Nathan Zondlo is back on course.
Zondlo (Pittston Area) didn't compete last season for the Lock Haven men's cross country team but this year, he's come back with a flourish.
Zondlo missed nearly 15 months after suffering a hip injury in May of 2011. He began easing back into running in August and he and coach Andy Russell focused on having him ready for November and a possible race at the NCAA Division II Regionals. He placed 15th in the Atlantic Regionals and earned a berth in the upcoming NCAA Championships.
Nathan's not back 100 percent yet but he was able to put together an All-Atlantic performance and run as the number three guy on our team, Russell said. Looking back on the results, it is apparent that without him in our lineup our men's team would have qualified for the nationals.
As a junior, Zondlo captured the Atlantic Region title and finished 45th in the NCAAs. As a sophomore, he was 12th in the Atlantic Region.
Nathan has been a real catalyst for our team, Russell said. The confidence the team has by having a veteran like him on the line next to them has helped carry each individual to a stronger performance.
It's been a long road back for the red-shirt senior.
Nathan was pretty exhausted after the (Regional) race, Russell said. But he fought through every inch of that race for his team. I'm just so happy to see him back out there.
The Division II Nationals are set for Saturday in Joplin, MO.
SCHMID A FIRST-TEAM PICK – Joseph Schmid (Wyoming Valley West) was named to the Northeast Conference first team for his play with the Monmouth men's soccer team this fall.
Schmid, a 5-foot-6, 135-pound junior forward had five goals and three assists for 13 points. Four of his goals were game-winners. The Villanova transfer had three goals and five assists for 13 points last season.
Joseph had another fantastic season, coach Robert McCourt said. I feel he is the top player in our conference and one of the top midfielders in the country. He is our captain and our leader and he is a terrific role model for his teammates.
WINGERT WAS CONSISTENT – Laura Wingert had another solid season with the Elizabethtown women's soccer team.
Wingert (Holy Redeemer) was named to the Commonwealth Conference first team for the fourth straight season. She started all 19 games and finished with five goals and five assists for 15 points with two game-winners. In her career, she played in 73 games with 71 starts and had 24 goals and 24 assists for 72 points. She had six game-winners.
The Blue Jays finished 10-3-6 overall and 6-1-2 in league play and saw their season end with a penalty-kick loss to Stevenson in the league semifinals.
TRIO HELPED THE ROCK – The Slippery Rock field hockey team finished 8-10 with a 5-5 record in the PSAC and was beaten 1-0 in the first of the league tournament by Indiana but The Rock had three first-team PSAC picks.
Seniors Gabrielle Malishchak (Greater Nanticoke Area) and Ally Banks (Coughlin) along with sophomore Courtney Lee (Holy Redeemer) were selected.
Malishchak, a solid defender, chipped in with two goals and four assists for eight points. Banks had four goals and six assists for 14 points. Keeper Lee gave up 25 goals and had 105 saves with a shutout. She finished seventh in Division II in goals against average (1.41) and 15th in saves per game (5.83).
All three players were keys to our success this season and helped us earn the highest national ranking in program history, coach Julie Swiney said. Gabrielle and Ally controlled our midfield, Gaby more defensively this year earning five defensive saves and Ally more on offense. Courtney was consistent in the goal coming up with huge saves all season long to keep us in games.
The Rock also got a solid contribution from sophomore Lindsay Brown (Crestwood) who had four goals and two assists for 10 points.
RECORD FOR LIGOTSKI – Freshman Brianna Ligotski (Holy Redeemer) wrapped up her first cross country season with the University of the Sciences women's team in record fashion.
Ligotski finished 46th out of 192 runners at the NCAA Division II East Regionals in Nashua, N.H. Her time for the 6k race was 23:29, which is a new school record. And, it was the best finish ever by an individual runner in the race.
Overall, Ligotski was the fifth freshman to finish the race and the first one from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
The Devils finished 22nd out of 31 teams, improving on last year's 26th-place showing.
HUNT FINISHES FIFTH – SUNY-Morrisville sophomore Amanda Hunt (Tunkhannock) finished fifth out of 89 runners in the recent North Eastern Athletic Conference women's cross country championships in Abington Township.
Hunt earned All-NEAC honors for the second straight season with her effort (23:00) over the 5k course. She was the best finisher for the Mustangs.
Hunt followed up that effort by finishing 72nd out of 284 runners at the ECAC Championships in Williamstown, Mass. with a 6k time of 25:12.
ZALEWSKI HONORED – Sophomore Ashley Zalewski (Tunkhannock) was named to the Colonial States Athletic Conference second team for her play with the Marywood women's volleyball team.
The middle hitter led the Pacers in kills (205) and hitting percentage (.284). She also had 23 digs and 13 blocks to help the team post a 13-12 overall record and a 6-5 mark in CSAC play.
DISABATINO SELECTED – Bloomsburg senior Jenna DiSabatino (Crestwood) was named to the PSAC East second team in field hockey.
DiSabatino, who earned her first league honor, finished with 14 goals and four assists for 32 points. Her goals were fifth best in the conference and her points were sixth best. Her points per game (1.68) and goals per game (.74) both ranked 15th in NCAA Division II.
The 14 goals was also a career high for DiSabatino who finished her Bloomsburg career with 37 goals and 10 assists for 84 points.
SECOND TEAM FOR CONRAD – Senior Erin Conrad (Meyers) was named to the Big East Conference second team after another standout performance in goal for the Louisville field hockey team.
Conrad gave up 37 goals and had 108 saves with a shutout and posted a 12-8 record. She was a three-year starter and a three-time All-Big East pick. Her 13 shutouts are fourth on the team's career list.
The Cardinals saw their season end with a 2-1 loss to Connecticut in the Big East semifinals. Conrad had four saves in the game.
RITCHIE SEES ACTION – Freshman Ingrid Ritchie (Meyers) played in all 18 games and started two for the PSU-Altoona women's soccer team.
The 5-foot forward recorded her first collegiate point with an assist in a 2-1 loss to Pitt-Bradford and picked up her first college goal in her first start of the season, a 3-1 triumph over Hilbert.
The Lions finished 3-15 overall and 3-6 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
SHERRY WRAPS IT UP – Julia Sherry (Tunkhannock) ended her career with the Keystone women's tennis team. The 5-foot-7 senior finished with a 6-7 record at No. 4 singles and a 7-6 mark in No. 2 doubles. She and her doubles partner, Amanda Perry, earned Colonial States Athletic Conference honorable mention, going 6-4 in singles and 7-2 in doubles in league play. Sherry also made the league's All-Sportsmanship team.
The Giants finished 6-7 overall and 6-4 in CSAC and lost 6-0 to top-seed Gwynned Mercy in the league semifinals.
Bill Arsenault writes about local athletes competing on the collegiate level for The Times Leader. Reach him at [email protected].