By John Manley
James Beckom, a 6-3 freshman guard from Cork, had eight rebounds in just 17 minutes on the floor, co-high for John Brown University, in their 78-67 win over Science & Arts of Oklahoma in a semifinal tilt of the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament in Plainview, Texas on Friday. Beckom also contributed five points, cashing on his lone field goal attempt and on two of five free throws. John Brown then lost, 66-51, to Southwestern A.G. in the finals match on Saturday. Beckom scored two points and corralled two caroms. The Golden Eagles (28-5) now await news of their status in the NAIA tournament.
Sean Flood ended his collegiate career by draining a three-pointer as Longwood lost, 78-53, to Hampton on Thursday in first-round action of the Big South Conference Tournament in Radford, Virginia. The Dublin senior got in for two minutes near the end of the contest and converted his only field goal attempt as the Lancers finished the season at 14-18. He averaged 2.4 points per game for Longwood this year in a reserve role.
TRACK & FIELD
Villanova's Charlie O'Donovan, a sophomore from Cork, ran second in the men's mile at the Big East Conference Indoor Championships in Staten Island. Although his 4:15.50 was fastest in the preliminaries, he ran 4:20.17 in the finals, which was exceeded by Matthew Payamps of Providence, who ran the race in 4:19.88.
Luke Horgan of McNeese State got fifth place in the men's mile at the Southland Conference Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. The junior from Cork was in at 4:18.24, trailing winner Jordan Rowe of Lamar, in at 4:12.24, and three others.
Sub-70 rounds were few and far between in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In fact, there were only six over 54 holes, two of which were recorded by two of the three Irish women on the course. Wake Forest freshman Lauren Walsh from County Kildare had one of them. She shot 79, 73 and 68 to finish seven strokes over par, good for joint-10th place, and eight strokes off the winning score hung up by teammate Emilia Migliaccio. UCLA’s Annabel Wilson, a freshman from Lurgan, Co. Armagh, posted rounds of 75, 69 and 79, which relegated her to a share of 29th place. Auburn’s Julie McCarthy, a junior from Swords, Co. Dublin, tied for 53rd place, having shot rounds of 76, 74 and 79. Wake Forest won the team title comfortably over Auburn, with UCLA taking fourth place.
Niamh McSherry of Kansas State finished joint-14th in the Florida State Match Up at Bay Point Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Florida. The junior from Lurgan, Co. Armagh shot rounds of 78, 77 and 75, which left her 14 strokes over par for 54 holes and 18 behind medal winner Ingrid Lindblad of Louisiana State. McSherry saved her best shot for last as she eagled the 18th hole, a par-4, as her second shot, from 64 yards out, landed eight feet from the pin and rolled in. That enabled K-State to leapfrog two rivals and finish seventh in the team scramble.
“All the girls were watching and it was a great feeling,” McSherry said. “I didn’t realize it moved us up until the end.”
Teammate Chloe Weir, a Belfast senior, tied for 45th place, having shot rounds of 81, 82 and 79.
Nathan McCann of Colorado State-Pueblo got a share of sixth place in the Las Vegas Desert Classic at Royal Links in Las Vegas. The junior from Lurgan, Co. Armagh was tied for second place, just two strokes off the lead after rounds of 73 and 72, but was unable to make up the gap, shooting 73 in the third and final round. Four strokes separated him and medalist Emilio Gonzalez of St. Mary's (Texas). Pueblo had to settle for second in the team standings, just a stroke behind victorious Arkansas Tech.
Florida Atlantic's Alex Maguire tied for 10th place in the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate at Fort Lauderdale Country Club in Florida. A freshman from Mornington, Co. Meath, he posted rounds of 72, 73 and 67 to finish the event four strokes under par and 11 behind medalist Carlos Bustos of Lynn University. Florida Atlantic finished second among teams, with Lynn topping the table.
Vanderbilt defeated both visiting Auburn, 4-1, and Alabama, 4-3, with 28th-ranked Georgia Drummy solid at second singles. The Dublin sophomore took care of Auburn’s Selin Ovunc, 6-2, 6-4, on Friday and the Crimson Tide’s Isabella Harvison, 6-4, 6-4, on Sunday. Drummy and Emma Kurtz also combined for wins at first doubles by identical 6-3 scores over Auburn’s Ovunc and Taylor Russo, and Alabama’s Harvison and Moka Ito.
Both Lucy Octave and Zara Ryan were victorious in their singles matches at the first and third slots, respectively, as Utah State’s visit to Cal.-Riverside yielded a 4-0 triumph. Octave, a senior from Donaghadee, Co. Down, defeated Mahli Silpachai, 6-1, 7-5, while Ryan, a Dublin freshman handled Lindsey Gelinas, 7-5, 6-3. Octave also got a 6-1 win at first doubles alongside Hannah Jones over Tia Elpusan and Sara Khattab.
Dublin freshman Sophia Derivan was a winning proposition for Colorado at fourth singles as the Buffaloes dropped road matches to Washington State, 6-1, and Washington, 4-2. Derivan went to three sets to stave off a State whitewash of the Buffs as she defeated Melisa Ates, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, on Friday. Then, on Sunday, she worked out a 6-3, 6-4 win over Washington’s Katarina Kopcalic.
Delaware knocked off George Washington, 5-2, on the loser’s courts on Thursday. The Blue Hens’ Caragh Courtney took care of GW’s Alexandra Vesikallio, 6-4, 6-4, at third singles.
Michigan State lost, 4-3, to Iowa on Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan, but Dublin sophomore Jennifer Timotin kept the score close with a win at sixth singles. She rallied to defeat Danielle Burich, 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-2.
Rice dropped a 4-3 verdict to visiting Kansas on Saturday, although Anna Bowtell put a point on the board for the Owls with a win at fourth singles. She needed three sets to take down Maria Toran Ribes, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2. She also teamed with Victoria Smirnova for a win at third doubles, 7-6 (7-2), over Julie Derning and Vasiliki Karvouni.
Dublin sophomore Oisin Shaffrey helped Montana defeat Northern Colorado, 5-2, on Saturday and Portland State, 6-1, on Sunday in Missoula, Montana. Slotted at third singles, he downed Northern Colorado’s Julian Kenzlers, 6-3, 6-2, and Portland State’s Nikola Dimitrijevic, 6-3, 6-2. Shaffrey and Pontus Hallgren also worked out victories at third doubles over Northern Colorado’s Adolfo Arroyo and Nick Wade, 6-2, and Portland State’s Dimitrijevic and Sahal Bukary, 6-3.