Mountaineer Round-up: McCabe makes history, Manoah blanks Yanks in debut

Gold and Blue Nation

Courtesy: WVU Athletics

Summer break has officially taken over Morgantown, and one student-athlete is keeping the WVU athletic calendar alive. That doesn’t mean that Mountaineer Nation has gone silent, however, as former Mountaineers are making their mark across the sporting landscape.

Here’s what you may have missed, and here’s what to look out for:

Track and Field

Ceili McCabe made West Virginia track and field history at 2021 NCAA East Preliminary Round over the weekend as one of four Mountaineers to compete in the prelims down in Jacksonville, Florida.

McCabe took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday, notching a program-record time of 9:51.1. This finish moved McCabe to the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which take place on June 9-12.

Katherine Dowie also competed in the steeplechase, finishing 42nd with a 10:46.89 mark.

Two other Mountaineers competed in the prelims. Junior Peter-Gay McKenzie did the long jump, notching a distance of 5.88 meters for 33rd place, while redshirt junior Hayley Jackson took 38th in the 1,500 meters, finishing 4:27.50.

Out of all four Mountaineer student-athletes, McCabe was the only one to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, as competitors needed to finish in the top 12 in their respective event. They will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Elsewhere in Mountaineer Nation

While the facilities in Morgantown have found their usual summer quiet time by now, Mountaineers are still climbing across the sports world.

The most notable to make the climb is pitcher Alek Manoah, who made his major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The former WVU ace was on fire — after a four-pitch walk in his first at-bat, Manoah struck out the next two batters (including 2017 AL MVP runner-up Aaron Judge) and got out of the inning without a hit.

He finished with six scoreless innings on the rubber, allowing two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts, and is next slated to take the bump Wednesday at the Marlins.

Elsewhere in the show, John Means has established himself as the ace for the Baltimore Orioles. He currently has a 4-1 record after taking his first loss on Saturday to the Chicago White Sox, but has been hot until that point — even notching a no-hitter on May 5 against the Seattle Mariners (just one wild pitch away from a perfect game).

Means leads the American League in WHIP (.796), WAR (3.3), and his 2.05 ERA is currently seventh in the majors. Although Baltimore has yet to announce their probable pitchers past Wednesday, his spot in the rotation is up on Friday when the Orioles host Cleveland.

Over to the hardwood, where three West Virginia alumni are making their mark in pro basketball. Jevon Carter’s Phoenix Suns are on the brink of eliminating the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers from the NBA Playoffs, leading the series 3-2. Carter saw his first postseason minutes on Tuesday, playing eight and logging a rebound and an assist in Phoenix’s 115-85 blowout of the Lakers.

Kysre Gondrezick, on the other hand, has just begun her career and is settling in as a role player for the Indiana Fever. She is averaging 11.3 minutes and 3.6 points in nine games, putting up a season-high eight points twice so far this season as the Fever sit at 1-8.

Gondrezick’s most impressive number right now, to no surprise, is her three-point percentage. She’s made 42.1 percent of her shots from deep, and making multiple three-pointers twice already in her career.

Bria Holmes has also gotten comfortable with her new team, the Los Angeles Sparks, appearing in all five games, including a start. Holmes averages 14.6 minutes and 2.2 points this season, and set season highs on Tuesday in minutes (18) and points (4) as the Sparks fell to the Dallas Wings, 79-69.

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