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West Central's Rutzen to Play in "Home" Tournament In Iowa City Nov. 12-13

Miriam Rutzen, 2009 West Central High School graduate and three times All-State basketball player, will be playing for the Harvard University Crimson in the Hawkeye Challenge at Carver Arena, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Games will take place Saturday, November 12 (tip-off time TBD) and Sunday, November 13th at 12 p.m. Saturday's game will be versus Iowa and Sunday's game will be against either UNLV or Butler.

"It's getting closer!!!" Rutzen writes on her blog site. "I am so excited to play at the University of Iowa I can barely stand it! But what a crazy weekend it will be: parents' weekend, Iowa vs. Michigan football game, and the women's basketball tournament. As for hotels and parking spaces? I promise I will be extremely appreciative of your effort and the enjoyment of meeting my team will be will worth the hassle!"

Rutzen, retaining her Southern middle school and her West Central high school jersey #25, is a Junior at Harvard University. Concentrating in psychology, Rutzen also stays involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Harvard College Faith in Action, supporting the student a'capella groups, and working for the athletic department in various settings (for example, running the scoreboard for the 2011 Ivy League Championship Harvard softball team).

Making her way into the starting line-up at the forward position mid-way through December of this past (sophomore) season, Rutzen has carried her rebounding knack and defensive tenacity into the Division I basketball world.

Even after breaking her dominant right hand in an early Ivy weekend in February and missing six games before returning with a playing cast, Rutzen still ranked third over-all on the team in rebounds per game and earned the player-nominated Defensive Play of the Year award.

Despite losing four talented seniors, the Crimson are looking ahead to a successful season. After finishing 18-10 and tying for second in the Ivy League in 2010-2011 despite a promising start of 6-0 in Ivy play, the Harvard squad is prepared to earn their twelfth Ivy League title, ending the Princeton Tigers two-year streak. Leading the 2011-2012 team are senior captains Lindsay Louie (Los Angeles, CA) and Brogan Berry (Beaver Creek, OH).

Berry, 2010-2011 Harvard Most Valuable Player, will direct the team on the court as a fourth starting point guard. Joining the team are five new freshman, including a McDonald's All-American and a solid group of four sophomores and four juniors, including Rutzen. Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 30th year is Harvard Women's Varsity Basketball Head Coach.