her previous 5K best by 52 seconds. All told, 12 Illini harriers established personal bests.
Barnesville native Stephanie Morgan, a redshirt junior, didn't compete in the event.
The Illini return to action Sept. 28 at the Notre Dame Invitational.
Defense Keys Hilltoppers
After winning just one game last year, Roger Waialae's West Liberty football team has surpassed that total three games into this season.
After falling to Catawba, the Hilltoppers have posted back-to-back victories against Virginia State and West Virginia Wesleyan.
What's been the key? Defense.
In 2011, West Liberty was ranked fifth in total defense in the West Virginia Conference, sixth in scoring defense, sixth in rushing defense and fourth in past defense.
So far this season, Defensive Coordinator Jeff Monteroso's unit is second in the conference in scoring defense, second in total defense, second in rushing defense, and fourth in pass defense.
The stats come as little surprise as the Hilltoppers had the second most returning defensive starters in the conference with eight.
West Liberty aims to go 2-0 in the WVC on Saturday at Fairmont State.
Speaking of the Hilltoppers
The West Liberty men's tennis team started its season last Saturday with a pair of victories against Grove City and Franciscan.
John Marshall graduate Stefan Riggs is a member of Coach Sam McCullough's squad.
Coach Heather Gallagher's women's netters are also off to a perfect start.
The Hilltoppers blanked West Virginia Wesleyan 9-0 on Monday to move to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the WVC.
John Marshall grad Christina Pauley was among the winners.
Cardinals Movin' On Up
The Wheeling Jesuit University volleyball team moved up to 16th in the latest AVCA Top 25 Poll released Monday.
The Cardinals stand at 11-1 overall after opening WVC play on Tuesday with a victory against West Virginia State.
WJU has won a remarkable 70 straight matches against conference foes, including those in the conference tournament.
On the Move
If the West Liberty men's basketball team earns a third straight trip to the Elite Eight this season it will be making a longer trip.
For the third time in three years the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Elite Eight will have a new home, with a twist.
Freedom Hall, the former home of the Louisville Cardinals and site of six NCAA Division I Final Fours, will replace the University of Northern Kentucky's Bank of Kentucky Center after one season. The games will be March 28 and 30.
Louisville also welcomed the tournament from 1995-2000 where it was played at the International Convention Center.
Bellarmine University, the 2011 national champ, will play host to the event. But it won't play host to the championship game.
With 2013 marking the 75th Division I Men's Basketball Championship, the NCAA decided to play all three championships (Divisions I-III) in the same city and same weekend.
So, the teams that advance to the title tilt will travel to Atlanta and play the championship game April 7 at Philips Arena, the home of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.