The 2003 baseball season came to an end a little too early for the Kenyon ball club. The Lords, who struggled in the early part of the season, turned things around and capped off their schedule by winning five of their last seven games, including wins over national powerhouses Allegheny College and the College of Wooster.
The Lords finished with a 13-22 overall record and a 4-12 record in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Hidden behind those records were some remarkable offensive statistics that have never been seen before at Kenyon. The Lords set College single-season team records for batting average (.308), runs scored (217), hits (317), doubles (66), home runs (19), and runs batted in (195).
On an individual basis, Jesse Gregory and Matt Marcinczyk also etched their names in the record book. Gregory, a senior designated hitter, belted a single-season record twelve home runs and established the College's career home-run mark at 25. He also set Kenyon single-season records for runs batted in (46) and total bases (92). At the end of the season, Gregory was named a First Team All-NCAC selection and a Second Team All-Mideast Region selection. Marcinczyk, the Lords' first-year second baseman, posted a team-best .412 batting average and broke the College records for runs scored (35), hits (49), and doubles (14) in a single season. For his efforts, Marcinczyk was named to the All-NCAC Second Team.
In addition to the those accolades, seniors Josh Pike and Josh Karren, as well as first-year student Tyler Kavanaugh, all received honorable mentions from the conference.
The Kenyon College golf team seemed to grow fond of the number twelve during its 2003 season. The Lords had six tournaments on their schedule and finished in twelfth place in four of them.
That string of twelfth-place finishes occurred at the beginning of the year, when the Lords were trying to jell as a team as well as fight off some poor playing conditions. By the time the team started its fifth tournament, signs of improvement became apparent. The Lords posted a team score of 634 at the Ohio Wesleyan University Strimer Invitational. Although that score was good for just a thirteenth-place finish in a strong field of teams, it was also the Lords' best score of the season and the best score from any Kenyon team in a thirty-six hole tournament since 1991.
One week after that tournament, the Lords fired a 644 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship and claimed seventh place. It was a twenty-one stroke improvement over the team's score of 665 from the previous year's NCAC tournament.
First-year student Peter Wilson led Kenyon throughout the season. He turned in the team's lowest round of the season (156) at the NCAC tournament and capped off the year with a team-best 79.9 scoring average. Greg Bristol wasn't far behind as he finished up his sophomore season with a 82.3 scoring average.
After serving as head coach of Kenyon's men's lacrosse team for the past thirty-four seasons, Bill Heiser wrapped up his career by guiding the Lords to a 10-4 record this past season. In his final game on the Lords' sideline, Heiser was presented with a 19-10 win over Wittenberg University, bringing his career coaching record to 238-179. He heads into retirement with the second-highest win total among all Division III lacrosse coaches in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The Lords' success throughout the 2003 schedule helped continue a streak of five consecutive seasons in which the team posted ten or more wins. The Lords have not had a losing record since 1993 and have racked up a combined record of 100-38 (.725) over the last ten seasons.
During the 2003 season, Kenyon ranked second in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) with 187 goals scored, while allowing opponents to score a total of just 109 goals. The team's offensive attack was powered by seniors Justin Hamilton and Julian Quasha, junior Ross Zachary, and first-year student Will Walker. Hamilton led the Lords with 33 goals and 47 points, while Quasha followed up with 23 goals and 32 points. Zachary had 43 points, including a team-best 25 assists, while Walker added 26 goals and eight assists. At the conclusion of the season, Hamilton, Quasha, and Zachary each earned spots on the All-NCAC team.
Sophomore goalkeeper Dave Neiman was also selected to the All-NCAC team after making 163 saves and allowing opponents an average of just 7.95 goal per game.
The Kenyon women's lacrosse team broke out of the gates with a remarkable 6-1 record over its first seven games. The Ladies dropped their season opener to Eastern University by just two goals and then proceeded to rattle off six straight wins. The team's start was the second best in the thirty-year history of the program.
Senior Melissa Blum and first-year player Kaley Bell provided the spark that kept the Kenyon offense rolling. Blum led the team with 40 goals, 13 assists, and 53 points--the best output from any one Kenyon player since the 1998 season. Her goal and point totals also ranked among the top three in the entire North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Bell wasn't far behind, as she poured in 32 goals and served up eight assists. At the end of the season, Blum was named to the All-NCAC First Team, while Bell earned a spot on the Second Team.
In the midfield, junior Annie Huntoon was also named to the All-NCAC First Team after recording 14 goals and six assists. Junior defender Anna Wholey and first-year attack Weronika Kowalczyk rounded out the Ladies' All-NCAC selections by each receiving honorable mentions.
Although the team showed dramatic signs of improvement, the Ladies didn't quite finish up the season the way they had hoped. The team picked up just one more win against Oberlin College and was eliminated from the first round of the NCAC tournament with an overall record of 7-5.
Sophomore Dana Halicki had one of the best offensive seasons in the Kenyon softball program's history. The Ladies' leadoff hitter broke several records and helped push the team to a 9-24 overall record and a 5-9 record in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC).
Halicki led the Ladies, as well as the entire NCAC, with a .415 batting average and a .470 on-base percentage. She also ranked among the conference's top ten in slugging percentage (.509), runs scored (24), hits (44), doubles (8), and total bases (54). Both her batting average and on-base percentage were College single-season records.
First-year student Jenny Glaeser and senior Samantha Foy followed Halicki's lead and also earned spots in the College record book. Glaeser, the team's second baseman, finished off her first season of collegiate play with a .363 batting average and a team-best .571 slugging percentage. She stroked a College single-season record eleven doubles. Foy, on the other hand, did most of her work from the pitchers' mound, where she led the conference with 162 innings pitched. In that time, she recorded a conference-best four shutouts and posted a 2.25 earned run average. Foy completed her career with an overall earned run average of 2.66, another College record.
At the conclusion of the season, both Glaeser and Halicki were voted to the All-NCAC First Team, while Foy earned an honorable mention. Senior catcher Leslie Carroll was selected to the Second Team after batting .296 with nine runs scored and eleven RBIs.
For the second straight season and for the seventh time overall, the Kenyon men's tennis team won the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship and claimed a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III championship tournament.
After a 5-3 start, the Lords began to build momentum by winning the midseason Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) tournament, a tournament that had been won by Kalamazoo College for more than thirty years. Following that impressive victory, the Lords swept their conference competition and won the NCAC crown without losing a single match in tournament play. With the conference championship came a berth in the NCAA championship tournament, where the Lords faced Kalamazoo once again. Despite just squeaking by the Hornets 4-3 in the GLCA, the Lords breezed to a 5-0 win in their first-round NCAA match-up.
That victory was the fourteenth straight for the Lords and, more importantly, vaulted them into the second round of the NCAA tournament, where they faced Washington University. Unfortunately for the Lords, Washington halted their streak and eliminated them from the national competition with a 5-0 win.
The Lords finished the season with a 19-4 record. Sophomores Joe Freeman and Mike Herrick were awarded spots on both the All-NCAC First Teams for singles and doubles play. Classmate Borko Tesic, who had the best individual record on the team (18-2), was voted to the All-NCAC Second Team.
Senior Christina Reimers turned out to be a bright spot in a relatively mediocre season for the Kenyon women's tennis team. Reimers, the number-one-ranked player on the team, posted a 12-5 individual record and earned an invitation to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles tournament.
The invitation was bittersweet for Reimers, as the Ladies did not earn a team entry into the national tournament for the first time since 1986. Kenyon ended the 2003 season with combined 10-9 record and lost a 5-2 match to Denison University in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) finals.
Reimers, who wound up losing her opening round NCAA match to Pomona-Pitzer's Kelli Howard, was named the NCAC's Player of the Year. She earned First Team all-conference status as both a singles and doubles player.
Senior Katy Tucker, who was Reimers's doubles partner, fought off a midseason ankle injury and went 8-5 in doubles matches. Tucker earned All-NCAC First Team doubles honors and also was voted to the Second Team for her singles play. Junior Claire Larson and first-year student Kara Basler were also recognized for their singles play, as they both picked up honorable mentions from the conference.
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Three senior distance specialists carried the Kenyon track and field team through a 2003 season that included a fifth-place finish at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship. As a team, the Lords scored 59 points at the championship. Seniors Michael Baird, Matt Cabrera, and Ben Hildebrand were responsible for 56 of those points.
All three began the conference meet by competing in the 10,000-meter run. Hildebrand took second place, Baird was third, and Cabrera finished fourth. During the second day of competition, Hildebrand and Baird finished first and second, respectively, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Later that same day, Baird took second place in the 5,000-meter run, Hildebrand placed third, and Cabrera was fourth.
One week prior to the championship, both Baird and Hildebrand became the first Kenyon athletes invited to participate in the Penn Relays, one of the most prestigious track and field events in the nation. The pair represented Kenyon well in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Hildebrand placed thirteenth in a College record time of 9:13.84, while Baird finished in sixteenth place in a time of 9:27.72.
Hildebrand rounded out the successful season by winning the All-Ohio Championship in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:56.91.
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Kenyon first-year students Katie Walker and Katy Cameron led an outstanding group of first-year athletes that powered the Ladies track and field team through the 2003 season.
Walker won every long jump competition she entered, including the All-Ohio Championship and the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship. At the Baldwin-Wallace Twilight Meet on May 16, Walker leapt 18' 16 1/2", which was her personal best as well as a College record. More importantly, it was good enough to qualify for a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) track and field championship later in the month.
Cameron also had a fantastic first year at the collegiate level. She was selected by her peers as the team's Most Valuable Player for her strong efforts in the pole vault and sprint events. At the midseason All-Ohio Championship, Cameron set a school record by clearing 10' 0" in the pole vault. At the NCAC championship, she placed fourth in the vault and sixth in the 100-meter dash.
Walker and Cameron, as well as a couple of their classmates, accounted for 75 percent of the Ladies' point total at the NCAC championship, a meet in which Kenyon finished in ninth place.
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