Seton Hill javelin champ making most of 1st basketball season

| Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

This spring, Mallory Sanner will hope to qualify and win a second consecutive NCAA Division II national championship in the javelin.

For now, the versatile junior at Seton Hill University is making the most of her first season as a starter with the Griffins women's basketball team.

A graduate of Uniontown High School, Sanner has started all 16 games and is averaging 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. She is shooting 85 percent from the foul line (17 of 20) and is second on the team in steals with 24. The 5-foot-10-inch forward-guard has made five three-point baskets and dished out 25 assists and four blocks.

Four times this season, Sanner has scored 10 points or more, including a “double-double” 10-point, 10-rebound effort in Seton Hill's 59-41 victory over Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.

During her sophomore season, Sanner played in 29 games and averaged five points and 4.1 rebounds per game. She shot 46 percent from the floor (57-123) and 46 percent from three-point range (15-33). Sanner added 24 steals, 22 assists and three blocks while averaging 13 playing minutes per game. She helped Seton Hill compile a 19-13 final overall record and reach the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament finals for the first time in school history and the league's last year of existence.

In 2011-12, Sanner appeared in 26 of the team's 29 games and averaged 9.3 minutes, 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

This season, Seton Hill is in its first season as a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and under the direction of first-year head coach Mark Katarski. As of Jan. 21, Seton Hill was 11-5 overall and 3-3 in the PSAC-Western Division.

“Mallory has been a key part of the team's transition into a new conference and with a new coaching staff,” Katarski said. “Our success usually follows along with Mallory's positive energy and relentless effort.

“We are glad to have her in our program.”

Before becoming Seton Hill's first-ever individual national champion, Sanner finished fifth nationally in the javelin in 2012 and became the first female Griffin athlete to earn NCAA All American honors. She was one of just two student-athletes to win a national championship in WVIAC history.

A dean's list student each semester, she's been on campus, Sanner is a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All Academic honoree. In April, she was named the 2013 Westmoreland YWCA Sportswoman of the Year. That award is open to any resident of Westmoreland County or anyone who attends a school in Westmoreland County.

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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