Whether in pool or snow, LaGue leaves impression

State notebook

February 27, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Stephanie LaGue is having the time of her life these days at Goucher.

The sophomore is breaking school records, has been honored as the top swimmer in the Capital Athletic Conference this season, is closing in on a trip to Atlanta for the NCAA Division III championships and is enjoying frolicking in the snow.

Yes, the Glendale, Wis., resident feels right at home in these record-breaking snowfalls.

That's why she loved it one day when her teammates decided to go outside after practice and make snow angels before getting dressed.

Why?

"We were just being silly," she said with a laugh. "And, of course, shivering cold."

LaGue reached a milestone two weekends ago in the CAC championships when she provisionally qualified for the Division III women's championships in the 200-meter intermediate medley, the 100 backstroke and the 200 backstroke.

She established a CAC championship-meet record in the 200 IM with a clocking of 2 minutes, 10.78 seconds as she successfully defended her CAC title.

"I'll never forget that victory in the 200 IM," said her Goucher coach, Tom Till. "That was my first national qualifier as a head coach. It was exciting."

LaGue said she was also jubilant after her 200 IM effort -- at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. -- but could do nothing to celebrate.

"It was the first day of the meet and I had to get to bed," she said.

She also went on to provisionally qualify for the D-III nationals in the 100 backstroke (59.85) and 200 backstroke (2:10.98) with two second-place finishes.

All three CAC championship-meet times were also school records, giving her five Goucher marks this season (the other two were 56.15 in the 100 freestyle and 2:01.06 in the 200 freestyle).

LaGue said the highlight of the conference meet was having her mother, Lydia, on hand to watch her make a run for the nationals.

Coppin moments

Coppin State senior Nickie Peters completed a dominating four-year run through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference indoor track and field championships last weekend by winning a fourth straight mile title with a time of 4:14.84.

Peters finished nearly five seconds ahead of Norfolk State's Joseph Terer.

However, it was UMES' Damion Drummond who sparkled in the 800, nipping Peters for first place by less than a half-second, breaking a MEAC record with a clocking of 1:53.58.

Peters had a time of 1:53.91 in the 800, and he anchored Coppin's third-place team in the distance-medley relay.

In the women's MEAC championships, Coppin sophomore Treska Baptiste took second in the 400 meters in 55.96, finishing behind Delaware State's Tiffany Barnes (55.86).

In the preliminary 400 heats, Baptiste shaved a little more than two seconds off her previous best 400 time with a 55.43, breaking former Lady Eagles All-American Diana Pitts' school record of 55.51.

Letsebe heart of team

Thabo Letsebe has been the driving force behind Goucher's rise to a 16-9 record in men's basketball this season, leading the team in scoring with a 15.4 average and in rebounding with 7.0 a game, as well as leading the CAC in shooting percentage (.583).

The .583 mark would shatter the Goucher single-season school record of .538 established by Thurmond Toland in the 1991-92 season.

Letsebe, a 6-6 senior center, also leads the team in steals with 57 and has become the fifth player in school history to surpass 1,000 career points (1,081).

He also is fourth all time at Goucher for rebounds (606), fourth in steals (186), second in blocks (69) and third in shooting percentage all time (.494).

Martinez, Presutti honored

Maryland freshman Rachel Martinez and Towson senior Kristen Presutti are the co-winners of the East Atlantic Gymnastics League's top weekly awards this week.

It was only fitting since they tied for first in the all-around competition Saturday night during Maryland's 195.825 to 195.400 victory over Towson.

Presutti has won the EAGL award six times in her career.

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