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WRITER: John Vargo

Recalling a packed Beeghly Center

YOUNGSTOWN — Feb. 10, 2001. The date was significant as Youngstown State University and Valparaiso were vying for first place in the former Mid-Continent Conference. YSU revealed a month later its exit strategy to the Horizon League, a newly formed conglomeration with teams like current rival Cleveland State, Butler and Wright State. Teams like Valparaiso, Oakland and Northern Kentucky soon followed to the ...

Liberty swimmer cool with state bid

The focus is simple, nice, easy and relaxed. Just like Andrew Riser. The Liberty High School junior swimmer doesn’t prescribe to the theory that anger will fuel him to swim faster. He uses a calm and focused mentality when it comes to swimming, and it has taken him pretty far to this point. He wants to swim his 100-yard freestyle, and he wants to do it at his own pace. Riser enters Thursday ...

Penguins snap losing skid

YOUNGSTOWN — Taylor Petit found her way inside the Cleveland State defense and wiggled around a couple of defenders as she does most games. A tipped ball, deflection or corralling a loose basketball, things that do not show in the box score. Six of her eight rebounds were offensive in Saturday’s 84-72 win over Cleveland State, as the Youngstown State women’s basketball team broke a six-game losing ...

Spartans continue their run

Noah Basista. Matthew DunLany. They are two standouts in the Boardman High School boys swimming program. Names have changed over the years, but the model of consistency has never wavered. Coach Carlo Cordon saw the model former coach Terry O’Halloran had for the Spartans, even trickling down to the youth program — building arguably the best swim program in the Mahoning Valley. Boardman had at least a ...

West Branch, Crestview swimmers have eyes on state

The past four years, Rachel Klem has made the trip west from the heart of Columbiana County to Canton and the C.T. Branin Natatorium. The Crestview High School senior has seen former Division II 100-yard breaststroke state champion Jamyson Robb, a West Branch High School senior, for the last four years. “We have always pushed each other at every swim practice,” Klem said. “We swim the same events, so ...

Canfield does more with less

Coach Jamie Stahl said her Canfield swim team has a simple motto — quality over quantity. The Cardinals have eight boys and seven of them made today’s Division II district meet at Cleveland State University. Connor Fritz, Ty Schaab, Luke Dietz and Matthew Peckman won the 200-yard medley relay, while Dietz, Cameron Burnett, Fritz and Peckman won the 200 freestyle relay. Dietz won the 200 ...

Wisconsin freshmen key for YSU

YOUNGSTOWN — Maddie Schires looks around at the other four players. Sometimes there’s juniors Ny’Dajah Jackson and Chelsea Olson, players with NCAA Division I experience. She knows she’s one of many freshmen out on the court playing more minutes than they normally would otherwise. Injuries in the frontcourt and backcourt have hindered the Penguins (11-13, 7-5 Horizon League) this season in a midst ...

Routine pays off for Penguins’ Simmons

YOUNGSTOWN — Unnoticeable in the box score, and even harder to spot in the play-by-play summary. The steal by 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Jelani Simmons was what the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team needed in Saturday’s game. The game clock inside the Beeghly Center read 13:39 remaining in the game against Cleveland State. The Penguins were in the midst of a 21-5 run, trailing by six at ...

Fitch’s Lawrence turns to swimming district

Jake Lawrence took off through the first 25 yards of the pool and came to one end. The Austintown Fitch High School junior dives below the water in his lane, does a turn in the water and pushes off the side with the power of his legs. It’s second nature to the Falcons swimmer. “I’ve been working on them for so long, I’ve pretty much mastered it,” said Lawrence, who competes in Saturday’s Division ...

Penguins must embrace journey

Matt Manley and his crew of student assistants had those cases of water, Gatorade and other snacks stacked and ready to go into the storage compartments of the tour bus parked behind the Beeghly Center. Some were heading for overhead compartments in the middle part of the bus that was being prepared to carry the 30-or-so people traveling with the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team. The trip ...