Led By Skip Ivery's NCAA Track Title, Tigers Earn Regional, National Honors

Wittenberg Men's Track and Field Action Photo
Skip Ivery on the awards podium.

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - A banner sports season was capped off in dramatic fashion as junior Skip Ivery (Columbus, Ohio/Groveport-Madison) won the 110-meter high hurdles at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship Meet at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, May 22-24. Ivery became the second individual NCAA champion in Wittenberg sports history, following in the footsteps of Bob Cherry '64, who won a track and field individual championship his senior year.

Despite persistent rain and chilly temperatures, Ivery set a track record at St. Lawrence University's Merrick-Pinkard track with a time of 14.63. His win comes on the heels of his second-place finish in the 55-meter high hurdles at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at DePauw University in March.

Ivery was joined in earning All-America honors by junior Tim Gaal (Amanda, Ohio/Clearcreek), the North Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Field Events Athlete of the Year at the 2003 meet. Gaal, who was also a provisional NCAA qualifier in the decathlon but did not compete in the event, posted a throw of 197-1 in the javelin, earning him a second-place finish at the national meet.

Ivery's and Gaal's combined scores totaled 18 team points, placing Wittenberg in ninth place as a team in the nation, the program's highest finish ever in the men's outdoor track and field championships. It was the first outdoor track and field All-America designation for either athlete in their Wittenberg careers.

Wittenberg Men's Track and Field Action Photo
Tim Gaal at the NCAC Track Meet.

Senior softball outfielder Beth Walters (Westerville, Ohio/DeSales) and sophomore utility player Katie Carver (Enon, Ohio/Greenon) captured first-team All-Central Region honors after leading the team to a second-place finish in the NCAC regular season, the conference tournament championship and the first NCAA Division III Tournament win in school history. In addition, sophomore pitcher Norah Gillam (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) and junior outfielder Carmen Montgomery (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) were named to the second team and sophomore second baseman Katie Niemeyer (Findlay, Ohio/Findlay) made third-team all-region.

The men's tennis team advanced its second player in the last three years to the NCAA Tournament. Senior No. 1 player Casey Clagett (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Steamboat Springs), the 2002 NCAC Player of the Year and a two-time All-NCAC first-team selection, concluded his career with a first-round loss at the national tourney on May 17. He finished 22-10 on the season. By virtue of his Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Omni Hotels Central Region Singles Championship last fall, Clagett was accorded All-America status following the season.

Jenny Burns Head Shot
Women's Lacrosse All-American Jenny Burns.

In women's lacrosse, the Tigers came on strong to put together marks of 8-6 overall and a school-record 5-2 in the NCAC. Senior defender Cara Romanowski (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley), the Wittenberg record-holder for career goals scored after ramming home 54 more in 2003, and sophomore attacker Jenny Burns (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman), the No. 2 scorer in the NCAC with 62 total points, both were named first-team All-West Region. Junior defender Katie Babcock (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney), sophomore midfielder Rachel Ridgeway (Montclair, NJ/The Taft School) and senior goalkeeper Rebecca Russ (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart) all garnered second-team all-region honors.

In addition, Burns was named third-team All-America. It was the first such national honor in her career.

The Wittenberg baseball team finished with records of 17-22-1 overall and 4-12 in the NCAC West Division. Senior Ryan Born (Marion, Ohio/Pleasant), the team's leading hitter with a .411 batting average and 40 runs batted in, earned third-team All-Mideast Region honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association after earning first-team All-NCAC previously.