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District runners dot NCAA results |

District runners dot NCAA results

| Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:00 a.m

Though the NCAA cross country championships that concluded Monday produced no local titlists, the names of district schools could be found high on the final results lists.

With hundreds of runners taking part at each of the various sites over the weekend, a handful of district athletes came away among the top performers.

In the NCAA Division I women’s meet yesterday in Terre Haute, Ind., Marie-Louis Asselin, a sophomore at West Virginia, finished the course in 17th place.

On Saturday, in the NCAA Division II men’s meet in Joplin, Mo., Slippery Rock junior Pat Reagan crossed the line in 12th place. Edinboro senior Rachael Lanzel finished 20th on the women’s course.

In the NCAA Division III men’s meet in Northfield, Minn., also held on Saturday, Carnegie Mellon’s Brian Harvey wound up 12th, while in the women’s meet, Grove City’s Kristen Carter was 26th.

Volleyball champion

The St. Vincent women’s volleyball team defeated Bridgeport (Conn.), 3-1, to capture its second consecutive Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II championship last week.

The Bearcats rebounded after losing the first game.

Championship match MVP Kristin Hozak had 55 assists, five kills with no errors, three aces and two blocks.

St. Vincent (24-9) defeated Adelphi to win last year’s title.

Top performers

Juniata outside hitter Amber Thomas was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III women’s player of the year, making the junior the second Eagles player in a row to win the award and the third in the past four seasons.

Stephanie Kines won the award last season, and Carli Dale earned the honor in 2004.

“I am kind of stunned … I am thankful for the talent God has given me and the opportunity to play for Juniata,” Thomas said.

Thomas averaged nearly 4.5 kills per game and produced a hitting percentage of .340 with 2.8 digs per game.

Juniata, the defending national champion, was beaten in the national semifinals by Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Elsewhere, West Virginia cross country coach Sean Cleary was named NCAA Division I Mid-Atlantic Region cross country coach of the Year for the second time in his career.

Cleary, who first won the award in 2004 — his first year as head coach — led West Virginia to an automatic bid to the national meet for the fourth time in school history.

This season, Cleary had three all-Big East Conference performers and three all-Mid-Atlantic honorees as he has guided West Virginia back into the national polls for the first time since 2004.

West Virginia also won the program’s first Big East title.

Famous alums

Membership in the athletic halls of fame at Westminster (Pa.) and Shippensburg have grown following recent induction ceremonies.

The inductees at NCAA Division III Westminster are Ray Cebula (football, baseball, track and field), Brian Germanoski and Craig Villwock (football), Carrie Gorda (volleyball), Jim Goske (basketball) and Jim O’Donnell (swimming).

NCAA Division II Shippensburg has inducted Bill Beible (basketball), twins Chris and Mark Brockway (swimming), Doug Bushong (track and field), Peg Mount (tennis), Dana Boyer Neast (volleyball) and Tracy Spencer Wetherbee (basketball).

In addition, two long-standing members of Shippensburg — former sports information director John Alosi and former football team doctor Robert Richards Sr. — also were admitted as honorary inductees.

District musings

Jeff Mallory, a 7-foot center who holds the St. Vincent career record for blocked shots, has joined the Spanish professional men’s basketball team, Cejasure Cordoba, a member of the LEB Bronze League. … The Duquesne women’s soccer team set a school record for victories this season with 11. … Washington & Jefferson senior Kaitlyn Orstein (Mt. Lebanon) set a pair of school swimming records against Mt. Union in the 100 (52.27) and 200 (1:54.22). At Lock Haven, freshman Amanda Terray broke a school record in the 100 backstroke (58.14). … The California (Pa.) women’s tennis team is ranked No. 6 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division II poll. Slippery Rock is No. 20. In Division III, Carnegie Mellon is ranked No. 5 in the women’s poll and No. 14 in the men’s poll.

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