Sports Shorts - Spring 2004 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Spring 2004

Sports Shorts

Men's Cross Country Team Honored for High Academic Achievement

In only its second year, the Penn State Altoona men's cross country team has made great strides both athletically and academically. The team has been recognized as an NCAA Division III Cross County Coaches Association All-Academic Team. The honor is awarded to teams that earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.1.  The College's men's team earned a grade point average of 3.25, which ranked the team 35th in the nation out of 340 NCAA Division III institutions with men's cross country teams.

The men's team also showed great improvement in its athletic performance by making one of the best team improvements: moving up from 34th place to 26th in the Mid-east Region.

Golf Team Sweeps Conference Awards; Wins ECAC Regionals; Breaks Records

The 2003 men's golf team completed one of the most successful seasons in recent Penn State Altoona history. Head Coach Greg Johnson led his team to its first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) tournament title, as well as the first Eastern Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southern Regional title.

The Lions, led by a first place finish by freshman Kevin Lazzaro who shot a 75, edged out Penn State Behrend to win the conference. Lazzaro was honored for an incredible season with AMCC Newcomer of the Year honors. Altoona swept the AMCC awards, with Geoff Smock winning Player of the Year and Johnson picking up Coach of the Year.

The Lions competed in the ECAC Division III Southern Regional Qualifier at the Penn State Blue Course on September 29. Altoona was again led by the impressive play of Smock, who tied for second place overall with a 74.

"Good Sports" Poster Contest

During January and February, the AMCC sponsored a poster contest promoting good sportsmanship. Members of the Penn State Altoona Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) visited with classes at the Juniata Gap Elementary School to discuss sportsmanship and fair play. The students and athletes talked about the importance of sportsmanship in athletics, citing examples of both good and bad sportsmanship. Following the discussion, the athletes challenged the students of Juniata Gap to design posters that followed the theme of "Why Sportsmanship is Important as a Player and a Fan." The posters were displayed in the Adler Athletic Complex and the SAAC members picked winners in three different age groups. The winners in each group were sent on to the AMCC office and competed against the poster submissions from the other six conference schools. Penn State Altoona submissions from Juniata Gap won second place in all three age groups.

Women's Swim Team Breaks Records

The Penn State Altoona women's swim team finished the 2003-04 season with a bang at the Grove City Invitational, breaking nine records and finishing eighth in the ten team pool.

"The girls broke practically all of their records again," Nanette Cummings, head coach of both the men's and women's teams, said. "It was just a really strong finish for the team and for all of the girls individually."

Brittany Karn had an exceptional meet, breaking records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard backstroke and in the 50 yard freestyle. Karn also finished third overall in the 100 yard backstroke, placed fifth in the 200 yard backstroke, and third in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:01.75.

Lindsay Johnson broke the school record in the 1000 yard freestyle with a time of 11:24.56, finishing sixth overall.

Johnson and Karn were also part of both relay teams that combined to break four records.

The team of Karn, Sara Knab, Anne Yakubisin, and Johnson finished fourth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:46.36.

Karn, Johnson, Jenna Sibel, and Yakubisin finished fourth in the 400 medley relay with a time of 4:24.05 and broke the school record. They also finished fifth in the 200 medley with a time of 2:01.68 which was, again, a new school record.

Athletic fields upgraded

The baseball and softball fields were sporting a new look for the 2004 season. Crews spent the off-season building dugouts on the softball field. These new red brick dugouts will be required of all Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference schools by the 2005 softball season.

A new scoreboard, three times the size of the previous one, was installed in February at the Ivyside baseball field. Corporate sponsors include Sheetz, WTAJ TV10, Hoss's and the Altoona Mirror.