Winter Sports in Review
The Oberlin College basketball team made large strides this season, more than doubling their win total from one year ago. The Yeomen, led by senior All-NCAC forward Chris Ikpoh, went 7-18 overall and 3-13 in conference play. Oberlin fell just short of Denison University, 4-12 in NCAC games, from qualifying from the NCAC tournament.
Ikpoh, the only all conference selection on the team, leads a strong senior class. Fellow senior forward Bosko Tomasevic was second to Ikpoh’s 14.9 points per game with 11.0 ppg. Tomasevic was also second on the team in rebounds per game with 5.5, while Ikpoh averaged 8.8 per game.
Five foot eight guard Cameron Leverett and six foot Julius Hill round out the remainder of the senior class as they both made impacts in the Yeomen backcourt. Leverett lead the team with over 1.5 steals per game.
Leverett won NCAC player of the week earlier in the season after leading the Yeomen to a 70-61 victory over Denison. In the game, Leverett tied the school record with seven threes in a single game.
In this season’s incoming class, Alex Malone started the most games of out any Yeoman this season. Playing out of the backcourt, he was third on the team in scoring and first on the team in assists.
The Yeomen began and ended the season on high notes, both times winning three out of four games. Next season, the Yeomen will search for post players to fill the voids at the post position to continue the hot hand that the Yeomen ended the 2003-04 season on.
The women’s basketball team qualified for the NCAC tournament this season, but lost in the first round to NCAA tournament bound Wittenberg. The women finished 7-19 overall on the season and 3-13 in NCAC play.
Coach Christ Champion was consistent in her personnel decisions this year as she started the same lineup for 25 games this season. Junior Cristina Briboneria and senior Amber Coleman anchored the starting lineup and were recognized for their efforts as they were both named Honorable Mention All-Conference. The combo split time playing the one, two and three positions.
The Yeowomen found their groove in the middle of the season, as they won four out of six games. Included in their four victories were wins over conference opponents Hiram, Kenyon, and Ohio Wesleyan.
Following the run of wins, the Yeowomen faced a difficult schedule which included two games against Wittenberg. During that stretch the women won one game in eight tries.
Next season’s senior class will lead the team. They will feature Briboneria and guards Nicole Burford and Julia Daher. They will all fill the spots left by Coleman and center Tranice Harrell.
Swimming and Diving:
The Yeomen gave evidence that their program is heading in the right direction as they finished in seventh place in the NCAC, with several top finishes.
Senior Burt Betchart ended his Oberlin career with a bang as he was responsible for three of Oberlin’s top ten finishes. Betchart had two sixth place finishes, the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 53.88 and a 1:57.31 200 yard backstroke. He also placed seventh in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.60.
Sophomore Thomas Limouze, in tenth place, bettered junior Ben Pierce by two places in the 500 yard freestyle; they completed in times of 4:47.92 and 4:53.87. Pierce came back to out due Limouze in the 200 yard freestyle. Pierce had an outstanding race finishing in fourth place in 1:43.95. Limouze was not far behind with a time of 1:49.36, good enough for 17th best in the conference.
Limouze would have the last word as he beat Pierce in the longest event of the meet, the 1650 yard freestyle. Limouze received sixth place by swimming the 66 length race in 16:48.94. Pierce, two places behind Limouze, had a time of 17:10.88. Sophomore Zachary Kaplan-Moss helped to make this one of the teams strongest events, earning 12th place in 17:26.61.
Other top 20 finishers for the Yeomen were sophomores Craig Betchart and Yorgos Strangas and juniors Joel Ketner and Gabo Golden.
The women did not fare as well, finishing in last place, but they still had strong performances at the conference tournament that gives hope for the future.
The Yeowomen were lead by Senior Adrienne Zoller. She was the only Yeowoman swimmer to finish in the top ten. In the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke Zoller had two eighth place finishes with times of 1:11.36 and 2:34.16.
Both breaststroke events were strengths for the team. Finishing in 12th, 13th, and 16th place in the 100 yard breaststroke were first-year Kim Meinert, 1:14.35, senior Nikki Middaugh, 1:14.42, and senior co-captain Meagan Dunphy-Daly.
In the 200 yard breaststroke, Dunphy-Daly, 2:41.71, and Middaugh, 2:41.84, finished just behind Zoller in 13th and 14th place.
The one other event in which the Yeowomen placed multiple swimmers in the top 20 was the 1650 yard freestyle. Senior Lindsay Martin-McCormick finished in 19:27.59, good enough for 18th place, while first-year Kate Boyd received 19th place with a time of 19:29.34.
The women’s track and field team was one of the most successful winter sports for Oberlin this year.
Many team members gave strong performances at the end of the year conference tournament, including senior Shannon Houlihan, who received the honor of being named NCAC Outstanding Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor season.
With a jump of 36’7 ?”, Houlihan took first in triple jump for the fourth year in a row and qualified for nationals in the event. She finished in fourth for the long jump with 15’11”, and ran the 55m hurdles in 9.02 for second place.
Houlihan was also on the 4x200m relay team which came in second with 1:48.61, with juniors Teresa Collins and Magdalen Dale, and first-year Danielle Brooks.
Collins followed Houlihan in the triple jump with a distance of 35’5” and finished third in the 400m run with 59.22. Her preliminary time for the 400m run qualified Collins for nationals with 58.72, and broke the Oberlin school record in the event. She ran the 200m run in 26.77 for fourth place as well.
Fifth place in the same event went to Brooks who had a time of 27.37, and ran the 55m dash in 7.60 putting her in fourth place.
Junior Leslie Bosworth, also a member of the 4x400m relay team with Dale, Collins, and sophomore Carmen Welton, finished fourth in 9.08 for the 55m hurdles. The relay team placed third with a time of 4:10.5.
Welton went on to break a school record with her preliminary time as well. Her time of 2:22.82 outdid the previous performance, and she claimed fourth for the 800m finals with 2:25.45. Sophomore Tamara White placed eighth in the event, running 2:30.15.
Overall the women’s team scored 82.0 for fourth place in the championships, while Denison placed in first with 175.0, Ohio Wesleyan had 112.0, and Allegheny acquired a 93.0.
The men’s team accumulated 34 points for eighth place.
Pole vaulter, sophomore Shean Perry, who broke his own school record from the previous meet, vaulted 14’00” for first place.
As junior Bret Petersen ran 51.60 in the 400m finals for third place.
Taking fifth in 6.68 in the 55m dash was first-year Edo Bedzra. He also placed sixth in the 200m finals by running 23.37.
Fellow first-year Matt Ferris-Smith came in eighth with 2:03.30 for the 800m finals.
Running a time of 1:34.71, the 4x200m relay team finished in fifth. The runners were first-years Quentin Jones and Micah Petersen, and seniors Will Miller and Jeremy Lane.
The distance medley relay team ran 10:59.10 for fifth place and consisted of first-year Ben Stanley, sophomore Dan Keeney, junior Travis Oman, and senior Brad Coryell.