Sunday, March 14, 2004

Area swimmers going national

College update: NCAA meet, Olympic Trials on tap

Click here to e-mail Russell
Jacque Fessel didn't know how good she had it until two days after February's Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Athens, Ga.

The University of Tennessee sophomore set school records in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, placed fourth in her first SEC meet 100 butterfly and helped the 200 medley relay to third place and the 400 medley relay to fourth.

When Fessel returned to constant accolades on campus, she finally realized what she'd done.

"Honestly, I was in shock. I didn't realize how well I did 'til then," said Fessel, a St. Ursula grad. "People came up to me and said, 'Do you know what you did?' "

Fessel is just one of the Cincinnati-area swimmers who has qualified for the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, Thursday through Saturday.

Of the five events she'll swim, she considers the backstroke her strongest. But she's partial to the chemistry of the relay teams - which include Cincinnati swimmers Megan Tomes and Tiffany Clay.

Tomes, an Anderson grad, is also an NCAA qualifier in the 200 individual medley, 200 free and 100 back. Mount Notre Dame alumna Clay will swim the relays plus the 200 breast. Taryn Ternent, a senior from South Africa, rounds out both relays.

"Megan was saying just the other day how if we had one more local girl, we'd be a complete Cincinnati relay. We didn't swim together in high school, so it's kind of neat to be able to say that," Fessel said.

Tennessee hasn't sent a relay team to the NCAAs since 1999. But the elite meet is nothing new for Fessel, who, as a freshman, placed seventh in the 100 back and 17th in the 200 back.

Thanks to a new weight coach and stringent conditioning, Fessel hopes to be an All-American in her three individual events. The day after the Texas meet ends, Fessel will swim her time trials in hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Calif., July 7-14.

University of Michigan senior Dan Ketchum has a different perspective as he approaches the men's NCAA Championships in Long Island, N.Y., March 25-27, and then the Olympic Trials. The team captain will retire after the Trials - "Hopefully after the Olympics," he said - and put closure on a storied swimming past.

"I don't feel much pressure, which is a motivation in itself," Ketchum said. "This is my last shot. I better do it right."

The Sycamore grad wants to send out retiring coach John Urbanchek on a winning note, and his performance at the Big Ten Championships Feb. 28 was part of his tribute. Ketchum swam a 1:34.47 pool-record time in the 200 free - the third time he'd won the conference race. Ketchum was also among the top seven in six other events.

A four-time All-American as a junior, Ketchum attributes his times to other Michigan standouts. He'll swim the 200 free at the Olympic Trials and possibly the 100 free - and some of his teammates will turn to competitors.

"That's not good," Ketchum said. "It may come down to one of us getting to go, and the other doesn't."

Though she's only an Arizona freshman, Ursuline grad Whitney Myers will get a taste of the NCAA action. She'll swim six events - this, after a Pac-10 Championships in which she posted third-, fourth-, fifth- and 10th-place finishes.

Though she earned most of her qualifying times at a December meet at the University of Texas, Myers said the rush of her first postseason is still thrilling.

"In high school, I was more of a big fish in a little pond. Now, it's the other way around," Myers said.

Myers will stay in Arizona after school's end to train for the Olympic Trials. She already has hit qualifying times in four events.

She went to the 2000 Trials in Indianapolis and placed among the top 30 swimmers in five events. Her goal this year is to be among the top eight; the top two will go to the Olympics.

In diving, the University of Georgia's Emily Hunter (Indian Hill) is competing for a bid in this weekend's NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Athens, Ga.


• Fordham sophomore swimmer Katie Greiner (Ursuline) was named to the Atlantic 10 winter academic all-conference team. She set three school records in the A-10 Championships (500 free, 200 free, 200 back) and helped two relay teams to new school marks.

• Michael Grogan (St. Xavier), a junior guard at John Carroll, helped the team to a 76-74 win over Maryville, Tenn., in the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 Friday. The same night, his sister, Kacee (St. Ursula), a freshman forward at Marymount University, helped her team to a 68-64 win over McDaniel in the women's NCAA Division III third round.

• Wilmington College freshman pole vaulter Tim Roa (Elder) earned All-American status at the 2004 NCAA Division III national meet.

• Amber Bishop (Batavia) scored 15 points in Wittenberg's 68-51 loss to Scranton in an NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game Friday night.

• Coastal Carolina junior forward Clint Nagel (Moeller) has been named to the Big South Conference All-Academic Team for the second straight year for men's basketball.

• Pennsylvania freshman forward Monica Naltner (St. Ursula) helped the women's basketball team to an Ivy League championship, averaging 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds a game.

• Capital freshman Kim Breving (McNicholas) helped the women's basketball team win the Ohio Athletic Conference regular-season title. The title was Capital's first since the 1996-97 season.

• Miami University senior hockey players Derek Edwardson and Mike Kompon were named to the CCHA All-Academic Team.

• Miami senior Andrea Kremer was named to the Indoor Track & Field All Mid-American Conference team.

• Steve Banks (Western Hills) had 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals, 10 assists and a blocked shot to lead Lackawanna College over Region 21 champion Dean College on March 6. The Falcons advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Tournament.

• Loyola senior Paul McMillan (Aiken) finished his collegiate career by scoring in double-digits in the Ramblers' final 12 men's basketball games. McMillan averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds in two Horizon League Tournament games.

• University of Cincinnati guard Valerie King was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team for the fourth straight year. King averaged 24 points in two tournament games before the Bearcats were eliminated by Houston. King, the second-leading scorer in UC history, is the only player in C-USA annals to be named to four all-tournament teams.

• Dan Petrie (Summit Country Day), a freshman at Brown, was runner-up in the Men's Malloy Division of the 2004 National Intercollegiate Individual Squash Championships in Caton, N.Y., March 5-7. Petrie ranks among the top 33 college squash players in the country.

• Cincinnati State guard Marcus Carroll was named to the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference first team, and guard Chuck Sweeney was named second-team all-OCCAC. The Surge finished their season with a 22-10 record, placing second in the OCCAC regular-season standings.

• Lady Surge forward Crystal Norman was first-team all-OCCAC and was named the women's basketball Newcomer of the Year. Guard Janice Bright was second-team all-OCCAC, and guard Michelle Jones was honorable mention. The team finished the season with a 25-6 record, winning its fifth consecutive OCCAC regular-season title.

• Northern Kentucky University men's basketball players Jesse Rupe and Mike Kelsey have been named second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference. Rupe, a senior center, averaged 15.8 points and 7.3 reboundsJunior guard Kelsey (Elder) averaged 16.9 ppg and made 83 of 202 3-point attempts this season. Kelsey also was named second-team All-Great Lakes Region by Daktronics.

• The Mid-American Conference announced its third East Division Player of the Week award and for the third week in a row the winner hails from the Miami (5-5) baseball team. Junior first basemen Mike Ferris (Colerain) is credited with his second career weekly honor after belting five home runs in this weekend's series at Western Carolina.

• The College of Mount St. Joseph announced that Scott Peters will assist Lions football coach Rod Huber with the team next fall. Peters will oversee the team's defensive linemen. Peters' football coaching experience includes Elder, Anderson and Milford high schools.

• The Wilmington College Lady Quakers' Siobhan Zerilla (Mercy) was one of three players named to the Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference squad. Zerilla, a sports management major with a 3.83 grade-point average, is third on the team with 8.9 points a game while pulling down 10.6 rebounds a game, good for second in the OAC.

• The University of Cincinnati's Chris Wineberg qualified to the 2004 USA Indoor Combined Events Championships held Feb. 27-28. Wineberg placed ninth in the heptathlon with 5,518 points. Wineberg's best performance came in the 1,000-meter run, placing third out of 16 participants. He also tied for fourth in the pole vault.



Knockout punch is Bearcats'
ONLINE EXTRA: Photos of Saturday's game
Daugherty: Bobbitt takes pain, then dishes some out
Defense is star of tournament championship

XU's 4-for-4 makes history
Finn's role this day is hero

Area teams hope to land on higher ground
A foolproof guide to doing your bracket
Top 50 things we love about March Madness
UK able to make all the right moves
Experts believe 'Cats likely to be top seed
SEC: Gators cruise past Vandy to title game
Big 10: Harris shoots; Badgers rebound
Big 12: Mouton's 3-pointers spur Longhorns to title game
Big East: Connecticut claims sixth league title
Pac-10: Cardinal avenge their lone defeat
MAC: Western Michigan wins title, NCAA berth
Tate lifts unlikely Florida A&M in MEAC tourney
Quakers in D-III Final Four
Women: Oklahoma beats No. 2 Texas
A quick chat with ... Digger Phelps

Eagles show why team's ranked No. 1
With Moeller on ropes, Duncan takes command
CovCath's Listerman finally makes Sweet 16
Lancers heading to Sweet 16
Sycamore pulls upset over Princeton
Big Blue gets D-1 title
Amazons' 1st loss comes at high cost
Royals ousted; streak snapped
Groeschen: Norwood building athletic program
Ernst: Try this all-region tourney team
Prep sports results, schedules

Haynes aces first big pitching test
ONLINE EXTRA: Reds e-mail Q&A
Inside Reds camp
Kelly: Nasty, but pain just hurts
Norton in fight for spot on staff
Fantasy baseball: Unproven rookies still worth a look
Maroth's many sleepless nights
Is Benson on the way out?
Williams' wish to be frozen alongside dad

Visits and offers, but no action yet
Chesley: Bengals are just 'bullying'
Forget salary; age might be key number
Law wants to leave Pats, calls team's offer an 'insult'

Teen finds groove as skater, excels on international stage
What's up with that?
Area swimmers going national
Planning ahead: Must-see TV
This week's poll question
All thumbs

Long shot pulls upset in Fla. Derby
Inman gives Petty team nudge in right direction
NBA: Rockets halt Memphis
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio