March 15, 2007


State meet returning

Stingers, SUNY Cortland host swim event


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Greg Wissink dives off the starting block Wednesday during a Cortland Stingers practice session in preparation for this weekend’s swim meet.

Once again, many of the top young swimmers in New York State will converge on Cortland as the Cortland Stingers host the 2007 New York State YMCA Swimming Championships. This year’s championships will run Friday through Sunday in the Harriet Holsten Pool inside the Park PER Center on the SUNY Cortland campus.
The meet will begin at 5 p.m. Friday with the preliminaries for the 200-yard individual medley, the 200-yard freestyle open relays and the timed finals for the 500-yard events. Swimming action will continue Saturday from 8 a.m. until approximately 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. There is a charge for the single-day passes, and special money-saving three-day weekend passes are also available.
The Stingers have hosted YMCA State Championships numerous (10-15) times, the first time being 1976 and the latest in 2003. There will be 41 teams from Long Island to Buffalo and nearly 1,330 swimmers competing for medals, which will be presented to the top 18 finishers in each event by age group. Team trophies will be presented to the winning team in each age group. Spectator estimates are being placed near 3,500 for the three-day event.
As far as the team competition, Flushing and Huntington are two of the top programs, with Auburn, Cortland and Corning expected to be in the mix as well.
Under the guidance of co-head coaches Mike Falls and Kim Eckhardt, plus assistants Nicki Damiano, Mike Kennedy, Tim Malican and Dan Sinetar, the Stingers will have 64 swimmers in competition. Eckhardt is a former Stinger swimmer and the daughter of Dick Williams, the Stingers team director, while Sinetar is another former Stinger who earned YMCA All-American honors and also swam for American University.
Among the top local Stinger swimmers this year are Homer Junior High School student Scott McLaughlin; Cortland High senior Greg Wissink; Samantha Crandall from Homer Jr. High; Homer Intermediate School students Lukas Pizzola, Emily Elliott, Tom Belton and Madison Bossard; Quinn Kennedy from Barry Elementary School and Annie Steve, who attends St. Mary’s School. All these swimmers are seeded high for their events. It is also the final meet for Wissink and Homer High School senior Eli Earl.
According to team officials, there should some very fast times recorded, based on the entry times teams have submitted for seeding purposes.
The Cortland Regional Sports Council (CRSC) and the Cortland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau have prepared a visitors’ brochure that lists area restaurants, shopping locations and other things to do while in Cortland for those who plan to spend the entire weekend in the area.
A complete 2007 New York State YMCA Swimming Championships meet schedule will be available on the Web at or


Lax women in easy triumph

The SUNY Cortland women’s lacrosse team made it two-for-two this season with a 19-4 romp past Skidmore Wednesday morning at the Spring Fling in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The Red Dragon baseball squad, meanwhile, improved to 7-0 with a 6-2 win over Carthage (Wis.) College in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Cortland softball team split a pair of games at the Sun West Tournament in Orange, Calif., losing to Puget Sound (Wa.) 5-1 and blanking Wesleyan (Conn.) College 8-0.
SUNY CORTLAND 19, SKIDMORE 4: Nine different players scored goals as the nationally sixth-ranked Red Dragons won easily. Skidmore fell to 0-2 with the setback.
For Cortland, senior Ali Bourgal led the offense with four goals and two assists. Senior Jennifer Willis registered three goals and three assists, senior Andrea Venditti recorded three goals and one assist, and junior Rachel Cornwell, sophomore Anna Fahey and freshman Jessie Fritz added two goals each. Freshman goalie Deanne Abell made nine saves, allowing one goal in 48 minutes of action. Sophomore Sam Anderson stopped one shot in 12 minutes.
Senior Katie Weber notched a pair of goals for Skidmore, while sophomore Allie Vogel and freshman Abbie Klaus each scored once.
Cortland is slated to open the home portion of its schedule against Rochester at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
SUNY Cortland 6, Carthage 2: Freshman Matt Tone allowed three hits and two unearned runs over five and one-third innings for his first collegiate victory as Cortland, ranked sixth nationally in Division III, defeated eighth-ranked Carthage.
Tone struck out three batters and walked five. Both runs he allowed came in the bottom of the first inning, when the Red Dragons committed all three of their errors. Junior Nick Serio gave up one hit and three walks and fanned two in three and one-third innings of scoreless relief for the save.
Junior Matt Vitalone was 2-for-4 with a double and two steals and freshman Steve Nickel went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead Cortland’s offense. The Red Dragons were slated to go against Bowdoin (ME) this afternoon in Port Charlotte.
Puget Sound 5, SUNY Cortland 1: Winning pitcher Adrian Herlache threw a two-hitter and the Loggers (8-4) scored all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Red Dragons, ranked 20th nationally in Division III, got their run in the seventh as Tina Milani reached on an error and later scored on another miscue. Annemarie Nelson and Dominique Talbot had a single apiece for Cortland.
SUNY Cortland 8, Wesleyan College 0: Katie Finch (2-2) fired a complete-game four hitter with nine strikeouts as Cortland improved to 2-4 with the six-inning win. Nelson was 2-for-3 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored, while Jamie Neuner was 2-for-3 and scored twice.



‘Perfect’ look to softball win

COCOA, FLA. — Freshman Niki Rieman pitched a perfect game Tuesday night as Tompkins Cortland Community College softball picked up its first win of the season, 12-0 over Northland Community and Technical College of Minnesota. The Panthers, now 1-4 during the spring training trip to Cocoa, Florida, had only played Division II teams prior to the game against Northland.
Playing under the lights, Rieman and the rest of the Panthers sparkled. Over five innings, Rieman struck out seven while note allowing a single base runner. Northland’s lone threat came in the opening inning, but was snuffed by a nice running catch by right fielder Kristina Bement. While Rieman was setting Northland down in order, the TC3 offense came to life.
Playing as the home team, TC3 scored in all four innings the Panthers came to bat. Bethany Williamson, batting in the leadoff position for the first time this year, went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two walks, one RBI, and a double. Brittney Wilson and Shannon O’Dell each collected two hits while driving in a run. Ashley Morey drove in four runs and Rieman helped her own cause with a pair of RBIs. Cortland High alum Rose Dovi tripled, her third three-bagger of the season. Amber Coulthart had the games only stolen base, giving her four on the season.
TC3 took on Toronto Academy, a club team from Canada, before another game with Northland Wednesday evening. The Panthers had a split doubleheader today against Kellogg CC of Michigan at 11 a.m. and Moraine Valley CC from Illinois at 3 p.m.