BY KELLIE TAYLOR
Area college basketball players had a new option for competitive play this summer: Cincinnati Women's Collegiate Summer Basketball. The program was created and directed by David Horn. After hearing his daughter Joci, a sophomore-to-be on Wooster's squad, express interest in more competitive summer play, Horn organized the five-team league.
Horn's wife Thelma, a sports psychologist at Miami University, also encouraged the inception of the league.
"She was complaining that there were no leagues for collegiate women," David said.
The league, which ended Wednesday with Campus Book and Supply of Northern Kentucky University taking the first title, appeared to be a success.
"It went pretty well," Horn said. "The response from the teams that participated was good. They said they'd be back next year.
"I hope to add more teams. Hopefully it will grow with time." As with the popular men's GTE Summer League at Purcell Marian High School, no two players from the same Division I team can be on the same summer-league roster. The rule does not apply to Division II or Division III players or incoming freshmen.
Horn is also hoping to find a corporate sponsor for the league next year. Many of this year's players paid their own expenses. The league consisted of eight weeks of play at G.E. Recreational Center followed by a single-elimination tournament.
This year's champion from NKU upset previously undefeated Team X, a squad made up of past (Carol Madsen-Miller, Connie Hamberg, Janet Haneberg) and present (co-captain Nikki Kremer) Xavier stars.
NKU was lead by Julie Stanley (12 points) and Shannon Roddy (11 points) in the final game. Incoming freshmen Susie Smith and Michelle Cottrell also looked impressive in the win, according to Horn. "It was definately very competitive," Horn said.
The Miami women's cross-country and track and field teams added a new face to their coaching ranks, hiring Jennifer Hardesty as an assistant coach.
Hardesty was a two-time All-American in the javelin at Ashland and will work with the RedHawks in the throwing events: the shot put, discus, hammer, 20-pound weight and javelin.
Hardesty will begin her duties assisting cross-country and track coach Rich Ceronie on Aug. 1.
The Hit-hers 16-and-under fast-pitch team won the Cincinnati Sports Centers Second Annual NIT Tournament in Harrison.
The Hit-hers, who were undefeated in the tournament, beat the Indy Roadrunners 8-7 in Sunday's championship game.
They were led by Abby Lovejoy of Beechwood, who hit .538, and Sarah Swan of Loveland at .455.
The Hit-hers are 25-15-2 overall.
The Warren County Bearcats, a 12-and-under girls team, won the gold medal at the Ohio Games at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea. The team earned an automatic berth in next year's National Junior Olympic Games in St. Louis.
"It was really exciting," team member Mary Werden said of the winning the gold. "It was definitely a challenge."
The team is coached by Bob Werden, Todd Hervas and Ron Hubbard.
Georgia gymnasts and NCAA champions Karin Lichey, Sam Muhleman and Kristi Lichey -- all graduates of Northwest High School -- had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Friday.
The trio, along with the rest of the Georgia team, traveled to Washington, D.C., where President Bill Clinton congratulated them on their accomplishment.