Written by David Mann
CLEVELAND – The National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators recently announced Darton State College Athletics as the No. 5 overall athletics program in its fall sports poll of the 2012-2013 NATYCAA Cup Standings.
The Cavaliers won the 2012 Region 17 Championships in all of their fall sports in the Cavalier Athletics Department’s second consecutive fall sports sweep. It was quite a season:
The Cavaliers had their first undefeated regular season in the program’s history, and finished 19-1 after falling to eventual national champion Tyler Community College in the semifinal round of the national championship tournament. The Cavaliers were a flawless 11-0 in conference play before winning their third consecutive Region XVII Championship title.
Head Coach Bart Sasnett again won Region 17 Coach of the Year honors, and his central midfielder and returning All-American, Troy Tucker, earned the Region 17 Player of the Year award. Tucker joined teammates Soren Yuhaschek, Jowayne Laidley and Carlos Catano for All-Region 17, 1st Team honors. Jahmel Swan and Andrew Palumbo earned 2nd Team, All-Region 17 honors.
But it didn’t end there. Yuhaschek, Laidley and Tucker became NJCAA D-1 All Americans, Sasnett became the Southeast District Coach of the Year, and the team earned the NJCAA D-1 Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament Sportsmanship Award.
The current class of sophomores, as they leave the program, can reflect on a 38-3-1 overall record, a perfect 22-0 Region record, two Region 17 titles, two Southeast District Championships and two NJCAA Final Four appearances.
The Lady Cavaliers had a tremendous turnaround after a tough start to the fall season. After a slow 4-5 start the program came alive, winning nine consecutive games before crushing No. 10-ranked Georgia Perimeter College, 4-0, in the Region 17 Championship final.
The Darton squad finished 8th at the NJCAA D-1 Women’s Soccer Championships in Melbourne, Fla. The Lady Cavs were 14-5 overall, and 13-3 in conference play.
Defender Stephanie Anes, midfielder Kim Treutel and forward Chihiro Hikita all earned 1st Team, All-Region 17 honors. Midfielder Deanna Reali and forward Shenika Williams earned All-Region 17, 2nd Team accolades. Defender Chevelle Lopez earned All-Region 17, Honorable Mention.
Women’s Cross Country
The Lady Cavaliers earned their 5th consecutive conference win. Head Women’s XC Coach Bruce Skiles said the 2012 Lady Cavaliers were the most talented team he’s coached at Darton. Four of the Lady Cavs ran the collegiate 5K in under 21 minutes, and three ran it in under 22 minutes, pushing the program to a 21st-place finish at the NJCAA Championship 5K in Rend Lake, Ill., on Nov. 10.
Jeronda Stringfield, Alexi Skiles, Hayden Clapper and Elena Oslund earned 1st Team All-Region 17 honors. Kaitlyn Winter, Jaichelle Thomas and Vanessa Pina earned 2nd Team, All-Region awards, and Coach Skiles received the Region 17 Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year award.
Men’s Cross Country
Freshman Jared Richmond broke Darton’s 8K school record at the 2012 Region 17 Cross Country Championship to became the Region 17 men’s cross country champion. He completed the collegiate 8K (4.97 miles) in 26:04. With teammates Cody Mallchok and Hank Campbell also running low 26’s that morning, and with a team average 8K of 26:47, this was Darton’s fastest men’s cross country team since its inception in 2007. The team won its fourth straight Region 17 Championship.
Richmond, Mallchok, Campbell and Ean Crawford all earned All-Region 17, 1st Team accolades. Nick Mascardo earned 2nd Team honors, and Skiles again received the Region 17 Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year award.
The program finished 19th at the NJCAA Championships.