All indications point to a solid performance in the PSAC Championships by senior Natalie Carr of the Kutztown women’s swim team.
Carr (Wyoming Area) had a big effort in the Franklin & Marshall Invitational before the holiday break. She won the 100 breaststroke and recorded a time of 1:08.48 in the prelims. She finished second in the 200 breast with a career best time of 2:33.60.
“Natalie is down in time considerably from last season,” coach Tim Flannery said. “Hopefully that is a continuing trend going into the PSACs (Feb. 20-23 in York).”
The coach was impressed with Carr’s performance at Franklin & Marshall.
“Those were her best times at this point ever and that is a really good indicators of what she’s capable of doing the rest of the season. She has herself set up to finish with lifetime bests at the PSACs, and if she can do that, she can be in the top-eight in the conference.”
Sophomore Sam Scalpi (Pittston Area) is also having a big season with the Golden Bears. She competes mainly in the 50 free, and the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke.
“Sam has vastly improved from last season,” Flannery said. “She had all lifetime bests at F&M and is a full three seconds faster than she was last season in the 100 back. She came into the season in better shape and her times are showing that effort.”
Kutztown will kick off the second half of the season Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the Bob Mowerson Invitational in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
HOT STREAK FOR MOORE – Freshman Rasheed Moore (Meyers) had three straight solid games for the unbeaten East Stroudsburg men’s basketball team. The 6-foot-5 forward scored a college career-high 24 points in a 76-64 victory over Slippery Rock.
Prior to that, he had 20 points and 16 rebounds in a 102-87 triumph over Lock haven and 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in a 96-68 victory over Millersville. He’s second on the team in scoring (13.8) and leads in rebounds (6.2) and blocked shots (11).
“The three games saw Rasheed continue his consistent play,” coach Jeff Wilson said. “He has been a warrior on the glass and has demonstrated the ability to be a consistent scorer and has anchored the post position. His high basketball IQ has really helped him to understand defenses and how opposing teams are trying to limit is production. He continues to make the adjustments necessary.”
The Warriors, ranked 12th in Division II, are 11-0 on the season. The school record for a season start is 13-0 set in 2009-10. They could tie the mark this weekend when they host Gannon (Friday) and Clarion (Saturday) in East Stroudsburg.
DUO WITH HUSKIES – Redshirt sophomore Michael Mirra and freshman Matt Hammerstone, both former Crestwood High athletes, are members of the strong Bloomsburg wrestling team that is ranked 24th in the nation in Division I.
Mirra, wrestling at 197 pounds, is 6-5 in tourney action.
“Mike is a great asset to our program and continues to improve daily,” coach Jason Mester said. “He works incredibly hard and strives to win on a hard level.”
Hammerstone is 4-4 in tourneys wrestling at 149 pounds.
“Matt has a great attitude and he brings a high level of work ethic into our room,” Mester said. “He will continue to improve and very competitive in the near future.”
DEGRABA A STARTER – Freshman Dominic DeGraba (Dallas) is starting at 125 pounds for the SUNY-Oneonta wrestling team.
“Dominic recently earned a starting position in our varsity lineup and has already recorded five victories,” coach Duane Ritter said. “Pound for pound, he’s one of the toughest guys in our room.”
DeGraba actually had to gain weight to make the 125-pound class, the lowest NCAA weight class.
“He will definitely turn some heads once he develops into a full-size 125-pounder,” Ritter said.
Freshman Nick Heck (Wyoming Area) is also wrestling with the Red Dragons. He has eight victories in tournaments and a couple of dual matches at 149 pounds.
“Nick is a student of the sport and a hard-nosed competitor who should progress nicely as a middleweight throughout the duration of the season,” Ritter said. “I’m very happy to have both of them wrestling for us.”
YOHEY, MAHLE QUALIFY – Bloomsburg senior Jenna Yohey (Berwick) and freshman Julie Ann Mahle (Holy Redeemer) have already qualified for the PSAC Swim Championships.
Yohey has hit qualifying times in the 100 freestyle (54.82) and the 200 freestyle (1:59.55), both recorded at the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio, before the holiday break.
“Jenna is having an awesome season,” coach Stu Marvin said. “She was elected one of our captains in September and trained extremely well. At our mid-season taper meet (the Zippy), Jenna went lifetime best times in the 100 and 200 free. It marked the first time she has ever been under 55 seconds in the 100 free and two minutes in the 200 free. And, in the 400 free relay her split was a lifetime best 54:28.”
Mahle has qualified in the 100 back (1:01.22) and 200 back (2:13.30), as well as the 200 IM (2:16.42).
“Julie Ann has been a great addition to our team,” Marvin said. “She adds to our depth in backstroke, individual medley and sprint freestyle. Her 200 back time ranks her in the top 20 in the PSAC.”
PISANO, MISSAL WITH PACERS – Junior Anthony Pisano (Hanover Area) and freshman Tom Missal (Wyoming Valley West) are scoring points for the Marywood men’s swim team.
Pisano ranks fourth in the Landmark Conference in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 50 freestyle.
“Anthony is having another stellar season for us,” coach Greg Brown said. “He has earned some big wins thus far and has also been a key to our strong 200 medley and the free relays.”
Pisano’s strong anchor leg on the winning 200 medley relay gave the Pacers their first-ever victory over Misericordia.
Missal competes in the 200 IM, the 100 and 200 butterfly, and as a member of the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams. He swam a leg on the winning 200 free relay that helped Marywood defeat Kings Point 149-80 in the final meet before the holiday break.
“Tom has been a great addition,” Brown said. “He currently ranks sixth in the 100 butterfly. He’s an extremely hard worker and I know he will continue to get faster and help our team continue to be successful. We think that he and senior Ryan Widenor will give us the fastest one-two punch in the 100 fly in the conference.”
MEDINA BATTLES BACK – Despite working through chronic shoulder problems that have plagued her since high school, senior Stephanie Medina (Holy Redeemer) is a valuable member of the Greensboro women’s swim team.
“Stephanie continues to give everything that she can at every practice,” coach Scot Budde said. “She has already swum faster than her time from last year’s championship (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) in the 100 back and she is within a second of her time in the 200 free. Having her to fill in the mid-distance freestyle and backstroke events contributed to the team achieving a 5-3 record at the semester break.”
Medina finished 23rd in the 100 back (1:18.46), 24th in the 200 free (2:26.02) and 26th in the 500 free (6:36.66) at last season’s ODAC meet.
The Pride will host the league championship Feb. 7-9, in Greensboro, N.C.