LaRoache takes gold in Day 1 of Patriot Games

Senior Kiersten LaRoche was the only Temple track & field athlete competing on Friday, but she kicked off the team’s win with a victory.

Hosted by George Mason University, the two-day event started off with the men’s and women’s pentathlon competitions.

LaRoche’s event, the Pentathlon, was a five-part competition consisting of the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter run.

LaRoche dominated the competition, placing first in three out of the five events – the 60-meter hurdles in 8.91 seconds, the shot put with a distance of 10.89 meters and the long jump in 5.49 meters.

She placed second in the high jump, clearing 1.64 meters, and in the 800 with a mark of 2 minutes, 31.52 seconds.

These finishes were enough to accumulate 3,671 points in the women’s pentathlon, which awarded LaRoche the first-place finish.

The event was worth 10 points and gave Temple the early lead in women’s competition.

The Owls will take part in the second day of events at George Mason on Saturday.

-Tyler DeVice

Tiernan named to all-conference preseason team

Temple junior midfielder Nicole Tiernan was selected as the Owls’ lone representative on the 16-player All-Big East Conference preseason women’s lacrosse team on Tuesday. The conference’s eight coaches voted on the roster.

Her 29 goals ranked second-most on the team in 2014, and helped result in her Big East second-team selection last season, as well as an invitation to try out for the U.S. Women’s national team last summer.

Big East newcomers Florida and Vanderbilt both contributed players to the preseason all-conference squad, including a league-best four from the Gators.

-Matt Cockayne

1.27 Issue: Sports in brief

Fencing: Kastor sitting out season

Coach Nikki Franke confirmed last Saturday that former fencing captain Tiki Kastor will not be competing this season for academic reasons.

Last season, Kastor helped lead the Owls to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Fencing Championships. Individually, she finished seventh overall in the meet last season.

With a top finish in the NCAA Fencing Championships, Kastor was able to compete at the United States Fencing Association Division I National Championships last April, where she finished in fifth in the Division I women’s sabre competition at the senior national level,

Kastor qualified for the 2014 Senior World Championships, in which she went as far as the round of eight in Direct Elimination. She finished in fifth place.

The sabre fencer will have one more year of eligibility, Franke said.

-Danielle Nelson

Owls No. 10 in recent rankings

The fencing team dropped a spot in the CollegeFencing360 poll.

The first of three rankings was released last Wednesday, with Temple ranked No. 10 in the nation, one spot shy of its No. 9 ranking from last season.

Although the Owls dropped one spot since the last ranking, coach Nikki Franke said she was not surprised.

“That was the first poll that came out that season,” Franke said. “So based on who we fenced so far and who other teams had fenced, it was a reasonable ranking. I wasn’t upset about it.”

Before the rankings came out, the Owls faced nine teams in their two collegiate meets since the season started.

Now, Franke said the rankings will be used as motivation for the team.

“We talked as a team saying, ‘If we want to move up, we have to beat teams they ranked ahead of us,’” Franke said.

That is what the Owls did on Saturday when they beat No. 6 University of Pennsylvania and No. 9 Northwestern, going undefeated in the first meet they competed in since the release of the ranking.

Coach Franke said the next poll will be released in February.

-Danielle Nelson

Tennis: Mauro nabs new transfer

The men’s tennis team has added transfer student Ian Glessing to the 2014-15 roster, a university spokesperson said. Glessing will join the team this semester.

Glessing, a junior, is a transfer from Arizona Christian University, where he recorded a 17-7 singles record in his sophomore season.

He is a Scottsdale, Arizona native.

-Dalton Balthaser

Football: Rhule hosting signing day celebration

In celebration of the NCAA football national signing day next Wednesday, Feb. 4, the Temple Owls Club will host three separate events celebrating the signing period in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill and Ambler next week.

Along with a 6 p.m. dinner, coach Matt Rhule will present a program highlighting the team’s class next Wednesday night at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia. The club will show the second half of Temple’s men’s basketball game against Central Florida.

Rhule will stop at P.J. Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill for lunch next Thursday at 11:30 a.m., while the latter program will take place at Talamore Country Club in Ambler.

For both dinner events, Owl Club members will receive a discounted admission price of $20, while the general admission cost is $25.

Admission for the lunch event at P.J. Whelihan’s will be $10 for club members and $15 for the general public.

-Andrew Parent

Women’s basketball: Butts honored by conference

Freshman Alliya Butts has been named the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week. It was announced Monday.

In the Owls’ 83-50 victory against Cincinnati last Tuesday, Butts scored 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and tied a career-high with five assists. In conference play, the young point guard is averaging 14 points per game.

Since being inserted into the starting lineup on Dec. 28 against Memphis, Butts has averaged nearly 14 ppg and scored in double figures five times.

For the season, Butts is second on the team in scoring average – netting 11.3 ppg, good for No. 20 in the conference, the sixth highest freshman. She also has 42 steals, which leads the team and ranks No. 2 in The American.

-Michael Guise

Athletics hires new Olympic strength & conditioning coach

Senior Associate Director of Athletics Joe Giunta announced the hire of Tim Teefy as Temple’s head Olympic strength and conditioning coach Monday afternoon.

Teefy comes to Temple after spending three years at Villanova in the same role.  At Villanova, Teefy was in charge of administering all aspects of the strength and conditioning department involving all of its 19 Division I sports. Temple now funds 19 Division I sports following the elimination of five programs last summer.

Prior to working at Villanova, Teefy spent three years at High Point University in North Carolina, and made stops on the strength and conditioning staffs at George Washington University and Georgetown University.

Teefy is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports management. He went on to earn a master’s degree at West Chester University in kinesiology and exercise physiology, and is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist.

1.20 issue: Sports in brief


Senior tennis player Hernan Vasconez will miss his final season of eligibility after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the winter break.

The injury occurred while practicing and getting ready for the upcoming semester’s season in his hometown of Ambato, Ecuador, a university spokesman confirmed last Tuesday.

The lone senior on the team has amassed a 33-31 record in singles play and a 22-19 record in doubles during his three-and-a-half years of competition for the team.

-Dalton Balthaser


Temple’s spring schedule will consist of five tournaments prior to the American Athletic Conference Championships, coach Brian Quinn announced last Friday.

The team will kick off spring competition with the Middleburg Bank Intercollegiate from March 22-24 in Williamsburg, Virginia, while the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, South Carolina will take place a week later, spanning from March 27-29.

Three April tournaments will follow in weekly succession, includin g the Princeton Invitational April 11-12. The team will conclude its season at the conference championship, held April 25-28 at the Black Diamond Range on The Quarry Course in Lecanto, Florida.

The Owls highlighted their fall season with a fourth-place result out of 19 schools at the Hartford Invitational on Sept. 22-23, along with the top finish at the Temple Invitational Oct. 11-12 in Huntingdon Valley.

-Andrew Parent


Last Thursday, coach Rebecca Grzybowski announced the signing of six rowers who will make up the program’s 2014 recruiting class.

High school seniors Emma Alford (Grosse lle, Michigan), Catie Gackowski (Midland Park, New Jersey), Mariel Tucker (Pottstown), Jenna Rosado (Northfield, New Jersey), Allie Nussbaum (Andover, Massachusetts) and Rachel Kelley (Somers Point, New Jersey) will join the team for the 2015-16 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Emma, Catie, Rachel, Allie, Jenna and Mariel to Temple and to our team,” Grzybowski said via press release. “Without question, this is our best recruiting class to date and we are confident that they will make an immediate impact.”

Tucker, the lone Pennsylvania product of the group, competed for Vesper Boat Club alongside her time competing for Owen J. Roberts High School. She has competed both at the club nationals and the Royal Candian Henley Regatta, while she finished fifth with a 2,000 ergometer score at the Mainline Slide Event as a junior at Owen J. Roberts last year.

-Andrew Parent


On Jan. 14, the NFL’s New York Jets announced the hire of Temple alumnus Todd Bowles as its head coach.

Bowles, 51, spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, while coaching in the same role for the Philadelphia Eagles under former coach Andy Reid in 2012.

Bowles amassed 245 tackles and seven interceptions during a four-year playing career with Temple, and spent the bulk of his eight-year NFL career with the Washington Redskins before switching over to the coaching ranks

He was given his first NFL coaching job with the Jets in 2000, when he was in charge of the team’s secondary.

-Andrew Parent

Vasconez to miss rest of senior season

Senior tennis player Hernan Vasconez will miss his final season of tennis eligibility after suffering a torn ACL.

According to a university spokesman, the injury occurred while practicing and getting ready for the upcoming semester’s season in his hometown of Ambato, Ecuador.

The lone senior on the team has amassed a 33-31 record in singles play and a 22-19 record in doubles during his three and a half years of competition at Temple.

After winning week, Owls receive Top 25 votes

The men’s basketball team received 33 points in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, which was released Monday.

Monday’s poll marked the first time Temple garnered Top-25 consideration since the week of March 11 during the 2012-13 season, when the Owls reached the second round of the NCAA tournament in their last season before jumping to the American Athletic Conference from the Atlantic 10.

Conference victories in the last week against Connecticut (7-5, 0-1 The American) on Wednesday and Central Florida (7-6, 0-2 The American) Sunday ran the team’s current win streak to five games. During the streak, which included a 77-52 win against No. 10 Kansas on Dec. 22, the Owls (11-4, 2-0 The American) have benefited from an improved 3-point shooting effort.

Since gaining eligibility to play on Dec. 18, transfers Jesse Morgan (14 points per game) and Devin Coleman (5.0 ppg.) have added depth to a squad that needed it, while another transfer in Jaylen Bond has averaged eight ppg and 7.9 rebounds per game. Bond had a career night against the Knights on Sunday, when his 21 points and 14 boards helped Temple to an 84-78 victory.

The Owls will face Tulane University (11-3) and the University of Tulsa (9-5) this week, The American’s two teams along with Temple that have started conference play with a pair of wins. Temple’s road contest against Tulane will tip off Wednesday at 7 p.m., while the Owls will host Tulsa at the Liacouras Center Saturday at 3 p.m.

Covile earns Player of the Week honor

Erica Covile was named American Conference Player of the Week on Monday. With the selection, the junior forward became the program’s first American Player of the Week during the team’s tenure in the two-year-old conference.

The Detroit native, who averaged 22.5 points and 14 rebounds per game in wins against Southern Methodist and Cincinnati, has helped lead the Owls to a 3-0 start in conference play.

Against SMU, Covile scored a career-high 24 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. She followed up that performance with 21 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to extend her double-double streak to four games in a win over Cincinnati.

For the season, Covile is averaging 10.1 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game. She also ranks second on the team with 20 steals.

The Owls (7-8) will return to action Monday at 7 p.m. when they take on Big 5 rival University of Pennsylvania at the Palestra.