Gene's Blog: Notes, spanning A(cademics) to W(aldvogel)
June 20, 2012
Eyo Ekpo’s first-team Capital One Academic All-America honor in men’s track and field/cross country gives St. Thomas four Academic All-Americas for 2011-12. Ekpo, the NCAA indoor runner-up in the triple jump and a high jump All-America last March, has a 3.69 gpa in Entrepreneurship.
The junior joins three other 2011-12 honorees from UST: Fritz Waldvogel and Dan Chapman from football and Ashley Maher from volleyball.
St. Thomas student-athletes have received the elite AAA honor 49 times in the last 10 years to rank in the top 10 in Division III.
At least four other outstanding UST student-athletes just missed Capital One Academic All-America status in 2011-12: NCAA cross country champ Ben Sathre (3.37 gpa); softball All-America Kimmy Hassel (3.56 gpa); baseball three-time All-MIAC honoree Charles Bruchu (3.67 gpa); and men’s golf three-year starter and NCAA team participant Michael Mortenson (3.94 gpa).
PHOTO: Eyo Ekpo at NCAA Championships
More Academic News
--The Tommie volleyball team matched its terrific on-court success with an excellent 2011-12 team grade-point average of 3.49 on a 4.00 scale. That includes a 3.63 gpa for Coach Thanh Pham’s top 11 varsity players last season. UST, 32-5, shared the conference championship, won the regional tournament and reached the eight-team NCAA playoff finals last fall.
--Tommie softball enjoyed another strong season on and off the field. Coach John Tschida’s team (38-9) swept the MIAC regular-season and playoff crowns. The Tommies again posted a team gpa above 3.30, including a 3.52 by its 10 starters from their 2012 postseason games.
--The winter/spring Academic All-MIAC honorees will be announced later this week. St. Thomas will have 63 honorees on that list. When you add in the Tommies’ 28 fall honorees, you get 91 on the school year. That’s up from 68 honorees in 2010-11. This award has a high standard, too: Freshmen and first-year transfers aren’t eligible; honorees must have a cumulative gpa of 3.50 or higher and meet a minimum standard for games played or performance in an MIAC Championship meet.
St. Thomas All-America RHP Dylan Thomas had his best pitching outing of the summer for the Duluth Huskies in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods League.
The game was halted by rain in the second inning Thursday night. Thomas came on when play resumed Friday and threw 6 1-3 scoreless innings and struck out four and allowed two hits and two walks. He lowered his ERA to 2.38 in three appearances. Duluth opened a series Monday against Thunder Bay.
His UST teammate, Tommy Danczyk, is 2-0 with a 2.46 ERA in five relief appearances with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
St. Thomas baseball posted its 20th consecutive winning season in 2012 en route to its third-place NCAA finish. It’s the eighth longest current streak in D-III baseball.
Tommie men’s hockey secured its 30th consecutive winning season in 2011-12. Coach Jeff Boeser’s team also made it 28-for-28 in MIAC playoff appearances.
Tommie volleyball has posted 14 winning seasons in a row. UST women’s hockey has had 12 consecutive winning seasons.
UST men’s basketball has had only one losing season in the last 32 years.
In the season win-streak department, everyone is chasing Tommie softball, which has never had a losing season in the program’s 34-year history.
Mike Dunlap, just hired as Charlotte Bobcats head coach, has never coached in the NBA or as a Division I head coach. The Alaska native, a longtime assistant at D-I St. John's (N.Y.), was once a Division III head coach at Cal Lutheran.
Dunlap brought Cal Lutheran to Schoenecker Arena in March of 1994 for the Division III playoffs. His team was eliminated by Greensboro College, then one day later Coach Steve Fritz' Tommies beat Greensboro to advance to the Final Four in Buffalo, N.Y. Current head coach John Tauer was a junior standout on that UST team.
Fritz recalls that Dunlap left Cal Lutheran after that season to become a head coach of an Australian pro team. He later was a 10-year head coach at Division II Metro State in Denver and won two national titles.
Fritz Waldvogel compiled 47 touchdowns and 7,433 all-purpose yards -– receptions, rushes, returns -- in his 50-game St. Thomas football career. Despite his many outstanding performances, Waldvogel reached 240 all-purpose yards in a game just three times as a Tommie.
Now he’s accomplished that stat in each of his first two games with the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. Waldvogel had 296 all-purpose yards in his debut game, and came back with 240 in game two. He has scored eight touchdowns to boot.
Waldvogel just had a bye week in preparation for the Unicorns’ game in Munich next Saturday. According to his Twitter site, he traveled last week for some sightseeing in Rome and Florence, Italy.
Besides missing his family and roommates, his tweets reveal one other thing about his summer/fall locale: “The first thing I learned in Germany: The driving here is nuts.”
You can follow Fritz at: https://twitter.com/#!/fritzwaldvogel4