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College Corner - Knepper makes waves for Terps' swim team

February 27, 2005|BY TIM KOELBLE

Williamsport's Megan Knepper is at it again in the waters at the University of Maryland.

Following a record-breaking performance at the Atlantic Coast Conference swimming championships, Knepper will make her third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

She'll have a serious mindset when the championships are held March 17-19, hoping to celebrate both St. Patrick's Day and her birthday on the 19th in winning fashion.

Knepper set an ACC record in the 100-yard backstroke (54.31), then was a team member on the winning 200 medley relay (1:40.98), 400 medley relay (3:40.13) and 400 freestyle relay (3:20.55). Last season, Knepper set an ACC record in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:58.02.

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"One of our goals was to win the ACC as a team and we did that with the six seniors we have," said Knepper, who did not have the benefit of a swim team at Williamsport High School.

She learned to swim at the Hagerstown YMCA when she was 4 years old, moved on to the Monocacy Aquatic Club at 9 and then to a Washington club later on.

Knepper said the ACC Championships are considered the "toughest college meet next to the Olympic trials. It has a lot of foreign influence."

"It's exciting going to the NCAA again," said Knepper. "I'm planning on this being the final competition. I really hope I can better last year."

Knepper competed in two events last year, finishing 12th and 13th.

Following graduation, Knepper said she plans to move on to a 2 1/2-year program in graduate school studying kinesieology.

Track & Field


- Another record-setter from the Tri-State area is 6-foot-9 Vikas Gowda, a junior at the University of North Carolina.

The Frederick High School graduate won the shot put at the ACC Indoor Championships with a heave of 64 feet, 3 3/4 inches, breaking a record that had stood tall for 18 years. The performance also qualified him for the NCAA Championships.

- Williamsport's Jess Clingan, a freshman at Frostburg State University, set standards in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference meet. She clocked 26.94 seconds in the 200-meter run and 1:23.33 in the 500. In the West Virginia University State Farm Games, Clingan was 6th in the 400 in 1:01.69, a personal best.

- Also representing Frostburg at the State Farm Games, Boonsboro's Sheila Kurtz was eighth in the 200 with a personal best of 28.43. North Hagerstown senior Tyler Snyder was on the second-place 3,200 relay team.

- Brittany Tesla, a South Hagerstown graduate, is a senior academically but a freshman in athletic eligibility at Salisbury State. After a three-year hiatus from competition, Tesla, the daughter of South Athletic Director Mike Tesla, returned to action recently and finished third in the high jump (5-1) at the University of Delaware Invitational.

- Adam Escamilla, a Brunswick graduate attending Shippensburg University, finished first in the shot put (53-0) at the Susquehanna Open. He was also fifth in the weight throw.

- Corey Brown, a Smithsburg graduate at Mount St. Mary's, finished third in the long jump at 6.98 meters at a recent meet.

Men's Basketball


- Seth Scott, a Waynesboro graduate at Shippensburg University, is averaging 10 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while hitting 51 percent from the floor.

- Danley Shank, a Chambersburg graduate at Shepherd University, is averaging 20.3 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the floor. Jonathan Mann, a sophomore and Faith Christian graduate, has seen limited action in 19 games and has a 1.9 scoring average.

- South Hagerstown graduate Jesse Gutekunst finished the year with averages of 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks for Hood College. Walkersville's Brian Morris averaged 2.9 points, Thomas Johnson's Darnell Edmonds averaged 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds and Brunswick's Craig Wachter averaged just under one point per game in 11 games.

- Kenny Roberts, a Hedgesville graduate playing for St. Vincent's (Pa.), finished the regular season with a 24-point effort against Daemen and a 23-point, eight-assist, seven-rebound game against Geneva. He had nine assists against Point Park as St. Vincent's went 14-0 to win the American Mideast Conference. He was also named to the All-AMC first team for a third consecutive year.

- Daniel Ryley, a graduate of St. John's at Prospect Hall, is averaging 13.2 ppg, 6.0 rebounds and is shooting 50 percent at Frostburg State. The 6-6 junior, who hails from Frederick, leads the team in blocked shots with 37.

Baseball-Softball


- Stephanie VanBrakle, a 5-foot-9 junior at Alabama and a Chambersburg graduate, is off to a 4-0 start with a 0.00 ERA for the women's softball team, currently 15-1 and ranked No. 8 by ESPN. She has struck out 37 in 24 innings and walked only one.

- The men's roster at Shepherd University is dotted with area players as the Rams prepared for season-opening doubleheaders against Newbury Saturday and today.

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