Twenty-five Wittenberg Athletes, Two Coaches Earn Winter Postseason Honors

NCAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Sprinter/Hurdler of the Year Demetrius Ellison

NCAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Sprinter/Hurdler of the Year Demetrius Ellison

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - A banner winter sports season has reaped tangible rewards for 25 Wittenberg University athletes and two coaches who earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference awards. Announcements for men's and women's basketball came in separate releases from the NCAC office last week. Individual finishes at conference championship events in recent weeks determined all-conference selections in men's and women's swimming and diving and men's and women's indoor track and field.

The list of honorees starts with NCAC Coach of the Year honors that were distributed to Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Head Coach Leslie Ramsey and Women's Basketball Head Coach Pam Smith. Ramsey earned her first such conference award after guiding her young women's team to fourth place with a school-record point total in the loaded NCAC championship meet. Smith grabbed the honor in her sport for the fifth time in her career after leading her team to a perfect 16-0 NCAC record, a conference tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Leading the list of athlete honors is junior Demetrius Ellison (Cleveland, Ohio/Garfield Heights Trinity), who was named NCAC Indoor Track and Field Sprinter/Hurdler of the Year for his tremendous performance in the conference meet last weekend at Denison. In leading the Tigers to a second-place finish in the meet for a second consecutive year, Ellison finished first in the 200- and 400-meter races, placed second in the 55-meter race and anchored the Tigers' winning 800-meter relay.

Ellison was one of four Tiger men's track athletes to claim first place in the meet, not including the four individuals on the relay. Also claiming blue ribbons were sophomore Joe Rumschlag (Maumee, Ohio/Toledo Christian), who was first in the long jump, senior Joel Drake (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee), who captured top honors in the shot put, and junior Skip Ivery (Columbus, Ohio/Groveport-Madison), who defended his 55-meter hurdles title. Ivery has the added distinction of being the lone Tiger track athlete to advance to this weekend's NCAA Division III Championship meet at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.

Track and field athletes earn All-NCAC honors with a top-three finish in an individual event. Along with the aforementioned individuals, freshman Matt Locke (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) and senior Mark Trempe (Springfield, Ohio/St. Paris Graham) were members of the victorious relay, and sophomore Clyde Mayer (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) placed third in the shot put. On the women's side, the Tigers were led to a fourth-place finish by junior Kristen Mumper (Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian), who placed second in the long jump, high jump and 400-meter race, senior Amanda Young (London, Ohio/London), who tied for second in the high jump, and freshman Anna Finkelstein (Whitehall, Mich./Reeths-Puffer), sophomore Marissa Davoll (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) and sophomore Tina Valerius (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mt. Notre Dame), who joined Mumper on the first-place 1600-meter relay team. In addition, junior Kelly Zilli (Dayton, Ohio/Kettering Alter) earned all-conference honors as she finished third in the 800 meters.

Swimming and diving athletes also earn All-NCAC honors with a top-three finish in an individual event. Junior Steve Rader (Painesville, Ohio/Cleveland St. Ignatius) finished second in the 200-yard Individual Medley to record the lone individual honor on the men's side. In addition, three Tiger men's relays claimed top-three finishes. Earning All-NCAC honors that way were Rader, junior Scott Olmsted (Castle Rock, Colo./Cherry Creek), junior Alex Berger (Findlay, Ohio/Findlay), junior Matt Werbach (Painesville, Ohio/Gates Mills Hawken) and junior Jonathan Newcomer (Valencia, Pa./Mars Area). Rader has advanced to the NCAA Division III championship meet next weekend in Atlanta, Ga.

On the women's side, two individuals earned all-conference awards. Freshman Rebecca Searcy (Shelbyville, Ky./Shelby County Bloomington) finished third in the 400-yard Individual Medley in a school-record time of 4:36.63. Sophomore Catherine Gray (Ft. Thomas, Ky./Highlands) claimed a third-place finish in the three-meter diving competition to earn All-NCAC honors in her first meet in the Red & White. Searcy has advanced to compete in this weekend's NCAA Division III championship meet in Atlanta, Ga.

Rounding things out this winter were outstanding finishes for the men's and women's basketball teams. The Tiger women finished 24-5 overall and 16-0 in the NCAC. To the victors go the spoils, and senior guards Kate Rolf (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Carroll) and Stephanie Campbell (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) were named to the All-NCAC first team. It was Rolf's third straight first-team selection. Senior forward Tiffany Keller (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw) made All-NCAC second team as well.

On the men's side, Wittenberg finished 20-6 overall and 14-2 in the NCAC, good for second place. Senior center B.J. Harris (Riverside, Ohio/Stebbins) made first-team All-NCAC for a second straight year. Senior forward Kevin Longley (Vandalia, Ohio/Butler) made second-team All-NCAC for a third consecutive year.

All-America awards will be determined for men's and women's swimming and diving and men's and women's track and field by finishes at the national competitions. Selections for men's and women's basketball have not been announced yet.