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updated: 12/16/2013 3:43 PM

Rowland's on a roll at Towson

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Going into this season, Melanie Rowland's most memorable experience at Towson University was winning the Colonial Athletic Association championships last year.

Now a senior, the former Vernon Hills swimming standout hopes to close out her career with a few more magical memories.

Rowland recently finished 19th in the 200-yard butterfly with a best untapered time of 1:58.65 at the USA Swimming/AT&T Winter national swimming championships at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

She will attempt to secure an invitation to the NCAA Division I championships during the CCA swimming championships Feb. 26 to March 1 at the University of Maryland.


Freshman pitcher Austin Foote (Lake Zurich) was named a recipient of Indiana University's November scholar-athlete of the month.

Foote was a direct admit to IU's Kelley School of Business.

"Austin came to IU with high expectations from his parents and coaches, and he has more than exceeded those expectations," said John Sare, IU academic advisor. "He is taking six classes this semester, all required general education and I-Core prerequisites."

Sare said Foote is on track to potentially score a 4.0 GPA in his first semester.

"Austin is courteous, respectful and engaging with a maturity beyond his years," Sare added. "He fulfills his athletics responsibility without issue or incident, making him a leader on the field among a large freshmen class. Austin typifies the ideal Indiana Student-Athlete: hardworking, productive, responsible and respectful."

Men's soccer

Two Carthage players were named National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region. Carthage junior forward Michael Dombrowski (Johnsburg) and junior midfielder Ryan Crane (Stevenson) were named National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region.

Dombrowski was second in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin for goals scored with 14 in 21 games.

Crane tied for fifth place in goals with six in 21 games. He also had 3 assists.

Dombrowski and Crane were both named second-team all-region. and NSCAA first-team All-Wisconsin, with Dombrowski also earning state "offensive player of the year" honors.

Carthage finished the season with a 13-7-1 record, finished second in the CCIW men's soccer tournament and was ranked third in the final NCAA Central Region poll.

• Illinois Wesleyan senior defender Declan Geraghty (Schaumburg)was named to the first team of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division III All-Central region squad.

Geraghty was a second-team all-region selection as a junior and earned third team honors as a sophomore. He capped off his career by earning first team honors for the fourth straight season on the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin all-conference men's soccer team.

Geraghty had 2 goals and 3 assists for 7 points for the Titans, who finished with a 9-8-2 overall record and a 3-4-0 mark in the CCIW. All three of his assists were in conference matches, tying him for second in the league.

• Carthage senior Billy Hamilton (St. Viator) was named to the fall 2013 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin/Jack Swartz all-academic list.

Hamilton was named second-team All-CCIW with 3 goals and 3 assists.

A double major in graphic design and public relations with a 3.889 cumulative grade-point average, he was named 2012 Capital One/CoSIDA academic All-District 6 and he was 2012 CCIW/Jack Swartz all-academic for the fall.

Hamilton has been named to the Carthage dean's list four times and is a four-semester member of the Carthage athletic director's honor roll.


Buffalo Grove High graduates Mario DiCarlo (freshman) and Richard Zirngibl were defensive backs for North Central College which went 13-1 this fall and won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. Making their first trip to the NCAA Division III semifinals, the Cardinals lost 41-40 to defending champion Mount Union (Ohio).

With their win over Bethel University (Minnesota), the Cardinals advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history and became the winningest team in school history.

• Winona State senior Matt Splon (Wheeling) recently completed his fourth season with the Warriors after playing all four years as a defensive back.

He was a safety and a cornerback and he also played on special teams.

Splon received NSIC All-Academic Awards for three years in a row (maintaining a 3.65 GPA) along with being named the special teams MVP his last two seasons.

This fall, he was the winner of the 'True Warrior Award' which goes to the player who epitomizes Warrior football and contributes the most on and off the field with honor, respect and class.

Despite a season-ending injury (broken leg) in the tenth game this year, Splon was the team's sixth-leading tackler. He will graduate next spring with a major in business administration and a minor in marketing.

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