Sport Shorts

– gymnast splits her time –

cahalan selected to attend naval academy foreign affairs conference

TU gymnast Lauren Cahalan is an “all around” student-athlete.

A balance beam and floor exercise competitor, Cahalan is also an ace in the classroom. She was selected to attend the 57th Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) in Annapolis, Maryland. She joined 149 other undergraduates from the United States and a dozen foreign countries at the three-day conference last April.

The NAFAC has featured speakers as notable as former President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

“It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says. “I learned just as much from my civilian college peers and midshipmen as I did from the speakers.”

Cahalan is double majoring in economics and political science, along with a minor in business administration, and is a member of TU’s Honors College. During her 2016 gymnastics season, she competed on the balance beam in all 11 meets, made nine floor exercise appearances and finished in the top 10 12 times during the season.

Outside the gym, the TU junior has done extensive research on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and spent last summer as an intern in the Maryland Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

Her invitation to the Naval Academy conference gave her “more of a military perspective on foreign affairs; it changed my whole perspective on foreign relations,” Cahalan explains. “It was like nothing you can learn in a classroom!”

The NAFAC invites a select list of institutions to send one student representative, who is assigned to discuss specific aspects of the conference theme.

Cahalan’s assignment was how nations respond to pressing security and humanitarian concerns, from refugee crises to nuclear non-proliferation agreements, under the theme ““Great Power Cooperation and the Role of International Organizations and Agreements.”

“I am specifically focusing on the various problems the IMF faces with its efforts to combat corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing. I’ve really enjoyed the research,” Cahalan says.

4 – LAX List

Four Tiger lacrosse players were among 50 student-athletes named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch list, an award presented annually to the top men’s and women’s player in the nation across all divisions. They are junior midfielder Kaitlyn Montalbano, senior defensive midfielder Jack
Adams, senior attackman Ryan Drenner, and sophomore faceoff specialist Alex Woodall. Finalists are announced June 1.

6 – thematic

 Six TU teams held theme days throughout the 2016-17 season to promote their sports while honoring fans and organizations. Football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and gymnastics hosted Military Appreciation Day, First Responders Day, Autism Awareness Day and honored teachers, the Girl Scouts, TU colleges and neighborhoods surrounding campus, as TU’s student-athletes displayed their competitive spirit.

20+ – final fore

Brian Yaniger, men’s golf coach, retired after over 20 years. He led the program to four conference championships, four NCAA Tournaments and 12 regular season tournament titles. He says watching his student-athletes “graduate and go on to lead productive lives has been an honor. I am not sure a coach could ask for much more than that.”

71 – making the grade

According to an October 2016 report, Towson University has a student-athlete graduation rate of 71 percent—the highest for any Division I public institution in Maryland. TU is also ranked in the top 5 percent nationally in African-American male student-athlete graduation rates, according to the Federal Graduation Rate.

Water wings

saunderson, who swam butterfly in the ncaa championships, is caa swimmer of the year

To cap off a highly successful 2016-17 swimming season, TU sophomore Jack Saunderson added the accolade of being the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Men’s Swimmer of the Year.

He also set a school record (1:41.84) in the 200-yard butterfly trials at the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in March. He finished 16th in the 200-yard butterfly finals en route to earning Honorable Mention All-America honors.

Saunderson is just the second member in the history of the men’s program to be selected to the national meet and the first to qualify in the butterfly. (He joins TU’s Aaron Krause, who competed at the 2003 NCAA Division I Championship in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and was also the only other men’s swimmer to earn CAA Swimmer of the Year in 2003 and 2004.)

Saunderson is the first in the program’s history to qualify for an event final and to receive All-America honors. The Laurel, Maryland native is the first CAA student-athlete to win CAA Rookie and CAA Swimmer of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons since Tom Koucheravy accomplished the feat for George Mason in 2004-05.

During the 2017 CAA Championship, Saunderson was named the league’s Most Outstanding Men’s Swimmer of the Meet after winning seven medals, setting five school records, two conference meet records and posting a pair of NCAA ‘B’ times to help TU finish third overall at the conference meet.