|By Gordon Morton '93|
Most Surprising Upset
Once again this year, the Bears saved their best hockey for the playoffs. After dispatching Rensselaer in the first round, the eleventh-seeded Bears shocked the top-seeded Yale Bulldogs in the ECAC Hockey League quarterfinals. The Bears took game one, 3–2, before Yale, ranked sixth in the country, bounced back, 6–3, in the second game. That set the stage for a showdown in New Haven, where Jack Maclellan '12 tallied a short-handed goal and net minder Mike Clemente '12 stopped no fewer than forty-four shots to lead the Bears to a 1-0 upset win. (Brown then lost to Cornell, 3–0, in the semis.)
In one of the strangest scenarios in recent memory, the Ivy League men's lacrosse race ended in a four-way tie with Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and Brown each earning a share of the title. It was the Bears' second Ivy title in three years.
When Brendan Whittet '94 was hired as the men's ice hockey coach last summer, he wasn't just returning to College Hill, he was coming home to Rhode Island. A native of East Providence, Whittet starred at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket before his four years with the Bears. His sister, Cassie Whittet DiGiacomo '94, also played on the women's ice hockey team at Brown, and his family still lives in the Ocean State.
Best Pro Prospects
It's rare for one Ivy League ath-lete to be drafted or signed by a professional team. This year four graduating members of the Brown football team signed professional contracts. The Tennessee Titans drafted all-Ivy tackle David Howard in the seventh round, after coaches noticed his outstanding pre-draft workouts. The six-foot, three-inch, 295-pound defensive lineman ran a 5.03 forty-yard dash, the identical time as the draft's number-two overall pick, Ndamukong Suh. Howard's thirty-two-inch vertical leap was higher than that of number-three pick Gerald McCoy, and his thirty-nine bench-press reps were more than either Suh or McCoy could manage. The Titans also signed All-Ivy wide receiver Bobby Sewall to a free-agent contract, while defensive lineman James Develin signed with the Cleveland Browns and wide receiver Buddy Farnham was signed as a rookie free agent by the New England Patriots.
Best Two-Sport Female Athlete
Bridget Ballard '10 was a standout both in soccer and in swimming, earning the Marjorie Brown Smith Award as Brown's outstanding female varsity athlete. A three-time All-Ivy selection in soccer, Ballard was a first-team honoree as a senior and played every minute of every game for the Bears. In the pool, Ballard finished her college career ranked eleventh all-time at Brown in the 100 backstroke and eighteenth all-time in the 50 freestyle.
Best Two-Sport Male Athlete
Despite growing up in the Cayman Islands, Dow Travers '11 managed to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and finished sixty-ninth in a field of more than 100 skiers. Travers is also a member of the Brown rugby team, and plays that sport internationally as well. This summer he travels to South America for the Central America and Caribbean Games. He hopes to qualify for both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Best Male Record Breakers
Third baseman Pete Greskoff '11 broke the Brown single-season record with seventeen home runs and tied the career record with a total of thirty-two round trippers. The career standard was set by John King '79 more than thirty years ago and matched by Paul Christian '06. If Greskoff has another season even close to this year's, he could put the record out of reach for another generation. Water Polo's Svetozar Stefanovic '13 won the Joe Paterno '50 Award as the outstanding first-year male athlete. He led Brown with 113 points, and his eighty-one goals broke Brown's single-season scoring record, a mark that had stood for twenty-six years. The third-leading scorer in the nation, he was also named an All-American and earned first-team All-Eastern, first-team All-Northern, and Northern Division MVP honors. In addition, Stefanovic helped to lead the Bears to their first Northern Division Championship since 1993.
Best Female Record Breaker
Kristin Jackson '13 broke a twenty-two-year-old school record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.40 at the Ivy League Championships. She became just the fifth swimmer in school history to break sixty-five seconds, and shaved .13 seconds off the previous mark of 1:04.53 set by Carolyn Ryder '89 in 1988.
Best Regular Season
The men's rowing varsity eight posted an unblemished record in dual races during the spring season, defeating Boston University, Yale, Harvard, Northeastern, Dartmouth, and Princeton. Brown's top eight deserves credit for pulling hard to earn those victories, some of which were uncomfortably close. An honorable mention goes to the women's crew, which lost only to Princeton during the regular season and swept the rest of its varsity-eight dual-meet races.
Worst Coaching Loss
Although men's soccer head coach Mike Noonan left on good terms, losing the leader of one of Brown's most successful teams is bound to be difficult. Noonan was well liked by players, fans, administration, and alumni—all of whom wish him well in his new job coaching at Clemson.
Most Graceful Departure
A four-time Olympian for the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team, Becky Kellar '97 finally hung up her skates after the Vancouver games. She leaves with three gold medals and one silver. The mother of two young sons, Kellar also earned the respect of her teammates and competitors for her ability to play at the game's highest level for such an extended period of time.
Coolest New Event
Any event featuring three of the top twenty lacrosse teams in the country is exciting, and the inaugural New England Lacrosse Classic, played at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, did not disappoint. Dartmouth shocked Cornell in one game, and Brown narrowly lost to Princeton, 9–7, in the other game of the doubleheader. This idea of staging collegiate lacrosse in NFL stadiums is a great innovation; it should continue and expand.