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Courtesy / Jaime Miller

Two unrelated things worked hand-in-hand to alter Lynette Ritchie’s life, and the State Farm analyst is forever grateful.

University of Minnesota Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport

Mary Jo Kane said the explosive growth of women playing sports in America is absolutely attributable to the passage of Title IX in 1972. She used a former U-Conn basketball star as an example.

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Normal CornBelters president Steve Malliet will be the first to admit initial projections for the organization when it began 10 years ago are not where the team is today.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Tuesday evenings in warm weather, the Twin Cities Horseshoe Pitchers Club meet, seeking ringers and finding fellowship.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University celebrates Homecoming week Oct. 16-22, with a variety of events to engage the whole community.

Carleigh Gray

The Redbird volleyball team picked a good night for an epic comeback.

Julie Weger / Courtesy

Little did Julie Weger know what was in store for her when she agreed to tag along with her brother to play darts in Paris (Ill.) 20 years ago.

Redbird Productions

You couldn’t draw up the play any better if you tried.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Pro Tem Karen Schmidt said Tuesday she thinks it's unfair to speculate whether aldermen bear blame for any factors that might have led to alleged theft of nearly a million dollars by the city's former arena management company.

On the first day of a 24-day bicycle race across Russia, a Bloomington-Normal endurance athlete realized she probably would not finish. 

"As soon as I started on the first day and I saw this pack of men, as fast as they went off, I knew there was no way," said Thursday Gervais during GLT's Sound Ideas. She called the men's pace "wicked fast" and said it surprised everyone, including the Red Bull organizers. 

Bryan Bloodworth / WGLT

With 116 teams representing 29 states, the Town of Normal hit another grand slam this week by hosting the USA Class A 16-and-under girls national softball tournament.

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A mountain of research—including a stunning new study on the brains of deceased NFL players—is changing the way that the Illinois State football team is practicing this summer.

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center / Advocate Healthcare

Nine months ago an exciting event took place that made thousands of people wildly exuberant and happily exhausted. Oh, and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series too. And now, it's a Cubs baby boomlet.

Ralph Weisheit

A Special Olympics Illinois athlete has died.

Special Olympics Illinois President and CEO Dave Breen said the athlete suffered a medical emergency during a Summer Games swimming competition.

MVC

The Missouri Valley Conference President's Council has ratified the membership of Valparaiso University. All Valparaiso's sponsored sports will begin conference play in the fall of 2017.

That does not include football in which Valparaiso plays in the Pioneer League.

Even veteran coaches can get nervous when jumping into a new endeavor. Adding to the apprehension for Illinois Wesleyan women’s basketball coach Mia Smith is jumping midstream into an at-large representative for selecting athletes and coaches for the national USA Basketball committee. She had no idea she was even being considered. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

Learfield.com

Illinois State University Athletics recently outsourced its comprehensive multi-media rights to Learfield Sports Inc. The Plano, TX based company will pay ISU $19.8 million dollars over 10 years for the rights to manage, market and sell Redbird athletics signage, digital, radio play-by-play and coaches shows. 

ISU Athletics

The Missouri Valley Conference is trying to make up for the loss of Wichita State.

The Conference President's Council is inviting Valparaiso University into the MVC.

D Allen / Flickr via Creative Commons

Runners, cyclists, swimmers and more can find support and comradeship  at the Central Illinois MultiSport Expo in Normal.

Baylee Steelman

Donors to the American Red Cross for Central Illinois can check "dining with a World Series champion" off their bucket list.

Retired Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross spoke at the Marriott Hotel in Uptown Normal Tuesday night for the 24th annual "Evening With Stars" event. More than 1,000 people got to hear Ross' perspective of Game 7 of the World Series.

Ross said he is beyond grateful for his life in professional baseball. He said one of the most difficult parts of being a major league baseball player is being away from family.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University has introduced its new women's basketball coach, Kristen Gillespie.

She comes from a family of coaches. Gillespie said during her opening news conference that seeing her father stand up at player weddings made her notice how he influenced lives and why he coached.

Illinois State University

After a string of under performing women's basketball seasons, Illinois State University is turning to a former player of legendary North Carolina Coach Kay Yow to turn the program around.

ISU will introduce Kristen Gillespie as its 8th women's head basketball coach Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday Gervais.

The Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme, starting July 18, is the longest and most difficult bike race in the world. Bloomington-Normal resident Thursday Gervais is training to be the first woman solo competitor in this 5,700-mile, 24-day race from Moscow to Vladivostok. Factor in weather, road conditions, and elevation climb and the race sounds impossible, but it's not. 

Illinois State University Athletics

Illinois State University basketball coach Dan Muller fired off a tweet Monday that reverberated through college basketball.  The viral tweet came on the heels of the Redbirds being passed up for an "at-large" bid March 12 to play in the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament.  Despite it's 27-6 season record, ISU was told it didn't have enough "quality wins" against strong opponents to be selected.

Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

Flying into town only a few hours before tipoff because of travel trouble a day earlier, and wearing yellow practice jerseys instead of the game uniforms that got stuck on their abandoned airplane, Michigan raced to an early double-digit lead and beat Illinois 75-55 to reach the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

Girls celebrating on soccer field
Photo courtesy of Fusion Soccer Club

The head of the Bloomington School District is opposed to a community soccer or multi-sports complex. Such a complex has had on again off again discussion for years.

University High School

University High School and the family of a basketball player there are trying to turn near tragedy into life saving at other schools.

Kai Bates-Diop dropped to the floor of the gym during practice recently with sudden cardiac arrest.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A new partnership in the Twin Cities aims to help the next generation by forging new bonds and friendships.

Ryan McDonough / Flickr

Bloomington Normal resident Doug Rosenbaum worked the Superbowl on Sunday. It is Rosenbaum's second stint as an NFL Referee of the biggest game of the year.

He was part of the top ranked crew during the regular season, which earned the right to ref the big game.

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