Cornell was well represented at the 2012 London Olympics, with three athletes and two coaches taking part in the summer games. Distance runner Morgan Uceny '07 competed in the women's 1500-meter event for the USA, while her teammate Muhammad Halim '08 was entered in the triple jump for the US Virgin Islands team—which was coached by Nathan Taylor, the Big Red's head coach of track and field. On the water, rower Ken Jurkowski '03 represented the USA in the single sculls competition, and Dan Fronhofer '04 was an assistant coach for the USA rowing team.
Uceny fared the best, showing world-class ability as she ran strong races to finish second in her preliminary heat of the 1500 and third in the semifinals. As we went to press, she was poised to compete for a medal in the finals on Friday, August 10. Halim wasn't as fortunate, placing ninth in his group in the first round and failing to move on, despite a season's-best jump of 53 feet, 9-3/4 inches. Jurkowski had a promising start, taking third in his first heat to advance to the single-scull quarterfinals. The veteran rower placed fifth there, followed by a sixth in the C/D semifinal; he withdrew from the D final (which determined places 19 to 24 in the 33-man field), reportedly for medical reasons. Congratulations all around to the competitors and coaches for their outstanding efforts.
PRESEASON PICKS After setting numerous school and league football records last season, Big Red quarterback Jeff Mathews '14 and receiver Shane Savage '12 are showing up on many preseason All-American lists, including those compiled by Beyond Sports College Network and College Sports Madness. Mathews was also one of 20 players—and the only Ivy Leaguer—named to the watch list for the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
BRAINS ON ICE The ECAC Hockey League named Keir Ross '12 the Men's Student-Athlete of the Year. A dean's list student with a 3.66 GPA, Ross was captain of the 2012 Cornell squad that reached the NCAA Midwest Regional final, and he had the team's second-best plus/minus rating. He also served as an assistant researcher for the Veterinary college and was active in community programs, including the Teddy Bear Toss and Feed My Starving Children. Ross is the second Cornell player in the last three years to win the award, following 2010 winner Colin Greening '10, now playing with the NHL's Ottawa Senators.
TOP ROWERS Three recent graduates celebrated their new status as alumni by winning gold medals at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships in Lithuania. Gardner Yost '12 and James Voter '12 were members of the men's heavyweight eight that edged Germany by just over a half-second for first place. Taylor Goetzinger '12 was a member of the women's heavyweight eight that cruised to a win by almost five seconds over the 2,000-meter course.
LAX HONOR A three-time lacrosse All-American and captain of the 1966 Ivy champion squad, Bruce Cohen '65, ME '67, has been selected for the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. After graduating, he was named to the United States Club Lacrosse Association's All-Club team nine times. He was also a member of the U.S. team that won the world championship in 1974.
FUTURE PROS Two current members and one future member of the men's hockey team were selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in June. Incoming freshman defenseman Reece Willcox was the first to hear his name called, when he was tabbed by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth round. Forward John McCarron '15 was taken in the sixth round by the Edmonton Oilers, and defenseman Joakim Ryan '15 was a seventh-round pick of the San Jose Sharks.
FRIENDLY RIVALS Three Cornell players appeared in the title game of the Under-19 World Men's Lacrosse Championship in Turku, Finland—and one came home a winner. Connor Buczek '15 scored a goal, his 10th of the tournament, to help lead the U.S. team to a 10-8 win over Canada in the final. The win avenged an 11-9 Canadian win over the U.S. in pool play. Dan Lintner '14 scored a pair of goals for Canada in that victory and finished with 16 goals and six assists in six games. Incoming freshman goaltender Brennan Donville made 11 saves for Canada during the title-game loss.
TOP RANK Playing as an amateur to retain his collegiate eligibility, Venkat Iyer '14 has made his way onto the ATP World Tour tennis rankings. He won a pair of matches in ATP Futures events this summer, earning enough points to rank as high as number 1,384 in the world. He also reached the doubles semifinals of a Futures event in India to rank 1,475 in doubles.
MEMORIAL A summer lacrosse tournament in Lake Placid, New York, has turned into a reunion of Cornell lacrosse players and a fundraiser honoring a fallen teammate. In 2009, the Big Red Steelheads made their Lake Placid Classic debut in memory of David Holder '95, who died from lymphoma the previous fall. The group, led by Tyler Hearon '95, has raised more than $10,000 for the David L. Holder Educational Foundation.
IRON MAN After winning the U.S. junior title in the shot put with a throw of 66 feet, 3-1/4 inches, Stephen Mozia '15 went on to finish 10th at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain. He uncorked his best throw of 65 feet in the preliminary round to easily reach the finals, where he topped out at 63 feet, 9-3/4 inches.
MORE HITS Fresh off its first Ivy League title since 1977, Big Red baseball continued to make news. Outfielder Brian Billigen '12 signed a free-agent minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was assigned to their Arizona League rookie team. Teammate Chris Cruz '14 was a top player for the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, where he earned a berth in the all-star game. And Kellen Urbon '15 was named a freshman All-American by both Louisville Slugger and the National College Baseball Writers Association after posting a 0.47 ERA with nine saves and three wins in 22 appearances.