Penn State claimed the No. 1 spot in the Inside Lacrosse Top 20 media poll, released Wednesday, edging Virginia by a point. The Nittany Lions claimed 11 of 20 first-place votes, just ahead of the Cavaliers, who earned seven. Yale and Maryland, who each earned one first-place vote, are ranked third and fourth, respectively, with Syracuse rounding out the top five.
Among other local schools, Johns Hopkins checks in at No. 13, Loyola Maryland is No. 14 and Towson is No. 17.
Six Terps were named to the Inside Lacrosse preseason All-America team, voted by the media: Senior Jared Bernhardt (second team), Junior Bubba Fairman (third team), junior Anthony DeMaio (third team), junior Logan Wisnauskas (third team), junior Roman Puglise (honorable mention) and sophomore Brett Makar (honorable mention). Maryland’s six selections were tied with Penn State for the second-most of any school, behind only Syracuse’s seven selections.
Penn State redshirt senior attackman Grant Ament, Virginia senior mifielder Dox Aitken and senior long-stick midfielder Jared Conners and Syracuse redshirt senior defenseman Nick Mellen and Yale faceoff specialist TD Ierlan lead the way for the top-five teams on the Inside Lacrosse All-America first team.
Towson senior defenseman Koby Smith (first team), Hopkins sophomore attackman Joey Epstein (honorable mention) and Loyola Maryland long-stick midfielder Ryan McNulty (second team) were also named preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse.
Inside Lacrosse men’s Top 20 poll
Rank, school, points
1. Penn State, 385 (11)
2. Virginia, 384 (7)
3. Yale, 355 (1)
4. Maryland, 342 (1)
5 Syracuse, 314
6. Penn, 298
7. Duke, 285
8. Notre Dame, 266
9. Denver, 200
10. North Carolina, 193
11. Cornell, 191
12. Ohio State, 189
13. Johns Hopkins, 170
14. Loyola Maryland, 120
15. Army, 105
16. Georgetown, 104
17. Towson, 67
18. UMass, 56
19. Lehigh, 49
20. High Point, 45
Receiving votes: Rutgers, Princeton, Villanova, Richmond, Navy, Delaware, Albany, Michigan, Hofstra, Robert Morris
Paralympics: Fifty-three athletes were named to the 2020 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The team features 33 women and 20 men, including 19 Paralympians and nine reigning world champions. The national team is headlined by 13-time Paralympic champion Jessica Long of Baltimore and six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers of Timonium. Long seeks to make an appearance at her fifth Paralympic Games this year, while Meyers is the reigning world record holder in the 400-meter individual medley SM12. They are joined by four-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan, a Loyola Maryland graduate. Long, Meyers and Coan combined for 15 medals at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. The 2020 national team also welcomes a few newcomers who will make their national team debut, including Sarah Bofinger of Rockville. International competition kicks off in February, with athletes competing in Melbourne, Australia, to begin the World Para Swimming World Series circuit. Indianapolis will be one of the seven stops on the world series tour, with competition running April 16-18. The U.S. Paralympic Team Trials will be held June 25-28 in Minneapolis, where the athletes who will represent Team USA in Tokyo will be named. The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.
Baseball: Hood College assistant coach Sean Connole was announced as the mental skills and development coach of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Connole was on the Blazers’ coaching staff for the two most successful seasons in program history. During his first season, Hood advanced to the championship game of the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth tournament. Last season, the Blazers tied Alvernia for the regular-season championship and earned the top seed in the MAC Commonwealth Championships. Connole had previous college coaching experience at Division I Georgetown and Division III Springfield. He graduated from Washington College in 2013 after wrapping up a three-time All-Centennial Conference career.
Men’s college lacrosse: Defending champion Towson was picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll, garnering 22 points and three first-place votes. UMass was picked first with 23 points and the remaining three first-place nods. Delaware was selected third with 17 points while last season’s runner-up, Drexel, was picked fourth with 13 points. Hofstra was voted fifth with 10 points while Fairfield was sixth with five points. Additionally, Towson junior defenseman and All-American Koby Smith was voted as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year while Delaware’s Charlie Kitchen was the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Smith and fellow Tiger Grant Maloof were selected to the preseason All-CAA Team.
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Horse racing: Friday’s Stronach 5, designated ‘overlay city’ by Gulfstream track announcer Pete Aiello, will offer competitive races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields with a $100,000 guaranteed pool. Friday’s sequence will begin at 3:49 p.m. with Laurel’s eighth race with a field of nine going 7 furlongs. The sequence will also include an allowance optional claiming race at five furlongs on the turf from Gulfstream and a claiming event for fillies and mares from Santa Anita Park.