July 13, 2008

Prime Time Players: Athletes to Watch in 2008-09

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Zac Hine — M. Track and Field
Hine, the leader of Cornell’s long-distance squad that dominated the Heps last year, became a key contributor for the Red in the 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter races.

Jeomi Maduka — W. Track & W. Basketball
An athlete of extraordinary ability, Maduka could leap tall defenders on the court and jump past the opposition in track meets — sometimes even in the same weekend. She was the Ivy League Player of the Year on the Ivy League champion women’s basketball team and recently placed 12th at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a mark of 19-6 1/4.

Bobby Cronheim — Golf
As a senior leader, the Red will look to Cronheim to provide the same consistency he provided last season. In 2008, Cronheim tied for 20th at the Ivy League championships after finishing in the top-10 in three previous tournaments. Cronheim also advanced through his local qualifying round of the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, he was the only amateur to advance.

Jordan Leen — Wrestling
In his senior season, Leen will attempt to lead the Red to its seventh consecutive Ancient Eight title while also defending his NCAA individual championship at 157 pounds. In addition, Leen earned EIWA Wrester of the Year honors last year along with a first-team All-Ivy nod, the third of his career, following another undefeated Ivy season.

Steve Anceravage — Wrest­ling
Anceravage, already an accomplished wrestler, moved up a weight class to 174 pounds during his junior campaign. Still, Anceravage was a perfect 5-0 in conference action, winning every single match by fall, a record which earned him first-team All-Ivy honors. He also set a school record with 17 victories last season.

Max Seibald — M. Lacrosse
A dominant midfielder, senior Max Seibald was a finalist for last year’s Tewaaraton Trophy for the second year in a row — the first Cornell lacrosse player to receive such an honor. Seibald is a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection and also a three-time All-American honoree. His 23 goals last season was second on the team, and he has one of the longest national streaks of games with at least one point.

Belen Martinez — Field Hockey
The standout back provided three goals and five assists during the 2007 season and has been a defensive stalwart since her rookie season. Martinez was named the team’s defensive MVP and second team All-Ivy in 2006.

Bobby Harvey — M. Polo
Last season Harvey wore the No. 2 jersey, signifying offensive, defensive and game management responsibilities. This season Harvey, who served as captain last year, will continue his role as a leader on and off the field for the Red.

Ariana Constant — W. Polo
Constant led the women’s polo team past powerhouse UVA with 10 goals in a 14-10 victory for the Red. She was an offensive weapon all season for the team.

Alex Heiss — Fencing
Heiss, named to the second team All-Ivy, was one of four fencers qualifying for the NCAA championship. Despite being at a disadvantage for not having a men’s team, Heiss’ saber prowess helped the Red to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA championships. Heiss spent time training with the Chinese national fencing team this past year as well.

Nathan Ford — Football & Baseball
Senior Nathan Ford is a rare breed — the varsity athlete that excels at not just one sport, but two. Ford, an overall stellar athlete, stars on Cornell’s baseball and football squads. A catcher and infielder, Ford was named MVP during the 2006-2007 seasons. This year, he led the team at the plate with a .410 average and an almost perfect fielding percentage. Ford’s ability in the pocket is just as exemplary, amassing over 1,400 total passing yards as well as 345 yards, with a combined total of 14 touchdowns.

Louis Dale — M. Basketball
Junior Louis Dale is a dynamic point guard who is able to take over a game with his offensive skill or his defensive instincts and quick hands. An all-around athlete, Dale earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors last year as well as a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection. Last year, Dale was second on the team and sixth in the Ivy League in points scored, and led the league in assists. Dale also led the Red in steals and was second in rebounding and free-throw percentage.

Ryan Wittman — M. Basketball
Six-foot-six forward Ryan Wittman was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy pick along with teammate Louis Dale. The junior is one of the Ivy League’s top scorers and best shooters in college basketball. Last season, Wittman led the Red in scoring and ranked fourth in the Ivies in points scored and field goal percentage. He was also third in the league in percentage from behind the arc. An Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2006-2007, Wittman ranks fourth on Cornell’s all-time list of 3-pointers made with two more years to go. Most recently, ESPN.com analyst Fran Fraschilla named Wittman one of the top-10 shooters in college basketball.

Lauren Benson — W. Basketball
Benson, Cornell’s floor leader, led the Ancient Eight last year with 156 assists, 5.38 per game. Benson’s outstanding play at the point guard position helped propel her team her team to a first-round contest against No. 1 UConn in the Red’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Colin Greening — M. Hockey
Junior men’s hockey star Colin Greening has already been drafted by the Ottawa Senators, but lucky for the Lynah faithful, he’s still got two years left on the Red’s roster. The team leader in scoring, Greening’s goal tally (14) was fifth in the ECAC last year and up from 11 the year before. The co-alternate captain was also an All-Ivy second-team selection and has been named co-captain with senior Michael Kennedy for the upcoming season.

Ryan Hurley — M. Lacrosse
Ryan Hurley was key in the men’s lacrosse team’s sixth-straight Ivy championship. He successfully filled the void of David Mitchell ’07, catching and finishinig in the crease to the tune of 54 points on 42 goals. His goal totals were almost double that of the second-place scorer. In the Red’s Ivy-clinching contest over Brown, Hurley contributed when needed the most, scoring four of the team’s eleven goals and dishing out one assist.

Matt Bouraee — M. Soccer
Junior forward Matt Bouraee led the men’s soccer team in points scored, with 22, including nine goals and four assists. Bouraee’s production accounted for roughly half of the team’s offensive output. A second-team All-Ivy selection, Bouraee was also named to the UK Nike Soccer Classic All-Tournament team, helping Cornell to its first in-season tournament title in over 20 years.

Elise Menaker — Softball
The softball team’s cleanup slugger did not fall victim to the “sophomore slump.” Menaker hit at a .399 clip and slugged 12 home runs for 55 RBIs — both team-highs.

Stephanie Pancoast — W. Track and Field & Cross-Country
In the cross-country season, Pancoast finished first among the Red runners for four consecutive meets. Also a distance runner on the track team, Pancoast finished seventh overall in the 3K steeplechase at the IC4A/ECAC championships, helping the Red to a third-place finish overall.

Riley Nash — M. Hockey
Last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year for men’s hockey, sophomore Riley Nash, younger brother of junior defenseman Brendon Nash, was also named to the College Hockey News All-Rookie Team as well as the ECAC Rookie of the Year. Nash finished the season with 32 points, the most racked up by a freshman in over ten years, and finished only one point behind team leader Colin Greening. Nash punctuated his stellar regular season with six points in postseason play.

Rebecca Johnston — W. Hockey
The accolades couldn’t come quickly enough for Johnston in the 2007-08 season. The forward was named Ivy Rookie of the Year, ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year and played on the Canadian national team, all while leading the Red with 32 points on 16 goals and 16 assists.

Jeremy Feldman — M. Tennis
Feldman, the first Cornell player to ever capture Rookie of the Year accolades, has a penetrating stroke from both sides of the court with an overpowering forehand and a devastating backhand slice. Feldman is undefeated in Ivy League competition, compiling a perfect 7-0 record at the fifth- and sixth-singles positions last season.

Lena Russomagno — W. Soccer
Russomagno was named a captain for the upcoming 2008 season after a stellar freshman campaign in which she totaled six goals — including two game-winners — and two assists.

Maddie Pearsall — Gymnastics
Last year, Pearsall became the first Red gymnast since 1998 to qualify for the NCAA Regionals. In Regionals action, she finished 12th in the all-around category with a 38.425 score. Pearsall’s 2007-2008 performance was good enough to earn her ECAC Rookie of the Year accolades.