Four local athletes helped the Grove City College women’s team place ninth at the NCAA Division III Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. It was Grove City’s best finish at the national event.
Leading the way for the Wolverines were seniors Angela Palumbo and Kait Riesmeyer, sophomore Lauren Cassano and freshman Megan Bilko.
Palumbo, a senior from Washington and a Trinity graduate, finished her career as a 15-time All-American and had six top-15 finishes this year in individual and relays events. Palumbo helped Grove City to three sixth-place finishes in the relays (200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyles) and had a top individual finish of sixth in the 200 freestyle. Palumbo set the Grove City record in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.75 during the preliminaries.
Palumbo also finished 14th in the 50 freestyle and 15th in the 100 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Palumbo broke her own Grove City record with a time of 23.66.
Riesmeyer, a junior from McMurray and a Peters Township graduate, also was part of the three freestyle relay teams and the 200 medley relay that placed 19th. She earned her 11th career All-American honor by placing seventh in the 200 butterfly.
Cassano, a sophomore from Venetia and a Peters Township graduate, earned a pair of All-America honors and was on the 200 medley relay team that placed 19th. Bilko, a freshman from Canonsburg and a Canon-McMillan graduate, earned All-America honors in the 800 freestyle.
In track & field
Mikayla Sonneborn, a freshman at Tulane and a West Greene graduate, won the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the Tulane Team Challenge, her first outdoor meet with the Green Wave. Sonneborn won the event with a time of 7:22, and she placed second at the same meet in the 3,000-meter run in 11:18.
Sonneborn also won the 3,000 meters at the McNeese State Cowboy Relays “Bob Hayes Louisiana Challenge” with a personal best time of 10:36.67. It was the ninth-fastest outdoor 3,000 meters in Tulane history. She won the race by more than 29 seconds.
The only freshman on the Tulane women’s cross country team last fall, Sonneborn finished among the top four Tulane runners in five of six meets and ran a personal best 19:17 at the Conference USA Championships. She completed her cross country season at the NCAA Division I Regional Championship, running the 6K in 23:25.38 at Fayetteville, Ark.
She also ran on the Green Wave’s indoor track team, competing in the mile run and posting a top time of 5:11.
Marshall’s Amanda Kennedy, a junior from Bentleyville and Bentworth High School, has a pair of top-5 finishes in early season meets. Kennedy placed fourth in the javelin at the Florida State Relays with a throw of 139-11, and was fifth at the South Florida Bulls Invite with a toss of 140-11.
Matt Pierpont is in his second season as a starting pitcher for Winthrop.
A senior right-hander from Canonsburg, Pierpont has a 2-3 record and 2.95 ERA for the Eagles. Pierpont has 40 strikeouts and only six walks in 42 2/3 innings. He has a current streak of 17 consecutive innings without allowing a walk. Pierpont threw a nine-inning complete game March 22 against Presbyterian, allowing eight hits and one run. He struck out six and did not walk a batter in that game.
Pierpont is a Canon-McMillan graduate and helped the Big Macs to the 2008 PIAA Class AAAA championship.
Evan Bukowski, a senior catcher for Penn State Behrend, was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Player of the Week for March 17-23 and the conference’s Male Athlete of the Week.
Bukowski, a Trinity graduate, led the Lions to a 2-2 record by hitting .700 (7-for-10) with three walks, three runs and a stolen base. Defensively, Bukowski did not allow a stolen base while throwing out two baserunners.
For the season, Bukowski is batting .390 with a team-high 16 hits.
Former Observer-Reporter Boys Basketball Player of the Year Mike Lamberti is a redshirt freshman on the West Liberty team that will play today in the NCAA Division II semifinals in Louisville, Ky.
A South Fayette graduate, Lamberti has played in 22 games and averages 3.5 points for the Hilltoppers, who have a 34-1 record and average 103 points per game. Lamberti is shooting 61 percent from the field.
West Liberty plays Metro State today in the national semifinals. The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.
Otterbein’s Julie Stroyne, a junior from Venetia and a Peters Township graduate, has won two consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards.
Stroyne continued her dominant play this season by going 10-0 last week Otterbein went 4-1 on its Florida trip. She won all five of her singles and all five of her doubles matches, improving to 22-0 (11 singles wins, 11 doubles wins.) She dropped only 13 games on the trip and did not yield a set to any of her opponents.
This marks the sixth career OAC weekly honor for Stroyne, the reigning two-time conference Player of the Year.
Swarthmore junior John Flaherty set the school record in the 400 individual medley at the Centennial Conference Championship in Lancaster.
A Peters Township graduate, Flaherty swam the 400 IM in 4:09.95 to place fourth overall. Flaherty was Swarthmore high scorer at the conference meet, placing third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 200 backstroke.