The daily collegian. (University Park, Pa.) 1940-current, December 09, 2010, Image 9

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    The Daily Collegian
All-Americans bring skill
By Stephen Pianovich
Penn State’s men’s and
women’s track teams had eight
athletes named
All-Americans in
the 2010 indoor TRACK AND
season. FIELD
Six of them
are returning in
The men’s team has five of
those All-Americans coming
back. Owen Dawson, Ryan
Foster and Lionel Williams were
Division I All-Americans in the
800 m run.
Blake Eaton and Joe Kovacs
Owen Dawson runs at the Penn
State Northeast Challenge.
Divers battling inconsistency
By James Nicol
Consistency has been a chal
lenge for a young men's diving
u ‘ mens mfn'S
team consists of
sophomore Alex DIVING
Marchinski and
Jordan Harris
This pair is part
of a young con
tingent that has
make an impact
Though there Brown
is not a lot of
between the two, they have
learned to take instruction and
translate it into results.
"They're learning really fast,
they're sharp, attentive kids,
who are ready to translate what
I say into actual functioning
work off" the board and into the
water," diving coach Craig
Brown said.
"They've been really, really
good, they fast track a lot of stuff
that takes most kids four or five
years to learn. "
Jordan Harris was a two-time
PIAA state champion before
coming to Penn State, and
Brown has been working with
the freshman to make the
adjustment to more difficult
Harris' high school,
Philipsburg-Oseeola, didn't
have a pool, but his junior diving
experience has made the transi
tion a smooth one.
"I did a lot of USA diving so
that really prepared me for col
lege with the three meter and
just harder dives in general." he
said, "so it wasn't too bad."
earned the honor in the shot
All of the returning All-
Americans are seniors this year
and all of them, except Dawson,
were voted team captains at the
beginning of the season.
Having five All-Americans
returning for the 2011 indoor
season is the second most in the
Big Ten, as only Minnesota is
returning more with six.
The Nittany Lion women only
return one All-American for
2011, but it is someone who was
named an All-American in two
separate events.
Senior Shavon Greaves was
an All-American in both the 60m
dash and the 220 m dash last
Greaves was also voted a cap
tain by the team earlier in the
The returning All-Americans
feel honored by being named to
an exclusive group.
“I was really happy,” said
Greaves about hearing the news
that she was an All-American. “I
came up short the last year, and
it was something I wanted to
However, this year their
focuses are shifting to the one
thing better than being an All-
American: becoming a national
“This year I have bigger
goals,” Kovacs said.
“Definitely a national champi
onship is within the reach for
“Being a young team definitely has its
disadvantages. It’s tough to beat those older
Marchinski sprained his wrist
in the team’s first meet of the
season at West Virginia, limiting
him for several weeks. During
that time, he didn’t dive into the
pool on his hands, forcing him to
enter on his feet.
Marchinski did a lot of work
from the one-meter height dur
ing that time. He said he has
been able to extend many of
those dives to the three-meter
board since his recovery and is
happy with his improvement
this semester.
“This first semester I’ve
improved a lot,” Marchinski
“That time off gave me a lot
time to work on the basics,”
The team has been working
on practicing their more difficult
Dives with a higher degree of
difficulty lead to higher scores
in competition.
“I think we need to build diffi
culty in our lists one dive at a
time,” Brown said.
"We have a couple dives that
are on the burner, they’re not
cooked yet, but they’re on the
The divers have built up a
competitive list, but have strug
gled to perform them at a high
level in competition.
Last weekend at the Georgia
Invitational, Harris had one of
his best meets at the one-meter
height but struggled at three
meters, while Marchinski
excelled at three-meters and
struggled at one-meter.
Blake and I and a lot of people
on this team.”
Having already accomplished
being All-Americans and all
being seniors, all of the return
ing All-Americans are definitely
motivated to become national
“This year coming in as an
All-American just gives me a lit
tle bit more fire to be a national
champion,” said Greaves.
The women’s team has had
national champions recently
when their 4x400m team and
Shana Cox in the 400 m won
championships in 2008.
The men have not been as
There has not been an indoor
or outdoor national champion
since Brian Milne won a nation
al title for the Lions in the dis
cus in 1993.
Since five of the six All-
Americans coming back are
captains, they are definitely con
cerned with the success for the
team not just their individual
Both the men and the women
are hoping to compete for a Big
Ten title.
“For the past couple years
we’ve always been hearing that
one day we could get a Big Ten
banner, and now we have all the
experience, and we’re starting
to mesh as a team that will at
least be in the running for a Big
Ten championship,” said
“Consistency is where we’re
moving now,” Brown said.
“Now that they have the dives
we can compete with, we’ve got
to make those dives, cleaner,
higher, faster and more consis
Over winter break the diving
team will travel to Indianapolis
to take part in a meet against
Wyoming and Arkansas. The
meet will take place at the USA
Diving National Training
Brown is excited to take
advantage of the facility and
have the team around some of
the best divers in the country.
“We’re going to be around the
national team and training at
the best facility in the country,”
Brown said. “We're going to
spend five or six days there and
have that meet and also train
with some of the best kids in the
The divers are young but they
have the motivation to improve.
Marchinski acknowledges they
have a lot to learn, but he is opti
mistic they will be able to suc
“Being a young team it defi
nitely has its disadvantages,"
Marchinski said. “It’s tough to
beat those older guys, but just
having that experience and
competing with those older kids
and see what they can do, it
gives you something to look for
ward to and something to build
To e-mail reporter:
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Excludes JD Sampler & Pick 3 For All
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Alex Marchinski
sophomore diver
Urban Meyer (right) helps hold the Championship Trophy in 2009
Urban Meyer neglected
family duties far too long
By Jared Shanker
He just couldn’t do it.
Urban Meyer couldn’t
save him
self from himself.
His family tried,
only to lose out
once again to the
same 50,818 peo-
ple who have con
sumed his every
waking minute
and kept him on MY OPINION
edge since 2004.
One hundred
seventeen players, nine assistant
coaches, one athletic director and
50,691 students. Last year, they all
took priority over the Meyers.
Like an overmatched heavy
weight boxer, Meyer’s family was
dealt body blow after body blow,
somehow managing to stay in the
fight, even as Meyer sat texting
recruits in church or missed yet
another one of his daughter
Nikki’s volleyball matches.
Well, six rounds after the open
ing bell, when Meyer the husband
and father took a backseat to
Meyer the Florida Gators head
coach, Meyer’s family lifted its
head off the canvas and mustered
up enough strength for one last
haymaker. The punch connected,
not with those 50,818, but with
Meyer's head, finally knocking
some sense into it.
On Wednesday, Meyer, 46,
announced he was stepping down
as coach of the Gators, making
the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl in
Tampa, Fla., his final game.
“At the end of the day, I’m very
convinced that you’re gonna be
judged by how you are as a hus
band and a father, not how many
bowl games you won," Meyer
said. "I’ve not seen my two girls
play high school sports. I missed
those four years. I can’t get that
time back"
Haven't we heard all of this
before? For those of you keeping
score at home, this is the second
time Meyer has retired in the last
12 months. In the week leading
up to last season's Sugar Bowl,
Meyer, citing health and family
reasons, retired. Within 24 hours,
though, Meyer was having second
thoughts and a few days later
However, last year’s change of
heart had little to do with Meyer
and everything to do with protect
ing Florida.
"No. 1.1 changed my mind for
$2 Drafts
$2 House Wines
$2 Bottled Beers
$2 Liquors - Margaritas,
Captain & Cokes, LITs,
House Martinis and more!
Thursday, Dec. 9,2010 I 9
our staff and our players," Meyer
said. “The timing for my boss was
not appropriate."
The result: a 7-5 season that
had Gator Nation demanding
Meyer make changes to his staff
namely fire offensive coordina
tor Steve Addazio. Meyer instead
just cut the head off, stepping
down permanently. No .finally.
Over the next few days, Meyer
will endure a firestorm of criti-
% -- - 4
cism from cynics. He’ll be called a
quitter or accused of never truly
having his heart in coaching this
season and should have stayed
retired. And vou know what?
Those criticisms are justified.
Meyer tried to please every
body. He thought he could find a
healthy balance between family
and football. The problem is that
Meyer doesn't know how to coach
at anything less than full speed.
Meyer is the definition of a "Type
A” personality intense, ultra
competitive and high-strung. It s
only fitting that the man who
coined the term "Type A” is
named Meyer Friedman, who
created the term to help identify
causes for heart disease.
Meyer burned himself out after
10 years of coaching, yet there
might not be a coach who accom
plished more in a single decade
than Meyer, who bepirfiis head
coaching career in 2001. Meyer
was the original BCS buster,
coaching his Utah team to an
undefeated record and Fiesta
Bowl win in 2004. In six years at
Florida, Meyer won two national
championships, becoming the
first coach to win two BCS titles.
The thrill of those wins still
wasn’t enough to overcome the
pain of losing losses not on the
field but at home.
“If it was a different timing in
my family’s life where they
weren’t involved in sports and
involved in all the things a dad
should be at, then it might be dif
ferent," Meyer said.
“But I want to make that clear;
that’s the reason. To see my
daughter (Gigi) sign a national
letter of intent to go to Florida
Gulf Coast and I’ve not seen the
school yet. I guarantee I'm going
to see it.”
This time, he means it. This
time, family won.
Jared Shanker is a senior majoring in
history and journalism and is the
Collegian’s sports columnist. His e-mail
address is