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University of Akron Zips blog

Five Zips advance in Day One

By mrasor Published: May 27, 2006


Five Zips can set their plans for Sacramento in two weeks after earning a spot in the NCAA Championships. And that total is almost certain to increase with 10 more athletes set to compete on Day Two.

The wind must have been blowing out because both Randall Hafner and Auston Papay advanced in the discus by each breaking the school record.

As expected, John Russell advanced to nationals finishing second at the meet. Natalie Sako and Ashley Kaufman also advanced to nationals with second-place finishes in high jump and javelin, respectively.

Eight others did not qualify, among them Beata Rudzinska, whose college career is over, but not before perhaps becoming one of the best runners in school history. She won 13 MAC Championships and qualified for seven NCAA Championships. Wow.

If you are wondering how this success stacks up to the rest of the region, Akron's women are in third place with 16 points, behind Notre Dame (19) and Alabama (18). The Zips men are in second with 18 points, trailing Louisville (25).

Sure, winning the Triple Crown was nice. I think the team starts to get some real media respect (and not just from me) once it makes some noise in Sacramento.


In the aftermath of Julie Wright bolting to another school, I became curious to see how big of a softball powerhouse Wisconsin is. To attract a blossoming head coach to be an assistant, the team must have some clout.

It doesn't.

Wisconsin is the Big 10's second-worst team with a 6-11 conference record. The team is 22-22 overall.

OK. Fine. Maybe Wright went to Wisconsin to learn from a really experienced coach.

She didn't.

Head coach Chandelle Schulte is in her first year from the College of Charleston.


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