Last updated: April 28. 2014 11:53PM - 2086 Views
By Bill Arsenault For The Times Leader

Hazleton Area grad Donald Pollitt is charging toward another All-America honor with the Syracuse track and field team.
Hazleton Area grad Donald Pollitt is charging toward another All-America honor with the Syracuse track and field team.
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Donald Pollitt is on the road for another All-American honor.

Pollitt (Hazleton Area) is a junior hurdler at Syracuse University. He finished sixth in the 110 hurdles to earn All-American honors last year and is coming off a pair of impressive efforts the past two weeks.

A week ago, he captured the 110 hurdles at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with a time of 13.81. Last weekend, he finished second with an improved time of 13.73 in the college invitational race at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia. His time in last year’s NCAA was 13.52.

“Donald ran a great race at the ACC Championships in his first year we participated in the conference,” coach Chris Fox said. “His strong second at the Penn Relays proves again that he is one of the top-five collegiate hurdlers in the country.”

The Orange have two more meets before the IC4A Championships May 16-18 in Princeton, New Jersey. The NCAA Division I Regionals will be held May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Florida, with the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon.

“As we head towards the NCAA Championships, Donald is well ahead of his All-American pace of 2013,” Fox said.

George Mason senior Mandissa Marshall (Crestwood) also did well at the Penn Relays. She finished third in the women’s college division pole vault with a leap of 14-1 1/4. That matched her personal record outdoors and sets her up to compete in her first Atlantic-10 Conference Championship this weekend in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is a two-time Colonial Athletic Association champion.

SZPYNDA HAS A GOAL – Widener senior Erica Szpynda (Berwick) is hoping for a big end to her career with the Widener women’s outdoor track team.

“Erica has been working hard seven days a week all year to situate herself for the opportunity to achieve the goal of becoming an All-American in the shot put at the NCAA Championships,” coach Kevin Cunningham said. “I am confident that she will reach that goal and I look forward to watching her compete.”

Szpynda is locked into this weekend’s Middle Atlantic Conference Championships in Chester. She prepped for the league meet by finishing 11th in the Eastern shot put at last weekend’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia. She hit 43-1 ½.

“Erica has placed herself in a great position to defend her conference title in the shot put and place high in the discus,” Cunningham said. “For the last four years, Erica has proven that she is a clutch performer and she thrives under the pressure of championship meets.”

KARNOPP’S READY TO GO – Sophomore Ryan Karnopp will be out to improve on his second place finish in the pole vault as a freshman when the Widener standout competes in the Landmark Conference Outdoor Track Championships Saturday in Kings Point, New York. Karnopp (Tunkhannock) captured the indoor title this past winter.

“We’ve given Ryan some down time after the NCAA meet to recuperate after a long in indoor season and with the first few meets being held in some really rough weather conditions,” coach Jesse Baumann said.

Karnopp did get to jump at the Coach P Open in Bethlehem and posted an impressive 15-11 winning effort.

“That should be good enough to advance him to the NCAAs in late May but we’d still feel more comfortable if he got back over the 16-foot bar like he did outdoors,” Baumann said.

At last week’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Karnopp finished tied for 10th in the college pole vault. His height of 15-7 was the best Division II mark.

HONOR FOR MARIANO – Senior Tommy Mariano (Hazleton Area) was recently named Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Week for a big winning effort against nationally-ranked Kean. The right-hander tossed seven innings in Moravian’s 8-1 triumph over Kean, ranked sixth in Division III at the time. He gave up a run on three hits and five walks while striking out four. Kean loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with no outs but Mariano got two strikeouts and a ground out to end the threat.

“Tommy went out and executed all of his pitches,” coach Paul Engelhardt said. “He was able to mix in off-speed pitches and kept one of the best teams in the country from hitting.”

Mariano picked up another victory with two innings of relief in a 9-2 victory over New Jersey City on Sunday and is now 4-3 with a 5.09 earned run average. In 46 innings, he’s given up 48 hits and 31 runs, 26 earned, with 18 walks and 31 strikeouts.

GRILLINI PITCHING IN – Junior Anthony Grillini (Coughlin) is pitching in relief for the Binghamton baseball team. The right-hander has worked in 11 games and has a 1-0 record. In 18 innings, he’s given up 36 hits and 18 runs, all earned, with 12 walks and nine strikeouts.

“Anthony continues to work hard and is a valuable contributor to this season’s pitching staff,” coach Tim Sinicki said. “We need and expect big innings from him down the stretch as we make a push for the America East Conference tournament.”

The defending champion Bearcats are currently 16-20 overall and 8-9 in league play and stand in fourth place with six league games remaining.

LISTS FOR JENDRZEJEWSKIOlivia Jendzejewski is just a freshman but her name appears in three events on the Lebanon Valley women’s outdoor track team’s record list. Jendzejewski (Hanover Area) posted a 35-3 ¼ effort in the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic, the mark third best all-time. She’s also fifth in the long jump after a 16-11 ¼ effort at Dickinson and seventh in the high jump (5-1).

“This spring, the jumping coaches have worked hard with Olivia learning the events and focusing on the different phases and technique aspect of her jumps,” head coach Melissa Weidler said. “She is a pleasure to coach, she is focused, she challenges herself and we are excited about her future.”

Her “future” starts this weekend when the Dutchwomen compete in the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships in Chester.

KOZLOWSKI A SOLID FROSHRyan Kozlowski (Dallas) has adjusted well to the rigors of college life both academically and athletically and coach Carl Schnabel believes that the freshman has a bright future ahead of him, especially in the javelin.

Kozlowski is seeded second in the javelin (175-3) going into the Centennial Conference Outdoor Track Championships Saturday and Sunday in Swarthmore. He’s also seeded sixth in the triple jump (41-8 ¾) and 23rd in the long jump (18-7).

“Ryan has been training hard for the javelin which is his primary event,” Schnabel said. “I believe he is capable of another ten foot improvement and should have a chance of securing an opportunity to compete at the ECAC Championships (May 15-16 at RPI in Troy, New York). If he continues to develop, he should have a crack at the NCAAs next year.”

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