Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2002
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Jim Hayes
Hayes, a three-time Centennial Conference champion in the javelin, will be the Mules’ third NCAA participant in the last two years.
The 2001-02 school year isn’t quite over yet for Muhlenberg athletics, as senior Jim Hayes has qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Championships in the javelin. He will compete on Friday morning at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

The year has been a sensational one for the Muhlenberg athletics program. Mule teams combined for a 192-100 (.658) record, with five squads (women’s soccer, wrestling, women’s basketball, baseball and women’s tennis) setting or tying the school record for wins in a season.

In the Centennial Conference, the Mules were even better, going 97-41 (.703). Three teams (women’s soccer, football and women’s tennis) won or tied for CC championships, while volleyball tied for the regular-season title and women’s and men’s basketball won division crowns.

Below are the top 10 moments from the 2001-02 year, in chronological order.

“Mule Sports Daily” will become “Mule Sports Monthly” for the remainder of May, June, July and the beginning of August. News will be added as is warranted to a single page for each month. MSD will return to its daily format on Monday, August 26.

Have a great summer!

Oct. 24: Volleyball Clinches Top Seed. Picked to finish sixth in the CC preseason poll, the volleyball team finished in a three-way tie for first place with an 8-2 record and earned the right to host the CC Tournament by virtue of its wins against Gettysburg and Haverford. The Mules fell to Gettysburg, 3-1, in the championship match to finish the season with a 20-11 record.

Women's soccer championshipOct. 28: Women’s Soccer Repeats. After going through the CC regular season with a perfect 10-0 mark, the women’s soccer team blanked Franklin & Marshall and Johns Hopkins in the playoffs to win its second straight CC championship. The Mules hosted the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the regional final before losing to defending national champion New Jersey. Muhlenberg finished with a 19-3 record, which included a 17-match winning streak, and ranked 18th in Division III.

Nov. 10: Gallagher Qualifies for Nationals. Junior Brendan Gallagher became the first cross country runner in school history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships by finishing 15th at the Mideast Regional, hosted by Muhlenberg at Lehigh. Gallagher’s historic run led the Mules an eighth-place regional finish, their best ever.

FootballNov. 17: Football Ties for Title. A disappointing loss to Moravian in the regular-season finale was tempered by the news that Johns Hopkins defeated Western Maryland, resulting in a tie for the CC championship between Muhlenberg and Western Maryland. It was the first CC title since 1986 for the Mules (7-4), who went on to play in an ECAC game for the second straight year.

Jan. 3: Women’s Basketball Shocks Scranton: Playing for the first time in 29 days, the women’s basketball team defeated perennial power Scranton, 79-66, in the game that put the Mules on the national map. They went on to win their first 13 games, earn a national ranking as high as No. 8, capture the CC East Division championship and compile a final record of 21-4.

Feb. 16: Wrestling Sends Four to NCAAs. Three seniors and one junior won their respective weight classes at the CC Championships to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships, which were held in nearby Wilkes-Barre. Three of the qualifiers came within one win of earning All-America status. The Mules tied the school record for wins, set last year, with a 17-8 record.

Feb. 23: Men’s Track Second Indoors. The Muhlenberg men finished in second place at the CC Indoor Track & Field Championships, a remarkable achievement for a team that had scored only one point at the same meet three years earlier. The Mules had a solid all-around effort but no gold medal winners (although the women’s team had two).

March 18: Lesko Named All-American. Senior forward Mark Lesko became the first player in Muhlenberg men’s basketball history to be selected to the NABC All-America first team after averaging 19.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and leading the Mules to a 19-6 record, the CC East Division championship and two regular-season tournament titles. He also scored his 1,000th point during the season and was CC player of the year, a unanimous first-team All-CC selection and a finalist for The Jostens Trophy as Division III player of the year.

Women's tennis
championshipApril 24: Women’s Tennis Wins Co-Championship. Muhlenberg blanked Dickinson, 9-0, in its regular-season finale to set a school record for wins (12) and tie Washington for the CC championship. It was the first CC title for the Mules, who began the CC season with an 8-1 win against defending champion Swarthmore and also defeated Franklin & Marshall for the first time ever. The team ended the year ranked eighth in the South Atlantic Region.

May 4: Baseball Reaches CC Final. Picked for sixth place in the CC preseason poll, Muhlenberg qualified for the playoffs by finishing fourth, then toppled third-place Ursinus and regular-season co-champion Franklin & Marshall to reach to championship series against Johns Hopkins. The Mules (23-17) lost two games by a total of three runs to the Blue Jays, who were ranked in the top 10 in Division III. Four days later, senior Joshua Carter, the team’s top hitter and pitcher, was named CC co-player of the year.

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Last updated May 21, 2002