College Notebook: Stevenson's Ani becomes a major thrower

Francis Scott Key graduate Danika Ani recently finished her freshman year at Stevenson University by competing at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
Francis Scott Key graduate Danika Ani recently finished her freshman year at Stevenson University by competing at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Stevenson Athletics)

Danika Ani proved she could compete with the best Division III track and field throwers in the country and put together a stellar freshman season at Stevenson University.

The Francis Scott Key graduate capped the spring by competing in the NCAA D-III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 26 in Geneva, Ohio. Ani placed 19th out of 22 competitors in the preliminary round of the shot put. Competing in the second flight, Ani had her best throw of 13.02 meters on her third and final throw of the afternoon. She threw 12.98 meters on her first attempt, followed by a 12.88 second try.


Ani, who also qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championship in the shot put, was one of two freshmen in the field. She became Stevenson's first female qualifier for NCAA outdoor nationals.

Ani won the shot put title (13.35) at the Middle Atlantic Conference Outdoor Championships on May 6, and finished 14th (13.85) at the prestigious Penn Relays on April 14.

She placed second in the discus (39.46) at the MAC meet, and took third (38.25) at the ECAC D-III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Ani also took part in the hammer throw, and her PR of 38.93 was good for fifth place the MAC meet.

Ani earned All-Region status this spring for shot and discus from the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. To be named all-region, athletes must either be ranked in the top 5 of an event, or be part of a top-3 relay team.

She's the fourth Marquette player to reach 100 career points, and her 115 goals are tops on the all-time list.

Ani's shot put win — a personal record and Stevenson record — at the Towson Invitational (14.1) was tops in the region, while her discus throw at the MAC championship was fourth.

Ani also became the first athlete in women's program history to win Rookie of the Year honors at the MAC Indoor Championships.

A final run for Mount's Woods

Mount St. Mary's senior Julian Woods (Century) finished his college track career at the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet at University of Kentucky on May 25. Woods qualified for the meet in the 400-meter hurdles, and finished 34th (sixth in his heat, 53.42 seconds).

Woods earned a gold medal in the 400 hurdles (52.84) and placed third in the 110 hurdles at the Northeast Conference meet, which Mount St. Mary's hosted in early May.

Woods earned his East Preliminary spot by posting a 51.72 at the Penn Relays.

He leaves the program with the second-best performance in Mount history in the 110 hurdles (14.17; May 7) and 400 hurdles (51.6; May 16, 2014).

Maseth shines with Golden Rams

West Chester's softball team made a deep postseason run this spring, and freshman Emily Maseth (Westminster) was a big part of the Golden Rams' success.


The Rams finished 48-13 after playing in the NCAA Atlantic Super Regionals in mid-May. West Chester hosted Wesley and lost in three games. But the Golden Rams advanced by beating Shepherd to win the Atlantic Region 2 pod title.

Maseth, the Times Player of the Year in 2016, made 41 starts (47 games) and batted .278 with one home run and 19 RBIs. Maseth collected eight doubles and scored 11 runs, and added a stolen base.

She made seven starts in the pitcher's circle (13 appearances) and went 5-2 with a 3.14 ERA. Maseth had 21 strikeouts in 49 innings.

Austin, UMBC's baseball run comes to end

Redshirt senior pitcher Michael Austin (Century) helped UMBC's baseball team on its journey to the NCAA tournament, where the Retrievers fell in the Winston-Salem Regional. UMBC lost to Wake Forest and Maryland to end the season at 23-25.

Austin, who started the tournament opener against Wake Forest, made 18 appearances this season and went 4-3 with one save. Austin struck out 47 batters in 67 1/3 innings.

He started his college career at Bethune-Cookman and transferred to UMBC after the 2015 season. Austin sat out the 2016 season under the NCAA's transfer rules, and has one more year of eligibility remaining.