August 20, 2014
TWO GOOD: Anthony Gaffney surveys the action in a game last fall for the Princeton University football team. Junior defensive back and return specialist Gaffney, a Pennington School alum and two-time All-Ivy League selection, is looking to build on the superb start to his career this fall as Princeton defends its Ivy League title. The Tigers start preseason practice next week as they prepare for their season opener at San Diego on September 20.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

TWO GOOD: Anthony Gaffney surveys the action in a game last fall for the Princeton University football team. Junior defensive back and return specialist Gaffney, a Pennington School alum and two-time All-Ivy League selection, is looking to build on the superb start to his career this fall as Princeton defends its Ivy League title. The Tigers start preseason practice next week as they prepare for their season opener at San Diego on September 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Anthony Gaffney hit the Community Park basketball courts this summer to help prepare for his junior campaign with the Princeton University football team.

Playing for King’s Pizzarama in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League, Gaffney made quite an impression in his debut season, helping King’s to the championship series and earning Newcomer of the Year honors.

Flying all over the court, Gaffney displayed the athleticism and the will to win that has made him an All-League performer in the first two years of his Tiger career.

For Gaffney, playing hoops served as a natural complement to the conditioning and football drills that he underwent as part of the Princeton offseason regimen.

“It is a good way to stay competitive; I play basketball all the time anyway,” said the 6’3, 200-pound Gaffney, a native of Columbus, N.J. in Burlington County and an All-Prep performer and 1,000-point scorer in his high school basketball career at the Pennington School.

“I play pickup, I go to open gym. It is that extra conditioning, making sure I am active.”

Gaffney proved to be competitive from day one for the Tigers, starting against Lehigh in the 2012 season opener and going on to make All-Ivy League honors that fall at defensive back and return specialist. In 2013, Gaffney earned All-League honors at defensive back as Princeton tied Harvard for the league crown.

With the Tigers kicking off preseason practice next week as they prepare for their season opener at San Diego on September 20, Gaffney and his teammates are looking to stand alone atop the Ivies.

“We want to run the table this year so there are no questions,” said Gaffney. “We want to dominate everybody.”

For Gaffney, his run to stardom started at Pennington, where he made an immediate impact.

“There were a group of guys I knew from basketball who went there and that helped,” said Gaffney, who was an all-state football player at Pennington and broke triple jump and 4×400 records in track.

“I was given the opportunity to play early, I started as a freshman in both basketball and football. It is a small school.”

At the suggestion of the Princeton football coaches, Gaffney did a post-graduate (PG) year at the Taft School (Conn.) to solidify his spot in the Tiger program.

“Physically I got more mature, I developed as an athlete,” said Gaffney, reflecting on his year at Taft which saw him win state Class A Player of the Year honors and set a school record with 18 receiving touchdowns.

“There was better competition, every team had post-grads. I had to hone my skills. Academically it was a little more challenging, I took a couple of harder courses. I wanted to build my resume for Princeton. Being away from home is different, you are on your own. You don’t have your mother cooking your meals.”

Hitting the field for Princeton in 2012, Gaffney saw the dividends of his year at Taft.

“Truth be told, physically and athletically, I was good,” said Gaffney. “After the PG year, my body was ready. I wasn’t a 17-year-old, I was 18 turning 19. I could hang with the older guys.”

While Gaffney could keep up physically when he started in his debut against Lehigh that fall, he wasn’t up to speed with the nuances of the college game.

“Mentally, I had to learn a lot,” said Gaffney. “We play a lot of different schemes. Plus I was playing a pretty foreign position. I was recruited as a receiver so my main focus was offense. I played some corner and safety at Pennington and some corner at Taft the last three games when another guy got hurt. The first game was wild. I played both ways, it was a challenge.”

Two weeks later, Gaffney produced a breakthrough performance in a 33-6 win at Columbia, starring in the return game and in the secondary. “That was the first game where I felt I belonged and started to get the hang of things,” said Gaffney.

“I returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and made two interceptions. There was a snowball effect from there.”

With the Tigers improving to 5-5 from back-to-back 1-9 campaigns, Gaffney received the rare accolade of being named first-team All-Ivy at both defensive back and return specialist.

“Making All-Ivy was really good for first season,” said Gaffney, who made three interceptions and 35 tackles that fall and led the league with a 25.9-yard return average on 20 kickoffs.

“I wasn’t expecting that; it showed that the league and coaches recognized that I had a good year. It means a lot.”

In 2013, Princeton had a great year, rebounding from a season-opening 29-28 loss to win eight straight games on the way to going 8-2 overall and 6-1 Ivy.

“We lost that tight game to Lehigh, the Georgetown game (a 50-22 win) was a good game all around,” said Gaffney.

“We did a few things wrong but we won by a big margin. We did the same thing to Columbia. It was not just that we were winning, it was the way we were winning. The offense was really playing well and the defense was coming on; we were playing off of each other.”

In reflecting on the championship season, Gaffney points to a pair of road triumphs, a come-from-behind 39-17 win at Brown and a bruising 38-26 victory at Penn, as critical moments.

“The Brown game was key; we were in a big hole and we were on the road in a night game and it was a little chilly,” said Gaffney, noting that the Tigers were behind 17-0 early in the second quarter against the Bears.

“We said we have got to make plays and make it happen now. We got it together and from there we really played well. It is tough to win at Penn. It is always a physical game, that was another step forward.”

Earning the league title along with Harvard was a huge step for the program. “It may have meant more to the older guys because of what they had been through, starting 2-18 and then going 5-5,” said Gaffney.

“That progression meant a lot to them. It was good to be able to help them do that; it is just the beginning for the younger guys.”

This summer, Gaffney has been working hard to build on the superb beginning to his college career.

“For me, it is technique and doing what I can to be a better cornerback,” said Gaffney, who had 22 tackles and two interceptions last fall and a 21.0 return average.

“I am doing the conditioning workouts with some guys at home. I am going over to Princeton for 7-on-7s. A lot of guys are doing that, we are doing a lot of fine-tuning now.”

Gaffney is hoping to earn recognition this fall as one of the top cornerbacks in the country.

“I want to replicate what I have done and then some,” asserted Gaffney, when asked about his personal goals for the upcoming season.

“I have been All-Ivy, I want to take it to the next level and be an All American and one of the best players in the country.”

STRIKING PRESENCE: Maddie Copeland prepares to strike the ball in action for the Princeton University field hockey team. The former standout at Stuart Country Day and the Peddie School is heading into her junior season with the Tigers and figures to play a bigger role this fall after totaling 10 goals in her first two college campaigns. Princeton starts preseason practice this week as it prepares for its opener at Duke on September 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

STRIKING PRESENCE: Maddie Copeland prepares to strike the ball in action for the Princeton University field hockey team. The former standout at Stuart Country Day and the Peddie School is heading into her junior season with the Tigers and figures to play a bigger role this fall after totaling 10 goals in her first two college campaigns. Princeton starts preseason practice this week as it prepares for its opener at Duke on September 5.
(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Maddie Copeland relished the challenges she faced as she joined the Princeton University field hockey program in 2012.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking; in the first two days, we ran fitness tests,” said Copeland, a former standout at Stuart Country Day and the Peddie School.

“The level of play was much higher; it was nice to be in an intense atmosphere like that. I jumped right into things, the team was welcoming.”

Thriving in the highly-charged atmosphere, Copeland scored five goals in 17 appearances that fall before breaking her arm when she got hit by a shot from Tiger star Kat Sharkey. Princeton went on to win the NCAA championship that fall with Copeland waving her cast in support.

Fully recovered from her injury, Copeland took a greater role last fall, making 19 appearances and five starts, contributing five goals and an assist to help the Tigers go 14-5 and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.

As the 5’6 striker looks ahead to her junior campaign, she is feeling a comfort level with the college game.

“I definitely understood the systems that Kristen [Princeton head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn] wants us to run,” said Copeland. “It is more of a team sport in
college. You have to use each other more, there is a lot of passing. It is definitely a faster game.”

It didn’t take long for Copeland to show her offensive game in her debut campaign as she scored her first career goal in a 10-2 win over Delaware in the team’s sixth contest in 2012.

“It is always great to score a goal but it is even better to win,” said Copeland, who tallied a career-high two goals in a win over Yale in late September that season.

Although the broken arm sidelined her for the rest of 2012, Copeland relished the memories from Princeton’s national championship campaign.

“It was a bummer to not play in the tournament; it was nerve-wracking on the sidelines,” recalled Copeland, who ended up having two operations on her arm.

“It was an an unreal experience, it was incredible and hard to put into words.”

Last fall, Copeland got the chance to play in the NCAA tournament and she responded with aplomb, tallying a goal and an assist as Princeton overcame an injury to star defender Julia Reinprecht to edge Penn State 5-4 in the opening round and avenge a regular season defeat to the Nittany Lions.

“When Julia got hurt, I played the rest of the game,” recalled Copeland. “We were all like we have to win this game for Julia. It was so exciting; we were so happy with the end result. We wanted to play them again, we knew we had developed a lot since the first game.”

Developing deep bonds with her teammates and coaches has impacted Copeland’s total Princeton experience.

“The team does everything together on and off the field,” said Copeland. “It is like a family and the coaches are like our second mothers. They are intense at the right time. Off the field, they couldn’t be nicer, you can talk to them about anything. They want to know everything that is going on with you.”

Taking courses at the University of Miami this summer has led Copeland to be creative about her training.

“The focus is showing up in shape,” said Copeland. “I brought my stick so I am doing things on my own.”

With Princeton starting preseason practice later this week as it prepares for its opener at Duke on September 5, Copeland knows the Tigers will be bringing their customary fervor.

“The season is going to be difficult because we lost a lot of good players,” said Copeland.

“Everyone has to step up, we are really intense and really motivated. We will have trouble scoring as much as in the past.”

MAJOR PROGRESS: Star goalie Tyler Fiorito guards the net during his stellar career with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. This summer, Fiorito, a  2012 Princeton alum, took over as the starting goalie for the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) after an injury to Kip Turner. Fiorito ended up making eight appearances and six starts with a goals against average of 12.35 in more than 398 minutes of action. He was named the MLL Defensive Player of the Week after recording 15 saves in a 12-11 win over the New York Lizards on July 27. In his first two seasons with the Bayhawks, Fiorito had made just one appearance for 15 minutes.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

MAJOR PROGRESS: Star goalie Tyler Fiorito guards the net during his stellar career with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. This summer, Fiorito, a 2012 Princeton alum, took over as the starting goalie for the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) after an injury to Kip Turner. Fiorito ended up making eight appearances and six starts with a goals against average of 12.35 in more than 398 minutes of action. He was named the MLL Defensive Player of the Week after recording 15 saves in a 12-11 win over the New York Lizards on July 27. In his first two seasons with the Bayhawks, Fiorito had made just one appearance for 15 minutes. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Tyler Fiorito started the season opener in his freshman year with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team in 2009 and seemingly never left the field over the next four years.

The star goalie made 59 starts and played 3,396 minutes for the Tigers, recording 624 saves, the second-highest total in program history, and compiling a sparkling goals against average of 7.47.

Fiorito earned All-American and All-Ivy League honors all four years of his career and was the Ivy Player of the Year in 2012 as a senior.

After graduation, Fiorito joined the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse and found himself in an unusual position — mired in the bench. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Fiorito made no starts and had one appearance for a grand total of 15 minutes of playing time.

Reflecting on his first two seasons in the MLL, Fiorito knew that he had to pay his dues.

“It is a very different game; you come in and you are playing with guys that are 10-12 years older and are veterans in the league,” said the 6’2, 200-pound Fiorito, a native of Phoenix, Md.

“I just wanted to get to know my teammates and the league. I got to practice five weeks in 2012, they suited me up for championship weekend so I would get a taste of things. Last year, I suited up for half the games so there was progress for me. You can only suit up 19 players — 2 goalies and 17 field players so having the ability to suit up is a privilege.”

This summer, due to an injury to starting goalie Kip Turner, Fiorito got the privilege to start and emerged as a standout. He was named the MLL Defensive Player of the Week in late July after making 15 saves in a 12-11 win over the New York Lizards.

For Fiorito, the award was validation of his toil over the last two summers.

“I was doing this full out the last two years and it was great to earn the respect,” said Fiorito, who ended up making eight appearances and six starts this summer with a goals against average of 12.35.

“Guys doubt your abilities and whether you can be more than a backup. I proved to myself that I can play in this league. It was great to have others recognize that I have the ability to play in this league.”

For Fiorito, who works on the investment equity sales desk for UBS in New York City, keeping his lacrosse skills sharp has been a challenge.

“It is difficult to take shots during the week, there are not too many fields in the city and it is hard to find guys that can come out after 6 p.m. and shoot on you,” said Fiorito, noting that he typically misses one Bayhawks practice a week as the team trains on Wednesdays and Fridays.

“You love the game so you make it work. You stay late on Friday and take shots. You hop in when the team is doing shooting drill, it is good for them to have a live goalie.”

Goalies, in general, don’t have it easy in the MLL. “This is a difficult league for goalies, the shooters are all good,” said Fiorito.

“It is the progression from high school to college to the pros. In high school, there were a bunch of good players but usually one or two shooters that you had to worry about. In college, there would be four or five that you had to worry about. In this league, every guy can shoot and is dangerous. In college, you had a week to prepare for a game. You had film study and two days of walking through. You had a game plan; you knew the other team’s plays and recognized them. In this league, you have film but you don’t have as rigid a game plan. It is a lot of 1-versus-1 matchups and relying on general defensive principles.”

Fiorito got his first taste of action this year when starting goalie Kip Turner was injured during an April 27 contest at Boston. Fiorito came in and made seven saves in a 15-9 loss.

“Kip got hurt in the game and I came in the first half, which was tough,” recalled Fiorito.

“I didn’t have the mentality of starting and going through the process of warming up. I didn’t do a good job.”

Fiorito did a better job two months later when Turner suffered a season-ending thumb injury in a June 21 game at Denver.

“In Denver, the second time he got hurt, he told me at halftime that he couldn’t go,” said Fiorito.

“Confidence is a big part of this. I was ready to go and I got a good warmup at halftime. We were down 6-1 at halftime, I didn’t have a lot to lose. The best I could do was to give my team a spark with some big saves. I did well. We ended up losing 9-7 but it was an exciting confidence builder for me. I made some good saves.”

As Fiorito saw more action this summer, he developed a comfort level guiding the Bayhawk defense.

“I can be more of a leader on the field,” said Fiorito. “Before, I was the new guy not playing and it is hard to assert yourself. Now I have shown I can be a starter.”

In the business world, Fiorito had gotten off to a good start at UBS. “The job comes first, you don’t make money playing in the MLL,” said Fiorito, who has spent much of his spare time this year preparing for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam, necessitating studying in hotels when the Bayhawks were on the road and catching 10:40 p.m. trains out of Baltimore after home games to get back to New York to study on Sundays.

“I am two years into my job with UBS and I am 24. This has been a big year in terms of having more responsibility. I am starting to pick up my own accounts, which is a big deal. Perception is reality at this job. I need to continue to put in the time at work. It is a balancing act if I want to continue to do what I love.”

In the wake of his breakthrough campaign, Fiorito plans to continue his MLL career.

“I am confident in my abilities and my place in the league,” said Fiorito.

“I love the game; it was hard not playing for two or three years. I had to decide whether taking all of this time, being away 18 weekends out of New York. It makes it all worth it, seeing the team win the championship the last two years and then getting to play this year. It is reaping the benefits of the hard work and sacrifice.”

August 13, 2014
UNION LEADER: Liz Keady looks for the puck during her stellar career with the Princeton University women’s hockey team.  Keady, a 2008 Princeton alum who scored 79 points in her Tiger career, was recently hired as an assistant coach for the Union College women’s program.(Photo courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

UNION LEADER: Liz Keady looks for the puck during her stellar career with the Princeton University women’s hockey team. Keady, a 2008 Princeton alum who scored 79 points in her Tiger career, was recently hired as an assistant coach for the Union College women’s program. (Photo courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

During her playing days with the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Liz Keady gave her heart and soul to the program.

Statistically, the Braintree, Mass. native showed her passion for the game by tallying 79 points on 38 goals and 41 assists in 118 games in her career that ran from 2003-8 with one year away (2005-06) to compete with the U.S. national team.

Keady’s production helped her earn second-team All-Ivy League and honorable mention all-ECAC honors. She was a co-recipient of the team’s Elizabeth English Trophy as Most Valuable Player and the team’s Most Improved Player Award for the 2004-05 season. Keady won the 2008 Sarah Devens Award, a joint award between the ECACH and Hockey East for a player who demonstrates leadership and commitment both on and off the ice.

But beyond the points and accolades, the most graphic demonstration of Keady’s devotion to hockey and the Tigers came when she kept playing in an ECACH playoff game against Yale in 2005 after skating hard into an open door in the bench area and suffering what turned out to be a cracked rib, ruptured spleen, and collapsed lung.

After college, Keady stayed in the game, taking part in the Pre-Olympic residency Program from 2008-10 in Minnesota. When her playing career ended, Keady became the general manager and director of hockey training at the Institute of Performance and Fitness (IPF) in Andover, Mass.

Soon, Keady was back on the ice, coaching at the North Shore Vipers club and then taking the helm of the Andover High girls’ hockey program.

Now, Keady has returned to the world of college hockey, having been recently hired as an assistant coach for the Union College women’s program.

For Keady, taking the job at Union gave her the vehicle to best express her devotion to the game.

“Jeff and Amy (Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal and Brown head coach and former Tiger assistant Amy Bourbeau) brought it to my attention, they knew I wanted to make the jump,” said Keady.

“I wanted to work with more elite, more dedicated players. I loved the kids I worked with but I wanted to work with players who are 100 percent dedicated to the sport.”

Keady is looking to make an impact beyond helping Union do well. “It is something I have always wanted to do,” said Keady. “I have had a lot of great coaches but not a lot of great female coaches and I think that is something the sport needs.”

In working her way up the coaching ladder, Keady sees her time at IPF as a valuable starting point.

“I worked and ran a structured fitness program, working with athletes everyday,” said Keady.

“I loved that, there were a lot of group sessions so that helped with the transition to coaching.”

Taking the post with the Vipers gave Keady the chance to deal with a variety of situations on the ice. “It is one of the up and coming club programs,” said Keady.

“I did skills for all of the groups. I coached the U-19 and U-12 teams. The U-19 group was half season that started once the high school season was over. The U-12 team was a bunch of crazy 11-year-olds. It was completely different, even within team, it is different. I had to communicate six different ways.”

Moving on to Andover forced Keady to develop a wider coaching perspective. “I had a range of players; I had to work on different things with different kids,” said Keady, who also coached lacrosse at the school.

“It depends on how committed they are, some dream of playing D-1 hockey and others see hockey as a hobby. The high school girls are a unique breed. In terms of coaching, it was the first time I had to look at the whole season and think about short term and long term. You might sacrifice a win early in the beginning of the season to be better at the end.”

While the competitive Keady wanted to get wins, she was also looking to instill some deeper principles in her players.

“I would like to think, regardless of talent, we will outwork anyone and be tougher than anyone,” said Keady.

“It is a good goal for the team and it is a good goal for life, to never stop trying and try to get a little better every day.”

That mindset reflects qualities that Keady displayed during her Princeton career, according to head coach Kampersal.

“Lizzie has a tremendous work ethic, she is good at developing players and she will inspire them,” said Kampersal.

“I told the coaches at Union that she is someone who will work hard and is loyal. She gives her heart and soul to everything she does, as a player she was the same way.”

In Kampersal’s view, Keady is a natural at coaching. “She has so much passion for the sport,” asserted Kampersal. “She was always a kid who would give back. She ran a couple of summer programs for us as part of the Princeton camps. She worked as a counselor and related well to the kids.”

Keady, for her part, is ready to give her all for the Union program. “I will help with pretty much anything they need,” said Keady.

“I will do extra skills work and conditioning. I worked six years with IPF so I would like to think I know something about conditioning; I will work with the strength coach. I think the biggest challenge has been recruiting. I found so far that I really like it. I like being able to offer a player this kind of opportunity. It also helps that I believe in the school and the program.”

DRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE: Greg Jarmas displays his driving form during his superb career with the Princeton University men’s golf program. Jarmas, who took first at the 2103 Ivy League Championship during his junior year, turned pro after graduating from Princeton in June and made the cut in his first four events.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

DRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE: Greg Jarmas displays his driving form during his superb career with the Princeton University men’s golf program. Jarmas, who took first at the 2103 Ivy League Championship during his junior year, turned pro after graduating from Princeton in June and made the cut in his first four events. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Greg Jarmas produced one of the more decorated careers in the history of the Princeton University men’s golf program by the time he graduated this past June.

In 2013, the native of Wynnewood, Pa. took first at the Ivy League Championship, becoming the first player in the program to do so since 2005. This past year, he led or co-led Princeton in six of seven events on the way to making GCAA PiING All-Northeast Region for a second straight year. He was a second-team All-Ivy pick and made Academic All-Ivy and was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar for the second time.

But while Jarmas is proud of those honors, that isn’t what drives him. “It’s really awesome to get those awards but that is not why I play,” said Jarmas. “I play to get better and see how good I can be.”

Although Jarmas tied for ninth at the 2014 Ivy tourney to fall short of defending his crown, he was proud of his senior campaign.

“I look at it from the standpoint that I saw myself getting better every year,” said Jarmas, noting that he fired a 69 in the final round of the Ivy championships at storied Baltusrol Golf Club to make a late charge up the leader board.

“I would have liked to have done better at the Ivy championships this year but I made strides in my game and I got closer to my teammates and coach Will Green. My ball striking has gotten better the last two years, I have been working with Brian Quinn, the coach at Temple, and he has really helped me. Mentally I have gotten a lot stronger.”

This summer, Jarmas is putting his game to a stern test, having entered the professional ranks.

He made his pro debut at the Southern Open from July 9-11 on the eGolf Professional Tour, making the cut in a field of 116 players as he fired a 70 and 66 over the first two rounds. Jarmas placed 48th in the event at The Club at Irish Creek outside Charlotte, N.C., carding an even-par 284 over four rounds to earn $1,020.

“I was so excited when I got to the tee in that first pro tournament,” recalled Jarmas.

“I had been thinking about that first shot since last round of Ivies and much longer than that. I turned pro to play against the best, that is the only way to find out how good I can get. I was nervous all day. I hit a really good first shot. It was a confidence builder. I didn’t know what to expect. In my mind, I could play with these guys but until you tee it up, you don’t really know. It was amazing to get paid.”

The successful debut left Jarmas encouraged about his prospects. “My goal was to make the cut,” said Jarmas. “What I found is that I could really compete with these guys. I have a lot of room to get better. I got a very good piece of advice from the Dartmouth coach, Rich Parker. He said first you have to learn how to make the cut, then you have to learn how to contend, and then you have to learn how to win.”

In his second pro appearance, Jarmas made the cut at the Cabarrus Classic at the Cabarrus Country Club in Concord, N.C., finishing the three-round event in T-37 with a one-under score of 215 and a purse of $1,075.

“I was more comfortable the second week; I knew I didn’t have to play my best golf to make the cut,” said Jarmas, who recently placed T23 at the Greater Bangor Open and was T32 at the Maine Open before missing the cut at the New Hampshire Open.

“I didn’t play as well as the first week but I still made the cut and actually got more money. My comfort level and confidence have gone up.”

Jarmas is planning to move to Florida and live there from November through April to hone his game and maximize his chances to catch on with a pro tour.

“I am right out of college and I am playing with guys that have been out two, three, or four years,” noted Jarmas.

“I have a lot of time to learn and get better. I want to see how good I can get. I am going to go to as many Q (qualifying) schools as I can, Web.com (the second-level of professional men’s golf in the U.S.), European PGA tour, Canada PGA, and Asia PGA tours. Hopefully, I will play well enough in one of them to qualify and have a spot.”

Acknowledging the ups and downs of pro golf, Jarmas knows that overnight success is unlikely.

“You learn to take things one day at a time, one week at a time; it is tough to plan long term,” said Jarmas, whose ultimate goal is to win a PGA tournament.

“If I am on the Web.com within three years, I will feel like it has been a good three years.”

With his good start this summer, Jarmas is showing he could be in the pro game for the long haul.

August 6, 2014
CIAO TIME: T.J. Bray looks for an opening last winter during his senior season with the Princeton University men’s basketball team. After playing well for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Summer League last month, Bray has signed to play for Pallacanestro Trapani in Italy’s second-level pro league.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

CIAO TIME: T.J. Bray looks for an opening last winter during his senior season with the Princeton University men’s basketball team. After playing well for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Summer League last month, Bray has signed to play for Pallacanestro Trapani in Italy’s second-level pro league. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When T.J. Bray started his career with the Princeton University men’s basketball team in 2010, he didn’t see the Ivy League as his last stop in the game.

“Coming into college, I knew that the better players got to play pro,” said Bray. “It was always in the back of my mind.”

After averaging 1.5 points a game as a freshman and 7.2 as a sophomore, Bray’s ambitions seemed far-fetched.

But after scoring 9.9 points a game as a junior with 102 assists and 51 steals to earn second-team All-Ivy league honors, the 6’5, 207-pound native of New Berlin, Wisc. stamped himself as one of the better players in the Ivies last winter. Leading the Tigers in scoring (18.0 points per game) steal (34), assists (133) and field goal percentage, (.537) Bray was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy choice.

“Things worked out well as the seasons progressed,” said Bray. “I had a good senior year and this season, I settled into not going to look for a job but playing basketball as long as I could.”

By the end of his superb senior campaign, it became clear that Bray’s pro dream could become a reality.

“Agents were talking to me saying the same thing, you are having a great year and we can get you into NBA workouts,” said Bray.

After completing the season and turning in his thesis, Bray put himself through some grueling workouts to get ready for his shot at the next level.

“I was going to the gym working with coach [Brian] Earl and coach [Marcus] Jenkins, shoring up my game, playing four-five times a week,” said Bray, who ended up with 1,024 points in his Tiger career. “I did full-court 2-on-2 with the coaches to stay in shape.”

Playing the Toronto Raptors for the NBA Summer League last month in Las Vegas, Bray turned heads.

“I thought I was pretty solid,” said Bray. “I have plenty of room for improvement but I adjusted to the NBA game pretty well. I talked to the Raptor coaches and they said thanks for coming and playing and they told me I was going to be a successful pro.”

Now, Bray is going to get his shot to be a pro, signing last week with Pallacanestro Trapani in Italy’s second-level league, called Serie A2 Gold.

“Trapani seemed to have the best situation, so we negotiated for a week and I signed last Friday,” said Bray, noting that his agent has a colleague from Italy with extensive knowledge of the leagues there.

“It was one of the better organizations in the league in Europe, it is about getting paid and paid on time. They have a good coaching staff, the head coach has coached in Milan and Rome so he has been at a higher level. He likes to develop younger players. The location is great, it is a seaside town.”

Bray’s experience with the Raptors organization should serve him well as he had a number of practice sessions with the team before taking part in the summer league.

“We got to Vegas on Monday and had 2-a-days on Tuesday and Wednesday and a single practice on Thursday,” said Bray.

“The Raptors coaches were high on my Princeton background; they were looking for me to make smart plays. The transition from the Raptors to Princeton went smoothly; they played a similar system.”

Bray enjoyed a smooth debut in summer action, going 3-of-3 from the field, all from beyond the arc, and hitting 3-of-4 from the foul line for 12 points in an 88-78 win on July 11 over the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I told myself to stay calm and make the right play,” said Bray. “I got some shots and I got to the free throw line, I can make that 15-foot shot. It was almost surreal how well things went.

In his five summer games with the Raptors, Bray averaged 4.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 18.2 minutes played.

“I played off ball,” said Bray, reflecting on his role with the team. “We had four point guards and a couple of shooting guards and one got hurt. It was anything to get on the court.”

After seeing time on the court at the pro level, Bray said the biggest difference from college is the length of the players.

“Everyone is taller and their arms are longer, the gaps that you see in college are closed,” said Bray. “The speed of the game is not that different.”

In order to get up to speed for his stint in Italy, Bray will be focusing on fundamentals.

“My ballhandling has to get shored up,” said Bray. “I will be working on that a lot in the gym as well as floaters, mid-range jumpers, and the in-between game. At Princeton, it is 3s and lay-ups.”

At Trapani, Bray will be called on to display his versatile game. “I will do whatever they need,” said Bray.

“I am penciled in as the 2 guard, to be a playmaker and score a little, like my role with Princeton last season. I am also the backup point guard. Chris Evans from Kent State is the 3. We are the two pieces that they brought in.”

With Bray leaving for Italy on August 18, he is looking forward to an adventure on and off the court.

“I want to soak up as much as possible from the experience and learn on the court,” said Bray, noting that the team takes care of his apartment and car and that he will be getting Rosetta Stone to learn some Italian.

“I want to get to a higher level. Everything has gone perfectly the last few months; I am very excited to go over there.”

July 30, 2014
BEND IN THE ROAD: Chris Bendtsen heads to victory at the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championship meet during his junior season at Princeton.  This spring, Bendtsen ended his Tiger career on a high note as he took ninth in the 10,000 at the 2014 NCAA championships, earning second-team All-American honors in the process. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

BEND IN THE ROAD: Chris Bendtsen heads to victory at the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championship meet during his junior season at Princeton. This spring, Bendtsen ended his Tiger career on a high note as he took ninth in the 10,000 at the 2014 NCAA championships, earning second-team All-American honors in the process. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While Princeton University men’s track star Chris Bendtsen was thrilled to make the 10,000 meter run at the 2013 NCAA championships as a junior, he was bitterly disappointed by how the race unfolded.

“I was in awe, being in Eugene and running at Hayward Field,” recalled Bendtsen.

“I got a cramp in the first mile. I finished 22nd of 25 runners. I think the best thing that came from that was that it motivated me for the next year. All I was thinking about was getting back to Eugene. I made it but that wasn’t enough.”

In making that effort, Bendtsen didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “My teammate Michael Franklin got fifth,” said Bendtsen. “I had a picture of him finishing at the meet that I put on my locker for more motivation. I thought if he could do it, I could do it.”

Last month, Bendtsen proved he could compete with the best, taking ninth in the 10,000 at the 2014 NCAAs, earning second-team All-American honors in the process.

“The top 8 made first-team All-American so I was very close,” said Bendtsen, a native of Wolcott, Conn.

“I can’t help but feel good; the guys that beat me were very good and the guys I beat were good. To be able to finish 9th, I was very satisfied. It was a great way to end my Princeton career.”

Bendtsen’s running career began at an early age. “Both of my parents were runners in college, on mother’s side of family, all six kids were runners,” said Bendtsen. “I did road races in kindergarten. There was a 4th of July 5k in town that I ran; I would just jump into road races.”

Jumping up the Connecticut running ladder at Wolcott High, Bendtsen was determined to compete at the college level.

“It was really a natural progression; I was pretty good starting out as a freshman and I just kept getting better,” said Bendtsen.

“I didn’t know how good I would be or what school I would end up in. I narrowed it down to all the Ivy League schools. I figured why not get the best education and run for a good program in a very good league. Also I wanted to stay in the northeast.”

Bendtsen ended up deciding that Princeton was the best fit for him. “Princeton had everything I wanted; it had great academics and the teams were very good,” said Bendtsen.

“There was a lot of talent on the team and a lot of good runners coming in with my class. I felt like I fit in with the other runners.”

In his first college season, Bendtsen lagged behind the other runners. “It was definitely a little tough that freshman fall in cross
country,” said Bendtsen.

“I was getting used to training as a collegiate runner. There were a lot more miles and you are running the miles faster. I found myself tired all the time. The time management was tough.”

Learning the ropes from such stars as Donn Cabral, Brian Leung, and Joe Stilin, Bendtsen got up to speed athletically and academically.

“The guys on the team helped me develop as a collegiate runner and a student-athlete,” said Bendtsen. “Once I was able to manage everything, things started to come together. These guys not only helped me develop as a better runner, they helped me become a better leader and a better teammate.”

As a sophomore, Bendtsen started developing into a key member of the Tiger distance running corps.

“Having a year under my belt helped me get better,” said Bendtsen, noting that he broke 14 minutes in the 5k that season.

“I was running in a lot of races. One of the things that helped was my consistency; I was never hurt so I was bound to improve.”

Improving by leaps and bounds as a junior, Bendtsen became a cross country star, placing first in the Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championship meet and competing in the NCAA championships.

“Junior year was definitely a breakout year for me in cross country, everything was clicking,” said Bendtsen, who served as a cross country team co-captain as a junior and senior.

“I wanted to win Heps; everything came together. We always shoot for Heps because that is a very big meet for us but I was ready for the bigger meets after that. I got 43rd at nationals, everything was going right. It was one of those days where as I was doing it, it didn’t seem like it was hard.”

In the spring, Bendtsen kept going well, taking second in the 10,000 and third in the 5,000 at the Outdoor Heps to help Princeton win the team title. He placed fifth in the 10,000 at the NCAA East Regional before ending the season with the disappointing effort at the NCAA championships.

Smarting from that finale, Bendtsen was primed for a big senior year.

“I went out to Boulder, Colorado to train at altitude,” said Bendtsen. “I shared a house with some other guys on the team, it was great.

His final college campaign, though, didn’t get off to a great start. “In the fall, I felt like I did everything right but I was not putting it together in cross country,” said Bendtsen, who slipped to seventh in the Heps.

“Maybe I did too many miles. I had a foot injury that sidelined me for five days before regional so that was a little setback. I didn’t put it together, something wasn’t right. It may have been an iron deficiency.”

After placing fourth in the 5,000 and 13th in the 3,000 in the Indoor Heps, Bendtsen hit his stride in the spring.

“I had a better outdoor season,” said Bendtsen. “I was 4th in the 10,000 at the Heps, I was very disappointed with that race. I had to show up the next day and score points for the team. I had a good race and I won the 5,000. I was disappointed that our team didn’t win. It was really close.”

Bendtsen raced well in the 10,000 at the NCAA East Regionals, taking third in a time of 29:51.08 to book his return trip to Eugene.

“I wasn’t nervous going into the regionals, the way that [Jason] Vigiliano and [Fred] Samara coach us, I knew I was going to Eugene,” said Bendtsen.

“I went into the race saying I was going to do it. I needed to be in the top 12 and I got third. I wanted to win the regional but the top guys got out a little too far.”

In the NCAA championship race, Bendtsen got out slowly but picked up the pace.

“I want out in the back, I was one of the last guys in the first couple of miles,” said Bendtsen, who clocked a time of 29:14.86.

“I kept feeling better gradually, it got to the point where I was leading a pack of runners and was alone. I was trying to catch up with the top group.”

Bendtsen feels great about his Princeton experience, on and off the track.  “As a runner, I learned what worked for me, running a lot of miles and staying as consistent as I could with time management and training,” said Bendtsen.

“I was able to focus on a long term plan and goal; I had my mind on NCAAs for a year. I don’t think I could have done that in high school. As a person, being around a great group of guys was special. They were my closest friends for four years and those friendships will last for a lifetime. I feel like Princeton is really special; no one lives off campus; we all live together. We help each other with school, training and other things.”

After graduation, Bendtsen competed one more time in orange and black, making his debut in in the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. where he finished 14th in the 10,000 with a time of 30:05.18.

“I was very tired; my muscles started tightening up,” recalled Bendtsen, who experienced travel issues in getting west as his initial flight was cancelled and he arrived on the day of the competition after spending the night in the airport.

“I didn’t race that well. I was running against professional runners. I was proud to run in Princeton singlet for one last race and represent Princeton at the biggest stage. I tried hard but it wasn’t a good race.”

Working for eMarketer, a market analysis company in New York City, Bendtsen plans to continue his running career and hopes to make it back to the USA championship meet next spring.

“I am going to keep running,” said Bendtsen.  “I am joining the New York Athletic Club. I am in process of getting the paperwork. I will run road races. I will keep trying with 10k. Similar with NCAAs, I was excited about going to the USA championships. It was an incredible experience but I want to get back next year and do better.”

Drawing on his Princeton experience, Bendtsen figures to keep getting better and better.

 

FUN RUN: Princeton University women’s distance running star Megan Curham enjoys the moment after taking fourth in the Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championships last fall as a freshman. In the spring, Curham set a program record in the 10,000 meters and ended up making the NCAA championships in the event, where she finished 11th and earned All-American honors. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

FUN RUN: Princeton University women’s distance running star Megan Curham enjoys the moment after taking fourth in the Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championships last fall as a freshman. In the spring, Curham set a program record in the 10,000 meters and ended up making the NCAA championships in the event, where she finished 11th and earned All-American honors. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When it comes to running, Meghan Curham has come a long way in a short time.

Curham, a native of Warren, N.J, only joined the track team during the spring of her sophomore year at Villa Walsh in 2010.

By her senior year, Curham won the state Prep B cross country title.

She came across the state to Princeton University last fall and established herself as the top runner on the women’s cross country team, placing fourth in the Ivy League Heptagonal championship meet.

This spring, she set a program record in the 10,000 meters and ended up making the NCAA championships in the event, where she finished 11th and earned All-American honors.

While Curham got into track as a break from swimming, she quickly realized that she had found her passion.

“I was in competitive swimming since I was four; I had a lot of friends doing spring track as a away to get into shape for summer,” said Curham.

“I definitely liked it right away; it made me feel better than swimming. You got to socialize when you were doing it and you can’t do that in swimming. I like going out for a run, better than going into the pool.”

Deciding that she wanted to run in college, Curham decided to make up for lost time in the winter of her junior year.

“The recruitment process was beginning and I wanted to be in the pool,” said Curham.

“I got on my treadmill in the basement and I ran as hard as I could. I wasn’t even thinking about mileage. With the treadmill, you know how fast you are going and how far you are going.”

For Curham, her victory in the Prep B cross country championship meet represented a major breakthrough.

“The most exciting thing about that was the time, I wanted to break 19 because I couldn’t break 20 as a junior,” recalled Curham.

“I broke 19 pretty quickly that fall and that was the first race where I broke 18. I know it wasn’t a public school meet but there were definitely a few people in the prep schools that had talent.”

Once Curham was on the radar of college programs, she didn’t have to think twice when Princeton started recruiting her.

“Princeton has always been my dream school,” said Curham. “I have been going to swim meets there since I was young. We would walk around campus and town and I loved it. I wanted to go there my whole life.”

Upon arriving at Princeton, Curham had to go a lot harder than she was used to in terms of her training.

“I think definitely the workouts were different,” said Curham, noting that she increased her mileage to 60 miles a week from the 50 she was doing in high school.

“Workouts in general were more tougher; they were a shock. I asked the other girls and they said I would get used to them. We were doing long hard runs. We were doing 7 milers rather than 4-milers like in high school. The workouts were tailored to the actual event; they were a lot more focused.”

Continuing her rapid rise in the running world, Curham proved to be a quick study, winning in her college debut as she placed first at the Delaware Cross Country Invitational last September.

“It was crazy; I went out with my teammates,” said Curham, who clocked a time of 21:39.39 over the 6k course.

“There was one big hill on the course. I don’t like hills so I try to run as fast as I can to get it over with. I assumed my teammates would go with me. I got to the top of the hill and I was alone I was so nervous beforehand; it was so exciting.”

Curham went on to take fourth in the Ivy League Heptagonal cross country championships and qualify for the NCAA championship meet, where she finished 34th to earn All America honors.

Competing indoors for the first time in her career, Curham kept up her run of success, taking second in both the 3,000 and 5,000 at the Indoor Heps.

“In the 5000 we went out really slowly and then we were completely sprinting the last mile,” said Curham.

“The last 200 was better than what I do in workouts; it gave me confidence in my speed. It was great coming in second in the 3,000 a day later.”

Coming into the spring season, Curham was ready to take a step up distance-wise.

“Peter [Princeton women’s track head coach Peter Farrell] asked me if I wanted to do the 10,000,” said Curham. “He usually doesn’t let freshmen do it because it is a long race and it can break you down.”

Not backing down from the challenge, Curham made history, setting a  program record of 33:24.79 in taking second in the 10,000 at the Outdoor Heps. Her time was 7.26 faster than the previous record set by Emily Kroshus ’04 a decade ago when she clocked a 33:32.45.

“My first real 10,000 was the Heps, that was really exciting,” said Curham, who also placed third in the 5,000 at the meet.

“I still can’t describe it in words. I had looked at records and I didn’t really think I could do that this year. I feel like I am a purely endurance runner. With the 10,000, the race is so long you can make up for mistakes. I go into it more relaxed.”

Building on that effort, Curham placed fourth in 10,000 at the NCAA East Regional to book a spot in the national championship meet.

“In the east regional, we ran about the same time but it was a very even race,” said Curham, who cruised to a time of 33:25.12. “It was really exciting to qualify. I thought I would be in the back. When I saw where I was late in the race, that felt really good.”

While Curham did really well in the NCAA championships, she had hoped to race even better.

“I wanted to get a personal record and I didn’t do that,” said Curham. “You don’t know how a 10k is going to go and whether it is going to be a tactical race. It was a good learning experience. I know what I did to not run a PR.”

This summer, Curham is applying some of the lessons she learned in her debut campaign.

“Over the season, I kept my strength,” said Curham. “I want to keep up my base but have room to get better in the fall. I don’t want to peak in the summer. We are not supposed to race, we are just supposed to do strides to help with speed. I was lifting real weights multiple times a week this year which I hope will keep me from getting injured.”

In looking ahead, Curham believes she has the strength to go much further down the road.

“I would really like to try racing a marathon someday,” said Curham. “I did the Disney half marathon as my Christmas present one year.”

 

July 23, 2014
BIG CHIEF: Mike Catapano celebrates after a big play last fall in his rookie season for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. After making four tackles and a sack in 15 games during his rookie campaign, former Princeton University standout Catapano is looking to have a greater impact this season for the Chiefs.(Photo Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)

BIG CHIEF: Mike Catapano celebrates after a big play last fall in his rookie season for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. After making four tackles and a sack in 15 games during his rookie campaign, former Princeton University standout Catapano is looking to have a greater impact this season for the Chiefs. (Photo Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)

It reads like something out of a Hollywood script — a late-blooming player from a smaller school gets picked near the end of the NFL draft and goes on to become a contributor for an unheralded team that rises from last place to the playoffs.

But that is the story that former Princeton University football star Mike Catapano wrote last fall as the fullback turned defensive lineman was chosen in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and went on to help the club go from 2-14 to 11-5 and an appearance in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

As Catapano prepared to start his second training camp this week, he was drawing on a silver screen hero for inspiration.

“I tune out all distractions, it is Rocky 4 mode,” said Catapano, a native of Bayville, N.Y. who will be arriving at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo. this week with camp slated to kick off on July 24.

“I turn off my cell phone and computer. It is getting ready for war. I take it really seriously, preparation is everything. Everybody in the NFL is strong and fast. It comes down to who is preparing the hardest and I am confident that I am doing that.”

Learning that he had survived the team cuts last summer and made the NFL was a special moment for Catapano.

“That was a huge step, it was another rung on the ladder,” said Catapano, 2012 Bushnell Cup recipient as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 12 sacks.

“I was confident that I had done enough to stick with the team. Each time you knock down one of your goals, you look to the next one. That is what you have to do to become great at what you do.”

Seeing action in the 2013 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Catapano had a great time in his NFL debut.

“It was welcome to the NFL, it was a blast,” recalled Catapano. “I had so much fun. I played pretty well. I hit the quarterback a few times. I was like a scared kid out there.

Growing into a special teams starter and rotation player on the defensive unit for the Chiefs, a highlight for Catapano came in week six when he got to the quarterback in a 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders.

“I think that sack in the Raider game when we broke the decibel record was big,” said Catapano, referring to a day when the Arrowhead Stadium became the loudest crowd at an outdoor sporting event as the volume reached 137.5 decibels in the closing moments of the contest, breaking the record of 136.6 set by Seattle Seahawks fans earlier in the season.

“My parents were there and a lot of my Long Island friends were there. It was special. I pointed up to the crowd.”

A low point of Catapano’s rookie campaign came in the Chiefs’ 45-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs when he committed a penalty as Indy overcame a 38-10 deficit to pull out the win.

“I learned I couldn’t help the team from the sidelines,” said Catapano.

“I got caught on offside, Andrew Luck (Colts quarterback) saw I was all excited. It showed that I have some growing and development to do. I was dying standing on the sidelines.”

Catapano credits Chiefs head coach Andy Reid with helping him develop as a player.

“Coach Reid is great; he is such a professional,” said Catapano, who appeared in 15 games last fall and was credited with four tackles to go with his sack. “He treats everybody on the team like men. He gives us space. He has high expectations for us but gives you leeway. He doesn’t micromanage things.”

Things went well for Catapano this spring in the club’s offseason mini-camps and Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

“It is about just being confident and knowing what I am doing,” said Catapano. “I can see the difference already, having done the technique and being in the system for a year. I want the coaches to be confident in my being out on the field.”

As Catapano enters his second NFL campaign, he is being moved up the field.

“I was drafted to play outside linebacker, they see now that I am a better fit at defensive end in the 3-4 alignment with my ability to rush the passer,” said the 6’4 Catapano.

“I had to gain weight. I wanted to get stronger but keep my speed. I want to play every down, not just on third and long. I am weighing a little over 290 (up from 270 pounds at the start of last season), somewhere around 293-294.”

In order to maximize his pass rushing skills, Catapano has undergone some varied and rigorous training. He has worked with Mixed Martial Arts expert Derek Panza and Justin Miller of Power Fitness on Long Island as well as Chuck Smith’s Defensive Line Inc. in the Atlanta, Ga. area.

“It is about exploding and blowing out of my stance,” explained Catapano. “I am doing a lot of mixed martial arts training, trying to stay strong and be explosive.”

After the Chiefs’ bounce back season in 2013, the team is looking to be even stronger this fall.

“We have got great talent from top to bottom, our mindset and heartbeat are one,” said Catapano. “We are a tight group. We had a great season but we also had to learn some lessons. Culminating with that loss is motivating us to do well.”

Catapano, for his part, is determined to have a greater impact for Kansas City.

“I want to be a dominant player in the AFC West,” asserted Catapano. “I want Mike Catapano to be a name they are talking about.”

If Catapano can achieve that goal, it will be quite a sequel.

July 16, 2014
WORLD CLASS: Katie Reinprecht controls the ball in action for the U.S. national field hockey team. Last month, the former Princeton University standout midfielder helped the U.S. take fourth at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.(Photo Courtesy of USA Field Hockey/Yuchen Nie)

WORLD CLASS: Katie Reinprecht controls the ball in action for the U.S. national field hockey team. Last month, the former Princeton University standout midfielder helped the U.S. take fourth at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo Courtesy of USA Field Hockey/Yuchen Nie)

Katie Reinprecht was a little rusty when she played for the U.S. national field hockey team in the Pan American Cup last fall.

Having taken a hiatus from the game after her senior season in Princeton in 2012, star midfielder Reinprecht lacked her characteristic sharpness.

But showing the savvy that comes from being the Longstreth/NFHCA Player of the Year in 2012 as Princeton won the NCAA title, and having competed for the U.S. squad since 2009, Reinprecht made her presence felt in the tournament.

“I had more experience than a lot of the girls so I was able to lead that way,” said Reinprecht, who helped the U.S. take second at the competition and earn a berth in the 2014 World Cup.

“We have a lot of new girls on the the team. I don’t think I got my groove back until later in the year, I was off that spring.”

This spring, the U.S found a groove as it defeated Ireland 3-1 to win the Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland.

“In April we were in the Champions Challenge,” said Reinprecht. “The top 8 teams play in the 2016 Champions Trophy (the major warm-up tournament before the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games) and we had to win the Champions Challenge to qualify for that. It was a good step forward.”

Last month, Reinprecht starred as the U.S. took a big step forward, placing fourth in the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

Coming into the tourney, the U.S. made a big commitment to raise its fitness level. “We have a new strength and conditioning trainer, we train how we are going to play in the game,” said Reinprecht, noting that the U.S. national team is now based in Lancaster, Pa. at the Spooky Nook sports complex.

“It is high tempo, high intensity with more conditioning thrown in there. It makes it really tough but it is important to get through it. You get to rest the next week, it is very scientific and thought out.”

As it arrived in the Netherlands for the competition, the U.S. team was looking to keep its thoughts on the present.

“The big thing for this team is that we have only been together for a year so this is going to be a process,” said Reinprecht.

“We didn’t want to come into this with high expectations and put a lot of pressure on us. We wanted to finish higher than our ranking which would mean 9th or better. We wanted to take it one game at a time because when you are in a game there that is all that matters. Each game can have such impact.”

The 10th-ranked U.S. made an impact, going 4-0-1 during group play, tying No. 2 Argentina and posting wins over No. 7 China, No. 6 Germany, No. 11 South Africa, and No. 3 England.

“We were very pleased with how we played in the pool play, we took down some opponents that were ranked higher,” said Reinprecht, who was tied for the team lead in goals (3) in group action. “We stayed focused, we didn’t get ahead of ourselves.”

In Reinprecht’s view, the 2-2 tie with Argentina spoke volumes about the focus the U.S. brought into the competition.

“It is always a very intense game when we match up against Argentina; it set the tone for us,” said Reinprecht, who scored a goal in the contest.

“Getting a win in that first game was great but the fight we showed against Argentina sent a message on what kind of team we were going to be. It gave us a lot of confidence.”

Getting to compete for the U.S. with younger sister and former Princeton teammate, Julia, along with another fellow Tiger, Kat Sharkey, was a great experience for Reinprecht.

“It is very nice playing with Kat, we have had a lot of time training and playing together,” said Reinprecht, who has now played in more than 100 games for the national squad, more than any Princeton alum.

“I know what to expect from her. She is one of the most lethal finishers in the game so it is is nice to have her on the team. Julia returned from her injury and it didn’t look like it fazed her in any way.”

While falling to Australia in the semis in a shootout after the teams knotted at 2-2 through regulation and overtime hurt, Reinprecht was proud of how the U.S. played.

“It was the first time any of us had ever been in that situation at this level of competition,” said Reinprecht.

“We delivered a good performance in the semi. We just ran out of time. It was tough to lose in a shootout. We haven’t practiced shootouts much, that was the least of our worries.”

Ending the competition with a 2-1 defeat to Argentina in the bronze medal game left Reinprecht and her teammate hungry for more.

“It didn’t go the way we wanted but it was our first stab at the medal round and we have to be happy finishing fourth,” said Reinprecht.

“We wanted a medal, we were so close we could taste it. We learned some good lessons. It is hard to leave and not be pleased. It was a step in the right direction. We have raised the bar.”

Having played in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Reinprecht will be working hard to earn a trip to the Rio games in two years.

“Right now, playing in the Olympics is the projection,” said Reinprecht. “We have a good core group. I am excited to see what we can do. I will be doing full-time training. I think my game can definitely improve. When I look at the best players in the world, I know I have some ways to go. I excelled in some ways in the World Cup. I have been working a lot on my shot and having variety in the circle. I scored in some ways that I don’t normally score and coach said I guess that work is paying off.”

July 9, 2014
FAMILY BUSINESS: Spencer Washburn surveys the action as an assistant coach for the Princeton University men’s heavyweight crew program. Washburn, a former star Tiger rower who has been coaching at his alma mater for the last seven years, is heading to Deerfield Academy (Mass.) to be the head coach of its crew program. In so doing, Washburn is following in a proud family legacy as his father and grandfather both had legendary runs as prep crew coaches. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Rowing)

FAMILY BUSINESS: Spencer Washburn surveys the action as an assistant coach for the Princeton University men’s heavyweight crew program. Washburn, a former star Tiger rower who has been coaching at his alma mater for the last seven years, is heading to Deerfield Academy (Mass.) to be the head coach of its crew program. In so doing, Washburn is following in a proud family legacy as his father and grandfather both had legendary runs as prep crew coaches.
(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Rowing)

His grandfather coached crew at the St. Andrew’s School (Del.) for 40 years and his father became a legend in New England rowing circles during his three decades guiding the Phillips Andover Academy (Mass.) program.

So when Spencer Washburn got an offer in 2005 to serve as a coach for the Hun School crew team after completing his career as a heavyweight rower for Princeton University, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I grew up around the sport, the whole family has been involved,” said Washburn.

“I have been immersed in it since birth; there are lots of pictures of me as a little toddler out on the launch watching the practice. I saw the impact that my father had on the kids that rowed for him and that was really powerful to me. I had met people who had rowed for my grandfather at St. Andrews and remember hearing the stories about that. So coming out of here there was no question that this was a path that I wanted to take.”

After a two-year stint at Hun, Washburn came across town to his alma mater where he served three years as an assistant coach for the Princeton men’s lightweights and four years assisting for the Tiger heavyweight program.

But the tug of the family business is taking him away from Princeton as he will be taking over the Deerfield Academy (Mass.) crew program this August.

“There is no part of me that will ever want to leave this place but Deerfield is offering a great opportunity for our family and for us professionally so I think we need to go,” said Washburn, whose wife, Megan, will be teaching science at Deerfield as the couple raises their two young sons, Caden, age 3, and Teague, age 1. “It is a challenge we need to take on.”

In starting his coaching career at Hun, Washburn relished the challenge of putting together a team.

“Hun was a great opportunity for me,” said Washburn, who coached the girls’ team and was also the school’s Associate Director of Residential Life.

“At the time, I felt like I was in there doing a good job, the girls were doing a good job and the results were good. Looking back now, I realize I dove into it without any sense of what I was doing or how to do it well. I think it was a real testament to the girls that they were as successful as they were because it wasn’t really me. It was a great experience for me to go in there and have a program and to be able to have the freedom to try some things and make some mistakes. There were some coaches around there, like Geoff Evans, who were really helpful.”

Living in town, Washburn developed the itch to coach at Princeton and got the opportunity to join the Tiger men’s lightweight program after some pestering of head coach Greg Hughes and assistant coach Scott Alwin’s promotion to head coach at Columbia.

While Washburn knew the college drill from a rower’s perspective, he quickly realized that coaching at that level was all consuming.

“High school is a short season, just a couple of weeks in the spring,” said Washburn.

“You get here and it is rowing 24/7. As much as I have really enjoyed it, that was a big adjustment. You go from being able to balance out the rowing and being able to step back and think about the dorm stuff to where you are always thinking about the lineup or the training or recruiting.”

Washburn got the chance to cut his teeth by guiding the freshman lightweight boat.

“I had the freshman boat and Greg was really hands off,” said Washburn. “He said ‘I have got the varsity boats and this is your boat. If you have got questions, let me know and we will do stuff together here or there but this is your boat.’”

Handling a key aspect of college coaching, the recruiting of student-athletes, required Washburn to master new stuff.

“The recruiting piece really required a lot of time,” said Washburn “You have got to learn the rules and how to go about it. You also have to find your voice and you have to find the way that you connect with these kids who are going through a pretty significant time in their lives. I think over the time I have found my voice. I don’t think I am one of those coaches that tells a kid that you have to come here. It is much more let’s figure out if this is a good place for you and a place where you will thrive and where you will develop and enjoy things. If it is not, OK.”

Seeing the lightweight first varsity boat produce a historic 2009 campaign that saw it win championships at the Eastern Sprints, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) nationals and the Henley Royal Regatta proved to be a key step in Washburn’s development as a coach.

“I was watching what he was doing from afar and that was where you saw those guys operating at maximum capacity and maximum ability,” said Washburn.

“Greg was reading what they needed and giving them what they needed as they needed it. To see that work was truly inspiring and you realized that OK when it is all working together, that is what you can achieve.”

Moving up to the Tiger men’s heavyweight program along with Hughes after that season was a natural step for Washburn.

“I knew the schedule, I knew the rhythm of that year, I knew the opponents much more so I felt much more comfortable,” said Washburn.

“It became much more personal, not that the lightweight stuff wasn’t, but this is the team I spent four years really trying to develop. All of my buddies who had graduated were excited to see me go back to that and they were saying let’s get it back up and going to where we know it can be. So for me there was a lot of personal pride tied up, not just in the team succeeding but it was my team succeeding. It was really exciting for me to have a chance to be involved with that program.”

With the heavyweights having hit a lull, Washburn and Hughes concluded that the rowers needed to put their noses to the grindstone.

“Greg and I spent a lot of time that summer talking,” said Washburn. “From afar, we saw where that program was and what we thought they might need. I think ultimately we felt like there were some good athletes there and they just might need a push.”

Over the last few years, Washburn became essentially a co-coach with Hughes.

“I think for me the first couple of years were hard because I had rowed for him so I still had this kind of feeling, he is the coach and I am rowing for him,” said Washburn.

“I think in the past couple of years that dynamic has adjusted from my end where I have allowed myself to come out of that and I have become much more of a partner with him. We are talking about the whole team and every guy. I really appreciate the fact that he takes my opinion and I think puts a lot of weight on it.”

Hughes, for his part, made his opinion of Washburn clear in comments on the Princeton athletics website upon the announcement of Wyatt Allen as the new assistant coach.

“Spencer’s impact on rowing at Princeton is immeasurable,” Hughes said.

“First as an athlete, then as a coach, he has consistently proven himself as a winner. This success was not just seen in results, but also in the way that Princeton trained and raced. Spencer is the hardest worker I’ve ever known and he leads by example with the kind of attitude and character that inspires those around him to strive for excellence in what they do and the way that they do it …. I wish Spencer all the best up at Deerfield. He is pursuing a passion that has long pulled him and the fact that he earned this opportunity is evidence that good things happen to good people.”

In his final Tiger campaign, Washburn had to put in some extra work to get his second varsity boat on track. “This was definitely a year where it took some time to come together,” said Washburn.

“Last year’s 2V, that got second in the sprints and fourth at the IRAs, jelled early on and we spent a lot of the spring trying to maintain that speed. With this year’s group, I think there was a lot more overlap between the 1V and the 2V. We spent more time doing selection so we didn’t set the boat until the late spring. Then once we did, the 2V showed lots of flashes of real ability but it just took us a little more time to figure out how to draw it all out.”

Figuring things out at the right time, the boat finished second at the IRAs, producing a fitting finale to Washburn’s Princeton tenure.

“That was such an exciting race, to see them out together, all of the elements of which they are capable of doing on that big stage against really, really good crews,” said Washburn, noting that the boat topped perennial champion Washington and trailed only a powerhouse Cal crew.

“That is what you hope you get as a coach and as an athlete. You hope you can produce your best performance when it matters most and they did. So that was amazingly gratifying to see them do it. It was a pretty good way to go out.”

As Washburn heads to Deerfield, he will be focused on getting his new rowers to produce their best.

“Whether it is high school or college rowing, you coach the same way,” said Washburn, noting that he will be going against his two younger brothers as Taylor will be coaching at Tabor Academy (Mass.) and Parker is coaching at Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.).

“What I learned from Greg in the past two years is that kids have an amazing way of reaching the expectations you set for them. Sometimes, and I was guilty of this, you would set a bar lower because you wanted to make sure that they hit it. I think what we found in the last couple of years is that if you keep pushing it out there, they find ways of getting there. One of the big lessons that I learned was to challenge the kids and give them goals they might not think they can achieve but you help them and you provide the right structure for them to get there. When they do achieve them, they look back and say, wow I have come a long way, and they are pretty excited.”

Washburn’s goal now is to achieve special things over the long term at Deerfield.

“I look around at the people I admire the most and they have all found a program they can lock into and develop and make their own,” said Washburn, who will also be working in the school’s college advising office.

“My father and my grandfather did that and the fact that Greg and Lori (Princeton women’s open coach Lori Dauphiny) are doing it here is a really appealing thing. You can really create a standard and a culture that you can be proud of and the kids come in and want to be part of. I don’t think you can do that overnight and I don’t think you want to bounce around to do that at a million places.”

July 2, 2014
ATHLETIC MOVE: Michael Fagan uncorks a pitch this spring during his senior campaign for the Princeton University baseball team. Fagan earned first-team All-Ivy League recognition this year as he went 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA. The San Diego native was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He signed with the organization and is currently pitching for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New-York Pennsylvania League, a short-season A circuit.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

ATHLETIC MOVE: Michael Fagan uncorks a pitch this spring during his senior campaign for the Princeton University baseball team. Fagan earned first-team All-Ivy League recognition this year as he went 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA. The San Diego native was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He signed with the organization and is currently pitching for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New-York Pennsylvania League, a short-season A circuit. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

After a frustrating junior season with the Princeton University baseball team in 2013, Michael Fagan took a hiatus from the game.

“I got burned out and didn’t play over the summer last year,” said Fagan, who went 1-4 with a 7.99 ERA in 2013.

“I took an internship in New York City. It cleared my head, working 9-5, I saw how baseball could be fun again. I didn’t pick up a ball, except to play softball for my office. That was fun, I could hit and they needed me for my defense.”

Coming back to Princeton for his senior year, Fagan brought a fresh perspective.

“I went into the fall only expecting to lead the team and have fun,” said Fagan, a 5’11, 160-pound lefty who hails from San Diego, Calif.

“I thought it was going to be my last year of organized baseball. I worked with Matt Bowman (former Princeton star currently pitching for Binghamton in the New York Mets organization) that fall; he hammered in some mechanics for me. After the fall, I worked with a sports psychologist. He helped me develop a pre-pitch routine so one pitch didn’t carry over to the next. One of my big problems was that I would go to a 1-0 count and then start thinking that I was going to walk the batter. I learned that balls will happen, errors will happen.”

Applying those mechanical and mental lessons, Fagan developed into one of the top pitchers in the Ivy League this spring, going 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA as he earned first-team All-Ivy recognition. Fagan struck out 77 and walked 18 while allowing 46 hits in 58 innings pitched.

Turning heads with his dramatic improvement, Fagan was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Signing with the A’s, Fagan started his pro career with the Athletics of the rookie-level Arizona League and was quickly promoted to the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New-York Pennsylvania League, a short-season A circuit.

Fagan, who had been chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 45th round of the 2010 MLB draft after finishing high school, sensed he was back on the pro radar after an outstanding effort against Cornell in late April when he struck out 11 in nine innings against the Big Red.

“After the weekend at Cornell I thought I would be taken,” said Fagan. “I went against the top pitching prospect in the Ivy League (Brent Jones who got chosen in the 4th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks) and there were 50-60 scouts there. After that I had some pre-draft workouts but no real contact with Oakland. In the 8th round, Oakland called and said if I was still available in the 9th, they would take me. I was excited. I thought it was a good fit and a good organization.”

For Fagan, getting organized at Princeton took some work. “Time management was a big thing, the baseball wasn’t so hard but it was balancing time with studies,” said Fagan.

“Going from high school to Princeton was a huge adjustment. I could spend 15 minutes a week on a course in high school and get an A; it was not like that at Princeton. Also in high school, baseball was basically 3-5 p.m. At Princeton, we had morning lifts and practices at night. It took me a few years to get used to the system.”

After going a combined 3-10 in his first three years with the Tigers, Fagan was ready to lift his game.

“By the time I got to the fourth year, I could lead on and off the field,” asserted Fagan.

“I had my worst outing at Greensboro, I went out after four innings and then I had a great outing against Cornell and there was no discernible difference with the way I walked off the field.”

When Fagan walked on the field for his first pro outing on June 20, he was definitely feeling some butterflies.

“I had the A’s home uniform on and my heart was racing,” recalled Fagan, who went 1 2/3 innings, giving up no runs and one hit with two strikeouts.

“I walked the first batter on four pitches and none of them were close. After the first batter. I got two ground balls. In the next inning, I got two strikeouts before I reached my pitching count. I calmed down my emotions; it is a testament to how well things went with Matt and the sports psychologist.”

Since signing with the A’s, Fagan has benefitted from some intense training on the nuances of pitching.

“It has been great,” said Fagan. “I spent the first two weeks in Arizona, honing mechanics, working on pitching philosophy and learning what pitches to throw when, there is so much to learn.”

While Fagan has been mainly a starting pitcher on his way to the pros, it looks like he will be coming out of the bullpen for the A’s organization.

“I think they will be using me as a reliever for the most part,” said Fagan, who had one more outing for Arizona before getting promoted to the Lake Monsters, where he has posted a 3.38 ERA in 2 2/3 innings of work in two outings with a 0-0 record and three strikeouts.

“They are into velocity. I throw 89-91 mph as a starter; I can bring it up to 91-93 as a reliever. In summer after sophomore year, I played in the Northwoods League and I was a reliever the whole time. I like the idea of coming in and throwing my best for 25 pitches. It is a different type of game, you are not trying to set batters up, like showing less on a slider and then showing more the second time through the lineup.”

Now, Fagan is looking to spend a long time in the game. “I just want to be a professional everyday and continue learning,” said Fagan.

“I have 3+ pitches but I need to learn when to use them and learn the sequence of pitching.”

 

June 25, 2014
VOICE OF CHANGE: Ron Fogarty makes a point at his introductory press conference last week after he was named as the new head coach of the Princeton University men’s hockey program. Fogarty spent the last seven seasons as the head coach at Adrian College in Michigan where he posted a 167-23-10 record with the Bulldogs making four appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament, advancing to the championship game in 2010-11.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

VOICE OF CHANGE: Ron Fogarty makes a point at his introductory press conference last week after he was named as the new head coach of the Princeton University men’s hockey program. Fogarty spent the last seven seasons as the head coach at Adrian College in Michigan where he posted a 167-23-10 record with the Bulldogs making four appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament, advancing to the championship game in 2010-11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ron Fogarty has proven that he can build a college hockey program from scratch.

Starting the men’s hockey team at Adrian College in Michigan seven years ago, Fogarty experienced instant success, guiding the Bulldogs to a 26-3 record during their inaugural campaign in 2007-08.

During his tenure at Adrian, Fogarty compiled a 167-23-10 record as the Bulldogs made four appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament, advancing to the championship game in 2010-11 where they lost 4-3 to St. Norbert.

Now Fogarty is getting the chance to prove he can rebuild a proud but struggling program, getting named last week as the new head coach of the Princeton University men’s hockey program, which posted an overall 6-26 record last winter as it sank to the cellar of ECAC Hockey.

True to character, Fogarty, a former standout player at Colgate in the mid-1990s, is hitting the ground running as he takes the helm of the Tigers.

“I am so excited to be here at Princeton; this opportunity doesn’t come up much in someone’s life,” said Fogarty, 42, at his introductory press conference on June 17.

“I can’t wait to call the current players and incoming freshmen today. I am looking forward to seeing what their goals are individually and what their team-oriented goals are for the upcoming season. I want them to have full ownership in the team. This is their team, it is not my team. It is the Princeton’s community, our alumni, our staff, administrators, faculty, and fan base; it is our team.”

Fogarty is unfazed about making the jump to coaching at the Division I level as he replaces Bob Prier, who resigned this spring after three years at Princeton where he compiled an overall record of 25-58-12.

“It is not a challenge, it is the same thing with hockey; I think there are three things that you have to have regardless of what level you are being a coach,” said the amiable and earnest Fogarty, citing trust, enthusiasm, and ownership as those bedrock qualities.

“You can win everywhere and anywhere. I think you just have to treat people the right way and get the most out of them.”

Fogarty’s squads at Adrian played offense at a high level, leading D-III teams in scoring four times.

“I am a puck possession coach,” explained Fogarty, who served as an assistant coach at Colgate, Clarkson, and Bowling Green before coming to Adrian.

“I want to keep the puck, I want to control the middle of the ice and outnumber them in the defensive zone but also allow the forwards and defensemen to join the play and create. At the end of the day, you want to score one more goal than the opponent and our mission is to score one more goal than the opponent. I want the guys to play freely and come back to the bench, to tell what they see during the game. The style of play is going to be predicated on the practices and what is coming into the program and then we’ll go from there.”

Fogarty’s experience in the ECACH as a player and assistant coach will come in handy as he takes the reins at Princeton.

“It helps me greatly, I am familiar with the arenas and I am very familiar with the other coaches in the conference and their styles,” said Fogarty, a native of Sarnia, Ontario who scored 141 points in his playing career at Colgate, ranking 20th on the program’s all-time scoring list at the time of his graduation in 1995.

“I follow college hockey at the D-1 level albeit I am in Adrian, Michigan but I am a hockey fanatic. I appreciate the coaches, I am going to have to prepare smarter, harder, and longer because it is a great fraternity of coaches in the ECAC, look at the two past national champions (ECACH members Union and Yale). A lot has changed since I left the ECAC, it has become a stronger conference in terms of the hockey product. I am eagerly looking forward to the challenge.”

Incoming Princeton Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux believes that Fogarty is up to the challenge.

“Ron knows how to build a winning program,” said Marcoux in her introductory remarks at the press conference.

“He knows the value of teamwork and working hard toward individual and team improvement everyday. He values the overall student-athlete experience and the role coaches play in helping athletes achieve their goals. We are confident that those qualities coupled with his tremendous hockey knowledge will allow him to bring greatness back to Baker Rink. Under Ron’s leadership and with the very talented student athletes that we have in our program, we are confident that Princeton will consistently compete for Ivy, ECAC, and national titles and will be a team that is admired and respected by all.”

Fogarty, for his part, is confident that Princeton can be great on and off the ice under his stewardship.

“It is a work in progress and it starts after I leave here to start calling those incoming freshmen and returning players to see what their goals are and how collectively we are going to get there,” said Fogarty, noting that he is considering retaining one of the two current Tiger assistant coaches, Scott Garrow or Greg Gardner, to aid continuity.

“We will win and we will be successful in the classroom. We’ll be ambassadors on and off the ice in the community and we will have relentless competitors on the ice.”

June 18, 2014
FAREWELL ADDRESS: Gary Walters speaks at a press conference during his tenure as the Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton University. Walters, who announced last September that he was stepping aside, will be on the job until June 30, at which point he will have been Princeton’s athletic director for exactly 20 years.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

FAREWELL ADDRESS: Gary Walters speaks at a press conference during his tenure as the Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton University. Walters, who announced last September that he was stepping aside, will be on the job until June 30, at which point he will have been Princeton’s athletic director for exactly 20 years. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Despite the seemingly idyllic scene as he lounged in his backyard a few weeks ago on Memorial Day, casually dressed in a t-shirt and shorts with birds chirping overhead and the pool gleaming in the sun nearby, Gary Walters felt something was out of place.

“I believe in my 20 years in Princeton, this is the first Memorial Day that I haven’t been at an event,” said Walters, the school’s Director of Athletics since 1994. “In many years, it was lacrosse. You could have track, you could have crew.”

As Walters reflected on his successful run at the helm of Princeton Athletics, he acknowledged that he had to track a multitude of issues.

“When you look at the athletic director’s (AD) role here, as I like to say or observe, other than the presidency, I don’t know of any other position at Princeton that intersects with the students, the faculty, the staff, the alumni, and the community,” said Walters, 68.

“This position is at the intersection of all of those constituencies on campus and so it is one of those jobs that is a 7-day-a-week job and, in particular, the role of social media has made the job even more difficult obviously.”

While being in that vortex can be disconcerting, Walters has thrived in the role.

“On the one hand, it is daunting,” said Walters. “On the other hand it is fun too because it is intellectually challenging. There is never a dull moment but you are also developing a comprehensive portfolio of skills because of the multi-faceted nature of the job. Candidly I have enjoyed that, that is the essence of what management is, and then the most important thing is sustaining change over a period of time.”

Walters welcomes the changing of the guard in his post as former Tiger hockey and soccer star Mollie Marcoux ’91 was named in April to succeed him, becoming the first woman to hold the AD job.

“I am absolutely delighted that Mollie has been appointed,” said Walters. “She obviously has had a distinguished student athlete career at Princeton. She represents the balance we seek as it relates to the hyphen connecting student and athlete. Mollie is going to have a learning curve but she is surrounded by very, very good people. The senior administrative staff is solid. The administration, staff and  coaches are all outstanding people and so she is going to inherit, I think, stability, competence, and people who care about their job and love their job. This is after all athletics and the athletic world is a calling because we are student-athlete centered and my people are.”

It didn’t take long for Walters to start his learning curve upon assuming the AD post.

“I was walking over to the first press conference and Kurt says to me Gary I have been asked to share with you this fact, Palmer Stadium has some really significant structural issues, it is basically falling apart, all the engineering reports said that, so if you get any questions about the football stadium, try to tap dance around them,” said Walters with a laugh. “Can you imagine that?”

Palmer Stadium was razed and the facility that ended up being constructed on Walters’ watch stands as an extension of the campus that is designed to be integrated into the daily life of the University with a north end containing large openings that serve as windows to the campus just up the hill. It also fulfilled the marching orders Walters received when he took the helm.

“When I came here, I got a distinct charge from the president and the trustees and that was to strengthen the relationships between the athletic department and, in particular, the academic side of the house,” said Walters. “I feel very good about the initiatives we took to do that.”

Taking that charge to heart, Walters created the Academic-Athletic Fellows program and the Princeton Varsity Club and coined the phrase “Education Through Athletics,” which has become the mantra for Tiger sports program.

Walters was uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between athletics and academics. A son of a welder who came to Princeton from blue collar Reading, Pa., Walters became the point guard for the school’s legendary 1965 Final 4 team and was featured in 1967 on the cover of Sports Illustrated with teammate Chris Thomforde.

In the classroom, Walters graduated with a BA degree in psychology. As an undergraduate he co-authored, with psychology professors Marvin Karlins and Thomas Coffman, a study entitled “On the Fading of Social Stereotypes: Studies in Three Generations of College Students,” which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1969.

“I played on a basketball team with three guys, one guy who got a Rhodes scholarship, Bill Bradley, and two guys that were Rhodes Scholar finalists, Larry Lucchino and Chris Thomforde, just think of that,” said Walters, who went on to serve as a basketball head coach at Middlebury, Union, Dartmouth, and Providence and an assistant at Princeton before going into business and working at Kidder, Peabody & Co., Woolf Associates Sports Management, and Seaward Management. “In addition, there were guys who went to Harvard Business School, law school, and so on.”

For Walters, teamwork is the key to success on and off the court. “In the athletic world, what differentiates it is that the coaches and players take their exams in public and they take it together so people keep score; there is accountability,” said Walters, whose personal scorecard includes 220 Ivy League championships and 47 team or individual national titles during his tenure.

“Competition is part of a continuum and the other end of that continuum is collaboration. Unless you have teamwork and people working selflessly for each other, you are not going to be successful and every team I have been on, the assist has always been as important, if not more important, than the person who is scoring the goal. So my takeaway as I now complete a significant arc of my life and career is never forget that success in competition is almost always the outcome of the collaborative experience that people share.”

Walters has enjoyed experiencing his victory lap, even though his last few months on the job have been a whirlwind.

“It’s been a roller-coaster for sure, it is like being seated in a centrifuge which has ironically gone faster and faster,” said Walters.

“One would have thought it would have decelerated and a lot of that has to do with the celebratory function, for sure. Some of it has to do with the fact that in this job you always have unguided missiles that are coming your way so that tends to keep you occupied.”

One of the grander celebrations took place in April when Princeton held a “Roast and Toast” to Walters at Jadwin Gym.

“The nice thing about that night were the various threads of my life that were represented,” said Walters, who received a number of gifts that evening to add to the treasure trove of photos and mementos cramming the walls of his upstairs office in Jadwin.

“To see 600 people there was truly remarkable. I enjoyed the evening immensely, how could you not, since I was being recognized for my years of service to the university, but I never got a chance to savor it. I always had two or three people in front of me during the reception.”

As he steps aside, Walters isn’t straying from the university that he loves.

“I am going to have a small office in Dillon; I’ll have a computer and I will be operating on a volunteer basis,” said Walters, who was recently granted emeritus status by the Board of Trustees.

“I’ll be far enough away that I am out of Mollie’s hair but close enough that she can call me if she wants to. I am still so engrossed with this job. Everything that is out there when I step aside is sketchy. I was just recently appointed to the board of a publicly held company. I am probably going to get involved in one or two charitable things. In addition to that, I have to figure out other things; do I want to coach, do I maybe want to do some writing, do I maybe want to do some TV work. Those are all open items.”

For Walters, being in the middle of campus holds a special significance. “Princeton is defined by pathways and intersections,” added Walters. “As a result, you get a chance to see everybody every day and thus broaden the reach of friends that you have. You are not defined by the rectangles of a city.”

In Walters’ view, sports has a unique broadening effect on its participants.

“People who compete in athletics are having a sociological experience as it relates to the roles and norms of the team and the understanding of how all of the functions and pieces fit together,” said Walters.

“But is also a psychological experience where it tests you when you are confronting adversity and where you have to evaluate yourself and look yourself in the mirror. As far as I am concerned, those are aspects of athletics that are not fully understood.”

As a result, Walters believes that those co-curricular aspects merit recognition in their own right.

“Were I a president at a liberal arts school, I would give an athlete who plays for four years academic credit for that experience,” asserted Walters with his voice rising.

“It is the sweatiest of the liberal arts. It is not only in terms of time, but the reality is that what you learn through osmosis in that experience translates directly into the organizational challenges that you will face in the real world. You are basically learning leadership and organizational behavior.”

Applying those lessons over the last 20 years, Walters deserves credit for providing a brand of leadership that has enhanced Princeton’s mission to provide education through athletics.

June 11, 2014
HAMMER TIME: Princeton University sophomore Julia Ratcliffe displays her form in the hammer throw. This week, Ratcliffe will be competing in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. ­Ratcliffe, a native of Hamilton, New Zealand, is undefeated in 11 competitions this spring and is ranked No. 1 nationally in the event. She has produced the best mark in the nation this year at 230’7, the furthest throw in the college hammer since 2011 and the fifth best throw in collegiate history.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

HAMMER TIME: Princeton University sophomore Julia Ratcliffe displays her form in the hammer throw. This week, Ratcliffe will be competing in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. ­Ratcliffe, a native of Hamilton, New Zealand, is undefeated in 11 competitions this spring and is ranked No. 1 nationally in the event. She has produced the best mark in the nation this year at 230’7, the furthest throw in the college hammer since 2011 and the fifth best throw in collegiate history. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

When Julia Ratcliffe was about 12, her father brought home a special surprise one day.

“He said Julia I have got you a present,” said Ratcliffe, a native of Hamilton, New Zealand.

“I thought oh great, he never gives me presents out of the blue. It was on my bed and I said what the hell was that, that looks serious.”

The mystery package turned out to be hammer throw equipment and it didn’t take long for Ratcliffe to show that she had a gift for the event.

After dominating local and national competitions, Ratcliffe started to make her mark internationally.

“The Australian Youth Olympic festival in 2009 was my first big one,” said Ratcliffe.

“I got a gold in that. It was cool to have some success overseas especially because I wasn’t picked to win that one. I started getting more and more into it as I got older in high school. I started going to bigger international meets and things like that.”

Ratcliffe set the New Zealand U-18 and U-19 record for the women’s hammer throw on her way to placing fourth in the 2012 IAAFWorld Junior Championships.

In 2012, Ratcliffe came to the U.S., joining the Princeton University women’s track team and made an immediate impact, setting a school record in the weight throw in her debut meet and going on to take second in the event at the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor championship. In the spring season, she broke the school and Ivy record in the hammer throw several times and won the outdoor Heps title in the event.

This week, Ratcliffe is in Eugene, Oreg., competing in the NCAA Championships. Having won all 11 of her competitions so far this spring, sophomore star Ratcliffe is ranked No. 1 nationally in the event.

Ratcliffe is bringing some extra motivation into the NCAA meet, having finished 11th at the nationals last spring.

“I was ranked second, even if I had an average day I should have done a lot better,” said Ratcliffe, who boasts the best mark in the nation this year in the hammer throw at 230’7, the furthest throw in the college hammer since 2011 and the fifth best throw in collegiate history.

“I just tried too hard so coming off that, I had renewed energy, really wanting to get better, do my best, and just figure out what went wrong and fix it.”

Staying in the moment this spring has helped Ratcliffe produce a brilliant campaign.

“As long as I go out there and give it everything and just be mentally and physically prepared as best as I can, you can’t complain about the result,” said Ratcliffe, citing her experience at the Penn Relays as an  example of her progress, noting that she fouled out of the 2013 competition and then uncorked a heave of 216’2 to place first this year and record the third best throw in the history of the storied meet.

“I just feel a lot more mentally prepared this year and I feel like I have the process better understood in my head. I understand myself a lot better when I am competing.”

Ratcliffe has enjoyed competing at and for Princeton. “It was unreal, we have nothing like this in New Zealand, just in terms of all these sports complexes in one place,” said Ratcliffe, who came to Princeton sight unseen and had only been to the U.S. for a family trip to California when she was 10.

“It was 60 ready made friends on the team. I would have probably found it a lot harder if I weren’t on a team. I am pretty social though but it is nice to have a wide range of interests on the team.”

In looking to the U.S. for college, she followed in the footsteps of high school friends.

“There were a few girls in my high school who went overseas on field hockey scholarships and so I thought that might be something I would like to do; I think I might have a good enough academic record to do that,” said Ratcliffe, who attended the Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.

“I didn’t know how I ranked academically and athletically against kids applying to different colleges.”

Considering such schools as Duke, Stanford, and Cornell, Ratcliffe concluded that Princeton was her dream school.

“I decided to go for my top choice which was Princeton because of the economics program here,” said Ratcliffe.

“I just really wanted to study economics. In New Zealand, it is expected that when you go into university that you know what you want to study so you start specializing immediately. I actually reached out to Ed Roskiewicz, who was the Princeton field coach at the time, and so I said hi, these are my distances, these are my SAT scores, will you have me.’”

Princeton women’s track head coach Peter Farrell is certainly glad to have Ratcliffe.

“There is an uncertainty with foreign athletes, you never know how they are going to mesh, it is a different system,” said Farrell.

“I was at a football game her freshman year and I saw a bunch of our freshman athletes there and one of them was in a tiger outfit and it was Julia. I said look at that, she has picked up on the college spirit.”

Farrell believes the lessons Ratcliffe gained from her freshman year has helped her pick it up this spring.

“She had ups and downs as a freshman and that is to be expected; she seemed to do well at home and not as well when she left the confines here,” said Farrell.

“She has one year of maturity and one year of competition under her belt. She is so methodical and consistent in her training, it is like a distance runner who runs 100 miles a week. She throws five to six days a week and not many throwers do that. She is devoted to her craft; it is her passion. She is incredibly fast at the end of her four turns but is still in control.”

Ratcliffe has also made an impression through her engaging personality. “She is an outgoing person, she has made friends easily with teammates,” added Farrell of Ratcliffe, who was recently named the Regional Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

“She has made friends with her opponents, she talks to every single competitor. It is not condescending, she is inclusive with her opponents. We have a grandfather class, 1966, for 2016 and there are three guys that have been coming to the meets and she talks and jokes with them.”

For Ratcliffe, there is no kidding around when it comes to her training regimen.

“I do a lot of power lifting and Olympic lifting, cleans and snatches and things like that,” said the 5’7 Ratcliffe, noting that her dad helps set her weight training program.

“The key muscle groups are the rotational core and quad strength. I do a lot of squats and dead lifts. I take 20 throws generally in a session. I throw different weights for speed and strength work. It is the power you can get into it from getting in the right body positions because I have been doing it for so long, especially in competition.”

As Ratcliffe looks forward to the hammer competition in Eugene, which is slated for June 11, she is focused on having the right frame of mind.

“I just want to throw well and keep it together because it is so easy to get overexcited and really nervous,” said Ratcliffe, who will be joined at the meet by five Princeton teammates, freshman Megan Curham (10,000 run), sophomore Adam Bragg (pole vault), senior Damon McLean (triple jump), junior Eddie Owens (steeplechase), and senior Chris Bentsen (10,000 run).

“So it is just having a solid series. I obviously want to throw far and the goal is obviously to win but you can’t control what everyone else does on the day so you can only do the best for you. In team sports, like field hockey, you can react to how the other people are playing. In this, you have to focus on yourself and do the best for you.”

Having qualified to compete in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, a major international meet being held in Glasgow, Scotland, Ratcliffe has her sights set on the world stage.

“I would love to go the Olympics in 2016 so that’s a big goal,” said Ratcliffe.

“I would also like to make it to a world champs. It would be kind of cool to get the NCAA record. I am not entirely sure what it is but if it is within reach that would be good.”

June 4, 2014
WILL TO SUCCEED: Princeton University men’s heavyweight rower Will Gillis (wearing visor) pulls hard for the Tiger men’s heavyweight varsity 8 crew in action this spring. Last Sunday, senior captain Gillis culminated his college career on a high note as he helped Princeton’s top boat take fourth in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake.(Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

WILL TO SUCCEED: Princeton University men’s heavyweight rower Will Gillis (wearing visor) pulls hard for the Tiger men’s heavyweight varsity 8 crew in action this spring. Last Sunday, senior captain Gillis culminated his college career on a high note as he helped Princeton’s top boat take fourth in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

In taking the reins as the captain of the Princeton University men’s heavyweight crew this past fall, Will Gillis was determined to be there for the program’s younger rowers, on and off the water.

“I wanted to make myself available to the underclassmen; I have a wealth of experience academically and athletically as does the whole senior class and I wanted them to tap into it,” said Gillis, a native of Seattle, Wash. who helped the U.S. men’s 4- take third last summer at the U-23 World Championships in Linz, Austria.

“I think compared to my junior year, lots of underclassmen took the opportunity to talk to me about what they should major in and classes they should take. I have been helping them navigate the academics.”

Last weekend, Gillis helped the Princeton varsity 8 boat take a major step forward on the water as it placed fourth in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake.

Gillis had the sense that the Tiger 8 would emerge as one of the elite boats in the country.

“I always knew we had the guys and horsepower to be a very good boat,” said Gillis.

“We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores in the mix and it was a matter of taking the talent we have and doing the hard work.”

There were some hard moments this spring as Princeton fell to Harvard and Yale in April competition.

“We raced a number of the top boats in the country in Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, and Navy,” said Gillis.

“The fun part about the college regular season is that it allows for some ups and downs.”

Ending the regular season with a victory over Brown on May 3 had the Tigers on an upswing going into the postseason.

“We harnessed some things in practice and had a big win over Brown,” said Gillis of the triumph which saw Princeton clock a time of 5:31.9 to post 4.4 second win over the Bears and earn the Content Cup. “But it was in the week of practice before Brown that we had a boost.”

Turning those practice habits into more success, the varsity 8 broke through with a third place finish at the Eastern Sprints in mid-May, moving to medal stand after placing fourth the previous two years.

“It’s always big; I told all the guys after the race you only get one opportunity to do this a season,” said Gillis, reflecting on the crew’s bronze medal performance in which it posted a time of 5:32.411 on the 2,000-meter course at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. with champion Harvard coming in at 5:27.277 and Brown next in 5:28.998.

“It was big to step onto a place on the medal dock, there are not many spots. We left the race thinking that we wanted more for the boat and the program. The boat and the team is on the verge of becoming a strong force in the league.”

Princeton head coach Greg Hughes credits Gillis with being a major force behind the progress the program has shown over the last few years as it rose to fourth in the IRAs.

“Will is one of those guys who is great in and out of the boat,” said Hughes, whose varsity 8 came in at 5:43.715 to take third in the IRA regatta with Washington first in 5:37.113, Brown second in 5:39.626, and California third in 5:42.063.

“He leads by example, through the way he handles things in school and still performs on the water. He steps up in big situations. The experience he has had in that boat and in the summer time, racing for the U-23 team against tough competition and getting a medal, showed up in the tenacity of that boat over the weekend.”

Gillis, for his part, has made sure to savor his final weeks in a Princeton boat.

“After the Sprints, when I crossed the finish line, it hit me that this was over and that I would never be racing here again,” said Gillis, a politics major with a certificate in American Studies who graduated Tuesday and is going on to teach U.S. history to 11th graders at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School which provides a college prep program for low income students.

“I talked to Greg and he said it is amazing how your perspective changes from 10 minutes before the race to 10 minutes after. I was thinking today, I will have to clean out my locker. In other years, it was I’ll be back. I am really enjoying the boat and the guys; they have made the experience amazing.”

SECOND WIND: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight second varsity 8 crew churns up Lake Carnegie in competition this spring. Last Sunday, the Tiger second varsity took second in their grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta held on Mercer Lake.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

SECOND WIND: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight second varsity 8 crew churns up Lake Carnegie in competition this spring. Last Sunday, the Tiger second varsity took second in their grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta held on Mercer Lake. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

With the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta being held at nearby Mercer Lake, the Princeton University men’s heavyweight crew was looking to feed on its supporters.

“We were excited to be racing close to home,” said Princeton head coach Greg Hughes.

“It was reunion week so there were a lot of alums who would be back. It was pretty remarkable to see them; it was neat for me as a coach and it was great for the guys.”

The Tiger varsity 8 provided the Princeton fans with some exciting moments as it produced superb efforts in the opening heat on Friday and semifinals on Saturday and then placing fourth in the grand final on Sunday.

“The plan was take things one day at a time; we knew we needed to have three great races to do what we wanted to do,” said Hughes, whose top boat placed first in its opening heat and second in the semifinals.

“We started off with a heat against Brown. We were executing things we had been working on in the down time since Eastern Sprints; that gave us a boost for the whole weekend. On Saturday, the race was just fun to watch. We were aggressive in pretty tough conditions, there was a crosswind and it was choppy at times. It was fun to get out in front in a race like that. Sometimes we are too cautious, worrying about making the finals.”

In the grand final, Princeton battled hard as it missed third place by less than two seconds.

“We carried that into the final on Sunday,” added Hughes, whose top boat clocked a time of 5:43.715 with Washington first in 5:37.113, Brown second in 5:39.626, and California third in 5:42.063.

“It was  apparent that there were 6-8 really good boats and it would come down to who had the best piece on the day. There was no question that Washington stepped up, I was even more impressed with Brown; they raced beyond themselves and that’s what you have to do. That was our best piece of the year. We were in front of Harvard for the first time in years, that was a big step for us. We have six guys returning on that boat and they have a sense of what it takes to go to the IRAs and compete.”

The second varsity 8 provided the best moment of the weekend as it placed second in the grand final, clocking a time of 5:45.133, trailing only Cal which came in at 5:42.880.

“That was the race of the year for our program, the credit goes to Spencer [Washburn] because he worked hard with that crew,” said Hughes referring to trusted assistant Washburn, who is leaving the program to become the head crew coach at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.

“They brought an emotional intensity to that race. That was the culmination of a lot of hard work and spirit. They took control of the race and made everyone race to their standards. They beat Northeastern, who had beaten them at the Sprints. They beat Washington, a boat that hadn’t lost a race at the IRAs for the last four or five years.”

Over the last few seasons, the heavyweight program has raised its standards.

“The results we saw at the IRA speak to the progress of the year,” said Hughes, whose third varsity 8 took sixth and varsity 4 placed 12th.

“The team has changed its culture. It has developed a stronger work ethic and character. It has taken a lot of hard work and we are starting to see the result of that. Spencer and I played a part but the lion’s share of the credit has to go to the senior class; they had places where they wanted to see the team go to. They stayed true to that through some ups and downs. They were remarkable and they are going to be missed. They are leaving a legacy.”

In order to live up to that legacy, the returning rowers will have to keep going hard.

“We can’t take things for granted,” said Hughes. “The senior class has shown us that it is possible and we are good enough if we do the work.”

TAKING THE FIFTH: The Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 heads up Lake Carnegie in a race this spring. Last Sunday, the Tigers placed fifth in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

TAKING THE FIFTH: The Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 heads up Lake Carnegie in a race this spring. Last Sunday, the Tigers placed fifth in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

If one takes the glass half-empty approach, the fifth-place performance by the Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 crew in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta last Sunday was distressing.

The Tigers fell off the pace by the 1,000-meter mark and posted a time of 5:55.362 on the 2,000-meter course on Mercer Lake, nearly eight seconds behind the winning time of 5:47.921 posted by national champion Cornell.

“Rowing is a momentum sport; it is important to feel someone next to you,” said Princeton head coach Marty Crotty.

“Once you lose contact with the lead pack; it is really hard to feel that you are competitive. You are scrambling to hang on to the lead pack, showing desperation.”

But Crotty adopts a glass half-full perspective on the spring, refusing to let the season be defined by the last race.

“The season was good if you look at it as a process to work our way back to the top,” said Crotty, noting that the varsity 8 posted a victory at the Head of the the Charles in October and won the Harvard-Yale-Princeton regatta this spring and then took third at the Eastern Sprints.

“We had higher highs. We won at Head of Charles in the fall and that was a direct result of staying in shape over last summer; we only have 15-20 practices before that. By sweeping at H-Y-P and winning the Vogel Cup, we accomplished something that has been a nemesis for us. Harvard and Yale are tough programs. It was a great day and the last day that we had everyone healthy this year. At sprints we showed resiliency. We had some injuries and we had to do some reshuffling.”

With nearly the whole team returning next year, Crotty believes the Tigers have the potential for greatness.

“We have everyone back but three rowers and we have a couple of rowers who are coming back after taking a year off,” said Crotty.

“We have a strong freshman class coming in. I think the returning guys can learn things from the high highs. We showed that when we are healthy and clicking on all cylinders and put our best forward, we can do some good things.”

SILVER LINING: The Princeton University women’s open second varsity 8 crew heads back to the dock with bronze medals draped around their necks after taking third in the Ivy Championships. Last Sunday, the boat took a step up and earned a silver medal as it placed second in its grand final at the NCAA Rowing Championships held on the Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind. The Tigers finished sixth of 22 schools in the team standings at the NCAA regatta.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

SILVER LINING: The Princeton University women’s open second varsity 8 crew heads back to the dock with bronze medals draped around their necks after taking third in the Ivy Championships. Last Sunday, the boat took a step up and earned a silver medal as it placed second in its grand final at the NCAA Rowing Championships held on the Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind. The Tigers finished sixth of 22 schools in the team standings at the NCAA regatta. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

Moments after the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8 crossed the finish line in the semifinal at the NCAA Championships last Saturday, the boat members realized they had missed making the grand final by an eyelash.

Some of the rowers slumped forward in the boat in disbelief while others buried their heads in their hands as they sat on a corner of the 2,000-meter race course at the Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind.

Princeton head coach Lori Dauphiny acknowledged that her Ivy champion 8 was heartbroken by the result.

“There were some people moving in the third 500 meters but we knew that would happen,” said Dauphiny, whose boat finished fourth in 6:30.54, with Michigan taking third place and a spot in the finals by .23 in a time of 6:30.31.

“What was really hard was going into the last 500, having led the race and then having boats moving. It was so tight. Brown and Stanford got the upper hand, they had a half a seat. Our coxswain was looking at the Michigan cox; they were level. It was really tough, it was a punch in the gut. No one wants to get aced out in the semis for a spot in the finals but it was by a whisker and so you start thinking about what you could have done differently.”

A day later, another Princeton crew, the second varsity 8 had an entirely different reaction after they placed second in their grand final. The rowers raised their arms in exultation and hugged across the boat.

“They really felt like they were getting stronger,” said Dauphiny, referring to her second 8 which posted a time of 7:02.03, trailing only Ohio State, which came in at 6:59.43.

“They fell short at the Ivies and it was great to get some redemption. They were very eager to get another chance. They handled it with maturity and seemed to get more and more confident over the weekend.”

The varying reactions of the crews reflects Princeton’s fortunes this spring. “We had some ups and downs,” said Dauphiny, whose program finished sixth of 22 schools in the team standings at the NCAA regatta. “It feels good when the kids finish up and feel they did the best they could. It was a season of development.”

The varsity 8 went out on Sunday and finished up in style, winning the ‘B’ final to place seventh in the nation.

“I thought it was a show of character, heart, and integrity,” asserted Dauphiny, whose top boat clocked a time of 6:51.80 in winning the race. “I was so proud of them, they felt like they redeemed themselves a bit.”

Dauphiny was certainly proud of her second varsity as they earned Princeton’s highest finish in the NCAA regatta in that classification since 1997.

“We wanted to capitalize on some of the things we had done in the semis; we wanted to have a sprint,” said Dauphiny of the boat.

“The 2V hung together from the beginning of the season to the end. It was good having the presence of two seniors, Kathryn Irwin and Maggie Cochrane, in the boat.”

The Princeton varsity 4 hung in there, taking fifth in its ‘B’ final to place 11th overall.

“It was a learning experience and extremely valuable for the depth of the program,” said Dauphiny, noting that the boat added a rower for the NCAAs who hadn’t competed since opening day due to injury.

“They handled adversity and they did their best to deal with it and move forward. They ran out of time; there was a lot of great competition out there and some really fast boats.”

Over the course of the spring, the Tigers displayed a great competitive spirit.

“The senior class did a nice job of making an impact,” said Dauphiny. “There are a number of people coming back and I am excited about that. I want them to learn lessons about being resilient and dealing with adversity.”

Princeton University seniors Lisa Boyce, Michelle Cesan, Julia Reinprecht, Susannah Scanlan, and Kelly Shon were named last week as winners of the 2014 C. Otto von Kienbusch Award.

The C. Otto von Kienbusch Award is the highest senior female student-athlete award at Princeton. C. Otto von Kienbusch was a staunch opponent of the addition of women to Princeton University in the late ’60s. Once women were admitted to the school, several early women athletes made a trip to his home in upstate New York to try to win him over. They were so successful that he became a major supporter of women’s athletics at Princeton and endowed this award.

Swimming star Boyce, an English major from Champaign, Ill., led Princeton to a pair of Ivy League team championships in swimming and diving, and she did so while winning nine individual Ivy crowns.

She holds four program records, and she was named the Ivy League Championships Career High Point Scorer at the 2014 league meet.

While her Ivy titles came in the 50 freestyle, 100 free and the 100 backstroke, her most historic swim at Princeton came in the 100 butterfly, when she finished seventh in the 2014 NCAA Championship meet. In so doing, Boyce became Princeton’s first first-team All-America since Alicia Aemisegger.

Field hockey standout Cesan, a politics major from New Vernon, New Jersey, is one of the greatest scorers in the history of Princeton field hockey.

A four-time first-team All-Ivy League selection, she ranks sixth all-time at Princeton in goals scored with 34 and is tied for sixth all time in points with 92.

Cesan was a four-time All-America, including a first-team All-America selection this past fall, after she led Princeton in scoring with 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points. She was a four-time first-team All-Region selection, and she was the 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

One of the key members of Princeton’s 2012 NCAA championship team, she has also been active with the United States national team program.

Another field hockey standout, Reinprecht, a politics major native from North Wales, Pa., was a four-time All-America and four-time All-Region selection, as well as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time first-team All-Ivy pick.

She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a second-team All-America as a freshman, and she was a second-team All-America again as a sophomore before being a two-time first-team All-America to finish her career. She also was on the 2012 NCAA tournament all-tournament team as Princeton won the NCAA championship.

Reinprecht was also a member of the United States Olympic field hockey team, and she was a starter at the 2012 Summer Games in London. She is currently in the Netherlands competing with the U.S. team at the field hockey World Cup.

Fencer Scanlan, an economics major from Minneapolis, Minn., earned a bronze medal with the United States epee squad at the 2012 London Olympics for the first medal in women’s team epee in U.S. Olympic history.

She helped Princeton to the NCAA team championship in 2013. Her career has taken place over six years, allowing for time off to prepare for the Olympics, and during that stretch Princeton’s team finish at the NCAA finals rose from eighth in her freshman year of 2009 to the team title in 2013 and a runner-up finish this past year.

Individually, Scanlan, a first-team All-Ivy League honoree in each of her first two seasons, has been a four-time All-America, only the second Princeton women’s epeeist to achieve that and first in 12 years. She advanced to the medal competition twice at the NCAA Championships, first with a runner-up finish last year and then with a third-place finish this year.

Golf star Shon, a sociology major from Port Washington, New York, is a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year after winning the honor the past two seasons. A four-time All-Ivy League honoree, including three first-team honors, she is one of just two Tigers and seven players in league history to earn All-Ivy League recognition four times since the Ivy began sponsoring women’s golf in 1997.

Making program history at the NCAA level as well, Shon was selected to three NCAA East Regionals as an individual and is one of only three Tigers to play in NCAA events in three seasons. Last year, she became one of just two players in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championship, doing so by finishing as runner-up, the highest finish in program history, at the 2013 East Regional. Her finish and her score to par were both the best in an NCAA final in program history.

ON THE HOP: Princeton University men’s track star Tom Hopkins flies through the air in a long jump competition this spring. Last week, senior Hopkins was named as one of the 2014 recipients of Princeton’s William Winston Roper Trophy along with classmates Alec Keller, Damon McLean, Caraun Reid, and Tom Schreiber.(Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

ON THE HOP: Princeton University men’s track star Tom Hopkins flies through the air in a long jump competition this spring. Last week, senior Hopkins was named as one of the 2014 recipients of Princeton’s William Winston Roper Trophy along with classmates Alec Keller, Damon McLean, Caraun Reid, and Tom Schreiber. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Princeton University seniors Tom Hopkins, Alec Keller, Damon McLean, Caraun Reid, and Tom Schreiber were named last week as the 2014 recipients of the William Winston Roper Trophy.

The award was originally given by Mrs. William Winston Roper and the Class of 1902 in honor of Princeton’s famed football coach. It goes annually to “a Princeton senior male of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics.” It has been awarded annually since 1936.

Track star Hopkins, a politics major from Haverford, Pa., is a multi-talented athlete who competed in the sprints, relays, and long jumps. He competed in two NCAA championships, earned two All-America honors, and qualified for the NCAA East Regional in each of his four years. He was part of a quartet that earned a Penn Relays win in the distance medley relay in 2012.

Hopkins was a six-time Ivy League Heptagonal indoor champion in events including 400, 500, long jump, and 4×400. Outdoor he won six titles in the 400, long jump and 4×400. Incredibly, he ends his career with 25 first- or second-place Heps finishes.

Baseball standout Keller, a politics major from Richmond, Virginia, became the second Princeton player ever to be named Ivy League Player of the Year when he earned the award this past season.

He is also the first three-time first-team All-Ivy League selection for Princeton since Ivy League baseball began in 1993 and the third three-time all-league selection in program history, after two others did so in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League.

Keller led Princeton this season with a .327 batting average and four triples, and he was second in RBIs, home runs, and doubles. His .545 slugging percentage was third in the league. For his career, he had a .336 batting average.

Track star McLean, a chemistry major from St. Catherine’s, Jamaica, is a two-time All-America in the triple jump and just the second athlete in Heps history — and first since 1975 — to win four straight triple jump titles. McLean also won the outdoor triple jump three times and was the runner-up as a freshman. He won the Heps Most Outstanding Field Performer at the 2013 Indoor Heps after sweeping the triple and long jumps and was named the Regional Field Athlete of the Year that same season.

He posted a personal best and school record this April with a mark of 16.11 meters. At the time that was the second-best jump in the nation. He will be competing later this month at the NCAA Championships for the third time.

Football standout Reid, a sociology major from The Bronx, N.Y., put together one of the most stellar careers in Princeton football history. The defensive lineman earned First-Team All-America honors this season and was the second Tiger ever to be invited to the prestigious Senior Bowl. His dominance resulted in Reid being chosen by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the NFL Draft last month, the highest for a Princeton football player in the modern draft era.

A two-time team captain, Reid’s leadership during the past season helped lead the Tigers to a championship campaign. After enduring back-to-back 1-9 seasons early in his career, Reid helped push Princeton to an 8-2 record in 2013 and a share of the league title.

Legendary lacrosse player Schreiber, a history major from East Meadow, New York, is one of the best midfielders in Princeton lacrosse history and one of the greatest ever to play Division I lacrosse. A three-time first-team All-America, he is also one of two two-time winners of the Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award given to the nation’s top midfielder, an award first given in 1973 and whose first recipient was his father Doug a Hall of Fame lax player for the University of Maryland.

Schreiber is one of two Princeton players ever to be a four-time first-team All-Ivy League selection, and he was the No. 1 selection of the Major League Lacrosse draft by the Ohio Machine.

He ranks fifth all-time in scoring at Princeton with 200 points on 106 goals and 94 assists and is the only player in program history and one of only five in Ivy League history — and the only Ivy midfielder — with at least 100 goals and at least 90 assists, as well as the only player to rank in the top 10 in program history in both goals and assists and the school-record holder for goals, assists and points by a midfielder.

Schreiber won the Senior Class Award this year for outstanding achievement in the areas of competition, the classroom, the community and character. He is also a two-time finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, the highest honor in college lacrosse.

May 28, 2014
LIONHEARTED: Caraun Reid gets pumped up during his career with the Princeton University football team. Star defensive lineman Reid, who will be graduating from Princeton next week, was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions on May 10 and headed to the Motor City the next day to start his indoctrination into professional football.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

LIONHEARTED: Caraun Reid gets pumped up during his career with the Princeton University football team. Star defensive lineman Reid, who will be graduating from Princeton next week, was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions on May 10 and headed to the Motor City the next day to start his indoctrination into professional football. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Caraun Reid will be among the more than 1,000 graduating seniors congregating next Tuesday in front of Nassau Hall for Princeton University’s 267th commencement ceremony.

While many of the graduates will be wondering what awaits them in the real world, Reid has already gotten a taste of his life after Princeton.

The star defensive lineman was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions on May 10 and headed to the Motor City the next day to start his indoctrination into professional football.

For Reid, his destiny started to come into focus when his cell phone rang early in the fifth round.

“I have a phone that identifies area codes and when I saw Michigan, I was excited,” said Reid, who watched the final two days of the draft from his family’s home in the Bronx, N.Y.

“I never thought this would happen when I started football. I was talking to everybody, [general manager] Martin Mayhew, coach [Jim] Caldwell, and the defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin. I was just really happy, I was smiling the whole time.”

In Reid’s view, joining the Lions is a good fit. “The coaches are great and I am in a position to compete and learn from some great players like Ndamukong Suh (Detroit’s Pro Bowl defensive tackle),” said the 6’2, 305-pound Reid, who is the 14th Princeton football player to be selected in the NFL Draft and the first in the modern era (since the 1970 merger) to be selected within the first five rounds. “It is is an ideal position for me to be in.”

While Reid didn’t have much contact with the Lions before the draft, he has immersed himself into the Detroit organization, staying out in Michigan since the draft and participating in a rookie minicamp, meetings, conditioning sessions, and one round of Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

“I met with them briefly at the combine but I hadn’t talked with them since,  my first time out there was last week,” said Reid, who officially signed with the Lions on May 15, entering into a four-year contract with a signing bonus of $188,880 and a total package of $2,408,880, according to the Pride of Detroit website.

“The minicamp was great. Getting into the competitive atmosphere helped me grow as a player. The rookie class is staying at the same place and we have gotten to know each other.”

Reid acknowledges that OTAs showed him how much he has to grow. “The OTAs have set the bar higher; you feel like a rookie out there,” said Reid.

“It is just the speed and being able to know where to go. The veteran guys know what is expected and the rookies don’t. You just compete as hard as you can. I just want to keep getting better and do better every rep.”

In Reid’s view, his Princeton experience gives him a better chance at succeeding in the NFL.

“I found out what I really loved, that was the biggest part of it, being able to pursue your passion,” said Reid, reflecting on his Princeton career.

“I am approaching this situation as a better man for having gone to Princeton. I think I will be more professional and have a greater maturity.”

Princeton head coach Bob Surace, who spent eight years on the coaching staff of the Cincinnati Bengals, believes that Detroit presents a good professional opportunity for Reid.

“Having had to play against Jim Washburn when he was at Tennessee, I know that he is one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the NFL,” said Surace.

“He likes hard-working, high effort guys who can rush the passer. The other part that is a good fit is that they have veteran guys on the line who are first round draft picks and who are productive. It will be good for Caraun to be in the same room with those kind of guys.”

In Surace’s view, Reid has what it takes to be a productive player in the NFL.

“The scouts got to know him; he has the physical traits plus the intangibles and work ethic,” added Surace of Reid, a 2012 and 2013 All-America and three-time first-team All-Ivy League honoree who had 20.5 sacks and 168 tackles in his career as he helped the Tigers rise from the cellar to a share of the 2013 league title. “There is a reason he went in the highest draft round of any player in Princeton history.”

Reid’s selection is another feather in the cap for a program that saw star defensive lineman Mike Catapano get chosen in the seventh-round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and emerge as a special teams starter and rotation player for KC.

“I am so excited for Caraun; this is his dream and the career path he wants,” said Surace.

“It shows that we are developing guys in the right way. Our strength coach, Jason Gallucci, is doing as good a job as he can having the guys for one-and-a half to two hours. The coaches watch film and prepare; it shouldn’t be any different than Florida State. These are things we can do well and it doesn’t matter if you are D-III or Ivy League. The players have a heavy academic load but they value football too.”

Reid, for his part, is ready to do things the right way for the Lions and let the chips fall where they may this fall.

“I just want to be the best I can be,” said Reid. “I don’t know what is going to happen in training camp or in the season but as long as I am doing my best, that is the main thing.”

REEL DEAL: Kelsey Reelick, center, rows from the stroke seat this spring in action for the  Princeton University women’s open varsity 8. Senior star Reelick and the Tigers will be competing in the NCAA championships at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Reelick will be looking to come full circle as she helped the Tigers to a title in the NCAA varsity 8 as a freshman.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

REEL DEAL: Kelsey Reelick, center, rows from the stroke seat this spring in action for the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8. Senior star Reelick and the Tigers will be competing in the NCAA championships at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Reelick will be looking to come full circle as she helped the Tigers to a title in the NCAA varsity 8 as a freshman. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

Kelsey Reelick started this spring in the back of the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8, rowing from the bow seat.

But after an opening day loss to Brown, senior star Reelick was moved up to the front of the boat, getting switched to stroke.

“I had never stroked an 8 before; I had trialed there and had done it in practice,” said Reelick, who made her debut in a loss to Virginia on April 5.

“In the Virginia race, I turned to Annie [coxswain Annie Prasad] and said this is my first race at stroke. Every seat is important for different reasons. The bow is more zen; you are in the back and responsible for setting the boat straight. You are separated and not near the yelling. Stroke is more excitable; you are looking at the cox and there are seven girls behind you.”

With Reelick developing a comfort level in her new spot, Princeton righted the ship, going undefeated after the Virginia race and then avenged the Brown defeat in the Ivy championship as the Tigers took the varsity 8 title with a course record performance.

This week, Princeton will look to keep rolling as it competes in the NCAA championships at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

As Reelick looks forward to her final college competition, she acknowledges that the boat was steeled by its early struggles.

The first two weeks were rough; it made us more determined,” said Reelick. “Winning is fantastic but losing creates more of a change. We had some changes to make.”

During her rowing career, Reelick has proved that she can deal well with change. After taking up sculling as a teenager in New Zealand, Reelick and her family came back to the U.S. and relocated to Connecticut. As a senior in high school, Reelick went from the GMS Rowing Center to the Connecticut Boat Club (CBC), helping the CBC take first in the USRowing youth nationals in both the women’s 2- and women’s 8+.

“I had never done sweep rowing before; we had a good 2 that was speedy and we had a great 8,” said Reelick. “It was an amazing boat, a boat of superstars.”

A year later, Reelick competed on another amazing boat as she joined the Princeton open program and made a varsity 8 that went undefeated on the way to winning the Eastern Sprints and NCAA titles.

“It was tough,” said Reelick, reflecting on her transition to college rowing. “I do remember that there was a point where I stopped and looked around at the others; we had a big senior class that year and I thought they are just going hard all of the time. The intensity level is accelerated at the college level. I realized that I had to go harder everyday.”

Reelick realizes how lucky she was to be a part of back-to-back championship campaigns.

“I had an undefeated season in my senior year in high school and then as a freshman in college and I thought this is how it goes,” said Reelick.

“We won Easterns, we won NCAAs, and then we went to the Royal Henley. It was a massive year of rowing. It was amazing.”

After a rebuilding year in her sophomore season, Princeton got back on the medal stand last spring, winning the Ivy championships and taking second in the NCAA championship race. A more important development for Reelick in her junior year, was the arrival of her younger sister, Erin, who joined the Tiger program.

“It has been fantastic; we rowed together in my senior year in high school,” said Reelick of her younger sister, who rows on the No. 6 seat for the Princeton varsity 8.

“She was on the CBC 8, that was her first year of rowing. I love having Erin in the boat, she is a fierce competitor. She is also one of my best friends. It is great to have someone in the boathouse and on campus that I can rely on.”

Reelick and her boatmates were primed to compete hard this spring. “We knew there was something to be gained from the loss of 2013,” said Reelick.

“We jumped into the winter with some goals in mind. We had some good Erg (ergometer) scores and were looking to carry that conditioning on to the water.”

In going after its goals this spring, the boat has displayed an ability to learn from its mistakes.

“After each race, we would talk about what we did well and what we would need to build on,” said Reelick.

“Each week we would fix what we did wrong. I have never been on an 8 that has improved so much.”

That improvement was clearly evident at the Ivy regatta on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. as Princeton got off to fast start in the final and never looked back on the way to victory, clocking a time of 6:15.412 to a set a course record in Ivy and Eastern Sprints competition at the venue.

“It was awesome,” said Reelick. “Going into the race, we knew it was going to be hard. We had pent-up nervous energy and right off the start we were locked into each other. It was interesting to set the record.”

Looking ahead to the NCAAs, Reelick believes Princeton has room for growth. “I think we can go faster; we have some things to work on,” said Reelick.

“We need to work on staying internal. You need to relax and execute. We are working hard to perfect things. Lori makes sure we don’t forget what each of us can do better individually. There is one change that each of us can make to help the boat collectively.”

Reelick is hoping to come full circle, ending her career with an NCAA crown to go with the one she earned in 2011.

“One of the things I remember from the NCAAs freshman year is that I am here now; we have been waiting a year for this race,” said Reelick.

“Throughout this spring, every race has meant a lot. Winning Ivies feels great as a senior and winning a medal at nationals would feel great as a senior.”

May 21, 2014
OPEN ARMS: Princeton University women’s open crew head coach Lori Dauphiny, far left, celebrates with the members of her varsity 8 after the Tigers won the final last Sunday at the Ivy League championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. Princeton clocked a time of 6:15.412 to a set a course record in Ivy and Eastern Sprints competition at the venue. In addition, the Tigers earned the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championship regatta by virtue of the victory. The NCAAs are slated for May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.(Photo Courtesy of the Ivy League)

OPEN ARMS: Princeton University women’s open crew head coach Lori Dauphiny, far left, celebrates with the members of her varsity 8 after the Tigers won the final last Sunday at the Ivy League championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. Princeton clocked a time of 6:15.412 to a set a course record in Ivy and Eastern Sprints competition at the venue. In addition, the Tigers earned the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championship regatta by virtue of the victory. The NCAAs are slated for May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Courtesy of the Ivy League)

After the Princeton University women’s open crew varsity 8 lost to Brown and Virginia in the first two weeks of the season, Lori Dauphiny decided to do some tinkering.

“The lineup did shift,” said Princeton head coach Dauphiny, whose top boat finished 3.0 seconds behind Brown in the opener on March 29 and the same 3.0 second margin behind Virginia a week later.

“It was the same personnel as in the first race against Brown but the seats shifted. We were clicking better and the individuals within the boat all improved as the season went on. It was important to know that we had to improve. We got to see our weaknesses, as painful as that was.”

The Tigers shifted into top gear over the last month of the regular season, going undefeated and posting victories over Harvard, Cornell, Yale, Dartmouth, Penn, and Clemson.

“We were making progress,” added Dauphiny. “I did get a sense in the last two or three weeks that we were making big strides. We were homing in on race preparation. We were working on all aspects of the race. They had more racing experience. They have more savvy as a boat and had learned to handle different conditions. This boat has shown resilience.”

The Tigers knew that they would have to be resilient as they competed last weekend at the Ivy League championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J.

“The competition was pretty deep; Brown was ranked No. 1 and was the favorite,” said Dauphiny.

“We knew the other boats were gaining speed. Harvard made changes. Dartmouth did well in its heat, it clearly improved. The schools further north tend to gain more speed so the speeds were unknown.”

Apparently, Princeton gained the most speed over the last few weeks as it roared out to an early lead in the final and never looked back, getting open water on its foes, posting a winning time of 6:15.412, more than four seconds better than runner-up Brown at 6:19.722.

The effort set a course record in Ivy and Eastern Sprints competition at the venue and earned the Tigers the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championship regatta which is slated for May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.

“It was our best start ever,” asserted Dauphiny, whose varsity 8 included junior Faith Richardson (bow), senior Angie Gould, senior Susannah Shipton, sophomore Meghan Wheeler, freshman Georgie Howe, sophomore Erin Reelick, senior Margy Bertasi, senior Kelsey Reelick (stroke), and senior Annie Prasad (cox).

“I didn’t know what would happen after that. I didn’t know the charge the other boats would make. I am always nervous. I did feel a little better after the heat. I thought this boat could do something good.”

In reflecting on the record-breaking performance, Dauphiny acknowledged that the top boat exceeded her expectations.

“It was an amazing performance,” said Dauphiny. “I didn’t realize it was a course record for the EARC and Ivy until I was on the awards dock. That is outstanding. I didn’t anticipate that at the beginning of the season. It is a nice surprise and a testament to their hard work.”

The hard work of the rowers throughout the program was on display as the Tigers finished second in the team standings at the regatta to Brown, earning a slew of medals.

“The accomplishments of the top boat are the accomplishments of all the rowers,” said Dauphiny, whose second varsity 8 and varsity 4 each finished third with the third varsity 8 and fourth varsity 8 each placing first and the varsity 4B taking second.

“Each girl who raced on Sunday had a medal around her neck. They push each other and support each other. It is a nice environment. It takes a team.”

The 2V and varsity 4 each produced efforts to build on as they will be joining the varsity 8 at the NCAA regatta.

“The 2V fell short of what they wanted to do but I am pleased that they did their best,” said Dauphiny, noting that assistant coaches Kate Maxim and Steve Coppola have played an integral role in getting the boats up to speed.

“They got a medal. The lineups change and the speeds of the boats are unknown. The varsity 4 went through a lot, they made big strides; they had a lot of lineup changes and handled that well.”

Looking ahead to Indianapolis, Dauphiny is hoping that her rowers can make even more strides.

“We plan to keep working on it,” said Dauphiny, whose program is one of three programs, along with Brown and Washington, that have qualified for every championship regatta since the inaugural event in 1997. “We want to maintain our form.”

HEAVY MEDAL: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 heads down Lake Carnegie in a recent regatta. Last weekend, Princeton earned a bronze medal as it took third in the Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. The Tigers will look for another medal when they compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta on Mercer Lake in West Windsor from May 30 - June 1.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

HEAVY MEDAL: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 heads down Lake Carnegie in a recent regatta. Last weekend, Princeton earned a bronze medal as it took third in the Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. The Tigers will look for another medal when they compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta on Mercer Lake in West Windsor from May 30 – June 1. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak)

Seeing his Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 crew go to Brown in its regular season finale gave Greg Hughes confidence heading into the Eastern Sprints.

“There were a lot of things that we were working on that we executed well in that race,” said Princeton head coach Hughes.

“It was a boost. We built off a lot of things from that race in our preps for Sprints.”

Posting the fastest heat on Sunday morning at the Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. was another boost for the Tigers.

“We saw that we had the speed to compete at the top,” said Hughes. “We also saw that the league is pretty wide open, there was not one crew that stood out. Whoever put up the best race on the day could win.”

While Princeton didn’t win the final as it took third behind champion Harvard and runner-up Brown, it did produce some good racing.

“It was a tight, competitive field and the conditions were really quick,” said Hughes, whose boat clocked a time of 5:32.411 over the 2,000-meter course with Harvard coming in at 5:27.277 and Brown at 5:28.998.

“In a race like that you have got to get into the race. We were in the pack in the first 750-1000 meters. We established ourselves. We had a good battle on our side with Harvard and Northeastern. Brown did a great job on the other side; they had a really good piece.”

Moving up to the medal stand was a great step forward for the Tigers, whose varsity 8 had taken fourth at the Sprints the last two years.

“It was a solid race for our guys, we wanted to do a little better,” said Hughes.

“We know what we need to work on for the IRAs (the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championship regatta). For a lot of the guys, it was their first medal in a varsity race and for others it was their first medal at sprints. To go into a race that competitive and step up and be strong and fast enough to get a medal when you are not at your best is a major stride forward.”

The Tiger second varsity 8 showed its competitive fire, taking second, an eyelash behind winner Northeastern.

“That was arguably the race of the day,” said Hughes, whose 2V clocked a time of 5:38.837 with Northeastern coming in at 5:37.781.

“It was just an awesome race; all of the boats were within five seconds. You could have been second or sixth just as easily and they found a way to be second.”

While the third varsity 8 didn’t medal as it placed fourth, Hughes was proud of its effort.

“That was their best piece of the year,” noted Hughes “In the regular season we were dealing with some sickness and injury and that trickled down through the boats. Guys were moving up. They raced a lot of different lineups and I was happy they built their speed and had a race like that.”

With the IRAs scheduled for May 30 — June 1 at Mercer Lake, Hughes is looking for his rowers to keep building their speed.

“I think it is more of the same; the work we have been doing has helped us technically,” said Hughes.

“We need to develop race skills and race mentality. That was a tight 6-boat racing last weekend, particularly in the final. That was the first time we saw that this season. We will be more capable of doing that for three days straight when we are in the IRAs.”

Hughes believes that competing at the nearby venue should spur a big final effort from the Tigers.

“We are definitely looking forward to it; it is close to home and close to our fans,” said Hughes.

“It is a good venue for racing, the athletes will feel like they are at a national championship. We saw that in Sacramento last year, they created an awesome environment for the athletes and I am sure it will be the same at Mercer Lake. It is some of the most exciting rowing racing in the world. The college crews are evenly matched, there is very little between them. It highlights the sport and what is so great about it.”