BIG GREEN SPORTS
Hays Preps for NCAA Diving
Two years ago, Dartmouth senior Toby Hays said his long-term goal was to dive at the NCAA Championship.
After his showing at the NCAA Zone Championship this weekend, he's on his way.
With a second place finish on the three-meter board at the zone qualifier March 13, Hays (Littleton, Colo.) will advance to the NCAA Championship, March 25-27 at the University of Indiana.
The senior posted a score of 501.65, less than six points behind winner Mike Savicky of Drexel. On Friday, Hays was second in one-meter diving, and the two finishes combined were enough to punch his ticket for the NCAA's.
Dartmouth's other diver at the Zones, senior Courtney duBois (Dallas, Texas), missed qualifying for the women's NCAA Championship by one place. She needed to finish first or second on the one-meter board to advance, and duBois was third with a score of 390.3. Earlier she was fourth in three-meter diving.
"Toby did a great job, and Courtney suffered some tough luck," said veteran diving coach Ron Keenhold. "So I'm on a high and a low right now."
Hays won the 1998 and 1999 titles in three-meter diving at the Eastern Championship.
Last year, he missed most of the early season with tendinitis in his take-off leg. When the injury didn't heal, he re-learned his approach in less than a month - switching take-off legs - and resumed competition in late January, 1998. (Kathy Slattery)
National Team News
In international women's hockey competition, the U.S. national team fell, 3-1, to Canada in the gold medal game of the 1999 International Ice Hockey Federation on Sunday, March 14. The tournament was played in Finland.
Dartmouth sent two representatives to this year's team - Amy Coehlo '97 and Sarah Hood '98. Both captained the Big Green during their collegiate careers. Coehlo was a first team All-ECAC defenseman, and Hood (a forward) was the first All-America selection in school history.
The U.S. national team advanced to the gold medal round with a 3-1 victory
over Finland; a 6-0 win over China; a 10-2 win over Russia; and an 11-0
blanking of Sweden.
Men's Lacrosse - Spotlight on Andrew Dance
It's safe to say that the Dartmouth men's lacrosse program is going through a rebuilding period.
The squad does have 18 returning players, but the Big Green will need to adjust to a new coaching staff and style.
Head coach Rick Sowell and his assistants - Lars Tiffany and Tim Brady -have begun their first season together at Dartmouth and will count on the veteran members of the squad to help lay the new foundation.
Senior goaltender Andrew Dance is the perfect candidate for the job.
"We think Andrew's a fine goalie and that is obviously going to be critical for us to have success, " Sowell said. "More importantly is his ability to be a team leader out of the goal. From the first day I came here, he has shown that he is ready to take that responsibility. He is a natural, he likes to be a leader, and the team rallies around him and values his maturity."
At Dartmouth, the co-captain has become a fixture in the Big Green nets. He has appeared in 29 games in his first three years and set career bests last season in saves (160), minutes played (743) and goals against (12.60).
As a captain and a senior, Dance would like nothing more than to finish this season above .500 - something the team fell short of in the last three seasons - and at the top of the Ivy League.
Dance also has his sights set on one game in particular.
"There are a few Ivy League teams that I would like to beat," Dance said. "Since I have been here, we have lost to Yale three times. They sing a song after they win, and it's the most discouraging thing I've witnessed. This year, there is a lot of parity in the league. I would like to finish first or second in the Ivy League. Princeton is tough to knock off so No. 2 may be more realistic."
Dance came to Dartmouth following a four-year high school career in his hometown of Darien, Conn.
However, his lacrosse experience happened by accident.
The high school lacrosse coach approached Dance on the football field and asked if he'd like to try out as a backup goaltender.
"The coach asked if I wanted to play lacrosse," Dance said. "He said they needed a goalie. There was a senior and myself. I went to camp after camp that summer and played the next three years. Lacrosse got me to Dartmouth College, which is where I have wanted to be for a long time. It instilled a sense of winning and that's what I want for this program."
Dance thanks former Darien High and Big Green standouts Scott Hapgood '97 and Brian Merritt '97 for turning his attention to Dartmouth College.
The two graduates played with Dance in both high school and college and had successful careers for the Big Green.
"They opened my eyes to Dartmouth," Dance said. "Dartmouth lacrosse wasn't the cream of the crop, but I thought this was the place for me. I came up here for a camp and it was just beautiful.
"It was the summers that sold me. If I came up for a winter, I may have changed my mind," Dance said with a laugh. "I think it is the character of the people that attracts you to this place. I think people underestimate the social fibers that exist here."
For the two-time Academic All-Ivy selection, team success may have been hard to come, but Dance finds rewards in every game.
"I wouldn't trade it for anything," Dance said. "Lacrosse hasn't been a matter of winning for me. It has helped me mature as a person. The people that I am around are what I associate with Dartmouth. Coach Sowell is going to put this program in the limelight for a long time."
One thing is for certain. When Dartmouth men's lacrosse improves and becomes a contender, it will be because of the foundation and a building block named Andrew Dance. (Bill Garfield)
Women's Basketball - Spotlight on Gyvonne Pinkston
Gyvonne Pinkston knows all about family values.
If anyone in the program did not know that before the Big Green's trip to South Carolina in December, it was drilled into their heads when the entire squad traveled into Georgia to spend a day in her hometown.
Eyebrows were raised when a friend of the family came to pick up the team in Clemson - almost a two-hour drive - armed with walkie-talkies to make sure none of the vans fell behind. The first stop in Pinkston's hometown of Washington was a plantation, where none other than the mayor was waiting to greet the team. Finally, the women were treated to a huge meal on the Pinkston farm while people from all stages of Pinkston's life came by to say hello.
It was a family-style atmosphere some had never seen before. To Pinkston, it was a meeting of the two worlds she has known.
"It was exciting for me to have my teammates to my house," she said. "I wanted my family and friends down there see what I was a part of up here, because I've met so many great people on this team, and vice versa. To have them all under one roof, extending food and love of family...it was really cool. I almost wanted to cry."
In looking at her own family and her teammates, Pinkston - a thoughtful woman who chooses her words carefully - draws a parallel.
"I come from a family where the females are strong," she said. "I was secure in coming here and having that same type of environment. It is something you can find anywhere - that strength - but to actually draw it out is a whole different process. When that happens, it's amazing."
This year, Pinkston is finding the going even better. In this, her final season, she sensed a different attitude among her mates.
"It is an interesting thing, forming a team," she said. "It's all about trusting each other, having faith in each other. This year, we don't have one person pulling everyone. We are depending on each other and it's a fun feeling.
"It is like a family in that sense," she continued. "When one of us goes down, the others rally around her."
It is ironic talk from a woman who wasn't sure she wanted to play basketball in college. In fact, she was never actually recruited to play hoops here - rather, the admissions office found her and practically dropped her on Chris Wielgus' lap.
"During my junior summer of high school I was at the governor's honors program in Valdosta, Ga.," she said. "One of the days they had a college fair and Dartmouth was there. The woman at the table was really enthusiastic and animated, so I took the material and brought it home."
Coming from a family that knows the value of an education - Gyvonne's brother attended Army, and a cousin went to Columbia - Pinkston applied and got in early decision. Her decision to play basketball came only when she visited the campus.
"I walked into the gym and saw all those banners, and I knew I was coming into a strong program," she said. "I also realized I wasn't ready to give up basketball."
Four years later, Pinkston can view the banners that line Leede Arena with pride.
"I kept looking up there and seeing that the banners ended with 1995," she said. "It was time for us to put another one up there.
"I look at some of the teams here, like women's lacrosse last spring and women's soccer this fall," she said. "I didn't have that feeling of success, where everyone is so psyched because they have achieved a goal. Some of my teammates have had that feeling at previous levels, but never here. The four seniors, especially, are charged up and excited."
Now that Dartmouth has won the Ivy title, maybe the Pinkston family
will come to Hanover and throw the party. Now that would be one classic
shindig. (Mike Mahoney)
You Say It's Your Birthday
Several members of the Dartmouth athletic staff had "big" birthdays this year, beginning with Chris Kerr. Now in her 26th season as coach of the Big Green women's tennis program, Kerr celebrated No. 50 on August 20.
Six others followed in quick succession during the winter months, including eighth-year men's basketball coach Dave Faucher, who reached "5-0" on February 13.
Three days later, on February 16, Mike Mahoney '92, assistant sports information director, turned 30. And Judy Parish '91, women's hockey coach, celebrated her 30th on February 24.
Field hockey coach Julie Dayton had a happy 40th birthday on February
26, and Kelly Blasius Knudsen '91, women's soccer coach, was 30 on March
1. Finally, men's hockey coach Bob Gaudet hit his 40th on March 9.