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University of Akron Zips blog

Regionals were bittersweet

By mrasor Published: May 28, 2006


Taking six athletes to nationals is pretty good, and in fact, it ties a school record.

But coach Dennis MItchell wanted more.

He would've liked to see Beata Rudzinska advance, and he thought Ashley Kaufman and John Russell -- who still advanced -- could have done better.

"I felt we could have come away with three regional titles," Mitchell said. "However, the most important part of the regional meet is to qualify for the NCAA Championships."

Mitchell was happiest with Randall Hafner and Auston Papay who took fourth and 10th respectively in the discus.

"I was very proud of our male discus throwers," Mitchell said. "What a day they had. Our throws coach Brian Forrester does an amazing job with his athletes."

Although six national qualifiers ties a school record, four male qualifiers is a new Akron high. With Tomasz Smialek's first-place showing in the high jump, Akron has had a regional champion in each of the last three years (Russell in 2005; pole vaulter Kira Sims in 2004).

Natalie Sako has perhaps the most experience of all the qualifiers. She will high jump at nationals for the fourth time.

The event begins two weeks from now in Sacramento. CSTV will air Friday's action at 8 p.m. CBS will show Saturday's finals at 3:30 p.m.

  • It's never too early to think about next year. Zips recruit Carrie Kayes set a state record this week with a pole vault of 12-feet, 9-inches. Here is what Hudson's head coach Andy McMillen said of the senior from Green High School: "She probably has the best form for a high school vaulter that I've ever seen."


Speaking of recruits, I want to go over some of the players to whom coach J.D. Brookhart has offered a scholarship.

It's just too nice of a day to stay in my room typing.

  • In the mean time, read Gary Estwick's story about recruiting. It really gives you an idea about how the process works. Well written, too. He uses the example of David Arnold, a safety from Copley whom the Zips are pursuing.

  • Here is another story to read about what the Big East should do with its need to expand. I've said this before, but I don't think it will be an expansion. I think that conference will be blown up and divided between football schools and non-football schools. This writer from The Sporting News correctly believes the Big East will call on Central Florida first. Thank a poster on who found the story.
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