Central junior new passion, records

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Apparently the hurdles were just too low for Central senior Becky Komorech.

After running hurdles in junior high and her freshman year, she took the year off from track as a sophomore.

Her junior year she returned to Central's track team, but decided to go in a new direction.

She took up pole vaulting and it turned to be love at first flight.

"I fell in love with it from the moment I started," Komorech said. "There's nothing better than flying through the air and coming down and knowing you've accomplished something so great like that."

Earlier this week, Komorech broke the school record of 9 feet, clearing 9-6.

She's one of three female pole vaulters at Central and the second pole vaulter in her family. Her father, Bob, pole vaulted at Lutheran South High in St. Louis.

How did he feel about his daughter taking up what is considered one of the more dangerous sports?

"I think he was kind of scared at first, but he was excited," Komorech said.

He's on the bandwagon now, having to come through on a promised lobster dinner for the broken record.

The record is a foot improvement on her personal best coming into the season.

"The beginning of the year I just wanted to break the record, but the sky's the limit now -- 11 feet, who knows," she said.

Komorech said she hopes to continue vaulting next year as a walk-on at Southeast.

Scott City hires new coach

Scott City High is developing a bit of a coaching pipeline with Piggott (Ark.) High School.

A month after hiring Piggott head football coach Jason Burkman to lead its football program, Scott City has hired a Burkman colleague, Laura Ort, to coach its volleyball team next season.

Ort, a 1994 graduate of Piggott High, was the girls basketball coach at her alma mater the past two seasons. She led the Mohawks to a 24-3 record in 2000-01. She played volleyball at Williams Baptist College.

Ort will replace Barbara Ice, who resigned.

McCormick going to Quincy

Deana McCormick, who helped lead Notre Dame to its first Class 2A girls basketball title, has signed to play basketball for Quincy University in Quincy, Ill.

McCormick, a 6-foot center, was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,457 points) and rebounder (874). She shot a record 67 percent from the field in her career.

She averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds as a senior and was selected to the all-state team and picked as the Southeast Missourian player of the year. In winning the state title, Notre Dame finished with its best record at 29-2.

Riley signs with Shawnee

Bridgett Riley of Kelly High School has signed to play softball at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill.

Riley, a pitcher and first baseman, was all-district and all-conference the past two seasons. She has a .374 career batting average with six home runs and 57 RBIs. She also has had stellar numbers on the mound, compiling a 16-4 record and a 1.16 ERA. In 139 innings, she struck out 117 with 69 hits.

She batted .486 her senior season with four home runs and 22 RBIs.

Jeff Breer is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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