A Page -- Aug. 20, 2011


Amherst’s Connor Klekota joins Student/Athletic teammate Andrew Souders in making Division I commitment; Comet scoring power to join the Fighting Irish next fall

AMHERST -- Steele High senior Connor Klekota verbally committed study and play soccer at the University of Notre Dame, starting the fall of 2012 in South Bend.

Klekota becomes the second current Amherst Steele Comet to verbally commit. Current senior Andrew Souders has already made his verbal acknowledgement to the University of Akron.

  Andrew Souders  U.S. U-17 Men's National Team
Obbey (L) and Souders

They will be joining former Comet Alex Obbey (Class of 2009) at the Division I level. Obbey is currently a Student/Athlete at Louisville.

About 30 Student/Athletes on Krenzler pitch will have Cleveland ties when CSU plays home opener against Duquesne

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CLEVELAND (THEATRE DISTRICT) – Nearly 30 Student/Athletes with Cleveland ties will take the pitch here tomorrow in Krenzler Field when Cleveland State stages its soccer home opener against the women from Duquesne University.

Hale (L), Langhals (R)

Naturally, the 20 S/As who wear the forest green and white of the Vikings are Clevelanders by virtue of where they have chosen to study for at least four years, but Duquesne also has a strong Cleveland presence and it will be a homecoming of sorts for about a half dozen S/As making the trek back from the Keystone state.


L to R -- Mir-Salimi, Mooren, Vinicky

Among those to be wearing the blue and white are Brecksville/Broadview High alumna Kristin Vinicky, Strongsville High graduates Nicole Mir-Salimi and Paige Langhals, Aurora’s Kahli Hale, and Holy Name alum Michelle Mooren.
Twinsburg's Chris Kelly to lead Case Reserve cross country; big contributions also expected from Burton's Ethan Teare, Berea's Chris Wade

CLEVELAND (U District) -- The 2011 edition of the Case Western Reserve University men's cross country team will feature a mix of accomplished returnees and plenty of fresh faces as the Spartans look to move up the standings in the University Athletic Association this fall.

With the loss of 11 letterwinners from the 2010 team which notched a national ranking and placed seventh at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, the Spartans will look to three of their top upperclassmen to lead the way in 2011.


Following a breakout sophomore campaign, junior Chris Kelly(Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg) is back to lead the pack after earning all-region honors last fall. Overall, he competed in six varsity races with three top-10 finishes and led the team in all but one varsity race. A fall UAA All-Academic selection, Kelly placed ninth overall at the Bill Sudeck Classic with a 6K time of 19:49.69 and stopped the clock with a season-best 8K time of 25:30.00 at the Inter-Regional Rumble. 

He then turned in back-to-back 10th-place finishes at the Mideast Pre-Regional and the All-Ohio Championships. He closed out the season in 17th at the UAA Championships (26:11.50) and 31st-place overall at the Great Lakes Regional Championships (25:58.30).

"Chris Kelly made major strides last season, leading our team in a majority of races after turning in an average freshman season," stated 11th-year head coach Kathy Lanese. "His success in track during his rookie year created a catalyst for excitement as well as enhanced and dedicated training that paid off in his sophomore year. With another summer of training, I anticipate that he has climbed a new platform physically – that increased fitness will elevate him to the top group in most competitions." 


Lanese is also counting on major contributions from seniors Christopher Wade (Berea, Ohio/Berea) and Ethan Teare (Burton, Ohio/Berkshire).

Wade competed in six varsity races last fall and was named UAA All-Academic. He ran a season-best 6K time at the Sudeck Classic (21:09.66), placed ninth overall at the 8K PSU-Behrend Invitational (27:33.40), finished 51st at the UAA Championships (27:03.45) and recorded a season-best 8K time at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, finishing 55th with a time of 26:22.30.

Teare also competed in six varsity races and named UAA All-Academic. He finished 47th at the UAA Championships (26:59.17) and crossed the line in 74th at the Great Lakes Regional (26:36.60).

"Christopher (Wade) and Ethan (Teare) made significant improvements on the track in the spring and are true leaders on the cross country course," noted Lanese.


Returning with championship race experience is junior Paul Curtiss (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor). He ran a season-best 6K time of 21:08.83 to place 44th at the Sudeck Classic and a season-best 8K time of 27:32.60 to place 69th at the All-Ohio Championships. Curtiss placed 75th at the UAA Championships in 25:59.90 and was named UAA All-Academic.

Back to provide depth for Case will be a plethora of experienced runners including seniors Steven LaDelfa (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) and Peter Walls (Anchorage, Alaska/Grace Christian) as well as juniors Nick Hewitt (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) and Paul Zackowski (Phoenix, Ariz./Valley Christian). Hewitt and Zackowski were each UAA All-Academic honorees in 2010.

"A big key to our season is gaining critical race experience and forming a consistent nucleus of runners," said Lanese. "We'll need to evaluate our performances and build race to race. Most importantly, we need to maintain overall physical health and employ strong mental skills throughout the season."

he Spartan roster will provide plenty of flexibility with a host of returning competitors that include juniors Michael Perisa (Cortland, Ohio/Warren JFK) and Greg Dornback (Hiram, Ohio/Berkshire) as well as sophomores David Dixon (Atlanta, Ga./Lakeside), Eric Dong (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), Alex Flick (Meadville, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep), Mitchell Haynes (Henrietta, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta), Joseph Heebner (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery), Wyatt Hoch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg)Seonwoo Jeong (Washington, D.C./School Without Walls), Dishen Lin (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) andCorey Williams (Mansfield, Ohio/Perry). 

"I believe there are several runners who have dedicated a great deal to training this summer and are waiting in the wings as contributing performers," noted Lanese. "I'm excited to see who steps up and joins our top performers this year."

The Spartans will open their annually daunting schedule on September 3 as hosts of the 11th Annual Bill Sudeck Classic at Squire Valleevue Farm. The All-Ohio Championship is set for September 30 hosted by Cedarville University and the UAA Championship will take place on October 29 at the University of Chicago (Ill.). NCAA Regionals are a short drive away at Oberlin College on November 12 as the Spartans will look to qualify for the NCAA Division III National meet hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on November 19.

"Our number one goal is to improve in the standings in the UAA and earn a better regional finish than last year," said Lanese. "Secondly, it is vital that we improve as a team race to race. That improvement will build confidence and bring us to a new level of competition."

Miami Opens Regular Season with Pair of Home Matches

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University’s women’s soccer team will kick off a new athletic year for Miami Athletics Friday when it commences regular-season play by hosting IUPUI at 5 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field. The RedHawks then welcome Morehead State Sunday at 1 p.m. to conclude opening weekend action.

Miami held its lone exhibition contest of the year last Friday, playing to a 2-2 draw with Wright State, before winning in a penalty kick shootout, 4-1. Senior Courtney Clarke (Scarborough, Ont.) and freshman Hailey Pleshakov (Brighton, Mich.) tallied the goals in regulation for Miami while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) made two key saves in the shootout.

The RedHawks return seven starters and 10 letterwinners from a 2010 squad that finished 13-7-2, its most wins since 2002, while capturing the Mid-American Conference East Division crown. Add in a class of 10 talented newcomers and Miami has high expectations to achieve more than a division title in 2011. The ‘Hawks were tabbed as favorites to win the MAC East again in the MAC preseason coaches’ poll and also received one vote to win the conference tournament. For a complete season preview, click here.

IUPUI enters the 2011 campaign coming off an 8-11-0 season, including 4-5-0 in the Summit League, which earned them seventh place. The Jaguars bring back nearly their entire squad however, with 10 starters and 18 letterwinners returning, while adding five newcomers to the mix. IUPUI brings back its top six scorers, including senior Megan Hock, who paced the squad with seven goals and 15 points a year ago. Senior Alicia Brock and sophomore Sarah Colby each tallied 11 points for the Jaguars last year as well with Brock leading the team with five assists. IUPUI also brings back its top two goalies, led by sophomore Kristin Haseley, who went 4-7-0 with a 1.26 GAA and a pair of shutouts in her rookie season.

Before heading to Oxford Sunday, Morehead State begins its season Friday at Valparaiso. The Eagles captured their second straight Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title in 2010 and also won their league’s tournament last year to earn just their second NCAA Tournament berth in program history. MSU brings back 14 letterwinners and six starters from a 2010 squad that finished 13-7-1, including 7-0-1 in OVC action. Despite losing its top two scorers to graduation, junior midfielder Sam Toepfer returns to lead MSU’s offense after scoring five goals last year while seniors Devan Jordan and Jillian Birchmeier combined for five goals and eight assists a season ago. The Eagles lost their top goalkeeper, who played in all 21 games in 2010, leaving senior Katie Blevins as the only keeper on the roster with any experience.

Miami is 2-0 all-time against IUPUI, but the squads haven’t met since 1999 and haven’t played in Oxford since a 1-0 overtime victory for the ‘Hawks in 1998. The RedHawks are 5-1 all-time against Morehead State but the Eagles did win the last meeting in 2009 in overtime.

Both games this weekend will have live stats available via Gametracker on MURedHawks.com and will also be streamed live on MURedHawks.com through the All-Access subscription package, which can be found here. Following opening weekend, Miami plays at Xavier Friday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. before continuing further south to face Eastern Kentucky, Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m.

Event Part of University’s New Student Orientation Program
University of Dayton football fans will have their first opportunity to see the Flyer football team in action Saturday, Aug. 20 when UD will conduct an intra-squad scrimmage that begins at 7:30 p.m. ET.  The scrimmage will be played under the lights at Welcome Stadium and admission is free.
The scrimmage is part of the University’s New Student Orientation Program.  Saturday is move-in day for UD’s 2,000-person class of new students, and the entire group and their parents will be addressed at the University Of Dayton Arena by president Dr. Daniel J. Curran and provost Dr. Joe Saliba before relocating to a class picnic next door at the football stadium.
“Our team is looking forward to the scrimmage Saturday night,” head coach Rick Chamberlin said.  “It’s another step toward being ready for the season on Sept. 3, and being part of the Class of 2015’s first day on campus makes it even a little more exciting for our players.”
Chamberlin is back for his fourth season as UD’s head coach and returns 11 starters (four offense, six defense, one specialist), from the team that went 10-1, won a share of the 2010 Pioneer Football League title and was ranked 25th nationally.  The Flyers received 21 votes in this year’s Sports Network pre-season poll.
Chamberlin has guided UD to 28 wins in his first three seasons, going 9-3 in 2008, 9-2 in 2009 and 10-1 last year. That’s the best three-year start by any Flyer football coach.
Dayton will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Robert Morris.  Game time will be 12 noon ET.  UD’s home opener will be against Duquesne the next week on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  The Flyers’ PFL opener will be Saturday, Sept. 17 at home against Marist.  Other Pioneer Football League teams visiting Welcome Stadium in 2011 are Butler (Oct. 1), Davidson (Oct. 15) and San Diego (Nov. 5).

All District performers Maddie Kosar, Maria Cup and Carolyn Curan form nucleus of Gilmour group set to bring back the Gold from the Nutter Center

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


GATES MILLS – With three all-district performers returning from last year’s state runners-up team, Gilmour Academy girls’ volleyball is ready to take it one step further and bring home the state gold from the Nutter Center this fall.

Maria Cup (Senior, MH/OH, 3rd team all state, 2nd team all-District), Maddie Kosar (Senior, OPP, 2nd team all-District) and Carolyn Curan (Senior, Libero, District Honorable Mention) will form the apex of this year’s Lancer volleyball unit.

“Our team strengths include senior leadership and State finals experience,” said second-year head coach Kelly Coughlin. “Having come so close last season, we’ve definitely made it a goal to win a 2011 state championship.”

The senior clan does not end with the trio of all-district performers. Coughlin has the luxury of having more of this helping of seasoned Student/Athletes.

Alex Walters (Senior, D/S), Megan Diemer (Senior, OH), Maggie Schmidt (Senior, Setter), and Diana Klonaris (Senior, OH) will also add senior leadership, experience and depth to the already strong Lancer lineup.


“We’re very deep in all positions,” said Coughlin. “We have sophomores returning that have improved their game as well as three exceptionally talented freshmen joining the program.”

Adding more depth are Jessica Janota (Sophomore, MH), Sam Baldini (Sophomore, MH), and Nicole Brzozowski (Sophomore, MH) from the 24-5 team in 2010.

“We need to stay focused and integrate the incoming freshmen right away,” said Coughlin.  “We have no juniors in the program, so we are forced to put the younger players in some very important roles from the start.  How fast they grow will determine how successful we can be.”

Newcomers expected to make a quick impact are Megan Polak (Freshman, Setter) and Josie Sheehan (Freshman, OH).

“Everyone’s expectations for us will be very high; ours will be very humble,” said Coughlin.  “We will expect to approach every match as a challenge that will need execution and effort.  If we can bring that every match, we will be a strong team.”

While the Ohio High School Athletic Association still adheres to the antiquated way of classifying Student/Athletic programs merely by numbers of students enrolled in any given school, Gilmour despite the modest helping of matriculated students on the campus here shies away from this theory and instead has started scheduling schools with strong volleyball programs irrespective of sizes of those schools on paper.

"We added some quality Division I teams to our schedule, while dropping some of the Division III teams,” said Coughlin. “Our team has always lived by the ‘Respect All, Fear None’ approach.”

Yet the Lancers are still learning. And how this bunch can learn … Last year the team qualified for a State Academic Award with a GPA of 3.629. A total of 6 returning S/As qualified individually: Brzozowski, Curran, Diemer, Janota, Kosar, and Walters.

Right now the Lancers are working on setting. With such a high learning curve, this should be all set by November.

“Our setters are very young and will need to make mature decisions right away for our program to grow,” said Coughlin.

The Lancers lost their ‘Big Gun’, Brittany Link, who recorded 45 kills in her final two matches at the state tournament, as well as their ‘10 senior captain Meghan Kramer, who guided all the youth. Both will be missed along with Tori Gallo, who maintained their defensive rhythm, the foundation of the ’10 born fruits. Link is going Ivy this fall at Brown.

Coughlin was a major coaching component in the 2008 Division I Ohio state championship won by Olmsted Falls. He was a Bulldogs assistant.

New Coaches Danny Irving and Dave Schierbaum will assist the Varsity program, Cheri Haynes will remain with the JV team, and CSU student Adreana Hales will coach the 9th grade this year.

The JV team will stay intact and try to improve on its 14-8 record from the fall of ’10.


Two girls named Miranda win singles matches as Mags’ Varsity B team wins Battle of Bridge with Joe’s

Magnificat’s Varsity B tennis team ran its record to 3-0 with a 5-0 win over its across-the-bridge rivals St. Joe’s.

Two girls named Miranda won singles matches for the Blue Streaks, Miranda Manimbo winning at first singles and Miranda Faranacci winning at second singles.

Magnificat (5) def. St. Joseph Academy

Magnificat Varsity B season record 3 and 0


1. Miranda Manimbo def. Liz Wagner 7-6, 6-3

2. Miranda Faranacci def. Callie Powers 6-2, 6-4

3. Sophie Wood def. Missy Drapac 6-1, 6-1


1. Rachelle Abdelnoir/Hayley Lawless def. Brooke Kahl/Claire Vieland 6-2, 6-3

2. Deeya Basu/Sarah Oskowski def. Rachel Paponetti/Emily DeGidio 6-3, 6-4


New format provides Men’s and Women’s top two seeds byes to the Semifinals, with the third and fourth seeds receiving byes to the Quarterfinals

CLEVELAND (PUBLIC SQUARE) – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today a revised format for the 2012 FirstEnergy MAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena next March.

Recently approved by the Conference’s Council of Director of Athletics, the new format will seed both tournaments by rewarding the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds with a bye into the semifinal round, while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will receive a bye to the quarterfinal round. 

“This continues the efforts of our membership to challenge the status quo,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. “The new format will increase the importance of each regular season game and reward teams that excel during the regular season and bring greater value to the seeds earned by the top teams.”

The MAC will host the second round on Wednesday, March 7, the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 8, and the semifinals on Friday, March 9. All three days will feature two afternoon Women’s games and two evening Men’s contests. The Men’s and Women’s Championship Games will be played on Saturday, March 10 at times to be announced at a later date.

“We are very excited to implement the new tournament format to better position our regular season champions and highest performing teams for success in the NCAA National Championship and other post-season tournaments,” said Brad Bates, Director of Athletics at Miami University and Chair of the MAC Council of Directors of Athletics. “We believe this change will reward teams for their body of work and strength of schedule over the course of a season and provide greater opportunity for national success.”

The 2012 FirstEnergy MAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will begin March 7-10, 2012 in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. Men’s opening round games will begin on campus sites Monday, March 5 for seeds No. 5-No. 12, while the Women’s opening round games will begin on campus sites Saturday, March 3, also for seeds No. 5-No. 12.

Last year, the MAC and Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena announced a six-year contract extension that will keep the FirstEnergy MAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Q through 2017. This contract extension guarantees the continuation of the conference tournament at the same neutral site since 2000.

"Changing the tournament bracket falls in line with our philosophical approach to each of the MAC Championships,” said Greg Christopher, Director of Athletics at Bowling Green State University and Chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. “Our tournaments and championships are about preparing our best teams for post-season. With that in mind, it makes sense to give our top teams byes and better-position their paths to the championship."
The FirstEnergy MAC Tournament will also continue to feature the MAC FanFest at Tower City Center. Throughout the entire tournament, the MAC FanFest is free and open to the public to allow MAC fans the opportunity to interact with cheerleaders, mascots and bands from their favorite MAC school and participate in activities including -- free throw contests, dunk contests, corn hole contest, tattoo booth, Cavs inflatable’s and much more.

"I'm very supportive of the changes to our conference basketball tournament for several reasons. First, it gets both the men's and women's tournaments aligned more closely which is good for everyone in our conference. Secondly, it rewards programs that over a 16-game conference schedule perform at the highest level and increases their opportunity to represent our conference at the NCAA Tournament. We expect that these changes will maximize the chances that the best teams in the MAC – those that would be in consideration for NCAA at-large bids – are playing deeper into our tournament," said Warde Manuel, Director of Athletics, the University at Buffalo.
Last year in the Men’s Championship Game, No. 6 Akron upset top-seeded Kent State, 66-65 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. In the Women’s Championship Game, No. 2 Bowling Green won its second consecutive MAC Tournament Championship as the Falcons defeated No. 5 Eastern Michigan, 51-46.

The 2012 FirstEnergy MAC Men’s and Women’s Tournament will be televised on SportsTime Ohio Wednesday through Saturday, March 7-10, with the Men’s Championship Game televised nationally on ESPN2 on Saturday, March 10. All men’s games, along with the women’s semifinals and championship game will also be broadcast on WKNR ESPN Cleveland 850 AM.

Storm Men's Track Unveils Recruiting Class

PAINESVILLE -- Lake Erie College head track and field coach Bryan Harmon announced his incoming recruiting class for men's team for the 2011-12 year on Wednesday (Aug. 18). Six student-athletes will join the Storm beginning with the indoor season in early December.

"This is a very talented group that will help us enhance our program in a number of areas," Harmon said. "All six have a chance to make an immediate impact."

Despite only running two years of high school track, sprinter Jarrod Edwards (Riverview, Fla./Riverview) was a state qualifier in the 100-meter dash as a senior and is expected to come in and compete in the short sprints and for a spot on the 4x100-meter relay.

"Jarrod has a lot of upside," noted Harmon. "He still has some learning to do and a lot of room to grow as a sprinter. But he is naturally talented and his raw speed should make his development much easier."

The Storm scored well in the high hurdles at both the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships last year and that unit will be bolstered with the addition of Dakoda Walker (Erie, Pa./McDowell). Walker was a two-time indoor national qualifier in high school in both the 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash and was an all-region outdoor performer in multiple events. In addition to the hurdle events, Harmon feels he could be a candidate to contribute in the short indoor sprints and challenge for a spot on the 4x100 squad.
Massillon's Jamil Dudley

All-American Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) gave the Storm a presence in the jumps it had never had before last season. This year, Lake Erie has added a trio of leapers that will enhance the horizontal jumps and add depth to the high jump and multi-event competitions.

Joe Postwaite (Rochester, N.Y./Gates Chili) is a threat in a number of areas, with impressive personal bests in the high jump (6-9), long jump (22-8) and triple jump (47-3). A late addition to the class, Javonie Rose (Minersville, Pa./Minersville) is a versatile 6-5, 205-pound performer who is expected to have early conference scoring opportunities in the long jump and the triple jump. The third jumper in the class, Billy McGuire(Middletown, Ohio/Madison), was a state qualifier in 2010 in the long jump.

"This was an area we concentrated heavily on in our recruiting," Harmon said. "With the group we have now, we expect big things. There will be a lot of competition and hopefully these guys will all push themselves. Joe is a threat in a lot of different areas and will provide us a dimension we've not had before. Javonie can do a lot of things well and both could have a future in the heptathlon and decathlon while Billy is going to come in and add depth and strength to our group."

Another focal point, the throws program, was bolstered with the addition of Sean Stone (Ravenna, Ohio/Southeast). Stone won the conference championship in the shot put and was a regional qualifier in both the shot and discus throw.

"Sean will add depth to our growing throws program," added Harmon. "He's a big, strong kid who should see vast improvements in his performance with the opportunity to have year-round college coaching."

A year ago, the Storm men placed fifth in both the indoor and outdoor GLIAC meets and made a mark nationally with strong performances at the Division II Track and Field Championships. After finishing 16th at the indoor nationals, Lake Erie tied for 14th at the outdoor meet and totaled 10 All-American honors during the 2011 season.

"I think our team's performance last year helped our recruiting dramatically, and it's evident by the quality athletes in this class" Harmon said. "Lake Erie track and field has a name nationally now and we're going to continue to be aggressive in growing our program by targeting quality kids.