College Sports Spotlight: Racek excelling for Vassar College fencing team

By Bill Arsenault - For Abington Journal
Abington Heights grad Tom Racek has experienced success as a member of the Vassar College men’s fencing team. - Submitted photo
Racek - Submitted photo

Tom Racek is wrapping up a standout career as a member of the Vassar College men’s fencing team.

A senior from Clarks Summit (Abington Heights), Racek is in his second season as team captain and he’s the top performer in the foil for the Brewers who are 24-17 overall and 7-3 in the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Association. He’s 63-34 on the season.

“Tom is not just any foil starter for Vassar,” coach Bruce Gillman said. “He has put in so much time and effort over the past four years that he has become the heart and soul of this team. I will miss him next year, not just as a talented athlete but as an inspirational team leader – arguably the best team captain I have had in my 13 years here.”

Racek was also a team captain last year, making him just the second two-year captain in program history.

“Tom plans most of the team warmups and the foil squad drills,” Gillman said. “But he also does a great job of getting his younger squad mates involved so they can take over when he’s gone next year.”

Despite being a veteran on the squad, Racek hasn’t stopped trying to improve his game, according to Gillman.

“Tom continues to work hard on his own fencing, looking to get lessons from all the coaches, sometimes two a day,” the coach said.

Vassar will next compete in the NCAA Northeast Regionals March 11 in Waltham, Mass. The NCAA Tournament is set for March 21 in State College.

Ethan Danzig (Abington Heights)

The senior wrapped up his career with The University of Scranton men’s basketball team, the Royals finishing 13-12 overall and 7-7 in Landmark Conference play, missing the playoffs in a tiebreaker. The 6-foot-5 guard led the team in scoring (14.6) and blocked shots (33). He also averaged 4.6 rebounds a game with 49 assists and 19 steals. And, he hit 74 of 191 3-point attempts (38.7 percent). For his career, Danzig finished with 1,168 points, 402 rebounds, 188 assists, 93 steals and 66 blocked shots. He hit 269 of 642 3-point attempts (41.9 percent).

Carly Danoski (Abington Heights)

The sophomore captured the 800 meter run to help the Moravian women’s indoor track team capture the Landmark Conference title last Saturday in Selinsgrove. Her time was 2:16.92 which was more than 21 seconds faster than her time in the 800 as a freshman when she finished 11th in 2:38.56. Danoski also ran a leg on the winning 4×400 relay which posted a time of 4:10.67. The Greyhounds finished second in the team standings last year after winning nine straight crowns prior to that.

Alyssa McMinn (Abington Heights)

The Messiah junior posted a personal best throw of 46 feet, 2 inches to finish sixth in the Middle Atlantic Conference Indoor Track Championships last weekend in Bethlehem. She also finished sixth in the shot put with a heave of 38 feet, 9 ¾ inches. McMinn posted her personal best in the shot Feb. 16 when she finished second at the S.U. Invitational in Selinsgrove with a toss of 39 feet, 10 ½ inches. She finished fifth in the shot and sixth in the weight throw at the MAC indoor meet as a sophomore.

Mary Lundin (Scranton Prep)

The junior from Clarks Summit had a solid meet for the Division III Hamilton women’s indoor track team at Cornell’s Deneault Memorial Feb. 17 in Ithaca, N.Y. She finished fifth in the 500 meter dash with a personal best time of 1:20.36 and trailed four Division I runners. And she ran a leg on the 4×400 relay which finished fourth in 4:18.64. At Colgate’s Class of 32 meet on Feb. 10, Lundin posted a career-best time of 2:59.54 to finish second to a teammate in the 1000 meter run.

Catie Nealon (Abington Heights)

The senior saw her season end when the 15-12 Marywood women’s basketball team dropped a 76-66 decision to Cabrini in the semifinals of the Colonial States Athletic Conference Tournament last Wednesday in Radnor. Nealon had seven points and three assists in that game. She had 10 points in an 81-69 first-round victory over Centenary Feb. 19 in Scranton. Nealon averaged 6.1 points a game and hit 34 of 97 3-point attempts (35.1 percent). She also averaged 3.4 rebounds with 68 assists and 20 steals.

Mary Kate Caucci (Scranton Prep)

The sophomore came up short of earning a spot on the Fordham women’s indoor track team at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships Feb. 17-18 but she had a solid performance at Manhattan’s Brother Jasper Last Chance meet last Friday in Riverdale, N.Y. Caucci, from South Abington Township, finished fourth in the 60 meter dash in 8.53, fourth in the 200 meter dash in 28.32 and fourth in the long jump with a height of 17 feet, 2 ¼ inches. She’s hoping those efforts will earn her a spot on the Rams’ squad when they compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship this Saturday and Sunday in Boston, Mass.

Abington Heights grad Tom Racek has experienced success as a member of the Vassar College men’s fencing team. Heights grad Tom Racek has experienced success as a member of the Vassar College men’s fencing team. Submitted photo

Racek Submitted photo

By Bill Arsenault

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or