A Page -- June 5, 2012

Baldwin-Wallace’s Trzeciak, Pinter and 

Hamilton Named as CAPITAL ONE Academic 

All-America At-Large

BEREA, OHIO --  Baldwin-Wallace College junior 6-time NCAA Division III All-American diver Julie Pinter (Broadview Heights/ Brecksville-Broadview Hts.), senior men’s tennis standout Alex Trzeciak (Avon Lake) and junior Division III “Elite 89” nominee and golfer Brooke Hamilton (Cleveland/ St. Joseph Academy) have been named to the 2012 CAPITAL ONE Academic All-America At-Large team. Pinter is a first-team selection, Trzeciak made the second team and Hamilton made the third team.

The program is sponsored in conjuction with CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) and CAPITAL ONE. Student/Athletes are nominated and selected by the SIDs.  To qualify, a Student/Athlete must maintain a minimum 3.30 grade point average, be a starter or key reserve who has appeared in more than half of his/ her teams games/ events. The At-Large catagory at B-W covers the sports of wrestling, swimming, golf and tennis.

This is the first Academic All-America honor for Pinter, Trzeciak and Hamilton. It also marks the first time a Yellow Jacket Student/Athlete has earned the accolade in the sports of swimming and diving and women’s golf.

Pinter, who carries a 3.75 grade point average in communication disorders, was the Div. III national runner-up in the 1-meter diving event and placed fourth in the 3-meter event. She also is a three-time Ohio Athletic Conference Female Diver of the Year and a six-time OAC champion. She has earned OAC Swimmer of the Week honors six times during her career. At the 2012 OAC Championships, Pinter won the the 1-meter and 3-meter events and was named the OAC Diver of the Year. In the classroom, she has been honored as a NCAA Swim Coaches Association Scholar All-American the past two years, a Jacket Scholar, a member of two academic honor societies and is a 2-time CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District VII pick.

Trzeciak, who had a 3.75 grade average in mathematics and economics and will attend Washington (Mo) University for graduate school this fall, helped B-W compile a school-record 29 victories, win the OAC regular season and tournament titles and advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament as its number one singles and No.1 doubles player. He is a 2-time ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Scholar All-American and a nominee this spring, B-W’s 2012 Clyde Lamb Scholar-Athlete Award winner and a 4-time first-team All-OAC selection who compiled an 87-22 singles and 82-28 doubles record. His 87 singles wins ranked second in school history, his 82 doubles wins were third and his 169 combination wins are second. This season, Trzeciak posted a 26-6 singles and 25-8 doubles mark. In the classroom, he is a member of three honors societies and was awarded the Toni and Max Dehn Prize in Mathematics, was a three-time Academic All-OAC and 2-time CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District honoree.

Hamilton, carries a 3.95 grade average in English and philosophy, was an “Elite 89” nominee at the 2012 NCAA Division III National Golf Championships where she led the Yellow Jackets to a 16th-place finish. The 2-time All-OAC selection played in seven spring tournaments and averaged 85.71 strokes in 14 rounds of 18 holes, including tying her career-low of 79 twice at the Div. III National Tournament (third and fourth rounds). Hamilton, who is a member of four honor societies, is the receipient of three academic scholarships and serves as a team captain, helped B-W capture its second straight OAC title and make its fourth Div. III national tourney appearance since 2000. She also is a Jacket Scholar and a 2-time CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District VII choice.

B-W has a long-standing tradition of Academic All-Americans. This spring, four Yellow Jackets have already been named as Academic All-Americans, including junior baseball outfielder Brendan Toughey (East Amherst, N.Y./ St. Joseph’s Collegiate) and B-W has five overall selections so far in 2011-12, including men’s soccer student-athlete Pat Brennan (Akron/ Walsh Jesuit). Four of the five selections this year are juniors. In addition, junior men’s track and cross country student-athlete Kenny Janosko (Mentor) currently appears of that national ballot which will be announced on June 12. Since the program began in 1970, a total of eighty-two (82) Yellow Jacket Student/Athletes have earned Academic All-America accolades. That is more than any other OAC institution and the second most of any small college in the state of Ohio.

“We are extremely proud of Julie, Alex and Brooke and just as we were when Pat and Brendan were both selected for this outstanding honor,” said B-W fourth-year Athletics Director Kris A. Diaz. “These five young men and women exemplify the term Student/Athlete and represent the best of NCAA Division III. They are able to balance their academic excellence with their athletics prowess.

“B-W has a long-standing tradition and heritage of excellence in academics and athletics and the numbers and facts (82 Academic All-America Student/Athletes) display the College’s commitment to its student-athlete,” continued Diaz. “In addition, we are proud of all of the student-athletes from Ohio Athletic Conference schools who have received this accolade in 2011-12. We congratulate each student-athlete.”

Case Reserve Sophomore Ben McClarren Takes Tennis Drive to Southern Africa

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Case Western Reserve University men's tennis sophomore Ben McClarren has extended his passion for the game of tennis all the way across the globe. As part of a summer course abroad, McClarren and engineering classmate Dan Hageman have led a tennis equipment drive in the Republic of Botswana, a mid-sized country located in Southern Africa.

Ben McClarren distributes tennis equipment to children in the village of Kanye. (photo courtesy of Professor Daniel Lacks)

A native of Hilliard, Ohio and a product of Hilliard Davidson High School, McClarren recently completed his second year in University Circle as a member of the nationally-ranked Spartan men's tennis team. A biomedical engineering major, McClarren was scheduled to travel abroad soon after the end of the 2012 spring semester for a course at the University of Botswana in "Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer" with Case School of Engineering Professor Dan Lacks.

Ironically, Professor Lacks is quite the avid tennis player himself, and he and McClarren had already planned to play while in Botswana with each bringing a few old racquets that would be donated at the end of the trip. 

And, just a week before the trip, Lacks contacted McClarren with the idea of expanding on their contribution.

"Professor Lacks contacted me a week before we left, and he threw out the idea of a last-minute tennis racquet drive," said McClarren. "Dan (Hageman) and I thought this was a fantastic idea, and we ran with it from there."

So, prior to departing for Southern Africa on Sunday, May 13, McClarren and Hageman led a drive in the Cleveland area and collected more than 75 tennis racquets and 150 tennis balls in addition to a tennis net and a stack of Spartan Tennis T-Shirts.

"Since the Botswana Tennis Association is a short distance from the University of Botswana, we were able to establish some good contacts to put a good plan in place," noted McClarren. "The head of the association directed us to schools to make our donations and hold clinics."

With their boxes full of racquets and tennis balls, McClarren and Hageman then began the long journey with their class to the capital city of Botswana (Gaborone) with four separate flights and a combined 36 hours of travel.

Teaming with Botswana Davis Cup player Shingi Muzondiwa, the duo began their trip in the village of Lobatse, where they distributed tennis equipment and taught a clinic for local children. Next, the group visited the village of Kanye, where they gave a tennis demonstration to a crowd of more than 300 children. A bulk of the racquets that McClarren and Hagemen brought from America was then donated to the Botswana Tennis Association during a ceremony in Gaborone. The Association will distribute the racquets to tennis-playing children around the country who could not afford to purchase their own.

"This has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience," said McClarren, who has posted constant updates on his three-week trip via his Twitter account. "It is nice to see that a simple game such as tennis can bring such joy to these kids. I hope to one day see them playing for Case."

McClarren's drive in Botswana is another in the long line of service projects for the Spartan tennis teams and Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski.

Back in November, both the men's and women's squads volunteered as ushers for the Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King World Team Tennis Smash Hits charity event in downtown Cleveland. The Spartan men also have done volunteer work for the Inner City Tennis program in Cleveland – an organization where Wojtkowski serves on the board of directors. Earlier this spring, sophomore Derek Reinbold (Carmel Park, Ind./Tudor) organized a "Rally for the Cure" event in support of Susan G. Komen™.

"Our players realize how fortunate they are to be in the position of student-athletes at Case Western Reserve," said Wojtkowski. "From day one, we have emphasized service as a major aspect of our program, and Ben and the others have been exceptional in donating their time to help others."

Towne, Haddad & Lewis Earn Capital One Academic All-America Honors

Oberlin, Ohio – Three recent Oberlin College graduates continued to be awarded for their outstanding careers as Sam Towne,Jebran Haddad and Ariel Lewis were each named as CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-Americans for the at-large division, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Tuesday.

Towne, Haddad, Lewis 

Towne, a four-year starter on the men’s tennis team, and Haddad, an elite member of the men’s swimming team, were named as second-team selections. Lewis, who is the greatest female tennis player in school history, received third-team accolades.

As a senior, Towne put together the best season of his career by recording 25 combined victories between singles and doubles play. He had a team and-career-high total of 15 wins in singles action. He graduated Oberlin with a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in biochemistry and minoring in mathematics.

Like Towne, Haddad also made his final season in the pool the best of his illustrious career. The Beirut, Lebanon, native posted a national qualifying mark with a school-record swim of 57.59 in the 100-yard breast. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA with a degree in biology.

Lewis’ amazing four-year career ended with her third appearance at the NCAA Individual Championship Tournament. The program’s all-time leader in combined wins (158) and singles wins (93), Lewis was a four-time All-NCAC First-Team selection and two-time North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She graduated with a 3.7 GPA in creative writing. She will begin pursing a master’s degree in creative writing at Washington University (St. Louis) this coming fall.