As you were soaking in the rays — either on the beach or walking to the nearest Starbucks for your internship — Cornell athletics teams were busy making headlines, and gains.
Among the slew of announcements were Cornellians looking to make a splash on the big stage, athletes getting recognition for work in the classroom and many, many new faces welcomed to the Red family.
Morgan Withdraws from NBA Draft
Men’s basketball rising junior Matt Morgan declared for the NBA draft last spring, but decided to withdraw before the deadline and will return to Cornell for the upcoming season. Morgan told The Sun he was contacted by three teams — the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves — and pointed to the feedback he received as an encouraging sign going forward.Lightweight Rowing Captures Nationals
After going undefeated for the third time in four years, the Cornell lightweight varsity eight capped off another dominant season with a gold medal at the IRA National Championship Regatta. The Cornell squad won by three seats with a time of 5:40.172, ahead of silver medalists Penn (5:41.087) and bronze medalists Yale (5:43.072). With the win, the Red adds its sixth title in the past 11 seasons, and seventh overall since the event was added in 1990.Winkler Wins NCAAs, Competes in London
There were no olympics for Rudy Winkler ’17 to compete in this summer, but The Sun’s senior male athlete of the year still found a way to keep busy. First, Winkler secured his first ever NCAA national championship by throwing 74.12 meters in the hammer throw in Eugene, Ore. Winkler became the fourth Cornellian to win a national title in program history and was a first-team All-American yet again. Winkler then competed in the USA Track & Field Championship where he finished fourth, enough to qualify for the IAAF World Championship in London, where he failed to place just over a week ago.Athletics Will Remain With Nike
When President Martha Pollack announced the school’s apparel would no longer be licensed through Nike, it created a cloud of confusion in how others would respond, as many athletics teams sport Nike jerseys and equipment. However, The Sun reported that the Athletics Department would remain with Nike in a separate contract until at least 2020, sparking outcries of hypocrisy from Cornell Organization for Labor Action members.
Hectic Offseason for Men’s Hockey
In a busy summer, the men’s hockey program announced a 10-member class of 2021, the largest it has welcomed since the 2013-14 season, and forward Morgan Barron — a member of said class — was drafted by the New York Rangers. The team also released its schedule, which includes another Madison Square Garden game against BU, as well as a home-heavy first half to the year. Cornell-Harvard at Lynah will take place on Nov. 11.
Football’s Ranking Suffers, Hope Doesn’t
Fresh off the winningest season under head coach David Archer ’05 — now entering his fifth year at the helm — headlines were plentiful over the summer for football. The team announced its class of 2021, which consists of 32 newcomers, and the league also announced it would have a game each week on national television. Cornell’s turn in the national spotlight comes Oct. 28 at Princeton on NBCSN. Unfortunately for the Red, however, it was picked to finish last in the Ancient Eight in the preseason media poll, but the team proved last year it can defy the expectations, and Archer remains confident in his squad.Baseballers Make It to The Show
Cornell may not be a national powerhouse on the diamond, but don’t tell that to MLB scouts. Three of the Red’s top arms were drafted in the 2017 MLB entry draft: RHP Paul Balestrieri (Cardinals, 26th round), RHP Peter Lannoo (Giants, 28th) and LHP Justin Lewis (Dodgers, 28th) — the most in any single year since the draft’s inception in 1965. Balestrieri has already made nine starts for the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League, and has posted a 3-3 record with a 6.37 ERA. Lannoo has since been pitching for the Giants’ Single-A team, while Lewis has made 10 appearances in the Dodgers farm system.
First baseman Cole Rutherford ’17 was not drafted but joined his three former Cornell teammates in pro ball when he signed a minor league deal with the Padres. Rutherford also joins his brother, Blake, who was taken in the first round in 2016 and is now playing in the White Sox organization. The four Cornellians face a long road ahead of them but have the opportunity to continue living out their dreams.
Buczek ’15 Promoted
Former Cornell men’s lacrosse star Connor Buczek ’15 was promoted to assistant coach after spending the past two seasons as volunteer assistant. He looks to help recently-named interim head coach Peter Milliman steer the program back in the right direction. Following his time in Ithaca, Buczek was drafted No. 2 overall in the Major League Lacrosse draft, currently playing for the Florida Launch. Buczek was admitted directly to the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell and graduated with an MBA this past year.
Men’s Lax Announces Class of 2021
The program also added 13 new faces to the program, which consists of four All-Americans. The Red is coming off losing seasons for the first time in 20 years, but saw steady improvement toward the end of last season, highlighted by an 18-17 victory over No. 13 Princeton to close the year. Milliman said that the new class “is going to provide us with depth and competition at all positions,” and hopes that it will make an immediate impact for the team.Men’s Basketball Lays Out Year
The men’s basketball squad announced its schedule for the 2017-18 season in early July. The team will open the season at Syracuse, and will play 12 more non-conference games before opening Ivy League play on Jan. 12 when it travels to Philadelphia to take on Penn. The regular season finale will take place March 3 at Dartmouth, by which point the Red will hope to have secured a spot in the second annual Ivy Tournament, taking place March 9-11. The team will look to get there with the aid of six additions to the squad — five freshman and one junior — which come in the form of four forwards and two guards.Women’s Lax Has Brawn — and Brains
Following a stellar season in which the Red finished as the top seed in Ivy League, advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, and received plenty of hardware, the team’s off-field accomplishments were finally recognized this August. Cornell was awarded the 2017 IWLCA Zag Sports Merit Squad for Division I after posting a 3.65 team GPA during the 2016-2017 academic year, the highest among the 99 Division I schools.Women’s Hockey Readies for Year
Seven new players will join the Red for its 2017-18 campaign to reach its eighth ECAC Championship Game and its seventh NCAA tournament in nine years. The class of 2021 consists of three forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender. Of its current players, four participated in the Hockey Canada Summer showcase earlier this month — Marlène Boissonnault, Kristin O’Neill, Jaime Bourbonnais and Willow Slobodzian, who participated in the U-18 component. The program also announced its season schedule, which features several early 2017 postseason rematches, as well as the addition of Dean Jackson as an assistant coach after serving for Penn State.New Hall of Fame Class Announced
In the 40th annual Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 11, 11 new members will be ingrained in Cornell sports history. With this year’s selections, including eight All-Americans, the membership count in the Hall is now 598.
The All-Americans who will be inducted are Mitch Belisle ’07, men’s lacrosse; Elizabeth Bishop ’07, volleyball; Dave Devine ’75, men’s lacrosse; Matt McMonagle ’07, men’s lacrosse; Mike Smit ’07, men’s swimming and diving; Rayon Taylor ’07, men’s track and field; Morgan Uceny ’07, women’s track and field; and Sarah Wilfred ’07, women’s track and field.
Also to be honored this November are Chris Field ’91, football; Don Greenberg ’55, special category; and Stephen Machooka ’64, men’s track and field.