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Track and field athletes compete at NCAA Preliminaries

University of Toledo senior Katie Dewey concluded her weekend Saturday at the NCAA East Track and Field Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. She finished in 40th place in the shot put with a throw of 14.88 meters.

The meet served as the final competition for the Rockets in their 2018-19 campaign.

Senior Katie Dewey finished 40th in the shot put and 26th in the discus at the NCAA East Regional.

“Overall, we had another strong season,” Head Coach Linh Nguyen said. “We’re losing some really great seniors and appreciate all their contributions to our program. At the same time, we have some great, young talent returning, as well as coming in, and our future looks bright.”

Dewey was the first Toledo thrower to compete in the NCAA East Prelims since Kyesha Neal in 2016. She also placed 26th in the discus Friday with a throw of 49.24m meters.

“Katie came down here for the first time ever and competed really well,” Nguyen said. “She finished about 20 spots above her seed in the discus and threw well during the shot. It was a great way to cap her Toledo career.”

Senior Petronela Simiuc competed in Jacksonville Thursday and placed 47th in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:40.28. The race was run with temperatures in the 90s and high levels of humidity.

“Petronela had a tough race this week,” Nguyen said. “She didn’t feel very good at the start, and I think the record temps here may have played a role in that. She still had a great season and should be proud.”

Petronella Simiuc represented Toledo in the 1,500 meters Thursday at the NCAA East Regional.

Toledo track and field lands two in NCAA East Preliminary

The University of Toledo women’s track and field team will send junior Petronela Simiuc and senior Katie Dewey to the NCAA East Preliminary Round Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25, in Jacksonville, Fla.

“They’re both really good athletes and worked really hard this year and obviously earned their way there,” said Head Coach Linh Nguyen. “Katie’s actually the second thrower in Toledo history that’s qualified for two events. She’s been doing really well this season and has a chance to throw even farther down there. Petronela was here last year and made it to the quarterfinal round. I think she’s in a little bit better shape and more confident this year, so I think it’s very possible for her to make it through to finals in Austin, Texas.

“For us to again have representation from different event groups just shows that we’re a well-rounded team, and that it’s possible for everybody on the team to come and achieve at a high level.”

Simiuc returns to the prelims in the 1500m after placing second at the Mid-American Conference Championships with a time of 4:27.86. At last year’s preliminary round, Simiuc took 20th in the quarterfinal with a time of 4:28.49. She is 10 seconds from her personal best of 4:17.50, which she set in the first round of the prelims last season.

Dewey will compete in the shot put and discus events after leading the Rockets in the throws category. During the regular season, Dewey tallied 10 top-five performances in the shot put and discus combined. At the Hillsdale GINA Relays, Dewey posted personal bests of 15.50m in the shot put and 49.92m in the discus to win both events. Dewey is the first Toledo thrower since Kyesha Neal in 2016 to qualify for two events at the NCAA East Prelim.

Forty-eight individuals for each event and 24 relay teams qualify for competition at each preliminary site. Combined events are not contested at the preliminary sites. Twelve individuals from each individual event as well as 12 relay teams will advance from both preliminary round sites to the championships.

This season’s NCAA Championships will be held Wednesday through Saturday, June 5-8, in Austin, Texas.

2019 NCAA East Preliminary Round
Jacksonville, Fla.

Thursday, May 23
5:30 p.m. — 1500m — First Round
Petronela Simiuc

Friday, May 24
Noon — Discus — First Round
Katie Dewey

Saturday, May 25
5:15 p.m. — Shot Put — First Round
Katie Dewey

6:30 p.m. — 1500m — Quarterfinal

Satellites Auxiliary to hold marketplace fair May 28

Personal electronics, fragrances, handbags, apparel, watches, jewelry and more will be for sale at the Satellites Auxiliary’s marketplace fair Tuesday, May 28.

Stop by between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the UToledo Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

“We are excited to have Gold Coast Promotions once again as our vendor,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, said. “They are bringing many unique items that we haven’t had in a long time and employees have asked for: purses, watches, and real gold and silver jewelry.”

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

“The proceeds will help fund a much-needed ice machine for the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center patients,” Brand said. “Please help to support this endeavor for our patients.”

The Satellites Auxiliary promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and offers volunteer services.

For more information on the marketplace fair, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UToledo researcher using drones to measure algal blooms to speak May 23 at National Museum of the Great Lakes

Determined to protect drinking water and avert another water crisis, a scientist at The University of Toledo deploys drones to snap a quick assessment of water quality during algal bloom season, no boat or satellite required.

Dr. Richard Becker, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, will give a presentation titled “Using Drones to Answer Questions in Environmental Science” Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, located at 1701 Front St. in Toledo.

Dr. Richard Becker uses drones to help monitor water quality during algal bloom season.

The researcher will discuss his use of low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor the health of Lake Erie.

The free, public event is the final presentation in the 2018-19 UToledo Lake Erie Center Lecture Series.

“As remote sensing technology advances, monitoring lakes using satellites, aircraft and drones is becoming more effective,” Dr. Tom Bridgeman, professor of ecology and director of the UToledo Lake Erie Center, said. “Dr. Becker’s research in coupling remote sensing data with boat-based water monitoring has improved the accuracy of harmful algal bloom assessments. Also, his research to develop drones as inexpensive tools to measure algal blooms is helping to fill a gap left by more expensive methods.”

A shuttle will be available to transport visitors from UToledo’s Main Campus to the National Museum of the Great Lakes and back. The shuttle will depart at 6:15 p.m. from the south side of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. Passengers must reserve a spot by Tuesday, May 21.

Email lakeeriecenter@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.8360 to make a reservation for the shuttle.

Huntington gift funds new UToledo scholarship

The University of Toledo and Huntington Bank will announce a new scholarship program to power opportunity for students to achieve their educational goals.

Huntington will present UToledo with a $200,000 check to create the Huntington Bank Opportunity Scholarship Monday, May 20, at 1 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

The scholarship will be awarded over the next four years to degree-seeking undergraduate students based on financial need.

The first scholarships worth a total of $50,000 were awarded to 40 students for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.

With the gift, Huntington has given more than $2 million to UToledo since 1975 in support of academic, athletic and student affairs programming.

Rockets eliminated from NCAA Tourney on walk-off homer

The Toledo softball team battled to the very end, but saw its dream season come to an end on a two-run walk-off home run in a 2-0 loss to Illinois May 18 at the NCAA Lexington Regional in Kentucky.

Sophomore Erin Hunt pitched a brilliant game, shutting down the Illini until Kiana Sherlund belted a 2-0 pitch just over the left-field wall with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore pitcher Erin Hunt held Illinois scoreless until the final inning of Saturday’s afternoon game.

The loss ended the season and the Cinderella story for Toledo (29-28), which made its first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 1992 after winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament as a No. 7 seed last weekend.

With the win, Illinois advances to an elimination game vs. Virginia Tech May 18. The winner of that game will face No. 14 seed Kentucky Sunday, May 19.

“We just talked in the locker room about how proud we are of this team and how far they’ve come,” said Head Coach Joe Abraham. “Once again, this team showed they can play with anybody, including the top Power Five teams in the country. We were right there in the seventh inning, and Erin was dealing. Illinois had to earn everything, and while it stinks to lose, you can live with it. Erin is upset, but she was playing in Division II last year and now she’s shutting out Illinois and holding down Kentucky fairly well.”

For nearly the entire game, Hunt had Illinois off balance, striking out six and forcing the Illini hitters to swing at tough pitches. She worked out of jams in the third, fourth and sixth, but Illinois never really hit her hard until Sherlund’s line-drive homer.

“I’m living every little girl’s dream,” Hunt said. “I don’t take anything for granted. Every pitch, I’m happy to be here, lucky to be here. As Coach Joe said, I came from D-II and never thought I’d be on this stage. I looked at D-I schools, but no one ever bit. Coach Joe was actually the only coach who did, and without him I wouldn’t be playing college softball. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying the experience.”

Toledo had its best chances to score in the third and fourth innings when it put two runners on each time, but the Rockets were never able to get the hit they needed to get on the scoreboard.

Despite ending the season with a tough loss, Abraham said an experience like this will be one he and his team will remember for the rest of their lives.

“It’s already sunk in for me,” Abraham said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team. As it sinks in for them, it’s going to be pretty cool thing to look back on in the upcoming months and years.”

Softball falls to Kentucky in first game of Lexington Regional

The Toledo softball team opened the NCAA Lexington Regional May 17 with a 7-2 loss to Kentucky in Lexington.

Toledo took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on five consecutive singles, but the Wildcats countered with four runs in the bottom of the first and added three more in the fifth to clinch the victory.

Sophomore pitcher Erin Hunt struck out four Kentucky batters May 17 in the NCAA Lexington Regional.

Toledo’s eight hits in the contest matched Kentucky’s, but the Rockets were not able to get any timely hits after the first inning.

Sophomore Erin Hunt took the loss, pitching well for much of the game despite the final score as she struck out four batters on the day.

“The better team came out on top, but we’re proud that we showed that we can we play with this type of team,” Head Coach Joe Abraham said. “Because of the way we played in the [Mid-American Conference] Tournament last week, we were confident throughout this whole game, even going into the seventh inning.”

The Wildcats finished the regular-season ranked 16th in the NCAA RPI with a 34-22 overall record and 14-10 ledger in the Southeastern Conference. Despite being a powerhouse, Abraham and the Rockets weren’t phased coming into the game.

“In that first inning, we weren’t the least bit intimidated, so it didn’t surprise me that we came out with two runs in the first,” Abraham said. “Our girls can flat out rake. I’m surprised we didn’t get more, frankly.”

Toledo saw eight of nine batters record a hit, and runs were brought in from sophomore Bekah Yenrick and junior Morgan Paaverud.

The Rockets’ next game is Saturday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m. when they’ll face Illinois in an elimination game. The winner of that contest will play the loser of the Kentucky-Virginia Tech game, which will be played May 18 at noon.

Rocket softball team prepares to open NCAA Regionals against Kentucky

The Toledo softball team (29-26) will face No. 14 seed Kentucky (33-22) at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in Lexington, Ky., in first-round regional action of the 2019 NCAA Softball Championships.

The game from John Cropp Stadium will be carried on ESPN3.

The 2019 MAC Champion Toledo Rockets will play No. 14 seed Kentucky in the second game of the NCAA Lexington Regional.

The Rockets are coming off a weekend in which they won the first Mid-American Conference Tournament title in program history. Toledo won six games in the tournament as the No. 7 seed, including a five-game tear in the loser’s bracket, taking down No. 4 Northern Illinois, No. 2 Kent State, No. 1 Miami and No. 3 Ohio.

Toledo most recently won the MAC regular-season title in 1992, but this was the first MAC Tournament crown for the program.

The winner of the Toledo-Kentucky game will play the winner of the Illinois-Virginia Tech game Saturday, May 18, at noon. The first-round losers will meet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The champion will be determined by one or two games Sunday, May 19.

The NCAA Regionals are played in a double-elimination format, meaning it takes two losses to be eliminated from the tournament.

Go to the NCAA website to see the full tournament bracket.

UTMC dietitians offer advice as part of citywide wellness initiative

Dietitians from The University of Toledo Medical Center are helping with a citywide initiative to help Toledoans shed a few extra pounds and improve the overall wellness of the community.

Michele Lovett, chief clinical dietitian at UTMC, recently met with Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz as part of the kickoff for Take It Off, Toledo!, the city’s wellness and weight loss challenge.

Michele Lovett, chief clinical dietitian at UToledo Medical Center, talked with Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz about Take It Off, Toledo!, the city’s wellness and weight loss challenge.

The University of Toledo and UTMC are among the city’s key partners in the mayor’s yearlong initiative, which began May 1.

Lovett will be joined by other UTMC dietitians this weekend at several Toledo Lucas County Public Library locations to provide free, 15-minute consultations to help people get started on their own health and weight-loss journey. A more formal appointment can be made with the dietitian when referred by one’s primary care physician.

“I know there are a lot of people who struggle with their weight and making healthy choices,” Lovett said. “We want to help educate the public and give them small steps that they can take so they can have a healthier lifestyle and enjoy their family and friends.”

UTMC has a team of dietitians who regularly provide outpatient counseling and nutrition guidelines to individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure. They also can advise patients who need help with weight management or need to improve their overall health prior to surgery.

Take It Off, Toledo! is a good reminder to be thoughtful about the decisions that influence health, Lovett said.

“We all have a general idea of what we should be doing to stay healthy, but this wellness and health initiative is reminding us to reset, take another look at our lives, and think about how we can do better with our nutrition and physical activity,” she said.

Lovett offered five starting tips for individuals who are seeking to lose weight and get healthier:

Have plan in place. Know what your goals are and think through how you want to achieve them. Make a deliberate effort to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and have them ready for tomorrow’s meals or snacks.

Get physical. Aim to be active for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. Many jobs are sedentary. Get up a few times a day to hit those benchmarks. The activity doesn’t have to be done all at once. For example, exercising 10 minutes three times a day would work.

Cut the sweets. Sugary drinks are extra calories we don’t need. Replace regular pop and sports drinks with water when you can and avoid sugary snacks.

Find support. Support yourself by removing temptations where you can, such as finding a different route home that doesn’t take you conveniently close to a favorite fast-food restaurant. Ask for support from friends and family. For extra motivation, work out with a friend. Keep a food log or use a food-tracking app to stay accountable.

Exercise portion control. Tools like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate guideline can help you with understanding how much of each food group should be included with each meal. You also can use visual cues. A serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards. One cup of vegetables is about the size of a softball.

On Saturday, May 18, UTMC dietitians will be at the Locke Branch Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Heatherdowns Branch Library from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, May 19, UTMC dietitians will be at the West Branch Library from noon to 2 p.m. and the Heatherdowns Branch Library from 1 to 3 p.m.

Toledo golfer ties for 12th place at NCAA Louisville Regional

University of Toledo senior Duncan McNeill closed out his collegiate career by tying for 12th place at the 2019 NCAA Louisville Regional.

The tournament, which included five top 25 teams and 16 of the top 100 players in the nation, was held at the par-71, 7,217-yard University of Louisville Golf Club.

Senior Duncan McNeill tied for 12th place at the NCAA Louisville Regional.

“It was great competing at regionals again, and it’s always nice to play in such a high-quality field,” McNeill said. “It’s a nice way to end my college career, and it will always be something cool to look back on.”

McNeill finished with a two-under par 211 (73-67-71), marking the lowest 54-hole totals of his collegiate career. He finished second in the 75-player field with 40 pars and registered just two bogeys over his final 45 holes.

He finished five shots behind medalist Tripp Kinney of Iowa State. Kinney carded a seven-under par 206 (69-65-72) and was the only individual to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.

“It was a really fun battle to be in today,” Head Coach Jeff Roope said. “Having something to play for and to be in the fight is always where you want to be. Duncan played solid, and his putting was still outstanding. There was fight in him the whole week, and he can be proud of his effort. I know the rest of the Rockets are proud. I know the rest of the team is anxious to follow in Duncan’s footsteps at the national level and compete with the best the NCAA has to offer.”

In Wednesday’s round, McNeill posted birdies on No. 4 and No. 14 and had to settle for bogeys on No. 8 and No. 18.

McNeill is the third Rocket to compete in the NCAA Regionals as an individual. Chris Selfridge tied for 25th place in 2013 and 10th place in 2015, while Otto Black tied for 55th place in 2016.

No. 1 Oklahoma State captured the regional title with a 14-under par 838 and will be joined at the NCAA Championships by No. 11 Auburn (842), No. 25 Baylor (845), No. 21 Louisville (859) and No. 13 North Florida (860).