Two area track and field athletes recently earned All-America honors while competing for Defiance College.
Brad Zarembski, a Springfield High School graduate, and Trevor Matuszak, a Whiteford High School graduate, were recognized for their efforts with national honors.
Zarembski, a sophomore from Toledo, was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America third team.
A 2007 Outdoor All-America in the high jump, Zarembski claimed titles at both the indoor and outdoor All-Ohio Championships this season. The two-time HCAC high jump champion was also selected as the HCAC Field Athlete of the Week twice this season.
Zarembski posted a 3.91 cumulative grade-point average, majoring in business administration.
Matuszak, a senior from Ottawa Lake, Mich., took second place in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division III outdoor championships on May 23 in Oshkosh, Wis. Matuszak's eight points in the meet led the Jackets to a 37th-place finish as a team.
His throw of 189 feet and six inches initially gave him the lead, but Mark O'Connell of St. Thomas overtook first place with a toss of 191-0 to win the event.
Matuszak, who recently graduated, was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's 2008 Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year.
He claimed All-Ohio and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship titles this season in the hammer throw. Matuszak broke his own school record at the Billy Hayes Invitational with a toss of 196-06. He then became Defiance's first NCAA Track & Field National Champion since 1997.
Matuszak was a two-time HCAC Athlete of the Month, while successfully defending his All-Ohio and HCAC Championships titles in the hammer throw.
He also earned All-America honors at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships, while breaking Defiance's weight throw record at the meet with a toss of 62-02.25.
"It's been a great experience representing Defiance College this season," Matuszak said after the national outdoor championships. "I've tried to embody the school's spirit of sportsmanship, while competing to the best of my abilities."
SWIMMING: Erie Mason High School graduate Dustin Meisner recently captured a prestigious honor from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Meisner, a senior swimmer at Olivet College, was selected as the conference's senior scholar-athlete. He was singled out among athletes from nine schools in the MIAA.
Meisner received the Albert H. Deal Scholar-Athlete Award from MIAA Commissioner David Neilson. The award recognizes a senior who has excelled in academics and athletics while also showing outstanding leadership. The award is named in honor of a former MIAA commissioner.
"Dustin has had a marvelous career these last four years in the classroom and in the pool. Selection for these awards is from an exceptional group of nominees," Neilson said.
Meisner, a native of Temperance, was a four-time All-MIAA selection at Olivet. He won the conference title in the 200-yard breaststroke three times during his career (2005-07) and finished runner up in the 100-yard breaststroke four times. Meisner helped lead the Comets to conference championships in 2006 and 2007.
He also competed in three NCAA Division III national championships, earning honorable mention All-American honors in 2005 and 2007.
Meisner holds the Olivet school record in the 100-yard breaststroke (0:57.19) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:04.61). He also was a member of two school record-setting relay teams (200 and 400 individual medleys).
With a double major in visual arts and biology, Meisner graduated summa cum laude from Olivet in May with a 4.0 grade point average. He also was a three-time selection to the ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-America team. He was the first student-athlete in Olivet's history to achieve that honor.
Olivet College is lin south central Michigan, about 125 miles west of Detroit and has about 1,050 students.
HONORS: Members of the Express baseball, golf, and softball teams at Owens Community College were recently recognized for their achievements.
The baseball team finished with a 31-6-1 overall record and captured the program's seventh Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (14-2) title.
Whitmer High School graduate Austin Ritson, a sophomore pitcher and infielder, earned a National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Honorable Mention All-American.
Ritson set an Owens baseball record for batting average (.511) in a season which was sixth highest in Division II. He also led the team in runs batted in (35) and home runs (five) and was named the OCCAC player of the year and the team's most valuable player.
Michael Nyitrai, Jr., a graduate of Start High School, was named the team's most improved player, while the coaches award went to Dominick Coduti, a graduate of Northwood High School. Jason Cress, a graduate of Bowling Green High School, earned the defensive player award.
Ajay Meyer of Patrick Henry High School garnered the OCCAC pitcher of the year award while Express coach Bob Schultz was named OCCAC coach of the year.
The Owens golf team made its second trip to the NJCAA Division II National Championships, finishing 10th in the tournament. The team also captured six match and invitational titles during the season, including a regional championship.
Adam Crisp, a Bowsher High School graduate, was voted the team's most valuable player. The most improved player award was won by Ben DeArmond, a graduate of Bedford High School. Crisp and Jason Smith, a graduate of Anthony Wayne High School, were OCCAC co-golfers of the year. Gil Guerrero was named the conference coach of the year.
The Express softball team (25-16 overall) captured its sixth conference title in the program's history with an 11-1 record. The team was ranked No. 24 in the final NJCAA Division II poll and lost in the regional championship final.
The team's MVP was Amanda Coressel of Patrick Henry High School. The most improved player was Melinda Johnson of Bellevue High School.
The offensive player of the year was Danielle Hahn, a graduate of Margaretta High School and the defensive MVP was Katelyn Helminiak from Springfield. Napoleon's Kayleigh Damron took the heart of a champion award.
The team also drew several all-conference accolades. Hahn was the OCCAC player of the year, Johnson was pitcher of the year and Duane Lanham was coach of the year.
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