---- — By The Daily Item
LANCASTER -- Franklin & Marshall College's 4x800-meter relay team of Bryan Andrews, Derek Pawlush and Lewisburg High graduates Greg and Luk Olenginski captured first place to lead the Diplomats at the Centennial Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted last weekend by Ursinus.
The Diplomats totaled 28 points to finish seventh in the nine-team field. Andrews, Pawlush and the Olenginski brothers crossed the finish line in 7 minutes, 57.16 seconds to nab gold, giving F&M the top spot in the 4x800 for the second straight year. The Diplomats return to action on Friday, March 8 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Naperville, Ill.
Pawlush was a member of the Trinity team which competed against Lewisburg in the state meet in the brothers' senior season.
They have both decided to major in biochemistry and molecular biology, according to their father, Dr. Thomas Olenginski.
Lessard to nationals: Susquehanna senior swimmer Devin Lessard is heading to the Division III NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
Lessard will compete in the 200 fly as she qualified eighth among DIII swimmers with her DIII A-cut time of 2:04.35 at the Ithaca Invitational on Feb. 16. She is the first SU female swimmer to qualify for and compete at nationals since Christie Savard did so her junior season (2009-10).
The championships will take place from March 20-23 at the Conroe Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. Lessard's event is schedule for the start of the day on Friday, March 22.
Lessard and the Crusaders capped off her senior season by winning their third-straight Landmark Conference title, after which Lessard was named the Landmark Conference Female Swimmer of the Year for the third-straight season.
At that championship meet, Lessard won the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly and was a member of the winning 200 and 400 medley and 400 and 800 free relay teams.
Huskies still ranked: The Bloomsburg University wrestling team ended the season ranked 15th in the final USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches poll. Individually six wrestlers are ranked nationally according to several polls.
The Huskies finished the year with a record of 17-3, while going 4-0 in the Eastern Wrestling League and claiming its first outright EWL Dual Meet title in school history.
Starting the year unranked the Huskies climbed up through the rankings knocking off three top-20 opponents (Maryland, Pitt and Edinboro) during the season. Bloomsburg was as high as No. 14 in the rankings, but dropped to 16th last week after a loss.
Six wrestlers are also ranked nationally according to three polls: Amateur Wrestling News (AWN); Intermat (IM) and the Wrestling Report (WR)
Junior Josh Veltre at 165 pounds is the highest ranked of the Huskies coming in at No. 10 according to the Wrestling Report. Veltre is 29-5 on the season and has won 21 straight matches. He is also ranked 11th by AWN and IM.
Senior Frank Hickman, at 157 pounds, is 24-4 on the season and is ranked No. 11 by Intermat and 12th by AWN and WR. Hickman needs one more win to reach 100 victories for his career.
Other ranked wrestlers for the Huskies are Nick Wilcox (133); Josh Roosa (149); Richard Perry (197); and Justin Grant (285).
The Huskies will be in action on March 9 at the EWL championships at Edinboro.
Ex-Seal competes in Big East: Alec Sheaffer, of Port Trevorton, a 2011 graduate of Selinsgrove Area High School, is competing through Saturday at the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis. A red-shirt freshman diver on the University of Pittsburgh squad, she is competing on the 1-meter board, 3- meter board and on the platform. Alec is in her second year of diving, after switching to the sport from gymnastics.
Darragh replaces Hale: Paul Darragh, the Bloomsburg defensive coordinator the last 16 years, has succeeded recently retired head football coach Danny Hale on an interim basis for the 2013 season. In addition, staff member Chet Henicle will take over as defensive coordinator.
he interim head football coach for the 2013 season, while Chet Henicle has been named the interim defensive coordinator following the retirement of Danny Hale.
Under Darragh's leadership the Huskies' defense has ranked in the top-half of the PSAC in total defense seven of the past 11 seasons, including back-to-back second place finishes in 2000 and 2001 and a second place in 2009. The Huskies have also ranked among the best in the PSAC in run defense finishing first or second five times, including second in two of the last four seasons.
Henicle starts his 10th season at Bloomsburg in 2013, having served as the coach of the defensive secondary as well as the recruiting and video coordinator.
Wrestlers prep Regionals: After winning four of the team's last six dual meets, the Lycoming College wrestling team enters the postseason on a high note, with two 20-match winners set to lead the team during the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Tournament on Saturday at Ohio Northern University's Sports Center.
The Warriors will fight through a brutal one-day, 16-team tournament that includes three ranked teams -- No. 15 York (Pa.), No. 19 Messiah and No. 26 Ohio Northern. The top three finishers in each of the 10 weight classes will earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 15-16.
Among the Warriors leading the team are 20-match winner Brian Watkins (20-10), a Southern Columbia grad, at 157 pounds, and freshman 149-pounder Matt Neff (14-20), a two-time state qualifier for Shikellamy High.
The brackets will be announced tonight and the tournament will get under way at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Crusaders honored: The Susquehanna indoor track and field team picked up several post-season honors by the Landmark Conference.
Kwane Hayle (60 and 200 meters) was named men's track Athlete of the Year as well as men's Rookie of the Year and Ashley West (800 and mile) won the same two awards on the women's side.
In addition, Lewisburg High graduate Ryan Lopes was named to the men's first-team All-Landmark Conference for the 400 meters as well as a member of the 4x400 relay team; Southern Columbia grad Ken Schetroma was first team in the shot put and weight throw and, for the women, Selinsgrove grad Cameron Weaver was first-team in the shot put.