Tag Archive for athletics

Patrick Tynan New Women’s Crew Coach

Patrick Tynan joined the Department of Athletics July 1. He admires the rich tradition of rowing at Wesleyan.

Patrick Tynan joined the Department of Athletics July 1.

Patrick Tynan, who spent the 2008-09 season as assistant men’s lightweight crew coach at Yale University, has been named faculty head coach of women’s crew at Wesleyan on July 1.  Tynan steps into the position occupied by Beth Emery from 1988 through 2008 and covered on an interim basis by Brian Dawe in 2008-09.

“The opportunity to be a head coach in the NESCAC, which is probably the most competitive league for women’s rowing in Division III, was a big attraction to me,”Tynan says. “When I met some of the athletes on the team through the interview process, I knew this would be a good fit because it was clear that they have a very strong drive to be excellent and they just seemed like great, down to earth, hard working kids. The facilities are top notch and the administration is supportive of the program.”

A 1999 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he was an integral member of the varsity lightweight crew, Tynan began his coaching career as a men’s assistant at his alma mater for two seasons before heading to Colby College from 2001-06. There he assisted with both the men’s and women’s programs, helping the women’s novice crew win three New England championships. As interim head women’s crew coach at Williams College in 2006-07, Tynan directed the Ephs to a New England and NCAA Division III title at the varsity eight level. Williams also captured a team title at the NCAAs in 2007.

Before joining the Yale staff in 2008, Tynan spent the 2007-08 season with a second stint at his alma mater, this time assisting with the women’s squad.

A USRowing Level III certified coach, Tynan also has a wealth of experience at summer rowing camps

Drennan ’09 to Play Professional Volleyball in Denmark

Lisa Drennan ’09 will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Lisa Drennan '09 will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Lisa Drennan ’09 signed a professional volleyball contract in Europe and will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Drennan closed out her Wesleyan volleyball career in 2008 with her second NESCAC Player of the Year honor as well as second-team AVCA Division III All-America laurels.

Also named a second-team CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American in 2008, Drennan ranked among the top five players in Division III for average kills per set for three straight seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) while leading the NESCAC each of those years as well.  She ended her Wesleyan career ranked second all-time at the college for kills with 1,865 while holding down the top spot for average kills at 4.92.  She averaged 4.70 in 2008 to rank third nationally.  She had a .298 career hitting percentage and averaged 2.73 digs, 0.68 blocks and 0.46 aces per set over her four years.

Drennan is one of three Americans on the Brondby Elite roster, joined by 6-5 middle hitter Jolene Baptiste out of the U. of Arizona, and outside hitter Crystal Ames from Central Washington U. In total, 12 players are listed on the Brondby roster and the average height is 6-2.  Drennan is one of the smallest players, standing 5-11.  She was selected, as noted on the Brondby team web site, not just for her hitting ability but also for her receiving talent.

Brondby is scheduled to play a 21-match season this fall, all against other Danish teams, with the first match slated for Sunday, Sept. 13.  Many players for the Danish National Team are on the rosters of teams in the Elite Division.

(By Brian Katten, sports information director)

Athletes Receive Recognition from Jewish Sports Review

Four Wesleyan spring athletes were named first-team All-Americans in the July/August edition of the Jewish Sports Review, the pre-eminent national publication honoring Jewish athletes.

Talia Bernstein ’11

Talia Bernstein '11

Among those honored from Wesleyan, softball standout Talia Bernstein ’11 (#9), who earned first-team all-NESCAC as well as regional honors from both the New England Softball Coaches Association and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association after leading the Cardinals to a second-place finish in the NESCAC tournament with her .482 batting average, was a first-team Jewish All-American.

Two members of the Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team, Jason Ben-Eliyahu ’09 (#27) and Lonny Blumenthal ’10 (#13), found spots on the Jewish All-America first team. Both were integral parts of Wesleyan’s first-ever men’s lacrosse NESCAC title and fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament. Ben-Eliyahu racked up 24 goals and 22 assists to rank second on the team in scoring with 46 points from his spot on attack.

Jason Ben-Eliyahu '09

Jason Ben-Eliyahu '09

Blumenthal, with 25 goals and nine assists for 34 points, led the midfielders

Swimmer Madden ’11 Takes 4 Gold Medals at Massachusetts Sporting Event

Cara Madden ’11

Cara Madden '11

Cara Madden ’11, a Wesleyan swimmer, won four gold medals and set two records at the Bay State Summer Games, organized by the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation. The Bay State Games provide quality Olympic-style athletic competitions and developmental programs for Massachusetts amateur athletes of all ages and abilities.

Madden not only won each event she appeared in, but also broke two records in the Women’s 19-34 Division, representing the Northeast team.

Both of the records Madden broke were two-year-old records. In the 100-meter backstroke, she cut four seconds off the previous mark, finishing at 1:12.41.

Madden also broke the record in the 200-meter backstroke, finishing at 2:39.09. Madden won her two other gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle and in the 100-meter freestyle.

Madden was featured in the July 16 edition of The Ipswich Chronicle in Beverly, Mass.

4 Former Athletes, 1 Team Joins Athletics Hall of Fame

Entering the next Athletics Hall of Fame wall are Emilio Daddario '39, Winthrop "Wink" Davenport '64, Sally Zimmer Knight '81, Kofi Appenteng '81 and the baseball team of 1994.

Entering the next Athletics Hall of Fame wall are Emilio Daddario '39, Winthrop "Wink" Davenport '64, Sally Zimmer Knight '81, Kofi Appenteng '81 and the baseball team of 1994.

A former Middletown mayor, Olympic volleyball coach, a three-hour marathon runner, and Baldwin Medal winner are among the newest members of Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Wesleyan will formally induct the third class into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony Nov. 6 as part of Homecoming/ Family Weekend activities. Wesleyan will enshrine four individuals and one team to join the previous two classes of inductees, bringing to total in the Hall of Fame to 20 individuals and three teams.

Entering in the fall class of 2009 are Emilio Daddario ’39, Winthrop “Wink” Davenport ’64, Sally Zimmer Knight ’81, Kofi Appenteng ’81 and the baseball team of 1994:

• Emilio Daddario excelled in football

Klecha-Porter Umpire at World Lacrosse Championship

Patti Klecha-Porter, head coach of field hockey, assistant women's squash coach, director of the Wesleyan Adult Fitness Program, will be umpiring during the World Cup women's lacrosse championships in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Bill Welsh)

Patti Klecha-Porter, head coach of field hockey, assistant women's squash coach, director of the Wesleyan Adult Fitness Program, will be umpiring during the World Cup women's lacrosse championships in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Bill Welsh)

By Brian Katten, sports information director

Q: We understand that you will be umpiring during the World Cup women’s lacrosse championships in Prague, Czech Republic in June. How did this opportunity come about?

A: The World Cup is every four years. I have been at the last two World Cups representing the U.S. as an umpire in 2001 and 2005. U.S. umpires must apply and are ranked within our country. The number-one ranked umpire is an automatic umpire for the World Cup. This year, that’s me. Each country submits their candidates. A committee of IFL (International Federation Lacrosse) makes the final decision.

Q: How long have you been umpiring women’s lacrosse? Where and how did your interest start?

A: After playing collegiate field hockey and lacrosse (at Ithaca College) I joined a lacrosse club called Hampshire. We played on Sundays and umpired our own games. I have been umpiring since 1985, received my district rating (college umpiring) in 1987, my national rating in 1991 and my International rating in 1997.

Q: You have done numerous NCAA tournament games, including this year’s NCAA Division III championship between Franklin & Marshall and Salisbury. Can you identify some of your more memorable experiences as an umpire?

A: I have been very fortunate to umpire some incredible games. The most memorable games have been the contests that are played so tightly. Everything is there – speed, power, quickness, precision passing, tight defense, and the match up of players is right on. These games leave everyone on an incredible emotion after the contest. I have seen them at all levels, high school, college and international.

Q: You were a very successful two-sport athlete at Ithaca College, you have been head coach of field hockey at Wesleyan since 1985 and you umpire women’s lacrosse. Can you describe how you derive satisfaction from the different venues?

A: I love to compete. As a coach I can see the hard work players put in at practice to compete as a whole. There success is due to the effort and concentration it takes to win. I thrive on improvement from our players and see them use their skills under pressure wisely. My role as a coach is to prepare our team for the contest, make practice more difficult than a game, rehearse special plays. On game day, I like to play to our teams strengths and find our opponents weakness. Nothing is better then calling a corner play and the team executes it to perfection. I also want our players to respect the game, play with passion and play all out.

When I umpire I appreciate the athlete who is strong, balanced, skilled and respectful of the rules. When I umpire I enjoy the run, the ability to anticipate where the pass is going next, where I can go to get in the best position to call the game. Just like coaching I analyze every game and go over it to improve for the next game.

I hold a level II field hockey rating (collegiate) and push our players to be knowledgeable about the rules. In both areas I push our athletes to consider coaching and umpiring!

Q: You also coordinate local umpiring of girls high-school lacrosse, don’t you? Please tell us about your activity in that area?

A: I am the Chair for the CWLOA and I am in charge of the umpires in Connecticut. I teach new umpires, refresh veteran umpires and then train advance umpires for collegiate level. I serve as the rule interpreter for Conn.

Q: You have three children and a husband who works in the West Hartford school district. Tell us a little about them. Do they ever get to make these international excursions with you?

A: I can not thank my family enough. I have been so fortunate to be able to umpire in the off season. Sometimes we have taken a family trip in which I am dropped off to umpire for the day, the family meets up with me later, and off we go to a night event. In Canada the family went to the zoo all day, I umpired and then we went to the Toronto Blue Jays game at night.

Our oldest Nathan is attending Ithaca College, majoring in physics and is into Triathlalons. Andrew a junior in high school and plays baseball. Our daughter Logan is an eighth grader. She enjoys softball. My husband Scott is the music director at Conard High School and has taken several tours with his jazz band. We share tour ideas, and fundraising. We all look forward to the summer for family time.

Q: With so much going on in your life around athletics, do you have time for any hobbies? If so, what attracts your attention?

A: I do enjoy gardening and bass fishing. Growing up on a dairy farm that still is in operation today I tend to still see if I can throw the bales of hay, pick fruit and milk! The country life recharges me every visit.

Lacrosse Captures First NESCAC Title


Lonny Blumenthal '10.

By Brian Katten, sports information director

The 2009 Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team did something that eluded each of the last eight Cardinals lax squads: winning a NESCAC tournament title and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Reaching the NESCAC playoff semi-finals for the seventh year in a row and the championship game for the fifth time in team history, Wesleyan finally realized its goal of a conference title on May 3 when the Cardinals downed the Tufts Jumbos, 14-10, for the NESCAC crown. Head Coach John Raba, who stands a remarkable 155-67 over his 13 seasons, was named New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) Division III Coach of the Year for the fifth time. Raba called winning the NESCAC title “one of our best weekends ever.”

Wesleyan had qualified at-large for the NCAAs in 2005, 2006 and 2007, reaching the national semi-finals the latter two seasons.

Part of Wesleyan’s first big accolade in 2009 came in February as All-American defender Spike Malangone ’09 received Inside Lacrosse magazine’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors. Malangone is a two-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III second-team All-American. Wesleyan also was ranked 12th nationally at that time. Then came a dip as Wesleyan lost its opening game of the year at Bowdoin, 4-3. It only took a week for the team to swing back up as the Cardinals took their first of two games from Middlebury, 8-7. That win was part of a six-game win streak that halted at Tufts with a 12-10 defeat. Three important triumphs over NESCAC rivals Trinity, Colby and Amherst followed before Williams sent the Cardinals spiraling again with a 9-5 setback.

Dan Latzman '09.

Dan Latzman '09.

Again, Wesleyan regained its composure, knocking off Connecticut College in the final regular-season game to earn a home game in the first round of the NESCAC tournament for the seventh straight season. The opponent? None other than Williams. This time Wesleyan was ready and throttled the Ephs, 11-5, pitting the Cardinals against tournament Final Four host Middlebury in a NESCAC semi-final. Each of the previous four times the Cardinals and Panthers met in the NESCAC playoffs, it was for the championship, and Middlebury had won them all. It looked as if Middlebury would extend the streak to five as the Panthers built an 8-3 halftime lead. But a resilient Cardinal squad netted six of the next seven goals to tie the game, 9-9, in the third period. Though the Cardinals never led in regulation, Middlebury could not pull away and when Adam Kirk ‘09 scored with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter, it propelled the teams into overtime. Just 36 seconds later, Wesleyan had its first lead and the 15-14 victory, courtesy of Dan Latzman’s ’09 only goal of the game.

The final obstacle for the elusive NESCAC

Coach Norm Daniels Dies at Age 102

Norm Daniels, who coached five sports in almost 40 years at Wesleyan, died May 11 at the age of 102.

He coached baseball, football, basketball, wrestling and squash.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Daniels, born March 25, 1907 in Detroit, Mich., came to Wesleyan as an instructor in physical education in 1934 and retired in 1973.

He spent 33 years coaching baseball, and 19 years coaching football, which included a 25-game winning streak from 1945-1948.

The Hillsdale, Mich. native graduated in 1932 from the University of Michigan, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He also earned a master’s degree at Michigan in 1941.

Among all individuals who coached at Wesleyan, Daniels ranks third in his tenure at the university, behind only Hugh McCurdy who served for 46 years, and Fritz Martin who coached for 43 years.

While at Wesleyan, Daniels was consistently active in the local community as a part of numerous organizations, committees and associations around Middletown including a three-year term on the Middletown City Council. He remained in Middletown after his retirement.

Wesleyan celebrated Daniels’ 100th birthday April 5, 2007, in the Freeman Athletic Center. It was attended by current and emeritus faculty, and current and past staff, past players, and representatives from the City of Middletown.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

At the ceremony, Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations  announced that the Freeman’s lobby would be named “Coach Norm Daniels Lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center.” After a proclamation by the Mayor of Middletown Sebastian Giuliano designating April 6, 2007 as Norm Daniels Day in Middletown, the lobby sign was unveiled and then many members of the audience reflected on their fondest remembrances of Daniels.

Daniels was a member of the Spring 2008 class of the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame.

McKenna to Coach Women’s National Hockey Team

Coach Jodi McKenna.

Coach Jodi McKenna.

Jodi McKenna, head women’s ice hockey coach, was selected to be an assistant coach for the 2009 U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team. The team will defend its world title at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship from April 4-12, in Hameenlinna, Finland.

McKenna‘s preliminary roster includes four goaltenders, 10 defensemen and 18 forwards, and will be trimmed by 11 players prior to Team USA’s March 30 departure for Finland.

Highlighting the roster are 24 players who have competed in previous IIHF World Women’s Championships, including 23 who have been on gold medal-winning squads, either in 2005 or 2008. Nineteen of the 20 members of the world champion 2008 U.S. Women’s National Team are in contention for roster spots on this year’s entry into the tournament.

Sports Scores Broadcasted Through Twitter to Cardinal Fans

Wesleyan sports fans can view play-by-play action of their favorite events through Wesscores, a new service hosted on Twitter.

Twitter is a popular social networking and “microblogging” service used to communicate timely information as well as exchange quick, frequent messages with others. The short Twitter messages, referred to as the “tweets,” can be viewed on a web browser or cell phone as text messages.

The Athletics Department at Wesleyan has created a Twitter account called wescores to send updated sports information and is inviting all the Cardinals fans to follow this account on twitter by visiting the URL http://twitter.com/wescores and clicking on the follow button.

“This is a great way to quickly circulate sports scores to sports fans who cannot be at the game live, or are not near a computer,” says Brian Katten, Wesleyan’s sports information director.

The service debuted for the men’s lacrosse

Wesleyan Athletes Discuss ‘Game of Life’ with Underprivileged Girls

Four Wesleyan student-athletes visited the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation during Spring Break. (Photo courtesy of ESYHF)

Four Wesleyan student-athletes visited the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation during Spring Break. (Photo courtesy of ESYHF)

Four Wesleyan athletes traveled to Philadelphia in early March to spend the first weekend of their spring break speaking to underprivileged girls about the importance of staying in school and pursuing higher education.

The event was organized through the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF), a non-profit organization founded by Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, to use the sport of hockey to educate young people on how to succeed in the game of life.

ESYHF provides after-school hockey, life skills, and educational programming at no cost to the most disadvantaged communities in the Greater Philadelphia Region.