Sunday, March 31, 2013

Waynesburg women win CMU Mini-Invite

The Waynesburg University women’s track & field team won the five-team Carnegie Mellon Mini-Invite Saturday with 171 points, 42 more than the host team, which placed second.

The Yellow Jackets were led by senior Carly Schubert (pictured) and junior Rebecca Rapp, who placed one-two in the discus and qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships. Schubert won the event with a top throw of 36.76 meters (120-7) and Rapp followed closely behind at 36.53 meters (119-10).

Schubert was also tops in the 19-woman shot put, which she won with a throw of 11.45 meters (37-6.75). Waynesburg added another top-three performance in the event as junior Megan Sowers took the bronze at 10.70 meters (35-1.25). For the second-straight week, Sowers dominated in her specialty, the javelin, winning by a remarkable 10.93 meters with a toss of 40.07 meters (131-05).

Senior Rhea Huwe had a productive day in the sprints, winning both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. She posted times of 13.13 seconds and 27.18 seconds and was also part of the Yellow Jackets' 4x100-meter relay squad. That quartet was completed by sophomore Ashley Cole, sophomore Amanda Hobe and senior Lauren Wagner. Cole also was second in the 100-meter hurdles (16.8) and third in the 400-meter hurdles (1:11.05).
The Yellow Jacket runners got a victory from senior Megan Fortna in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:31.81. That time was more than 50 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

Freshman Megan Ferrick placed third in the 5,000 meters (19:53.10) and Hobe was second in the long jump (5.05 meters, 16-7).

Cal's Dinzeo sets school record

Aaron Dinzeo set the California University record in the 5,000-meter run and the Vulcans' men's track & field team qualified eight entries for the (PSAC Championships while competing at the NC State Raleigh Relays and Washington& Jefferson Invitational over the weekend.

At the Raleigh Relays, Dinzeo posted the fastest time in NCAA Division II this season in the 5,000 meters and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships. He crossed the finish line in 13:58.37 to break the school record set by All-American Christopher Clark in 2009 by 0.14 seconds.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

College notebook

Four local athletes helped the Grove City College women’s team place ninth at the NCAA Division III Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. It was Grove City’s best finish at the national event.

Leading the way for the Wolverines were seniors Angela Palumbo and Kait Riesmeyer, sophomore Lauren Cassano and freshman Megan Bilko.

Palumbo, a senior from Washington and a Trinity graduate, finished her career as a 15-time All-American and had six top-15 finishes this year in individual and relays events. Palumbo helped Grove City to three sixth-place finishes in the relays (200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyles) and had a top individual finish of sixth in the 200 freestyle. Palumbo set the Grove City record in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.75 during the preliminaries.

Palumbo also finished 14th in the 50 freestyle and 15th in the 100 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Palumbo broke her own Grove City record with a time of 23.66.

Riesmeyer, a junior from McMurray and a Peters Township graduate, also was part of the three freestyle relay teams and the 200 medley relay that placed 19th. She earned her 11th career All-American honor by placing seventh in the 200 butterfly.

Cassano, a sophomore from Venetia and a Peters Township graduate, earned a pair of All-America honors and was on the 200 medley relay team that placed 19th. Bilko, a freshman from Canonsburg and a Canon-McMillan graduate, earned All-America honors in the 800 freestyle.

In track & field
Mikayla Sonneborn, a freshman at Tulane and a West Greene graduate, won the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the Tulane Team Challenge, her first outdoor meet with the Green Wave. Sonneborn won the event with a time of 7:22, and she placed second at the same meet in the 3,000-meter run in 11:18.

Sonneborn also won the 3,000 meters at the McNeese State Cowboy Relays “Bob Hayes Louisiana Challenge” with a personal best time of 10:36.67. It was the ninth-fastest outdoor 3,000 meters in Tulane history. She won the race by more than 29 seconds.

The only freshman on the Tulane women’s cross country team last fall, Sonneborn finished among the top four Tulane runners in five of six meets and ran a personal best 19:17 at the Conference USA Championships. She completed her cross country season at the NCAA Division I Regional Championship, running the 6K in 23:25.38 at Fayetteville, Ark.

She also ran on the Green Wave’s indoor track team, competing in the mile run and posting a top time of 5:11.

Marshall’s Amanda Kennedy, a junior from Bentleyville and Bentworth High School, has a pair of top-5 finishes in early season meets. Kennedy placed fourth in the javelin at the Florida State Relays with a throw of 139-11, and was fifth at the South Florida Bulls Invite with a toss of 140-11.

In baseball
Matt Pierpont is in his second season as a starting pitcher for Winthrop.

A senior right-hander from Canonsburg, Pierpont has a 2-3 record and 2.95 ERA for the Eagles. Pierpont has 40 strikeouts and only six walks in 42 2/3 innings. He has a current streak of 17 consecutive innings without allowing a walk. Pierpont threw a nine-inning complete game March 22 against Presbyterian, allowing eight hits and one run. He struck out six and did not walk a batter in that game.

Pierpont is a Canon-McMillan graduate and helped the Big Macs to the 2008 PIAA Class AAAA championship.

Evan Bukowski, a senior catcher for Penn State Behrend, was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Player of the Week for March 17-23 and the conference’s Male Athlete of the Week.

Bukowski, a Trinity graduate, led the Lions to a 2-2 record by hitting .700 (7-for-10) with three walks, three runs and a stolen base. Defensively, Bukowski did not allow a stolen base while throwing out two baserunners.

For the season, Bukowski is batting .390 with a team-high 16 hits.

In basketball
Former Observer-Reporter Boys Basketball Player of the Year Mike Lamberti is a redshirt freshman on the West Liberty team that will play today in the NCAA Division II semifinals in Louisville, Ky.

A South Fayette graduate, Lamberti has played in 22 games and averages 3.5 points for the Hilltoppers, who have a 34-1 record and average 103 points per game. Lamberti is shooting 61 percent from the field.

West Liberty plays Metro State today in the national semifinals. The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.

In tennis
Otterbein’s Julie Stroyne, a junior from Venetia and a Peters Township graduate, has won two consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards.

Stroyne continued her dominant play this season by going 10-0 last week Otterbein went 4-1 on its Florida trip. She won all five of her singles and all five of her doubles matches, improving to 22-0 (11 singles wins, 11 doubles wins.) She dropped only 13 games on the trip and did not yield a set to any of her opponents.

This marks the sixth career OAC weekly honor for Stroyne, the reigning two-time conference Player of the Year.

In swimming
Swarthmore junior John Flaherty set the school record in the 400 individual medley at the Centennial Conference Championship in Lancaster.

A Peters Township graduate, Flaherty swam the 400 IM in 4:09.95 to place fourth overall. Flaherty was Swarthmore high scorer at the conference meet, placing third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 200 backstroke.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waynesburg U. wrestling does the Harlem Shake

College notebook

As a hard-hitting linebacker, Sean Ross (pictured) was the leading tackler on the only football team from Waynesburg University to make the NCAA Division III playoffs.

This fall, Ross will be calling the defensive shots for the winningest program in Division III.
Ross, a Bentworth graduate, has been named defensive coordinator for Wittenberg University. Ross has been on Wittenberg’s coaching staff since 2007 and was promoted to replace Andy Waddle, who left the Tigers to become head coach at Marietta.
“It was not a hard decision to make,” Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham told the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun. “Sean is a good leader. His guys play hard for him. They respect his work ethic.”
Ross, 31, had been Wittenberg’s linebackers coach and made the Tigers’ group among the best, not only in the North Coast Athletic Conference, but all of Division III. In 2009, Wittenberg had three linebackers make the All-NCAC first team as the Tigers led the nation in defense.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity,” Ross said. “I’m fortunate to be at a great school with a great program.”

Wittenberg has won more games than any program in Division III history. The Tigers have won five national championships, qualified for the Division III playoffs 15 times and had only one losing season since 1955. Wittenberg was 10-2 last season and advanced to the second round of the Division III playoffs.

A four-year letterman (2000-2003) and a three-year starting linebacker at Waynesburg, Ross led the Yellow Jackets in tackles in 2003, when Waynesburg won the PAC championship and qualified for the national playoffs. Ross was a two-time all-conference selection. As a senior, he was team captain and team defensive MVP.
Ross started his coaching career at Waynesburg, then spent two years at Westminster before moving to Wittenberg.

In basketball
Point Park senior guard Emily Schartner of Finleyville has been named to the All-Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team. One of the best perimeter scoring threats in the league, Schartner was 11th in the conference in scoring at 12.3 points per game and was second in three-pointers made. A Ringgold graduate, Schartner has 61 three-pointers on the season and is four shy of the Point Park single-season record.

Schartner helped Point Park (25-6) win the KIAC tournament championship by scoring 11 points in the Pioneers’ 67-58 victory over Asbury in the title game. Schartner made six of seven free throws against Asbury and is shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line on the season.

The conference title clinched an automatic berth to the NAIA Division II national tournament that began Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa. The PIoneers will play third-ranked Indian Wesleyan (30-3) in the first round Thursday night.
In track & field
Shawn Johnson, a three-time Class AAA champion at last year’s WPIAL Track & Field meet, won individual and team titles last weekend at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships in Lubbock, Texas.

Johnson, a freshman at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, won the national championship in the high jump by clearing 6-10 ¾. He was one of four competitors to clear the height but won based on fewer misses.
Johnson also finished fourth in the triple jump (48-11 ¾) and was 11th in the long jump (21-11). His performance helped the South Plains men win the team title.

Hans Lubich, a junior at Slippery Rock, placed third in the heptathlon at the PSAC Indoor Championships held at Edinboro. A Jefferson-Morgan graduate and former WPIAL Class AA champion in the high jump, Lubich scored 4,603 points in the seven-event competition. Lubich had the fastest time in the first event, the 60-meter dash (7.02), was second in the long jump (21-3 7/8 ) and was fourth in both the shot put (35-5 ½ ) and 60-meter hurdles (8.96).
His performance earned Lubich All-Region status.

Lubich finished ninth last spring in the decathlon at the PSAC Championships with 5,837 points and was runner-up in the heptathlon in the indoor season as a sophomore with 4,700 points.

In swimming
Behind strong performances by four local swimmers, the Grove City women’s team captured its fifth consecutive Presidents’ Athletic Conference title by winning the team title at the James E. Longnecker Invitational/PAC Championships last month.

Senior Angelo Palumbo, a Washington native and Trinity graduate, earned the Invitational’s Swimmer of the Year award as well as the PAC Most Valuable Performer. She swept the sprint races during the three-day event.
Palumbo had victories in the 50 freestyle (23.85), 100 freestyle (51.66) and 200 freestyle (1:52.29), and contributed to Grove City wins in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and and both medley relay races. In all seven events, Palumbo qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships that will be held March 20-23 in Houston, Texas.

Grove City freshman Megan Bilko of Canonsburg won two events, the 1650-yard freestyle in conference and pool-record record time of 17:20.59, and the 500 freestyle in 7:43.83.
Sophomore Lauren Cassano of Venetia swept the backstroke events and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships in each event. She won the 100 backstoke in 58.36 and the 200 in 2:06.44. She also had a fifth-place finish in the 200 individual medley and contributed to Grove City wins in the 200 and 400 medley relays. The 200 medley relay team’s time of 1:46.13 set the Grove City pool record. The relay teams also qualified for the NCAA meet.

Kait Riesmeyer of McMurray swept the butterfly races, winning the 100 in 56.91 and the 200 in 2:06.43. She also competed on both medley relays and the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays squads.
Bilko, Cassano and Riesmeyer each joined Palumbo on the all-conference first team.

In the men’s competition at the PAC Championships, Westminster sophomore Jake Pletz of Venetia helped the Titans win the team title. Pletz, who was named first team All-PAC for the second year in a row, won the 200 freestyle (1:42.04), was second in the 200 individual medley and was part of two relays victories, the 800 freestyle and the 400 medley, the latter setting the school record of 3:23.90.

In softball

Former Peters Township pitcher Tara Konopka got her first college win Sunday for Drexel. Konopka, a freshman, pitched 6 2/3 innings of relief in Drexel’s 6-5 victory over Western Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She allowed five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out nine.

Konopka earned a save Feb. 25 with two scoreless innings in the Dragon’s 4-3 victory over Marshall.

In tennis

Marshall University junior Karli Timko defeated Old Dominion’s Nika Khmolovska, 4-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4, in a three-plus hour match Sunday to give the Thundering Herd a 4-3 victory over the Monarchs.

In addition to the marathon match, Timko, a Chartiers-Houston graduate, also won in doubles competition to account for half of Marshall’s points in the team score.

“I’m proud of how Karli finished the match, battling through adversity and bouncing back time and again,” said Marshall coach John Mercer.

Marshall has a 6-5 record. Timko, playing No. 6 singles is 8-3 after having a 10-4 record in singles play during the fall season.