Section: Features

The summer in sports: Lords and Ladies seize the season

Kenyon swimmers take on the Olympic Trials

Every four years, some of the top swimmers in the nation gather to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and this year, Julia Wilson ’18 and Hannah Saiz ’13 represented Kenyon College on the big stage.

The trials ran from June 26 to July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska at the CenturyLink Center. More than 1800 swimmers participated.

Saiz, a former Ladies swimmer, advanced through the women’s 200-meter butterfly heat and semifinals to qualify for the finals. She started the race with ferocity and held onto a third place lead going into the final turn. Exhaustion set in, however, and she finished the finals at eighth place with a time of 2:11.88.

Saiz graduated from Kenyon with school records which still stand in the women’s 100 and 200-meter butterfly, with times of 53.20 and 1:55.98, respectively.

In the women’s 100-meter breaststroke heat, Wilson finished with a time of 1:12.04, tying for 85th out of 123 swimmers. She described her first steps into a hushed, near-empty CenturyLink Center as one of the highlights of the trials.

“It was a moment I think I’ll always remember,” Wilson wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I had wanted it so badly for so long.”

Geier, Kaye claim Kenyon tennis landmark

Two years ago, Tristan Kaye ’17 wondered if he would ever play college tennis again. An 18-month bout with illness left him staring at a yearlong leave from Kenyon and the tennis courts.

This year, then, brought a special vindication to Kaye; along with teammate Sam Geier ’16, he topped off this season with an NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship, the first in Lords tennis history. Kaye and Geier claimed the title on May 28 in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.; 19-8) in the tournament semifinals, followed by the clinching 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 defeat of Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.; 20-3).

Kenyon finished the season with a 14-10 record (NCAC 4-0), and the No. 11 national ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) among all Division III teams. As a doubles team, Geier and Kaye finished the season with a 23-10 record and the No. 1 national ranking from the ITA.

For Kaye, his year away from tennis helped him put the title into perspective. “Being forced to take a year away from the sport gave me a greater appreciation for the game,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian.

He also credited the impact of his teammates and coaches. “The tournament wasn’t won with those four matches,” Kaye wrote. “This was much more than a two-man team.”

Lagasse finishes Kenyon career at NCAA championship

On May 23, Sam Lagasse ’16 made his first appearance at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Waverly, Iowa. With a time of 15:00.14, he placed 10th in the 5,000-meter race.

Although Lagasse’s collegiate career comes to a close this summer, he leaves having rewritten Kenyon’s record books. Lagasse graduates with school records in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races, including a 14:23.36 time in the 5,000 earlier this season.

Head athletic trainer Andy Wheeler departs for Denver

Former Head Athletic Trainer Andy Wheeler has left to become Head Athletic Trainer at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, ending his nine-year tenure at Kenyon.

Wheeler joined Kenyon in 2007 as an assistant athletic trainer and took the position of head athletic trainer in 2010. He served as the primary trainer for men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and both men’s and women’s tennis. He also taught Sports Medicine and Wellness and co-taught Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Science.

Former Assistant Athletic Trainer Mark Teeples now serves as Interim Head Athletic Trainer at Kenyon. According to Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Peter Smith, Kenyon has conducted a national search and will announce a new Head Athletic trainer in the near future.

Rinka receives hall-of-fame honor

John Rinka ’70, Lords basketball’s all-time leading scorer, will be inducted into the Small College Basketball (SCB) Hall of Fame on November 17 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Rinka joins a hefty inaugural class for the SCB Hall of Fame. His fellow honorees include NBA legends like former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, former Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan and former New York Knicks player and 1970 NBA MVP Willis Reed.

During his time at Kenyon, Rinka averaged 32.8 points per game and amassed 3,251 career points. Those stand as the sixth and ninth-best marks, respectively, in NCAA history across all its divisions.

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