Freshman Madeline Bruce led the Prairie Fire to victories over Illinois College, Millikin University and Principia College at the Illinois College Invitational. Bruce earned Prairie Fire Performer of the Week after her meet against Eureka College, in which she broke pool records in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard IM. Then, at the Illinois College Invitational, she won the 50-yard freestyle in 25.78 seconds, setting a school record with her time, while also winning the 200-yard backstroke and swimming on the winning 200-yard medley and freestyle relay teams. For her performance she was named the MWC Women’s Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week.
The Prairie Fire’s first match of the new season included two place winners at the Knox Invitational on Saturday. Freshmen Matt Surprenant and Esai Ponce both took fifth place in their respective weight classes (184 for Surprenant and 141 for Ponce). Ponce was derailed in the third place bracket, following a win and a loss, by a 6-3 setback against number three seed Nick Shea of Truman State. Ponce was able to come out on top in his fifth place match against Andrew Still of Truman State University. Following two straight wins, Surprenant lost to number one seed Thomas Reyhons of Augustana College, who went on to place first. Surprenant dropped a 12-3 decision to Ryan Ward of Truman State before claiming fifth place against number seven seed Steven Burling of Illinois State’s club team. Prairie Fire junior captain Greg Ventris (Moline, Ill., Moline) won two bouts in the 174-pound bracket.
In a joint effort with Monmouth College, all fans attending the annual Bronze Turkey game between Knox and Monmouth on Nov. 16 will have the chance to help make a difference in the lives of area school children by contributing non-perishable foods to the “We Can” campaign. In Galesburg, the beneficiary is Blessings in a Backpack, and all collections at this year’s contest between the two teams will support their program. Students will be collecting donations at the gates of the Knosher Bowl, where the kick-off time is 1:00 p.m. Non-perishable food items are welcome and will be distributed to the FISH Food Pantry to be used by Blessings in a Backpack in their ongoing effort to provide adequate, healthy and nutritious meals to school-age children in Galesburg. (Source: Sports Information Department)