Tag Archive for athletics

Coach Kenny Inducted into Middletown Sports Hall of Fame

Herb Kenny coached men’s basketball at Wesleyan for 27 years. (Photo courtesy of Wesleyan University Special Collections & Archives)

Herb Kenny coached men’s basketball at Wesleyan for 27 years. (Photo courtesy of Wesleyan University Special Collections & Archives)

Former men’s head basketball coach Herb Kenny will be inducted to the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame on Jan. 26.

The Middletown Sports Hall of Fame and Museum was created to honor the numerous outstanding athletes and other sports-minded individuals, and to preserve the deep and rich history of sports in the life of the City of Middletown.

Kenny, an adjunct professor of physical education, emeritus, coached the Cardinals from 1968-1995 and ended his career with a 312-280 record.

Kenny was known for his intense coaching style and intricate offenses. To honor Kenny for his 27 years of coaching, Wesleyan annually holds a Herb Kenny Tournament.

He was president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1992-93 and last year was chairman of the NABC’s Division III committee and a member of its committee on academics. He is on the board of directors of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.

A resident of Meriden, Kenny came to Wesleyan as freshman coach in 1964 after coaching basketball, baseball and football at Platt High School-Meriden. He has served on the board of directors of the Meriden Boys Club.

Kenny is a 1955 graduate of St. Bonaventure. In 1964, he received a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Connecticut.

Kenny will join Wesleyan’s Mike Whalen, director of athletics, and John Biddiscombe, the former director of athletics, on the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame roster.

The 24th Annual Middletown Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, Conn. Tickets are $50 a person and $15 for children 12 and under. For tickets, call 860-347-6924.

Coach Kenny will be inducted into the Middletown Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach Kenny will be inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame. (Photos courtesy of Wesleyan University Special Collections & Archives)

Football, Volleyball, Women’s Crew Victories Highlight the Fall Cardinal Sports Season

The Wesleyan football team finished with a 6-2 overall record and claimed the Little Three title for the second time in the past four seasons. Pictured, the Cardinals celebrate their 20-0 victory over Amherst on Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by Lianne Yun ’18)

The Wesleyan football team finished with a 6-2 overall record and claimed the Little Three title for the second time in the past four seasons. Pictured, the Cardinals celebrate their 20-0 victory over Amherst on Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by Lianne Yun ’18)

The 2016 Wesleyan University fall athletic season featured several strong performances and achievements, both on the field and off it. Sixty-eight Cardinals earned New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic and 16 were named NESCAC All-Conference.

In team sports, football, volleyball and women’s crew highlighted the fall for the Cardinals. The Wesleyan football team finished with a 6-2 overall record and claimed the Little Three title for the second time in the past four seasons, and 14th time in program history, with a 20-0 win over Amherst College and a 59-14 rout of Williams College. The 45-point margin of victory against the Ephs was the largest in the 122-game history of the rivalry.

The Cardinals boasted one of the nation’s top defenses, in which Wesleyan led the NESCAC and ranked fourth in NCAA Division III

Women’s Soccer Hosts Clinic to Benefit Local Food Pantry

kicking4hungerThe Wesleyan women’s soccer team hosted a free kids’ soccer clinic on Nov. 12 for ages 5-13 to benefit the Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown. The event called Kicking4Hunger encouraged area children to donate a non-perishable food item in exchange for the free clinic. Around 25 kids from the Middletown area attended and were taught the basic skills of soccer — passing, dribbling, shooting — by members of the team.

Senior captain Carly Swenson ’17 spearheaded the second annual event, along with former player Tess Daggett-Edenholm. Swenson and Daggett-Edenholm started a program on campus called Athletes C.A.R.E (Creating Abundant Relief Effort), which is a non-profit effort that started at Lafayette College. Swenson said the goal is to “use athletics to make a lasting impact on the lives of others by providing assistance and support to the needy, hungry and homeless.”

The soccer team was able to donate about 65 pounds of canned goods to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry.

“It was a beautiful day and we had a ton of fun running around with these young soccer players,” Swenson said. “Based on the reviews from the kids and their parents, we plan on organizing other sporting clinics.”

Women’s Crew Claims First Place Victory at Head of the Charles Regatta

(Photo by Mike Box)

Wesleyan women’s crew team. (Photo by Mike Box)

The Wesleyan women’s crew team continues to excel as the Cardinals finished first out of 28 boats from Division I, II and III programs at the 52nd Annual Head of the Charles Oct. 23 in Cambridge, Mass.

Wesleyan’s Varsity 8 boat finished in 18:04.538, almost a full second ahead of the second-place boat and nearly four seconds ahead of the third-place boat.

The crew consisted of Sarah Osborn ’19, Clara Babbott-Ward ’20, Emma Halter ’17, Allison Quintana ’19, Annalee Holmdahl ’17, Rachelle Flowers ’19, Amanda Molitor ’18 and Ava Miller-Lewis ’17 and coxswain Rachael Crunkleton ’20.

Ithaca College finished in second with a time of 18:05.494 and the William College Boat Club placed third in 18:08.416.

Earlier in the day, Wesleyan Varsity 4 boat finished 10th overall in the 35-team field with a mark of 21:57.064.
The crew featured Grace Middleton ’20, Alexandra Branman ’19, Sonja Welch ’20, Olivia Pearson ’19 and coxswain Elisa Greenberg ’18. Additionally, Wesleyan’s Club 4 boat competed and finished 24th overall out of 59 teams with a mark of 20:44.5. The crew consisted of Emma Porrazzo ’19, Eleanor Highleyman ’19, Monica Rao ’19 and Kate Suslovic ’17.

Football 20-0 Win Highlight of 2016 Homecoming (with Photo Gallery)


The rain couldn’t dampen the Wesleyan spirit at Homecoming and Middletown Day 2016! On Oct. 21-22, more than 2,000 alumni, students, families and members of the Middletown community flocked to campus with umbrellas and hoodies to participate in team tailgating, campus tours, alumni meetings, family activities and five athletic contests.

The highlight of Homecoming was a 20-0 football win over Little Three rival Amherst on Oct. 22.

“This was the first time the Cardinals shut out Amherst in football since 1988, and it also was the first time Amherst had been shut out since 2007,” said Sports Information Director Mike O’Brien. “What a great way to celebrate Wesleyan’s Homecoming!”

Wesleyan Football Drafts 10-Year-Old Michael from Team IMPACT


The Wesleyan football team poses for a team photo with their newest member, Michael, pictured in center with the No. 5 jersey.

On Sept. 10, Wesleyan’s football team welcomed its newest member to the program, 10-year old Michael from Team IMPACT.

Michael receives high-fives and handshakes from the Wesleyan football team.

Michael receives high-fives and handshakes from the Wesleyan football team.

Michael, from Cromwell, Conn., was born with an immune dysfunction and is blind in one eye. He also suffers from cardiac issues, developmental delays and cognitive impairments. Michael started speaking at 4 1/2 years old and took his first step at 2 1/2. He now walks independently and has scoliosis in his spine. Because of his immune deficiency, he is very susceptible to getting sick.

Partnering with Team IMPACT, whose focus is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team, the Cardinals made Michael apart of their team.

Wesleyan’s leadership group, which consists of seniors Ike Fuchs, Shane Jenkins and Jordan Stone, junior Jake Cronin and Khephren Spigner, and sophomores Ryan Earle, Isaiah Thomas, came together and came up with the idea to officially draft Michael before the teams’ intrasquad scrimmage. The Cardinals created a tunnel of players for Michael to run through, where he would meet Head Coach Dan DiCenzo at the 50-yard line. From there, DiCenzo handed him a jersey and hat, and named him the team’s official No. 1 draft pick.

The leadership group also thought of the idea to run a play for Michael near the end of scrimmage, in which they handed him the ball as the 10-year old ran into the endzone for a touchdown.

Wesleyan Launches New Athletics Website

WesPrestoWesleyan, in partnership with PrestoSports, has launched a new athletics’ website, http://athletics.wesleyan.edu. The platform will serve as the home for all news, information, scores and schedules for the college’s 29 varsity athletics teams.

PrestoSports has crafted a website that features not only a modern look, but also improved fan amenities. The website host has designed and built over 2,000 successful websites for college athletics, conferences, high schools and other sports organizations.

The new website will provide fans, parents, alumni and media with easy access to game stories, press releases, video features, live statistics, photos and email sign-up, as well as a mobile app. Working with the PrestoSports network, the site will give instant connections to scores and standings.

The new design will contain several new features including an updated mobile interface, improved site navigation, a composite schedule page, embedded video, and an improved social media presence, among many others.

Fans that visit the new and improved Wesleyan University Athletics’ website are encouraged to sign up for e-mails and the Wesleyan mobile app, and to subscribe to the Department’s social media channels for an enhanced fan experience; FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Flickr.

Swanson Called Wesleyan Coach of Running Elite

Boston Marathon winner and former Runners World editor Amby Burfoot, his former Wesleyan coach Elmer Swanson and Jeff Galloway, Olympian, author and coach and founder of the Galloway Run Walk Run method of running. (Lori Riley / Hartford Courant)

Boston Marathon winner and former Runners World editor Amby Burfoot ’68, his former Wesleyan coach Elmer Swanson and Jeff Galloway ’67, Olympian, author and coach and founder of the Galloway Run Walk Run method of running. (Lori Riley / Hartford Courant)

The list of athletes who ran on Elmer Swanson’s teams over the 30 years he served as Wesleyan’s track and cross-country coach “reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in elite running,” observed Hartford Courant Sports Columnist Lori Riley. She remembered Swanson, who died Aug. 12, at the age of 92, in an piece rich with comments from some of his well known—and fleet-footed —alumni.

Riley’s roundup notes: “He coached [Amby] Burfoot [’68], who won the Boston Marathon in 1968, his senior year, and went on to become the editor of Runners World magazine. He coached Bill Rodgers [’70], who won four Boston marathons and four New York City marathons and become one of the most recognizable runners in the world. He coached Jeff Galloway [’67], who ran the 10,000 meters in the 1972 Olympics and pioneered the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method, enabling many to start running and continue in the sport injury-free. He coached John Fixx [’83], son of Jim Fixx, who wrote the iconic “Complete Book of Running” during the height of the running boom in 1977. He coached Sebastian Junger [’84], who went on to become a filmmaker and author and wrote the best-seller The Perfect Storm (and also ran a 2:21 marathon).”

And, the praise from these runners for their college coach included these comments:  Junger, in a Facebook post, recalled Swanson as “such a source of calmness and love.’ Burfoot called Swanson “a rock… a second father.”  Galloway noted that “Elmer helped focus on that importance of running without making it overbearing,” and Fixx concurred: “Elmer’s runners seem to run longer after college, and continue to do better … It’s as though he paced his coaching so, in fact, our best years weren’t in college.”

Wesleyan Celebrates Historic Memorial Day Weekend for Women’s Tennis, Crew

28May2016 Eunice Chong of Wesleyen University won the NCAA Division III Womens Tennis Championship match over Juli Raventos of Williams at Kalamazoo Colleges Stowe Stadium.

Eudice Chong ’18 won the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship finals over Juli Raventos of Williams at Kalamazoo College’s (MI) Stowe Stadium. She’s pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried.

The 2016 Memorial Day Weekend was a historic one for Wesleyan athletics as women’s tennis player Eudice Chong ’18 defended her crown as the NCAA Division III Individual Singles Champion, and the women’s crew team captured a bronze medal in the Varsity 8 Grand Final at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Chong, a First Team All-NESCAC selection for the second consecutive season, capped off an incredible sophomore campaign with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Juli Raventos of Williams College in the championship finals of the singles bracket. Chong and Raventos met twice, earlier in the season, with Raventos claiming both matches — the only two losses of Chong’s collegiate career. With a win over Raventos in the third match-up of the season, Chong became Wesleyan’s second two-time national champion in school history.

She also remains the only national champion in Wesleyan tennis history, and boasts an incredible 52-2 overall record in two seasons. In addition to her individual singles title, Chong also reached the doubles semifinals with teammate Aashli Budhiraja ’18. Read more here.

While Chong was excelling on the tennis court, the women’s crew team was busy placing third overall in the Varsity 8 Grand Final at the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships in Gold River, Calif. With a time of 6:47.82, the Cardinals became the first at-large team to win a bronze medal in the history of the national championships. Wesleyan was edged by Wellesley, who finished first in 6:46.10, while Williams placed second in 6:47.40. Read more here.

In addition to Wesleyan’s varsity athletics success, the Cardinals’ club sports also shined as the women’s ultimate frisbee team finished second in the USA Ultimate Division III College Championships.

Women's Crew claimed bronze in the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Women’s Crew claimed bronze in the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Athletics Celebrates Partnership with Community Foundation of Middlesex County

Thayer Talbot, Jeff McDonald, and Wallace Jones stand in the lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center. Jeff McDonald is speaking.

Assistant Football Coach Jeff McDonald tells about his helpful experience with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County when the Athletics Council was seeking an anti-bullying program to link with their work in MacDonough Elementary School. Thayer Talbott, left, and Wallace Jones, right, look on.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) invited Wesleyan coaches for “A Slice and A Celebration” in the Warren Street Lobby of Freeman on May.

Over pizza and a beverage, the coaches were celebrated for their community involvement, as well as offered the opportunity to learn more about the Community Foundation and how it can be a resource to the nonprofits and our broader community. Foundation leaders in attendance were Cynthia Clegg, president and CEO; Thayer Talbott, senior director of programs and operations; and Wallace Jones, CFMC board chairman.

Women’s Tennis, Crew Teams Qualify for NCAA Championships

Aashli Budhiraja ’18

Aashli Budhiraja ’18

The Wesleyan women’s tennis and women’s crew teams both qualified for the NCAA Championships this week. Women’s tennis, ranked No. 8 in the ITA national rankings, returns to the postseason tournament for the first time since the 2000-01 season, and only the second time in program history. The Cardinals earned a first round bye after posting an 11-5 overall record, and will face the winner of No. 14 Mary Washington and Simmons on May 14 at 11 a.m. on the campus of Amherst College, the regional host. If Wesleyan wins, it would advance to play either No. 7 Amherst, SUNY Geneseo or Ithaca in the third round May 15 at noon.

Women’s tennis is riding a historic season, in which the Cardinals won their first-ever NESCAC Tournament match. Wesleyan, seeded No. 5, defeated the No. 4 seed and sixth-ranked Bowdoin 5-1 to advance to the semifinals. The Cardinals are led by reigning Individual Singles National Champion Eudice Chong ’18, and enter postseason play having won seven of their last eight matches.

In addition to the women’s team qualifying for the team championships, Chong and Aashli Budhiraja ’18 also qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships, while Victoria Yu ’19 was selected as a singles alternate. Additionally, Steven Chen ’18 of the 11th-ranked men’s tennis team qualified in singles play on the men’s side and Michael Liu ’17 was selected as an alternate. Chen and Liu were instrumental in Wesleyan’s success this season, which saw the team win its first-ever NESCAC Tournament match when it defeated Tufts, 5-3, to advance to the semifinals. The Cardinals narrowly missed out on an at-large bid to the team championships and finished the season with a 13-6 record.

Women’s crew, ranked No. 3 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships and will bring its Varsity 8 boat, comprised of Ava Miller-Lewis ’17, Remy Johnson ’16, Annalee Holmdahl ’17, Emma Koramshahi ’16, Ricky Flowers ’19, Emma Halter ’17, Annie Dade ’16, Amanda Molitor ’18 and coxswain Elissa Greenberg ’18. The Cardinals are making their second appearance in the postseason tournament, and first since 2014. Six teams qualified for the championships, while two at-large Eights were also selected. The championship regatta will take place May 27-28 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. Wesleyan finished second overall at the New England Championships and third at the National Invitational Rowing Championships.

* Update 5/16/2016
The eighth-ranked women’s tennis team played No. 14 Mary Washington in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and defeated the Eagles decisively, 5-0. Advancing to the ‘Sweet 16′ on Sunday, Wesleyan faced No. 7 Amherst College on the Little Three rivals’ home court. The Cardinals came up short, as they were defeated 5-2. Wesleyan’s historic season came to an end as it finished the year with a 12-6 record.

Women's Crew.

Women’s Crew.

7 Inducted into 2016 Class of Wesleyan Baseball Wall of Fame

The Class of 2016 Wesleyan Baseball Hall of Fame, flanked by Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’98 on the right and Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 on left: Phil Rockwell ’65, MALS ’73 P’11; Jesse Carpenter ’96; Tom Young ’59, MALS ’73; Steve Donovan ’83, Todd Mogren ’83, Christian Frattasio ’00, Kevin Rose ’78.

The Class of 2016 Wesleyan Baseball Hall of Fame, left to right, and flanked by Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’94 on the far left and Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 on the far right: Phil Rockwell ’65, MALS ’73 P’11; Jesse Carpenter ’96; Tom Young ’59, MALS ’73; Steve Donovan ’83, Todd Mogren ’83, Christian Frattasio ’00, Kevin Rose ’78.

On May 5, the Daniel Family Common was the site for the 2016 induction into the Baseball Wall of Fame.

Seven alumni, ranging in class years from 1959 to 2000 were there with family and friends to reminisce about their outstanding Wesleyan baseball careers, as well as celebrate the program for what it is accomplishing currently. Both Ken Janik ’85, who played baseball for Wesleyan, and Wesleyan Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’94 offered introductory remarks.

Athletic Director Michael Whalen ’83 noted the significance of these awards. “The Wesleyan baseball program has a tradition of excellence dating back to the 1950’s. The Wall-Of-Fame celebration not only brings together players from different eras in honor of outstanding baseball achievement, it connects current student-athletes with those who wore the Red and Black before them.”

The seven inductees of the 2016 Wall of Fame Class were:

Tom Young ’59, captain and catcher for the ’59 team that went 24-4-1 in his junior and senior years and wont two Little Three titles. He was a longtime baseball coach at the Berkshire School, where the field is named after him;

Phil Rockwell ’65, P’11, left-handed pitcher and co-captain for the Cards and part of the two Little Three champion teams, including a 14-2 squad in 1964. As a junior and senior, He dominated against Williams and Amherst and also beat Yale. He was the 1965 McNaughten Award winner and played for the Cape Cod League;

Kevin Rose ’78, P’19, who, as a senior, was named First-Team All New England as a senior. The 1979 MacNaughten Award winner, he played in the Cape Cod League as well as professionally baseball with the Newark Bears;

Steve Donovan ’83 graduated as Wesleyan’s all-time hit leader. A centerfielder, he helped lead his squad to two Little Three titles, three ECAC tournament appearances, and had a 24-6 record in his senior year;

Todd Mogren ’83, a pitcher, was named First-Team All-New England as a senior and still holds two Wesleyan records—for appearances in a season (20) and career innings (289.1). The 1983 MacNaughten Award winner, he won two Little Three titles and pitched the Cardinals to victory over Yale in both his junior and senior years.

Jesse Carpenter ’96, who has the highest single-season battling average in Wesleyan history, at .446, was named First-Team All-New England in 1995. A third baseman, his career batting average of .379 is the third all-time in school history. His three hits and home runs in the New England NCAA championship game catapulted the Cardinals to the 1994 World Series. His teams won four Little Three titles. He was the 1996 MacNaughten Award Winner.

Christian Frattasio ’00, a four-year starter for the Cardinals, was a left-handed hitting infielder who graduated fourth all-time in career hits with 146. He was named First Team All-NESCAC as a senior and led his squad to a Little Three title. He currently serves as president of the Friends of Wesleyan Baseball.

At the end of the evening, Woodworth observed: “What a great night! To discover what Wesleyan Baseball means to people, all you had to do was be in the room and feel the energy of 150 people connecting the past, present and future. For alums, family, friends, current players, parents and coaches, it was a celebration and affirmation of everyone who has been impacted by the Wesleyan Baseball program.”

Also applauding the seven were baseball team faculty sponsor Professor of Government Guilio Gallaroti, and James van B. Dresser ’62, trustee  and board chair emeritus, for whom Dresser Diamond was named and dedicated in 2010. Members of the 2016 Wesleyan Baseball team were also there to applaud the Cardinal heroes from previous eras.

The Wall of Fame was begun in 2014. The 14 previous inductees included Pete Kostacopoulos, who coached the cardinals from 1974 through 2001, and Norm Daniels, who coached from 1941 through 1973. Rob Sansone ’79, an alumnus of Wesleyan Baseball, sponsored the 2016 Wall of Fame dinner.

Click here for information on the 2014 and 2015 awards.