Monday, February 19, 2018

Seven set for induction into Lycoming Athletics Hall of Fame

Clockwise from top left - Josh Kleinfelter, Milvana Ban, Stephen Romano, Nicole Wasson, Jen Shuler, Ricky Lannetti, Jason Mifsud. (Photo courtesy of Lycoming Sports Information)
The complete class is:
Milvana (Ban) Eichelberger ’09 (women’s swimming) – Harrisburg, Pa.
Josh Kleinfelter '11 (football) – Bellwood, Pa./Altoona, Pa.
Ricky Lannetti (football) – Philadelphia, Pa.
Jason Mifsud '13 (men's tennis) – Montoursville, Pa.
Stephen Romano '13 (men's lacrosse) – Washington Township, N.J./Cambridge, Md.
Jennifer (Shuler) Miller '99 (women’s basketball/softball) – Milton, Pa./Harrisburg, Pa.
Nicole (Wasson) Garcia '99 (women’s swimming) – Allentown, Pa./Eldersburg, Md.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Three are All-Americans. Two were individual conference champions. One was a two-time conference player of the year. All seven earned all-conference honors in their careers and make up the 2018 Lycoming College Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted at the 33rd annual Hall of Fame Ceremony as part of Alumni Weekend, June 1-3, 2018.


The complete class features Milvana (Ban) Eichelberger ’09 (women’s swimming), Josh Kleinfelter '11 (football), Ricky Lannetti (football), Jason Mifsud '13 (men's tennis), Stephen Romano '13 (men's lacrosse), Jennifer (Shuler) Miller '99 (women’s basketball/softball) and Nicole (Wasson) Garcia '99 (women’s swimming). The group will be inducted on Saturday, June 2, at 3 p.m. in Lamade Gym. A reception will follow the ceremony in the Recreation Center Atrium. To sign up for the Hall of Fame ceremony, please visit the Alumni Weekend website at: www.lycoming.edu/alumniWeekend/.

Milvana (Ban) Eichelberger ’09With perhaps the best performance of her career in her last individual race at the 2009 MAC Championships, Milvana (Ban) Eichelberger ’09 etched her name into a distinguished group, becoming the 14th women’s swimmer in program history to win a conference title. Ban wrapped up one of the best individual MAC meets in program history when she led that 200-yard backstroke race from start to finish, posting a time of 2:14.19. She preceded that by finishing second in both the 200-yard individual medley (2:16.61) and the 400-yard individual medley (4:47.23), where she set a school record that still stands. The first place and two second place finishes rounded out a career in which the Harrisburg, Pa., native earned 10 individual All-MAC honors and 10 All-MAC honors as a member of a relay team. Ban started her career by making a splash in the 200-yard backstroke, where she ended up earning all-conference honors by placing in the top six in the conference in all four years of her career, as her time of 2:13.70 to finish third at the MAC Championships in 2007 is still the third-fastest time in program history. Also an individual medley specialist, she came into her own during her sophomore year, when she posted her first of two runner-up finishes in the 400-yard version of the event. Ban’s career came in the midst of a 15-year run of consecutive winning seasons by the women’s swim program, as she helped the Warriors to a 29-11 record in dual meets and two third-place finishes at the conference championships. She teamed up to finish second in the 400-yard medley relay in 2009, while also finishing in the top three on relay teams two other times and finishing in the top six seven other times.

After graduating Lycoming, Ban received a Reading Specialist Certification at Millersville University in 2016 and she is currently completing a Master’s in Language and Literacy Education. She is a third grade teacher at Reach Cyber Charter School and also serves as an assistant coach for the Heatherfield swim team, a summer club program. She also served as an assistant coach at her high school alma mater, Bishop McDevitt, for three seasons. Ban married Shawn Eichelberger in 2015 and the couple welcomed son, Toby, in January 2017, and they reside in Harrisburg.

Josh Kleinfelter ’11When Coach Frank Girardi retired at the end of the 2007 season, he told the incoming coach, Mike Clark ’93, that his starting tailback had a chance to be really good, if not one of the best in a line of accomplished running backs to come through the storied Lycoming football program. Josh Kleinfelter ’11 lived up to that praise in the course of his career, becoming the only running back in program history to earn four all-conference accolades. As a rookie, the 5-10, 185-pounder finished third in the conference with 509 rushing yards and two touchdowns under Coach Girardi. In 2008, he was the force that paced the Lycoming offense, as the team rebounded from a 3-7 season by winning the school’s 14th MAC title. Kleinfelter ran for 1,123 yards and 11 touchdowns, crossing 100 yards four times in the season. He added 821 yards as a junior, but saved his best campaign for last. In 2010, he rushed for 1,212 yards on 216 attempts, posting eight touchdowns and averaging 121.2 yards per game, despite fighting injuries for the last four games of the year. He became the first running back in school history to post five straight 100-yard rushing games and the first to post three straight games with more than 200 all-purpose yards. He rushed for more than 200 yards twice and his 5.6 yards per carry average was half a yard higher than any back in the MAC. The Bellwood, Pa., product finished his career with school records in rushing yards (3,665), rushing attempts (773), rushing yards per game (91.6), all-purpose yards (4,474) and all-purpose yards per game (111.8) and still ranked in the top two in all those categories, while still holding the record for rushing attempts.

After graduating from Lycoming, Kleinfelter went on to graduate from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in 2015. He married wife, Chelsea, in September, and the couple reside in Hesston.

Ricky Lanetti ’04A strapping 5-9, 189-pound Philadelphia native, Ricky Lannetti ’04 was one of the most versatile players for the Warriors in the early part of the century. He began his career as a kickoff returner and moved into the punt return role as a sophomore in 2001, earning Second Team All-MAC honors as a return specialist after returning two punts for touchdown. As a junior, he turned into the Warriors’ top receiver after not catching a pass in his first two years with the team. He was even better as a senior, averaging a school-record 7.0 catches per game, posting 955 yards, plus as the team’s top punt and kick returner, he broke the school’s record for all-purpose yards in a season (1,644), a mark that stood for 11 years. He broke the school-record for most receptions in a game with 16 against Delaware Valley and also wrapped up his career holding all-time records in kick return yards (987), kick returns (45) and punt return touchdowns (2). He also helped Lycoming to an 8-1 regular season during that 2003 season and its first MAC title in four years, helping the team reach the NCAA Division III Championships while earning D3Football.com All-American honors and First Team All-MAC accolades as a receiver. In the first round against East Texas Baptist, he made five catches for 40 yards in Lycoming’ 13-7 overtime victory. Shockingly, during the week of the NCAA quarterfinals, he fell ill, checking into the hospital on Saturday morning and just 12 hours later, he passed away. The autopsy report listed the cause as a bloodstream infection caused by Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), better known as a staph infection.

Nearly 15 years later, Lannetti’s death has been a rallying cry in the sports world for awareness in staph infection detection and his story has been featured in several national media outlets, including the New York Times, Men’s Health and ESPN: The Magazine. Lannetti’s family, including mother Theresa Drew, father, Rick Lannetti and sisters, Lisa and Katie, have increased recognition and raised thousands to help further research and education on MRSA. The family also helped create the Ricky Lannetti Scholarship Fund at Lycoming.

Jason Mifsud ’13In Lycoming College men’s tennis’ 65-year history, there has rarely been a student-athlete like Jason Mifsud ’13. He was the first conference player of the year, first MAC Scholar-Athlete and first four-time all-conference selection in program history. All of that would be impressive enough, but is only part of the Montoursville, Pa., native’s resume. Mifsud, the Warriors’ all-time wins leader, finished his career with a 45-11 singles record, the most wins in school history, and added a 28-26 mark in doubles to finish second in school history. His combined mark of 73-37 is also the best in school history. He saved his best season for last, posting a 15-1 singles record as a senior and becoming the first player in school history to win the Middle Atlantic Conference Individual Championship, doing so at the top flight in the fall. He also ran the table, going 6-0 and not losing a set, against Commonwealth Conference opponents in singles play this spring. Mifsud was a second-team All-Commonwealth Conference selection as a freshman before earning three straight first team nods to wrap up his career. 

During that freshman season, Mifsud finished 12-3 at No. 3 singles, providing the Warriors a reliable workhorse in the middle of the lineup that helped propel the team to its only Commonwealth Conference title in program history. The next season, he jumped into the team’s No. 1 singles position, where he stayed for the rest of his career. He earned a school-record four Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week awards in his career, reached three MAC Individual Championship finals, reaching the third flight finals as a freshman and sophomore before winning the first flight as a senior. Off the court, the mathematics major was just as impressive, earning three MAC Academic Honor Roll nods, four Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar Athlete awards and eight dean’s list awards. He was the vice president of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematical Science Honor Society and was awarded with the Lycoming College Mathematical Science Award, the Frances K. Skeath Award in Mathematics and the Benjamin C. Connor Prize in Mathematics at the College’s Honors Convocation.

After graduating, Mifsud earned a Master’s of Arts in Mathematics from SUNY Binghamton in 2015. Soon after, he returned to Lycoming College, where he is still a visiting instructor in the department of mathematics. He also still helps at the West Branch Tennis Club, where he has worked for more than a decade, which has helped fuel his love for the sport. He is still active in the sport, playing several times a week, and makes time to play in local tournaments and leagues several times a year. He is also an avid hiker.

Stephen Romano ’13A two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American as a junior, Stephen Romano ’13 packed a ton into his three full seasons with the Warriors. When a game was on the line, Lycoming gave the ball to him and waited to watch special happen. In just the second game of his sophomore year, he scored five goals and added three assists, including the game-winner in overtime against SUNY Maritime. Later in the year, he posted game-winning goals in the fourth quarter against Lebanon Valley and in the second overtime at Elizabethtown. During the year, he scored nearly half his points in one-goal games, helping him finish 2011 second in Division III and third amongst all NCAA lacrosse players in Lax.com’s Clutch Ratings, posting a rating of 29.97. 

The league leader in scoring, Romano was a magician around the net for the Warriors, posting the MAC's top averages in goals (2.35), assists (1.47) and points (3.82). The 5-7 attackman was the catalyst all season for the Warriors, as he won the MAC Offensive Player of the Week award four times. As a junior, he repeated the performance, earning the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year award after finishing second in the league in goals (2.47) and third in points (3.33) per game. Along the way, Romano posted seven-goal games against Messiah and SUNY Geneseo and he continued his clutch abilities, scoring the game-winner in overtime against Messiah and assisting on the winner against Elizabethtown. He won three more Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week awards that season, giving him a school-record seven in his career, and earned Honorable Mention USILA All-American honors at the end of the season. An InsideLacrosse.com Preseason All-American heading into his senior year, Romano suffered a broken leg in the first game of the season, cutting his career short, but at the end of the season, he still earned USILA Scholar All-American accolades. Nonetheless, in just three seasons, the 5-7 attackman racked up 156 points, still 10th in program history, 108 goals, also 10th, and 48 assists.

After graduating, Romano went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching from Salisbury University and relocated to the Maryland Eastern Shore, where he works at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School as a biology, chemistry and biomedical sciences teacher. Still involved in lacrosse, he has moved to the sidelines, where he is an assistant coach and the offensive coordinator for the Cambridge-South Dorchester varsity team. He also teaches the game through private lessons and plays with the Delaware Starboard of the American Lacrosse League. Beyond lacrosse, he has started to play in a local soccer league, picking up the game again after playing in high school, and also skis, hikes and plays tennis in his free time. He is engaged to Christine Cook and will be getting married on June 16. The couple is planning an August hike at Machu Picchu in Peru.

Jennifer (Shuler) Miller ’99
Finishing her career in the top 10 in scoring in the basketball program’s history and the top five in hits in the softball program’s history, Jennifer (Shuler) Miller ’99 was one of the best all-around athletes at the college during her four years, which culminated when she was selected as the 1999 Pocahontas Award-winner as the college’s most outstanding female athlete. In softball, Shuler played catcher, third base, shortstop during her career before finally settling in at first base, where she earned Second Team All-Freedom League honors in 1999, when she hit .381 with 26 runs, six doubles, three triples a homer and 21 RBI in 29 games. The Milton, Pa., native hit better than .300 all four years of her career, finishing fifth in school’s career record book in batting average (.348), second in slugging percentage (.572), third in RBIs (67), fourth in runs scored (73) and eighth in on-base percentage (.407). She was also the second player in program history to reach 100 career hits, finishing her career with 101, which is still 10th in the softball record book. 

She helped the team reach the Middle Atlantic Conference Tournament in all four years of her career, leading the team to the championship game in 1996 and ’99, as the Warriors posted a 75-30 record in her career, including setting a school-record with an .815 winning percentage thanks to a 22-5 record in 1997. The Warriors also finished in first in the Freedom League twice in her career. In basketball, Shuler was just as accomplished, posting 916 points in her career, becoming the eighth player in school history to reach 900 career points. The 5-8 guard set the school-record for most career three-point field goals with 126, a mark that stood for seven years, and is one of two players to lead the team in three-point field goal percentage for three consecutive years (1997-99). Shuler helped Lycoming to a 59-42 record during her career, helping the team to three appearances in the conference tournament and a bid to the 1997 NCAA Division III Tournament. The 1998 Sol “Woody” Wolf award as the college’s most improved junior athlete, Shuler was also a two-time member of the MAC Academic Honor Roll in both basketball and softball as a criminal justice major.

After graduating, Shuler moved to Harrisburg, where she has been employed by Dauphin County Probation Services-Juvenile Division for the past 17 years. She is an assistant supervisor in the Community Based Supervision Unit and continue to work directly with delinquent youth. She married Greg Miller in 2000 and the couple have two children, Lauren and Brett. She is still active in sports, serving as an assistant coach with her daughter’s travel softball team, the Cumberland County Magic. She also enjoys golf and also works with her son’s “Buddy” Ball baseball team. Her son, who is autistic, plays alongside a “buddy” during his games, and the games focus on sportsmanship and fun.

Nicole (Wasson) Garcia '99In just three years in the Lamade Gym Natatorium, Nicole (Wasson) Garcia '99 helped push the Lycoming women's swim team to the top of the MAC. The Allentown, Pa., native also left her mark in the classroom, where the business major graduated a semester early after earning MAC Academic Honor Roll accolades after her junior year. In the pool, she left her mark by finishing in the top three in all nine of her individual races at the MAC Championships, winning two titles, finishing as a MAC runner-up five times and taking third twice. Wasson began her career with the Warriors by finishing second in the 400-yard individual medley, the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley in 1996, helping the Warriors take sixth at the MAC Championships. As a sophomore, she teamed with a talented group to win the college's first MAC title in swimming while also winning her first individual title as well, posting a time of 2:21.00 in the 200-yard butterfly. She also took second in the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys and helped the 400-yard medley relay squad also finish as runners-up. The next year, Wasson became just the fifth Warrior in program history to win two MAC titles when she won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:47.50, a time that set a school-record that stood for eight years. During her career, Wasson helped three relay teams finish as MAC runners-up while eight of her relay teams earned All-MAC accolades. The team posted a 33-8 record in her career and finished in the top three in the conference in two of her three seasons.

After graduating from Lycoming, Wasson completed a Master’s of Business Administration from Lehigh University in 2004 and began her professional career by working for Lucent Technologies for nine years. She began to work with Lehigh University’s advancement office in 2008, working at the school for six years before starting a home interior business when her family moved to Arkansas. After relocating to Maryland, she continued her work in interior design and has begun as an independent business owner for the Skincare company, Rodan & Fields. She married Oscar Garcia in 2002 and the couple have two children, Max and Isabella.

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