Ithaca's Styczynski gets running start

River Hill athlete finishes on top for Div. III school



October 02, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Thanks in great part to Mike Styczynski, Ithaca College has established itself as one of the top NCAA Division III cross country programs in the nation these days.

Styczynski, a junior from River Hill in Howard County, has been the top finisher for the Bombers in nine consecutive races since the start of his sophomore year at the upstate New York school.

To accent his success even more, Styczynski has led all Ithaca runners across the finish line in 14 of the 17 meets he has participated in since he walked on campus.

But Styczynski wants more.

He hopes to make more of an impact on the national Division III scene, aiming for a top 35 finish this season in the NCAA championships. The former All-Metro Runner of the Year took 43rd place as a sophomore with his top 8-kilometer time of 25 minutes, 10 seconds last Nov. 17.

Ithaca College finished ninth of the 24 teams at the NCAAs last season, and the Bombers are ranked No. 7 in the nation in Division III.

"I go out there and run 10-12 miles every day for the camaraderie," said the 5-foot-10 Styczynski. "Of course, my main goal is seeing our team win. That's why my biggest thrill here came last year when we won the NCAA regionals at NYU."

Styczynski isn't overly excited about his times this season, but he said part of the reason is the tougher competition the school is running against.

His best time this season (25:46) came last week at Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational, where he was third in the Division III race.

Rembert stays busy

Sophomore linebacker J.T. Rembert has been all over the field for the 2-1 Marshall University football team this season, rolling up 28 tackles in three games.

Rembert also has one interception return for 6 yards, one sack and three tackles for losses, as he prospers as the second-leading tackler on the team.

Rembert and his teammates ruined Central Florida's Mid-American Conference debut two weeks ago with a 26-21 victory, a game in which the former Oakland Mills standout had four solo tackles, one assisted tackle and the interception.

Sack happy

Senior defensive end Fred Taber (Calvert Hall) of the 4-0 Juniata College football team is spending a lot of time in opposing teams' backfields. He has seven sacks among his 11 tackles for losses this season.

Taber, 6 feet 2, 230 pounds, also has returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown for the Division III school from Huntingdon, Pa., which is a member of the Northwest division of the Middle Atlantic Conference.

Taber has 22 tackles (16 solo), with his big day this season coming two weeks ago in a 48-21 victory over conference foe Albright. He had a career-high four sacks among his six tackles for losses and forced a fumble, earning MAC Co-Player of the Week along with teammate Craig Moshier, a running back who gained 124 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Hobart excels

The Davidson College women's soccer team (4-0-1) has received some impressive goalkeeping this season from sophomore Sarah Hobart (Wilde Lake), who has 61 saves in five games.

Hobart and the Wildcats started the season with four straight victories before they were held to a 1-1 tie with Western Carolina last weekend.

She was chosen the Southern Conference Player of the Week two weeks ago, allowing just one goal in two victories over Appalachian State (2-0) and East Tennessee State (2-1).

Et cetera

Melissa Mahoney (Spalding) was superb in York College's 4-1 charge in volleyball last week. She had a .348 hitting percentage, 46 kills and a team-high 16 blocks in 16 games. The senior middle hitter was chosen the Spartan Athlete of the Week last week, and she now has 146 kills in 65 games this season, a team-high 78 blocks and a .265 hitting percentage.

Even though the Southern Illinois University football team dropped a 45-24 decision to Murray State two weeks ago, freshman tight end Chris Kupec (River Hill) had a big thrill in that game, catching his first collegiate pass for a 5-yard touchdown.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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