Towson's Krause makes NCAAs in 3 events

Swimmer is CAA's only qualifier, school's first


State notebook

March 20, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Aaron Krause is a typical swimmer.

The Towson University junior has been so focused on achieving his No. 1 goal, making the NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships, he says he hasn't thought about making school swimming history.

"I have been thinking about how much this should help our program in recruiting," he said. "And I've thought about what would be a good meet for me. If I could have a top-16 finish, it would be a great meet."

Krause is the first Towson University swimmer to qualify for the national Division I meet, which this year is at the University of Texas on March 27-29.

And it isn't as if he just barely made it to swimming's version of the big dance.

Krause will be competing in three events, the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 200 freestyle. He is seeded 23rd in his best event, the 100 backstroke (48.13 seconds is his best time), 25th in the 200 backstroke (1 minute, 45.44 seconds), and 34th in the 200 freestyle (1:37.77).

All three times were recorded last month at the Colonial Athletic Association championship meet at George Mason University, where Krause was selected the Most Outstanding Performer.

He was the only CAA swimmer to qualify for nationals and one of a select few from Eastern schools who qualified. Princeton, Harvard, American, Penn State, and Rutgers are the only other Eastern schools that will be represented in Texas.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for Aaron," said Pat Mead, Towson's swimming coach. "This [the NCAAs] is considered the fastest meet in the world because the universities involved attract swimmers from all over the world."

Watching Krause's three-event run at George Mason and Krause's second straight Most Outstanding Performer show at the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships this month were his parents, Ed and Kathy Krause.

"My dad is the calm one - he actually knows something about the times," said Krause. "My mom mostly screams all the time."

The Towson standout spent four weeks last summer in Colorado training with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, 17, (Towson High), but he doesn't want anybody to think he tries to keep up to Phelps in workouts.

"Michael swims fast all the time," he said. "I have to pace myself."

Final home show

Towson University gymnast Jenn Baierlein, a senior, will be performing for the final time tomorrow at the Towson Center, and she is expected to go out in style by becoming the school's all-time points leader.

Baierlein needs 30.975 points in a 7 p.m. meet against Maryland (12-8) to surpass 1997 All-America Erin Shanley (1,886.90) for Towson's career lead.

Baierlein averages 39 points in a meet for the Tigers (12-10), who will be out to improve their chances for a NCAA regional berth. Baierlein has competed in the all-around in all 50 meets of her collegiate career.

Another celebrated Towson gymnast, senior Kristen Presutti, will be honored tomorrow night along with Baierlein and senior Sara Forti in pre-meet ceremonies.

Presutti, fifth all-time (1,669.7 points) on the school's points list, was chosen 2002 East Atlantic Gymnastics League Gymnast of the Year.

Darling run ends

Center Kathy Darling's scintillating two-year run for Johns Hopkins ended two weekends ago, when No. 9 Messiah College beat the Blue Jays, 86-80, in the NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament.

Darling, who transferred to Hopkins after her sophomore season at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., scored in double figures in 51 of 55 games over two seasons.

She also shattered Centennial Conference and school records for field goal percentage two straight seasons (60.7 percent last season and 64.0 this season). And for this season's team, she averaged a team-best 17.1 points and tied sophomore Ashanna Randall in rebounding (7.4 a game).

Messiah halted an 11-game winning streak by Darling's Blue Jays (22-6).

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