One of the many celebrated athletes in recent Central A&M High School history has now bid adieu to her national championship collegiate rugby career.

Mikah Maples was part of the IHSA Girls State Champions and was a 2-time state medalist in track for Central A&M High School in Moweaqua. She went from there to being a 2-time National Champion (NIRA) in college rugby for Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Maples helped lead the Central A&M Raiders to three consecutive state appearances in basketball. They placed 4th at State her sophomore year, won the state title her junior year, then returned to the state title game her senior year and finished 2nd. Maples was a state medalist in track for A&M in both the shot put and the discus.

Maples was part of a Quinnipiac team that won 27 games in four seasons (.659 win %) including back-to-back NIRA National Championships in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

As a senior, Maples (5’7” center) was hampered by injuries, but still had one more great match in her. Maples scored three 1st-half tries against Notre Dame College, including the first in the 2nd minute of play. She led Quinnipiac over Notre Dame College, 74-20.

The Bobcats were up 12-3 after 15 minutes and Maples scored her second try at the 18 minute mark. Notre Dame scored to cut the lead to 17-8, but Maples answered again, 24-8, beginning a 19-0 scoring run in the 50-point blowout.

Against Harvard, Maples tallied an assist as the scored was tied, 7-7. Against Dartmouth, Maples scored a try in the 67th minute.

Maples final athletic season was indoor track. She competed in 6 meets in shot put and three in the weight throw.

Her best shot put was 44 feet, 6 inches (13.56m) at the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Championships, placing 6th out of 21. She had 5 good throws out of 6 and threw her best on the 4th attempt.

Maples also place 13th in the weight throw with a season-best throw of 41 feet, 11.25 inches (12.78m). She had 2 good throws of 3 and had her best on the 3rd attempt.

She threw 40-0.25 in shot at the Great Dane Meet for 9th out of 30. At Rhode Island she threw 37-5.5 for 12th and threw the weight 38-10.

At Boston University she threw the shot 41-3.25 (12.58) for 10th out of 43 competitors. Her weight throw was 40-0.5 (12.20m). Three weeks later at Boston U, she shot put 40-11.25 (12.48m) for 16th out of 46.

At the MAAC Championships she had her previously mentioned best shot and weight throws. She finished at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championshps. She threw the shot 42-07 (12.98m).

Maples best event is the discus, an outdoor track event. But she did not get to compete in her senior outdoor season because of the virus crisis.

As a Junior rugby player in 2018, Maples was named an NIRA All-American. The junior captain was named Team MVP at the team’s annual awards ceremony with 10 tries in 9 games, scoring 50 points. Quinnipiac ended her junior season in the NIRA semifinal round, just short of a fourth straight national title match.

After 10 tries in the fall season, Maples recorded seven tries, five assists, and a conversion in the spring 7’s season.

In the first match, against Harvard, Quinnipiac answered an early score when Maples broke free and scored the first try of 2018 for the Bobcats and the lead, 7-5.

Against Dartmouth, Maples struck for her second successful try of 2018 in the 55th minute.

Against Norwich, Maples scored her first of two tries in the 38th minute to push the Bobcats lead to 19-14 with two minutes to play in the half. In the 48th minute, Maples found the try zone for the second time in the game and her fourth of the season.

Against Notre Dame College, Maples extending her scoring streak to five tries in all four games of the 2018 season. The captain found the try zone to build the Bobcats lead to 28 points.

Against Brown, Maples stormed through the defense in the 10th minute to give the Bobcats a 10-0 lead. In the 33rd minute, Maples had a try of over 50 yards to push the Bobcats’ lead to 31-0. The junior captain has seven tries in the past six games, scoring in 5 of the 6 games.

Against Penn State, Maples scored in the 43rd minute for her team-leading 8th try of the season in 7 games.

Against Notre Dame College in the NIRA Quarterfinals, Maples teammate, Roskopf, was being tackled outside of the 22-meter line. She off-loaded the ball to Maples, who blew past the Falcons’ last line of attack for the try in the 34th minute to close out the first half scoring.

On a quick tap-and-go, the ball was tossed over to Maples for her second try of the match in the 67th minute. Her {span}two tries gave her a team-leading 10 tries on the season in 8 games.{/span}

Playing for the Quinnipiac Bobcat Womens Rugby Team as a sophomore, Maples was tied for 7th in the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) in tries scored with 13 tries. She was tied for 11th in scoring with 65 points. She was 2nd on the National Champion Quinnipiac team in tries and 3rd in scoring. She scored the first try of the season this past fall on a 20-yard run. She went on to score 3 first half tries against Army, matching her total tries from her freshman year.

In the NIRA semifinal match this fall against Central Washington, Maples gave them the lead, 14-12 on a successful try. She tied the match in the 67th minute with another try 26-26, going 65 yards up the middle of the field.

In an earlier rematch of the 2016 national championship against Central Washington, Maples scored the winning try in the last 10 minutes, 29-24.

In this year’s national title match against #1 Dartmouth, Maples tied the score with a try, 15-15. They were down 15-0, but with the score 15-10, Maples found an opening, and scored. Quinnipiac went on a 19-point run after Maples’ score.

The Bobcats went 10-2 on the season, winning six of eight conference games during the regular season. They were undefeated, 8-0, on the Quinnipiac Rugby field during the regular season and the NIRA Tournament. Quinnipiac closed out their season by winning six straight games by a combined score of 290-87. The Bobcats outscored their opponents all season 519-220.

Maples recorded an assist against Norwich and a try against American International College. In the next match against AIC, Maples had a try and an assist. She had a try against Norwich in the National Quarterfinals.

As a Freshman in 2017. Maples played in 10 matches, recorded 15 points on three tries, had three three assists, with two of them against Notre Dame College. She tallied tries in her first two collegiate matches, against AIC and Norwich. Maples had 18 tackles (13 solo) on the year, as well as one run over 20 yards.

Maples also competed in track at Quinnipiac her freshman year. Her career best hammer throw was 33.90m at the MAAC Championships. Her PR in the shot put was 12.45m taking 2nd at the Yale Springtime Invitational. She also was 2nd in the discus that day (41.82m).

Maples PR in the discus was a Quinnipiac school record 43.09m, as she claimed the UMass Minuteman Invitational Discus Championship. Maples also placed sixth in the shot put at the UMass Minuteman Invitational with a mark of 11.96m.

Maples was 6th at the MAAC Championships in the discus throw (41.21m), 7th in the shot put (12.31m), and 14th in the hammer throw (33.90m). At the ECAC Championships at Princeton, Maples placed 26th in the discus throw with a mark of 36.90m.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you