The Year in Sports: Winter Season
Issue   |   Thu, 05/18/2017 - 17:01
Amherst Athletics

Men’s Basketball
After a Final Four berth in the 2015-2016 season, Amherst this year’s campaign with the No. 1 ranking from D3Hoops and held it until mid-December. The early season for the Mammoths was highlighted by a 99-97 win over No. 2 ranked Babson in double overtime, in which Jayde Dawson ’18 scored the game-winning basket with seconds left on the clock. The Mammoths entered the NESCAC Tournament as the third seed but fell to rival Williams, who later reached the Final Four. Amherst earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, going for the 19th time in the program’s history and seventh consecutive season. In the first round, the Mammoths fell 69-66 to Keene State University to end their season with a 17-8 record.

Averaging 14.7 points in conference games, Johnny McCarthy ’18 earned First Team All-NESCAC, NABC All-District First Team and All-Northeast Region Third Team honors and was the 29th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Dawson was named Second Team All-NESCAC and averaged 19.7 points in conference games, while he followed McCarthy as the 30th Amherst player to reach 1,000 points.

Men’s Ice Hockey
The Mammoths finished the 2016-17 campaign with a record of 14-7-3. One of the highlights of the season was shutting out Williams 1-0, as goalie Connor Girard ’18 stopped 26 shots to claim the victory over the Ephs. Bolstered by an eight-game winning streak in which the team didn’t lose for more than a month, Amherst earned the No. 5 seed in the NESCAC tournament. The Mammoths ultimately fell 2-1 to Williams, who was seeded fourth in the tournament. Though the team didn’t earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, Amherst returns Second Team All-NESCAC forward Thomas Lindstrom ’18, who played in all of the Mammoths’ games throughout the season.

Women’s Ice Hockey
The Mammoths finished their successful season with a 14-8-5 record. Thanks to their regular season play, the women earned the fifth seed in the NESCAC tournament, where they upset fourth-seeded Trinity with a 2-0 shutout to advance to the NESCAC semifinals. Goalie Sabrina Dobbins ’18 stopped 21 shots in the victorious effort over the Bantams. In the semifinals, Amherst shut out second-seeded Connecticut College as Dobbins stopped 30 shots from the Camels. However, in Amherst’s second consecutive NESCAC Championship game appearance, the Mammoths fell to Middlebury 4-1.

On the individual front, Alex Toupal ’18 earned First Team All-NESCAC honors for the second year in a row with her NESCAC-leading 12 goals in conference play. Toupal also earned CCM Division III All-American Second Team East and NEHWA All-Star honors. Senior Captain Caitlyn Ryan also garnered First Team All-NESCAC and NEHWA All-Star honors with her stellar defensive play.

Men’s Indoor Track and Field
The men placed second at the Little III Championships, led by a strong group of first years in the jumps and sprints, a trend that continued throughout the season. Jordan Edwards ’20 placed well in the long, triple and high jump. Theo Bates ’20 qualified for DIII New Englands in the 60-meter hurdles. Junior David Ingraham ran a new personal best time of 50.45 seconds in the 400-meter dash.

In the middle distance races, Kevin Connors ’17 led the team in the mile with a season best of 4:14, and a near Nationals-qualifying time of 8:25 in the 3,000. Vernon Espinoza ’19 ran the fastest 800 meters of the season for the Mammoths with a time of 1:54. In the 3,000 meters, Cosmo Brossy ’19 excelled, running a personal best time of 15:01 at the NEICAAA Championships to place sixth in a field of runners from all NCAA divisions. In the same race, classmate Tucker Meijer ’19 ran a new personal best of 15:09 to place ninth.

Women’s Indoor Track and Field
The Amherst women’s indoor track team had a strong year, sending three athletes (Kiana Herold ’17, Abbey Asare-Bediako ’18 and Katherine Treanor ’20) to Division III Nationals. Rubii Tamen ’19 led the team in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, clocking times of 26.96 and 59.69 seconds, respectively. The Mammoths enjoyed great depth in the 1,000-meter run, as Leonie Rauls ’18, Kristin Ratliff ’20, Cat Lowdon ’17 and Lela Walter ’19 all qualified for the DIII New England Championships in the event. Herold reached Nationals in the high jump with a season best of 1.69 meters, while Asare-Bediako had a standout season in the triple jump, qualifying for Nationals with a leap of 11.82 meters.

Treanor won the 5,000 meters at DIII New Englands with a time of 17:37, more than ten seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Senior Tess Frenzel enjoyed a breakout indoor season, running a time of 18:34 in the event. Treanor returned to the 25-lap event one week later at the NEICAAA Championships, winning again in a time of 17:12 that her for Nationals.
At Nationals, Herold matched her season best of 1.69 meters in the high jump to place ninth. Treanor was the only first year to qualify for the 5,000-meter run, where she placed 11th in 17:12. Asare-Bediako placed 16th in the triple jump, jumping 11.29 meters.

Men’s Squash
The Mammoths entered the season with a 21st-place national ranking and finished the season with a record of 7-13. Amherst hosted the NESCAC Championships, and finished in sixth place after losing the fifth-place match to Colby. In the Summers Cup (C Division) of the College Squash Association (CSA) National Championships, the Mammoths lost their consolation playoff to NESCAC rival Colby. Harith Khawaja ’19 earned Second Team All-NESCAC honors with a 6-13 record playing in the first and second position. Both Khawaja and Michael Groot ’17 competed at the CSA Individual Championships, where Groot fell in his consolation final and Khawaja lost in his consolation quarterfinals.

Women’s Squash
The women’s squash team finished their season with a 13-7 record, highlighted by winning the Walker Cup (C Division) of the CSA National Championships. At the NESCAC Championships, which Amherst hosted, the Mammoths finished fifth by winning the fifth-place match over Bowdoin 5-4. Rachael Ang ’19 earned All-NESCAC honors for the second year in a row, as she was named to the Second Team All-NESCAC for her 9-8 record on the second court. Kimberly Krayacich ’18 likewise earned Second Team All-NESCAC honors for the second year in a row with her 6-10 record from the first court, and later reached the consolation finals at the CSA Individual Championships. At the CSA National Championships, the women claimed the Walker Cup with a 5-4 victory over Franklin & Marshall College.

Men’s Swimming and Diving
The men’s swimming and diving team ended the dual meet season with a record of 6-2. At the NESCAC Championships, the team placed second to rival Williams. Elijah Spiro ’18 swept the short breaststroke events, winning both the 50- and 100-yard iterations. Eric Wong ’20 led a strong Amherst showing in the 500-yard freestyle. The first-year claimed victory in 4:33, while Connor Haley ’17 placed second in a time of 4:34. Sean Mebust ’20 claimed victory in the 200-yard breaststroke. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Sam Spurrell ’18, Spiro, Jack Koravos ’20 and Alex Dreisbach ’17 won, as did the 800-yard freestyle relay of Koravos, Wong, Haley and Charlie Seltzer ’19.

Wong, Spurrell, Koravos, Spiro and Mebust competed individually at Nationals, while the 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays joined them. Spurrell highlighted the group’s performances with an All-American, eighth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. The Mammoths finished the season ranked No. 11 in the country.

Women’s Swimming and Diving
Amherst finished the dual meet season with a stellar record of 7-1, only losing to NESCAC rival Williams. During the regular season, a pair of first years, Natalie Rumpelt and Ingrid Shu, earned NESCAC Performer of the Week honors, while Geralyn Lam ’18 also claimed’s Division III Swimmer of the Week honors.

At the NESCAC Championships, Shu won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 23.62 seconds, Bridgitte Kwong ’19 placed third in a competitive 400-yard individual medley race and the sophomore came back in the 200-yard backstroke to place third and earn All-NESCAC honors in both events. The 400-yard freestyle relay of Rumpelt, Shu, Lam and Stephanie Moriarty ’18 placed second and earned All-NESCAC honors, while the 200-yard freestyle relay of Shu, Lam, Rumpelt and Destin Groff ’17 placed third and also earned All-NESCAC honors. The team, ranked eighth in the nation at the time, placed second at the NESCAC Championships.

Kwong led Amherst at Nationals with a third-place finish in the 400 IM, earning All-American honors in the event for the second year in a row. The 800-yard freestyle relay of Kwong, Moriarty, Rumpelt and Jayne Vogelzang ’19 placed fifth in the final and earned All-American honors as well. Amherst finished the season ranked ninth nationally.