This past Monday, the head coaches of the seven Ivy League squash teams named the top 11 premier players of the Ancient Eight. These athletes represent the elite class of squash players in the highest skilled league in the nation. Over the past five years no Cornell player has garnered such prestige, until Monday.
Junior Tim Nagel earned it.
Nagel, starting his second campaign on the team, acquired the position as the team’s number one player during this season.
“It added a lot pressure to my performance. It made me strive to play even better against opponents,” he said.
He stood up to the pressure and finished 6-10 overall in the top slot. In doing so, he lead the team to a No. 7 national ranking in the National Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association Tournament.
Nagel started playing squash at a surprisingly older age of 14. Growing up in Toronto he made the transition from soccer to one of the most popular sports in his area, squash. The sport was introduced to him at his yacht club.
John Power, the current coach of Dartmouth squash team, taught and trained Nagel until his senior year in high school. The only competitive squash came from playing at his club.
Power was hired by Dartmouth, causing a parting of ways with Nagel who went on to attend the University of Toronto, prior to transferring to Cornell.
“It was a perfect fit. I knew the coach (Scott Stoneburgh) well and I really liked Cornell.”
A science and technology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, Nagel made his transition into the school and the chemistry of the team extremely fast.
Over the past two seasons, Nagel has qualified for the NIRSA Individual National Pool-Draw Championships. Last year, he finished an outstanding No. 27 in the nation, bowing in the first round to the national champion.
On Mar 1, the junior set out for redemption.
“Between last season and this season I got to play a lot and gained much more experience. I felt strong going into the tournament.”
Unfortunately for the Toronto native, he was eliminated once again in the first round from the Pool-Draw (falling to the No. 6 player in the nation) and placed in the consolation pool.
In this bracket, Nagel excelled, winning his first game by default. He then moved on to beat a player from Trinity, 3-2 before a 3-2 win in the semi-finals against the No. 1 player from Williams. In the consolation finals, Nagel faced off against Nadeem Osman, one of Trinity’s best. He fell 3-0, feeling fatigued from his battles of the previous day.
He finished the season ranked No. 21 in the nation and earned the title of All-American Honorable Mention.
“What I really wanted even more was All-Ivy. More important was gaining a spot on the All-Ivy League Team,” he said.
This past Monday, it was officially announced that Nagel earned the exceptional honor.
He was extremely satisfied with his play and the excellent efforts of all of his teammates. With Stoneburgh at the helm and new prospects waiting in the wings, he hopes the team will finish in the top five next year.
Nagel will now be taking a few weeks off. But then the quest for the championship title continues.
Archived article by Sun Staff