A few weeks ago, the Harvard men’s basketball team missed its chance to be a part of March Madness.
But the team also missed out on the chance to call a 2011 Final Four coach among its alumni. According to Slate.com, Shaka Smart, the coach of Virginia Commonwealth University, turned down Harvard to play basketball at Kenyon College in Ohio.
Rookie Gary Power had a successful first season in the No. 1 spot for the men's squash team.
The 2010-2011 squash season ended in tournament losses for Harvard’s top players, sophomore Laura Gemmell and freshman Gary Power. Gemmell suffered her first collegiate loss when she fell in the finals of the Women’s Collegiate Squash Association Individual Championships, and on the men’s side, Power failed to make past the round of 16.
But, despite the tough endings, both Power and Gemmell dominated during the season. For their play, the duo has a host of accolades.
In his first year on the men’s squad, Power played in the No. 1 spot, meaning he would consistently have to face some of the nation’s best. The freshman stepped up to the challenge, winning 10 of his 15 matches en route to a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League Team.
Gemmell, following last year’s national championship, continued her dominance in the 2010-2011 season, blowing through the competition until losing to Yale's No. 2 Millie Tomlinson in the Individual National Championship. Despite the loss, Gemmell has still won 97% of her collegiate matches.
With a 16-1 record this season, the sophomore not only made the All-Ivy League team, but she also was named the Ivy League Squash Player of the Year for the second-straight season. Additionally, Gemmell was named to the CSA first-team All-America.
Gemmell’s teammate junior Nirasha Guruge also earned All-Ivy League and CSA first-team All-America honors thanks to a 12-5 record in the No. 2 spot.
It is a widely known fact that Harvard is home to more Division-I varsity sports than any other university in the country. Less widely acknowledged are the numerous club sports teams that also represent the Crimson against other schools and at tournaments around the country.
This is no surprise many Harvard students played sports in high school, while only a few play at the college varsity level. Despite the abundance of other extracurriculars that are available at Harvard, there is obviously something about physical competition that appeals to students regardless of whether they’re able to make the varsity team or not.
Some of these club teams are the remainder of the former JV system, and many have varsity counterparts. These teams include (but aren’t limited to): basketball, tennis, lacrosse volleyball, hockey, fencing and baseball. However, unlike in the old days, crossover between club teams and the varsity roster is rarely occurs.
Others club teams, however, have no varsity counterpart. These sports are often less conventional or more modern, like the year-old Quidditch team. Other teams simply more individualistic or less integrated into popular culture. These teams include sports like self-defense, Shotokan karate, ballroom dance and archery. However, despite their lack of widespread popularity, most club sports have found steady followings at Harvard.
Several club teams have also found incredible success: the ballroom team will be hosting their 20th Annual Harvard Invitational Ballroom Competition on April 23-24, and the Radcliff rugby team will be heading to nationals later this spring.
The Harvard men's ultimate frisbee team, Red Line, has proven to be one of the top teams in the nation so far this season, finishing in the top five at three elite national tournaments. After a tournament at UConn next weekend, the squad will prepare for the College Series in hopes of earning a berth to the National Championships, a competition held in Colorado in late May.
Despite the fact that they don’t get the recognition that the varsity competitors receive, you can bet that these Crimson athletes will be giving their all, whether it’s on the court, the field or the ballroom.
Published by Kobi Rex
on March 25, 2011 at 3:11AM
After a long winter season, three of the four Harvard crew teams will have their first competitions this weekend.
Tomorrow, the men’s lightweight crew and women’s heavyweight and lightweight crew teams compete in their first races since the fall season.
The women’s heavyweight crew will have its hands full with Tulsa, as the visitors are coming off a great performance at the Oklahoma Invitational. The Golden Hurricanes swept all three of their varsity races against SMU in a strong start to the spring season.
The men’s lightweight crew team faces off against Delaware at 9:12 am tomorrow. The Blue Hen squad is actually not a varsity sport at Delaware, and so the Crimson will race against the Blue Hen club team this weekend.
Each Thursday, The Crimson will compile a series of unique statistics about Harvard's sports scene. Welcome to the Magic of Numbers—without the problem sets. We'll do the math for you.
CRIMSON TEAMS SPRING INTO ACTION
10: Number of teams featured in the Magic of Numbers countdown.
9: Number of groundballs and goals junior midfielder Melanie Baskind has picked up this season. She leads the women’s lacrosse team in groundballs.
8: Number of victories sophomore Thomas Kolasa racked up in the men's sabre competition for Harvard during the first day of the NCAA fencing championship. He led the squad and is currently in ninth place overall.
7: Number of positions Harvard held in the top-15 at NCAA Northeast Region Championship. Freshman Alexandra Kiefer took the top spot in foil while, junior Noam took the title in epee.
6: Number of seniors on lightweight women’s crew.
5: Number of victories men’s lacrosse has attained so far this season.