Michi­gan’s Ryan a top 5 seed for NCAA fi­nals

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS - By Bill Arse­nault For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

G RYAN (KUTZ­TOWN) » The ju­nior has earned All-Amer­i­can men­tion five times in her first two sea­sons with the Michi­gan women’s swim team but she’s in a prime spot to earn first team hon­ors at the NCAA Di­vi­sion I Swim Cham­pi­onships start­ing March 15 in In­di­anapo­lis, Ind. Ryan is seeded third in the 500 freestyle (4:34.28), fourth in the 1,650 freestyle (15:44.93) and she also an­chors the 800 free re­lay which is seeded fourth (6:55.34). She’s 26th in the 200 freestyle (1:44.94). The top eight fin­ish­ers in each event earn All-Amer­i­can hon­ors. AMY FISTER (KUTZ­TOWN)

» The Mem­phis se­nior has been se­lected to com­pete in the NCAA Ri­fle Cham­pi­onships next week­end in Colum­bus, OH. It is her fourth straight NCAA ap­pear­ance. She helped the Tigers fin­ish fourth in 2014 and com­peted in small­bore the last two sea­sons. She’s com­pet­ing in small­bore again this year and has im­proved ev­ery year – 575.1 as a sopho­more, 579.6 as a ju­nior and 580.8 this year. Fister had a com­bined sea­son-best score (1170) at the Tiger Open ear­lier in the sea­son and posted a 582 score in small­bore to fin­ish sev­enth at the NCAA Qual­i­fier Feb. 18 in Mur­ray, Ky. HEATHER WAN­NER

(FLEET­WOOD) » The Alver­nia se­nior had a busy week­end at the Mid­dle At­lantic Con­fer­ence In­door Track Cham­pi­onships Feb. 24-25 in Beth­le­hem.

in the 60 me­ter dash in 7.92 and se­cond in the 200 me­ter dash in 26.28. She also fin­ished sixth in the long jump with a 17 foot, 3 ¼ inch ef­fort. And she ran legs on the 4x2 re­lay which fin­ished sixth in 1:52.03 and the 4x4 re­lay which fin­ished eighth in 4:29.38. The Cru­sader women fin­ished eighth. BRETT KOCH (SCHUYLKILL

VAL­LEY) >> The Mes­siah fresh­man com­peted in his first Mid­dle At­lantic Con­fer­ence In­door Track Cham­pi­onship on Feb. 24-25 in Beth­le­hem and we found him­self on top of the podium af­ter he cap­tured the 60 mid­dle hur­dles with a sea­son-best time of 8.83. He also fin­ished 10th in the high jump in 5 feet, 10 inches which was short of his per­sonal best of 6 feet, 1 ¼ inches which he recorded at the Susque­hanna In­vi­ta­tional in Selins­grove. The Fal­cons fin­ished third in the MAC Cham­pi­onship.

ADRI­ENNE PUGLIA (HAM­BURG) >> The Lock Haven se­nior scored a big vic­tory in the weight throw at the PSAC In­door Track Cham­pi­onships Feb. 25-26 in Ed­in­boro. Her toss of 56 feet, 3 ¼ inches was a NCAA Di­vi­sion II pro­vi­sional mark and she fin­ished three inches ahead of the run­ner-up and 5 feet, 3 inches ahead of the third place fin­isher. It was Puglia’s third vic­tory of the win­ter, also win­ning at the Bi­son Open on Jan. 27-28 and the Or­ange & Ma­roon In­vi­ta­tional Jan. 21 in Selins­grove. KALI HEPNER (HAM­BURG) >> The Ship­pens­burg ju­nior fin­ished fourth in the pole vault at the PSAC In­door Track Cham­pi­onship Feb. 25-26 in Ed­in­boro. She cleared 11 feet, 8½ inches. Hepner set a ca­reer record when she fin­ished first at the Kutz­town 6 Team Qual­i­fier on Feb. 20 with a 16 foot ef­fort. She fin­ished sev­enth in the PSAC meet as a sopho­more (10-10 ¾) and sixth as a fresh­man (11-2 ¼). The Raiders won the team ti­tle with 115 points, four ahead of run­ner-up Blooms­burg.

BEN BORTZ (EX­ETER) >> Ben Bortz is in his fourth sea­son pitch­ing for the East Strouds­burg base­ball team and the 6-foot-1, 200-pound se­nior right-han­der fig­ures to see plenty of ac­tion on the mound this spring.

Bortz, from Read­ing (Ex­eter Town­ship), has al­ready pitched in two games for the 5-3 War­riors and has picked up a save, that com­ing on a 3-1 vic­tory over Post on Feb. 19 in Holly Springs, N.C. He’s worked 2.1 in­nings and given up three hits, no runs and one walk with five strike­outs. He en­tered this sea­son hav­ing pitched 41 games with just two starts with a 7-2 record.

“Ben pro­vides se­nior lead­er­ship and he un­der­stands what we ex­pect from our pitch­ing staff,” head coach John Kochman­sky said. “He is a pitcher who can en­ter in the fourth or fifth in­ning or fin­ish a game.”

The coach feels that Bortz could be a work­horse in his fi­nal year with the team.

“We ex­pect Ben to pitch any­where from one to three or four in­nings in re­lief and be ef­fec­tive,” Kochman­sky said. “He can throw mul­ti­ple pitches for strikes and can gather strike­outs.” XAVIER SMITH (DANIEL BOONE) >> The ju­nior sprinter will be one of six Penn State men headed to Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas, next week­end to com­pete in the NCAA Di­vi­sion I In­door Track Cham­pi­onships. Smith is a mem­ber of the 4x400 re­lay that cap­tured the Big Ten ti­tle with a time of 3:04.80 on Feb. 25 in Geneva, OH. He will run the se­cond leg, the team rated fourth on the NCAA per­for­mance list. Smith just missed out on be­ing in the top 16 in the 60 me­ter and 200 me­ter dashes. He missed the 60 by .01 se­cond and the 200 by .24 sec­onds. He fin­ished first in the 60 and fourth in the 200 at the Big


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