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updated: 4/14/2014 12:17 PM

Rowland finishing strong at Towson

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  • Vernon Hills grad Melanie Rowland is finishing a standout collegiate performance as a student-athlete at Towson University.

       Vernon Hills grad Melanie Rowland is finishing a standout collegiate performance as a student-athlete at Towson University.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

Not only has Melanie Rowland closed out her swimming career in strong fashion at Towson University, but she has done the same in the classroom.

For the second consecutive year, the Vernon Hills High School graduate was named the Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award winner for women's swimming.

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The conference honors one scholar-athlete in each of its 21 championship sports.

Nominees for the award must be a starter or important reserve on their team and must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.25.

Rowland is a double major in family science and psychology.

She was a Capital One first-team Academic all-district selection in 2013 and received honorable mention Scholar All-America accolades from the CSCAA in addition to earning the CAA award last season.

"I'm so proud of Melanie for earning this award," Towson coach Pat Mead said in a release for the award. "I can't think of a higher award to earn. Melanie exemplifies all that our program strives to be."

As a senior, Rowland was the CAA champion in the 200-yard butterfly and set a meet record with a time of 1:56.36 while leading the Tigers to the 2014 CAA team championship.

She also placed third in the 200-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and was a member of the Tigers' CAA Champion 800 freestyle relay team, leading Towson to its sixth CAA championship in the past seven years.

Rowland qualified for the NCAA Championship, where she swam the second-fastest time in school history in the 100-yard butterfly (53.77). She also placed 22nd overall in the 200-yard butterfly (1:56.76).

"Melanie set some very high goals for herself this year, and she overachieved in every aspect to reach her goals," Mead added. "Her leadership in the classroom and on the pool deck will be missed tremendously. I am proud to have had the opportunity to be her coach the past four years and am confident she will accomplish great things in the next chapter of her life."

Men's track

North Central College freshman pole vaulter Nick Foley (Vernon Hills), a mathematics major, has been selected as an Academic All-CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) for the 2013-14 winter season.

The Cardinals won their 14th consecutive CCIW Indoor Championship.

Foley's personal bests for North Central College were 14-5.25 (on Feb. 28 at the CCIW Indoor meet) and 14-1.25 at the Wheaton College Invite.

Women's track

At the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Southern Illinois 4x800 relay squad broke a 26-year-old school record in the event.

With Kelley Gallagher (Vernpon Hills) running the second leg, the SIU relay finished third with a time of 8:54.38, which clocks in four seconds better than the previous record of 8:58.70 set in 1988.

The same members were also on last season's 4x1600 meter relay team that also broke a school record (20:06.75).

The squad will be looking to improve that time at the Drake Relays later this month.

Earlier in the meet, Gallagher ran a time of 4:36.93 in the 1500, just a second over her personal best time and she earned 14th place.

Women's lacrosse

• Augustana's Olivia Mayer (Libertyville) scored a goal just 49 seconds into the Vikings' 21-4 victory over Mount St.

Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. The win was the 11th straight victory for the undefeated Vikings who are now 5-0 in the MWLC

• Augustana's Gina Filippo (Libertyville) scored 2 goals and teammate Madi Stoneman (Libertvyille) scored 1 goal in the Vikings' 22-0 victory over Benedictine. The Vikings are 10-0 and 4-0 in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference.

• Augustana's Emily Handrahan (Lake Zurich) is tied for second in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference with 23 assists.

• Augustana's Maggie DelVecchio (Barrington) scored 2 goals in the Vikings' 22-0 victory over Benedictine. Patty Miller (Fremd) also had a goal for the Vikings, who are 10-0 and 4-0 in the MWLC.

OCD Charity Event

The Knocking Out OCD Home Run Hitting Derby in support of Beyond OCD.org, will be held under the lights at The Ballpark at Rosemont on Saturday, April 26, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Ballpark at Rosemont is one of the finest women's professional sports venues in the country, and this event will feature food, live music, games/contests, face painting, merchandise to purchase, and the live home run hitting derby, open to the public for participation.

All money raised will be donated to Beyond OCD, a local Chicago nonprofit that survives entirely on donations and volunteerism. For questions, contact Kurt Schuett at 847-477-7360

Wrestling

Former Palatine wrestler Josh Heffernan was recently named Ohio Capital Conference wrestling coach of the year.

Hefferan is the head wrestling coach at Delaware Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio.

He is also a former assistant wrestling coach at Palatine.

Hefferan wrestled at Ohio Oniversity, where he was a two-time team captain and made it to the NCAA finals in 1999. He also lettered in baseball at Ohio.

Heffernan directed the Delaware Hayes Pacers to a perfect OCC slate culminating in the program's first conference championship.

His team also advanced to its first state dual meet and saw three standouts advance to the individual state showcase.

"It's a good time to coach at Delaware," he said in a local newspaper article. "I wouldn't move for anything. Delaware is a winning community and everything is in place here to win championships. We have great numbers as one of the bigger Division I schools, a great talent pool to pick from, and we have a great mix of kids from all different walks of life, which creates teaching moments.

"And the administration is outstanding," Heffernan continued. "I've never been told I couldn't do something, just that it could take some time for it to happen."

• Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com.

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