At the beginning of the school year, these freshmen arrived on North Campus just like anyone else. Their families and friends helped them settle into the dorms, they had the same anxieties about classes, and they experienced the infamous winter in Ithaca for the first time this year. However, when this group of athletes stepped out onto the field, the ice, or whichever playing surface best lent itself to their talents, it was difficult to differentiate them from the seasoned veterans sharing the spotlight. In between avoiding their RA’s and enjoying the buffets at RPU, this talented corps of rookies exploded into their collegiate careers with a passion, determination and excellence that seems to assure continuous fantastic achievements in the years that lie ahead.
Randi Bisbano, Gymnastics
Coming off a season of huge expectations but few results, the gymnastics team needed a spark to put the squad back on its way to ECAC dominance. The answer came from Rochester, N.Y. native Randi Bisbano, a successful Junior Olympian who came to Cornell as part of one of the most widely heralded recruiting classes in the nation. Bisbano made her mark immediately, setting a school record in the all-around set (38.225) at the George Washington Invitational in her collegiate debut. She continued to baffle opponents and teammates alike with a string of record-breaking performances, including an impressive second-place finish at the four-team Pittsburgh competition and her first league title at the Ivy Classic.
Elizabeth Bishop, Volleyball
While the volleyball team’s veterans, such as Debbie Quibell and Ashely Stover, performed at the high level expected of them, freshman Elizabeth Bishop made a name for herself doing extraordinary things in her first taste of collegiate competition. The Portland, Ore. native arrived at Cornell with a bang, instantly garnering recognition at the Seton Hall Spikefest (Sept. 13-14) as an all-tournament player and claiming MVP honors at the Albany Challenge (Sept. 1 9-20). She finished her record-setting year as the team leader in kills per game (4.40) and the recipient of an unprecedented seven Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards. Bishop was the unanimous selection for Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was named to the AVCA All-Region squad, and also earned a spot on the All-Ivy first team.
Michael Fullowan, Sprint Football
Although the sprint football finished the year with a 2-4 overall record, one positive thing became abundantly clear: rookie tailback Michael Fullowan was a sign of bright things to come. Hailing from Berkeley Heights, N.J., Fullowan first led the Red to a 46-18 bashing of Princeton on Sept. 26 when he rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. He torched the Tigers again later in the season, accumulating 80 yards on 14 carries and adding three touchdowns in the Red’s dominating 47-8 victory. In the loss to Penn, Fullowan led the Red in rushing once again, accumulating 96 yards on 18 carries.