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Blue Streak Athletics Weekend Round-Up: March 23-27

March 31st, 2011

Swimming and Diving

Four members of JCU’s men’s swimming and diving team earned their way all the way to the 2011 NCAA Division III National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.

Juniors Jimmy Ranallo, Brennan Schloendorn, Alex Vereshchagin and freshman Nick Holvey competed in a total of six events at the championships.

Starting things off last Wednesday, Schloendorn set a school record in the 50 Free, finishing with a time of 20.79 seconds to tie him for 17th place out of 47 competitors. Vereshchagin placed 28th in the 50 Free with a time of 20.95 seconds.

“It felt great when we made it to nationals,” said Schloendorn. “I know the other three guys on the relay had been training hard and had hopes of making it here this year. I was ecstatic to be able to be part of the team.”

The team of four finished in 24th place out of 27 quartets in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:37.57.

The following day, they finished 23rd out of 26 teams in the 200 free relay and the 800 free relay with times of 1:25.26 and 6:59.45, respectively.

On the final day of the competition, in the 100 Free, Vereshchagin swam a time of 45.98 seconds for 25th and Schloendorn in 46.09  seconds to tie for 28th place out of 43 participants.

Men’s tennis

Men’s tennis suffered a 9-0 setback to the nationally-ranked Case Western Reserve University Spartans last Saturday at the Cleveland Skating Club.

The Spartans were ranked No. 21 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25 poll, which was released on March 17.

Freshman Matthieu Menard and senior Chad Ruehs both fought hard in singles play, but were denied victory in defeats of 6-1, 7-5 and 6-2, 8-5 respectively.

In doubles play, despite their best efforts, JCU fell short with scores of 8-5 by sophomore Ryan Mullaney and Ruehs who were going up against John Healey and Nicolas Howe, the fourth-ranked doubles team in the region by the ITA.

The Blue Streaks also suffered narrow defeats in doubles play including an 8-4 effort from Menard and sophomore Rico Certo, and 8-5 by junior Michael Hulseman and freshman Hunter Pellegrini.

With the loss, the Blue Streaks’ record on the season drops to 4-6 overall while Case Western Reserve improved their record to 6-6, although their record is deceiving because CWR has played against Division I competition.

Women’s tennis

After a hard-fought competition against Ohio Northern University, JCU’s women’s tennis team fell short in a 5-4 defeat to the Polar Bears.

Victories for the Blue Streaks came in doubles play from  juniors Cassie Simmelink and Maria Ciccolini. Those two also won individually in singles play, where both won in straight sets.

The team’s other point came from senior Athena Pappis who outlasted Christie Gale by a score of 6-2, 2-6 and 6-4.

The Blue Streaks fell to 2-9 overall, while ONU improved to 8-5.

Men’s track and field

JCU’s men’s outdoor track and field team finished strong at the Wheeling Jesuit Invitational, taking ninth place in the 23-team field.

Sophomore Anthony Colbert finished 18th of 48 participants in the 200 meter dash, while sophomore Bill Zaccardelli finished fifth in the 400. They were both members of the 4 x 400 meter relay team along with seniors David Hickey and Denny Love, finishing fourth.

Hickey also finished fourth in the 400 meter hurdles. Senior Bryan Wideman finished fourth in the long jump and fifth in triple jump. Senior Lou Galiano took second in the shot put to add to JCU’s earnings.

“I believe one thing we need to work on as a team is the will to compete, the drive to beat someone who might be ahead of you,” said Hickey. “With some more experience, I have no doubt we will give the Ohio Athletic Conference a run for their money.”

Women’s track and field

JCU’s women’s outdoor track and field team finished in 20th place out of 23 teams this past weekend at the Wheeling Jesuit Invitational.

Standouts for the Blue Streaks included sophomore Maureen Creighton who finished 26th out of 52 participants in the 100 meter dash, and also finished 11th out of 46 runners in the 200 meter dash.

Other outstanding performances came from sophomore Maribeth Keppler who finished 18th in the 400 meter dash. In the 800 meter run, freshman Gab Kreuz finished 14th, junior Andrea Brown finished 19th, freshman Taylor Whisler finished 20th and freshman Anna Busta finished 21st out of 59 runners.

Busta and Whisler also did well in the 1500 meter run, placing 17th and 26th, respectively.

“We did have one outstanding performance in particular from sophomore Katherine Spillman who came close to breaking 19:00 in the 5K and who also led her heat from the very start to the finish of the race,” said junior Andrea Brown.

Spillman finished in 13th place in a field of 32 in the 5K race. She came close to breaking the 19-minute mark, but just barely missed it with a time of 19:08.81.

Women’s golf

The women’s golf team got their spring season underway with a sixth place finish in the nine-team University of Mount Union Invitational, held at Tannenhauf Golf Club in Alliance, Ohio.

The Yellow Jackets from Baldwin-Wallace College won the two-day event with a score of 679, while Ohio Athletic Conference foes Otterbein University and the host Purple Raiders also finished ahead of JCU.

Sophomore Jackie Leuby was the top golfer for JCU, placing 15th.