Athlete of the Week Runners Up: Gabby Thomas, Marisa Romeo

Published by Meg Leatherwood on March 28, 2017 at 12:25AM

An impressive weekend for Harvard athletics saw outstanding performances from a number of athletes. Freshman Dean Farris of the men’s swimming and diving team and junior Merrick Madsen of the men’s hockey team were awarded co-Athletes of the Week recognition. However, Gabby Thomas of women’s track and field and Marisa Romeo of women’s lacrosse also had notable performances, earning them Athlete of the Week runners-up honors.

GABBY THOMAS, WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

Saturday proved to be yet another distinguished day for sophomore sprinter Thomas at the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational, hosted by the University of Miami. The all-American placed first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.34 seconds. Her time marked the fastest recorded in the East region for the event this season. It was also just four-hundredths of a second slower than her previous personal record in the event, which is a Harvard school record.

Not only did Thomas medal in the 100-meter, but she also played a record-setting role in the 4x400-meter relay. The Massachusetts native, along with teammates Jade Miller, Zoe Hughes, and Karina Joiner, placed fourth in the relay event. Their time of 3:42.12 was enough to break the top-10 for the fastest recorded times in school history.

Thomas also participated in the 4x100-meter relay with Miller, Joiner, and Ngozi Musa. The group set another school record with a time of 45.43 seconds. The time earned Thomas and the others sixth place and marked the third fastest time in the history of the Crimson’s program.

MARISA ROMEO, WOMEN’S LACROSSE

Senior attacker Romeo scored four goals in Saturday’s game to lead the Harvard women’s lacrosse team to a 10-8 victory over Cornell. Adding to her high-scoring act, Romeo had two assists on the day. The Syracuse native has now recorded 37 points and 27 goals on the season. Romeo’s strong performance this weekend also added the 10 assists she has put up in the first eight games of the season.

Romeo’s solid showing was also enough for her to pass Kaitlin Martin, class of 2009, on the Crimson’s all-time leading scorers list. Romeo is now ranked fourth with 141 career goals.

After a goal from Romeo gave the Crimson an early lead, Columbia battled back to make a competitive game. Yet Romeo held firm, adding three more goals and driving the Crimson to victory.

Men's Hockey Earns Top Seed in East Regional of NCAA Tournament

Published by Spencer R. Morris on March 20, 2017 at 1:40AM
Another One

Merrick Madsen hoists the Whitelaw Cup.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The morning after claiming the ECAC playoff title with a 4-1 victory over No. 9/10 Cornell, the No. 2/2 Harvard hockey team has drawn the first seed in the East Regional of this year’s NCAA Tournament. On Friday, the Crimson (26-5-2, 16-4-2 ECAC) will travel to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. to face off against No. 12/12 Providence College, as released by the NCAA on Sunday. The puck will drop at 4:00 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

After the Crimson’s bout with Providence (22-11-5, 12-7-3 Hockey East), No. 8/8 Western Michigan will battle No. 17 Air Force at 7:30 p.m. for the other spot in the following evening’s East Regional final (8:30 p.m. on ESPNU). The last club standing in Providence on Saturday night will punch its ticket to the Frozen Four in Chicago.

Outside the East Regional, the field’s top seed, Denver, will represent the Midwest when it kicks off its tournament run against Michigan Tech, while No. 3/3 Minnesota Duluth and No. 4/5 Minnesota round out the top seeds, competing in the West and Northeast brackets, respectively.

Harvard enters the NCAA tournament on a 14-game win streak and remains unbeaten in its past 16 contests. In the 16-team field, the Crimson is joined by two fellow ECAC squads, No. 6/6 Union and the Big Red. This year marks Harvard’s 24th tournament appearance and the third consecutive season in which it has vied for the NCAA crown.

The Crimson will be lacing up the skates with the Friars for the first time since Jan. 12, 1984, a matchup Harvard won, 2-0. With a win at Providence’s expense on Friday evening, the Crimson would tie a program record with 15 consecutive victories, a milestone set by the 1988-1989 team that won the national championship.

—Staff writer Spencer R. Morris can be reached at spencer.morris@thecrimson.com.

Alumni Update: Jeremy Lin

Published by Henry Zhu on March 20, 2017 at 7:56PM

This year for Brooklyn Nets starting point guard and Harvard alum Jeremy Lin has been filled with setbacks and challenges, both individually and team-wise. Having embraced his new role as a veteran leader on a rebuilding team, Lin understood he would face a drastic change in expectations from last season, when he was the sixth man on a playoff-contending Charlotte Hornets. However, two hamstring injuries throughout the year has forced Lin to miss much of the season, playing in only 16 out of 60 games so far.

In a Facebook post on December 19, Lin stated, “ Not gonna lie this season has been very painful physically/mentally/emotionally, not being able to battle with my crew night in night out.... I'm working extremely hard to get right again...thanks again for the love!”

With Lin out, the Nets were forced to depend on former D-League player Spencer Dinwiddie and rookie Isaiah Whitehead to handle point guard duties, but a noticeable lack of chemistry with franchise centerpiece Brook Lopez and prospects like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert have left the Nets with a 10-49 record as of March 3, the league’s worst. Unlike most rebuilding teams, the Nets also do not own their lottery draft pick in this year’s upcoming draft (as well as next year’s first-round pick), due to the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade in 2013.

Facing these circumstances, Lin and the Nets have nevertheless maintained an upbeat mentality throughout much of the season, focusing on player development and building team chemistry. Lin’s teammate Brook Lopez stated that this season feels completely different from his 2009-2010 season, when the Nets finished with a league-worst 12-70 record.

“This has been a completely different mindset and attitude.” Lopez said, “ I think we’re happy that guys aren’t quitting. You can definitely see there’s no quit in us.”

Individually, Lin has played consistently in his few games on the floor, averaging 13.3 points per game and 5.5 assists per game. These numbers have been fairly impressive given he has been put on minutes restrictions for a majority of the 15 games he has played. Off the court, Lin has been an important mentor for the Net’s young core, seen consistently giving out advice to rookies Whitehead and LeVert during games.

For the final post-All Star break stretch, Lin hopes to stay healthy and bring important leadership to a team in need of a sense of direction. Given a lack of games played together with Lopez, Lin is also looking to find a consistent pick-and-roll game with the offensive-minded center.

“It’s nice having Jeremy out there,” head coach Kenny Atkinson said, “Instead of the ball going around haphazardly, he really directs it. I give him a lot of credit.”

The Nets, with little to play for in the final 20 games of the year, will depend on Jeremy Lin to build confidence heading into next season. Through a larger sample size, we may also finally see how Lin fits into Atkinson’s system and the adjustments Lin will make as the starting point guard. So long as Lin’s hamstring issues do not re-emerge, Nets fans should be excited to see why Lin was signed to a 3 year, 36-million dollar deal in the offseason and why he deserves to be the point guard in the near future for the rebuilding Nets.

“I’m realistic enough to understand that we haven’t had a fair look at what this team is really going to look like,” Lin said. “When I come back, I want to be able to help this team and be what they envision me to be. I think post-All-Star break is enough games to see that.”

Jeremy Lin’s fresh start with the Nets may not have taken the most ideal starting path, but it looks like he is right back on track heading into the end of the season.

Where Are They Now? Former Harvard Pitchers Take the Mound

Published by Meg Leatherwood on March 20, 2017 at 7:50PM

As the snow begins to melt away and the first signs of spring touch the air, three former Harvard pitchers are busy training to compete at the next level.

Pitchers Brent Suter, Frank Herrmann, and Sean Poppen all share a background in a Crimson uniform. The three are, however, entering the 2017 spring at various stages of their careers beyond Harvard’s gates. As Suter find himself on a major league roster, Herrmann is transitioning out of MLB and Poppen is settling into minor league play.

After making his major league debut in August of 2016, Suter will be suiting up this season for the Milwaukee Brewers. The 27-year-old left-hander completed the 2016 season with an ERA of 3.32 over 14 games.

Suter, who was drafted in the 31st round of the 2012 Draft by the Brewers, is the only former Harvard baseball player listed as active on an MLB 40-man roster. He currently vying for a spot in the Milwaukee bullpen as the team undergoes spring training.

Right-handed pitcher Frank Herrmann will be on the mound in Japan this year, as he’ll be competing in Nippon Professional Baseball. Coming out of Harvard, Herrmann signed with the Cleveland Indians in 2006. The New Jersey native pitched in the minors for four years, before making his major league debut in June of 2010. While in the major leagues, he spent three seasons with the Indians and one with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Herrmann signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in November of last year. This season will mark the first in the NPB for the 32-year-old Harvard alumnus.

Fresh off O’Donnell Field, Poppen will be furthering his baseball career in the minor leagues. After graduating from Harvard last year, the right-handed pitcher went in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB Draft to the Minnesota Twins. He is currently playing Single-A baseball with the Cedar Rapid Kernels in Iowa.

During his time with the Crimson, Poppen had an ERA of 4.39 in 39 appearances and recorded a total of 175 strikeouts.

As these three alumni take to mounds across the globe, a piece of Harvard will travel behind every pitch.

Athlete of the Week Runners-Up: Cheek, Wrestling Post Elite Results

Published by Leena Ambady on March 20, 2017 at 7:45PM

While this week’s Athlete of the Week honors went to members of the Ivy League Championship winning women’s squash team, four other student-athletes had especially impressive performances this week, earning them Athlete of the Week runners-up honors.

Hunter Ladnier, Jeffrey Ott, Josef Johnson, Wrestling

This weekend, Harvard Wrestling traveled to Lewisburg, Penn. to compete in the 113th EIWA Championships. Though the Crimson earned 10th place as a team, the highlights of the weekend were three bids to the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis earned by senior Jeffrey Ott, junior Josef Johnson, and freshman Hunter Ladnier. Seventh-seeded Ott finished earned spot with a win in the semi-finals over Drexel’s third-seeded Kevin Devoy, who turned his knee mid-match and was forced to default. Earlier this year Ott himself suffered from a knee injury and was unsure whether he’d be able to return to the mat this season, let alone finish second place at the EIWA Championships and earn a coveted bid to the NCAA Championships. Tri-captain Johnson, on the other hand, has performed consistently this season, and added an exclamation point to his wrestling this weekend with his sixth-place finish and NCAA bid. This will be the the New Jersey native’s second trip to the NCAA Championships, as he also qualified as a sophomore. Ott and Johnson will be joined in St. Louis by freshman Ladnier, who performed a rare feat this weekend by becoming the first Harvard rookie to advance to the EIWA finals since 2007. Following two Friday victories, Ladnier split his matches on Saturday. He upset Lehigh’s top ranked senior Laike Gardiner 11-7 in the semi-finals, but fell 8-5 to Princeton senior Jordan Laster in the finals. Still, his performance was enough to book him a ticket to St. Louis for the weekend of March 16-18, where he, Ott, and Johnson will look to prove themselves amongst the best collegiate wrestlers in the country.

Morgan Cheek, Men’s Lacrosse

This Saturday, the men’s lacrosse team (4-0) captured a 13-10 win over Vermont (3-3), largely because of a stand-out performance by junior attackman Morgan Cheek. The Massachusetts native notched a season-high five goals in Saturday’s game, the first coming less than a minute into play. His outstanding play doesn’t come as a surprise, as he’s scored a hat-trick in every game this season. Cheek also had one assist, bringing him to a total of 16 goals and 11 assists in just four games this season. In addition to leading the Crimson in both these categories, he is the second-leading point scorer per game in the nation. Behind Cheek’s strong play, the Crimson has jumped to a 4-0 start this season, and will look to continue their unbeaten streak Saturday against Penn State.