Got Game: Northeast Ohio
Who's got game? Each month, ESPN RISE finds out. Here are three athletes who we recognized in September:
ST. IGNATIUS -- BOYS' GOLF
After nabbing an 11th-place finish at the Division I state tournament last fall and helping the Wildcats take sixth as a team, Kmiecik put his game to the national test over the summer. A junior, Kmiecik won the Midwest Junior Players Championship in Illinois in June by firing a one-under-par round of 71 in the final round to come from six strokes behind to tie for the top spot. He then won the tournament when he birdied the third playoff hole. With two other top-20 finishes to his credit as of press time, Kmiecik was rated the nation's No. 20 golfer from the Class of 2010 in the AJGA's Polo Rankings.
WALSH JESUIT -- GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY
Oswald is arguably the state's top returning harrier this fall. The senior took second at the Division II state meet last fall, behind then-senior Emily Infeld. But she didn't stop there. Oswald went on to compete at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional in Wisconsin, where she took eighth to qualify for the National Championships in San Diego. There, Oswald placed 31st, finishing nearly 20 seconds ahead of the only other Ohio underclassman in the race -- Barnesville's Stephanie Morgan. Everyone will be out to catch Oswald this fall, but few stand a chance.
ALEX DAYNEKA + LANI SMITH
HATHAWAY BROWN -- GIRLS' SOCCER
Dayneka and Smith were the offensive juggernauts for Hathaway Brown's Division II state-title winning team last fall. Smith, a junior, posted a team-high 25 goals while Dayneka, a senior, piled up a team-leading 16 assists for the Blazers, who finished 20-3-1 on the year. After the season, Dayneka was named to the Division II All-Ohio first team and earned NSCAA/adidas All-Region honors. With Dayneka and Smith returning, and only two seniors lost from last year's starting lineup, Hathaway Brown has a great shot at defending its title.
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