Category Archives: Sports

Harsted, Odell finish strong at wrestling invitational

By Cassidy Thornburg

2.7.2020

The Wheaton College Wrestling team hosted the Pete Willson Wheaton Invitational (PWWI) at King’s Arena from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.

The PWWI is unlike any other tournament: not only does it honor the late Pete Willson (‘50) and showcase impressive talent on the mat, it annually brings together the Wheaton College staff and community.

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Thunder welcome new head coach

By Cassidy Thornburg

1.31.2020

Jesse Scott was named the new head coach of the Wheaton Thunder football team on Tuesday, Jan. 28. He takes over from Mike Swider, who retired in December.

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After Thunder win, team reflects on Bryant’s death

By Cassidy Thornburg

01.31.2020

After the Wheaton women’s basketball team defeated Millikin University 74-61 on Wednesday, sophomore Hannah Swider remembered the life of Kobe Bryant as an inspiration to her own growth as a member of the team. “I spend a lot of time in the gym working on my game, trying to be like Kobe,” she said, “and it has been paying off, thanks to God.”

Bryant, who spent 20 years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a nine-person helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. on Sunday. His 13-year old daughter, Gianna, also died in the crash.

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Swim teams travel to Florida

By Amelia Sniffin

01.31.2020

Over Christmas break, the Wheaton Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive teams headed to West Palm Beach, Fla. for their winter training trip. The training trips typically take place every three years in warm locations, allowing the teams to train outdoors. Along with training, the Thunder competed in an exhibition meet against Randolph Macon College (Va.) and Roger Williams University (R.I.).

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Swider reflects on legacy on and off the field

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.13.19

Head football Coach Mike Swider, following a 12-1 final season record and 24 years of leading the Thunder football program, announced his retirement on Tuesday. Coach Swider played football at Wheaton College and graduated in 1977. He served as the defensive coordinator for 11 seasons immediately following, then took over as head coach. In his tenure with the program, Coach Swider led the Thunder to nine CCIW championships, ten NCAA Division III playoff appearances and 140 total conference game wins.

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Extra point ends Thunder playoff run

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.13.19

Twelve consecutive wins, spring ball, summer offseason plans, fall practices and Monday film sessions all came to a halt in the final seconds of play as the Thunder football team fell 34- 33 to St. John’s (Minn.) in the DIII Quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“That one is going to hurt for a long time, but I’ll tell you this, nobody can question how tough these guys are,” Coach Mike Swider said during a post-game press conference. “Nobody can question how they’ve endured. We came up a play short. It’s just hard to swallow.”

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Six steps to winning Wheaton’s first ever Division III football championship

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

1. Win the conference with a perfect record

Coach Mike Swider’s Gatorade shower, covertly deployed by seniors Caden Sigler and Spencer Rowland, celebrated the Thunder football team’s 58-0 win over the Elmhurst Bluejays on Nov. 16. This victory capped off their undefeated season and punched their ticket to the playoffs.

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Sports bring Gerze siblings together

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

“Let’s go, Gerze,” Nate Gerze yelled to his younger sister Audrey Gerze as she jumped up to spike the ball during one of her volleyball matches at King Arena.

“I try to be super loud and be an embarrassing brother. It’s fun to see her do well. I’m so proud of her, how hard she works.” Nate, who plays linebacker for the Wheaton football team, said that despite his busy schedule, he tries to make it to as many volleyball games as he can.

“It really means a lot to me, and he knows that,” Audrey said. “I don’t usually hear him in the stands, but I don’t doubt that he cheers for me. He will send photos of my games in our family group chat, too.”

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Wrestling coach praises team’s pluck, camaraderie

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

Since Coach Jim Gruenwald took over Wheaton Wrestling in 2009, the program has grown from just a few athletes to 24, relocated to its own complex and welcomed three new assistant coaches. As the wrestling season gets underway, the Record sat down with Coach Gruenwald to talk about life both on the mat and off.

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Soccer shootout ends NCAA championship hopes

By Amelia Sniffin

12.6.19

Although the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team faced numerous injuries throughout the 2019 season, the 6th-ranked Thunder battled their way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA postseason tournament, where they lost to the University of St. Thomas in a shootout.

The Thunder’s impressive 18-1-1 record at the time and 21st conference title allowed Wheaton to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. They were led by Head Coach Pete Felske, recently named CCIW Coach of the Year for the 13th time.

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