Cal Poly Pomona’s Justin Ellerbee wins national title in pole vault

Ellerbee

The third time was the charm for Cal Poly Pomona pole vaulter Justin Ellerbee. In his third trip top the NCAA Division II championships Ellerbee broke the Cal Poly Pomona pole vault record and placed first with a mark of 17-6.5 on Saturday at Grand Valley State (Mich.).

He’s now the ninth national champion in the history of CPP men’s track and field and the first since 1994.

Ellerbee is also the first pole vaulter in school history to win the national title.
Ellerbee competed against the past two champions: Jordan Yamoah of Texas A&M Kingsville and Jeff Piepenbrink of Pittsburg State. In the end, Ellerbee walked away victorious at 17-6.5 while Yamoah and Piepenbrink followed in second and third at 17-2.75.

Ellerbee is now a two-time All-American, having placed fifth at the 2014 National Championships. In his nationals debut as a sophomore in 2013, he finished 13th.

Rodger Mantor

Teammate Rodger Mantor, joined Ellerbee on the awards podium, finishing fourth. That finish gave him All-American honors as well.

The junior from Simi Valley came into the event ranked eighth nationally and exceeded that ranking by going a personal best of 16-10.75

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CMS men’s tennis team claims national championship

The wait is over. After 34 years and back-to-back losses in the national title match in 2013 and 2014, No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is bringing the national championship trophy home.

The Stags soundly defeated Middlebury 5-0 in the national title match of the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships on Wednesday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. For the Stags, it is the second national title in program history; the other, a tie, coming in 1981.

“It’s been a long road,” senior Warren Wood said after the match. “Two years in the finals and not quite getting there [winning the title], especially at home last year, that really pushed us this year.”

In Wednesday’s match, that motivation and CMS’ national title match experience from the past two seasons showed through. Nowhere was that more evident than in doubles.

After a dominant 8-1 No. 2 doubles win by sophomore Daniel Morkovine and junior Skyler Butts, the Stags had to show its mettle in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Seniors Joe Dorn and Wood came back from a 3-1 deficit and ran off seven consecutive games to win 8-3 against Palmer Campbell and Peter Heidrich at No. 1 doubles.

Fellow senior Nikolas Marino and sophomore Glenn Hull followed with a comeback of their own in No. 3 doubles 9-7.

With all of the momentum heading into singles, the Stags wrapped up the title with wins at No. 1 and No. 6 singles. Wood won 6-1, 6-4 against Ari Smolyar at No. 1 singles and trailed in the second set before coming back to get the win which moved CMS ahead 4-0 and one point away from the title.

Just minutes after Wood won his match, Hull clinched it with a cross-court backhand that Middlebury’s Kyle Schlanger was unable to return. Hull won his match 6-2, 6-2 against Schlanger. The Stags also led at No. 2 (Butts), No. 4 (Dorn) and No. 5 (Morkovine) singles when the match ended.

This was the 11th meeting between CMS and Middlebury since 2005, with CMS having won nine of the matches. It was the first matchup between the two programs in the title match. Last season, CMS defeated Middlebury 5-2 in the national semifinals.

CMS’ historic season closes with a 32-2 record, undefeated against NCAA Division III opponents

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Cal Poly Pomona baseball coach will get to face old friend

The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team will take on University of Tampa (Fla.) on Sunday in the NCAA Division II Elite 8 in Cary, N.C.

A couple of old friends will have their teams square off in a first round game. Cal Poly Pomona coach Randy Betten was a teammate of Tampa coach Joe Urso in 1996 with the Lake Elsinore Storm, then an Angels minor league affiliate.

The two have kept in touch. It was Urso that told Betten if his team won the West regional theirs would be squaring off in the College World Series.

The Broncos (43-15) are making their first appearance in that event in 30 years. Betten’s team finished first in the CCAA in the regular season, then won the postseason conference tournament to win the automatic bid to the West Region which it hosted.

Tampa (39-13) is the South Region champion and making its 16th straight NCAA appearance, including ones in all 15 years Urso has been at the helm.

Here’s what Betten had to say about facing his old friend’s team:

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