MIFFLINTOWN - Juniata ended its membership in the Mountain League with the close of the spring sports season, but the Indians made the best of their final campaign in the conference, placing several athletes on the Mountain League all-star rosters for the season.
At the top of the list is Isaac Eck, the freshman tennis player who never lost a league match. He was named MVP in the sport for his effort.
"Isaac is phenomenal in maturity, focus, skill and dedication," said Juniata coach Alan Musselman. "He is now nationally ranked in both the USTA 14 and 16 age groups."
Musselman expects nothing less than success for Eck, who made it to the state tournament in doubles this year with partner Logan Aurand - also an all-league selection, on the second team.
"He is the most improved player in one season," Musselman said, noting Aurand's move from No. 8 to No. 2. Calling Aurand "Mr. Enthusiasm," he said the co-captain this year should improve with a summer schedule in an adult league.
Juniata's track team made te biggest dent on the Mountain League list, especially the girls team. Named to the Nittany Division roster were a trio of multiple-event athletes, led by Rachel Brown, an all-star in all three jumping events.
"(I am) ecstatic for Rachel being an all star in all of her events," Juniata coach Kim Hart exclaimed. "She is a top notch jumper who we are glad to have back next year. We look to continue to see great things from her."
Mariah Williams, who won her second district title in discus and placed in the event at states, made the league team in that and the shot put.
"Mariah was unbeaten in the league in both events. (She is) so deserving of this honor," Hart said. "It's one more feather to add in her cap of many track and field accomplishments. She will be very hard to replace."
The third two-event star is one the coach admits she's been quiet about this year. Marnie Hart made all-league status in the 100-meter hurdles and the javelin.
"I didn't say much about Marnie this season due to her being my daughter," Kim Hart said. "Being an all star in both the hurdles and the javelin is a great accomplishment and I am very proud of her. Marnie is another who will be missed."
Also on the list is Janelle Swartz, in the 400-meter dash.
"She is a hard nosed competitor,and I'm glad we have her back for many more years," Hart said.
Three boys made the Nittany all-star team as individuals: Adam Goshorn (100), Nick Gilbert (300 hurdles) and Patrick Fitzgerald (shot put).
"Adam was also undefeated in the league - just a superb sprinter with an excellent start. He could just shoot out of those blocks," Hart said. "Nick getting all stars in the hurdles just made my day. He battled injuries this season and wasn't totally himself. I'm excited for him to be healthy next season.
"Patrick is a brute - a very nice one at that - I'm thrilled for him to be an all star in the shot put and know he will continue to improve for us next year."
Goshorn was a member along with Neil Bodley, Garrick Paden and Eric Haubert in Juniata's 4x100 relay, which tied for all-star status with Central Mountain - a team the Indians beat in head-to-head competition. Hart said the tie came about because her squad had one false start in a league meet.
"Our 4x100 liked to jokingly refer to themselves as the 'FabFour' because they broke our school record that had Jeremy Wagner as a part of it," she said. "They were elated."
Hart points to an interesting bit of trivia about the quartet - each of them has a parent from Juniata's class of 1984.
On the diamond, Juniata had three players honored - two in softball, one for baseball. On the smaller field, Alesha Reed was tabbed for her outfield play, while Kristen Pray was honored for her work in the infield.
Softball coach Brian Sheaffer said his best move with his left fielder was to teach her to bat as a lefty, which made her a bigger contributor to the team.
"She hit right around .400. She did well," he said. "It turned to be a pretty good move."
On defense, he said, "She made some really good catches. She played really well out there all year. I will miss her dearly."
Pray, a sophomore shortstop, shows her true strength at the plate, Sheaffer said, and is willing to pitch when called upon.
"Kristen's a good ballplayer. She has good skill," he said. "She's normally an outfielder for her travel team. She used to play short when he was younger. It's nice that ... she'll come in and do that."
Dakota Zook was the lone Indian picked in baseball, also as an infielder. He played third base, along with being arguably the team's top hurler.
"He is a four-year varsity starter, good team leader," Juniata coach Nick Beward said. "We recorded five team wins this year and I believe he was responsible for four of those. His bat, I'd put up against almost anyone in the league."
Juniata will reenter the Tri-Valley League for the 2012-13 season.