Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Bring your sword, Frisbee, desire to play

Club sports, intramurals offer fitness and fun

On a quiet Thursday evening, the sound of metal clinking against metal pierces the cavernous Clark Center gym, as two students lunge at each other with swords. Back and forth they go in an athletic dance of grace and aggression that ends with one touching the other with the (covered) tip of a blade.

No worries; it’s all in the name of fun and sport. They are members of the Fencing Club, which is one of a growing number of club sports and intramural activities now being offered at Wheaton to encourage fitness and friendship, as well as mental agility. [Read more...]

Making waves at Olympics

Making waves at the Olympics

Wheaton swim coach Nicole CarterNicole Carter ’02, who is a Wheaton assistant coach, also trains Algonquin Regional High swimmer Dorian McMenemy. Their hard work got the swimmer to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where McMenemy competed in the 100-meter butterfly. The 15-year-old represented the Dominican Republic, swam her personal best, was second in her heat, and rode with Michael Phelps—all with Carter cheering her on. We asked the coach about the experience:

Supporting role: I am the head coach at Evolution Aquatics, a swimming program based in Westboro, Mass. Dorian trains with me year-round with our club team. As the head coach, my role is to make sure every athlete gets the training and support they need to succeed. I must create an environment in which athletes are motivated to achieve their goals and constantly evolve in the sport of swimming and in academics. [Read more...]

Lyons are Tough Mudders

Softball coach Rachael Powers ’03, left, and team captain Alanna Monahan ’13If you have had the pleasure of watching Wheaton’s athletic events, you’ve seen the talent and toughness of the Lyons. On July 14, in Mount Snow, Vt., two of them took it to another level.

Softball coach Rachael Powers ’03 and team captain Alanna Monahan ’13 kicked some gluteus maximus in a Tough Mudder event. The course and obstacles were designed by the British Special Forces to prep for the physical and mental rigors of military exercises. Proceeds went to the Wounded Warriors program, which assists veterans with rehabilitation and assimilation into civilian life after the military.

The 12-mile course included several jaunts up and down ski slope trails in the 90-degree heat. During the course, participants were challenged with obstacles that included running through burning brush, being submerged under ice water, and crawling through tunnels of dirt and mud in complete darkness. My favorite ones included the (mild) electrical shocking of participants as they crawled through mud and water. (Observers tend to have a different perspective of fun.) [Read more...]

Wheaton’s biggest fan leads athletics department

“A Wheaton representative paced the length of the third-base concourse like an expectant father during the latter portion of the winner’s bracket final. Vigorously working a cell phone with his thumbs as he paced, he said, “I can’t take this.” His jubilant “Yes! Yes! Yes!” while pumping his right arm as he floated down the steps to the field after the final out makes you appreciate the investment and passion the players have on their side.”

—Ricky Nelson, D3baseball.com contributor

John Sutyak ’00 welcomes home Wheaton baseball team members after they played in the 2012 Division III Baseball National Championship.

When Ricky Nelson wrote this observation in his piece about his spectator’s view from the stands at the 2012 Division III Baseball National Championship in which Wheaton men’s baseball team was a finalist, he didn’t name anyone. He didn’t need to; John Sutyak ’00 would recognize himself anywhere.

John Sutyak ’00, Athletic Director

John Sutyak ’00, Athletic Director

“I’m a fan,” says Sutyak, flashing his characteristic big smile. “I distinctly remember the NEWMAC women’s basketball championship at WPI in 2009. WPI has the big stands and I was all the way at the top of the arena going back and forth. And when Lynn Miller won her first tennis championship in 2009 at MIT, I can remember my buddy from Wellesley saying, ‘Dude, it’s just a game.’

“I put Wheaton on a pedestal. I get so excited when we do well. I get down when we lose. Seeing the work that these coaches and student-athletes put in ratchets it up for me. I know how hard they all work. So when there’s an opportunity to do something special—this past year, it was baseball—as a fan and an alum, I want it to happen.”

Now the former varsity baseball player has even more of his heart—as well as talent—invested in the long-term success of Wheaton’s teams and its athletics programs. This spring, he was hired as the permanent director of athletics and recreation. Sutyak had been serving as interim director of athletics since June 2011 following the retirement of Chad Yowell. Prior to that he had been the assistant and then associate director of athletics since 2006. [Read more...]