Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, February 27, 2005
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Men Pull Out Second, Women Edged for Title
Women’s Tennis Falls at TCNJ

The College of New Jersey women’s tennis team swept the doubles and split the singles to defeat Muhlenberg, 6-3, giving the Mules a split in their season-opening weekend.

Junior Amy Schmidt was impressive at No. 1 singles, scoring a 6-1, 6-0 victory against a TCNJ player who reached the semifinals of the ITA Northeast Regional in the fall.

Freshman Ashley Reed and sophomore Kelly Fraser needed three sets to win their singles matches, with Reed winning 12-10 in a supertiebreaker.

The undefeated Lions (8-0), who made the NCAA Tournament last year, played their conference season in the fall and won their first six matches by 9-0 shutouts.

Click here for box score.

On the same day as the Academy Awards were given out, the Centennial Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships had enough drama, controversy, tears and plot twists to rival the Best Picture nominees.

And the winners were ... Dickinson and Haverford, with Muhlenberg earning the runner-up spots.

The Muhlenberg women had a half-point lead heading into the final race,
Jason Finkelstein
Junior Jason Finkelstein ran on all four relay teams, two of which finished third. The 4x800 and DMR posted ECAC-qualifying times.
the 4x400-meter relay, but could only manage a fourth-place finish while host Dickinson crossed the line second to capture the championship by 2½ points. The Mule men, on the other hand, defeated Dickinson by two places in the 4x400 to finish a half-point ahead of the Red Devils in the race for second place.

The women’s second-place finish was their best ever at a conference championship, topping the third-place indoor showing of the 1994 team. The men were second for the third time in four years.

“That is unbelievable, considering that Dickinson is a great team,” said sophomore Stephen Rothwell, who had a sensational meet. “Second was the best we could ask for. Everyone really pulled through.”

Rothwell did a lot of the pulling, as he ran five races of 400 meters or longer and placed fourth or higher in all. Seeded seventh in the 800 meters, he came down the final stretch neck-in-neck with two other runners and cross the finish line second, just eight one-hundredths of a second off the pace.

Also earning a silver medal – his second of the meet – was senior John Brodowski in the high jump. Freshman Joel Haddock won a bronze in the triple.

The women, who began the day 14 points out of first place, took a 14-point lead with three events to go, but a strong Dickinson showing in the 5,000 meters set the stage for the meet to come down to the final relay.

That was after a strange sequence of events involving the Mules’ lone individual gold medal of the meet. On the second-to-last turn in the 400 meters, junior Danielle Seiler was passing front-running Giselle Joseph of Johns Hopkins when Joseph’s backstride hit Seiler in the thigh, causing the Hopkins runner to fall down. Seiler went on to win easily, but after Johns Hopkins filed a protest, she was disqualified.

Muhlenberg protested the reversal, and after a conference of the Games Committee the original order of finish was restored, giving Seiler her fourth career individual CC gold.

“I was kind of in shock about the whole thing, and I was worried because we needed those team points,” commented Seiler. “But I tried to put it out of my head because I had to get ready for my next race.”

The day started on a positive note for Muhlenberg, which got school-record performances by senior Ashlie Hankee in the 55 hurdles and the 4x800 relay team in the first two events. Hankee, freshman Jenna Lombardi (55 meters) and sophomore Jacquelyn Inverso (triple jump) all won silver medals.

Although the close loss left many team members disappointed, the Mules will have another chance to go for the championship in more familiar surroundings when they host the CC outdoor meet in May.

“We all need to be happy,” said Seiler. “This is the highest place we’ve ever gotten, and it’s amazing that we got this close and were in a position to win it.”

Click here for Muhlenberg highlights.
Click here for complete results.

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Last updated February 27, 2005