40 For 40 - Mount Women In Sports Celebration: Part II

40 For 40 - Mount Women In Sports Celebration: Part II

EMMITSBURG, Md. – In our next edition of the Mount St. Mary's Women's In Sports 40 for 40 Celebration, the Mount takes a look at eight outstanding careers in the sports of women's basketball, track and field and tennis. 

Mary Matheson (1975-79), Virginia O'Donnell Cole (1976-80), Susan Janowiak (1977-81), Thea Ackerman Carey (1979-83), Michelle Dixon (1983-87), Christine Larsen (1983-87), Tracey Bradson (1985-89) and Vanessa Blair (1988-92)are not only member of the 40 for 40, but are also members of the Mount St. Mary's Sports Hall of Fame. 

Matheson was a three-sport athlete at the Mount, participating in field hockey, women's basketball and softball. On the basketball court, Matheson helped the Mount to a 65-33 mark in her four seasons at the Mount and set a program-record with 825 career points, a mark that now sits 33rd all-time. In her first season, the Mountaineers went 20-2 to notch the program's first 20-win season in program history. Matheson also paced the team in assists in 1976-77 with 63 and 1977-78 with 62 helpers.

Cole was the first-ever women selected into the Mount St. Mary's Hall of Fame with her induction in 1986. Cole lost her first collegiate match and then rolled off 66-straight victories before ending her career the same way it started with a loss, but ended with a 66-2 career mark in Emmitsburg. She was ranked sixth in Division II as a junior and was the Maryland State Champion as a senior. 

Janowiak participated on the women's basketball and track and field teams at the Mount over her four-year career. The Mount women's basketball team posted a 60-32 record and she scored 831 points in her career. Janowiak was also a member of the track and field team and at the urging of track coach Jim Deegan participated in the high jump, an event that she had competed in prior to her arrival in Emmitsburg. Her mark of 5-6 at Shippensburg on Apr. 10, 1979 still ranks as the sixth-best mark in team history. Janowiak was the recipient of the prestigious John L. Sheridan award in her senior year.

Carey is the only female national champion for track and field in the high jump. After finishing in the Top-3 in the high jump in Division II or III, Carey also participated at the Division I National Championships. Carey still holds the school record in the outdoor high jump with a mark of 5-11, a feat she accomplished three times in 1981-82. She also holds the second-best indoor high jump mark at 5-11 1/4, which she set in 1981. Carey set a Mason-Dixon Relay record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.4 and is also in the team's Top-10 for outdoor 110-meter hurdles (8th, 15.14, 1981) while ranking in the Top-10 for indoor 55-meter hurdles (8th, 8.64, 1983) and the pentathlon (4th, 3210 points, 1980). She also served as the field hockey goalkeeper during her time at the Mount. 

Dixon was also a standout track and field athlete in her collegiate career. She qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1987 after winning the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 61.3 at the Mount Open Track Meet. She set a meet record in 400-meter hurdles at the Mason Dixon Outdoor Championships with a time of 61.99 in 1987. At the Mason-Dixon Relays in 1987, she won the 400-meter dash (57.4), the 200-meter dash (25.6) and was a member of the winning 4x400-meter relay (4:13.1). Dixon remains in the Top-10 in program history in four events, including holding the team record in the 400-meter hurdles (59.44) and ranking fourth in the indoor 400-meter dash (57.28).

Larsen and Dixon were teammates on the track team to continue the Mount's impressive track performances during the 1980s. Larsen is in the program's Top-10 in nine categories. She ranks second for her pentathlon score in 1985 (3,486 points) and second in shot put throw in 1987 (41-3). Her outdoor high jump (5-7) during the 1984 season ranks fourth and her time in the 400-meter hurdles (1:04.14) is fifth all-time. 

Bradson played three years in Division II and the first year for the Mount in Division I. During the final three seasons in Division II, Bradson helped the Mount to three 20-win seasons and the Mountaineers went 90-16 in her four years in Emmitsburg. She ranks 12th all-time in points with 1,344 and seventh with 583 career field goals. Bradson scored a career-high 33 points against Loyola on Dec. 2, 1989 and 30 points against Coppin State on Dec. 10, 1989 to be one of only seven players in team history with two 30-point games in her career.

Last week, Kim Rhock was one of the eight women honored. Rhock and Blair played together for two seasons to form probably one of the best 1-2 offensive threats, but after Rhock left Blair took her game to the next level to be named the Northeast Conference (NEC) Player of the Year in her final two seasons. Blair was a member of three NEC regular season championship teams after the Mountaineers posted a 79-33 record in her four seasons, including 41-7 in league play. Blair is the career program leader in blocks (242) and ranks third in rebounds (849), third in rebounds per game (8.9), sixth in points per game (15.7), seventh in points (1,488), seventh in steals (231) and ninth field goals made (559). She posted 77 blocks in 1989-90, 70 rejections in 1990-91 and 69 in 1991-92 to notch the three-best single-season marks in that category. She scored 507 points in 1991-92 to post the eight-most points in a single-season and hauled in 306 rebounds in 1990-91 and 1991-92 for the third-best mark on the carom chart in a single-season at the Mount. She has been named to the NEC 20th, 25th and 30th Anniversary teams and will be enshrined into the NEC Hall of Fame in 2013. Blair also coached at the Mount for nine seasons and amassed a 120-135 coaching record while becoming the only women in the NEC to be named NEC Player and Coach of the 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 Thea (Ackerman) Carey and Susan Janowiak below:

Thea (Ackerman) Carey  

Susan Janowiak