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Intercollegiate Athletics

Change was the norm for FAU athletics in 2012. The year began with a new Director of Athletics and new Head Coaches for football, women's basketball and volleyball. Shortly after, sand volleyball was added to the Department, bringing the total number of sports offered at FAU to 19. FAU received an exciting invitation in November to join Conference USA, providing an opportunity to move all sports into the same league for the first time since 2001. FAU will make its Conference USA debut in fall 2013. Over the years, FAU teams have won more than 20 Conference championships within the Sun Belt Conference and before that in the Atlantic Sun Conference. FAU joined the NCAA Division I level in 1993.

The following sections recap the teams' most recent seasons. For schedules, rosters and the most up-to-date information on FAU sports, visit

The FAU baseball team won the 2012 regular-season Sun Belt Conference title for the second time in three years with a 4-3 comeback over local rival Florida International University and concluded the season with a 32-22 record. Four players earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors for their performances throughout the season. Senior pitcher Ryan Garton, junior relief pitcher R.J. Alvarez and senior second baseman Mike Albaladejo earned First-Team All-Sun honors, while junior catcher Mike Spano was a Second-Team selection. Coming off a
32-win season in 2011, the team faced one of its most challenging schedules in 2012, playing its first 13 games against NCAA Tournament qualifiers and facing nine opponents that played in the NCAA regionals in 2011. This included national runner up University of Florida. With FAU earning the top spot in the league's preseason poll, the Owls look to be equally promising in 2013.

Men's Basketball
The Owls mounted exciting rallies and clinched close victories in the 2011-12 season to earn the eighth-seed spot in the Sun Belt Tournament, but the team ended the season 11-18 overall. Junior guard Greg Grantt was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches' All District-24 Second Team. Grantt was FAU's leading scorer for the third season in a row, averaging 14.0 points per game. In a 62-60 win over Hofstra University, Grantt became the eighth player in school history to score 1,000 career points. He had nine 20-point games during the season, including a season high 28 points against Troy University. He is on pace to become the school's all-time leading scorer during his senior season. In the previous season, the Owls earned the program's first regular season title and participated in postseason play for just the second time in school history.

Women's Basketball
Women’s basketball began the season with high expectations and a veteran team that included eight seniors.
This enthusiasm did not wane as the team battled to its most successful season since joining the Sun Belt Conference and clinched second place in the Conference's East Division, finishing the regular season with a 16-11 record and 11-5 in Conference play. Senior captain Teri Stamps was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and sophomore forward Chenise Miller earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors. Thanks to Stamps' defensive play, FAU won five Conference games by two or fewer points. Offensively, the guard averaged eight points a game, highlighted by a 22-point effort in a Senior Day win over Troy University. Miller played a key role in FAU's nine-win improvement over the previous season by leading the team in scoring (10.5 points per game), rebounding (7.4 rebounds per game) and blocked shots (24).

Cheer and Dance
The cheer and dance teams participated in the 2012 nationals with cheer competing in the Small Co-ed Division against three-time defending national champion Hofstra University. Cheer broke the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in the 2011 competition. The dance squad competed in the Division I-A Hip-Hop semifinal round against top- contender University of Memphis and Florida teams, University of Central Florida and Florida State University. The cheer and dance squads are an integral part of game day at FAU athletic events. Cheer performed at every football game and saw the crowd welcome their enthusiastic efforts to rally the Owls. Dance continued to delight fans at the football and basketball games as well as FAU fundraisers and pep rallies with their high-energy performances.

Cross Country
The men’s and women’s cross country teams started their 2012 seasons with 16 runners competing at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational. The women finished third of the six teams competing and the men finished fourth. The Owls traveled to the University of Florida for the extremely competitive Mountain Dew Invitational in which the women finished eighth out of 18 teams and the men finished 13th. Tara Cripe (19:24.46), Eric Kessler (27:15.07), Hunter Wampler (27:33.88) and Christian Small (28:14.71) all set new personal records. FAU traveled to the Sun Belt Conference Championship in late October where both the men’s and women’s teams placed two runners in the top 50. Chloe Sell (19.27.90) ran a new personal record in the 5k and Tara Cripe (19:36.80) was 11 seconds ahead of her previous career best. Charles Skord, Emily Olsen and Katey CoDyre also set new personal records at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, leading the women to place ninth and the men 11th. The Owls finished their season at the NCAA South Regional Meet. Sell was the top finisher for FAU and not only beat her personal record with 22:47.0, but also ran the ninth best time in school history. All seven men who ran at the meet set personal records with Michael Vidal (32:50) also setting a school record in the process.


The Owls entered the 2012 season under the direction of first-year Head Coach Carl Pelini, who implemented a new offense and defense and put more time into special teams than ever before. As the systems became more familiar, the team showed drastic improvements and several players rose to the top. Five of those players were named to the 2012 postseason All-Sun Belt Conference football team and four of them will return in 2013. The players that were honored include senior safety Brent Harstad, junior tight end Nexon Dorvilus and sophomore wide receiver William Dukes, who all earned Second-Team honors, while junior wide receiver Daniel McKinney and sophomore linebacker Andrae Kirk were named to the Honorable Mention Team. Despite the Owl's record of 3-9 during the 2012 season, FAU football received additional postseason recognition. Phil Steele's Magazine, one of the nation's leading college football magazines, named five FAU players to its 2012 teams. Dukes and Dorvilus were named Second-Team Offense, Harstad earned Second-Team Defense and linebackers David Hinds, a senior, and Kirk were named Third Team. Dukes, who also earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors during the regular season, was named FAU's Offensive MVP, in part for setting a school record with 204 receiving yards during the final game of the season. Harstad was named the team's Defensive MVP, senior long snapper Tim Raber earned the Special Team MVP honor and Dorvilus, an academic and athletic standout, won the squad's Student-Athlete-of-the-Year Award.

Men's Golf
Men's golf finished eighth in the Sun Belt Conference Championships
with freshman Pablo Gerboles-Parrilla topping the 2011-12 squad and finishing just outside of the individual top 10. He was one stroke behind the golfers who tied for ninth place. The tournament marked the end of the FAU careers for senior co-captains Justin Thompson and Michael Baskovich, both honored by FAU as recipients of the 2012 Community Service award. In fall 2012, the Owls enjoyed much success with top five finishes by freshmen Richard Donegan and Derron Peyton and senior Clinton Wilhelm. Former FAU golfer Steve Lebrun made history in fall 2012 by becoming FAU's first player to earn his PGA Tour card.

Women's Golf
The women's golf team finished 11th in the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championships. The team's top performers were seniors Anna Wiklund and Brooke McPoyle. Wiklund finished on average 17th in seven of the nine tournaments in the 2011-12 season, including back-to-back third-place finishes. Her scoring average during the fall season was 76.8 and 75.6 during the spring season. Also posting stellar scores on the season were senior Marilyne Cadieux and junior Kayla DeSuza.

Men's Soccer
Men's soccer defeated Jacksonville University for its first victory of the season, shutting out the Dolphins 3-0. Daniel Mendes scored his first career collegiate goal to provide the final score. FAU also recorded a 1-0 win, defeating fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member Howard University. Additionally, midfielder Karol Chorak and goalkeeper Jeremy Crumpton were named to the All-Tournament Team of the Coastal Carolina Invitational. Despite those wins and honors, the Owls faced a difficult season ending 2012 with a 2-13-1 record.

Women's Soccer
Women's soccer earned the prestigious College Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2012. This marks the second straight season that the Owls have earned this award. On the field, the Owls advanced to the Sun Belt Conference Championship, earning the tournament’s eighth-seed spot. Freshman Claire Emslie earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors, leading the team with 10 goals for the season. She was named the league’s Player of the Week after recording a hat trick in a home victory over the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Senior Ashley Lantes also received Conference Player of the Week honors. Lantes became the program’s all-time record holder for career saves against the University of Louisiana.

The Owls advanced to postseason play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the eighth seed, but lost to top- seed University of Louisiana-Lafayette and fourth-seed University of North Texas to end the season. Junior Taylor Fawbush was named Second Team All-Sun Belt, her second such honor. Joan Joyce, the Owl's only coach in the program's 18-year history, was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. She was honored not only for her tradition of winning seasons at FAU, but also for guiding FAU softball to nine Atlantic Sun Conference Championships, including eight consecutive titles, to the program's first title in the Sun Belt Conference, the first year FAU joined that Conference, and to an average of 42 victories a season.
Joyce is also the head coach for women's golf.


Swimming and Diving
Men's and women's swimming and diving completed their 2012 season with six individual championships and broke 14 school records in the four-day Sun Belt Conference Championships. The men finished third in the league, besting their 2011 fourth-place finish, and the women finished fifth. Junior Eszter Bucz finished in first place in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle and the women's 400-yard IM, breaking the Sun Belt's record in this event and her own school record. Bucz also broke her own school record in the women's 200-yard IM and was part of five school record-breaking performances in total, earning her the women's swimming MVP award. On the men's side, senior Mikolaj Czarnecki was named the men's swimming MVP. Czarnecki was the Conference champion in the 200-yard butterfly and was part of the new FAU record-setting 400-yard relay squad. Senior Ronald Cortina earned the diving MVP award. Cortina broke the school record and became Conference champion with his performance on the three-meter boards. During the regular season, he also won Sun Belt Diver-of-the-Week awards. Four FAU swimmers were named to the Mid-Major All-American team: Bucz, freshman Anett Kovacs, Czarnecki and senior Csaba Pek.

Men's Tennis
Men's tennis enjoyed a successful regular season with a record of 13-8, the fifth straight season that the team has earned double-digit match victories. Junior Taylor Albrecht led FAU's singles and doubles lineup, posting an 18-1 singles record that included a 17-1 mark at the No. 1 position. In doubles, he teamed with freshman Will Neuner to post a 14-8 record, including a 10-6 mark at No. 1. Freshman Chris Janssen won 17 singles matches, while fellow freshman Boris Bogomolov had 13 victories and Neuner had 11 singles wins. Albrecht and Neuner earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors as singles and doubles players.

Women's Tennis
Women's tennis earned its second straight winning season with a 10-8 record overall, a 6-3 record within the challenging southeast region and six home wins. The ninth-seed Owls swept Arkansas State University 4-0 in the Sun Belt Tournament to advance to the quarterfinals, but suffered a loss to the tournament's top seed and nationally ranked North Texas.
Junior Marlene Ryan led the squad with a 10-2 singles record for the season, including a 6-1 mark at the No. 2 singles. She had her 10-match winning streak snapped in the final match of the regular season. Senior Justine Humair had a 9-8 record at No. 1 singles after defeating opponents from FIU and Denver late in the season. Freshman Catalina Ene went 10-4 for the season.

The track team began its 2012 season on a record-breaking note. In its first three meets, team members broke three school records and achieved one dozen times and distances that ranked the Owls in the top 10 among Sun Belt Conference teams. At the UF Relays, senior distance runner Rebecca Hallam broke her own record in the 5,000 meter run. She is FAU's record holder in both the FAU indoor and outdoor 5,000 meter and the 10,000 meter, distinctions that helped her earn FAU female Student-Athlete of the Year for 2012. At the end of the season, she was also named First Team Academic All-District by CoSIDA/Capital One. On the men's side, freshman standout Michael Vidal broke FAU school records in the 800 meters and twice in the 1,500 meters and ranks second all-time in the 5,000 meters.

FAU ended its first season under new head coach Fernanda Nelson by splitting its final two matches, defeating the University of South Alabama in four and losing to Troy in three. The Owls recorded a win over a Big East school, defeating Villanova in four sets at the Arizona State University Sheraton Invitational during the non-conference portion of the schedule. FAU also defeated the University of Louisiana for its first Sun Belt win in nearly two years. On the individual side, Nelson recorded her first career win as a head coach with a five set win over Stetson and senior libero Cintia Nightingale ended her FAU career as the school’s all-time leader in digs and the first player in school history to lead the team in digs for four-straight seasons.

Student-Athlete Handbook
For information about policies governing participation in intercollegiate athletics at Florida Atlantic University, refer to the Student-Athlete Handbook or speak with the associate director of compliance.