Last updated 9/9/17

Men 2nd, Women 4th at Tufts
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MEDFORD, Mass. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's and women's outdoor track & field seasons started at the Tufts Snowflake Classic and the Engineers boasted 37 scorers combined. The men's team had 24 on its way to a second place finish, while the women had 13 in placing fourth. There were 18 men's teams and 22 women's.

Rensselaer's women had three individuals who garnered the maximum 10 points with Jillian Salkind winning the high jump (1.63 meters), Monica Mazure capturing the triple jump (10.40) and Melinda Wilson in the hammer (44.19). Wilson, who was second to an unattached competitor, was followed immediately by teammate Renee Nuzzi (41.77).

Freshman Andrea Squeri was fourth in the 1500 meters (4:50.96) and the 4x400 relay team of Autumn Grim, Taylor MacEwen, Jodi Wrzosek and Claudia Howes finished fifth (4:21.97). Wrzosek also scored in the 800 meters, finishing sixth (2:22.67).

While the men did not have any first place finishers, the Engineers saw five place second and two in third. Among the runner-ups was George Gonatas in the discus (43.82). He also finished fifth in the shot put (13.67).

Joe Grella was second in the javelin (54.33) and Terrence Lawrence finished second in the high jump (1.93). Lawrence was also fourth in the 110 Hurdles (15.74), two places behind teammate Alex Jonsson (15.09).

Freshman Joe Pisacano was runner-up in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:40.99. He was one of four Engineers to score in that event, joining Will Masemore, who was fifth (15:44.00), Jake Kloman in sixth (15:46.07) and Danny Napora in seventh (15:49.76).

Rensselaer's third place finishers were Joseph Vetere in the pole vault (4.10) and Sam Keller in the hammer (46.28).

RPI compiled 104.50 points, which trailed only the host Jumbos (153). Worcester State was third (102.50), followed by Southern Maine (101) and Boston University (59). BU won the women's meet with 119 points, followed by Tufts (116), RPI (67), Southern New Hampshire (67) and Stonehill (64.50).

Claudia Howes
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BIO: High School: Four years varsity cross country ... Cross country captain (grade 10 and 12) ... Most valuable newcomer XC (grade 11) ... MVP XC (grade 10) ... All penhandle / county / district XC (grade 12) ... Team - FL state team runner ups in cross country (2015) ... Four years track ... Track captain (grade 10 and 12) ... Most improved track (grade 8 - 10) ... Leadership award for track (grade 12) ... National merit finalist ... Outstanding student ... Student of the year ... Student athlete of the year ...

Niceville five ink futures in college athletics
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Daily News



NICEVILLE -- David Gauch summed Kevin Greene's presence for the Niceville football program best. "You don't get the opportunity to be coached by a Hall of Famer too often," the senior said while sitting at the signing table Wednesday inside the school cafeteria.

Also not happening often is having a NFL Hall of Famer as your dad as well as your high school coach. So, consider Gavin Greene especially lucky.
He joined four of his classmates -- Gauch (DePauw University, football), Kyree Taylor (Brenau University, soccer), Elijah Schneidewind (University of West Florida, cross country) and Claudia Howes (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, cross country and track and field) -- for another reason to be thankful, committing to continue their chose sports at the collegiate level.

Gavin Greene will be a preferred walk-on at the University of Southern Miss, a Division I program that must have liked what the Niceville defensive end offered. Being the son of a legendary pro linebacker might have helped. "I'm proud of my son whether he plays football or not," said Kevin Greene, an assistant this past season for Niceville's football program. "I'm happy for the amazing heart he has and being a believer in Christ. I was just out there playing with my son. Any dad would want that. Coach (John) Hicks blessed me with the opportunity to play with my son."
Hicks described the joy of watching the Greene pair each day at practice -- "they were out there having the time of their lives" -- and got a lot out of him on game nights, too. Greene made 118 tackles, 19 for a loss, to go with five sacks. "Outright, this was my favorite year," said Gavin, whose family moved from Green Bay, Wisc., to Niceville his sophomore year. "It was an amazing experience." Greene always had confidence he'd be a college player.

Gauch, a linebacker, wasn't so sure. Injuries derailed his entire junior season. His senior year, though, included 81 tackles, 11 for a loss, and 6.5 sacks. "After last year," said Gauch, who is going to the Division III school with academic grants covering most of the costs, "I didn't think I'd be able to keep playing. After looking over game film from this last season, I decided I really wanted to do it. Not many get the chance."
That was a common theme Wednesday, when Taylor committed to Brenau, in Gainesville, Ga., after another successful year at striker for the Eagles' state runner-up girls soccer program. "I had a big connection with the coaches," she said, noting she's receiving academic grants in addition to the athletic one. "Gainesville reminded me of Niceville. I wanted to go some place smaller. "Last year, I went through this stint where I was hesitant (about if I could play in college). I was scared to grow up, basically."

As for the two running stars, both stressed academic influences for their choices. Schneidewind aims for the Physical Therapy career and a seven-year doctorate program through West Florida and University of South Florida. The running is just a continued love, expressed by coach Jamie LaFollette. "Elijah is the type of athlete who when I say, 'Today we're going to do 10 miles,' he says, 'OK.' If I say we're going to do a tempo run, he says OK. It's always yes and yes sir." That is part of the reason why he can handle the rigors of college athletics and high academic dreams. "I pushed myself so much in high school with clubs and taking classes at Northwest Florida State," he said.

Then there is Howes, who has already lived one of the most interesting lives possible for a teenager. She lived in Italy for more than half a decade, traveled Europe and moved to the Emerald Coast halfway through high school. "It wasn't a whole lot different because I went to an American school," she said. "It is a change going to malls and stores and asking for things in English instead of a different language."
Now she's headed to Troy, N.Y. for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute -- declining offers from George Washington and other high-ranking academic colleges -- for the Biophysics program. Like Schneidewind, she'll keep running. "I liked that the runners there are around the same times as me," she said. "That will push me to keep getting faster."