Sports Features

Midfielder Lara Schenk Finds Ways to Train Among the Best Despite Pandemic

One year ago, as Harvard students were forced to vacate campus, junior midfielder Lara Schenk (#18) of the women’s soccer team moved back home to Hannover, Germany. A Tuesday, March 10, 2020, email had announced that students would be required to vacate the campus by that Sunday, and the NCAA and all major sports would soon follow suit with shutdowns of their own.

Celly Time

Schenk and teammates celebrate seconds after a goal by then-first-year Gabby DelPico (#21) in the 71st minute against Penn on Sept. 28, 2019. The strike would end up putting Harvard on top 1-0 in its first Ivy League conference game of the season.

Yaraslau Slavikouski: The Pinnacle of Discipline

Slavikouski, the unanimous selection for Ivy League Rookie of the Year and the first Harvard wrestler to win the honor in 16 years, has been staying active despite the hiatus in Ancient Eight contests. Currently, he is training in his home country of Belarus and is set to compete at the U23 Nationals at the end of March, followed by the European Championships.

Committed: How Harvard Basketball Has Recruited in a Pandemic

“I think it's been hard for us in terms of the Ivy League schools, our basketball product hasn't been available for them to see,” Eskildsen said. “But ... if anything, I think people recognize how quick the Ivy League was to cancel the tournament back last year. And I think seeing that for putting the players and their health and safety first and foremost is a positive.”

Reason to Celebrate

The Crimson offense comes together to celebrate a goal against St. Lawrence on March 7, 2020. The players did not know it at the time, but the 7-1 victory over the Saints just a year ago remains Harvard's last game played.

A Note to Readers: 365 Days Later

Here we are. It has already been one year. At this time last year, the sports world, along with society at large, came to a halt. College athletic conferences and pro leagues alike faced the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, suspending or canceling play all together. Some leagues have since resumed play, but the Ivy League has not.

The Quarantine Crunch: Crouin Keeps His Eye on the Ball

Like many student-athletes at Harvard junior Victor Crouin had his world turned upside down when students were sent home in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The star first seed on the Crimson’s elite squash squad managed to return to his hometown of Marseille, France, just before the nation went into lockdown.

In Canada and Separated from Teammates, Noah Kirkwood Works to Stay Connected

He led the team in scoring 10 times and in assists 13 times during his sophomore campaign. Hoping to continue his impressive career, Kirkwood has been struggling to find adequate resources for training and playing basketball during the pandemic.

Across the Atlantic, Crouin's Work Ethic Remains Strong

While currently over 3,000 miles away from Harvard, the French native is poised to bring his strong work ethic and talent back to campus. Pictured above, Crouin competes at last year's CSA National Championship, just days before the March 10, 2020, shutdown.

A Fighter

Yaraslau Slavikouski, right, trains in preparation for a full slate of competitions across Europe. In January, the sophomore wrestler earned bronze in Belarus Senior Nationals.

One Year Later: Harvard Student-Athletes Reflect on Lack of Ivy League Competition Since Last March

March 10, 2021 marks one year since Harvard students received the news they would have to vacate campus. That same week the Ivy League and eventually the entire NCAA halted competition. While many conferences have resumed athletic play, the Ivy League remains one of just a handful of conferences that have still not resumed athletic competition, recently announcing the cancellation of the spring sports season. The Crimson sat down and spoke with three student-athletes to hear their reflections on the past year.

Walking on Water

Elizabeth Miclau prepares to enter the water during a training session in Mission Viejo, Calif. From a height of 10 meters, even the slightest alterations can mean the difference between flopping and breaking the water with ease, so remaining compact is crucial.

Off the Blocks

Tri-captain Cassandra Pasadyn explodes off the blocks into the backstroke. With the swim and dive season canceled this year, Pasadyn did not have the opportunity to get off the blocks, in part leading her to activate advanced standing and graduate early.

Flipped Classroom: Elizabeth Miclau Trains for Diving World Championships

In the year since the beginning of their covid-induced exile from campus, many Harvard students have passed the time by learning new skills; some have picked up baking, others a new form of exercise, and still others knitting or painting. For Elizabeth Miclau ’23-’24, quarantine has meant learning to grow comfortable throwing herself off the equivalent of a three-story building.

A Player’s Coach: Dom Petrie Stays Connected to the Game and Mentors the Next Generation of Girls

When she moved to Southern California at the age of ten, there were only one or two girls’ hockey teams in the region. Instead, she played — and starred — for boys’ teams throughout her hockey career, often alongside her older brother.

Tri-Captain of Women’s Swim and Dive Team, Cassandra Pasadyn, Activates Advanced Standing

Amidst the Ivy League’s decision to cancel fall, winter, and spring contests, Cassandra Pasadyn of the Crimson Women’s Swim and Dive team made the difficult decision to activate her advanced standing — an academic process that allows for early graduation — and forego her eighth semester at Harvard.

With Players Scattered Across the Country, Men’s Hockey Prepares for Uncertain Post-Covid Future

Today, as much of college hockey gears up for Covid-era conference playoffs, Harvard players are training in junior leagues and working out with private coaches in all corners of the country. Like the rest of the Ivy League — which canceled all three athletic seasons due to the pandemic — Harvard has watched from afar as many of its non-Ancient Eight opponents play on with restrictions through a pandemic-stricken season.

365 Days Unlike Any Other

In a year without any intercollegiate competition, Harvard athletes and coaches have still found inventive ways to adapt and excel.

Kirkwood Remains Focused

The hard-working, All-Ivy League forward is eager to return to the hardwood as one of the Crimson's veteran leaders.

Just one of many options for Coach Delaney-Smith's Zoom background on calls with recruits

In unprecedented circumstances, Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has led women's basketball through a successful 2020-2021 recruiting cycle.

Welcome to the Lion's Den

Dom Petrie (back left), junior forward on the Harvard women's hockey team and LA Lions coach, poses with the Lions after a 4-1 tournament final victory. The win would cap an undefeated run through the 2020 CCM Dallas Tournament.

Not Throwing Away His Shot: How Alexander Kolesnikoff is Reaching New Heights – and Distances – amid a Global Pandemic

Cradling the iron ball between his shoulder and neck, his hand white with chalk, sophomore shot-putter Alexander Kolesnikoff slowly rotated to his right before rapidly uncoiling his body, completing a 540° spin, and launching the sphere into the field in front of him.

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