Directed by first-year head coach Matt Croci, the Kenyon men's basketball team completed a winter season filled with amazing accomplishments. The Lords closed out the 2003-04 campaign with a final overall record of 9-17 and a sixth-place finish in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), where their record was 6-10.
Those numbers alone won't drop a lot of jaws, but to put things in perspective it should be noted that this year's Kenyon team had basically the same personnel as last year's 3-22 team. The Lord's nine wins this season matched the total number of wins produced by the previous two Kenyon basketball teams combined and were the most wins in a season by a Kenyon team since 1995-96, when the Lords were 10-15.
The improvement of six more tallies in the win column was also the Lords' best turnaround in ten years.
The Kenyon men played well enough to earn a berth in the NCAC's post-season tournament for the first time in three years, and their sixth-place spot in the conference standings was the best Kenyon finish since the 1994-95 season.
The Lords wrapped up the regular season as the best free-throw shooting team in the conference. They ranked first in three-point field goals made and second in three-point shooting percentage. On an individual basis, sophomore guard Matt Formato was a scoring machine for Kenyon, and his play resulted in a selection to the All-NCAC First Team. His scoring average of 19.2 points per game was the third-best average among all players in the conference. He also ranked first in the conference in three-point field goals made (57), second in assists (93), and second in steals (44).
With five players running the floor, head coach Suzanne Helfant had only three other options on the bench throughout the 2003-04 women's basketball season. Injuries sliced the Ladies' roster to eight players and forced the team to play a slow-paced, deliberate brand of basketball.
Although the personnel limitations locked up the Ladies' options on offense, they didn't hamper the team's defensive efforts. The Kenyon women finished off the season with a respectable 10-15 record, mainly due to the fact that they allowed opponents to average just 57.3 points per game. That average was the second best among all teams in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). The Ladies also focused on rebounding and made opponents work for every shot. They ranked second in the conference with a +4.3 rebounding margin and posted a conference-best .367 field goal percentage against.
The season started out well for Kenyon as it won five of its first eight games. A stretch of seven straight losses in the middle of the season did some major damage to the team's record, but the Ladies bounced back by taking five of their last nine regular season games to finish in fifth place with a 7-9 NCAC record.
Individually, the Ladies looked to sophomore forward Katy Zeanah to get the bulk of the work done on the offensive end of the floor. She responded with averages of 14.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers were among the top five in the conference, and her .532 field goal percentage was the second-best among all players in the NCAC. Zeanah's efforts made her a lock for a post-season selection to the All-NCAC First Team.
Men's Indoor Track
Senior Aaron Emig closed out the Kenyon College Lords' indoor track and field season by being selected as the North Coast Athletic Conference's Middle/Distance Runner of the Year. He did so by winning two events and guiding the Lords to a ninth-place team finish at the conference championship.
Emig's NCAC championship wins came in the 1,500-meter race and the distance medley relay. He won the 1,500 by clocking in at 4:00.70 and later in the meet joined sophomores Rich Bartholomew, Zack Rosen, and Sean Strader to win the distance medley relay in a time of 10:40.72.
Emig's selection as the NCAC's Middle/Distance Runner of the Year makes him the second Lord to earn the honor in the past three seasons. At the conclusion of the 2002 season, Cary Snyder '02 was honored with the same award.
Kenyon first-year runner Ryan Weinstock, the reigning NCAC cross country Newcomer of the Year, also had some success at the indoor championship meet as he placed third in the 5,000-meter race and placed sixth in the 3,000-meter race. He posted times of 15:52.53 and 9:10.05, respectively.
Other key contributors during the season came from senior Marc Marie and sophomore Andrew Hammack. Football players during the fall season, Marie and Hammack tackled the sprint events for the Lords. Strader and junior Tyler Newman provided reinforcements in the distance events.
Women's Indoor Track
Throughout a rather unstable season, Kenyon's sophomore class stood strong and provided the Ladies indoor track and field team with plenty of highlights. The second-year student-athletes shrugged off several obstacles and steered the Kenyon team to a ninth-place finish at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship.
One of those sophomore standouts was Katy Cameron, who capped off her season with an individual third-place finish in the pole vault event at the championship. Cameron cleared 9'6" to tie her own College record and earn All-NCAC status for the second straight season. Later in the meet, she took eighth place in the 55-meter dash (7.87).
In the middle-distance events, sophomore Christina McNamara had an outstanding championship meet as well. She turned in some of her best times of the season while placing fourth in the 1,500-meter race (10:47.30) and sixth in the 3,000-meter race (4:52.65).
Lauren Rand, Kelsey Rotwein, Liz Torgersen, and Amy Wilkinswere also consistent contributors and members of the sophomore class that became an excellent example of the Ladies' perseverance. A thin roster and the construction of the new Center for Fitness, Recreation, and Athletics provided a constant hindrance for the Ladies, who spent the season on the road and had to make due without any practice facilities throughout the winter months. Even so, the team managed a respectable season that included fifth-place finishes at the Capital University Invitational and at the Greater Columbus Invitational.
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