Along Middle Path
With a Watson Fellowship, CoCo Battle will study Islamic danceA s Colette "CoCo" Battle '97 sees it, the Western world is badly misinformed about Islamic women in Africa. Many Westerners believe these women lead lives of shameful, repressed silence in male-dominated cultures. But Battle learned that stereotypical view doesn't mesh with reality.
She made her discovery last year during a five-month stay in Morocco. There, she was a student at the School for International Training, studying women in the Islamic political system. Battle became especially interested in Islamic trance dancing after witnessing the power and beauty of the ritual during a wedding ceremony in a rural section of Morocco. She learned trance dancing serves as a much-needed form of communication and often as a political tool for Islamic women in North Africa.
"I saw another side of these women," recalls Battle, "one of lively personalities, joy, and appreciation for their culture and most of all their God. Women play the beats, sing the chants, and control almost every aspect of the ceremony. These women have been the backbone of their societies and have also taken on the role of windows to their rich past."
Battle will be able to examine that past and, in particular, the roots and significance of trance dancing, after being awarded a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship for 1997-98. She is one of sixty U.S. college students who have won Watson fellowships for a year of independent study and travel abroad. More than one thousand seniors from fifty liberal-arts colleges vied for the $18,000 grants. In support of such wanderjahrs, the Watson Fellowship program was started in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' longstanding interest in education and world affairs.
"I'm truly grateful for the fellowship," says Battle, who learned of her good fortune in March. "The Kenyon competition alone was immense. I couldn't believe I won it--I was stunned."
An international-studies major with a concentration in religion, Battle will travel to Mauritania, Morocco, and Senegal in August to begin her study of Islamic trance dancing. "My plan is to examine why it exists and to take a close look at the meanings of the body movements of the women who dance it," she explains. "I'll compare native traditions with religious rituals in the regions."
Islamic trance dance entails ritual dancing that allows participants to fall into an altered state of consciousness. Battle notes that this form of dance happens all over the world, from the first rituals in Africa to churches in the United States.
Battle grew up near New Orleans, Louisiana, where she learned to speak Creole French and picked up some of the Arabic language from her mother, Mary Pichon Battle, who had served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the 1960s. Those language skills, coupled with her natural ease with people, helped Battle open doors to some of the more private realms of Morocco. She even wore a hijab, a veil-like cloth that covers the hair. "Many of the women discarded the veil in the fifties and sixties," says Battle. "Now the movement in the Arab world is to wear it again to make a statement against westernization. They've gotten to see the veil as a symbol of power. It's something most Western feminists don't take time to understand."
Her experiences also reinforced her outlook on the world. "My theory is that before progress can be made, people must realize that religion and politics are not necessarily separate," says Battle. "I believe that gaining a better understanding of Islam gives me the basis from which to deal with that kind of religious and political connection in America."
After the year in North Africa, she plans to enroll in law school and pursue a career in international law or foreign policy. A campus leader at Kenyon, Battle is president of the senior class and was the recipient of the College's Humanitarian Award in 1994 and last year's Doris Crozier Award in recognition of her qualities of vision, responsibility, courage, and dedication to excellence. Battle has also been an active member of the Black Student Union and president of the Nia sorority.
In winning the Watson Fellowship, she expressed gratitude for the support given to her by Dean for Academic Advising Liz Keeney and Director of International Education Barbara Hamlet. "Dean Keeney has been a phenomenal inspiration to me," says Battle. "I think of her as having helped me achieve everything I've done at Kenyon. Barbara Hamlet helps me to broaden my horizons and see the bigger picture. I'm really grateful to those two women. There is no limit to where they reach out."
Kenyon's senior interviewers have fun with a serious jobY ou've narrowed your college choices down to just a few, and now you're facing the moment of truth, the moment when you will be measured and evaluated, in person, during an on-campus interview. This is your one big chance.
Or is it?
"At Kenyon, the admissions interview is informational," says Eric Isaacman, a senior from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who conducts interviews in the admissions office. "The interview is not going to make or break a person's chances of getting in," he continues. "We try to ask engaging questions that allow prospective students to discuss their previous experiences. What kinds of persons are they? Are they excited to be coming to college? What can they offer a small college community, shaped by the people in it."
Isaacman is one of a select group of fifteen seniors who assist the professional staff of the College's admissions office in conducting interviews. Chosen for their potential to make high-school students comfortable, their ability to make mature, objective assessments of prospective students, and their knowledge of (and involvement in) campus life, the senior interviewers ensure that prospective students will be able to schedule interviews even though much of the professional staff may be on the road visiting high schools.
"Probably one-fifth to one-quarter of the rising senior class applies for the opportunity to be a senior interviewer," says Director of Admissions Beverly Morse. "It enables us to choose the very best for the job."
Some of the senior interviewers already have extensive experience working for the admissions office as tour guides or volunteers. Nevertheless, each receives specific training for the position. "We teach the interviewers how to ask open-ended questions, how to deal with a difficult situation, how to listen carefully, and how to prepare informative write-ups," explains Morse. "We want the prospective students and their families to feel well-served by this interview. It's really a conversation." A ten-year veteran of admissions work, Morse emphasizes that whether the interview is conducted by a member of the professional staff or by a student, it is still a professional interview.
"I would urge students to prepare questions and to research Kenyon and their other top choices in advance," says senior interviewer Karin Boerger of Columbus, Ohio. "It's important to show interest in the college and to be enthusiastic."
Senior Tonya Ladipo looks for students who are intelligent and can do the work but who also have a strong desire to pursue some interest outside the classroom. "I'd rather see a student who's passionate about one thing and does it well than one who's involved superficially in twenty things," says the Chicago, Illinois, native.
Isaacman echoes the sentiment. "The importance that colleges place on these things is twofold: that you know there is more to life than academe and that you understand hard work can pay off."
As interviewers, Boerger, Isaacman, and Ladipo say they are motivated by their desire to help prospective students decide whether Kenyon is the best place for them as well as the opportunity to take part in shaping the College's future.
An additional benefit for the senior interviewers is the poise and self-confidence they say they develop. The training and experience allow them to understand interviewing from the interviewer's perspective, which is invaluable as they prepare for life after Kenyon.
An international studies major, Boerger hopes to work as a consultant or to teach Spanish. Isaacman is planning to return to China, where he studied during his junior year. An anthropology major, he says he has had a passionate interest in China since his high-school days. Ladipo, a psychology major, intends to work for at least a year in the field of psychology before heading to graduate school. "I'm itching to get out in the work world," she says. "I want to try different areas of psychology so I can decide which I like best."
"We know the interviewer position looks good on a resume," notes Morse. "It also benefits prospective students, who get to meet people who are at the heart of this community--the students."
Family Farm Project wins history awardT he College's Family Farm Project has won another prestigious award, with its comprehensive World Wide Web page earning the Public History Award from the Ohio Academy of History's Historical Societies and Archives Committee.
The announcement of the honor was made by J.D. Britton, chair of the Historical Societies and Archives Committee. The award was presented at the academy's annual meeting on April 5 in Canton, Ohio.
"The Family Farm Project combines several fields of study--sociology, anthropology, and history--and provides a wealth of information about family farming," said Britton. "Many students are involved in the project, and it is highly significant that they placed their work on a web page so that the whole world can share in it.
"Most history is taught through books, exhibits, or public programs," he continued, "but I believe the wave of the future is the Internet. The Family Farm Project's web page is a great model for people to learn from."
Using audio materials, graphs, interview excerpts from local farmers, photographs, and text, the Family Farm project web site highlights five areas of family farming. Those areas are a definition of family farming, life on a farm, the agricultural economy, farm organizations and community life, and farming and the environment.
The award from the Ohio Academy of History recognizes the "extraordinary job" done by the students who created the web site, said National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology Howard L. Sacks, director of the Family Farm Project.
"This is a student-developed, student-researched, and student-implemented project," he said of the web page. "It reflects what many farmers will tell you--that education is one of the absolute necessities for the future vitality of farming. This project shows the value of the World Wide Web in providing to a broad audience a comprehensive understanding of life on a family farm."
Beginning in the fall of 1994, students and faculty members at Kenyon joined with local farm families to launch the Family Farm Project. The three-year effort is designed to be a cooperative venture to explore family farming in Knox County.
Last fall, the Family Farm Project's web page received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums (OAHSM). In 1995, the project won OAHSM and American Farm Bureau Federation awards for its thirteen-part radio series, audiocassette, and interpretive booklet entitled "Rural Delivery" (available from the Kenyon Bookstore, 614-427-5410).
Based in Marion, Ohio, the Ohio Academy of History's membership comprises historians from academe, historical societies, and museums.
The Family Farm Project's web site address is: www2.kenyon.edu/projects/famfarm/life/tier2.htm.
Metamorphosis: The Shoppes becomes Philander's PubE ver wonder which Kenyon swimmers won the Ohio Athletic Conference 100-meter freestyle event between 1936 and 1973? Do you enjoy the art and humor of Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jim Borgman '76? Does a dusty photograph of children gazing upon Old Kenyon in the nineteenth century (a scene depicted on the cover of the Spring 1996 edition of the Bulletin) cause a warm wave of nostalgia to wash over you?
If the answer is "yes" to any of those questions, a visit to Philander's Pub is in order. The walls of the pub--the place formerly known as The Shoppes in the Peirce Hall basement--are decorated with College memorabilia, including old photos of the campus and Gambier, banners, plaques, posters, and athletic equipment. There is even a framed letter, addressed to "My dear Ed" on September 6, 1898, in which former President William "Fat" Peirce wants to make certain that "the cows are cleared from the athletic fields" and "the dung cleaned up." It concludes, most politely, "Thanking you in advance for executing these commissions, very truly yours, William F. Peirce."
"It's a pretty eclectic collection," admits Associate Dean of Students Cheryl L. Steele, who oversaw the transformation of The Shoppes.
Last summer, the area underwent a major facelift, creating the pub-like atmosphere. The changes include the creation of a lounge area with sofas and upholstered chairs, the refinishing of tables, benches, and booths, the purchase of new chairs, the removal of latticework to open up the ceiling and windows, the addition of a pool table, and the installation of a bar where beer and wine are sold on a limited basis. There is a food operation (pizza, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers) during the evening hours, and events such as performances by comedians and rock bands.
The overhaul was recommended last spring by the Shoppes Subcommittee, which included Steele, students Jeremy R. Collins '97, Kate E. Masley '98, Eva R. McClellan '98, and Elizabeth A. Pannill '97, and former ARAMARK Food Service Director Ross Garrison. Recognizing that student use of the Shoppes had dropped dramatically in recent years, the committee surveyed students to see how the area could be improved. Steele says the survey findings helped shape the changes that have been made.
"This has been an underutilized space on a part of the campus that has needs that were not being met," she explains. "There has been no place on the south end of campus for students to gather, relax, and socialize. The old Shoppes worked well for many years, but this fresher, more updated model seems to meet current needs better."
In keeping with the spirit of change, a contest was held to rename The Shoppes. The result was the switch to Philander's Pub.
McClellan says she's not entirely sold on the new name, but she likes the other changes. "The improvement really is incredible--a complete makeover," she says. "Students seem impressed with the changes, and they're happy to have another place to hang out, play pool, eat, and relax. The collection of old photos, trophies, and other Kenyon memorabilia really adds to the character of the place."
The collection includes framed covers from The Kenyon Review and Reveille, posters trumpeting Kenyon College Dramatic Club productions and the Gambier Folk Festival, a montage of Borgman cartoons, a plaque listing those 100-meter freestyle champions, and a number of nostalgia-inducing photographs, such as ones of the Kenyon School of Aeronautics, the old natatorium, the polo team, and Harcourt School girls exercising in the Rosse Hall gymnasium.
Steele is always looking for memorabilia to hang on the walls of the pub, and she is especially appreciative of items donated by alumni. "The memorabilia make the place come alive," she says. "It makes it less institutional and more personal--like Kenyon is."
So where else do students hang out these days?G ambier doesn't have a fifties-style malt shop where a wise-cracking soda jerk nicknamed "Scoop" dishes up the best ice-cream sundaes on the planet. But hey, it's the nineties, and at Kenyon there are plenty of student hangouts in tune with the times.
Take the award-winning bookstore, for example. Sandwiched between the bookshelves and magazine racks in the back room are overstuffed chairs and study tables furnished with boards for backgammon and chess. Students gather there at all hours of the day and night, studying for exams, playing board games, sipping coffee, munching bagels, leafing through the latest magazines, or swapping stories about campus life. "It has big, comfy chairs that are close together so you can whisper to friends," says Sarah Coombs, a first-year student from Studio City, California. "I have a friend who goes there to read romance novels, and nobody ever says anything. She's read about thirty of them."
Just down Gaskin Avenue is the Red Door Cafe, a coffeehouse that serves a big slice of cozy hospitality with its Starbucks coffee and espresso drinks, home-baked pastries, and savory soups and breads. "After classes, I like to stop by and read for a while," says Paige Baldwin, a first-year student from Mount Arlington, New Jersey. "It has a nice ambiance and good music that they keep low so you can read. And on Wednesday nights, they have delicious half-price chocolate-chip cookies."
Those looking for some lively nightlife can find it at the Pirates' Cove, a pizza place and bar tucked behind Farr Hall, or Philander's Pub (see the accompanying story). There is tasty food and a pub at the Village Inn, and the Gambier Deli is a hit with hungry students, serving more than eighty cleverly named, well-stacked sandwiches.
The lawn on the College's historic South Quad is a great place to socialize during nice weather, says Ben Kleinerman, a senior from Marshfield, Massachusetts. "You can play Frisbee, football, things like that," he says. Steve Lannen, a senior from Ann Arbor, Michigan, likes to hang out in the dining halls; when his schedule permits, he goes to the Pirates' Cove on Wednesday nights. Lannen adds that some of his best times are spent in the student residences. "That's where the real interaction is," he says. "That's where you have the best conversations."
Trustees approve smallest tuition, fees increases in yearsL ast fall, a mandate from Kenyon's trustees to the College's senior administration called for a move, over the next several years, toward annual tuition and fee increases at or below the inflation rate. As an interim measure, they asked that the 1997-98 hike not exceed 4.25 percent. In the end, administrators submitted a budget, approved at the winter meetings of the board on February 14 and 15, calling for an uptick of just 3.9 percent.
That increase in total fees is the smallest in at least twenty years. The next lowest was last year's 4.7 percent hike; the highest was the 1981-82 rise of 13.7 percent. (See the accompanying table.)
Although it entails a smaller fee increase than at any time in the past two decades, President Robert A. Oden Jr. says there is much to recommend the 1997-98 budget, which is based more closely than its predecessors on an accurate projection of opening enrollment. "Preparation of the budget was an especially important and time-consuming task this year," Oden says. "There were, of course, many more wise requests for enhancements than could be granted, but I believe those we have made will contribute materially to Kenyon's operations and its position in the marketplace for faculty members and students."
Among the enhancements included in the budget are:
- An increase in funds available for distribution by the provost.
- An increase in funds to support publications and other recruitment and enrollment efforts of the admissions office.
- Incorporation of Student Network Access Plan (SNAP) connection costs.
- Incorporation of start-up funds for new faculty members.
- Incorporation of the multicultural affairs coordinator's position, originally funded by a now-expired grant from the Lilly Foundation.
- Incorporation of a new position in the financial-aid office to assist with that office's growing workload.
- Incorporation of a new position in the public-affairs office to assist in writing admissions materials and to oversee elements of the World Wide Web site.
- Provision of funds to achieve greater equity in men's and women's athletics by offering women's softball as a varsity sport.
Tuition increases are in the same range at several neighboring institutions. Denison University will match Kenyon's 3.9 percent, while Oberlin College will raise its tuition by 3.77 percent, Ohio Wesleyan University by 4.5 percent, and the College of Wooster by 4.6 percent.
A twenty-year retrospective
History project documents Great Depression in Knox CountyA rmed with a tape recorder and camera, Lindsay B. Buchanan and Sara "Sally" Tauber didn't know quite what to expect when they began creating an oral history of how the Great Depression affected Knox County. As Kenyon seniors, they had spent plenty of time conducting research at the library, but this was their first try at tracking history by talking with people who had lived it.
The two tackled the project during the fall semester as part of Professor of History Peter M. Rutkoff's "Senior Research Seminar: The American Scene, 1930-45." Rutkoff encourages collaborative learning, believing that students draw encouragement and strength from working as a team. Buchanan and Tauber, good friends since their first year at the College, liked the idea of working together on a hands-on history project in the local community.
"You can read about the Dust Bowl and the Harlem Renaissance, but there's nothing on the Great Depression in Knox County," said Tauber, a history major from New York City. "We had to find our own material," added Buchanan, an English major from Louisville, Kentucky.
They found it by heading over to Mount Vernon and the Knox County farming community of Centerburg, as well as by calling on several citizens of Gambier. In private residences and nursing homes, Buchanan and Tauber talked to and photographed ten people who had lived in Knox County during the Depression. They also gathered statistics on the county and the three communities during that period, photos of buildings that remain from that era, and newspaper articles from that time. The result was an eye-catching, comprehensive exhibit, "The Great Depression: An Oral History of Knox County," which was displayed in Chalmers Library during the winter months.
Buchanan and Tauber became connected to the people they interviewed, feeling a deep responsibility to convey their stories accurately. "We felt we had to do it right," says Tauber. "We wanted it to be less of ourselves and more of the people we talked with." Buchanan and Tauber meticulously transcribed seventeen hours of interviews, allowing their subjects' words to paint a poignant picture of life in Knox County during the Depression.
"You could buy hamburg for twenty-five cents per pound, and everybody lived on peas," said Mount Vernon's Harriett Beck Hutchinson. Mount Vernon's Charlie Waddell can still vividly recall watching his unemployed father walk to get supplies from a relief office. "I remember him carrying a gray sack with blue stripes," he said. ". . . and we got a bag of corn meal, about five pounds, and five pounds of flour, and five pounds of oatmeal."
Centerburg's Harold "Butch" Cordle and his wife, Jacque, reflected on what life was like in a small farming community during those hard times. Butch remembered pouring hot water into his car's radiator because he couldn't afford to pay a dollar for antifreeze. His wife recalled how tough times brought people together. "We didn't feel like poor downtrodden people because we were all in the same boat," she said. "People had so much fun. You got together as families."
Life also went on in Gambier, according to Professor of Economics Emeritus Paul M. Titus and long-time Kenyon community member Mary Higgins McGowan, whose husband, the late Stuart R. McGowan '28, was an administrator and history and political-science professor at the College. "We didn't feel the Depression very much," said Titus, although he noted that salaries for faculty members were modest. Recalling that social life in Gambier at that time was "amazing," with dinner nd bridge parties to which men wore tuxedos and women long dresses, Titus added, "We were lucky."
McGowan also remembered the social whirl and how difficult it was for junior faculty members to meet the expenses of entertaining. She traded sugar and shoe stamps with local farm families for their meat stamps. "It was really rough," said McGowan, remembering the many ways that she prepared hamburger for her family. "Some members of the faculty even bought animals and kept them on some outlying fields where they could take care of them."
In the exhibit, such words seemed to flow from the subjects because of the careful placement of their comments next to their photographs, all of which were taken by Tauber. "We wanted each person to be surrounded with artifacts of their lives," explained Buchanan, who wrote the text for the project.
"I particularly liked the photographs on one hand and the first-person narratives on the other," said Rutkoff. "That the research was collaborative only made it more interesting and strong. I think very highly of their project."
Buchanan is considering pursuing a graduate degree in American studies or American history, while Tauber is interested in studying labor relations and working in business management. Each will carry with her the lessons learned in creating their exhibit on the Great Depression. "It gave new meaning to research," said Tauber.
International student-athletes thrive at KenyonG oing away to college can be a challenging experience for anyone. Traveling to a new area of the country, becoming familiar with area customs and lingo, and just getting comfortable with a new way of life can be scary, no matter if the college is only minutes or several hours away.
For those students who are oceans away from home, it can become overwhelming. At Kenyon, however, participation in intercollegiate athletics has created a helpful starting point for many international students.
In the College's current student body of 1,544, there are forty-three international students. Sixteen of the forty-three are members of various athletic teams, including four in men's soccer, four in men's swimming, and three in women's tennis.
While their backgrounds are as varied as their sports, they do have some things in common--such as the reasons why they are student-athletes at Kenyon. Foremost is the College's academic stature. They searched for institutions with strong academic reputations and at the same time looked for ones that were competitive in athletics.
"I was looking at a lot of larger schools, like the University of Pittsburgh, but after visiting Kenyon I knew I wanted to come here," says Nicole E. Harbauer '00, a native of Maple, Ontario, Canada, and a member of the Ladies tennis team. "I wanted a college with a good academic reputation, but with a challenging athletic program as well. It was important for me to go to a college where not only would I be able to play tennis but where my priorities--academics first, tennis second--would remain intact."
Harbauer admits her busy schedule, balancing the demands of course work and tennis, has actually made it easier for her to cope with being away from home. She says she simply doesn't have a lot of time to think about it.
That was also the situation for Wayne J. Albertyn '97, a three-time All-American for the Lords of soccer. A native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, he was upset about being late in applying to Dartmouth College, so a friend steered him in the direction of Kenyon. Once Albertyn arrived in Gambier, it did not take him long to feel at home.
"I just had to accept the fact that home was very far away and that I had made the decision to come to the United States on my own," says Albertyn. "I feel like this is my home now, but competing in athletics made things a lot easier for me in the beginning. I met a lot of new people during the preseason, and by the time classes started, I had a core group of friends. Some of my closest friends are my teammates; athletics has helped me a lot."
Jaap Mulder '99, a native of Bergum in the Netherlands, also made the decision to come to the United States on his own, but he liked it so much at the College that he extended his plans to stay one year into two years. Playing basketball for the Lords greatly influenced his decision.
"I've enjoyed playing basketball so much that I can't think of my American experience without thinking about that aspect of it," says Mulder. "I really feel at home here. The decision to go back to the Netherlands and leave Gambier and Kenyon after this summer has been really difficult. It will hit me many times before I actually go back.
"Coming to the College has provided me the opportunity to study in a whole different setting, in a different culture, while allowing me to play basketball at a high level," says Mulder, who also considered studying at several other liberal-arts colleges. "It has truly widened my horizons and world view."
While Mulder says he knew a good deal about the United States before coming to Kenyon, Torsten Seifert '98, a native of Halle, Germany, and member of the Lords' swimming team, decided to come to the States to find out if everything he had heard was true.
"Growing up under the Communist regime in the former East Germany, the United States was known as the land of unlimited opportunities," says Seifert, who definitely wanted to pursue his swimming career in college. "I decided I wanted to take the chance."
Seifert came to the United States as an exchange student at Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a junior at the time, but he decided to stay at Princeton to graduate. Seifert says it was during that time that he became aware of the many opportunities to combine academics and athletics in college if he stayed in the States. After emerging as a strong swimmer for Princeton, he was recruited by several Division I and II institutions, but he selected Kenyon.
"Swimming was a major factor in choosing the College," says Seifert. "There is no other institution in the United States that can compare with Kenyon in terms of success in their respective divisions. But the strong academic background the College provides was equally important, since I always realized that I won't be swimming through life."
Seifert has fared well on all fronts. He is succeeding as an economics major, winning Merit List recognition, and also making a name for himself in the water. He is a six-time All-American and two-time Division III champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle.
"I think I've managed pretty well," says Seifert. "I would say that being part of an athletic team in high school and at Kenyon has certainly made it easier to adapt. It has provided me with an easy way to meet new people and make new friends. My teammates have always been helpful and supportive, which made the transition much easier. I don't think the whole experience would have been the same without swimming."
Kenyon continues its reign in Division III swimming and divingA year that supposedly presented opponents with their best chances of stopping Kenyon's unprecedented reign in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III swimming and diving only provided more motivation for the Lords and Ladies.
The result: another pair of Division III championships, following impressive performances in the national com-petitions at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
The Ladies dove into an early lead and never checked their wake en route to scoring 572 points. Kenyon won twelve of twenty events to capture a fourteenth consecutive women's championship. The Ladies far outdistanced the field, as Williams College took the runner-up spot with 377 points, followed by the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) with 355.
It was a similar situation in the men's meet, as the Lords won the first event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, in NCAA-record time to set the tone for what was to follow. When the waters calmed, Kenyon had claimed its eighteenth straight national title and wins in eleven of twenty events, including a sweep of the relays for only the second time in Division III history.
The Lords amassed a division-record 689.5 points, topping the previous record of 687 points set by Kenyon at the same site in 1995. UCSD and Denison University, considered legitimate threats to end the championship streak, finished a distant second and third, respectively, with final totals of 336 and 303.5 points.
Outstanding efforts were numerous for the Ladies and Lords. In the women's meet, senior Katie Petrock won three individual events and helped the Ladies to victories in three relays. She set division records in the 200 individual medley (2:04.25), the 400 individual medley (4:23.30), and the 200 backstroke (2:02.63) and helped to set a new standard in the 200 medley relay (1:46.27).
Petrock's efforts earned her 1997 Swimmer of the Year accolades, placing her in an elite group with Erin Finneran '89, Patty Abt '87, Kami Mathews '91, Jennifer Carter '93, and three-time winner Carla Ainsworth '95.
In the men's meet, junior Pedro Monteiro was among the standouts, setting the division record in the 200 butterfly (1:45.19).
Jim Steen was honored as the 1997 Women's Swimming Coach of the Year. He has now guided Kenyon teams to thirty-two NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships, more than any other coach in any sport in any division.
Winter sports in brief:M en's basketball
Ladies take NCAC championship
(6-19 overall, 4-12 North Coast Athletic Conference [NCAC], seventh place)
First-year head coach Richard Whitmore guided a young Lords team through a challenging schedule. The seniorless squad was led by J.J. Olszowy, the only junior on the roster, who emerged as the sixth-leading scorer in the NCAC, averaging 14.8 points per game. He also finished the season as the leading three-point shooter in the conference, averaging 2.9 treys made per game. Sophomore point guard Shaka Smart finished second among the leaders in assists, averaging 5.4 per game. He also set Kenyon's single-season mark by recording 134 assists during the campaign. First-year Lord David Houston, who averaged 10.5 points per game, finished the season ranked seventh in the NCAC in field-goal shooting accuracy (.482). The Lords, although competitive in nearly every outing, were hampered throughout the season by their lack of veteran know-how. Future prospects look brighter, however, as Whitmore will welcome back the entire line-up for the 1997-98 season.
All-NCAC honoree: Honorable mention, junior J.J. Olszowy.
W omen's basketball
(26-2 overall, 16-0 NCAC, first place)
One of the most remarkable seasons in Kenyon athletic history was recorded by the basketball Ladies, who not only rolled to their first regular season championship in the NCAC but also capped a perfect conference season by taking their first NCAC tournament title. The Ladies set or tied thirty-eight individual or team records en route to the most successful basketball season, men's or women's, in Kenyon history. Second-year head coach Suzanne Helfant guided the Ladies, who also received their first bid to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III championship tournament. A twenty-two game winning streak--one of the longest in the nation--was snapped in the first round of NCAA tournament play as host Alma College, a veteran of eight NCAA tournament appearances, handed the Ladies a 66-59 setback in a game that was ferociously contested to the final minute. The Ladies' only prior loss was a 77-59 decision to Defiance College, which finished the regular season as the top-rated team in the nation. Seniors Kim Graf, Sarah Foran, Emily Donovan, and Rachel Fikes capped outstanding careers by emerging as Kenyon's all-time leaders in various statistical categories. Graf led in scoring (1,794 points), three-point shots attempted (987) and made (365), and free-throw shooting accuracy (.776). Foran led in assists (310), Donovan in steals (191), and Fikes in blocked shots (79). The season was filled with highlights, including a first-time sweep of perennial NCAC powerhouse Wittenberg University. Graf's jersey number, 24, was retired in a special ceremony following the Ladies' opening NCAC tournament victory over Oberlin College. She is the first woman in Kenyon history to have her jersey number retired.
All-NCAC honorees: First team, seniors Kim Graf and Emily Donovan; second team, sophomore Karen Schell; honorable mention, junior Laurie Danner.
NCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player: Graf
NCAC Player of the Year: Graf
NCAC Coach of the Year: Suzanne Helfant
GTE All-District IV Academic All-American: Graf
M en's Indoor Track and Field
(Lords placed sixth in the NCAC championship meet)
Propelled by the record-breaking efforts of junior Dan Denning, the Lords scored 47.5 points and finished sixth in the conference championship meet at Denison University. It marked the best finish in the NCAC indoor meet for the Lords since 1991. Denning, named the Most Valuable Track (middle distance) performer, placed first in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs, setting Kenyon records in both. He clocked a time of 8:55.3 in the 3,000, the only runner to break the nine-minute mark, and crossed the finish line in a time of 15:18.3 in the 5,000, more than thirteen seconds in front of the runner-up.
All-NCAC honorees: Junior Dan Denning.
Most Valuable Track (middle distance) Performer: Denning.
W omen's Indoor Track and Field
Ladies placed sixth in the NCAC championship meet)
Depth in distance events enabled the Ladies to challenge for a lofty team finish in the NCAC competition. The Ladies tallied seventy-one points to finish in sixth place, their best effort since 1993 and only four points out of fourth place. Senior Gretchen Baker helped the Ladies' cause with a pair of runner-up finishes in the 3,000-meter run (10:50.1) and the 5,000-meter run (18:57.7). Senior Keri Schulte placed third in the 5,000 (19:08.8), and senior Nita Toledo took third in the high jump (5-0). First-year Lady Maraleen Shields added to Kenyon's showing with a third-place in the triple jump (32-3 1/4).
All-NCAC honorees: Seniors Gretchen Baker, Keri Schulte, Annick Shen, and Nita Toledo; first-year Lady Maraleen Shields.
M en's Swimming and Diving
(7-7 overall, second-place finish in the NCAC)
A nineteen-point difference in the conference championship meet at Oberlin College ended Kenyon's forty-three-year streak of conference titles, spanning competition in the Ohio and North Coast athletic conferences. The Lords placed first in six of seven events in the final night of competition, but they could not quite overtake the lead built by Denison University's Big Red during the second day of the three-day meet. Denison finished the meet with 932 points, while Kenyon took the runner-up spot with 913 points. The College of Wooster was a distant third with 460 points. Senior Derek Zurn turned in an outstanding performance on the boards, sweeping 1- and 3-meter competition en route to being named NCAC Diver of the Year for the second year in a row. Senior Dave Phillips was also a double winner for the Lords, finishing first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:39.52) and the 1,650 free (16:04.77), also for the second straight year in both. Junior Justin Thoms placed first in the 50 free (21.18) for the third consecutive year, becoming Kenyon's first three-time winner since Denison coach Gregg Parini '82 won from 1979 through 1982. Thoms was also a member of four victorious relays: the 200 free (1:23.95), 400 free (3:05.69), 800 free (1:44.79), and 400 medley (3:28.02). Junior Nathan Gardner won for Kenyon in the 200 backstroke (1:52.15) and junior Ken Heis in the 100 free (46.54).
All-NCAC honorees: Seniors Aaron McCormick, Matt Miller, Dave Phillips, and Derek Zurn; juniors Robin Blume-Kohout, Ben Douglass, Nathan Gardner, Ken Heis, Jim Hinckley, Pedro Monteiro, and Justin Thoms; sophomores Michael Courtney-Brooks and Ben Holland.
NCAC Diver of the Year: Derek Zurn.
NCAC Diving Coach of the Year: Fletcher Gilders.
W omen's swimming and diving
(6-8 overall, first-place finish in the NCAC)
Kenyon bolted to a comfortable lead during the first night of NCAC championship competition to put an early end to an upset bid by Denison University. The Ladies won their twenty-first conference or state title, compiling 911 points, while Denison's Big Red finished with 806. Allegheny College was a distant third with 462 points. Senior Kate Petrock was named NCAC Female Swimmer of the Year after winning three individual events in record times and contributing to four of Kenyon's winning relays. Petrock placed first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:07.37), 100 backstroke (59.37), and 200 backstroke (2:05.05). She was also the lead swimmer in the 200 (1:49.89) and 400 medley (3:59.71) relays and the anchor swimmer in the 400 free (3:32.1) and 800 free (7:45.15) relays. First-year Lady Becky White turned in an outstanding effort on the diving boards, becoming only the third woman in Kenyon history to win a conference diving championship and only the second to sweep the events (following Ann Kelley '92 in 1992). White was named NCAC Diver of the Year for her efforts. Sophomores Marisha Stawiski and Amelia Armstrong also emerged as double winners for the Ladies. Armstrong placed first in the 500 free (5:05.25) and 400 IM (4:33.73), while Stawiski won the 50 free (24.42) and 100 free (52.48). Stawiski also swam on four winning relays.
All-NCAC honorees: Senior Katie Petrock; juniors Anna Drejer and Malia McGlothlin; sophomores Amelia Armstrong, Laura Baker, Sarah Buntzman, Becky Sanford, Marisha Stawiski, and Katie Varda; first-year Ladies Molly Hatcher, Adrianne Hughes, Jordan Parker, and Becky White.
NCAC Swimmer of the Year: Katie Petrock.
NCAC Coach of the Year: Jim Steen.
NCAC Diving Coach of the Year: Fletcher Gilders.
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