Hall of Fame coach joins son

MONTICELLO — After retiring with more than 400 wins as a collegiate head coach, hall of fame basketball coach Doug Tolin will join his son Kyle Tolin’s staff at the University of Arkansas at Monticello starting in the 2015-16 season. Doug Tolin put together a storied career as a head coach at Oklahoma Baptist University from 2000-2015. He retired at the end of this past season as the school’s most winningest coach with a 402-120 overall record, 14 consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament, the 2010 NAIA National Championship, two NAIA National Tournament runner-up finishes, one final four finish and five elite eight finishes. Doug Tolin led the Bison to six Sooner Athletic Conference regular season championships and three SAC tournament titles. He is a four-time conference coach of the year, the 2010 NAIA National Coach of the Year and a member of five different halls of fame – NAIA (2015), Oklahoma Baptist University (2011), East Central University (2008), Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association (2008) and Norman High School (2003). During his tenure in Shawnee, Doug Tolin recruited and coached three NAIA national players of the year, 13 NAIA All-America honorees and seven conference players of the year.


Harding moves up in national poll

SEARCY – Harding football moved up two places to No. 19 in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll on Monday. The Bisons are No. 20 in the Poll, No. 26 in the Rankings and No. 59 at The Bisons opened the season with a 20-19 overtime victory over Oklahoma Baptist on Saturday in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Harding has now been ranked in the last 13 straight AFCA polls. The Bisons play their home opener Saturday at 6 p.m. against Southern Nazarene. Ouachita is the only other Great American Conference team in the top 25. The Tigers are No. 11. Henderson State is receiving votes. Minnesota State remained at No. 1 after a 20-17 victory over then-No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth.


Johnson paces UAM to win

ARKADELPHIA — Senior Valeria Johnson finished fourth out of 34 to lead the University of Arkansas at Monticello women’s cross country team in the 2015 Bob Gravett Invitational on Saturday in the first meet of the season. Johnson’s 5K time was 22:46.52, four seconds behind third place finisher Caitlyn Bell of the University of the Ozarks, and less than one second ahead of fifth place finisher Caitlin Camper of Hendrix College. Other times for UAM were Elizabeth Gill in 12th at 24:43.42, Julia Martin in 24th 27:32.08, Amber Hickerson in 29th at 28:58.40 and Stormy Gallaher in 34th at 34:16.03. Ozarks was the the top team finisher with a score of 44 points, 10 points ahead of second place finisher Henderson State. Hendrix College finished third at 69, Ouachita finished fourth at 85 and UAM finished fifth at 97. The Blossoms are back in action on Friday at the Lois Davis Invitational hosted by Southern Arkansas.

Henderson State takes second

ARKADELPHIA — The Henderson State women’s cross country team opened the season with a second-place finish at the Bob Gravett Invitational hosted by Ouachita Baptist University. The Reddies totaled 54 points, 10 points behind event winner Ozark University. Hendrix College placed third with 69 points followed by Ouachita Baptist with 85 points and Arkansas-Monticello with 97 points. Three Reddies placed in the top 10 led by Angel Crawford who placed seventh with a time of 23:19.28. Alison Waggoner finished in eighth-place (23:38.60) while Emily Castlemann was 10th running the 5 kilometer course in 23:49.44. Sydnee Parker placed 11th (24:37.46), with Amanda Korinihona finishing as one of Henderson’s top five competitors placing 18th with a time of 25:39.35. Also competing for HSU was Erin Jackson who placed 21st (26:10.17), Karen Escamilla finishing 22nd (26:25.04), Mikayla Douglas in 23rd (27:12.59) and Chauzney Hooks in 28th (28:48.07).

Golden Suns finish among D-I schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Arkansas Tech women’s cross country team opened up its 2015 season under the lights at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic Saturday night, finishing 20th against a field stacked with Division I squads. The Golden Suns were led by sophomore Mary Simmons, who finished in 125th place in the 249-runner field with a time of 20:46.16. Freshman Shannon McLaughlin got her first taste of collegiate competition, completing the 5K course in 20:58.76, good enough for 135th place. Sophomores Maria Valente (178th, 22:05.26), Logan Edwards (185th, 22:12.58), Macy Burroughs (192nd, 22:33.76) and Afia Abdus Samad (198th, 22:48.22) followed, with freshman Adrianna Simmons (224th, 24:42.33) rounding out the Tech contingent. The Golden Suns tallied 594 points to outdistance Great American Conference mate Southeastern Oklahoma, which finished 21st. Ten of the 19 teams ahead of the Suns were Division I squads. Tech is back in action at 5 p.m. Friday evening at the Southern Arkansas Invitational in Magnolia.

UCA’s men take second, women’s team ninth

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Central Arkansas men’s cross country team finished second and the women’s squad was ninth at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic run Saturday night at the Mike Rose Complex. UCA’s men were led by freshman Markus Schweikert, who finished 10th in a time of 20:29.48 for the four-mile course that featured 258 runners. Senior Josh Quiroga was next in 19th place (20:43.65), followed by sophomore Preston Borg in 21st (20:45.01), senior Ryan Davidson in 23rd (20:46.24) and senior Albert Maeder in 26th (20:49.50). Alabama won the meet, which featured 26 collegiate teams. UCA was second, followed by Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Harding and Arkansas State to round out the top six. On the women’s side, junior Brigette Caruthers finished 26th in a time of 18:45.59 for the 5K race which featured 249 runners. Freshman Taylor Dunn was next in 47th place (19:30.86), followed by sophomore Abigail Topham in 49th (19:34.84) and freshman Sara Shaw in 58tht (19:51.53).