Carroll County Times
Carroll County

College Notebook: Mount swimmer Griffith moves past accident for strong junior year

One year after becoming Mount St. Mary's University's first women's swimmer to earn All-Northeast Conference honors, Courtney Griffith is putting together a strong junior season despite a bump in the middle.

Griffith (Westminster) started the campaign well, participating in four Mountaineers victories at the Bloomsburg Relays on Oct. 8 - the 300-yard butterfly relay, the 200 freestyle relay, the 400 freestyle relay and the 500 freestyle relay. She also helped the team take second in the 300 backstroke relay at the meet, where the Mount's four wins were the second-most by any team.

However, she missed the Mountaineers' next two meets because of a car accident on Route 15 in Emmitsburg, where she fell asleep at the wheel. Griffith said via email that she's thankful to not be seriously injured and still able to swim.

"I will admit that it has been pretty frustrating not being where I planned on being by this point in the season," Griffith wrote. "I had set some very high goals set for myself this year, and with the setback of the accident, I am not in a place where I feel as confident about accomplishing them.

"I have not given up on myself and I never will, but it is discouraging not being as fast as I know that I could have been at this point in time."

In her first meet back, Griffith won the 100-meter butterfly in a tri-meet sweep of Manhattan (115-76) and VMI (115-56) on Oct. 28 and won the 50 freestyle in a sweep of Manhattan (131-61) and McDaniel (113-77) the next day.

From Nov. 17-19 at Radford University's Highlander Invitational, she placed third in the 100-yard butterfly, ninth in the 50 freestyle, 10th in the 100 freestyle and helped MSM place second in two relays - the 200 freestyle and 800 freestyle.

Griffith then helped the squad place third out of six teams at the Citrus Classic Invitational during a training trip to Arizona. She finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly, sixth in the 100 freestyle and swam a leg for the fourth-place 400 medley relay team.

Most recently, Griffith won the 100-yard butterfly, placed third in the 100 freestyle and second in the 200 medley relay in a 152-100 loss to Duquesne on Jan. 21.

Even though Griffith isn't completely satisfied with her performance, she knows it could've been worse.

"In the scheme of things, it is just a blessing that I wasn't seriously injured and that I am still able to do what I love," she wrote.

Griffith isn't the only swimmer from the county on the squad, as she's joined by sophomore Nicole Helmick (North Carroll).

Helmick has participated in several successful relays, swimming for the second-place 500-yard freestyle relay at the Bloomsburg Relays, the second-place 200-meter freestyle relay on Oct. 28, the seventh-place 400-yard medley relay in Arizona and the second-place 400-yard freestyle relay in the recent loss to Duquesne.

RANKED RUN: During the Penn State University men's basketball team's brutal slate of four straight games against ranked teams, senior Cammeron Woodyard (Winters Mill) has continued to contribute.

He finished with 17 points and four rebounds in the Nittany Lions' 54-52 win over then-No. 22 Illinois on Jan. 19.

Woodyard then had six points and four rebounds in a 73-54 loss at No. 11 Indiana on Jan. 22, 10 points and three boards in a 78-54 defeat at No. 4 Ohio State on Jan. 25, and five points and five rebounds before fouling out in a 52-46 loss to No. 19 Wisconsin Wednesday.

Those three straight defeats dropped Penn State's record to 10-13 (2-8 Big Ten). Woodyard is averaging 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22 games (12 starts).

VIRTUOSO CAPER: Winters Mill graduate Cassie Cooke has put together quite a run to lead the Cape Breton University women's basketball team to six straight wins since it lost four of the previous five games.

Cooke is averaging 22.0 points during the winning streak while racking up loads of rebounds, assists and steals for the Capers (9-5).

She started it by scoring 29 points in 27 minutes (9-for-20 shooting) in a Jan. 14 win over Memorial. She followed with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in 20 minutes of a win over Memorial the next day.

Cooke finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a win over Saint Mary's on Jan. 20, and 17 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists in a win over St. Francis Xavier on Jan. 21.

She tallied 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in Friday's win over New Brunswick before busting through for 32 points (12-for-19), six rebounds, six assists and two steals in 28 minutes of Saturday's win over New Brunswick.

Cooke ranks third in Canada's Atlantic University Sport conference with 20.4 points per game, third in 3-pointers, fifth in assists, eighth in field-goal percentage, ninth in rebounding and ninth in steals.

FIRST START: Freshman Ryan McTavish (South Carroll) made his first career start for the Presbyterian College men's basketball team against UNC-Asheville on Jan. 21, and has had two of his best showings of the season in his last three games.

In his initial start, McTavish scored four points on 2-for-5 shooting, grabbed four rebounds and made a steal in a season-high 31 minutes. He played just five minutes the next game before matching his season high with five points in 17 minutes against Charleston Southern Saturday.

McTavish is averaging 1.3 points and 9.3 minutes in 19 games for the Blue Hose (8-13).