A Page -- March 19, 2010


New coach Kurt Miller inherits 

Canton South tennis 

group long on tradition and 


March 19, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor




CANTON --   With a brand new coach in Kurt Miller, Canton South’s boys’ tennis program begins a new era with the breaking of this spring’s season.


“With this being my first year as a head coach I want to play the best people possible and continue the rich winning tradition of Canton South Tennis,” said Miller, who triples as a math teacher and the girls’ varsity soccer coach at the school. “Many of the boys have put in hours of lessons and playing over the winter months.  Now it is time for many of them to step up and be leaders on the team.  The seniors need to rely on last years experience and play smart so we can win the league.”


Returning to the fold for the Wildcats are Brad Millard, a senior and last years #2 singles player; Ben Finley, also a senior and last years #3 singles guy; junior Nathan Serafini, half of the #1 doubles team from 2009l , and the ’09 second double team of seniors Josh Foltz#2 and Phil Struass.


The Wildcats should have the senior leadership to compete for the crown in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference.


Those challenging for the two open spots and to unseat the five incumbents are Robbie Doerschuk, a sophomore; Brianna Sheridan, a senior; Guilhome Cardeo, a sophomore; Henry Davenport, a senior; and Doug Chisler, also a senior.


“All of them will be working towards a varsity position,” Miller said.


North Ridgeville hoping to turn 

the baseball corner with ace 

pitcher back, core senior group 

and ambitious 2009 JV 

contingent ready to move up to 

the big time

March 19, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





NORTH RIDGEVILLE – With his second year back in the coaching ranks since coming over from North Olmsted to be the school’s athletic director, Nori Okuma is banking on the idea that North Ridgeville could be a serious challenger for the West Shore baseball title this year.


After a couple years as the exclusively the AD, Okuma re-caught the coaching bug and returned to diamond last spring as his ancillary gig.


“We seem to have more depth than last year’s squad, but that depth is based on numbers from our JV players,” Okuma sad. “We won’t really know until they face varsity competition.”


Senior Steve Zeller will be at the top of the pitching rotation. His battery mate will be junior Justin Hobart, who made 2nd team all WSC last season, will be the starting catcher. Others who have returned to provide both leadership and experience are senior lettermen Darren Merkosky, Josh Kirchner, Eric Cvanciger, Nick Penner, and Mike Sycz.


Complementing that nucleus as incoming varsity players: are six juniors from last year’s JV team (Brandon Mundell, Josh Dietz, Jerry Conaway, Nick Blasius, Mitch Clark, and Tony DeMarco) and two seniors who were not on the varsity last season (Dallas Burt and Steve McConnell (JV)).


“We have more team speed and are more experienced than last year’s team,” Okuma said. “Three things we’d like to do are improve as individual baseball players, improve team chemistry (as compared to last season) and improve upon last year’s league performance.”


In an effort to make the team more competitive, Okuma has put an interesting twist on the schedule by adding a double header on Friday, April 9th that he believes should accomplish just that. The Rangers will play Toledo St. Francis at 1pm followed by Benedictine at 4:30pm.


“Both programs are well established and are expected to have good teams again this year,” Okuma said. “We are excited by the challenge and look forward to using those games as opportunities to grow as a team.”


In only the second season under the new regime, Ridgeville is still in process.


“We are still trying to establish our identity as a program, but are making strides toward that end,” Okuma said. “The players have worked hard in the last couple of weeks and are excited to get the season started. We expect to compete in more games this year and take advantage of the opportunities that are given to us.  That expectation will hopefully translate into more victories for us as a team.”


While the team has goals, Okuma is asking his players to stay in the moment and the rest will follow.


“We have been stressing to the players to be more concerned about the journey and not the destination,” the coach said. “We want them working hard in practice and to feel pressure in those situations, while allowing them to simply ‘play’ when it is game time. We feel that if they work hard during the journey, the destination will take care of itself.”


One change that is certain is that Darren Merkosky, who started most of last season at third base, will make the transition to second base.


“We need to be better at making the routine play and we need to have more offensive production,” said Okuma.


Jim Bright, formerly of the JV staff, will join the varsity staff as an assistant this season. To turn the corner up into the upper division this season, a fast maturation process of last year’s JV guys is going to be core.


“We are excited about our junior class,” Okuma said. “They had a good year last year and their presence has already fueled our seniors to work harder to maintain their positions.”

Yeowomen Sting Yellow Jackets in Home Opener
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3/19/2010 7:33:42 PM
By Wes Davis

Oberlin, Ohio – The Oberlin College women’s lacrosse team scored early and often as it cruised to a 17-2 win over the visiting Waynesburg Yellow Jackets on Friday afternoon. 

Oberlin, which saw eight different players find the back of the cage, scored 15 goals in the first half, including six times in the first seven minutes of play. 

“I was glad to see everyone contribute to the attack and play such a sound game all the way around,” Head Coach Deb Ranieri said. “Madeleine O’Mearaalso had a very solid game in goal.” 

First-year Molly Bloom guided the offensive explosion as she cashed in four goals to go along with two assists. Alice ZichtLori SakoGrace AmberIlyssa Meyer and Zoe Zetlin each added two scores on the day. 

Katherine Ficarra and Seung Yun Jee scored Oberlin’s two second-half goals. O’Meara finished with seven saves in the contest. 

The game was controlled by the Yeowomen from start to finish – evident by a 34-8 advantage in shots and 17-4 edge in draw controls. 

The Yeowomen return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they host Trine University at 4:30 p.m.

Midpark grad Cristina Perrine, 

Brunswick native Rachel 

Marinucci, Padua alumna Stefani 

Graber place as B-W Track and 

Field Teams Compete on Day One 

of UNCC 49er Classic; Chinn 

Improves Qualifying Mark

March 19

By Nick Minerd

BEREA -- The Baldwin-Wallace College men's and women's outdoor track & field teams competed on day one (Friday, March 19) of the 2010 University of North Carolina-Charlotte 49er Classic at the Irwin Belk Track & Field Center in Charlotte. The Yellow Jackets compete on the second and final day of the meet tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

On the women's side, junior Kim Chinn (Zanesville/ West Muskingum) placed second overall out of 73 competitors in the 1,500-meter run. She finished in 4:35.10 to improve her provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships in late May.

Freshman Cristina Perrine (Middleburg Heights/ Midpark) was fifth in the discus throw with a mark of 125 feet, nine inches, and was followed by junior Rachel Marinucci (Brunswick) in sixth place (123'5") and freshman Stefani Graber (North Royalton/ Parma Padua Franciscan) in ninth (117'6"). The three were the top Division III finishers in the event. Marinucci also placed 10th overall in the hammer throw.


For the men, senior Brett Scarl (North Olmsted) placed fifth in the hammer with a throw of 160'1" and All-American senior Greg Patrick (Collins/ Western Reserve) was eighth at 156'7."

North Olmsted's Scarl

Following day two of the meet tomorrow, the Yellow Jackets are idle until the Ohio Athletic Conference Split Meet on Saturday, April 3 at Muskingum University in New Concord.

Alumni, media and fans also are reminded that B-W will host the 2010 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet from May 27-29 at The George Finnie Stadium in Berea. This is the fifth time that the College has hosted the NCAA Div. III Championship Meet.  For more information, please visit the championship web site athttp://www.bw.edu/athletics/10tracknationals/.<http://www.bw.edu/athletics/10tracknationals>

















With record-breaking 3,200 team 

of Ali Fisher, Erin Schneider,

Melissa Bruno, and Nicole Armstrong 

back intact, Avon's girls track team 

ready to make transition to Division I

March 19, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor




AVON – After three successful seasons as one of the top teams in the West Shore Conference and district, Avon’s girls’ track team has been knocking on the door at the Ravenna Regional and this could be the year fourth-year head coach Tara Gruskiewicz could be moving over the hump an taking a full fleet of student/athletes to Columbus this year.


After a couple years of taking a bus load to the regional, Gruskiewicz did get a state qualifier last year in Christina Herbst, who is now throwing for Ashland University, but has a host of runners who have been very close, many of whom are returning this spring.


Gruskiewicz has a good mix of sprinters, middle distance gals, and long distance runner returning for another season. Perhaps the backbone of this running throng is the 3,200-meter relay team that ran to a school record, 9:38, last year at Regionals. All four girls are back in that record-breaking group. The foursome includes Ali Fisher, Erin Schneider, Melissa Bruno, and rising running ace Nicole Armstrong.

Girls Track


Armstrong is the Eagles’ top distance runner. She just missed the trip to Columbus (State) last year as she finished 5th in the mile at Regionals in 5:12.  She also has a personal best in the 800m of 2:18.


In addition, Fisher, Elisabeth Neumann, Lindsay Koehler, Kaitlyn Foye, and Alexandra Burkes were the top sprinters last year and all return this year.


“Ali is very versatile and is key in our relays,” Gruskiewicz said. “She anchors our sprint relays and also runs on the 4 x 800 (part of the school record team).”


Two-time WSC high jump champion Marlene Michelich also returns to head of the field crew. The Eagles also have an incoming freshman, Madison Cooper, who jumped 4’10 last year.


In the long jump, the Eagles have back Rachel Olach, a regional qualifier.  As a bonus, Avon also has a transfer student from Georgia in Brittani Cox, who jumped 17’ last year in the Peach State.


Avon has the girls who can get over the bars to get to regionals. In the pole vault, Anne Puzak jumped 9’ last year and qualified to regionals.


Olach is the Eagles’ top hurdler and has lots of potential. “She has a lot of strength and great form,” Gruskiewicz said. “If she can improve her speed, she can break the school record.”


An ever-growing community, Avon has a large team this year with currently 75 girls on the roster. The most the program has ever had before was in the low 50s.


“Hopefully with a very large freshman class and several new upper classman, we can make a successful transition from a Div II school to a Div I school.” said Gruskiewicz. “Our district at Amherst is going to be ridiculously difficult. Though the bar has been raised, the girls are still working very hard, staying focused and disciplined so the team can reach its full potential.”

Public Sale For 2011 NCAA 

Games Starts Monday

Tickets Available Starting March 

22 For Games In Quicken Loans 


March 19

By Brian McCann

CLEVELAND -- Tickets for first and second round games of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, which will be played on March 18 & 20, 2011 at Quicken Loans Arena, will go on sale to the general public beginning on Monday, March 22.

All-session tickets for the games, which include access to all six games that are part of three sessions, are available for $237.00.  Two sessions consisting of two games each will be played on Friday, March 18 with the final two-game session coming on Sunday, March 20.

All tickets for the event will be sold online.

Fans wishing to purchase tickets can do so by following the link on the NCAA Tournament information site at www.csuohio.edu/2011ncaabasketball.  Easy links are also available onCSUVikings.com and on the events page of the Quicken Loans Arena site at www.theqarena.com.

Ticket applications will be accepted from March 22 until May 1, 2010. Ticket applications will be fulfilled in the order in which they were received unless demand warrants the need for a random selection process.  If tickets remain available following the ticket application window, sales will resume on a first come, first-served basis.

This will be the third time in 11 years that Cleveland State has hosted first and second round games in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in Cleveland with both years playing before capacity crowds.  This will be the first time that Quicken Loans Arena has hosted the men's games but the facility previously served as the site of the 2007 Women'sFinal Four.

This may be the only opportunity for the general public to purchase tickets for the first and second round games.

For more information, go online to www.csuohio.edu/2011ncaabasketball.

Yeowomen Tennis Slow Down Blue Streaks
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3/19/2010 9:20:02 PM

By Mike Mancini

Oberlin, Ohio – The Oberlin College women’s tennis team, playing outdoors for the first time this spring on Don Hunsinger Courts, took control of their match this afternoon early and never looked back as they defeated visiting John Carroll University 8-1.

A season ago these two teams went neck and neck with the Yeowomen surviving a 5-4 decision, the difference this season is a young and talented OC roster.


The Yeowomen took an early lead through doubles action winning two of three matches. In the No. 3 doubles position Preeya Shah and Brie White-Dzuromade short work of Allison Mora and Emily Gorndt winning 8-2. OC’s top pairing of Ariel Lewis and Finley Gates were also winners, 8-3, over the Blue Streaks’ Amy Marchlen and Anna Navatsyk.

A shaken up Oberlin lineup due to injury and illness did little to slow the Yeowomen down as they swept all six singles matches.

“We competed really well for this being our first match outdoors. This young team continues to impress me, they are working hard and continue to improve and rise to the challenges that they face,” head coach Constantine Ananiadissaid following the match.

Lewis, currently ranked 10th in the ITA Central Region rankings, handed Maria Ciccolini a quick defeat 6-0, 6-1 earning her third straight win and eighth of the season.

OC’s No. 3 and 4 hitters, Carolyn Ball and Julie Christensen each won straight set matches over Marchlen and Ashley Bauer, respectively.

Liz Saltzman would clinch the match, earning Oberlin’s fifth team point, with her straight set win over Athena Pappis at No. 5 singles.

After dropping the first set 7-5 #Emily Thebaut would easily win the second 6-1 and then cruise in the super tiebreak 10-2 as the Yeowomen’s No. 6 tonight.

Shah, a first-year from Hurricane, W. Va., found herself hitting in the No. 2 spot without Gates in the singles lineup. In a match that began outdoors and finished inside due to darkness she was able to upend Navatsyk with a super tiebreak win, she took the first set 7-4 before dropping the second and then used a hard fought 11-9 tiebreak to earn her third win of the spring season.

The Yeowomen will have a short recovery as they again venture outdoors tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, March 20, to face visiting Ohio Northern University in a 1:00 p.m. match. Oberlin is also hosting Kids Day in partnership with the United States Tennis Association, kids ages 6 and up are invited to attend the Yeowomen’s match, meet the team, play some tennis and enjoy pizza at the conclusion of the match.
Ailing Aheron Fails to Qualify in the 200 Fly
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3/19/2010 3:06:55 

Minneapolis, Minn. – Freshman Grace Aheron, who has been battling a stomach illness since the start of the NCAA Championships, failed to qualify for the finals in the 200-yard butterly on Friday afternoon. 

Aheron, who is the school record holder in the event with a time of 2:04.10, checked in 26th overall with a mark of 2:07.76. 

“Grace showed great determination and will just by competing today,” Head Coach Mark Fino said. “Despite being sick she still gave it her all and put together one heck of a swim.”

Coach Fino hopes Aheron will feel better tomorrow when she competes in the prelims of the 200-yard backstroke. 

North Royalton native Todd 

Richert Places Eighth for

Sixth All-American Honor

March 19

By Nick Minerd

BEREA -- Baldwin-Wallace College junior diver Todd Richert (North Royalton) earned the sixth All-American honor of his career with an eighth-place finish on the one-meter board at the 2010 NCAA Division III National Championship meet on Friday, March 19 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Richert ranked sixth after the prelims with 473.00 points and finished eighth in the finals with 463.40 points. He earned his fifth All-American honor with a 13th-place performance in the three-meter dive on Wednesday.

As a sophomore last season, Richert placed sixth in the one-meter event and 14th in the three-meter. As a freshman in 2007-08, he was 12th on the three-meter board and 13th on the one-meter. He is the only athlete in the history of the B-W swimming & diving program to earn multiple All-American awards.

Yellow Jacket freshman Julie Pinter (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) competes in the women's three-meter event tomorrow and looks to join Richert as a multiple-time All-American. Finals for the event begins at 6:00 p.m.