Rowland proving to be a class act at Towson
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Ernie Choi helped lead his University of Illinois Orange D-III team to the championship of the NCVF National Collegiate Club Volleyball championships in Dallas, Texas.
Suffice it to say, Towson University junior swimmer Melanie Rowland isn't only concentrating on her work in the water.
The junior swimmer and graduate of Vernon Hills High School has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Women's Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete.
The CAA honors one scholar-athlete in each of its 22 championship sports. Nominees for the award must be a starter or important reserve on her team and must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.25. Rowland, a double major in family science and psychology, holds a 3.89 grade-point average.
"Melanie truly is the full package as a student-athlete," Towson head coach Pat Mead said on the school's website. "She has demonstrated year after year that she takes her academics very seriously. It is a point of pride for our program.
"We want student-athletes who are very curious about their academics as well as someone who is very curious about being the best in their sport. Melanie has taken that to the highest level. She is a great role model for our team. I'm very proud of her and she worked very, very hard to earn this award."
At the CAA Championships, Rowland scored the sixth-most points (49) in the meet among dozens of participants.
She swam a leg on the Tigers' winning 800-yard freestyle relay team, placed second in the 200 butterfly with a NCAA B cut time of 1:59.06, finished third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.73 and was third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:50.57.
Rowland earned honorable mention Scholar All-America honors multiple times from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America and is also a three-time CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient.
She is also the first woman in the history of Towson's program to qualify for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, in which she competed in late June in the 200-meter butterfly.
Selected as a team captain last season, Rowland in part holds two Tiger relay records in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle events. She swam the second-fastest time in school history in the 200-yard butterfly earlier this season in 1:57.89.
Carmel two-sport standout Grant Stredler has announced he will play football for Augustana.
The 6-foot-1 215-pound Stredler logged time at defensive end, nose guard, fullback and long snapper at Carmel, where he was a two-year letter winner for Coach Andy Bitto.
As a senior, he was the leading tackler on the Corsairs' defensive line with 57 stops, including 30 solo and 5 for loss. He also recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
Stredler started as a junior as well, finishing sixth on the team in tackles and recording two sacks and a blocked punt.
Stredler also earned three varsity hockey letters for the Corsairs, whose head coach is former NHL player Mike Rucinski.
• Buffalo Grove senior A.J. Wright will also play football at Augustana.
The 5-foot-11, 250-pound Wright was a two-year letter winner for coach Mike DiMatteo's Bison. He played on the offensive and defensive lines.
Wright was also a three-year letter winner and an all-Mid-Suburban League shot putter for coach Kyle Pichik in track and field.
Right side hitter Ernie Choi (Vernon Hills) helped lead his University of Illinois Orange D-III team to the championship of the NCVF National Collegiate Club Volleyball championships in Dallas, Texas.
Choi was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament and a D-III All-American.
Augustana freshman Emily Handrahan (Lake Zurich) had the assist for the winning goal in a dramatic last-second 10-9 win over Carthage.
Augustana is currently 8-3 overall and 4-0 in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference.
Sophomore Gina Filippo (Libertyville) leads the Vikings with 19 ground balls and ranks second with 17 caused turnovers.
Augustana senior lefty Rick Erickson (Lake Zurich) is leading the Vikings bullpen with a 2-0 record, 3 saves and 3.18 ERA in five appearances.
Senior Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central) has been one of the offensive leaders for the Vikings. Schmidt is batting .427 and leads the club with 7 doubles, 22 RBI, 45 total bases and a .549 slugging percentage and 9 stolen bases.
The George Verber Charity Golf Outing will be held Monday at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills to celebrate the life of the longtime area coach and to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Verber, who died from leukemia on Jan. 22, was the assistant to Maine South coach Quitman Sullins when the Hawks won the 1979 Class AA state title.
Verber went on to become the head coach at Maine West for three seasons and led the Warriors to a conference championship in the 1981-82 season.
A longtime Arlington Heights resident, Verber also served as a head basketball coach at Maine South and coached baseball for many years.
The golf outing will be a shotgun start at 9 a.m. with a four-person scramble. Cost is $125 and includes range balls, on-course beverages, barbecue lunch and various prizes. Or you can pay $25 for lunch only.
Those interested are asked to RSVP by May 10.
For information contact Brad Verber at (773) 814-4242.
• Please email Sports Notes items to firstname.lastname@example.org or FAX to (847) 427-1173.
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