July 31, 2014

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College notes: Morgan Srail captures coveted MAC championship

Morgan Srail

Morgan Srail

Morgan Srail brought home a MAC Championship with an exclamation point.

Not only did the Ohio University junior diver capture first place in the 3-meter competition, she also broke a school record. She scored a 339.05 after placing third in the preliminaries with a 306.25.

The title was a long time coming for the Avon Lake graduate.

“I’ve been working toward this ever since my freshman year when I got second,” said Srail, who scored a 333.10 as a freshman, just under a point behind the champion. “I’ve always wanted to win because it was so close. When it came down to it during the meet, I wasn’t focused on anything but trying to win.”

Srail also finished ninth in the 1-meter competition, finishing 12th in the preliminaries and ultimately taking the top spot in the consolation round with a score of 277.80. Had she qualified for the championship round — only the top eight advanced to the final — her consolation dive would have been good for fifth place.

The exercise physiology major will dive in the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions Thursday through Saturday at the NCAA Zone C Championships which will decide what divers qualify for the NCAA championships the following week.

Last year she didn’t make it out of the preliminary round, finishing 23rd in the 3-meter (256.25) and 27th in the 1-meter (244.70).

“At Zones it’s kind of hard to know what’s going to happen,” Srail said. “It’s a lot harder at Zones because Big Ten is there and some people from the SEC. It’s a lot harder than the MAC, getting to the finals at Zones is a very big accomplishment.”

Dive in

MacKenzie Tweardy

MacKenzie Tweardy

Purdue junior diver MacKenzie Tweardy scored in all three diving events at the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 19-22. The Elyria Catholic graduate scored 33 points at the championships, making her the No. 2 individual scorer for the Boilermakers.

She took third in the platform competition (307.30), fourth in the 1-meter competition (329.90) — a personal best — and 15th in the 3-meter competition (289.75). She also set a personal best in the preliminaries of the 3-meter competition with a 299.20. She has qualified for the NCAA Zone C competition in all three events.

Wheeling Jesuit University won the Appalachian Swimming Conference Championships held Feb. 12-15. Two Elyria Catholic graduates — sophomores Taylor Sustersic and Sarah Peters — reached the podium in multiple events. Peters took eighth in the 1,650 freestyle in 18:58.43. Sustersic swam the anchor in the second-place 200-medley relay with a 1:53.05.

Buzzer beaters

Keene Cockburn

Keene Cockburn

  • West Liberty senior Keene Cockburn set a men’s basketball school record with 10 blocked shots against Wheeling Jesuit on March 1. The North Ridgeville graduate added seven points and three rebounds during the Hilltoppers’ Senior Night. At 24-2 and 20-2 in the Mountain East Conference, West Liberty is the No. 1 seed in its conference tournament and ranked fourth in NCAA Division II.
  • Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Claude Gray scored 21 points and added three rebounds in the Battling Bishops’ 78-67 win in the North Coast Athletic Conference quarterfinals Feb. 25. The Avon graduate’s conference tournament run came to an end Feb. 28 with a 78-67 loss to Wooster. He scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds against the top-seeded Scots. Despite the loss, Ohio Wesleyan earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
  • Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Emily Julius and the Battling Bishops pulled a stunning upset over Division III’s No. 1-ranked team with a 65-64 win over DePauw on Feb. 22. The Tigers had won 58 straight games, 71 straight regular-season games and are defending national champions. Julius, an Avon graduate, finished with 12 points, three rebounds and pulled the Battling Bishops within three with a layup at the 1:06 mark of the second half.
  • Penn State freshman Alex Harris can call herself a Big Ten champion. The Lady Lions — at 22-6, ranked eighth in the AP Poll and 12th in the coaches poll — wrapped up their third straight regular Big Ten championship with a 13-3 record. Harris, a Lorain graduate, has played in 27 of 28 games and. despite her low minute totals. is fourth on the team in blocks with 15.
  • Redshirt freshman Thomas Wimbush scored 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds for Fairmont State in its 93-81 upset of then-No. 3 West Liberty. The Lorain graduate has started 23 of 28 games and is averaging 14.6 points and six rebounds.
Jacob Davis

Jacob Davis

Decision time

  • Sophomore wrestler Jacob Davis clinched Eastern Michigan’s dual victory over Buffalo with a pin of Rrok Ndokaj at 174 pounds. The St. Edward graduate and North Ridgeville resident pinned Ndokaj at the 2:25 mark. His fourth pin of the season improved his career record to 30-28. He is 12-15 for the season, 6-12 in duals and 3-4 in the MAC.

Walk offs

  • Midview graduate Eric Lauer is making a strong first impression for the Kent State baseball team. The freshman left-handed starter is 3-0, winning his first two starts over 12⅔ innings pitched. He has a 1.42 ERA, allowing just two runs and striking out eight. He and Andy Ravel combined for a  no-hitter through seven innings in an 11-1 victory over Coppin State on Feb. 23.
  • Eric Lauer

    Eric Lauer

  • Lauer’s teammate, sophomore Jacob Neuschaefer, is hitting .417 in three starts and four appearances. The Elyria graduate has scored four runs and has an RBI.
  • Olmsted Falls graduate Kim Kirkpatrick hit her first home run of the season for the Kent State softball team against Pittsburgh on Feb. 23. The junior followed that up with a homer against Penn State on March 1. She is hitting .350 with 12 runs, six RBIs, two doubles and a triple.

Birdies

    Kyle Kmiecik

    Kyle Kmiecik

  • Kent State’s men’s golf team finished second at the Davidson College Invitational held March 3-4. Senior Kyle Kmiecik, a St. Ignatius graduate and Avon resident, placed 11th with a 6-over 150.

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.