Wittenberg Winter Sports Student-Athletes And Coaches Claim 29 Conference Postseason Awards

Jim Smith

Jim Smith, NCAC Men's Diving Coach of the Year

Erik Larkin

Erik Larkin, NCAC Indoor Field Events Athlete of the Year

Springfield, Ohio — An historic 2008-09 winter sports season wrapped up for the Wittenberg University Tigers over the last two weeks as the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) awarded 29 Wittenberg student-athletes and coaches with postseason honors. 

Three Wittenberg student-athletes were selected to the men's and women's basketball All-NCAC teams, while the swimming and diving teams had banner years, combining for 12 all-conference athletes and an NCAC Coach of the Year at the conference championship meet Feb. 12-14. The men's and women's indoor track and field squads added 13 All-NCAC performers based on their finishes in the conference championship meet March 6-7.

The Tiger women's basketball team landed in fifth in the NCAC regular season standings with a 9-7 record and wrapped up the season with an overall mark of 14-12.

Post Stephanie Boardman, class of 2010 from Cincinnati, Ohio, received recognition on the first-team All-NCAC as the conference's second-leading scorer. Boardman also finished among the league leaders in field goal percentage and rebounding. The award accompanied a second-team nod from a year ago.

Also making the postseason honor roll was wing Carrie Dyer, class of 2010 from Copley, Ohio, who picked up her second All-NCAC honor in as many seasons with a second-team selection to add to her honorable mention award from 2007-08. Dyer helped carry the Tiger offense as the second leading scorer while crashing the boards as one of the team leaders. (Women's Basketball All-NCAC Press Release)

The Tiger men's basketball team wound up with records of 13-13 overall and 9-7 in the NCAC, good for a fourth-place tie with Kenyon. Wing Kevin Murray, class of 2009 from Carmel, Ind., earned a second team nod after leading the team in scoring and rebounding. (Men's Basketball All-NCAC Press Release)

Track and swimming athletes earn All-NCAC recognition with a top-three finish in the NCAC championship meets.

In swimming and diving, the Tiger men moved up to third place - their best NCAC finish in program history - while the Tiger women jumped up a spot from last season, climbing to fifth.

A year after not placing anyone on the All-NCAC squad, Head Coach Natalie Koukis guided seven Tiger men to postseason conference honors as three juniors, three sophomores and a freshman took top-three finishes in the 200- and 800-yard freestyle relays.

The 200 free relay contingent included Zachary Stewart, class of 2011 from Vincennes, Ind., Taylor Smith, class of 2010 from Mansfield, Ohio, Matt Higbee, class of 2011 from Columbus, Ohio, and Bobby Ritzi, class of 2010 from Beavercreek, Ohio. Stewart also took part in the third-place 800 free relay, joining Matt Parker, class of 2012 from Delaware, Ohio, Chris Culkin, class of 2011 from Novi, Mich., and Neil Anderson, class of 2010 from Lakewood, Ohio.

For the women's squad, a total of five Tigers landed All-NCAC honors, including two individual performers.

Megan Shubitowski, class of 2011 from Columbus, Ohio, earned her second diving All-NCAC honor in as many years as she captured third place in the 3-meter competition. For his work with the diving teams, Jim Smith was named NCAC Men's Diving Coach of the Year.

All-NCAC honors also went to the 800 free relay foursome of Cecilia Wille, class of 2012 from Knoxville, Tenn., Rachel Lee, class of 2012 from Hickory, N.C., Kristin Elber, class of 2010 from Brunswick, Ohio, and Adeline Brym, class of 2010 from Mansfield, Ohio, which finished third in 7:52.17.

Brym rounded things out with a second-place finish in the 200 backstroke, taking an NCAA 'A' cut in the process with a time of 2:04.05. Despite a host of school records and NCAA 'B' cut times, Brym wound up the only Tiger to qualify for the national championship meet later this month. (Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving All-NCAC Press Release)

In indoor track and field, the Tiger men finished sixth and the Tiger women finished fourth with five and eight all-conference performers, respectively.

The men's team received a lift from three-time All-NCAC performer Erik Larkin, class of 2009 from Cincinnati, Ohio. Named NCAC Field Events Athlete of the Year, Larkin won the long jump, placed second in the triple jump while setting a school record, and took third in the high jump.

The 4x400 meter relay took third with the combination of Manny Lamarre, class of 2009 from Miami, Fla., Mark King, class of 2009 from Indianapolis, Ind., Jimmy Thinnes, class of 2009 from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mohamed Mansaray, class of 2012 from Old Bridge, N.J.

The women's 4x400 relay also took All-NCAC honors with a third-place finish in a race run by Samantha Iden, class of 2012 from Pickerington, Ohio, Catherine Kuerbitz, class of 2012 from Cleveland, Ohio, Jordan Stafford, class of 2012 from Greenon, Ohio, and Meredith Kirby, class of 2012 from Williamsville, N.Y. Kirby and Kuerbitz also competed on the second-place 4x200 relay that included Tim'ara Gandy, class of 2012 from Youngstown, Ohio, and Kari Domiano, class of 2012 from Dublin, Ohio.

Rounding things out, Evianne van de Zande, class of 2012 from Zierikzee, The Netherlands, took third place in the high jump, and Kaitlyn Wesseler, class of 2011 from Huber Heights, Ohio, took an identical finish in the pole vault. (Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field All-NCAC Press Release)

Written By: Ben Bradley