Injury-plagued Towson takes hits in gymnastics

Losses are 1st of season

squad down to 7 from 11

State notebook

Colleges

January 24, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Injuries are depleting the Towson women's gymnastics team, contributing to the Tigers' recent pair of upset losses.

So where does coach Dick Filbert and his 4-2 team go from here?

"We'll keep plugging away," said Filbert, whose Tigers were surprised at Sacramento (Calif.) State this past weekend after losing to Rutgers last week for only the second time in 19 meets.

"We would have probably won that meet out west if we hadn't lost two freshmen, Jamie McDonald and Julija Kovaliova, to ankle injuries in the Rutgers meet."

Towson is down to seven gymnasts from the 11 who started the season. McDonald, who injured her ankle during a floor-exercise routine, is most likely lost for the season.

But there is hope that Kovaliova can return to action in about two weeks. She suffered her injury on a dismount from the beam.

McDonald and Kovaliova were pulled from the Rutgers tri-meet, leaving Towson short-handed for the final two rotations.

"We only have four instead of five people available for the floor exercises now," said Filbert. "That means we can't throw away our lowest score, which really hurts."

It also puts more pressure on junior all-around standouts Jenn Baierlein and Kristen Presutti to perform at the highest level. They did just that against Rutgers, both recording career-high scores.

Presutti won the all-around with 39.35 points, and Baierlein was second with 39.30. Baierlein was the East Atlantic Gymnastics League gymnast of the week two weeks ago.

Towson has an opportunity to regroup Saturday at 1 p.m. when it plays host to defending EAGL champion West Virginia. The Tigers have not beaten the Mountaineers in a dual meet since 1994.

Terps standouts

Maryland shortstop John McCurdy has been named the No. 1 collegiate prospect in the state for the 2002 Major League Baseball amateur draft, and right-handed pitcher Todd Ainsworth is the state's No. 3 prospect.

The preseason ratings were done by Prospects Plus, a national publication that is a joint venture of Baseball America and Perfect Game USA.

McCurdy, a junior, batted .300 last season, with six home runs and 32 RBIs. He led the team with 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

Ainsworth, also a junior, is a hard thrower who is trying to bounce back from "Tommy John" reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. He had a 3-3 record last year, with a 6.12 ERA.

Maryland begins practice tomorrow and will open the season Feb. 15 against James Madison in the Charleston (S.C.) Crab House Shootout.

Tough in tournaments

Villa Julie may not have an impressive basketball record (8-9), but the Greenspring Valley Road school has used the outstanding play of senior captain Ryan Hubbard, sophomore swing man Chad Gibson, and freshman forward Wade Henninger to win two tournaments at home this season.

Villa Julie rallied from 21 points down to beat Chowan in the VJC tourney, with Hubbard being named MVP. The Mustangs also came from nine points down to defeat Kean in the Legg Mason tournament championship game.

Hubbard is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds, Gibson is averaging 15 points and five rebounds a game and Henninger has a 10-points-a-game average while pulling down six rebounds a game.

Boost from McIntire

Sophomore guard Toby McIntire is creating a stir for the Western Maryland women's basketball team, leading the team in steals with 56 and having a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

McIntire, who prepped at St. Mary's of Annapolis, is averaging 6.7 points and 2.7 assists a game. She's shooting 74.5 percent from the free-throw line, 47.5 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three-point range.

She and the Terror (12-4, 5-2) will meet Muhlenberg (13-1, 5-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday in an important Centennial Conference game at the Gill Center on the Western Maryland campus.

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