May 3, 2007

20 Top Junior Athletes

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This article appears in the 2007 edition of The Sun’s Freshman Issue as “Top-20 Seniors Ready for Success.”

In a year when they were called on to do more than before, these 20 juniors showed increased talent and maturity. These 20 student-athletes will be called on to lead the Red next year as the senior calls graduates.

Leslie Campbell — Women’s Soccer

Campbell is one of those players whose contributions will never show up on a stat sheet. As the anchor of the Red’s defense for the second straight year, Campbell continued to prove that she shows up to compete every day. She was the only player on the team to play in, let alone start, every single game for the team. While the squad fell on hard times this year, winning only three games in seventeen tries, Campbell provided a steady leadership in her second year as co-captain. She pushed everyone to fight all the way until the end.

Colleen Davis — Gymnastics

Davis has been the Red’s vault specialist the past three years, earning All-American honors each year. Her score of 9.2875 in the vault earned her an eighth-place finish this year at the USAG Collegiate championships, the second best finish in her career at the USAGs. She came close to putting the Red in the USAG finals as her efforts on the vault the first few days helped the team to third in its bracket. She was also a large part of the Red’s second-place finish at the Ivy Classic, posting a score of 9.750 to earn third place in the vault. Davis’ consistency will continue to be a big asset to the Red in her senior campaign.

Noelle Dowd — Women’s Lacrosse

There is no one specific way to define Dowd’s contributions to the Red. On the surface, her 34 points on 26 goals and eight assists stick out as her biggest contributions. However, as a midfielder, Dowd is constantly all over the field for the Red. She was as adept at dropping back on defense as she was scoring and distributing. Her hard work flies under the radar a lot of the time, but her versatility allows her to control the pace of the game for the Red. She picked up a team-high 36 ground balls and caused more turnovers at 16 than anyone else on the squad, truly making her the gears that keep this squad running.

Courtney Farrell — Women’s Lacrosse

Farrell spent the whole season with the burden of dealing with the other team’s best defensive marker. The stat sheet would never reveal this, however. Farrell picked up points early, often and always for the Red, having recorded an astounding 62 points on the season already — 15th most points per game in the country and third most in Cornell history. Although Farrell now has two spots on Cornell’s top-10 list for most points in a season, she put herself atop the list for most assists in a season with 33 this year — the seventh most per game in the nation. Farrell is not just a distributor, though. While her field vision and ability to pass out of a double team is certainly impressive, her explosive first step and creative one-on-one moves make her one of the best goal scorers in the Ivy League. Indeed, Farrell was the most efficient finisher for the Red, scoring on 52 percent of her shots and putting 84 percent of her shots on goal.

Brittany Forgues — Women’s Hockey

Forgues presence on the offensive line for the Red was a welcome one this past season as she tallied 16 points — second most on the team. Her seven goals and nine assists showed her steady improvement over her three years on East Hill. While she led the team with 12 goals last year, she only had three assists. Her maturity was also shown by the fact that she seemed to step up in the Red’s tight games and wins this year. She registered the game-winner in a 3-0 win against Union, notched the only tally in a tie with Clakson, and assisted the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Quinnipiac.

Robbie Fritz — Golf

Since arriving on East Hill, Fritz has been synonymous with the golf team. He is consistently one of the Red’s top finishers at each tournament. This year, he spear headed the team’s effort at the Ivy League championships, starting out in fourth place individually after day one, before dropping to 13th overall at the end of the tournament. Still, he was the best finisher for the Red, and earned his best finish since a sixth-place result for him his freshman year.

John Glynn — Men’s Lacrosse

Glynn’s unflappable upbeat and outgoing attitude are perfect for the kind of player Glynn has been all season for the Red. With most of the defensive focus going to seniors Eric Pittard and David Mitchell, Glynn has been the unheralded hero for Cornell stepping up on offense either as a goal scorer or a distributor when needed, playing defense when asked and taking face-offs when called upon. After sitting out a year due to a knee injury, Glynn has returned to place second currently on the team with 40 points. His 21 goals and 19 assists show his balanced approach to offense, while his 17 face-off wins on 42 attempts — second on the squad — prove his versatility on the field, as do his 23 ground balls.

Muhammad Halim — Men’s Track

Halim’s name appeared at the top of the scoreboard at literally every meet the Red had this year. Halim was one of four Cornellians to earn a trip to the NCAA National championships by winning the triple jump at the Indoor Heps. He went on to place second at the NCAAs in the triple jump, the best finish of any Red competitor. His last jump of the day was his best, earning him All-America honors. The triple jump was not Halim’s only event, however. He won the long jump at the Indoor Heps, a combination that earned him the award for Most Outstanding Performer at the competition, and eventually, All-Ivy honors.

Jimmy Heinz — Baseball

If the Red were to have had a power hitter this year, Heinz would have fit the bill. His four home runs led the team, but he also led the regulars in the true measure of power, slugging percentage, finishing at .450. He had the third highest average of the regulars, batting .285, and proved to be an effective gap hitter, knocking seven doubles on the season — second on the squad. He was Mr. consistency for the team, finishing with the most at-bats — 151 — and starting every single contest. He also played a solid second base, recording the fourth-most put-outs on the squad.

Jordan Leen — Wrestling

This southerner returned in full force this year after missing all of last season. While his freshman year was impressive, Leen matched and then surpassed all of his marks from 2004-05. While the Red has a very deep wrestling squad, it would seem after looking at the statistics that Leen carried the team. He was at the head of nearly every statistical category on his way to a team-high 34 wins and 50 points. His 12-1 record in dual meets was largely due to his team-leading eight falls and eight major decisions. As the No. 1 seed in the EIWA in the 149-pound bracket, Leen took the title, earning a bid to the NCAA championships where he placed eighth in his bracket.

Kyle Lynch — Men’s Soccer

Lynch has provided a large, intimidating — and most importantly, consistent — presence in the backfield for the Red this past season. In his second season anchoring the Red’s defense, Lynch was one of only two players on the squad to start every single game. His defense allowed under a goal per contest, challenging shots aggressively to the point that only 33% of all shots were placed on-goal. Lynch was also an invaluable part of the Red’s corner kick squad, coming up to challenge for headers out of the air. He netted two goals on the year, actually leading the team. He even filled the back of the goal for a game winner against Yale this season in one of the Red’s three conference victories. His efforts were recognized by the Ivy coaches as he earned All-Ivy second team honors, the only player on the Red to do so.

Jenn Meunier — Softball

If you looked on the mound this season for the Red, chances are you would see Meunier going into her windup. She was the definition of a rubber-armed pitcher. In the Red’s 49 games, Meunier appeared in 33 of them — 25 of those starts. In her starts, Meunier completed an astounding percentage, going the distance in 20 of her starts — earning a shutout in four of those. Coming out of the bullpen, Meunier tallied four saves, giving her 176 innings on the season, something most major league pitchers don’t reach in a full 162-game schedule. Her 2.23 ERA led the team, as did her 19 wins — more than half of the staff’s 35.

Preston O’Connell — Men’s Lightweight Crew

When last year’s “rebuilding year” for the lightweights turned into a national championship, the Red realized they had something special on its hands. O’Connell has been as big a part of this “rebuilding effort.” This past season he sat in the seven-seat for the varsity boat, where he used his combined his efficient technique with his naturally powerful stroke to help the team to its current No. 1 ranking in the nation.

Jason Remilliard — Sprint Football

It is not hard to justify Remilliard’s inclusion on this list. Simply put, he was the CSFL MVP. That, in and of itself, is enough to include Remilliard on this list. Remilliard’s statistics are something one rarely sees any more in football at the college level — a two-way player. While he didn’t lead the team in any single category, his name appeared in almost every single one, showing his ability to affect the game in more ways than is imaginable. He caught 11 passes for 254 yards in the Red’s six games, catching two touchdowns. Defensively, he had 22 tackles, seven for a loss, with one sack thrown in and two picks — one that he returned for a touchdown. To top it all off, he returned nine punts for 61 yards, and just for kicks, had two rushing attempts. In the biggest game of the season, an upset of Navy, Remilliard had five catches for 153 yards and an interception.

Brianne Schmidt — Women’s Hockey

Schmidt was the consummate competitor for the Red this year. She led the team with 18 points on a balanced nine points and nine assists. She was especially efficient on the power play, netting a team-high three goals on the man-advantage. Each of her three man-up goals came in ECAC contests, where she led the team with 15 points against conference foes, showing her ability to step up against the Red’s toughest competition. Forgues also appeared in all 29 games for the Red.

Topher Scott — Men’s Hockey

Scott has been an integral part of the Red’s attack for the last three years. Each of those years, Scott’s role in the offense has increased. This year, Scott was the heart and soul of the Red’s offense, creating from the point, digging the puck out along the boards, or sneaking in front of the crease for a shot. Scott led the team in assists for the second year in a row, notching 21 helpers to go along with four goals for 25 points — most on the team. Most impressive, however, might be Scott’s amazing consistency this year. He tallied a career-high nine-game streak with at least one point, and only had three two-game spans without recording a point.

Luke Siwula — Football

Siwula controlled the trenches for the Red this past season, averaging 88 yards per game on the ground. He was the focal point of an efficient Red rushing game that averaged 182.1 yards per contest. His 202 attempts — nearly twice as many as anyone else on the team — resulted in 885 total yards, a clip of 4.4 of per carry. Virtually every time Siwula touched the ball, something positive happened as he only lost nine yards on the ground all season — the lowest for any runner with over 21 carries on the squad. He had a hand in over a quarter of the team’s 23 touchdowns, with four rushing and two receiving scores.

Moina Snyder — Women’s Basketball

Snyder was a wild card coming into the season for the Red. A Nice, France, native and a transfer from Umpqua Community College in Oregon, no one knew what to expect of Snyder’s game. After a rough start in which the team went 0-7, Snyder finally figured out how to be more assertive on offense and defense — not over-helping so much, and cutting down on her turnovers, driving to the basket more. Once the Ivy season rolled around, Snyder was one of the most consistent scorers — finishing second on the team at 9.3 points per game — and craftiest rebounders often leading the team. Snyder’s long arms and intelligence also helped her lead the team with 36 blocks — more than double that of anyone else. And if nothing else, Snyder was reliable logging the most minutes for the Red, and shooting the ball at a 53.1 percent clip — best on the Red.

Leah Tourtellotte — Women’s Swimming

Tourtellotte didn’t simply achieve success at the collegiate level this year. At the Ivy championship, she completed the 100-yard butterfly in 56.07 seconds, which qualified her for the U.S.A. National Swimming championships, the first step toward qualifying for next year’s Olympic Trials. While it might seem that being the only swimmer to achieve this for the Red would be enough of a lasting imprint on Cornell swimming, Tourtellote also has entered the Cornell record books, holding the top spot in the 200 free and as part of the record-setting 800 free relay.

Jimmy Wyner — Men’s Track

Wyner’s has been turning heads since he arrived in Ithaca as a freshman. This mid-distance runner was the anchor Red’s 4×800 relay this year. At the IC4As he pulled out the tight win for the team in the last leg race, posting an impressive 55.7 split over his last 400 meters. The win gave Cornell its fifth straight IC4A 4×800 title. Perhaps Wyner’s biggest achievement, however, was when he took home his first career Heps title, winning the 800 in a school-record 1:52.12.