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Last updated: March 17. 2014 11:45PM - 2623 Views
By bill arsenault For The Times Leader



Wyoming Valley West graduate Collin Vest won the NCAA Division II 1-meter diving championship for Clarion last week.
Wyoming Valley West graduate Collin Vest won the NCAA Division II 1-meter diving championship for Clarion last week.
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Clarion University’s Collin Vest competed in his first NCAA Division II Swimming Championships last weekend in Geneva, Ohio, and the freshman came away with a national title.


Vest (Wyoming Valley West) captured the 1-meter dive with a score of 552.40 to pace the field. He also earned All-American honors by finishing sixth in the 3-meter dive (485.50). He is the first true freshman to win a national title under standout diving coach Dave Hrovat.


Sophomore Sarah Zerfoss (Dallas) also competed in diving for the Golden Eagles women’s team and earned a pair of All-American honors. She finished fourth in both the 1-meter (460.65) and the 3-meter (475.00). It is her third and fourth All-American honors after having finished seventh in the 1-meter and 11th in the 3-meter last year as a freshman.


“Both Collin and Sarah had an awesome NCAA Championship,” Horvat said.


MARSHALL AN ALL-AMERICAN – George Mason senior pole vault standout Mandissa Marshall (Crestwood) earned All-American honors after finishing eighth in the NCAA Division I Indoor Track Championships last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M. She cleared 13-11 ¼.


Marshall became the first female NCAA pole vault All-American at George Mason and the first to score points at the nationals.


The performance capped off a great indoor season for Marshall. She captured six of seven events during the season and the only time she missed out, she was the top college finisher. She holds both the indoor and outdoor record in the pole vault at George Mason.


Syracuse senior Donald Pollitt (Hazleton Area) finished 12th in the men’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.842. He was hoping for back-to-back All-American honors after finishing sixth in the 100 hurdles last spring.


KARNOPP FINISHES SEVENTH – Sophomore Ryan Karnopp (Tunkhannock) made his first appearance in the NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships last weekend in Boston and finished seventh in the pole vault to earn All-American honors.


Karnopp cleared 15 feet, one inch on his first attempt and ended up in seventh because he reached the height quicker than three other competitors. He later attempted 15-11 but knocked the bar off on all three attempts.


“Ryan had a nice jump at the final bar on his first attempt (at 15-11) but just couldn’t quite put everything together to get over it,” coach Jesse Baumann said.


Karnopp earned his trip to the NCAAs by reaching16 feet, a school record, at the Kutztown Invitational.


FOURTH FOR KARNS – Delaware Valley junior Aaron Karns (Berwick) earned All-American honors after finishing fourth at 197 pounds at last weekend’s NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


This is the second straight year that Karns has earned All-America. He finished sixth at 197 pounds in last year’s championship.


Karns, who was seeded seventh entering the tournament, finishes the season with a 31-6 record. He captured the Middle Atlantic Conference title and the NCAA East Regional title prior to competing in the Nationals.


BIG START FOR FURMAN –Senior outfielder Corey Furman (Wyoming Area) batted .488 during Bucknell’s spring trip to South Carolina, Virginia and Florida, the Bison posting a 7-8-1 record.


Furman had 20 hits in 41 at-bats with four doubles, five triples, two home runs, six runs scored and 13 RBI. He had an eight-game hitting streak during the trip.


“Corey has worked hard to improve and has gotten stronger each year,” coach Scott Heather said. “He has a good understanding of what he is good at and he plays within himself. He has also grown into being a team leader as evidenced by his being voted team captain this year.”


MILESTONE FOR ALEXIS – It took Peter Alexis just two seasons to join the 1,000-point club with the Philadelphia University men’s basketball team. The 6-foot-10, 255-pound sophomore center passed that mark in a 66-65 loss to Franklin Pierce in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament last Saturday in New Haven, Conn. He’s the 53rd player in Rams history to reach the milestone.


Alexis (Holy Redeemer) scored his 1,000th point with a four-foot bank shot at the 12:51 mark of the first half. He finished with 21 points (10-for-17 from the field). He will take 1,016 points into next season.


Philadelphia finished the season with a 25-7 record.


INMAN LEADS THE WAY – The Mansfield softball team is off to a 6-2 start and a key performer for the Mountaineers is sophomore Ashley Inman. Right-hander Inman (Tunkhannock) is 3-0 with a save and has not given up a run. She’s worked 15 innings and given up 12 hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts.


Inman is also tough at the plate. She’s hitting .304 (seven-for-23) with two doubles, a run scored and five RBI.


“Ashley is a very important member of the team,” coach Edith Gallagher said. “She is a key component to both our pitching staff and our batting lineup.”


The coach feels that Inman has been working on the mental aspects of the game as well.


“Ashley is improving on letting things go and focusing on the positive and she is becoming a true student of the game and working on pitch count situations,” Gallagher said. “She had a great freshman year and seeing her improvement, I expect her to have a great sophomore season.


BIG DAY FOR BAKER – Senior Carson Baker (Lake-Lehman) had a big day to help the Kutztown baseball team defeat St. Rose in a doubleheader last Saturday in Sutherland, Va.


The 6-foot-3, 225-pound first base/outfielder had a home run and single with two RBI in a 10-2 victory and followed that up with a single, run scored and two RBI in an 11-9 triumph in the second game.


On the season, Baker is hitting .273 (6-for-22) with six RBI and two runs scored.


“Carson adds a lot of pop to our lineup if he can stay on track,” coach Christopher Blum said. “He’s spending time at first base and outfield which allows us to have a right-handed bat when our first baseman pitches. He has worked on trying to cut down his strikeouts and make more contact per at bat. During our first weekend, he struck out just once.”


SZPYNDA COMES UP SHORT – Widener senior Erica Szpynda (Berwick) finished tied for 13th in the shot put at last weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships in Lincoln, Neb. She had a toss of 43-7. She was seeded 14th entering the meet.


Szpynda will now prep for the outdoor season. Last spring, she finished ninth and missed being an All-American in the shot put by 0.01 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.


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