Mollie De Francesco
Duke's 2002 spring sports wrap
The JMU lacrosse team, ranked 15th nationally, finished its 2002 season with an 8-10 record and a third-place finish at the CAA championships. Junior Lisa Staedt was named the CAA Lacrosse Player of the Year. Staedt, along with senior Kristen Dinisio, was named to the 2002 Virginia Sports Information Director's All-State Team. Head coach Jennifer Ulehla resigned her position after being with the Dukes for eight seasons. Ulehla was the 2000 CAA Coach of the Year and led the Dukes to six NCAA appearances.
The archery team finished second at the U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships held in May at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in California. Junior Caleb Heller won the men's compound bow gold medal, while senior Sharon Ryder took the women's compound bow bronze medal. Heller and Ryder earned All-America honors along with five other teammates: freshman Stephanie Pylypchuk, sophomores Adam Wheatcroft and Megan Bowker, junior Brad Fiala and senior Jim Rainbolt. Heller, Wheatcroft and Bowker qualified to compete in the World University Archery Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, July 10-13.
Women's Track and Field
The Dukes finished the season with a fourth-place finish at CAA championships and tied for 12th among 50 teams at the ECAC championships. Senior Mollie DeFrancesco set the JMU records for the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the indoor and outdoor 5,000 meters. DeFrancesco is JMU's 2002 Female Athlete of the Year, the CAA Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year, and the CAA and ECAC 3,000-meter steeplechase champion. She qualified for the NCAA Championships in Baton Rouge, La., and was the top American finisher in a world-class steeplechase field, placing fourth. DeFrancesco also placed fourth in the steeplechase at the USA Track and Field Championships held at Stanford.
Men's Track and Field
The men's team tied for 28th at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships. Senior Anthony Wallace was JMU's top individual finisher, placing fifth in the long jump. The 4x400-relay team (Marques Hamilton, David Lewis, Dwight Norris and Eric Braxton) took fifth place in the competition.
The Dukes won the William and Mary Colonial Invitational, placed second in the Florida International University Invitational and the JMU Lady Dukes Invitational. Junior Jessica Lewis, who accumulated an individual title, two second-place finishes and one fourth-place finish, qualified to play in the NCAA East Regional Championships.
The men's golf team ended the spring season with a third-place finish in the William and Mary Colonial Intercollegiate competition and a fourth-place finish at the CAA Championships. Sophomore Jay Woodson, achieving four top-five finishes, ended the season with a team-low average of 72.06 per round. He was second at the CAA Championships and won the Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship.
The women's tennis team was seeded fourth going into the CAA Championships this season. In the quarterfinals the Dukes defeated the fifth seeded Seahawks of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. The No. 1-seeded William & Mary defeated the Dukes in the semifinals. JMU finished the season with a 9-7 dual record.
The men's tennis team season ended in the quarterfinals of the CAA Championships, when the fifth-seeded Dukes lost to the fourth-seeded Seahawks of UNCW. Although the team finished with a 2-9 dual record, several individual players had personal success. Senior Andrew Lux, who graduated summa cum laude, was JMU's star in academics and athletics. Lux won numerous awards including: the 2002 Taylor Award, the 2002 Region II Tennis Magazine/Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award, JMU's 2002 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, JMU's Class of 2002 Outstanding Marketing Student, Second-Team All-CAA Singles honors, and Verizon's Academic All-America First-Team.
Lux, from Remscheid, Germany, is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and the Golden Key International honor society. A captain for three years, Lux was ranked 137th nationally in singles and 44th in doubles with partner Troy Stone. It was the first time head coach Stephen Secord had a team member ranked nationally in both singles and doubles.
Story by Janelle DiOrio ('03)
Photos by JMU Sports Media Relations