Manoah

Alek Manoah

MORGANTOWN — For the second time in three seasons, a West Virginia University baseball player has been named the District 2 Player of the Year, as junior right-handed starter Alek Manoah was honored by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) on Friday.

The latest in a long list of accolades for Manoah comes a day after he was named a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy by the NCBWA. It caps a week that begin with him being selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Manoah is the third Mountaineer in program history to be named the NCBWA District 2 Player of the Year, and it is the fourth time a WVU player has received the honor. Shortstop Jedd Gyorko was recognized in 2009 and 2010, and right-handed pitcher/outfielder Braden Zarbnisky earned the distinction in 2017.

Coming off one of the most dominating seasons in West Virginia history, the Miami native is the first player to be named a Dick Howser Trophy finalist and the fourth to collect First Team All-America honors, as he was recognized by Collegiate Baseball.

Manoah is a finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He was the first player in Big 12 history to be named Pitcher of the Week three consecutive weeks and the fourth to earn weekly honors four times in a season. An All-Big 12 First Team honoree, Manoah also was the NCBWA Pitcher of the Month for April, a two-time NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week and the first player to ever earn the Golden Spikes Award/D1Baseball.com Performance of the Week award three consecutive weeks.

In an impressive junior season, Manoah broke the single-season record for strikeouts, with 144, and tied the WVU record for starts, with 16. He finished the year No. 3 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.33/1), tied for No. 6 in wins (9) and shutouts (2) and was No. 9 in strikeouts per nine innings (11.96).

In the national statistical rankings, Manoah is ranked No. 5 nationally in strikeouts (144), No. 12 in starts (16), No. 13 in WHIP (0.90), No. 22 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.90), No. 28 in wins (9), No. 28 in ERA (2.08), No. 29 in strikeouts per nine innings, No. 36 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.33) and No. 37 in complete games (2).

In Manoah’s three-year Mountaineer career, he ranks No. 3 all-time in strikeouts per nine innings (10.28), No. 7 in strikeouts (249) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.83), tied for No. 8 in appearances (58) and tied for No. 10 in starts (34).

Manoah owns a career ERA of 2.81 in 218.0 innings pitched. He allowed 91 runs, 68 earned, on 167 hits with 249 strikeouts and 88 walks. Manoah held opponents to a .212 batting average and recorded a 13-10 record.

——

Redshirt senior Madelin Gardner of the West Virginia University track and field team tied for ninth place in the pole vault at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Thursday night.

In the final meet of her highly successful collegiate career, Gardner earned a mark of 4.20 meters (13 feet, 9.25 inches), good for All-America Second Team honors. With the performance, the Williamstown, West Virginia, native registered her fourth career All-America accolade, becoming one of only seven Mountaineers in program history to earn at least four career national distinctions (track and field only).

“While it was not the magical finish that we believed was possible for Maddy, we have just watched one of our university’s most prolific student-athletes go down with tremendous fight in her final collegiate championship,” WVU coach Sean Cleary said. “Maddy graduates from West Virginia with an engineering degree and as a four-time All-American. Watching her final jump, while the end of an era, signifies the beginning of a new chapter in what we feel will be a tremendous life for one of the finest leaders to wear the Gold and Blue. This young lady will surely be missed.”

After passing on the event’s opening bar of 4.05 meters (13 feet, 3.5 inches), Gardner cleared 4.20 meters (13 feet, 9.25 inches) on her first attempt. From there, the 2019 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Region Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year had three looks at 4.35 meters (14 feet, 3.25 inches) but was unable to clear the mark.

Gardner posted seven wins in 10 starts this outdoor season. She also recorded jumps of 4.15 meters or higher eight times this spring. She leaves WVU as the school-record holder in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. Her career-best jump came on April 20, at the Virginia Challenge, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she earned a mark of 4.47 meters (14 feet, 8 inches) in a first-place finish.

Earlier this season, Gardner finished ninth at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championship, on March 9, in Birmingham, Alabama. She recorded a mark of 4.26 meters (13 feet, 11.75 inches).

——

Three West Virginia University women’s soccer All-America alums are ready to represent the Mountaineers on the sport’s biggest stage, as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup opens its month-long tournament today in France.

Defenders Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence make their second career appearances with the Canadian National Team, while forward/midfielder Michaela Abam will make her career debut with the Cameroon National Team.

The 2019 tournament marks the first time three Mountaineers will compete at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Buchanan and Lawrence were the first WVU players to compete at the tournament, as the duo helped Canada to a quarterfinal appearance in 2015. That year, Buchanan was bestowed the Hyundai Young Player Award.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the Super Bowl of soccer,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “To have three former Mountaineer players on rosters is just amazing. Their roster spots speak highly of their character, commitment and work-rate to continue their development.”

Both teams will compete in Group E. Canada and Cameroon will kick against each other in their tournament opener on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France. The match will be broadcast on FS1.

Izzo-Brown, along with her family, will be in the stands Monday.

“That’s really the cherry on top of all this excitement,” she added. “I’m ready to enjoy their moment. I’m so proud of how these young women have grown and developed. Monday really is going to be an exciting time for me.”

Cameroon continues play against Netherlands on Saturday, June 15, at 9 a.m. ET, at Stade du Hainaut, in Valenciennes, France, with action set to air on FS1. Later that day, Canada will meet New Zealand at 3 p.m. ET, at State des Alpes in Grenoble, France, with the match televised on FS2.

The group stage ends for both teams on Thursday, June 20. Cameroon will kick against New Zealand at Stade de la Mosson on FS1, while Canada will face Netherlands at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, on FOX. Both matches are set to start at noon ET.

No more than three teams from Group E will advance to the tournament’s Round of 16, with knock-out matches set for June 23-25. The quarterfinals will be played June 27-29, with the semifinals to follow July 2-4. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Final will be held Sunday, July 7, at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.