Fiat next athletic shots/dives/rides/throws/runs
With so many successes in a short period of time within our athletic program, we felt it appropriate to recognize the accomplishments of our various teams and athletes while noting the next steps in the relevant championships.
After winning the Empire 8 men’s basketball championship for the first time in our University’s history, head coach Russ Phillips and his team are heading to Newport News, Virginia, this weekend to take part in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament opening rounds. Our team (23-4) has won 13 games in a row and will tip off against Ramapo College (18-9) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1 (live stream link below). Pending a victory, our team will play the winner of Friday’s first-round match pitting Albertus Magnus College (20-7) against host and #11 overall national seed Christopher Newport University (25-3). Our second-round match would be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, in the Freeman Center. If our team wins both games this weekend, they will advance to the sectional round on March 8 and 9 at a site to be determined. The NCAA Division III Final Four will take place on March 15 and 16 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Our men’s basketball team is not the only one advancing past the Empire 8 championships as three divers on our swimming and diving team have earned the right to participate in the NCAA Division III regional competition held at the Rochester Institute of Technology on March 1 and 2. As a unit, the divers coached by Cassie Tyler (Brown) ’14 broke four school records and placed four members on the Empire 8 All-Conference team this past weekend. Ironically enough, Victoria Cramp ‘20, broke Coach Tyler’s six-dive championship school record on the 3-meter board on her way to qualifying for the regional championship meet.
In addition to our divers, swimmers Andy Edmister ’20, Noah Koltenuk ’21, and Lauren Serotta ’21 earned Empire 8 All-Conference honors, including four combined championship crowns.
Our western equestrian program was named the High Point Team in the region and thereby has advanced to the IHSA Western Equestrian semi-finals to be hosted by the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, from March 16-17. In addition to the team earning a semi-final berth, seven riders finished either first or second in their event, thus earning the right to compete individually at the upcoming semi-finals. Haley Ruffner ’19 was named the High Point Rider in our region and thus qualified to participate in the IHSA Nationals. If our team is one of the top two finishers in the upcoming semi-finals, they will qualify for the national championship scheduled for the New York State Fairground Coliseum in Syracuse from May 2-5.
Our hunt seat equestrian is headed for the Zone 2 regional championship on Sunday, March 3, at Cornell University after winning their final show in the Bromley-Daggett Equestrian Center at Maris Cuneo Equine Park for the 2018-19 season. Nine of our riders qualified to take part individually in the regional championship, including Emma Van Dyne ’21 who qualified in both open fences and open flat. If our team earns one of the top two places at the regional championship, they will advance to the Zone 2 championship to battle for the right to go to the national championship also scheduled for the New York State Fairground Coliseum.
Finally, our track and field team competed at the Empire 8 championships at Utica this past weekend. Saul McCoy ‘21 and Madison Palmer ’22 earned berths to the All-Atlantic Regional Track and Field Conference (AARTC) championship in Ithaca, New York, this weekend. McCoy qualified with a throw of 13.37 meters in the shot put while Palmer advanced in the weight throw with a personal record of 14 meters. Both will be making their first appearance in the AARTC championship. Our women’s 4×200 meter relay team of Megan Alper ‘20, Kiki Doyle ’22, Danielle Perry ‘20, and Sierra Wilson ‘22, along with our men’s 4×200 meter relay team of Rashid Abuelmaali ‘19, Wesley Burke ‘21, Timothy Jackson ’22, and Alex Spicer ‘22 also qualified to compete at the AARTC Championship.
Please join me in congratulating our teams and individual competitors noted above for their many successes. Please also join me in wishing them well for their next competitive steps.