April 23, 2002
Riders Have Strong Showing at Nationals
| April 23, 2002
Cornell had another successful performance this past Saturday at the first ever Varsity Invitational Championship Tournament in Newberry, FL. The Red had three riders compete in the tournament — senior captain Julie Canter in the Open division, freshman Kate Reynolds in the Intermediate division, and freshman Gillian Pech in the Novice division. The trio rode well en route to a ninth-place finish at the tournament. It was one of the first opportunities for the Red to compete against other national programs such as Ohio State, Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Fresno State.
“Everyone rode great today,” commented head coach Chris Mitchell. “Everyone showed great experience and great composure. This is a huge step for the program. It is really our first chance to compete on a national level, and we held our own.”
Canter led off the day in the Open flat. She got a tough draw but rode extremely well. She committed one small mistake in front of the judge, and as a result, finished in 10th place. She had a stronger showing in the Open fences, where she landed in third place, gaining four points for the Red.
Reynolds rode well in both the Intermediate flat and the Intermediate fences, placing eighth in both. She had a particularly tough draw in the fences class, ending up with an intractable horse name Wishes.
Pech had an impressive showing for Cornell in the Novice flat division, where she placed fifth, earning the first two points for the Red. She rode well in the fences division as well but ended up in 10th place.
“All and all, it was a great day for the team,” said Mitchell.
The equestrian team will return to action this weekend it travels to Hanover, N.H. to compete in the Ivy Invitational.
Archived article by Chris Callanan
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April 24, 2002
On June 1, 1925, baseball hero Lou Gehrig took the field for the first of his 2,130 consecutive games, the legendary streak that stood for 56 years. Two years before that spring, Gehrig was a student at Columbia University, showcasing his power on Ivy League fields. One of those fields that Gehrig played on, Hoy Field, is graced today by the likes of Cornellians Erik Rico, Andrew Luria, and Brendan McQuaid. The Cornell athletes of 2002 compete on fields and in buildings that have stood for many decades and witnessed many historic events, both athletic and otherwise. Despite the age of these facilities, the University has done an excellent job keeping Cornell’s athletic facilities among the best in the nation. For each sport, the University has actively tried to maintain top-flight fields, arenas, and weight rooms. On the whole, it has done an excellent job. “For track and field and cross country, they are clearly the best in the league and they are amongst the best in the nation, bar none,” stated head women’s track coach Lou Duesing. “In lacrosse, when we’re up against some of the top recruiters and it comes down to facilities, you’d be hard pressed to find a university that has the facilities that we do,” said men’s lacrosse head coach Jeff Tambroni. In spite of the age of many of the fields — Hoy is in its 80th year and Schoellkopf Field will turn 87 in October — Cornell’s athletes are treated to dedicated weight rooms, continually resurfaced fields and tracks, and alumni attention that leads to strong support for the teams. The Robert J. Kane ’34 Sports Complex, which was built using funds from alumni donations, was completed in 1996. Its track is state-of-the-art and it has multiple jumping pits to negate the effects of wind. The throwing area is close in proximity. The Kane Complex is a far cry from previous years’ outdoor track facilities — which didn’t exist at Cornell. “Before we had these facilities, I used to have to go down to the high school for practice or use the facilities at Ithaca College if we hosted an outdoor meet. It was embarrassing,” remarked Duesing. “It was tough on the students, because practice time wasn’t easy to control. “There’s a tendency of those who lack the perspective that we have to take what we have for granted, so I take it as one of my charges to continue to remind them how fortunate they are.” Older fields such as Schoellkopf have been far from neglected over the years. After the dedication of the field in 1915, improvements have been made to the gridiron such as floodlights in 1920, expansions to the seating area in 1924 and 1947, the installation of artificial turf in 1971, and the construction of a press box in 1986. The turf has been replaced three times since ’71, the latest instance in 1999. “The University and our alums do a pretty decent job keeping us up to date,” observed Tambroni. However, Schoellkopf isn’t all about continuous improvements. Part of its attraction is its history and tradition. “It’s the fifth oldest stadium in the country. The crescent is totally unique. It’s one of the most beautiful stadiums I’ve ever seen,” lauded Director of Football Operations Pete Noyes. “I just love the age, the antique, the old-time structures they have,” said Tambroni. Another classic building that is one of the best facilities in the nation is Barton Hall. Built in 1915, the home of the indoor track teams was brought up to date in 1987, when it became one of the only indoor track facilities in the country to sport an eight-lane track. Although some of the seating had to be removed to make room for the lanes, the size of Barton makes it a convenient site for large meets. In addition to the actual competition floor, Barton received a new feature in 1995 when the H. Hunt Bradley Track Center was created. The Bradley Center consists of a weight room for the track athletes’ exclusive use as well as a Hall of Fame and meeting room. “We have the envy of the league and most places in the nation in the Hunt Bradley Track Center,” proclaimed Duesing. The centerpiece of the Cornell athletic community, the men’s hockey team, also competes in an old building, but again, one that has received constant attention from the university. Two years ago, Lynah Rink underwent a renovation that cost Cornell almost $1 million. New boards and seamless glass, as well as a new floor and new refrigeration and plumbing under the surface, were all installed, keeping the playing area of Lynah up to date. In addition, the women’s hockey locker room was also redone a few years ago thanks to alumni donations. While the University and athletic department together do a solid job keeping the Cornell facilities at a state-of-the-art level, there are always improvements waiting to be made. Schoellkopf doesn’t have a visiting locker room, for one. The guests of the Red change in Teagle Hall, across the street. “They’ve always talked about putting locker rooms under the west side stands,” related Tambroni. Noyes also mentioned that Schoellkopf, while a legend, needs modernization as far as locker rooms, meeting rooms, and coaches’ offices go. At the brand-new Kane Complex, Duesing noted that the tracksters are lacking in storage space. “The only thing lacking in the outdoor track is that there is extremely inadequate storage,” he said, but added, “In terms of having a facility for what we need, it is a phenomenal facility.” Tambroni summed up the importance of having well-maintained homes for the Red athletes. “We’re an Ivy League school, and it’s important to have quality facilities to play in.”Archived article by Alex Fineman
April 24, 2002
ESPN.com recently ran a poll asking readers which pro sports league they thought displayed the most visible disparity in intensity between the regular season and the playoffs. Regardless of the results — the NHL was voted as having the largest difference — it bothered me that such a poll could even exist and acquire thousands of responses from knowledgeable fans. It essentially represented everything I hate about pro sports and yet also embodied everything I love about college athletics. If such a survey was conducted on campus concerning NCAA play I believe people would be hard pressed to cast a vote for any competition in the collegiate ranks. College athletes play for love of the game, blah blah blah … we know that, right? However, have you ever really thought about what that means? My favorite movie is Jerry Maguire — “see this jacket, ya like it?” Classic stuff — and in one of the many great exchanges between Tom Cruise (Jerry) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Rod) they discuss this idea. The scene goes a little something like this: Jerry tells Cuba he’s too into himself and needs to start playing for the same reasons he did when he was younger. Rod admits he’s always played for the money, Jerry gets really angry and says “FINE!” like forty-seven times while punching the bathroom wall. Things then calm down and Rod says something profound like “You want me to dance?” Jerry seems reluctantly satisfied, Rod does well on Monday Night Football, his son curses, Rod dances, everybody falls back in love and Jerry has Dorothy at hello. So what is this all-changing talk of dancing? It’s the very essence of sports that makes true competition such an amazing thing to watch and in which to partake. It’s also what pro athletes somehow lack once they start getting paid to do what they do. It’s the beauty of a confident save by Matt Underhill, another gorgeously simple goal from Sean Greenhalgh, or yet another home run off the bat of Kate Varde. It’s the reaction such performances inspire and the feeling one gets when watching a young man or woman put it all on the line. It’s a dance in which all involved participate and in which we find ourselves lost. What it isn’t is commercial deals, billboards, and money under the table. It’s not Shaq showing up on every other page of USA Today’s NBA playoff preview eating a Whopper or Vince Carter playing more inspired basketball in a Nike ad than on the court — as much as I love those ads. Sport for sport’s sake is a wonderful thing to watch if it’s not a Hollywood-created facade. College athletics lack the superficiality of pro sports and one trip to nearly any Cornell event will illuminate this point. Go to Lynah Rink for goodness’ sake, head over to Reis Tennis Center, Schoellkopf or Berman Field on any given Friday or Saturday. Watch and take it all in. You’ll see something that SportsCenter can’t capture. It is the faces of those performing the dance Jerry had to beg out of Rod Tidwell. It’s the reason why Juan Dixon, who had been through so much in his life, broke down in tears when the clock ran down on Maryland’s championship season. It’s the reason why softball head coach Dick Blood swells with pride when talking about the current career paths of former players. My favorite onslaught of this very abstract thing is found in that glorious post-Final Four production CBS always puts on with the dramatic music and all the emotion of the NCAA tournament put into well-orchestrated images. I remember watching it this year and observing as an entire room of charged up guys fell silent and were near tears as “One Shining Moment” played on our emotions for five intense minutes. Powerful stuff, indeed. Maybe it’s the taste of spring air we got last week, the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs or the final season of Felicity winding down, but lately — for some reason — I’ve been very sentimental about the closing of another year here on East Hill. The power of sport has taken on a special meaning in these times as I’ve been able to experience the final moments in so many of our teams’ seasons. It is a special thing to witness. We here at The Sun are also preparing to say goodbye to part of our team and maybe that’s the most obvious source of my sentimentality. Nags and Charles are the two members of our team we must now say our goodbyes to and their roles as leaders has been invaluable throughout the season of their careers. They know a whole lot about this “thing” that is the inexpressible attraction of sport because they have covered it, experienced it, and embodied it for four strong years in our beloved sports corner at The Daily Sun. They have attacked those who ignore its power or spit on its importance while lauding those who provide us with the splendid moments of glory we crave. For that we all owe them thanks. You are two of the very best and we, your noble understudies, will try and continue the legacy you have left us of capturing — daily — the power of this thing we call sport on the athletic fields of our fair Cornell. I suppose it’s ironic that the most famous phrase from Jerry Maguire ended up being “Show me the money!” since the movie wanted to emphasize something quite different. It is this something different that is so readily available on the hardwood, grass, and dirt of college sports. It is what makes it special to write about and why good people like our departing friends can do it so well for so long. I believe it is safe to say that we will miss Shiva and Charles as much as they will miss this crazy little thing we call the dance of sport. So with but a few precious moments left on the clock of this season, I say best of luck, Shiva, Charles, and to you, dear reader, for we will surely meet again next fall.Archived article by Scott Jones