| VOL. 23, NO. 11||DECEMBER 5, 1997 |
Columbia's Winter Sports Teams Begin Their Seasons
BY BILL STEINMAN, TODD KENNEDY AND HEATHER CROZE
olumbia's winter teams in archery, swimming, fencing, track & field and wrestling have begun their seasons.
Once limited to only a few colleges, archery has achieved new status since the NCAA anointed it "an emerging sport" last year.
As befitting its new status, a record 33 archers are out for the team, with some experienced shooters. Veteran head coach Al Lizzio is very pleased.
The Lions are led by Zita Peterlin, CC'98; Marina Feldman, BC '98; Alexandra Verzosa, CC'98, and Rachel Nemiroff, CC'98. Novera King, CC'99, also will play a major role. The top newcomers include Heather Horgan; BC'99, Melissa Shum, BC'01, and Tina Jung, CC'00.
Led by Easterns swimmer of the year Cristina Teuscher, CC'00, who set nine Columbia records, the Columbia women's swimming team forged to a solid 6-5 season last year, capped with a fifth place in the Eastern Championships, the Lions' best ever.
This year Teuscher will not compete for the Lions until late January, after the World Championships, but head coach Diana Caskey is still optimistic.
Among the leading Lions are Molly Conroy, CC'99, and Lyssa Roberts, CC'99, both record-holders; Leah Berger, CC' 99, a placewinner on both boards in the Easterns; sprinter Annie Reding, CC'00, and the co-captains, Kerry Kearn, CC'98, and PeiPei Yuan, CC'98.
If the Lions can avoid injuries and sickness this winter, they could enjoy a good season. "At no time did we compete at full strength last year," head coach Jim Bolster says.
The Lions will be led by the three talented senior co-captainsbutterflier Louis DeLeon; sprint freestylist Roy Griffith, who could place in the top three at the Easterns, and Matt Gilman, who can and usually does swim in every kind of event.
Among the other top returnees are senior Mike McCosker, who scored in all three distance races at last season's Eastern Championships; junior Russell Perkins, a former Outstanding Freshman who spent last year studying at Biosphere II; sophomore Joe Rudler, an excellent swimmer in the breaststroke who shared last season's Most Outstanding Freshman award, and his co-winner, butterflier Peter Leong.
The diving corps will be strengthened considerably with the return of junior Daniel Brown, who missed most of last season with injuries and illness, and the advent of freshman Mark Fichera, a high school All-America and Connecticut state champion.
After a 7-6 season and sixth place in the 1997 NCAA Championships, men's fencing expects to be much improved this year.
The Lions' top returnees include senior All-America Dan Kellner and sophomore Tim Queenan in foil, and senior Noah Zucker and sophomore Matt Rosen in epee.
First years Rafi Bruckner and Jed Dupree join the foil squad, while sabre becomes nearly a first-year production, with Patrick Durkan, Clement Valla and John Garnevicus.
The prognosis is good.
Perennial all-star Jen Curtis is gone, but two excellent newcomers and a good returnee are on hand in epee.
The foil squad is also strong, with co-captain Kate Lane, CC'98; Susan Jennings, CC'00, and Caitlin Brown, CC'99, among the returnees. They are augmented by Erinn Smart, BC'01, and Kelly Camamis, CC'01.
Smart, one of only two fencers ever to win three gold medals in the same National Junior Olympics, recently captured first place in the Penn State Collegiate Open.
Sonata Coulter, CC'98, and Ilana Kullman, CC'98, return in epee, to be joined by two standouts, Melinda Mellman, BC'01, and Elspeth Wilson, CC'01. Smart may also fence foil.
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
The men's squad will be particularly strong in the distance and middle distance events in light of the squad's outstanding cross country season this fall that saw the team finish second in the Ivy League.
Tom Kloos and Mike Grant earned All-Ivy honors, Kloos and Jason Gibbons earned All-District (New York and New England) honors and Kloos recently finished among the top 100 runners in the nation at the NCAA Championships.
The Lions will also be tough in the sprints and hurdles. Jon-Mychal Bowman should be among the top hurdlers in the Heptagonal Conference, and some young talent should improve the solid sprint corps headed by seniors Chris Hall and Elliot Klein.
WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
The women's team will be dominated by youth. De-Lea Deane, CC'01, may be able to score immediately in the sprints at the Heps; Stacey Martindale, CC'01, and Marissa Jackson, CC'01, have the same capability in the jumps and sprints, respectively.
The Lions return the talented high jump tandem of Emily Carey, BC'99, and Sarah Feeley, CC'00, and the sprint duo of Monica Ortiz, CC'99, and Alycia Riccobono, CC'98.
Lou Montano's wrestling team was hit hard by graduation, losing five regulars from the 10-man starting lineup. But Montano is optimistic about the season.
His principal reasons are several excellent returnees, including senior heavyweight Mike Cook, 26-15 last season and ranked in the nation's Top 20; senior 142-pounder Arkee Allen, 16-9 last season; junior Brad Clement, 22-14 at 134, and junior Pat McGrath, who missed last year with shoulder surgery.