Three Johnson County high school graduates excelled on the national sports scene last week.
Iowa Western baseball player Alex Krupa, a Greenwood graduate, was named the tournament’s most valuable player after leading his team to the National Junior College Championship.
And Indiana State’s Katie Wise, an Indian Creek graduate, and Indiana University’s Sydney Clute, a Center Grove graduate, qualified for the NCAA Division I National Track and Field Championships, which begin Wednesday in Eugene, Oregon.
Krupa had 12 hits in 20 at-bats, with one home run, three doubles, eight RBIs, 10 runs scored and seven stolen bases as Iowa Western won five straight games to win the national title.
Krupa finished the season with a .427 batting average (67 for 157), tops on his team and 14th-best in the nation. The freshman stole 36 bases in 38 attempts, and his total of 36 was the 11th-best in the country.
Two NCAA Track and Field preliminaries were held last weekend, one the Eastern Preliminary and the other the Western Preliminary. The top 12 athletes in each event at each of the preliminaries, making a total of 24, qualified for the National Finals.
Wise finished second in the 100 meters with a time of 11.18, faster than the first-place time at the Western event. She was eighth of 47 sprinters who competed in the 200 meters with a time of 23.53 (23.28 in the preliminaries) and was a member of the Sycamore 1,600 relay team, which qualified by finishing ninth in 44.64.
Clute had a personal-best height of 13-9¼ in the pole vault event to finish seventh in a field of 44.
Southeastern University softball player DeVyn Barker was one of three outfielders named to the first All-Sun Conference team. She hit .314 (43 for 137) for the season for the 36-17 Fire.
Wisconsin’s Austin Mudd, competing in the NCAA Western Preliminary, finished 16th in the 1,500 meters in 3:46.49 and failed to qualify for the NCAA Finals. He earlier qualified for the semifinals with a time of 3:43.66.
Grace pitcher Sammy Wilkerson was named to the first All-Crossroads Conference Baseball Team after posting a 4-1 record with a team-best 4.53 ERA. The freshman walked 20 and struck out 38 in 55 2/3 innings and gave up 58 hits.
Indianapolis weight thrower Farin Hickman finished 17th in the hammer competition at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships with a throw of 160-7.
The Liberty baseball team (41-18) was eliminated from the NCAA Regional Tournament with losses to Arkansas (3-2) and Bucknell (5-2). Ashton Perritt had three hits and scored one run in seven at-bats in the tournament and finished the season with a .279 batting average (56 for 201).
Walt Vanderbush is a former principal of Franklin Community High School send ideas for the College Update column to firstname.lastname@example.org.