Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon sports news recapped

Welcome back to Pittsburgh and to campus. Assuming that you survived your first Monday morning 8:30 a.m. class (which frankly will be the last time you wake up for it), take a minute and get up to speed with a summer’s worth of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon sports.

The biggest event you missed was Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Pittsburgh was abuzz with excitement for the midsummer classic that took place July 11 at PNC Park. In addition to the All-Star Game, the week of festivities included the Home Run Derby, the Futures Game, and the Legends and Celebrities Softball Game. Ryan Howard cranked out 23 home runs to win the Home Run Derby, and the American League once again won the All-Star Game (3–2), securing home field advantage in the World Series come October.

Coming off the All-Star high, Pittsburghers did not have to wait long for more sports excitement as Steelers training camp opened in Latrobe in the beginning of August.

Sadly, for some, the opening of camp was bittersweet as the day also marked the closing of Latrobe’s Rolling Rock plant. (The Pennsylvania beer was purchased by Anheuser-Busch and moved to Newark, N.J.) Steelers camp went off without a hitch with Ben Roethlisberger in attendance and miraculously healthy. Roethlisberger’s real test will come in the regular season opener September 7 against the Dolphins.

Focusing in on Carnegie Mellon, the most obvious change to the campus landscape (outside of “Walking to the Sky,” of course) is the resurfacing of the Gesling Stadium field. The installation of the bright green FieldTurf closed the stadium for most of the summer. FieldTurf, which is a mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber, is supposed to increase player safety and lower field maintenance costs.

While Gesling Stadium was getting a face-lift, additions were made within the athletic community as well. During the off-season, Carnegie Mellon added three new faces to the athletic community, hiring Gary Aldrich as the associate head coach to the men’s and women’s track and field teams, and Rob Czlonka and Tony Mohammed as assistant coaches for the men’s and women’s soccer teams, respectively.

A specialist in field events, Aldrich previously coached at Slippery Rock University, Allegheny College, and most recently Alfred University (1995–1998). Aldrich completed his undergraduate work at Slippery Rock in 1982 and went on to finish his master’s at Slippery Rock (1989) as well.

Czlonka spent the 2005 season as an assistant coach to the men’s soccer team at Oberlin College. Before Oberlin, Czlonka spent three seasons coordinating the soccer programs at Hawaii Baptist Academy. Czlonka graduated from Chowan College in 1997.

Mohammed spent last year at SUNY New Paltz as an assistant coach to the men’s soccer team. Before that, he was the interim head coach for the women’s program at Vassar College. Mohammed earned his undergraduate degree at Kenyon College in 1997 and his master’s degree at St. Lawrence University.

Now that you’re caught up to speed, keep in mind that most of Carnegie Mellon’s teams are opening their seasons this weekend; there will be plenty of sports to come.