Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Victory lap

Caroline Isaacs ’13Swimming co-captain graduates awash in success 

This year in February, before the men’s and women’s swimming teams competed in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships, coach Barrett Roberts ’07 gathered the group for a pre-meet pep talk. He highlighted some of the great moments from past championships, as well as talked about various swimmers who had surpassed expectations.

Wheaton Women's Swim Team“This year, I spoke about John Kuckens ’06, Zachariah Hicks ’07, John Ahern ’10 and Christian Woods ’12,” said Roberts, a former member of the Wheaton swim team. Next year a name that surely will be added to that list is Caroline Isaacs ’13.

Isaacs, the women’s swimming team co-captain, graduated in May as the program’s most successful distance swimmer, according to Roberts, with records in the 500-yard, 1,000-yard and 1,650-yard freestyles as well as the 400-yard individual medley. She also was a two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Award winner; the recipient of a 2013 Banning-Ford Prize in Education; and she achieved the highest grade point average on the team for the fall semester, which secured the Lyons a spot on this year’s College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Team Scholar All-America list.

“She will definitely be remembered as a major contributor to our program and an example to follow for years to come,” said Roberts. “When she first joined the team, she wasn’t considered a potential record holder, but Caroline improved dramatically since her freshman year. She willed herself to an elite level of competition and earned every bit of her success.” [Read more...]

At the top of her game—on and off the court

McKenzie “Kenzie” Kuhn ’15Sophomore McKenzie “Kenzie” Kuhn, a point guard on the women’s basketball team, has always been a motivated person.

In high school she would spend hours in her driveway working on her jump shot—even with snow on the pavement. And she would travel two hours from her home in Glenwood Springs, Colo., to practice and play with the Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, the Colorado Heat, to improve her skills.

Her determination on the hardwood was matched in the classroom, where her finely honed time-management skills helped her maintain a perfect grade point average throughout high school—all while she was also involved in three varsity sports and numerous clubs.

At Wheaton, the environmental science major has continued to do the same as a student-athlete.

“Ever since I was little I have had a competitive drive to do the best that I can in whatever I am trying to do,” says Kuhn. “Whether it’s a class or a drill, I want to get the most out of my time by working my hardest.”

Kuhn caught the attention of women’s basketball head coach Melissa Hodgdon, who recalls watching and admiring her energy, hustle and toughness on the court.

[Read more...]

Social media puts sports fans within fingertips’ reach

Facebook and Twitter updates helped bring in a crowd of supporters for a winter basketball game.

If you Facebook it, they will come.

Wheaton student-athletes, coaches, administrators and alums are seeing this more and more as they continue to raise the virtual profile of college athletics by using social media.

Just one example: Before students departed campus in December for winter break, the women’s basketball team extended an invitation to the entire campus for an important conference game against Babson College.

In addition to using the college’s in-house email system, posters and flyers, the team relied on every member of its squad to advertise the event through their accounts on Facebook, as well as send out tweets via the team’s handle @WheatonBBall to encourage people to come to the game and wear their Wheaton blue. The athletics department also used social media channels to advertise the event for about a month prior.

[Read more...]

Outfielder Sean Ryan ’13 shines on the diamond

Sean Ryan ’13

Sean Ryan ’13

Sean Ryan’s roots in baseball run deep. His grandfather, who is in the Boston Park League Hall of Fame, was invited for a tryout with the New York Yankees. His father used to place a plastic baseball glove in Ryan’s crib. And Ryan fondly remembers working on his swing in his front yard when he was 6 years old.

So it is no wonder that the diamond still sparkles for him. “Baseball is special to me because nothing matches the feeling of being up at the plate against the pitcher and doing everything possible to get on base,” says Ryan, a senior who is majoring in economics.

For the past three seasons, the Norton, Mass., native has occupied the outfield of Sidell Stadium, and that deep-rooted dedication to the game has made him a pivotal part of the Lyons’ success.

In 2010, he was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and also earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. In 2011, he sustained a season-ending injury but bounced back last season by leading the Lyons in batting average, slugging percentage and runs, while also recording three home runs, 37 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He was named NEWMAC’s Player of the Year in 2012, as well as an American Baseball Coaches Association Division III All-American (second team), which means that he was recognized for being the second-best player in the country at his position (outfield) in Division III.

[Read more...]