Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Toledo Rockets’ athletes thrive in 2012

Signature moments — from a thunderous shot on the hardwood, to All-America finishes in the pool and on the track, to international success — tell the story of a banner year for University of Toledo athletics.

What follows is a retrospective look at 2012, in which The Blade chose the top Rockets performer for each month. Repeat winners were not allowed.

JANUARY: Rian Pearson averaged 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in eight games, lifting the struggling Rockets to three wins and several close defeats. Pearson, now a junior, was named Mid-American Conference West player of the week in the final week, starting a streak in which he earned the honor in three straight weeks.

FEBRUARY: A non-factor offensively all afternoon, Courtney Ingersoll curled to the top of the key and nailed a 3-pointer with a little more than a minute left to give the Rockets a lead they would not relinquish in a 52-50 win against Bowling Green at Savage Arena. Ingersoll, who finished the season as the nation’s most accurate shooter from long distance, contributed to a 7-1 month with 20 3s and 11.8 points.

MARCH: Laura Lindsay finished ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke at the NCAA swimming championships to earn All-America honors for the second year in a row. Lindsay won the consolation heat in 59.61 seconds to earn the program’s first ever "A" cut. She competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the summer and finished 19th.

APRIL: Golfer Piyathida Chaiyapan tied for first at the MAC Championships before falling in a playoff to a competitor from Ball State. It marked the highest finish ever by a Rocket at the MAC meet — topping the previous best of fourth — and Chaiyapan’s season stroke average of 76.8 is the third lowest in program history.

MAY: Second baseman Joe Corman set Toledo’s career hits record, ripping a double on the first pitch of a loss at Ohio State. The All-MAC performer helped the Rockets win their final six MAC regular season games to secure the program’s first ever division title. Corfman batted .370 in the final month of his college career.

JUNE: Emma Kertesz claimed the final All-America spot in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA meet, finishing 16th in 33 minutes, 54.99 seconds. The Central Catholic graduate, who became Toledo’s eighth track All-American in the past 11 years, also garnered MVP honors at the MAC indoor and outdoor meets. She has one more season of eligibility remaining.

JULY: Natalia Gaitan captained the Colombia squad in the country’s first Olympics appearance in women’s soccer. Colombia, which did not win a game or score a goal in three matches, fielded a team whose average age was just 22.

AUGUST: Women’s basketball player Inma Zanoguera helped Spain win the Division A U-20 title at the European Championships in Hungary. She had 10 points, six rebounds, four steals, and three assists in a 59-46 win over Russia in the gold medal game.

SEPTEMBER: Concerns at running back were dismissed in the first month of the season. David Fluellen marched for 213 yards and three touchdowns in a win at Western Michigan that began a six-game streak in which he eclipsed 100 rushing yards. Fluellen also rushed for two scores earlier in the month in a win over Bowling Green.

OCTOBER: Bernard Reedy scored a special teams touchdown in three straight weeks, capped by a 91-yard kickoff return to punctuate a 29-23 triumph against nationally ranked Cincinnati at the Glass Bowl. Reedy didn’t get much of a chance to extend his streak, as Buffalo refused to kick to him in Toledo’s 25-20 victory on the final Saturday of the month.

NOVEMBER: Buoying a team that had been besieged by injuries and illnesses, Kaylin Belair finished 11th at the Great Lakes Regional meet to propel the Rockets to a berth in their third straight national meet. Belair checked in with Toledo’s top finish — 49th — at nationals later in the month.

DECEMBER: The end of 2012 went better for Naama Shafir than the beginning. After spending much of the year rehabbing from a torn ACL she suffered in late 2011, the point guard demonstrated she has returned to form by garnering MVP honors at the two tournaments Toledo hosted. Shafir dropped a season-high 25 points in a thumping of Prairie View A&M last Friday in the finals of the Toledo Invite.

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