EMMITSBURG, Md. - In the third installment of Mount St. Mary's Women In Sports 40 for 40 Celebration, the Mount honors eight women that helped make the athletics movement from Division II to Division I during the course of their careers in Emmitsburg.
Teresa Hortsmann Otterbein (1985-89), Laurie Smith Ernest (1988-92), Bronwyn Williams (1988-92), Susie Rowlyk (1991-95), Heather Moul Kitching (1994-98), Jen Stocker Buckles (1994-98), Megan Gardiner (1995-00) and Kia Williams (1997-01) each had Hall of Fame careers at the Mount during the Mount's first 10 years of Division I.
Otterbein, who played three seasons on the women's tennis team at the Division II level and one season in Division I, owned an 85-31 career record at the Mount over her four year career. She was ranked eighth in the NCAA Division II National Championships and also played in the Rolex National Championships in 1987. Otterbein was named to the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis All-American team in her sophomore season.
Ernest ranks in the Top-10 in 11 track and field categories. Her score of 5,188 points in 1992 in the heptathlon is still the best mark in program history while she also ranks second in the high jump (5-8, 1992), third in the long jump (18-10.5, 1992), third in the 400-meter hurdles (1:03.33, 1991), eighth in the javelin (116-2, 1992) and 10th in the shot put (34-5.75, 1992) and the 200-meter dash (25.33, 1992) for the outdoor season. She also ranks third in the high jump (5-8.25, 1991), third in the long jump (18-10.75, 1992), third in the 55-meter hurdles (8.44, 1991) and sixth in 800-meter run (2:17.7, 1992).
Williams played one year with Otterbein and then had three more standout seasons on the tennis courts. Williams is one of the best women's tennis players in the Mount's Division I era, ranking third in doubles wins (56), fifth in career victories (65), seventh in dual match victories (41) and one season with Otterbein produced the the 10th most doubles win for their career at 18-8. On the single-season charts, Williams ranks second in singles victories after posting a 23-9 record in 1988-89 while her dual match record for that season of 15-5 is eighth all-time. The doubles season with Ottterbein was also the second-best mark in program history on the single-season charts.
Rowlyk was part of the best four-year stretch in women's basketball history, helping the Mount to four Northeast Conference regular season titles, three NEC Tournament crowns and the first two Division appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Rowlyk is the all-time leader in free throws made (425) and ranks fifth in program history in career points (1,502), seventh in field goal percentage (.498), eighth in rebounds (766), ninth in points per game (13.7), ninth in rebounds per game (7.0) and 10th in field goals (538). Rowlyk received many accolades from the NEC after being named to the All-Newcomer Team (1991-92), All-NEC second team (1992-93), All-Tournament team (1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95), Player of the Year (1993-94, 1994-95), All-NEC first team (1993-94, 1994-95) and Scholar-Athlete of the Year (1993-94, 1994-95). She was also the NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player in 1993-94 after helping the Mount rally from a 19-2 deficit to start the game to come back to defeat Saint Francis (Pa.) 78-68 in the NEC Championship Game. Rowlyk recorded 26 points and 15 rebounds in the contest. She has also been named to the NEC 20th, 25th and 30th Anniversary teams. The Mount posted a 93-21 overall mark and a 64-6 record in league play in her four seasons and the Mount became the first NEC team to go undefeated in NEC play during the 1994-95 season.
Kitching was a four-time champion in the 800-meter run at the NEC Outdoor Championships and finished in the Top-3 of the 1500-meter run all four seasons in the conference outdoor meet. Named the NEC Most Outstanding Performer for the 1998 NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Kitching is one of three Mount women to qualify for the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships. She also holds five records at the Mount, including the indoor mile, indoor 1000-meter run, the indoor 800-meter run, the indoor 500-meter run and the outdoor 800-meter run.
Buckles, the only women's lacrosse player in the Hall of Fame, is the greatest offensive player in Mount women's lacrosse history. She is the program's all-time leader in goals (175) and points (230) while ranking fourth in assists (55), second in shots (380) and fourth in ground balls (191). Buckles holds three of the Top-10 marks in single-season goals after posting the second (56, 1997), third (54, 1996) and 10th (40) best marker performs in program history. Her 75 points in 1997 still ranks as the all-time record for a single season and also holds the third (62, 1996) and fifth (58, 1998) most points on the single-season charts. She helped the Mount to consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) titles in 1997 and 1998 and was named the MAAC Player of the Year in 1998. Buckles was also named to the All-NEC first team in 1999. She was a member of the first women's lacrosse team at the Mount in 1996 and helped the Mountaineers to a 32-28 overall record, a 14-0 mark in the MAAC and a 3-2 record in the NEC in her four seasons.
Gardiner arrived at the Mount the season after the Mountaineer women's basketball team won its third-straight NEC tournament title and made its second NCAA appearance. Gardiner had a standout five-year career at the Mount after missing most of the 1996-97 due to an injury. She finished her career with the third-most points in the team history with 1,775 and the most in the Mount's Division I era. She also ranks second in free throws (423), third in blocks (93), fourth in career points per game (16.3), fifth in field goals (659). She scored 579 points during the 1998-99 season to rank fifth and posted a 20.7 points per game average that season to rank fifth in that category while her 210 made field goals rank ninth and her 196 free throws are fourth on the program's single-season charts. She recorded 30 points in a game six times in her career, including a career-high 36 points against Robert Morris on Feb. 17, 1996. She was named the NEC Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Newcomer team and the All-NEC first team in 1995-96. She was named to the All-NEC first team in 1997-98 and 1998-99 and the NEC Player of the Year in 1998-99 while garner All-Tournament honors in her second and third seasons in Emmitsburg. The Mount went 92-50 overall in her five seasons and 66-24 in league play and the squad won at least one game in the NEC Tournament during her tenure, including making the NEC Championship Game in her freshman campaign.
Williams bursted onto the Mount women's basketball court in 1997 and continued the Mount's run of dominant scorers that included Kim Rhock, Vanessa Blair, Rowlyk and Gardiner. Williams finished her career right behind Gardiner in fourth place with 1,732 career points while ranking second in career points per game (16.7), third in field goals (692), fourth in rebounding (844), fifth in rebounds per game (7.7) and eighth in free throws made (329). She recorded the eighth most points in a single season with 519 in 2000-01 while her points per game (9th, 18.5) and field goals (10th, 204) from that season also rank in the program's single-season Top-10 charts. She recorded three 30-point performances in her career, including a career-high 31 points against Georgia Tech on Nov. 25, 2000. Williams was named the NEC Newcomer of the Year and a spot on the All-Newcomer team in 1997-98 and then earned an All-NEC second-team nod as a sophomore before wrapping up her career with a pair of All-NEC first-team selections in her final two seasons. She was named the NEC Player of the Year in 2000-01 and also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team that season. The posted a record of 71-43 record in her four seasons with a 55-17 mark in league play. The Mount won a game in the postseason all four years and advanced to the NEC Championship Game in her senior year.
The 2012-13 academic year marks the 40th anniversary of the first year women were allowed to enroll at the Mount. Prior to 1972, Mount St. Mary's was an all-male college. It is also the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Mount St. Mary's will be celebrating Women In Sports during the basketball doubleheader against Central Connecticut State on Feb. 16. During the five weeks leading up the celebration, the Mount will honor and look back on the careers of 40 former student-athletes that have left their mark in athletics at Mount St. Mary's or after graduation. Make sure that you check out the Mount's 40 for 40 series against next week when the Mount unveils eight more honorees.
Also check out the special Mount Athletics Facebook page entitled Mount St. Mary's Women In Sports.
Make sure you check out the interviews with Teresa Hortsmann Otterbein and Susie Rowlyk below:
Teresa Hortsmann Otterbein