Photo credit: West Chester University Athletics
Several West Chester University athletes have recently been recognized for their efforts in their respective sports and in the community.
Starting on the women’s side, Jessica Meakim was named the Gymnastics East Conference’s (GEC) Woman of the Year for the 2021–2022 season. Meakim is a graduate student at West Chester University who co-founded Rams Let’s Talk, a mental health support group for student athletes, during her undergraduate career. She also was a co-founder of Rams Let’s Walk, a 5K race created to help support student-athlete mental health initiatives. Along with being named the Woman of the Year, she was also recognized by the GEC as the Gymnast of the Week for the week of March 7. She scored a career high 39.075 in the team’s last home meet and led them to a third place finish in the GEC Championships held on March 19.
In women’s lacrosse, Helen Kreschollek was named the PSAC East Athlete of the Week for her performance during the week of March 14. Kreschollek, a graduate student from the Bethlehem area, dominated on the field, scoring 11 goals and helping lead the Golden Rams to a 3–0 record. Overall, she has West Chester holding a 4–1 record heading into a matchup next Thursday at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Maddie James, a graduate student from York, Pennsylvania, was named the Atlantic Region Field Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. She finished sixth in the high jump and won the Pentathlon title at the PSAC Indoor Championships. She advanced to the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championship in Pittsburg, Kansas, where she finished 12th in the Pentathlon, en route to a second team All-American honor.
Switching over to the men’s side, J.R Clifford was named PSAC East Baseball Athlete of the Week for his performance. Clifford played a major role in the Golden Rams impressive week in which they compiled a 4–1 record. During the week of March 14, he put together a .333 batting average and a .444 on-base percentage. His best outing came on March 15 against University of the Sciences when he went 2–5 from the plate with 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. Overall on the young season, the senior catcher is batting .314 with four home runs and 16 runs batted in and he will look to continue this dominance as the Golden Rams head into the middle of their season with key matchups against Wilmington, Bloomsburg and Shepherd University all on the schedule within the next two weeks.
West Chester University is home to many exceptional athletes and these are just a few examples of players who are dominating their competition. The Golden Rams future looks to be in good hands and these players will look to continue to build on their success on and off the field, and lead their team to the ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to West Chester.
Erick Klambara is a third-year Media & Culture major with a minor in Journalism. EK924666@wcupa.edu