May 2, 2007

Top-15 Sophomore Athletes

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Removed from the freshman jitters and the nuances of being a Cornell varsity athlete, these 15 sophomore student-athletes have managed to avoid the “sophomore jinx.” Leading their individual team’s, these 15 will be counted on even more as their maturity and talent grows.
Josh Arnone — Wrestling
Arnone was a wrestling standout from the Red sophomore class. At 184 pounds, Arnone finished the year as an All-American, earning the No. 8 spot in the nation at Nationals held at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. Despite missing a heavy portion of the season due to illness, Arnone was named an All-Ivy honorable mention. To earn the automatic bid to Nationals, Arnone had to place third at the EIWA Championships, which he did with a 5-1 decision over Lehigh’s David Craig. Arnone entered the tournament at the No. 6 seed. The Honesdale, Penn., native also won the UB open title in the beginning of the season.
Zak Dentes — Sprint Football
The Ithaca, N.Y., native has made himself at home on Schoellkopf Field this past season. Dentes quarterbacked the sprint football team to a national championship — its first since 1986 —this year, thanks to his 130.6 efficiency rating and an average of 172.2 yards of total offense. The 5’11’’ quarterback was also an important plug in the Red’s rushing attack as he averaged 31.3 rushing yards per game this year. The Red’s opponents threw 14 interceptions, which is a large number considering that Dentes only threw five the whole season. Dentes also finished No. 3 in CFSL total passing yards.
Katlyn Donoghue — Field Hockey
Donoghue was one of the more aggressive players for the Red. Starting all 16 games for Cornell, she led the Red in goals (6) and points (12). Her 12 points and 6 goals doubled her freshman output in both categories. Her efforts landed her the No. 8 position in conference scoring and placement on the all-Ivy second team.
Nathan Ford — Football, Baseball
Whether it was launching a pass down the field or knocking in one of his team-high 27 RBI, sophomore Nathan Ford made his presence felt in Cornell athletics. Ford was the starting quarterback for the Red this year, producing 1,762 yards of total offense. Ford helped the offense with his arm and legs as he averaged 141.7 passing yards and 34.5 rushing yards a game. Probably most impressive out of all his statistics, is his efficiency rating of 118.5. But that was just during the fall, Ford has also excelled during the spring, batting .338 for the baseball team. Ford’s 48 hits are a team-high and was a consistent force in the middle of the Red lineup.
Brenna Gullota — Field Hockey
The 5’2’’ attacker from Rye, N.Y. helped pace the Red this year by being an offensive threat. Gullota finished the year with a career-high eight goals and 11 points, which was the second most on the team. Showing improvement from her freshman campaign, Gullotta increased her shooting percentage from .190 to .294. She started every game for the Red.
Bobby Harvey — Men’s Polo
Harvey is a large reason why the Red is recognized for its polo squad. Harvey, classmate Brian Fairclough and senior Stan Feldman were consistent starters for most of the year for the polo team. Harvey proved to be a offensive threat all year. In a three game span in February, Harvey scored eight goals against Virginia, followed by impressive efforts of six goals apiece against UConn and Toronto. His performance helped the team to another NCAA tournament birth after Regionals.
Alex Heiss — Fencing
Heiss improved on her freshman mark of No. 20 in the nation, moving to 13th after this year’s NCAA tournament. Heiss, who was No. 6 in the regional tournament, won 10 events during the two-day championship to earn the ranking. Giving evidence to her improvement, Heiss finished No. 10 in the regional tournament last year. The applied economics and management major was the only returning member of the Red who qualified for the National tournament.
Tamara John — Women’s Tennis
Known for her strong serve and forehand, John is known as one of the hardest hitters on the women’s tennis team. John has helped the Red to set a higher standard of performance. In the Red’s first ever win over Harvard, John won both of her matches at third doubles and No. 3 singles. Holding the No. 3 slot throughout the year, John won in each of the Red’s first three Ivy matches. John won in all but two of the Red’s four Ivy losses.
Jeomi Maduka — Women’s Basketball, Track
Maduka’s admission to the top-15 list of sophomores was very easy after looking at her basketball season. But after looking at her track performances, Maduka’s admission was mandatory. Maduka led the Red in scoring, rebounding and steals, guiding Cornell to a 8-6 Ivy record, its most wins under fifth-year head coach Dayna Smith. Maduka’s 13.4 points per game and 8.5 rebounds a game placed seventh and fourth in the Ancient Eight, respectively. But Maduka’s accolades do not stop on the hardwood, as she stars in many events for the women’s track team as well. Recently, Maduka won the college long jump at the Penn Relays while also placing fourth in the triple jump. Maduka has produced marks that are good enough for school records in the triple jump and long jump. In addition, the Arlington, Texas native runs the 4×100.
Belen Martinez — Field Hockey
Martinez anchored the Red’s defensive unit on her way to her second straight all-Ivy selection. While leading the defense, the Red ranked second in the conference with 6.31 shots on goal per game. In addition to her defensive prowess, Martinez scored two goals and contributed with four assists. Martinez earned the team’s defensive Most Valuable Player award.
Matt Moyer — Men’s Lacrosse
Moyer has been a staple on the Red’s No. 1 ranked lacrosse team. Starting in all 12 games, Moyer has three assists but his presence as a long-stick midfielder is felt more on the defensive side of the game. Earlier in the season, Moyer helped the Red in its riding game but as the season progressed he has become one of the Red’s most reliable defenders along with senior co-captain Mitch Belisle.
Wes Newman — Men’s Swimming
Two out of the three men’s swimming team MVP award winners were seniors Dave McKechnie and Mike Smit. The next was sophomore Wes Newman, who helped lead the Red to its first unbeaten dual meet season in 60 years. Newman, who was named a team captain for next year’s squad, won four All-Ivy first team honors in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay, 800-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay. In addition, Newman was the only returning Red member to attend the NCAA meet, finishing 33rd in the 200 free. Newman also participated in the 500 free, placing 39th.
Troy Nickerson — Wrestling
At 125-pounds, Troy Nickerson was a huge challenge to any opposition he faced on the mat. Nickerson’s season ended with his second-straight All-America honor and finished No. 3 in the nation. The sophomore was 3-0 in Ivy duals and 12-2 overall this season. Nickerson also finished second in the EIWA Championship meet. Nickerson’s dominance landed him on the All-Ivy first team for the second time in a row. The Chenango Forks, N.Y., native’s efforts were good enough to land the wrestling team the No. 12 mark in the nation.
Maxi Prinsen — Women’s Squash
Prinsen was already a No. 1 singles player, team MVP, and nationally ranked squash player after her freshman year. Prinsen held on to her No. 1 slot this year, helping lead the Red to numerous accomplishments. Prinsen helped the Red to winning the B Division title at the NISRA championships and finishing No. 9 nationally. Prinsen’s performance helped lead the Red to a 10-8 overall record on the season.
Max Seibald — Men’s Lacrosse
Before the season started, lacrosse fans across the nation knew Seibald would be a top-notch performer. The Hewlett, N.Y., native earned pre-season All-America honors and was named to the Tewaaraton Watch List for national player of the year. Seibald has not disappointed Cornell fans with his 13 goals and 15 assists, for a total of 28 points. Seibald’s defining moment of the season was when he scored the game-winning goal against Syracuse with four seconds remaining, giving the Red the 16-15 win and securing the nation’s No. 1 ranking.