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Published: Wednesday, 7/2/2014

Pleger leaves her mark at USA Outdoor Championships

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University’s Brooke Pleger has staked her claim to a spot among the top hammer throwers in the United States.

She finished tenth among 18 competitors in the hammer at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday. Pleger, who placed 11th in the event a year ago, was one of five active NCAA throwers to compete in the event, and finished ahead of the other four.

Pleger opened this year’s competition with a throw of 208-9, then followed with a 207-3 toss before fouling on her final attempt. The top eight throwers advanced to the finals, while the qualifying mark stood at 224-5.

That performance was the latest strong effort in a successful run for the rising senior from Saline, Mich.

She earned All-American honors for the second straight season by placing third in the NCAA Division I Outdoor championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 11. Her best toss of 211-6 helped her earn All-American notice for the second straight year — she finished seventh in the event as a sophomore — and is the best finish for a BG women’s track performer at the NCAAs.

Pleger also was named to the academic All-America third team in track and field. She carries a 3.72 grade-point average while majoring in nursing.

FRIEDMAN DRAFTED: Mark Friedman, a defensemen who is expected to join the Falcon hockey program this season, was selected by Philadelphia in the third round of this year’s National Hockey League draft.

Friedman, who scored 40 goals in 51 games for Waterloo, Iowa, in the United States Hockey League last season, was selected with the 86th overall pick.

Friedman is the first Falcon hockey player to be drafted since 2009, when Jordan Samuels-Thomas was selected by the then-Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round. Friedman also is the highest BG hockey pick since Jonathan Matsumoto was selected by the Flyers with the 79th pick in 2006.

CALLAWAY, TOO: Cody Callaway, who will join the BG football program as a quarterback in the fall, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in this year’s First-Year Player Draft.

After hitting .400 with seven home runs for Grafton Midview High School this past spring, Callaway was selected in the 34th round by the Indians.

Callaway, whose father Dwayne played baseball for the Falcons, is expected to try to play both sports at Bowling Green.

CLAPACS HIRED: Jeff Clapacs was named director of basketball operations for the BGSU men’s basketball team.

Clapacs spent the past six seasons serving as an assistant coach at Arkansas State, where he coached with new Falcons assistant Corey Barker. Clapacs also served as director of basketball ops at LSU in 2007-08.

A native of the Cleveland suburb of Euclid, Clapacs played and coached at the College of Wooster.

MIDSUMMER MADNESS: The Bowling Green women’s basketball team will host “A Mid-Summer Night’s Madness” at the Stroh Center on Wednesday, July 16, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The event is designed to give Falcons women’s basketball fans a chance to meet the players and coaches and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Stroh Center.

The event costs $15 per person and $25 for couples. Interested fans should contact director of basketball operations Monique Rosati at mrosati@bgsu.edu to reserve tickets.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.



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