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Freshman recruits added to Racer athletics

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor

Interim Head Coach Jorge Caetano // Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics

Interim Head Coach Jorge Caetano // Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics

Track and Field Head Coach Jenny Swieton // Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics

Track and Field Head Coach Jenny Swieton // Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics

Racer track and field and women’s tennis have added new recruits for the 2015-16 athletic season.

Track and Field

Head Coach Jenny Swieton said in a report on GoRacers.com that she is excited about her new recruits because they cover all facets of track and field and cross country.

The new recruits are:

  • Tamdra Lawrence from Westside High School in Georgia
  • Jocelyn Payne from Kirkwood High School in Missouri
  • Kassidy Cook from Harrison County High School in Kentucky
  • Jabreuna Brimlett from Poplar Bluff High School in Missouri
  • Emily Heil from Marathon High School in Wisconsin
  • Aubrey Main from Southridge High School in Indiana
  • Maddy Brown from Parkway West High School in Missouri
  • Purity Chebet from Kenya
  • Ida Mutai from Kenya
  • Christina Meinhardt from Illinois
  • Jessenia Ellis from Poplar Bluff High School in Missouri

“We’re extremely excited about our newest additions to the Racers family,” Swieton said in the report.

Women’s Tennis

Women’s tennis Interim Head Coach Jorge Caetano announced the signing of five student-athletes.

Caetano said in a report on GoRacers.com that he was careful when looking at prospect because he was looking for young women that understood what it meant to be a student-athlete.

“This group is very talented and determined and they are willing to work hard both on court and in the classroom in order to have a successful college career,” he said.

The new recruits are:

  • Amina Hadzic from Esbjerg, Denmark
  • Jeanne Masson from Dianrd, France
  • Haily Morgan from Anthem, Arizona
  • Alina Schibol from Hamburg, Germany and is also transferring from IPFW
  • Mari Udagawa from Tokyo, Japan

“I am very pleased with this year’s class and it was not an easy task to bring in this many players that play at such a high level,” Caetano said.

Both women’s tennis and track and field recruits are for the 2015-16 school year.

Prohm hired at Iowa State

By Mallory Tucker, Staff writer

File photo

File photo

Iowa State hired men’s basketball Head Coach Steve Prohm to replace former coach Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg accepted a head coaching job with the Chicago Bulls June 2. Prohm agreed to a five-year contract with a base salary of $1.5 million. The hiring was first reported by Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com before Cyclones Athletics released an official statement Monday. Prohm will be formally introduced at a press conference at 10 a.m. June 9 at the Sukup Basketball Complex in Ames, Iowa.

Prohm spent nine years with the Racers, taking over the head coach position from Billy Kennedy in the 2011-12 season and holding a 104-29 record during his four seasons in that role. He led the Racers into postseason play three of his four years as head coach, advancing into the third round of the NCAA tournament in 2012, winning the College Insider Tournament in 2014 and making it to the NIT quarterfinals in 2015.

Prohm’s first year as head coach ranks as the best in Racer basketball history, led by 76er player Isaiah Canaan. During 2011-12, the Racers set the OVC and school record for winning percentage and total wins with a 31-2 record and ranked in the top-10 in the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history.

Prohm’s departure comes not long after former Racer point guard and OVC Athlete of the Year Cameron Payne announced his intent to enter the 2015 NBA draft after his sophomore season.

Before Murray State, Prohm served on the coaching staffs at Centenary College, Southeastern Louisiana University and Tulane. A 1997 graduate of the University of Alabama, Prohm also served as a student assistant coach and student manager for the Crimson Tide.

… Continue Reading

Payne named OVC Athlete of the Year

 

File photo

File photo

Staff Report 

For the second time in four years Murray State has seen the OVC Male Athlete of the Year award. Former point guard for the Racers, Cameron Payne had Head Coach Steve Prohm accept the award in his behalf on May 29.

Payne helped the team last season go undefeated for the second longest win streak at 25 wins that stretched back to December. This season’s team was the first at Murray State and the fifth in the OVC to go undefeated in their season. Payne also helped the Racers win their first round at the National Invitation Tournament before falling in the quarterfinals to Old Dominion.

Personally, Payne was the second fastest player in the Murray State’s history to reach 1,000 career points, according to ovcsports.com. Payne averaged 20.2 points per game and six assists per game. With an average of 32.2 minutes of playing time every game, Payne managed to receive several honors through his two years as a Racer.

Payne was named a third-team All-American by CBSSports.com, received an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and the Lute Olson National Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. He is projected to be a first round selection for the NBA Draft according to OVCSports.com.

Murray State has seen nine awards given to Racer athletes. Payne is no exception, his induction makes the seventh Racer to have the Male Athlete of the Year title. Among the former male athletes include Gary Hooker in 1980, Jeffery Martin Sr. in 1988 and 1989, Popeye Jones in 1991 and 1992, Marcus Brown in 1995, De’Teri Mayes in 1998 and Isaiah Canaan in 2012.

Payne is preparing for the NBA draft that take place June 25.

Racers run to improve across the board

April 24, 2015 Athletics, Track and Field

Story by John Morris, Staff writer

The Racers showed improvement at Austin Peay State Saturday with multiple athletes improving in their events.

“We made some really big steps in some areas that we needed to,” said Head Coach Jenny Severns. “You can tell all the hard work is starting to pay off and people are starting to see improvements in their performances.”

Severns said she is pleased with the way the team is performing.

She said she wants to make sure the women are working hard but have time to rest themselves after not having much of a break going from this winter’s indoor season straight to outdoor.

The Racers are two meets away from the OVC Tournament. … Continue Reading

Nixed out of NCAA tournament seed

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Staff-op-3-27-15

Katie Wilborn/The News

(WITH VIDEO) –  After watching the Racers win 25 games in a row, we thought we had a strong chance to get a bid into the NCAA Tournament. Losing to Belmont in the final round of the OVC Tournament by one point didn’t dilute the idea that we deserved a spot, regardless of the seed.

To the surprise of fans, rivals and analysts, Murray State was denied an invitation to The Big Dance. There is more to our case than rooting for our University’s team. By the record, the talent and the criteria, Murray State deserved to be in The Big Dance.

Teams make it to the tournament by winning games. Murray State remained undefeated from Nov. 30 to March 7. Analysts have continually used our schedule as a demerit against us, but winning that many games in a row is difficult, no matter what conference we’re in. … Continue Reading

Prohm takes 100th victory, win streak extends to 23

February 26, 2015 Athletics
Haley Hays/The News

Haley Hays/The News

Fans were stacked to the aisle in the CFSB Center as the Racers prepared to play at home for the last time this season. The pre-game festivities celebrated the four seniors, Jarvis Williams, Jonathan Fairell and T.J. Sapp, but all eyes were on Head Coach Steve Prohm as he took his 100th program win. A 65-57 victory over Eastern Illinois University made Prohm the fastest coach in Racer history to claim 100 wins and take home his 23rd consecutive win this season. This 23-game win streak, in addition to being the second-longest in the nation after No. 1 Kentucky, ties for the longest streak in OVC history, a record already held by the Racers from the 2011-12 season.

The normal starters, all three seniors plus sophomore point guard Cameron Payne and junior forward Jeffery Moss, took to the court and won the tip against the Panthers. Williams put the first points of the game on the board on a goaltending call against Eastern Illinois.

Sapp followed with a 3-pointer and Moss quickly followed with one of his own to increase the lead to 8-0 with 16:44 to play in the first half. Williams added a dunk to the board before being fouled on a second dunk attempt. He made both free throws and the Racers went up by 12 uncontested for the first five minutes of the game.

Fairell took the first personal foul for the Racers and Eastern Illinois’s junior guard Trae Anderson made both free throws, putting the Panthers’ first points of the game on the board.

Eastern Illinois’s Anderson, senior forward Josh Piper and junior forward Chris Olivier, who returned from an injury Feb. 14, led the Panther’s offense with 18 of the Panthers’ 21 points in the first half.

The Racers entered the locker room at the half leading Eastern Illinois 34-21.

The Panthers were chomping at the bit in the second half to cut the lead and challenge the Racers. They closed it to less than ten just three minutes in and maintained a close margin for most of the half. With 49 seconds to play, Fairell was subbed out with three personal fouls to his name. Less than 30 seconds elapsed before he was subbed back in for Williams to be honored for senior night. He was quickly subbed back out by junior forward Wayne Langston, acknowledging the crowd as he took in his last minutes on the floor of the CFSB Center. The crowd cheered “Thank you, seniors,” as the clock timed out and the Racers won 65-57.

The Racers are now just one game away from a perfect conference season. Facing the UT Martin Skyhawks Saturday at 6 p.m. in Martin, Tenn., the Racers have a chance to become the fourth team in OVC history to go undefeated in conference.

Racers claim OVC Championship title

November 24, 2014 Athletics, Volleyball
Kory Savage/The News

Kory Savage/The News

For the first time since 2003, the Racer Volleyball team has claimed the OVC Championship tournament.

With the winning point, the team fell to the floor, some with tears and others jumping for the trophy. They simply could not find words to describe their feelings.

The next move in store for the Racers is the 2014 Division Volleyball Championship. There will be a live unveiling of the field for the championship at 7:30 p.m., Nov 30 on ESPNU. Until then, the Racers will not know what team they will play next or when. The championship game will take place Dec. 18 and 20 in Oklahoma City.

Jenny Rohl/The News

Jenny Rohl/The News

“We work so much trying to not think about the OVC Championship that it’s hard to think about it now that we’ve won,” Head Coach David Schwepker said. “It’s hard to say anything but we are just so excited and it’s well deserved.”

Along with their championship title, the Racers recognize three all-tournament team members, sophomore right side, Kristen Besselsen, junior setter, Sam Bedard and junior middle blocker Alyssa Lelm. Bedard was also named the MVP of the OVC tournament.

“I was not expecting that at all,” said Bedard. “I am speechless about it but it was definitely awesome.”

Schwepker said he has pushed her all season and sometimes she may not have like the pressure but she is a team player and has proven to be great.

The Racers are the only team to have swept their matches and only play three of the five sets in the tournament. Starting against the Bruins, the two teams played a typical back and forth set proving why both of them are ranked the top two teams.

Jenny Rohl/The News

Jenny Rohl/The News

According the GoRacers.com, Racer Arena was packed with 1,254 fans from all over. The teams tied 15 separate times, only putting themselves ahead of each other by no more than two points until they hit 21-21. The Racers then pushed through, taking the first set at 25-21. The second set started no different but ended similarly with the Racers 25-16 and also taking the third set 25-22.

“These girls kept fighting no matter what,” Schwepker said. “I know they were nervous and everyone could see they were doing things they don’t normally do. They settled down and worked hard. The last two years of hard work and determinations helped us get to this point.”

Schwepker avoided talking about the OVC Championship all season but with the title in hand he simply couldn’t ignore the victory.

“I don’t have words to describe what we’ve done,” Schwepker said. “We’re going to home and celebrate with family and do exactly what we’ve been doing all season—it’s just another game.”

Story by Kelsey RandolphAssistant Sports Editor

Shooting for greatness: Prohm lays out expectations for men’s basketball

November 5, 2014 Athletics, Basketball

(VIDEO) – With the men’s basketball team aiming for a deep run into the postseason next spring, Head Coach Steve Prohm breaks down the strengths and challenges for the Racers heading into the season.


You can find out more about the OVC’s preseason No. 1 Racers on Friday in The Murray State News’ basketball special session available on news racks across campus.

Video produced by Josiah Brand and Cameron Witte

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