May 6, 2004

15 Juniors Contribute to Cornell Athletics With Talent and Heart

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As The Sun continues to recognize the best athletes from 2003-04, this feature highlights the accomplishments of 15 juniors who have contributed to the success of their teams through hard work, skilled play, and leadership on and off the field. Some of these juniors made an instant impact on their teams from the time they first arrived at Cornell; others have only recently broken into lineups and performed exceptionally well. Not all of the selections come from teams with winning records or Ivy League championships, but their accomplishments are nonetheless praiseworthy.

Kevin Boothe, Football A three-year starter on the Red’s offensive line, Boothe’ s size (6-5, 308 pounds), strength, intelligence, and agility have made him the anchor of Cornell’s horsemen. As a sophomore, he made the All-Ivy second team, and he made the first team this past season. Despite playing with two broken hands, Boothe held his blocks and drove back defensive players, opening holes for the Red to record 1,020 rushing and 2,167 passing yards — the most for the team in three years. His excellent play was rewarded with the team’s Red Helmet award, given to the outstanding offensive player on the team.

Jessica and Shonda Brown , W. Track,/b> Jessica and Shonda, twin sisters from Kremmling, Colorado, are two of the best athletes on a team steeped in talent. Jessica currently holds seven school records in the sprints and jumps, has claimed numerous Heps titles, and was named to the All-East team four times while compiling five All-Ivy honors in just her first two seasons at Cornell. Shonda has proven equally talented on the track, and has emerged as one of the best 400 meter runners on the east coast. She, too, owns several school records, most notably in the 400 meter hurdles and as a member of the Ivy record-breaking 4×400 relay.

Sean Greenhalgh, Men’s Lacrosse Greenhalgh, an attack from St. Catharines, Ont., has contributed valuably to his team from the get go. As a rookie, Greenhalgh won the team’s Rookie of the Year award after setting freshman records for goals in a game, with six, and goals in a season, with 37. And he had the third highest scoring average in the nation as a sophomore, netting 2.85 goals per game and earning All-Ivy first team and All-American honorable mention. Perhaps more importantly, though, Greenhalgh is also known for his quick thinking and unselfish play on the field, where he is equally willing to chase down ground balls and dish assists as he is to charge the net to score. Entering this season, he was selected to the Tewaarton Trophy watch list, which tracks the nation’s best players, and he recently broke the 100 point mark with his team-leading 21 goals.

Shellen Goltz, Women’s Gymnastics Goltz, a four-event performer, has been hampered by injuries recently, but nonetheless returned to the lineup to earn All-America honors for her seventh-place performance on the beam at the USAG collegiate nationals. As a freshman, she earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors three times and scored Cornell’s highest mark ever in the all-around competition with a 38.2. Goltz is also talented in the classroom, having earned NACGC All-American scholastic honors in 2002 and 2003, and she is a member of the Red Key Honorary Society.

Akane Kokubo, Women’s Tennis Kokubo has remarkable power on the court, where she hugs the baseline, delivering low, penetrating groundstrokes to set up her net attack. As one of the team’s top two singles and doubles players, Kokubo has led the Red throughout her seasons at Cornell, with one of her career highlights coming at the Women’ s College Tennis Invitational last season, where she beat the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

Peter Lynch and David Mahoney, Men’ s Soccer Lynch, a midfielder, and Mahoney, a goalie, have combined forces to help the Red to some of its best records ever. In their most recent season, both men earned Tompkins Trust Co. / Cornell Athlete of the Week honors for their performances. Lynch garnered his award after scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of defending Ivy League champion, Penn, in Cornell’ s first league game of the season. Prior to that game, he also scored the Red’s lone goal in the Cornell’s last Ivy win, a 1-0 victory over Princeton. Mahoney received his award after recording his fourth shutout of the fall season in a 1-0 defeat of Yale — Cornell’s first in New Haven since 1975. A starter in all 16 of the Red’s games, Mahoney finished the season with a stingy 1.54 goals against average — one of the best in the country — and recorded eight shutouts on the year.

Lauren May, Softball As a freshman, May batted .336 and led the Ivy League in home runs, with 16, and RBI, with 52. Her offensive production was the most prolific ever by a freshman in Cornell history and the best in the Ivies that year, as she won the league’s Rookie of the Year award. The streak continued into her sophomore campaign, when May again led the Red in runs batted in, recording 37, while amassing a .388 batting average and an .806 slugging percentage. She was named to the All-Ivy second team and the All-Region Mid-Atlantic roster following the season. She also starred on defense, recording a team-high six double plays that year. This year, the Commack, N.Y., native has helped the Red to a 39-11 record and the chance to play for the Ivy League title and an NCAA berth.

Kevin Scelfo, Men’s Golf This past season, Scelfo, captain of the team, helped Cornell climb out from the dregs of the Ivy League to a sixth place finish at the league tournament — its best since 1992. His three-round score of 230 was good for a second place (tie) finish. The place earned the West Islip, N.Y., native a berth on the All-Ivy roster, the first time a Cornell golfer has made the list in 16 years.

Kristen Smith and Lindsay Steinberg, Women’s Lacrosse Smith, an attack, provides the Red’s offense with a potent scoring threat and a key ingredient to the team’s draw control schemes and transition game. Though she saw limited action as a freshman, the Manlius, N.Y., native ranked sixth on the team in goals as a sophomore, with 14, and fourth on the team in draw controls, with 13. Her best performance of this season came against No. 14 Syracuse, where Smith recorded the winning goal in a 13-12 quadruple-overtime win.

Steinberg, a midfield/attack, is known for her rocket shot and knack for finding the goal. Ranked second on the team in scoring with 41 points and 36 goals as a sophomore, Steinberg also led the Ancient Eight in game-winning tallies that year, with 4. Most recently, she contributed one goal and one assist in the women’s’ final Ivy contest, a 10-9 win over Harvard.

Gina Testa, Field Hockey Testa played in only two contests for the stickwomen during her sophomore year but made great strides in the offseason, and is now one of the top players on the team. Though the women finished their season with a 3-13 record, Testa proved to be a bright spot. She paced the team in scoring, leading the women with five goals, and scored the lone tally in the Red’ s 2-1 season-finale loss to No. 12 Dartmouth.

Katie Thomas, Women’s Soccer Thomas, starting netminder for the booters, is arguably one of the best keepers in the Ivies. As a sophomore, she posted a .960 goals against average, while recording a team-high 68 saves. This season, a concussion in the Columbia match sidelined her for several contests, but Thomas returned to the lineup as the Red’ s starter for the remainder of the year. Prior to that, the Northridge, Ca., native helped the Red to three straight shutout wins.

Travis Lee, Wrestling The Cornell grapplers placed 11th in the country this year and went 11-6 in dual meets in large part due to the effort of Travis Lee, one of the best wrestlers in Cornell’s history. In three years on the hill, Lee has amassed more accolades than virtually any wrestler to go through the program. As a freshman, he was voted the New York State Freshman of the Year, Ivy League Rookie
of the Year, EIWA Rookie of the Year , and received All-America honors after placing seventh at the national tournament. The following season, he went 34-0 en route to his second straight EIWA title and first national championship. For the feat, he was selected as the Ivy League Wrestler of the Year.

This winter, the Honolulu, Hi., native went up a weight class and continued his astonishing success. Following a perfect 17-0 dual meet season — which included wins over the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 ranked wrestlers in the 133-pound class — Lee entered the national tournament with a number one seed. A tough loss prevented him from winning another crown, but Lee nonetheless took fifth, and ended the year with his third EIWA title, and a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy first team.

Archived article by Everett Hullverson
Sun Assistant Sports Editor