B Page -- May 28, 2010

NCAA Track Nationals ...

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Also in yesterday’s preliminary races in the first of three days of the NCAA Division III National Track and Field Championships, Heidelberg had two young men on its 400 relay team who were opponents in the Lake Erie League in high school, Elyria grad Julius Higginbotham and Admiral King alum Paris Hilliard.


“This is great that Paris and I and the rest of our teammates were able to get to the national level and get it to be so close to home,” said Higginbotham, also an all-league performer in football for the Student Princes. “Division III does not get much play, but when we can get to the national level, people start taking notice. It helped get some friends and family out to the meet today.”

Listen to interview of Julius Higginbotham and Paris Hilliard conducted Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading



Although they finished fourth in their heat and their time was better than two teams that did qualify (heat winners automatically qualify regardless of time), the Berg did not make it through the prelims and to the finals.


“We did have a little bit of a troubling exchange between the first and second legs but we still ran our best,” said Hilliard. “It did give us some extra adrenalin being close to home for a national meet and having friends here to watch us. We don’t get to compete often around the Cleveland area, so it is great to do it in a national meet.”


Higginbotham also attained All-American status by taking sixth in the long jump yesterday.

Listen to interview of Kevin Phipps conducted Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading



Host Baldwin-Wallace was able to claim an All-American on the first day of events with Kevin Phipps talking fifth in the hammer throw.



“I am always going to want more than what I got, but I cannot complain about getting up on the podium in front of all my friends here at a national championship like this,” said Phipps. “I could have thrown better but I appreciated how well the guys ahead of me threw today. It was great going up against competition like that and at this level on my home course.”


Broadview Heights native and Brecksville-Broadview High alumna Sharon Rymut had a free trip back home from Delaware in qualifying in the hammer throw for Ohio Wesleyan. Since she just graduated and will begin her Master’s/PhD program in pharmacology shortly at Case Reserve in the fall, the path to the county fairgrounds for the event put her right about where she needs to be at this point in her life.

[ Sharon Rymut ]


Listen to interview of Sharon Rymut conducted Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading



In preliminary throws, Rymut came in seeded 15th and finished 16th,   ,missing the cut for the finals.


“I am not disappointed at all with where I finished,” Rymut said. “I did not have high expectations; just making it to nationals in this event was thrilling. That it was right down the street from where I grew up made it even more exciting. I have competed in events at Division III colleges around Cleveland so I knew what to expect.


“I had never tried this event until I got to Ohio Wesleyan since it is not offered in high school. Even throughout my college career, the discus has been my best event of the three I competed in, so making it in this event to the national level puts a good cap on my college career.”


Rymut’s teammate, Kyle Faris from Olmsted Falls, will be competing in the shot put today. Phipps also qualified in the discus and will throw again tomorrow.


“The disc has always been my best event, but the hammer is getting there even though I have been doing it for only three years,” Phipps said.

Listen to interview of Steve Price conducted Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


 Steve Price

North Olmsted native Steve Price had a busy day yeserday and be as busy today competing for B-W in decathlon, which completed the first pentathlon of two yesterday, leaving Price in position to place and attain All American status by the end of the day today.


Price was ninth at the end of the day, doing less than normal in his best event, the long jump, but making up for it in the next event, the shot put, with his best showing of the season.


“I don’t think I had my best day in this event, but still being in position to place high despite the disappointments I experienced today says a lot for focusing on what I need to do and not worrying about what the other guys are doing, which I cannot control,” said Price. “It is great to have the nationals here because while my friends might have seen me compete, I have never done a decathlon so close to home so this is the first time they get to see it.


“Because I am doing more than one thing, it made it worth it for them to come and watch since it was not just a quick race and all was done. This is the first time my brother got to see me do a decathlon. I even had some friends on John Carroll’s team come from across town to see me compete.”


He was tied for fifth with two events to go, but a 14th in the last event of the day, the 400 dash, dropped him down a few notches.


Case Reserve’s Obinna Nwanna had a sterling day in the decathlon, finishing the day in third place with 3,712 points, 74 behind leader Kurtis Brondyke of Central College (IA). Price has 3,516. Nwanna moved up from seventh after two events to third after five.



Berea native D’Arcy Hlavin finished ninth in her heat of the 1,500 run, short of qualifying to Saturday’s final for B-W.



Kim Keesler, a Chagrin Falls High alumna, finished 14th in the pole vault for Marietta.

Kim Keesler



Trinity High alum Tanasia Hoffler, who runs the anchor leg of the Williams College 400 relay team, helped her team qualify to Saturday’s finals. The foursome finished second in its heat today.


Mary Mahoney of Mount Union finished 16th in the 200 dash and will run the 400 tomorrow.


Hay Twins ...

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Nickel saw how Nikki was able to qualify to nationals at Springfield while he was still in high school, so he decided to reunite for a second time after the brief one-year separation and attend Springfield College as a Student/Athlete as well.
Both qualified with their respective 400-meter relay teams. Nikki, who has been nominated for the At-Large Woman of the Year in the NCAA, also qualified in the long jump, triple jump and 100 dash.
“After we stayed with my step dad in Jamaica, I moved with him to Australia and my sister was staying with my aunt,” Nickel recalled. “Then I moved back to Jamaica with another aunt in Jamaica and eventually came together as a big family at 13 and moved to the United States and moved in with my mom.”
The track interest began in Jamaica.
“We were doing track in elementary school and then it was interrupted briefly,” Nickel said. “We started doing it again in high school and now in college.”
During the season, the twins get to go together to most meets, but once it gets to post-season, going together is not guaranteed since they can’t control each other’s races not what others on their respective relay teams do.
“Since we do a lot of the same events, competing for a college makes it even more fun,” Nickel said. “We can run together away from the team practice and do some of the same drills.”
They push each other as well.
“I sort of have been following in her footsteps,” Nickel said. “Seeing how well she does makes me go harder and I am sure it is the same for her.”
Nikki has qualified to nationals in all four of her years at Springfield, but this is the first time she has made it in four events.
“This time it is extra special to be here at nationals because I am doing it in four events,” said Nikki. “It was always either triple jump and long jump or triple jump or something else or just one of the jumping events each of the three previous years.”
It won’t be the last time they will be together though, since Nikki will help out with the track team while studying for her Master’s in social work next year at Springfield, which has graduate programs despite being a college as opposed to a university.

Nikki Hay
“Track is something that has kept the two of us together,” said Nikki. “Since we were separated at such a young age and had to be apart for more than three years, it meant that once we got together again that once we did things we tried to do them together so that it would be harder for us to separate again. We did it off and on when we were young but did not get serious about track until high school and after we moved to the U.S. and got back together with my mom. Track has made it so that the separation that hurt us so much would not happen again to us.”

Listen to interview of Nikki Hay conducted Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading

Nikki was the indoor national triple jump champ in March.  
Both of their relay trams qualified to Saturday’s finals. Nikki placed fifth, making the podium in the long jump.

By Mike Mancini

OBERLIN -- No. 1 seed Middlebury College won the Division III national championship here on Don Hunsinger Courts.
National Championship: Middlebury 5, Amherst 1
Third-Place Match: Claremont 5, Wash U 3 

Middlebury College 5, Amherst 1
May 27, 2010 at Oberlin, Ohio 

Singles competition
1. Andrew Peters (MID) vs. Austin Chafetz (AMH) 1-6, 6-1, 1-2, unfinished
2. Andrew Lee (MID) def. Mark Kahan (AMH) 6-1, 6-3
3. Conrad Olson (MID) def. Moritz Koenig (AMH) 6-2, 6-2
4. Andrew Thomson (MID) def. Wes Waterman (AMH) 6-3, 6-0
5. Eliot Jia (MID) vs. Sean Doerfler (AMH) 6-2, 4-1, unfinished
6. Peter Odell (MID) vs. Priit Gross (AMH) 6-3, 2-1, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Andrew Lee/Andrew Thomson (MID) def. Austin Chafetz/Robby Sorrel (AMH) 8-5
2. Conrad Olson/Eliot Jia (MID) def. Mark Kahan/Moritz Koenig (AMH) 8-3
3. Sean Doerfler/Wes Waterman (AMH) def. Chris Mason/Andrew Peters (MID) 8-4

Match Notes
Amherst 27-10
Middlebury College 22-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,2,3)

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College 5, Washington University 2
May 27, 2010 at Oberlin, Ohio 
Singles competition
1. John Watts (WASHU) def. Robert Erani (CMS) 6-1, 6-2
2. Mikey Lim (CMS) def. Isaac Stein (WASHU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Eric MacColl (CMS) vs. Adam Putterman (WASHU) 4-6, 6-3, 4-1, unfinished
4. Russell Brockett (CMS) vs. Max Woods (WASHU) 6-7 (6-8), 4-4, unfinished
5. Alex Johnson (CMS) def. Danny Levy (WASHU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Mac Cahill (CMS) def. Kareem Farah (WASHU) 6-2, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Robert Erani/Ronald Wu (CMS) def. Isaac Stein/Max Woods (WASHU) 9-7
2. John Watts/Kareem Farah (WASHU) def. Eric MacColl/Brandon Wei (CMS) 8-2
3. Russell Brockett/Mikey Lim (CMS) def. Danny Levy/Cameron Chiang (WASHU) 8-5

Match Notes
Washington University 20-6
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College 23-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,6,5,2)
Claremont-Mudd Scripps finish third in NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Track Nationals Recap ...

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After the first day, North Central leads the men’s competition with 41 team points, followed by Rowan (14), MIT (13), Wisconsin La Crosse (10), St. Thomas (10), Concordia (Wisc.) (10) and Cal Lutheran (10).

Concordia's Brock Solveson defended
his javelin championship.
Others attaining All-American status in the men’s long jump were Wisconsin La Crosse’s Kellen McCrary, Carthage’s Buzzy Brown, Central’s Ethan Miller, Nebraska Wesleyan’s Jack Chatelian, Heidelberg’s Julius Higginbotham, UW- La Crosse’s Isaac Vasquez and Amherst’s Thebe Tsatsimpe.
Other All-Americans in the men’s 10,000 were North Central’s Mike Spain, Amherst’s Dan Murner, Lynchburg’s Rick Flynn, Tufts’ Jesse Faller, Plattsburgh-SUNY’s Mike Heymann, Washington (Mo.) University’s Mike Burnstein, and Wisconsin Eau Claire’s Kevin Hall.
Those becoming All-Americans in the hammer were Claremont Mudd Scripps’ Taylor Berliant, Keene State’s Bryan Kolacz, Wisconsin Stout’s Sean Larson, Bates’ Rich McNeil, Baldwin-Wallace’s Kevin Phipps, Carthage’s Josh Brennan, and Rennsselear’s Erik Whiting.
Pole vault All-Americans included Rochester Institute of Technology’s Mike Dempsey, North Central’s Tom Stacey, McMurray’s Steve Toler, North Central’s John Wood, McMurray’s Tom DiMitri, Texas Tyler’s Taylor Reed and McMurray’s Cory Altenberg.
Javelin throw All-Americans joining Solveson were Rowan’s Sean Biehn and Sean Corey, North Park’s Lars Tenglin, Marietta’s Mike Pankowski, MIT’s Vlad Sobes, Monmouth’s Dan Higgins, and Whitworth’s Alex Hymel.
After the first day and first five meets of the decathlon, Central’s Kurtis Brondyke leads, followed by Chris Newport’s Roch Roethel, Case Reserve’s Obinna Nwanna, Central’s Ethan Miller and busy guy Solveson from Concordia.
After the first four events of the heptathlon, Ithaca’ Emma Dewart leads, followed in the top five by Bridgewater’s Courtney Hartman, Hope’s Kara VandeGuchte, Illinois College’s Candy Norville and Gustavas Adolphus’ Kaelene Lundstrum.
Wisconsin Oshkosh leads the women’s team race with 21 points, followed by Moravian with 15, Chicago with 14, Carroll with 14 and Carleton with 11.
Other 10,000 All-Americans were Pomona Pitzer’s Alicia Freese, Carleton’s Simone Childs, St. Norbert’s Jenny Scherer, Carroll’s Megan O’Grady, Willliams’ Jen Gossels, and Washington (Mo.) University’s Taryn Surtees.
Female pole vault All-Americans were North Central’s Rachel Secrest, UW-Eau Claire’s Hayley Suckow, Widener’s Abby Schaffer, Muhlenberg’s Alex Faust, Bridgewater’s Chris Rhodes, Richard Stockton’s Rachel Joseph, and Texas Lutheran’s Ligia Boliver.
Hammer throw All-Americans were Cal Lutheran’s Christa Youngren, UW-Oshkosh’s Sue Trzebiatowski and Ellie Sitek, Chicago’s Claire Ray, St. Lawrence’s Alyssa Pirinelli, Nebraska Wesleyan’s Amanda Brichacek, and Greenville’s Rochaunda Harris.
Those joining Aiken for All-American status in the long jump were UW-LaCrosse’s Ashton May, Methodist University’s Ashlynn Chavis, Moravian’s Symonne Scott, Springfield’s Nikki Hay, McMurray’s Breana Anderson, Illinois Wesleyan’s Lauren Alpert and Heidelberg’s Marian Bevington.
Other javelin All-Americans were St. Thomas’s Kyley Crotty, Occidental’s Kelly Young, Carleton’s Kelly Lovett, Richard Stockton’s Jill Shaner, Waynesburg’s Elisha Jones, Redlands’ Mackenzie Smith and Allegheny’s Lauren Butler.

Steve Price ...

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Price, who competed in five events yesterday, will compete in the final five today.  He stands in ninth place with 3,516 points and needs to move up at least one place to claim Division III All-American honors.

It all began when then Yellow Jacket Assistant Coach Steve Virgilo asked Price if he would be willing to compete in the 

“I was a bit appr
ehensive about competing in the decathlon," said Price, who placed fifth in both the high jump and shot put, seventh in the 400 meter dash and 10th in both the 100 meters and long jump. Today, he will compete in the javelin, pole vault, 110 high hurdles, discus and 1500 meters. "At the time, all I knew about the decathlon was that it involved 10 events. I was comfortable in competing in 100 meter dash and the long jump, two events where I have had some success. The decathlon would force me focus my attention on multiple aspects of my game”

At the end of day, Price’s competitive drive got the best of him. He agreed to compete in the decathlon despite having no experience in this event. This decision has thus proved to have been the right one. In Price’s junior year, he reached the provisional mark which allowed him advance to the 2009 NCAA Nationals Meet. Steve finished 12th at last year's NCAA Division III National Championships. Steady improvements and a fiery competitive streak have helped Price to attained an automatic bid this year's meet.

Price attributes his current success to a change in his outlook of the decathlon.

“The biggest difference between now and then is my decathlon mentality," said Price, who also played three years on the Yellow Jacket football team as a wide receiver and kick return specialist.  "In the past I always wanted to win every event. When you train for a decathlon that won’t always happen.  That was a concept I had a hard time understanding my first couple of years.  When I hit the mark last year to provisionally qualify for the national meet it was huge for me because I finally realized that to make gains in the events I needed to, I have to sacrifice my marks in other events.”

Current B-W Assistant Coach Eric Schmuhl has worked with Price the past two years is taken aback by the strides he has made.

“Steve has enjoyed significant progress throughout his four years in training for the decathlon," said Schmuhl, who also was a standout track and field student-athlete at the College. "He came to B-W a sprinter and long jumper which is certainly not how most prospective decathletes arrive in college track.  Most will at least have vaulting experience and a high hurdle mark but Steve was definitely a rarity.

"It was slow going during Steve's first two years as he tried to learn the hurdles, pole vault, and discus," continued Schmuhl, "but he has obviously become proficient in all those areas.  He spent his first two seasons enhancing his strengths and has more recently begun to work toward balancing his abilities across the board and eliminating weaknesses”

An athlete with Price’s athletic capabilities will always set the bar high when accomplishing goals. He is very ambitious and feels that his training efforts have allowed him to set the B-W record in the decathlon and reach Division III’s ultimate stage for the second straight year.

“I am proud to hold B-W’s record in the decathlon and I would like to finish in the top 3 in the country in this event at the 2010 NCAA Track Championships here at Baldwin Wallace," said Price a few weeks ago. "I am never satisfied and realize that I cannot become complacent in my routine”.

As hard as Price has worked on improving his performance on the track, it is others who have noticed his improvements in leadership of the B-W track team. High school and college teammate Kareem Ibrahim is encouraged by Price’s growth.

“The change in Steve has been immense," said Ibrahim, also a decathlete in track and wide receiver in football. "He used to be the kid who was just there having fun and cracking jokes. He has now turned into a man who is really focused and looks to help others. It’s funny, Steve sometimes gets into trouble for trying to help younger teammates more than practicing on his own events”.

B-W Track Coach Eric Schumul can attest to Price’s leadership ability.

“Steve is a fantastic leader when the situation calls for it," said Schmuhl.  "He has it in himself to step up and be a very effective verbal leader and it shines through every so often, particularly in competition”.

Price credits the as a major influence in transforming him into who he is today.

“When I toured here, I felt that both the football and track coaches had my best interests at heart," said Price, who gave up football last fall to concentrate his efforts on track. "They were genuine and wanted to help me excel in not just athletics, but in my professional career as well as my personal life. That meant a lot to me. I am very satisfied with my decision to have attended school here”.

As the future approaches, The exercise science and biology double major has the professional goal of becoming physical therapist as well as a  track coach.

“I would like to go to grad school," said Schmuhl. "I have to enroll in a couple more classes. I plan to volunteer coach here next year  as well as compete in a couple more decathlons because most combined event athletes don’t reach their peak until after eight years of competing. Since I won’t have eight years, I want to get at least one more year in.  After that I want to become a coach in track and field.  I also plan to pursue a career in the physical therapy field because either way I’ll get to do what I love and that’s help people”.

Steve Price’s openness to new experiences coupled with his leadership ability will only guarantee that he will achieve all goals set before him.  Today, he will try to reach the ultimate goal as anNCAA Division III All-American in the decathlon at the National Championship Meet.

Good luck, Steve.  We're all rooting for you.