Ember burns hot in the pool

A college freshman made a splash (or nearly no splash)...

Ember Stennett (Barrington), a freshman diver on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County women’s swim team, was named diver of the meet at the America East Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Lexington, Va.

Stennett placed second on the 1-meter board Feb. 14 at the America East meet. Her total of 262.60 points in the preliminary round set a new Virginia Military Institute pool record until it was eclipsed in the finals.

The next day on the 3-meter board, Stennett won the competition with a score of 292.35. That broke a 12-year-old record for the AEC Championships. Stennett was the Retrievers’ first conference diving champion since 2017, the first at 3 meters since 2016.

She’s a veteran gymnast but just a fifth-year diver who took sixth on the 1-meter board at the 2022 Illinois High School Association meet with the Barrington Fillies.

Stennett’s results at the America East meet qualified her into the NCAA Division I Zone Diving Championships at Princeton on March 11-13.

Domenic Tarello (Libertyville), a forward and midfielder on the Lewis University men’s lacrosse team, earned a spot on the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division II Team of the Week for Feb. 19.

In a 14-5 win over Lake Erie College on Feb. 17 the Flyers junior scored a goal, picked up 5 ground balls and won 12 of 13 faceoffs.

California senior Andi Li (Waubonsie Valley) and Florida senior Ellie Lazzari (Wheaton North) were among 50 women’s college gymnasts nationwide nominated for the American Athletic, Inc. 2024 AAI Award presented to the top senior female gymnast in the country. Nominations by NCAA head coaches comprise the field.

In 2023 Li earned second-team NCAA All-American on uneven bars, first team All-American on bars by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association and second-team WCGA in all-around competition.

Lazzari, hampered by Achilles injuries her sophomore and junior seasons, was a 2021 WCGA first-team All-American and Southeastern Conference champion at her specialty, balance beam. She’s a three-time WCGA Scholastic All-American.

We minimize repeat College Achievers but sometimes it can’t be avoided. Northern Iowa sophomore Alexis Pupillo (Crystal Lake South) previously was mentioned as Softball America’s No. 3 ranked catcher and No. 45 player overall entering the season.

The Panthers’ 9-8 victory over Longwood University (Va.) provided an example for that high ranking. Pupillo went 3-for-5 with 2 home runs and 8 runs-batted in. She began with a 3-run double, hit a 2-run home run and added a 3-run home run, her fourth of the season, scoring the eventual game-winning run.

We may see her yet again.

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