WINTER SPORTS ARE HERE

Strong seniors to lead indoor track 

BY JORDAN HOWELL

As the cold weather hits and J-Term approaches, so does the indoor track and field season. During the last indoor season, the men placed fifth in the Division III New England Championships while the women captured fourth. In the indoor NCAA Championships, the men tied for seventeenth place and the women tied for sixteenth place.

There will be six captains for the Panthers this season, each of whom put together great performances last season. The men will be led by Nick Hendrix ’20, Nathan Hill ’20 and Jonathon Fisher ’20. The women will be led by Helene Rowland ’20, Alex Cook ’20 and Anna Willig ’20.

Nathaniel Klein ’21 commented on the upcoming season. “We want as many athletes to qualify for Division three New England’s and potentially go to Nationals,” Klein says. “I’m excited to get on a consistent training schedule… We also have two first year throwers who are learning the weight throw so I’m excited to teach them a new event.”

The first meet of the season will be the Middlebury Winter Classic on Saturday, Jan. 11. Hopefully a strong start to the season will lead the team to their goals.

Women’s hoops opens season with a bang

BY RAIN JI

The 2019–20 Middlebury women’s basketball team kicked off the season with a 68–55 win over Keene State College. The team is led by head coach KJ Krasco, assistant coach Savannah Morgan, and senior captains Maya Davis  ’20 and Kira Waldman ’20. 

“The main hope for this season is to build on our accomplishments and progress from years prior,” Waldman said. “Our goal is to compete hard in every game so that when we step off the court we feel proud of our energy, effort and enthusiasm.” 

The team boasts a promising balance of young talent and experience, with five seniors who bring leadership skills, game experiences and strength in forward positions. Additionally, sophomores contribute different layers of offensive and defensive abilities, and first-years are especially capable in the guard position. They will allow fresh outside looks and innovative passes through the key. “Every member is crucial to our team’s success,” Waldman said. The team is excited for every upcoming game, and they will take all seriously, whether that be preseason or conference contests. The team will play 11 games at Pepin Gymnasium, with the first home game on Nov. 19. 

Men’s squash downs Camels

BY MAX PADILLA

On Saturday, Nov. 16 the Middlebury Men’s Squash team played their 2019–2020 season opener against Hamilton and secured a victory over the Continentals by a score of 8–1. Historically the Panthers have taken on the Continentals and pulled away with a win, scoring 9–0 in the past two seasons that they’ve played them.

The team seemed to really come together during their first match. Though, he wasn’t able to play Teddy Best ’22 was proud of his teammates. “We adapted well to Hamilton’s courts and cheered each other on to compete with a loud home crowd. Being away didn’t throw us off our game,” he said. He also noted that Hamilton really brought their A-game, showing up with “with good sportsmanship and athleticism.” Best ’22 is excited about what lies ahead for the Panthers, “We’re looking forward to training hard in the next couple of weeks for our next match in January.”

The Panthers will continue their season on Jan. 5 against Williams.

Men’s hoops starts strong at Middlebury tip-off

BY MIGUEL ESPINOSA

The Middlebury men’s basketball team enters the 2019–2020 season with a talented group that only said goodbye to two seniors last spring. This experience was visible on the court this past weekend at the Middlebury Tip-Off tournament, when the team beat both Bridgewater State and Wentworth at home on Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16.

Over the past 12 years, the men have tallied 265 wins and 72 losses for a .786 winning percentage in addition to three appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The team will shoot for its third NESCAC Championship in five seasons and to make a run in the NCAA Tournament after dropping a first-round game last year. 

“A NESCAC championship is on all of our minds,” said Captain and first year all-NESCAC point guard Jack Farrell ’21. “Then, we want to compete at a high level in the national tournament and hopefully make a great run to the championship.”

 Five-time NESCAC Coach of the Year Jeff Brown enters his 23rd season with Middlebury. He will commandeer an experienced group that was second in all of the D3 in defensive rebounds per game, fourth in total rebounds per game, and fourth in blocked shots per game.

 The Panthers will be under the leadership of captains Farrell, Griffin Kornaker ’21 and Matt Folger ’20, who logged his 1,000th point as a Panther on Saturday. The supporting cast includes Max Bosco ’22,  who averaged 14.6 points and started nine games last year, and 6’9” Alex Sobel ’22, who will look to fill the big shoes of Eric McCord ’19. 

The Panthers followed up Saturday’s win with a 92-82 victory over perennial New England hoops powerhouse Keene State on Tuesday, Nov. 19. They next face SUNY Canton on the road on Thursday, Nov. 21. 

Alpine Skiing Preview

BY CAPTAIN RUDOLPH

Heading into the winter season, the Middlebury Men’s and Women’s alpine skiing teams are looking to perform at a high level. Excitement is brewing as they get ready to head to Colorado during Thanksgiving Break for some highly anticipated pre-season training. 

The nearing season comes with high expectations. “I’m pretty optimistic about this season to be honest,” Michel Macedo ’22 said.  “I think we’ve got a lot of firepower coming out of the gates. We’ve got a couple guys skiing really fast and I’m excited to see what the freshmen can bring to the table.”

Additionally, returning seniors include Pate Campbell ’20 and Katie Utter ’20, both of whom should provide valuable leadership experience. Campbell boasted impressive performances at the St. Lawrence and University of Vermont slaloms, gaining 46 and 33 points, respectively. 

As for race locations, the skiers are pumped up to be skiing at mountains like Waterville Valley, the Cabin Lawn, and Middlebury’s very own Snowbowl. Of course, the racers at Winter Carnival look forward to getting major support as they ski in front of their home crowd. “There is definitely a high level of hype surrounding the Carnival,” Tatum Coutu ’23 said. 

“My expectations are for the entire school to be there,” Emma Hall ’23 said.

Women’s squash sweeps Hamilton

BY MIGUEL ESPINOSA

Fourteenth-ranked Women’s squash travelled to Clinton, New York and dominated conference foe, Hamilton College, for its first meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 16. All nine Panthers won their matches. 

At the first spot, Caroline Arena ’23 secured victory by giving up just one game against Hamilton’s Hope Worcester, with a performance of 8–11, 11–6, 11–3 and 11–7. Gwen Davis ’22, Natasha Lowitt ’20, Anne Glassie ‘20, Mira Chugh ’20, Maya McDonough ’23, Kiernan Suntha ’23 and Summer Hornbostel ’22 all won their matches without losing a game. Grace Santoro ’23 triumphed in her match against Madison Sakheim, with a line of 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8. 

The team looks to build upon the momentum from last year’s season in which it posted a 13–6 record. Although the Panthers lost two of its top three players to graduation, the team will be led by the senior trio of Glassie, Chugh and Lowitt. As demonstrated by its convincing play against Hamilton, Women’s squash is appears to be on track to replicate last year’s successes. 

Winter tip-off: Men’s hockey splits weekend

BY BLAISE SIEFER

The Middlebury men’s hockey team, coached by Neil Sinclair (Middlebury ’93), enters the 2019–20 campaign full of optimism. Returning five of their top seven point scorers from last season, the team brings back much of its offensive firepower and hopes to build off of last season’s 8–13–4 overall record. 

“The team is feeling confident coming into the season,” captain Brett Dinneen ’20 said. “We return an experienced, battle-tested group and see a lot of potential from our first-years to help us win some games.”

The Panthers welcome seven first-years to the team this year, including a goalkeeper, three defenders and three forwards. “The first-years have made a great mark on this team in their short amount of time on campus,” Dineen said. “They have not settled to just be the younger members of the team but have led by example and are making a big impact immediately.” 

Men’s hockey opened up their season with a double-header this past weekend, competing on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Nov. 15 the team narrowly lost to Bowdoin 6–4. Goals came from Emack Bently ’22, Mitchell Allen ’20, sophomore Zach Shapiro ’22 and Brendan Dawson ’20. Despite falling in their season opener, Dineen finds a positive in Middlebury’s late push. 

“Friday night wasn’t the result we hoped and there are definitely areas to improve, but it was encouraging to see us make a strong push late,” he said. “We also were able to generate a lot of offense in that game, but it is important for us to not have it come at the expense of defense.”

On Saturday, Nov. 16 Middlebury earned their first win of the season, besting Colby 3–0. Allen found himself on the scoresheet for the second game running, while Owen Powers ’20 and Conor Breen ’22 netted their first goals of the season. 

“Our second game was an awesome all around team win,” Dineen said. “It was really encouraging to see how the team responded from the previous night and we hope to carry this momentum into next weekend.” 

The Panthers get back to work on Friday, Nov. 22, facing off against Tufts in Malden, MA. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. 

“Friday night wasn’t the result we hoped and there are definitely areas to improve, but it was encouraging to see us make a strong push late,” he said. “We also were able to generate a lot of offense in that game, but it is important for us to not have it come at the expense of defense.” 

On Saturday, Middlebury earned their first win of the season, besting Colby, 3–0. Mitchell Allen found himself on the scoresheet for the second game running, while Owen Powers and Conor Breen netted their first goals of the season. 

“Our second game was an awesome all around team win,” Dineen. “It was really encouraging to see how the team responded from the previous night and we hope to carry this momentum into next weekend.”

The Panthers are back in action on Friday, Nov. 22, facing off against Tufts in Malden, MA. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. 

Swimming & diving faces Conn College in return to natatorium 

BY JACK KAGAN

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have returned to the Middlebury Natatorium this past weekend as the men edged out Connecticut College by a margin of four points while the women suffered a tough loss. This is just the start of a season that will see both squads host the Middlebury Invitational on Jan. 31–Feb. 1., while the women will host NESCAC Championships on Feb. 13–16. 

The men have seven seniors who will be competing in their final season this winter. The squad is coming off several years toward the back end of the NESCAC rankings, and will look to turn things around this year under the leadership of co-captains Jacob Fleisher ’20 and Charles Quinn ’20. 

On the womens’ side, seven seniors will look to make their final impact. With identical results to the men’s team, the women finished eighth in the conference last season and sent no representatives to NCAA’s. However, the women do have experienced leaders like co-captain Frances VanderMeer ’20, who has contributed to four school records in her time on campus, including the 50 Freestyle and multiple different relay teams, in addition to her postseason experience. 

Both squads will get back into action at 1 p.m. against Springfield College at home. 

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