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Sports

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.

Courtesy

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.

Jimmy Kimmel Live via Youtube

Super Bowl week activities took a backseat, at least for several hours, to a previously-unknown Illinois State University football recruit who dominated social media for more than a day.

Kansas high school football player Kobe Buffalomeat literally made headlines when his decision to play at ISU was made public during national college signing day, February 1st. His unique handle was highlighted online and otherwise by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Washington Post, New York Times and other media outlets.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Chicago Cubs fans of all ages are getting the chance to see the World Series trophy in Central Illinois. Mayors of both Bloomington and Normal officially named January 18, 2017 Chicago Cubs Day.

The Cubs Trophy Tour presented by State Farm made a stop at Illinois Wesleyan's Shirk Center Wednesday morning. 

Northern Illinois University Press

As Illinois State University's football Redbirds prepare for an unprecedented third consecutive appearance in the NCAA-Football Championship Subdivision post-season tournament, a central Illinois native has written a book on the history of the program.

Millions Join Cubs Celebration

Nov 4, 2016
Sarah Curtis

Chicago officials say the crowd estimate for the Chicago Cubs championship celebration is about 5 million people watching the team go by.

The number includes everyone who lined the parade route and the crowd who attended a rally at Grant Park.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Campus area taverns. restaurants, and sports bars were all at capacity with people lined up outside to watch the Cubs win the World Series.

After the ten inning end to a 108 year drought in championships, people poured out onto the streets and headed for the Illinois State University quad in the thousands.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Area law enforcement agencies and Illinois State University are preparing for a party in town if the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.

Police at ISU and the Town of Normal have increased staffing by more than 25 officers for the evening and they have lengthened their usual on call lists.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University has promoted from within to fill the Dean Position in the College of Applied Sciences and Technology.

Todd McLoda is the current Senior Associate Dean in that College.

Wikipedia

As enthusiasm for the Chicago Cubs run to the World Series has roared across the country, so has the omnipresence of the Cubs theme song penned by the late Steve Goodman.   But there's an interesting back story to how that song became the teams OFFICIAL theme song.  

Jasmine Bejar

When the Chicago Cubs lost back to back games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series earlier this week, even optimistic Cubs fans including Zach Bernard began to feel the jitters.

“I remember between the last pitch of game 3 and the first pitch of game 4 there was a general uneasiness going through the day talking to people about the Cubs.  You just didn’t know. There was a significant difference to tying the series in game 4 or being down 3 to 1 in game 5” said Bernard.

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