When Kevin Cordes, a Neuqua Valley graduate, leaves University of Arizona, he will need at least four boxes for awards he has won during his swimming career. One for each year.
But this year would be tough to top. It might take the Olympics to do that.
Cordes not only was named the Pac-12 Conference’s Swimmer of the Year, but he was also honored as the NCAA Division I Male Swimmer of the Year. And he did not even have the best possible meet.
“There were a couple of relays that we did not do as well as we had hoped,” said Cordes, who not only won the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke at the national finals, but lowered his American records in both. “I was happy with my performances personally. We had tapered very well and at that meet, I felt confident and good in the water. As far as the honors, it is very humbling.”
He finished the 100 breaststroke in 50.04 seconds, while swimming a 1:48.66 in the 200 breaststroke. He also has the NCAA and U.S. Open Records in those events.
“Last year, I really focused on the 200,” said Cordes. “This year, my concentration and training was focused more on the 100. Getting that close to being in the 49s is something that I want to do in the next year.”
While his college season is over for the year, Cordes is not done swimming. He will be competing in outings during the summer.
E.B. Keeve (Waubonsie Valley) and Abbey Kerth (Naperville Central) helped Arizona State’s water polo team (12-6) down California State-Bakersfield (14-3) and Occidental (16-1). Keeve, who played goal in both contests, had 13 saves in the win over CSU-Bakersfield. She finished with nine saves in the other contest. Kerth scored three goals in the 16-1 game and one goal in the 14-3 win.
Jenna Marsalli (Neuqua Valley) had a pair of multiple hit games for Illinois-Chicago (9-14, 4-1 HL) in a sweep of Wright State. In the 14-6 victory, Marsalli was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. She scored twice and had two RBI. She was 2-for-3 with an RBI in UIC’s 3-2 victory.
Southern Illinois (17-18, 5-6 MVC) got a 2-for-3 performance from Kelsey Gonzalez (Naperville Central). She scored a run as SIU defeated Illinois State 5-4. In SIU’s 11-10 loss to ISU, Alyssa Wunderlich (Naperville Central) worked 2 1/3 innings for SIU. She allowed two earned runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out one.
Sammy Marshall (Naperville North) was 2-for-4 with a double to lead the Western Illinois (18-16-1, 4-5 SL) softball team to an 8-5 victory over Indiana/Purdue-Fort Wayne. Marshall, who stole one base, had two RBI and scored twice. In WIU’s 10-2 loss to IUPU-Fort Wayne, Marshall had a hit and a run scored.
Charlie White (Naperville North) was 2-for-4 as his Maryland baseball team (20-10, 6-8 ACC), defeated George Mason 11-0. White, who doubled and walked twice, scored three times, stole three bases and drove home one.
Leigh Nebendahl (Neuqua Valley) was 2-for-4 with an RBI in Toledo softball’s (14-23, 5-3 MAC) 11-5 loss to Miami. In Toledo’s 6-4 win over Ball State, she was 1-for-1 with an RBI. Nebendahl hit a solo home run in a 9-4 loss to Dayton.
Illinois baseball (17-11, 5-1 Big Ten) swept Northwestern in a three-game series. In the Illini’s 13-0 win, Pat McInerney (Benet) was 1-for-3 with a walk. He drove home a pair and scored once. He also had a hit in the Illini’s 6-2 victory in 10 innings. Nick Blackburn (Neuqua Valley), an Illini pitcher, worked one inning. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
Cherise Mangal (Waubonsie Valley) finished 51st at the Bradley Invitational, which was held at the Pekin Country Club in Pekin. The Illinois-Chicago golfer shot a 172 for 36 holes with a low round of 84 in the second and final round. Southern Illinois won the outing with a 617. UIC was 10th with a 676.