INDIANA — Paige Mikesell (Clearfield) received the prestigious honor of being named 2018-19 Indiana University of Pennsylvania Women’s Freshman of the Year last week by the school’s athletic department.
It is one of 18 Crimson & Gray Awards instituted in 2017 to recognize the top athletes, coaches, teams and performances for Crimson Hawk men’s and women’s sports.
The Freshman of the Year Award, given to a true freshman or redshirt freshman with the best all-around season for a first-year college athlete, unofficially began in 2016 with fan voting.
After nominations are submitted to the IUP Sports Information Office by the head coaches, a select panel votes to determine the finalists before voting again to select the winners.
Mikesell began her rookie season with wins in six individual and four relay events as the Crimson Hawks got off to a 4-0 start in dual meets and went on to earn Most Valuable Performer laurels by accumulating 298 points.
Nine of her 13 top-three finishes in dual meets were victories.
At the 2019 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships, Mikesell established three new IUP freshman records and scored 145 combined points.
Her new marks were 55.75 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, 1:32.15 in the 200 freestyle and 2:06.39 in the 200 individual medley.
She also was on two relay teams that broke school records, swimming a 1:53.15 leadoff leg for the 800 freestyle foursome that posted a 7:34.18 at the PSAC Championships and a 54.97 butterfly leg for the 400 medley quartet that was clocked in 3:46.76 to place 13th at the NCAA Division II Championships to earn All-American Honorable Mention honors.
Junior Claire Mikesell (Clearfield) was one of three finalists for both the Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and the Women’s Performance of the Year Award.
She has a 3.82 cumulative Grade-Point Average in Health & Physical Education and became IUP’s first All-American First-Team women’s swimmer since 2014 by placing seventh in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Division II Championships.
Her efforts at nationals had her in the running for the second award as she broke the IUP record in the breaststroke by almost two full seconds with a time of 2:14.80 in the prelims, placing third to qualify for the finals, where she finished seventh in 2:15.57.
The winners were Crimson Hawk basketball players Ann Hollen (Scholar-Athlete of the Year) and Lauren Wolosik (Performance of the Year).
Hollen graduated with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA in exercise science after earning a second straight PSAC Women’s Basketball Champion Scholar Award.
Wolosik’s highlight game led the No. 1-ranked IUP team to a 97-73 win over PSAC West Division rival Edinboro Jan. 21, when she had a double-double with 33 points, tied for eighth in program history, and 10 assists while adding four steals, three rebounds and one blocked shot.
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SCRANTON — Freshman Bryce Timko (Curwensville) pitched in five games for Lackawanna College, which bowed out of the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series in two games to finish 32-17.
The left-hander worked 7-1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, six walks and six earned runs with four strikeouts.
The Falcons won the NJCAA Region XIX Tournament and Northeast District titles to advance to the national tourney.
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LAKELAND, Fla. — Junior outfielder Thomas Summers (Clearfield) made six appearances with one RBI for The Sun Conference regular-season champion Southeastern (Fla.) University.
The Fire, who were at or near the top of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes Coaches Poll most of the year, rolled to a 20-4 record against conference opponents but finished 1-2 in the championship tournament.
They won all three games in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round to earn the right to defend their 2018 championship in the 2019 NAIA World Series at Lewistown, Idaho, but were eliminated with a 2-2 record.
Southeastern wound up 53-10 overall.