BIG GREEN SPORTS
Women's Diving - Spotlight on Courtney duBois
Senior Courtney duBois is very familiar with the concept of learning through experience.
The record-setting diver doubles as an honors student in the psychology department. She recently helped a professor analyze the effectiveness of a premise on which he bases his class (Psych 22: Learning On) that direct experiences improve learning.
duBois not only believes in but applies that concept on a daily basis as a diver.
"Learning by experience is the whole premise of athletics," duBois said. "Practice each day is a regular opportunity for me to do every dive I know how to do and work on the things I need to improve on."
This fall duBois had the chance to teach younger children the basics of diving at the Big Green's swim school. Just after that she was sidelined with an injury and watched practices from the pool deck. duBois said that both opportunities helped her to better understand the steps in the learning process.
"You look at the mechanics a whole new way when you're trying to teach than when you are just trying to learn," duBois said. "It makes you think about how to watch diving more critically and when you are able do that, then you can pick out things you personally are missing."
Many would say that the Lawrenceville, N.J. native isn't missing much. Since arriving in Hanover, duBois has re-written the Dartmouth record books and breaks her own school records in the one and three meter diving events on a regular basis.
In fact, it was the other way around. Most collegiate coaches missed duBois after she stepped off the diving fast track before her junior year when she prioritized obligations at Lawrenceville School ahead of a Junior Olympic program at Princeton that had previously demanded much of her time.
"After that I didn't think I was going to be recruited because no one would know who I was," duBois said. "I wasn't even certain I liked diving anymore and I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it after high school.
"I thought if I was going to dive in college, I would have to be one of those really accomplished divers, and I didn't feel like I was at first. I realized through the recruiting process that I was competitive."
duBois served early notice of her arrival on the college diving scene. Her sophomore year she became the first woman in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championship, though she missed the cut last year as a junior.
Since then, duBois has been working to improve her approach to big competitions.
"I think that I need to forget who else is there and dive for the fun and thrill of it as well as for myself and for Ron [Keenhold, the diving coach]," duBois said. "I forget, sometimes, how fun it is to dive and I start to get worried about whether or not I deserve to be at meets like that. I need to realize that if I didn't deserve it, I wouldn't have made it."
In the first week of January, duBois had a chance to put herself to the test when she traveled to the All-American Diving Invitational held in Austin, Texas. She finished ninth and 11th, respectively, in the three and one-meter events.
"Our trip down to Texas was a very positive experience in every way you could possibly hope it could be," Keenhold said. "Courtney was very close to making the finals in both events, and we left there really feeling good."
This season, with both good and bad experiences under her belt, duBois is again gunning for the NCAA meet. And if it is indeed true that experiences enhance learning, duBois could close out her career with a big splash, though she might prefer it to be small. (Sarah Hood)
Dartmouth Men's Swim Team Visits Hong Kong During December Break
Ed. Note: The Dartmouth men's swim team trained in Hong Kong from Dec. 10-23. Coach Jim Wilson headed up the Hong Kong national team for a year during the 1980's. Below are parts of a diary kept by two team members.
By Peter Augello '02 and Scott Gabbard '02
It was already Friday evening by the time we arrived in Hong Kong. The bus ride to the city was great because we got to sit on the top level of the double decker bus and enjoy the nighttime glow of Hong Kong. The highlight was going across the new bridge, which connects the airport (located on an outlying island) with Hong Kong. It's decorated with groovy purple lights. We all got off the bus without a problem, except for Taylor French, who forgot to take his bag off the bus. Luckily, he was able to convince the driver to stop, although not before the driver got in an array of Cantonese insults.
We walked along Nathan Road, which is a main shopping street right near our new home, the YMCA. Nathan Fidel was thrilled that the street shared his name. The YMCA is on the Kowloon side (a peninsula of mainland China) of Hong Kong. We saw downtown Hong Kong Island across the bay.
To get to our first practice at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin in what's called the New Territories, we took a bus to the train station and then the train out of town to Sha Tin.
After practice, Will Nikander, Jorge Montalvo and Peter Augello found a good Chinese take-out restaurant for dinner and tried to convince the rest of the team to try it. Most opted for McDonalds instead.
On Sunday, Nathan, Peter, Aaron DeWitt, Luis Barrera, Scott Gabbard, Jamie Houston, Geoff Walford, Mike Hooper, Dave Moore took the Star Ferry that's located a short two-minute walk from the YMCA over to Central on Hong Kong Island. Mike and Dave went off to shop for jade, and the rest walked around to see some of the buildings. We were impressed by the architecture of the Bank of Hong Kong and Bank of China.
We wandered some more, taking a winding path up into Hong Kong Park. It turned out to be a beautiful park with nice fountains and clean walkways.
Then we visited the aviary, where we saw a variety of colorful birds on display. Geoff provided expert wildlife information concerning the birds and their diets, while Aaron practiced some of his favorite parrot mating calls. Luis however, insisted that the birds were mechanical.
We made our way to the Peak Tram for a ride to Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong. It was an excellent ride, providing great views of the city below.
We thought this was our vacation, so naturally, we were surprised when our coach, Jim Wilson, came knocking on our door at 4:45 in the morning for practice. We took the Star Ferry across Victoria harbor to the main pool in which we would train twice a day. On our first Monday night in Hong Kong, sleep called like a siren and we were not ones to resist her. Most of the weekdays were similar to Monday - morning practice followed by sleep, exploring the city and more practice.
On Wednesday, we boarded the Turbo Cat en route to Macau (a Portuguese colony about 60 miles away on mainland China). Joe Perez attempted to converse with a Portuguese shop owner; however, he had a little bit of trouble trying to purchase some gifts for his family.
Greg Park '94, president of the Dartmouth Club of Hong Kong, hosted a reception on Thursday in his apartment. There was a nice turnout of alumni and even some current Dartmouth students.
As for shopping, one of the most popular items was the mini-disc player. At last count, six swimmers purchased one, not including Mike Vucovich, who bought his last summer during his LSA to China. Another hot item was custom-made suits. Dave and Scott both bought custom-tailored three-piece suits.
Saturday was marked by our ocean swim in Deep Water Bay. The water wasn't warm, but it was tolerable. After the swim we had a hotly contested ocean relay.
We spent the evening out again. Pete Ferris, Ryan Utsumi, Scott and Peter went out to buy more cheap merchandise - though the two sophomores keenly pointed out to us that the stuff was probably fake or stolen.
On Sunday, we were off on a ferry to Lantau Island to see the giant Buddha and Buddhist Temple there. Shortly after, we arrived at Po Lin, site of the monastery and the Buddha. The statue of the seated Buddha was impressive. Although we had the idea that the statue was ancient, we were disappointed to learn that it was built between 1992-1993.
On Friday after our second practice of the day, we took a boat from the pier out to the Jumbo, the world's largest floating restaurant. It's truly an impressive place, with multiple levels, its own dock and what seems like more lights than Las Vegas.
Dinner was fabulous. Some opted for the full dinners while others tried many different things. We ordered duck, goose, suckling pig, seafood - and in massive amounts.
On the way to our final practice, we all knew what was looming, our traditional winter training set of 100 100-yard freestyle swims (200 lengths in all).
These two weeks not only made us stronger swimmers but made us a stronger and closer group. We loved the trip, but it had come time to return to the comforts of our homes and the holidays. Hong Kong was definitely incredible.
Men's Basketball - Spotlight on Vedad Osmanovic
The men's basketball trip to Columbia and Cornell in early January was memorable for more than the fact that Dartmouth swept both games for only the sixth time in about 40 years.
The toughest loop on the Big Green's Ivy League road schedule proved more arduous than usual. The start of the Friday game at Columbia was delayed by tardy officials who were slowed by a snowstorm. As a result, it was 4 a.m. when the Green reached Ithaca.
After Cornell was beaten on Saturday, dawn's early light was spreading across campus on Sunday when the bus arrived in Hanover and the Big Green went to bed.
The long, long trek through New York prompted Coach Dave Faucher to decree Sunday as a day of rest, postponing a scheduled weight lifting session until after practice on Monday afternoon.
That's why Faucher was surprised - well, maybe he wasn't really - when he learned that his freshman forward, Vedad Osmanovic, did his workout in the weight room at 6:30 a.m. on Monday.
"I told Vedad he was excused from the afternoon session," said Faucher. But Vedad declined the offer and completed his second session of the day with his teammates.
The scenario defines the intensity and drive of the first foreign student-athlete to wear a Dartmouth basketball uniform in memory - maybe ever.
In 1993, as Bosnian Muslim refugees, Vedad and his brother, Kenan (now a student at the University of Vermont), arrived in New York City and began high school. His mother, an economist, and his father, a physician, followed a year later and the family began to build a new life in the United States.
At Dwight School in New York, Vedad's experience as a three-sport athlete (basketball plus soccer and tennis) and his relationship with Radomir Kovacevic (the Bosnian Serb and Dwight's head of athletics who drove Vedad incessantly to develop an unrelenting work ethic) became the subject last summer of a major article in Sports Illustrated.
At the same time, his mother, Azra, was working to support the family and taking courses to learn English while his father, Ismet, wrapped pre-dawn and late-evening study around a day-long schedule of courses to build his medical credentials.
"My father can study medicine because my mother works so hard," said Vedad. "They are my driving force."
Vedad turned down several basketball scholarship offers to attend Dartmouth. "I didn't know what the Ivy League was or what it meant," said Vedad.
He was guided by the inspiration of his parents as well as Steve Spahn '63, chancellor of Dwight School and the Ivy League scoring leader in 1961-62, and Vedad's uncle, Fuad Idrizovic, who introduced him to basketball in Bosnia and now lives in Nashua. N.H.
They all combined to help him recognize the importance of merging education and basketball opportunities.
"Vedad's an adrenaline surge. He's always working to the max," said Faucher. "He's been a one-on-one player, the product of his playground background in New York. He's working to learn to play within a system that will bring out his talent to help himself and his teammates."
On a team dominated by freshmen and sophomores, the 6-5 forward's development and the maturation of this team is progressing nicely. On the eve of the season-end, 10-game run of Ivy games, Vedad's promise on the court was revealed as he came off the bench to hit four of five shots (including three three-pointers) to ignite a first half eruption. That led to a 75-50 win over Denver, a team that had beaten Dartmouth by two points a month earlier.
"When he learns to use his ability within our system, Vedad will be dynamite," said Faucher. "And it will be especially sweet when it happens because of his work ethic." (Jack DeGange)
Vedad Osmanovic's recruiting trip to Dartmouth was made possible by the generosity of George B. Munroe '43 and Alan Tishman '39 through the Athletic Sponsor Program.
Meyer Drafted by MLS's Colorado Rapids; Nyman Signs With Dallas
Bobby Meyer (Franklin Square, N.Y.), a senior defender on the Dartmouth College men's soccer team, became the first Big Green player ever drafted by Major League Soccer when he was picked up in the third round by the Colorado Rapids on February 7.
Meyer was the 32nd overall pick in the draft.
"This is a great reward for Bobby, because he has worked so hard for the last four years toward this goal," said Dartmouth coach Fran O'Leary. "At the same time, it's a shot in the arm for our program - it is proof that a player can attend an Ivy League school and still have aspirations of playing soccer at the highest level."
Meyer was a three-time first team All-Ivy pick during his tenure at Dartmouth, making him just the second player in Big Green history to be so honored. In addition, Meyer was a two-time first team All-New England pick by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and this fall he was named third team All-America by the NSCAA.
Meyer spent his first two years in the midfield for the Big Green, but switched into a sweeper position as a junior in a move that paid immediate dividends. Anchored by Meyer, the Big Green went 10-4-4 in 1997, shutting out eight opponents and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This past year, Meyer was the Defensive MVP of the Big Green's own Umbro/Hypertherm Classic in addition to his postseason honors. In 69 career starts at Dartmouth, Meyer scored nine goals and assisted on five others.
A two-time participant in the elite adidas Summer League held every June in Bradenton, Fla., Meyer spent the weekend of February 5-6 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - site of the MLS draft - playing in the Umbro Select All-Star Classic along with Big Green goalkeeper Matt Nyman (Westbrook, Conn.). Nyman was not selected by any MLS team in the three-round draft, but signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Burn soon afterward and will be one of three keepers looking to win a job at the Burn's preseason camp.
"Soccer is funny," said O'Leary of Nyman. "After the draft ended Matt was bitterly disappointed, and within a day he was booking a ticket for Mexico and Dallas's preseason camp."
Meyer was the only Ivy Leaguer drafted and one of just two players from the New England region to be selected. Bobby Rhine of Connecticut was chosen in the first round by the Dallas Burn. Only one other Dartmouth player has ever played during Major League Soccer's three years of existence - Andrew Shue '89 enjoyed a stint with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"At the end of the day, both Bobby and Matt are in the same boat," O'Leary continued. "If they are good enough it will happen for them in Major League Soccer. I believe they are both good enough."
A Dartmouth College women's soccer player also competed at the Umbro
Select All-Star Classic. Suzanne Eastman (Brightwaters, N.Y.) played for
the Division 1 Senior All-Star team in a select game against the Division
2, Division 3 and NAIA Senior All-Stars. (Mike Mahoney)
Wearers of the Green
The New England Sailing Awards banquet was held recently in Boston, and Dartmouth received plenty of exposure at the event. In fact, the Big Green swept the women's awards, as senior Casey Hogan (Newport Beach, Calif.) was named the Outstanding Women's Skipper in the New England region and junior Erin Myers (Norwood, Mass.) was named the Outstanding Women's Crew. This fall, Hogan finished second at the national singlehanded championships after winning the New England title, and she led the Big Green to the Atlantic Coast title. She has been All-America three times and is the top skipper on Dartmouth's No. 1-ranked women's sailing team.
Long-time sailing coach Art Allen was also honored, as he received the New England Sailing Honor Roll Award. This award is given each year to that person who has contributed time, effort, money to the betterment of New England sailing
Kathleen O'Keefe (West Hartford, Conn.) was named Ivy League player of the week in women's hockey on February 1. She tallied a goal and an assist in a pair of wins, against Yale (5-2) and Princeton (7-1). On the ECAC front, Correne Bredin (Warberg, Alta.) was the women's rookie of the week on January 18 after scoring a goal and dishing out three assists in a 7-0 win at Colby. Ryan Chaytors (Calgary, Alta.), meanwhile, was the ECAC/CCM Player of the Week on January 25 after leading the Big Green men to a 3-1 victory over Vermont with two goals - including the gamewinner - and an assist.
Ivy League recognition has hardly been limited to the ice for Dartmouth athletes, though - in fact, two Dartmouth men's basketball players have been honored in the last month, as well. On January 11, Greg Buth (Edina, Minn.) earned player of the week honors after scoring 16 points at Columbia and following that up a night later with a career-high 33 points at Cornell. Charles Harris (Memphis, Tenn.) has twice earned Ivy League rookie of the week honors, most recently after the Brown-Yale games. On the women's side, Courtney Banghart (Amherst, N.H.) was the Ivy player of the week for the third time this season after leading the Big Green in scoring during home wins over Penn and Princeton.
Divers Toby Hays (Littleton, Colo.) and Courtney duBois (Dallas, Texas) continue to have strong winters on the platforms for the swimming and diving teams. Hays is unbeaten on the 1-meter board and has lost just once on the 3-meter. duBois, meanwhile, has broken her own school record at both heights this winter.
Toby Hays (Littleton, Colo.) and Courtney duBois (Dallas, Texas)
continue to have strong winters on the platforms for the swimming and diving
teams. Hays is unbeaten on the 1-meter board and has lost just once on the
3-meter. duBois, meanwhile, has broken her own school record at both heights