Content u of r spring sports lates recaps from u of r website from Scott and Ari below

u of r spring sports lates recaps from u of r website from Scott and Ari below

Three Selected to CSC Academic All-District Team

5/28/2024 12:05:00 PM

By: Ari Ross, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications

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University of Rochester softball graduate infielder Hannah Keiper, junior infielder/outfielder Savannah Nowak and sophomore outfielder Jensen Sminchakearned College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District® honors, as announced by CSC on Tuesday.

The 2023-24 CSC Academic All-District® Softball Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore academically and athletically, have at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average and must have competed in at least 90 percent or must have started at least 66 percent of an institution’s contests.

A four-time All-Liberty League selection and a two-year team captain, Keiper capped off her five-year career with First-Team All-Liberty League and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Third-Team All-Region honors, helping the Yellowjackets to their fourth-straight Liberty League crown. Keiper appeared in and started 39 games, batting .310/.463/.480 with eight doubles, three home runs, a team-high 25 walks, 31 runs scored and 25 RBI. Keiper also helped the ‘Jackets turn a program-record 25 double plays this season and ranks as UR’s all-time leader in both walks and double plays turned.

Away from the diamond, Keiper is a four-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree and a 2023 Lysle ‘Spike’ Garnish Scholar-Athlete and was the co-winner of UR’s Sylvia Fabricant Award in 2023. Keiper also earned All-District honors in 2023 and was a CoSIDA First-Team All-District selection in 2022, and is a Forté Fellow, a prestigious, competitive award that is recognized within the business school community. Additionally, Keiper previously interned with USA Softball and will be interning this summer as an Associate Brand Marketing Manager MBA Intern with Keurig Dr. Pepper.

Nowak wrapped up her sophomore campaign batting .390 (23-for-59), making 33 appearances and 32 starts at second base and shortstop for the Yellowjackets. Nowak tallied 18 runs scored and drove in four, drawing three walks and striking out just twice, while going six-for-seven in stolen base attempts. The junior also laid down five sacrifice bunts, while defensively, helped turn eight double plays and made 59 put-outs.

A two-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree, Nowak is majoring in business analytics with a minor in computer science. Off the field, Nowak is a member of UR’s VSAAC, and has TAed for both Principles of Economics and Introduction to Marketing. Previously, Nowak interned with the Rochester Red Wings and the Cotuit Kettleers, and this summer, she’ll intern at OceanFirst Bank as a Data Management Intern. The Wyckoff, NJ native is also very active in her community back home, volunteering at Sandy Gordon’s All Girls Basketball Camp at her local church, helping run Vacation Bible School.

Sminchak appeared in 37 games, making 31 starts for the Yellowjackets, slashing .293/.330/.354 with five doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBI. The Euclid, OH native walked five times and stole eight bases in nine attempts, striking out just 10 times, and improved as the season went on, batting .423/.455/.450 in conference play. Defensively, Sminchak was also impressive, making just one error in centerfield while tallying 45 put-outs and several highlight-reel catches. While for her efforts at Medford Regional, Sminchak was also named to the All-Regional Team.

Off the field, Sminchak, a chemical engineering major, is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the American Insitute of Chemical Engineers and UR’s chapter of Morgan’s Message. The sophomore will TA for CHEM 131 this fall, and has previously received both Dean’s List and Liberty League All-Academic honors, as well as the George Eastman Young Leaders Award. Last summer, Sminchak was a co-op/intern at Performed Line Products, while this summer, Sminchak got matched to the DAAD RISE Germany Internship/Scholarship, allowing her to go abroad to Ulm University for Photochemical Reaction Engineering for Sustainability and the Energy Transition.

Academic All-District selections will be evaluated by a sub-committee and advanced to the national, All-America ballot, to be voted on by CSC members within their respective divisions.

The CSC Academic All-America® program separately recognizes softball honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

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UR Secures Two Top-4 Finishes, Ends 11th at Outdoor NCAA’s

5/25/2024 11:15:00 PM

By: Scott Sabocheck, Director of Athletic Communications

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC – The University of Rochester women’s track and field team secured a pair of top-4 results and completed the best season ever in team history on Saturday, competing at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

The UR 4×400 meter relay team of seniors Madeline O’Connell and Kate Isaac, first-year Nora Chen and junior Megan Bell closed out the day with a third place result in the final event of the competition. Earlier in the day Bell also competed in the 800 meter finals and ran to a school record time and fourth place finish.

As a team, Rochester used points from Saturday’s action, along with five from O’Connell’s fourth place pole vault result on Thursday to secure 16 total points in the meet. That total put the Yellowjackets in a tie for 11th among 83 teams that scored a point over the three day meet. UR’s team finish is the best ever at the outdoor national championships, eclipsing the previous-best 12th place team finish set back in 1986.

Rochester’s relay squad was locked in a tight battle throughout its race on Saturday, with O’Connell leading off the race. After holding the lead for most of her leg, UR ended the opening 400 meters in second place to MIT. O’Connell handed off to Isaac who held a brief lead on the second leg before ultimately finishing off her leg also in second, just fractions of second behind MIT.

Megan Bell 800 meter Trophy
Bell showing off her 800 meter hardware.

The second handoff was from Isaac to Chen who saw Williams College take the lead, with MIT dropping back a spot to third. During the anchor leg, Bell received the baton and was in close with a slew of teams, taking a lead on the backstretch and through the final turn.

But a strong final kick from eventual champion Washington-St. Louis, and a resurgent MIT team sprinted past during the final stretch to put the Yellowjackets in third overall with a time of 3:45.40. UR ended less than a second off the winning pace of WashU.

The relay squad continues a strong run of success in that event both at the indoor and outdoor Division III nationals. Rochester was runner-up outdoors last year and has finished in the top-6 four times in a row including 2024. During the indoor campaign this March, the ‘Jackets won their second straight NCAA Division III title and have placed in the top-5 three straight seasons.

Earlier in the day, in the finals of the 800 meters, Bell clocked in with a time of 2:09.03, breaking her own school record in the process. Bell’s previous personal-best time was her NCAA qualifying time of 2:09.56 set a month ago at the Rochester Spring Twilight.

She entered the week as the 11th seed in the 22-runner field, and qualified for the finals by winning her heat and posting a time of 2:11.09 in the Friday evening preliminaries.

In Bell’s first final on Saturday, the junior was among the top-3 throughout most of the two laps, sitting a close third after the opening 400 meters running a 1:02.52 split. Rounding the final turn, Bell was neck-and-neck with eventual runner-up Danielle Schultz of WashU, but a late kick from behind by Goucher’s Tanise Thronton-Fillyaw dropped Bell one spot further back.

Bell’s finish in the 800 meters is a new record result at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships by a Yellowjacket women’s track and field runner. The previous best was Katherine O’Brien’s fifth place finish at nationals back in the 2004 outdoor season.

The fourth place trophy also earns Bell All-America honors for the second time as an individual in the 800 meters this track and field season, as she also ended the indoor season in the top-8, placing sixth at NCAA’s.

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