May 3, 2002

Cornell's Top 25 Senior Athletes

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They arrived on campus as freshmen, ages ago for some, mere moments for others. Over the last four years, they have provided us with countless memories of thrilling victories, bitter defeats, and sheer athleticism.They gave us Ivy titles and national championships, while putting their hearts on the line.

The Sun honors the class of 2002. Here is the list of the top 25 seniors of the year in alphabetical order.

Patty Blumenauer, Fencing

The senior epee specialist captained the Red fencing squad for the second straight year in the 2001-02 winter season. Although Cornell finished with a 6-9 (1-5 Ivy) record, the epee corps fared better at 10-5 (3-3 Ivy) behind Blumenauer’s expertise. She also nabbed first place at the NIWFA Holiday Invitational in early December.

Jenel Bode, Women’s Ice Hockey

Bode headed the women’s ice hockey team this year as both tri-captain and as the leading scorer. She had 24 points in 28 games (0.86 PPG) and almost doubled the next highest total of assists with 16. One of the most tireless competitors on the team, Bode has won the dedicated player of the year award the past three years.

Jen Borncamp, Volleyball

Borncamp has been an integral part of the volleyball team for her four years on the Hill, as one can easily see on the stat sheet. She helped lead the team to a 9-5 conference record — its best ever. All season Borncamp threatened to become the first Cornellian to break the 1,000 kill and 1,000 dig mark. However, she was the third Cornell volleyball player to have more than 1,000 kills, with 1,009.

Julie Canter, Equestrian

Competing in the open division — the highest division — Canter has perennially been one of the top riders in the region. The co-captain has represented Cornell at the Zonal championships in that time. As a sophomore and junior, she was Reserve High Point Rider for the region. This year she won top honors at the Ivy League championships. Canter also represented the team the Varsity Invitational Championship Tournament.

Justin Cynar, Men’s Lacrosse

Cynar was thrown into the fire immediately, starting in goal for Cornell’s season opener when he was a freshman. However, he has started every Cornell lacrosse game since. He has posted some of the nation’s best numbers in the past four years, while having the reputation for being a big-game player. He ended his junior year as an All-American honorable mention, and began his senior campaign as a preseason first-team selection.

Ken Davies, Crew

Davies has been one of the strongest rowers on the Cayuga Inlet since he joined the novice boats. He has been on the heavyweight varsity eight for the past three years and ended his career as commodore. His boat finished fourth in the IRA final, and he is hoping to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke as he leads the rowers into the championship season in the upcoming weeks.

Julie DeMichele, Women’s Soccer

DeMichele captained the soccer team in back-to-back years, providing her valuable leadership skills to a young team. The fullback has always been a leader in the backfield, but also added to the offense with three assists this year. She has started every game in her four years at Cornell, and has four Ivy League honorable mentions to boot.

Carrie Giancola, Women’s Lacrosse

Now that she’s broken Cornell’s all-time save record, the netminder is set on bringing her team to success in the NCAA tournament. Giancola has been among the college lacrosse leaders in both GAA and save percentage for the past three years. She is currently No. 6 in the nation in GAA. The local product has backstopped the Red to its best-ever record (12-1, 6-1 Ivy) in school history, and is also part of the winningest class in the program’s history.

Eric Gonzalez, Men’s Swimming

Perhaps the team’s best performer in a building year for the men’s swimming program, Gonzalez left his mark in the record books during his senior season. The distance freestyler recorded three top-five performances at EISL championships. He now holds the third spot in the 500m, fourth in the 1000m, and fifth in the 1650m. Gonzalez was the team’s top performer in the 500m and 1000m.

Josh Heller, Men’s Lacrosse

Although he may have come to Cornell with the intent to play football, the longstickman has become one of the leaders on the lacrosse team. Named a pre-season All-American third team, the tri-captain has made many contributions to keep the Red in the rankings all year. Heller has helped Cornell’s defense to be one of the most intimidating in the country, as he has also been a wingman all season.

Max King, Men’s Track

Perhaps he will be remembered as the one who lost his shoe, but King has been one of the most consistent and most decorated runners in Cornell’s recent history. Not only is King one of the top cross country runners in the Ivy League, he is a steeplechase specialist. He owns the record in the steeplechase at Cornell and is the reigning Heps champion in the event. He came in fourth in the event at this season’s Penn Relays.

Brian McMeekin, Men’s Hockey

To truly appreciate McMeekin, one oughtn’t look at his own stats, but glance over at those of the line matched up against his defensive pairing. The self-described defensive defenseman has made a career of keeping the opposing team’s top line off the score sheet. He doesn’t often get noticed on the ice unless the 6-4 skater is handing out one of his bone-crushing hits. But he’d prefer it that way — it’s his job. McMeekin was named the ECAC’s Defensive Defenseman of the Year. In addition, he was a ninth-round draft pick for the St. Louis Blues.

Ted Papadopoulos, Men’s Soccer

The first-team All-Ivy and All-New York region selection led the team with seven goals and 17 points. Among those goals were the lone goal in the season opener against Colgate, the game winner against national power Penn State, and one to force a tie with Dartmouth. Papadopoulos also scored three of the Red’s seven in-conference goals this year, easily pacing the team.

Wallace Prather, Men’s Basketball

The scrappy senior earned the team’s MVP award after a season that saw him lead the team in scoring (11.4 ppg), assists (2.0 apg), and steals (2.0 spg). Prather left his mark on the record books as well, establishing a new school record for steals in a career (197) and placing eighth on Cornell’s all-time scoring list with 1,171 points in his four years here.

Olga Puigdemont-Sola, Women’s Squash

An overall record of 11-2 earned Puigdemont-Sola, a product of Spain, first-team All-America honors for the fourth straight year. Playing in the No. 1 spot for Cornell all season, Puigdemont-Sola reached the No. 2 ranking in the nation during the season. She was also selected to the All-Ivy first team, becoming the first Red women’s squash player to achieve that feat.

Ricky Rahne, Football

One of the best quarterbacks in school history, Rahne won the team’s MVP award for the third time this season after completing 56 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and 1,984 yards. He holds school records in completions (687), yards (7,710), and touchdowns (54). His career yardage mark also is the third highest in Ivy League history.

Jaimee Reynolds, Women’s Lacrosse and Volleyball

See story, back page.

Erik Rico, Baseball

Rico has been honored twice this year as the Ivy League Player of the Week, and the Miami native leads the team with a .383 batting average, 40 RBIs, 43 runs scored, and 54 hits. The outfielder/pitcher’s team-high 11 dingers, eight triples, and 112 total
bases are school single-season records, and his squad still has four games to play.

Melissa Riggs, Women’s Polo

The National Player of the Year led the Red to its third consecutive national title, scoring a game-high seven goals in the final against Colorado State despite being plagued by illness. Riggs also earned her second straight All-America nod as well as picking up All-East honors. She was also named MVP of the Eastern Regional Championship, which was held at Cornell.

Ashleigh Snelson, Field Hockey

Snelson, a co-captain, tallied nine points this season, earning her an All-Ivy second team nod, her second in a row. The attacker’s 30 career points place her among the Red’s top 10 scorers in history. Her biggest goal of the season came in the season opener against Lehigh, where Snelson’s overtime goal sealed a 2-1 win for Cornell.

Jim Stanec, Wrestling

Despite competing at 174 lb., the strongest weight class in the Ivy League, Stanec made it to the NCAA tournament on a wild-card entry, earning All-Ivy honorable mention along the way. Last season, Stanec was the Red’s most valuable wrestler, picking up All-America and first-team All-Ivy honors and leading Cornell in wins.

Do Stevens, Women’s Basketball

This season, Stevens led the team to its highest league finish ever and became the first Cornellian to be named to the All-Ivy first team in six years, while leading the team with 15.9 ppg. That mark also ranked fifth in the conference. Her 1,327 career points is the third-best in school history, and she holds the Red’s career mark in steals and free throws made as well.

Matt Underhill, Men’s Ice Hockey

The Calgary Flames sixth-round draft pick piled up enough hardware this season to stock a Home Depot: first-team All-America, the Ken Dryden ’69 Award as the ECAC’s best goalie, first-team All-ECAC, ECAC all-tournament team, and first-team All-Ivy, among other honors. His 2001-02 season goals against average (1.80) and career GAA (2.32) are both fourth on the Red’s all-time lists.

Breean Walas, Women’s Basketball

Along with Stevens and sophomore Karen Force, Walas was a key component of the most potent backcourt in the Ivy League. The second-team All-Ivy selection netted 10.3 ppg this year, including a heroic 26-point effort in the double overtime loss to Harvard. She finished her career ranked 10th on the Cornell scoring list (982 points) and fifth in both assists and steals.

Lori Wohlschlegel, Women’s Lacrosse

Wohlschlegel has been an assist machine during her four years with Cornell, racking up 63 assists with one regular season game still to come. The previous record, 55 by Linda Miller ’84, had stood for 18 years. She leads the team this year with 12 helpers. Wohlschlegel is also a direct threat to goalies: she scored hat tricks in five of her first six games back from injury this year.

Archived article by Alex Fineman