Summer 2004
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TCU Magazine "Riff Ram"

Oh, what a rally!

Baseball. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year under new coach Jim Schlossnagle. But a late season rally changed all that.

After a fourth place finish in the regular season and a loss in the opening game of the Conference USA Tournament, the Frogs season was nine innings away from being over. But improbably, the Frogs fought back through the losers' bracket to win five straight games and capture the C-USA championship and the program's first appearance in the NCAA Regionals since 1994. Seven Frogs made the all-tournament team: infielders Chris Neuman and Bo Cogbill; outfielders Austin Adams and Chad Huffman; and pitchers Ryan Weems, Eugene Espineli and Clayton Jerome. Adams was the tournament MVP.

The Frogs were placed in the Austin Regional where they dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker in the opening game against Oral Roberts. But again the Frogs rallied. This time, the Frogs rebounded from a 8-2 deficit to beat Youngstown State, 12-8, to stay alive and force a rematch against ORU.

Despite dropping the elimination game, the Frogs established a school record with 39 victories and put Huffman, Shelby Ford and German Duran on the Louisville Slugger's Freshmen All-American Team.

Holding Serve

Tennis. The men's team finished the year where it began -- with an Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 18 ranking. It is the 24th time the Horned Frogs have finished with a top 25 mark. In the individual ratings, senior Alex Menichini (right) finished the year in the 48th spot, while the doubles pairing of juniors Fabrizio Sestini and Rafael Abreu were 34th.

In team play, the Frogs reached the NCAA Championships Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 by defeating No. 67 East Tennessee State and upsetting No. 11 Kentucky in the Regionals. In the Round of 16, the Frogs lost to No. 33 Clemson, finishing the year at 18-7.

In individual play, Menichini came within a match of achieving All-America status, scoring an upset in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championships before dropping a match in the second round. He was the first Frog to compete in the event since 2001.

The team tied a school record with five players with postseason honors. Menichini lead the way with his second straight C-USA First Team award, while Hector Almada and Fabrizio Sestini made the second team. Jacopo Tezza was on the third team. Jacob Martin and partner Menichini were picked as the conference's top doubles tandem.

The No. 25-ranked women slipped out of the Top 25 after an upset defeat to SMU at the NCAA Regionals. The team finished with an 18-7 record.

In individual play, No. 59-ranked senior Paty Aburto (right) became the first Lady Frog to play in the NCAA Singles Championships since 1988. Despite losing a three-set match in the opening round, Aburto finished the year with a 19-12 singles record and 85 career victories.

The Lady Frogs placed three on the all-conference team. Aburto earned her third straight All-C-USA First Team honor, while senior Saber Pierce and freshman Ana Cetnik were picked for the second team. Pierce and Cetnik were also named the conference's top doubles team.

On a fast track

Track. Seniors Jerry Harris, Michael Frater and Jabari Fields (left to right) earned two All-America honors each at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June. Fellow senior Aundre Edwards home one All-America certificate.

Fields clocked a time of 20.28 seconds to finish third in the 200 meters, just .16 off first place.

Frater missed taking the gold medal by .008, settling for the silver in a photo finish in the 100 meters. He broke the finish line in a personal best 10.059 seconds.

Harris earned the bronze with a third place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 44.96 seconds.

Edwards earned his third career All-America certificate with a fourth place finish in the long jump competition, soaring a season-best 26 feet 1.5 inches.

The quartet of Fields, Cleavon Dillon, Harris and Frater placed fourth in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 39.22 seconds, a mere .11 off first.

Streaks continue

Golf. It was another title year for the men, as the squad advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 10th time in 14 seasons.

Despite a 20th place finish in the championship round, the Frogs enjoyed success throughout the year, ranking in the Top 10 all season, placing fifth at NCAA Regionals and capturing the Conference USA championship by 12 strokes. The C-USA crown was the program's fourth straight title and tied an all-sport school record. Only the men's tennis team (1994-97) has equalled four consecutive conference championships.

Senior Adam Meyer enjoyed a standout season as Conference USA's Golfer of the Year and recording Third Team All-American honors.

Junior David Schultz and sophomore Colby Beckstrom also received personal accolades, joining Meyer as members of the C-USA First Team and All-South Central Team at Regionals.

The kudos earned TCU recognition on television as well. Beckstrom gave The Golf Channel a tour of the campus and Colonial Country Club during a feature in May.

The women also had a successful season, garnering an invitation to the NCAA Regionals -- the program's ninth consecutive bid.

At Regionals, the Lady Frogs came up eight strokes short of advancing to the NCAA Championships, finishing in 12th place overall.

Senior Brooke Tull concluded her stellar career with a third consecutive C-USA Player of the Year honor. This season she never finished a tournament out of the top 20. Joining Tull on the C-USA First Team was freshman Camille Blackerby, who also was tabbed with All-Freshman honors.

Tull received another honor in April when she was selected to the United States team for the 2004 Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship in July.

Spring Roundup

Swimming & Diving. For the 24th semester in a row, the women's squad received Academic All-American status granted by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. With a combined grade point average of 3.11, the TCU women ranked 56th nationwide and received a rating of excellent. "This is a real honor; it really speaks highly of the kind of serious student athlete we have in our program," said coach Richard Sybesma. In the pool, the women won the Conference USA league title to combine for the first women's championship in program history along with the first Conference USA sweep by a single school in the men's and women's championships.

Rifle. Veteran international shooting competitor Karen Monez was named head rifle coach in June. Monez has participated in smallbore rifle, air rifle, 300 meter highpower, air pistol, smallbore silhouette, highpower silhouette and cowboy action shooting. During her career, she has earned a gold medal at the world championship in women's air rifle (1979 in Seoul) and set world records in the women's air rifle (1979) and in the standard rifle 50 meters 3x20 competition (1989).

New facilities. In April, the university officially opened two new athletic facilities -- the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Basketball Complex and a turf practice field for football. The Schollmaier Complex includes space for offices, locker rooms and two practice courts. The turf field will allow the football team to practice on the artificial surface for away games.