Spring 1999- Vol. 3. No. 3

Residential Colleges
Joseph Baldwin

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Hernandez Hangs Up Cleats For Medical School
Tommy Hernandez, a senior cornerback on the football team this past season, completed an outstanding football career on Jan. 9 when he competed in the Snowbowl all-star football game in Fargo, N.D.

It was not an end, but a beginning for the biology major who plans to attend medical school in the fall.

"I was sure that was my last game,"Hernandez said. "Maybe I could have played in the arena league or overseas, but the money just isn't worth giving up my future plans for."The Rockford, Ill., native came to Truman four years ago and was the only true freshman to see action that year.

"His ability was evident from the beginning," head football coach John Ware said. "He was as hard a worker on the field as off."

Hernandez earned a starting spot at cornerback his sophomore season and began to gather as many honors academically as he gathered athletically. He was an honorable mention all-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association pick that year while also earning academic all-MIAA recognition.

The following year, Hernandez was a first-team all-conference and all-Midwest pick as well as a first-team GTE academic all-district and academic all-America selection.

In 1998, he continued to bring in the honors with another appointment to the all-MIAA first-team and all-Midwest second-team, as well as multiple academic honors. Hernandez was also a second-team all-America pick by Don Hansen's Football Gazette.

He was awarded a $5,000 NCAA postgraduate scholarship, one of just 13 Division II and III football players across the nation to receive the honor. To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team.

"I had a lot of fun," Hernandez said. "I have a lot of great memories from playing here and now I'm looking forward to a career in medicine."

He finished his career on another winning note as a member of the West team at the Division II all-star football game. The West team beat the East squad, 38-28, as Hernandez posted four tackles for the day.

"It was great, getting to know some of the other players in our league and playing on the same team for a change," Hernandez said. "Now, I'm just ready to focus on my future."

His future will either be at the University of Illinois or Northwestern University.

"I've already been accepted at Illinois, now I'm waiting to hear from my first choice, Northwestern," Hernandez said.

Wherever he ends up, Hernandez is sure to continue the success he has enjoyed during his undergraduate years at Truman. He started every game in 1998 and finished with 67 tackles and tied for first in interceptions with four, to go with 51 yards in interception returns. Hernandez also had two tackles for a loss of six yards and five pass deflections along with six punt returns for 39 yards. He had 183 career tackles and 10 interceptions.

At the Jan. 23 football banquet, Hernandez was selected as the defensive back of the year by his teammates.

Eagan Lights Up The Court As She Brings Outstanding Career To A Close

Things couldn't get much better for senior point guard Amy Eagan. In her four years at Truman, things have only improved. The team has gone from a 9-16 record her freshman year to 17-6 with just a handful of games remaining in the 1998-99 regular season.

Not only has her team done better, but Eagan's health is the best it has been since she started playing at the University. From the first game of Eagan's freshman year, she has played through a stress fracture in her right leg.

"Usually at this time in the year, I couldn't walk," Eagan said.

This year, thanks to a bone stimulator and restrictions in practice, Eagan has not had problems with her leg.

The preseason all-America was as high as second in the MIAA and ninth in NCAA Division II in scoring at 20.5 points per game. Eagan also ranked first in the conference in steals, second in assists and was among the league's top players in field goal percentage. She scored 20 or more points in eight games so far this season, including 36-point and 46-point performances.

Ironically, the lone senior said she thought she would score less this year due to the offensive help of sophomore forward Kelli Kreuser.

Eagan is now fourth in career points (1,414), sixth in career rebounds (607)and second in career assists (479) at Truman.

"She is by far the most talented point guard in all of Division II basketball, as well as better than most at the Division I level," head coach Karin Nicholls said. "She has evolved into a total player who can score on an outside shot or break down the defense with her penetration."

As a freshman, Eagan earned all-MIAA honorable mention honors and led the team in assists. She was also second in assists and fifth in steals in the conference.

In her sophomore season, Eagan led the Bulldogs in scoring, assists, steals and rebounds.

The 1998-99 co-captain gained national attention, ranking 23rd in steals in NCAA Division II. She was named to the University of Nebraska-Kearney/Holiday Inn Thanksgiving all-tournament team and finished the year earning first team all-MIAA honors. Eagan also left the season on a 23-game double-figure scoring streak.

As a junior, Eagan was second-team all-MIAA and made the MIAA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Once again, she led the team in steals, assists, scoring and rebounds. She also became Truman's all-time steals leader and finished the season ranked 12th in steals, 32nd in assists and 53rd in scoring among DII leaders.

With just three regular season games left in her college career, there are only two things she'd like to accomplish.

"I want to win the MIAA championship and be an all-America," Eagan said.

Eagan is convinced she will still be around the game of basketball, but the thing she will miss more than anything is being a part of the Truman basketball team.

"This is the closest team by far -- everyone gets along with everyone." Nicholls said Eagan's dedication will help current and future players to enjoy success at the University. "She has laid the ground work for this program from the start," Nicholls said. "She is the foundation that helped to build a national contender. She should leave Truman as one of the most decorated players in history in a conference with so much talent and respect."

Bulldog Briefs

Men's Soccer
The men's soccer team completed another outstanding season by hosting an NCAA Division II quarterfinal game on Nov. 14. The Bulldogs fell to Mercyhurst (Pa.), 1-0, to end their season. The squad closed the year with a 14-4-2 overall record and a No. 7 ranking in the final NSCAA national poll. Senior Claes Meldal completed his career ranked fourth in the nation in assists per game (0.85) and set school records for single season (17) and career (34) assists.

Women's Soccer
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced in January that women's soccer would begin sponsorship by the conference beginning in 1999. Men's soccer will be dropped by the MIAA due to a lack of teams. The Truman women will be the only conference team to have made a postseason appearance, winning a first-round game in '97, but losing in the quarterfinals.

Women's Basketball
The women's basketball team is enjoying one of its best seasons in history with a 19-7 record (10-6 in the MIAA) and No. 23 national ranking through games of Feb. 21. The Bulldogs clinched an MIAA postseason berth earlier in the month, their second-consecutive appearance. They traveled to Pittsburg State for a first-round encounter on Feb. 23. The women were also touting the seventh-best scoring offense in the nation, scoring an average of 83.7 points a game.

Men's Basketball
The men's basketball team clinched a spot in the conference postseason tournament with a victory over Southwest Baptist on Feb. 10. The Bulldogs played host to Missouri Southern in a first-round game on Feb. 22. They were sixth in the South Central regional rankings with a 19-6 record (12-4 in the MIAA).

The swimming team is well on its way to nationals again, having already qualified five men and 12 women in 13 events for the NCAA Division II championships on March 10-13 in New York. The women repeated as champions of the Mideast Classic on Feb. 23, while the men were second again.

Senior wrestler Calvin Buhler was ranked eighth in the nation at the 165-pound weight class the week of Jan. 15. He had a 29-4 record at that time while the squad was 3-4 in dual meets. The wrestling team will attempt to qualify individuals for the national championships at the Midwest Regional Championships on Feb. 27 in Warrensburg. l Men's Indoor Track & Field Senior Mike Weinkauf provisionally qualified for the NCAA DII Indoor Championships in the 55-meter hurdles. He posted a time of 7.60 at the MIAA Indoor Championships in the event for a second-place finish. The team placed fifth at the conference meet.

Women's Indoor Track & Field
Three Bulldogs have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 5-6 in Indianapolis. In the weight throw, senior Sarah McLean was 13th on the NCAA performance list with a distance of 50'5.25", while freshman Beth Leubbering was eighth in the 5,000-meter run (17:55.45) and freshman Megan Williams was 13th in the 55-meter hurdles (8.32). Dafros Mudyirwa met the provisional mark in the 55-meter hurdles at the MIAA Indoor Champion-ships and the team finished in second-place.

1999 Baseball Preview
The 1999 Truman baseball team opened its season Feb. 15 with a 22-10 loss at the University of Missouri (Columbia), but swept a doubleheader with Kentucky Wesleyan the next week. The 'Dogs bring a lot of promise into the season, returning a majority of the '98 squad. The Bulldogs, 9-23 last year, won six of their last eight regular season games and made the MIAA playoffs for the first time since 1994. In 1999, Truman returns several players from a strong defensive unit and many of the key pitchers from a staff that began to show promise toward the end of the last campaign. Senior Josh Niemczyk and junior Jeff Birdsong, a 1998 honorable mention all-MIAA selection, look to anchor the bullpen this year. Niemczyk was 2-5 a year ago, while Birdsong was 3-6. However, both won key late-season games to help push the 'Dogs into the playoffs. Offensively, Truman returns its honorable mention all-MIAA centerfielder, junior Mike Kubinski, who led the Bulldogs with a .336 batting average and had 21 runs and 18 RBIs in '98. Senior Tony Vandemore was also an all-MIAA honorable-mention pick and posted a slugging percentage of .473, scoring 23 runs while driving in 18 last year. The Bulldogs' RBI leader a year ago, junior David Westmeyer, will also play a key role on the '99 team.

1999 Softball Preview
The 1999 season will mark the beginning of a new era in Bulldog softball. Kristy Schroeder takes the helm for her first season as head coach and will field an experienced and talented squad to compete for the elusive MIAA crown. Schroeder brings a wealth of success and a winning attitude to the team. A four-time all-PAC-10 shortstop, she helped UCLA to four NCAA Division I Championship games, winning the crown in 1990 and 1992. Schroeder also served as a graduate assistant coach at UCLA, assistant at Stanford University and assistant at the University of the Pacific (Calif.). The Bulldogs, 20-15 overall and 11-9 in the MIAA in 1998, return starters at every position except one. A fresh crop of recruits, including two new pitchers, should step right in. Five Bulldogs were named to the all-conference list following the '98 season. Sophomore Kristi Bredbenner and juniors Stephanie Schlegel and Jen Wright were second-team all-MIAA and accounted for 13 of the Bulldogs' 15 home runs a year ago. Sophomore Heather Mackie, who hit .400, and junior Megan Sullivan, who hit a Truman-record 16 doubles, were honorable mention all-conference honorees last year.