Archive for April, 2010

Reunions

April 29, 2010

By: Jan Hathorn
Athletic Director

Over the past two days, I have had the distinct privilege to “reunion” with one of our alums, Kyle Meehan. Having her here has reminded me, once again, how valuable relationships are and how much they mean to me.  Kyle is one of those students that you never forget because she’s all the things you want to be – bright, caring, generous, fun-loving and civic-minded. She improved the room and the group whenever she was around, and she made me a better person and educator because she challenged the norms and questioned status quo. It has been such an honor to reconnect with her and to rediscover how much she has affected my life.  I’m so thankful I can call her my friend.

And she is a reminder of the reason why I love this job … because so many of the people and students with whom we get to work are just exceptional people. And on the eve of Reunion Weekend, it seemed fitting to me to pay tribute to the many alums who have graced our lives, and the life of this old place; who come back to remind us how important it is to stay in touch and that the most precious asset at this University is its people.  Reunions are not only fun, they are necessary, for they allow us to pause and pay attention to the very thing we hold most dear – our friendships.  What would this place be without them?

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New Mexico

April 23, 2010

By: Wendy Orrison
Head Field Hockey Coach

The Santa Fe Sky

I graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque–I will not tell you the year.  Everyone always asks why I went out to the Southwest for college.  I went on a couple of ski trips to the West while in college and fell in love.  I only applied to schools in the West and S. west.  At the time, I wanted to be a veterinarian and I was also very interested in communication.  I chose schools that had good pre-vet programs and or radio.  Alas I was never to make it past Calculus for the Life Sciences…good thing because I’m actually quite allergic to most animal hair!  Not sure what happened to my DJ aspirations either but maybe someday I can help Jeremy on WLUR?   I came to be a college coach in a rather long, back door type of way which is not the point of my quick little post.

Sisters in Sante Fe

My point is to share with you the beauty of the Southwestern United States.  If you have never been to Arizona or New Mexico, yes it is a state, than I encourage you to go.  There is awesome hiking, skiing and margaritas, not necessarily in that order.  I was able to go to visit Santa Fe and Taos this past week since we are in spring break.  Up until this year, I had never enjoyed a spring break vacation because I have always been coaching lacrosse.  I figured that since my husband was accustomed to me going away-I would keep it up.  I went on a 5 night trip with my parents and sisters and sister-in-law.  We visited with my niece who attends a small school in Santa Fe, St. John’s College.  Most of those familiar with W&L will not be familiar with St. John’s as they are vastly different.

Enjoy the views and if you ever want tips on where to visit-get in touch.

CPR Training for Everyone

April 20, 2010

By: Neil Cunningham
Head Women’s Soccer Coach

The NCAA recently passed legislation that required all coaches to know how to administer CPR. Seems pretty logical considering the job, but I would take it one stage further. Make it mandatory for every student. Surely it is worth the time and effort to learn something very practical and useful. It is hoped that you will never be called into action, but if you are, wouldn’t you want to know what to do?

One Boston Marathon runner is particularly thankful for the crowds who cheered him on during the race Monday. Without them, he may not be alive today.

A 64-year-old man collapsed after going into cardiac arrest less than two miles from the end of the marathon Monday, according to Boston television station WCVB.

Spectators quickly jumped in to administer CPR to the runner before paramedics patrolling the route on bicycle and an ambulance on standby near the route came to his rescue. One of the responding EMS workers had a life-saving automated defibrillator with her.

“It was so surreal how we can be at the right place at the right time with the right equipment,” EMT Janell Jimenez told the Boston Globe. “And then maneuvering through the marathon — we thought that would be a challenge, but we were able to move right through the crowd.”

The man’s heart began to beat normally again soon after he was loaded in the ambulance and was listed in stable condition Monday night. But the outcome may have been different without the bystanders and EMS workers who came to his aid.

“We encourage everybody to know CPR, and the difference that was made today was that these bystanders were able to recognize that this patient was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse, and their instinct was to give him CPR,” she said. “That probably was one of the factors for this gentleman being alive today”

My Point Exactly

Tales from the Frozen Four

April 16, 2010

By: Rachel Buck
Sports Information Assistant

Last week I had the privilege of working at the Frozen Four in Detroit, a battle between the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Boston College, Miami (Ohio) and Rochester Institute of Technology for the title of NCAA Division I men’s hockey champion.

I shouldn’t even claim that I worked during my time there. I almost felt guilty taking a credential and watching college hockey after they told me what I would be doing: proofreading/editing quotes from each press conference after they came in from the transcribing service. But my guilt was quelled after chatting with Fred, the event manager, who said nobody was really working there but him.

Wisconsin Practice

So not only did I get to watch the Frozen Four for free, but I also had the opportunity to sit in on every post-game presser, watching some of the best coaches in college hockey (especially Mike Eaves from Wisco and Jerry York from Boston College) talk about their philosophies while the future of the NHL and professional hockey sat beside them. I also had the chance to do a little freelance work, writing for onmilwaukee.com and officially debuting my Twitter skills as the “official Frozen Four tweeter” for the website.

I even took advantage of a few of the liberties offered with a credential. Friday I watched UW practice from the bench and then went on to work with insidecollegehockey.com to do a feature story on UW and the playoff mustaches they all grew for the playoffs. We later went to Cheli’s Chili Bar (owned by former Badger and NHL player Chris Chelios) where the official Wisco fan events were held to interview fans and see how they also took to the idea. You can watch the video here.

And of course there was the highlight of meeting some of the greatest names in hockey while restraining myself from acting like a kid in a candy shop. I had the chance to meet Barry Melrose (if only he weren’t so orange…but that man can rock a mullet like nobody’s business), UW AD and Wisco idol Barry Alvarez, a bunch of former Hobey Baker winners and even some NHL executives (we ended up in the Anaheim Ducks Assistant GM’s suite after bar closed on Friday because the man had enough beverages to keep John Daly content for days).

But if that weren’t enough, probably the best part of the weekend for me was reuniting with the small hockey community that I have come to know and love and look forward to seeing at this annual event.

The Frozen Four at Ford Field

It’s amazing how small the hockey community is. Fred, the event manager, played hockey with the GM for the Milwaukee Admirals, a team that I worked for when I was back at Marquette, and I actually met him during the 2006 playoffs. Eric Bacher, SID for Denver University, grew up in Stevens Point (just 40 minutes from my hometown) and his family’s farm in Merrill is adjacent to my family farm. I chatted with a girl who attends Bowling Green because her dad played hockey with Capitals’ GM George McPhee at BG and she has been talking to George about interning with the Caps.

We also played a game called “six degrees of Nate” loosely based on the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” game that was popular for a hot minute a few years ago. Basically, my old boss at the Capitals, Nate, is a well-known name in college hockey from his time as a SID at Princeton and Michigan State and after co-founding the site insidecollegehockey.com. We played this game with everyone, even some media members, another way we were able to find out just how small the world is.

Anyway, the games were all seemingly anti-climatic and the venue left something to be desired, but the most important part was maintaining those ever-important connections and friendships with people that we wish we could see more often than every April.

And that’s what makes this annual journey to the center of college hockey so special. We all get so busy with our responsibilities, but one time a year we are all able to reunite, do a little bit of work, have a lot of fun and build enough memories until the next year when we do it all over again. And let me say, I can’t wait for next year in my ol’ stomping grounds the Twin Cities and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul…my absolute favorite sports arena and home of my favorite hockey team, the Minnesota Wild!

Why I love April

April 15, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

It’s been a while since my last entry that didn’t involve the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament and even more usual, my bracket was a mess by the end.  I had West Virginia and Duke making the final four in my real bracket (not the one I picked for humor in this blog a few weeks back), but I don’t wish to speak about the other half. 🙂

Anyway, enough about March Madness because it is April and I love April!!!  April always brings excitement because it means that a break is upon us, conference championships are right around the corner, and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger and bigger.

Looking back, I’m not sure how we got to this point with the crazy weather that forced postponements and cancelations galore throughout February.  As I’ve noted earlier, the shorter the winter and the less snow, the better.  And now we are looking at 60 and 70 degree days and plenty of sunshine.  We have also reached the finals break.  Hallelujah!  It gets a bit old when the students always ask “what are you doing for break” when referring to February break and our response is “working games – the games go on during break”.  But, now that the students are taking finals and questioning why they would put themselves through so much torture, the SID office is living the good life and enjoying a real break!  Institutional rules prohibit practices or games during finals week so we’ve been taking advantage of a little time to ourselves given the nine-day layoff without games (the longest stretch since an 18-day stretch in December).

Rachel used the time to travel to Detroit to work the Frozen Four (for those of us that don’t follow hockey — just about all of us — that is the name for the NCAA Hockey Final Four).  Perhaps we will get a report about her break in her next blog entry.  I believe she also made a pit stop in Wisconsin for a Brewers game and to pick up another supply of cheese.  Nate and I played a couple of rounds of golf and even grilled out (along with assistant baseball coach Brian Smith).  We may have also played the Wii a bit, but our golfing skills were actually worse on that darned device.  Today, things are starting to get back into swing as we prepare for the weekend and the return of games.

The weekend also signals the beginning of the spring ODAC Championship season as the golf team begins its defense of its 2008 & 2009 conference championships.  The golf championship runs from Sunday, April 18 to Tuesday, April 20 and will be played at the Bay Creek Golf Club in Cape Charles, Va.  Next up is baseball, which will have its conference tournament on Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, April 25 at City Stadium in Lynchburg, Va.  Men’s & Women’s Track & Field will have their championship on Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24 at Bridgewater, while the men’s and women’s tennis tournaments begin right here at W&L on Friday, April 23 and last through Sunday, April 25.  Finally, men’s and women’s lacrosse will begin their conference championships on Wednesday, April 28, with the women’s champion being crowned on Saturday, May 1 and the men’s champion being crowned on Saturday, May 8.

As always, the Generals will look to win their share of conference titles over the next two weeks and they hope to advance in the NCAA Tournaments throughout May.  The next few weeks will be a whirlwind and before you know it, the 2009-10 school year will be another entry in the great history of W&L athletics.  So here’s hoping the SID’s, athletic trainers, administrators & student athletes have had a chance to recharge their batteries for a memorable stretch run and a perfect ending to another wonderful year in sports!

Spring Break

April 12, 2010

By: Jan Hathorn
Athletic Director

Spring Break –  one of my favorite times of the year (I think I say that about every season!) because it usually means we’re about to enter the postseason for our spring sports.  I’ve always loved the direct correlation with the improvement in the weather (read: sunshine), and the excitement of the coming postseason tournaments.  There is no better combination for a sports fan than fantastic weather and fantastic competitions.

Again this year, our spring teams are doing well and all are poised to make a run at their respective championships.  Our Riding team finished third this past Friday – they were tied for second but the tie-breaker went to Bridgewater – and they have set the pace for the rest of our spring teams.  Several of our teams will be hosting their respective tournaments – Men’s and Women’s tennis and Women’s lacrosse.  So come out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather and the great competition. It promises to be another fantastic Spring Break.

Go Generals!!

Honor and Taxes

April 7, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

You may have already seen it and you may have not, but former W&L football player Charlie Freret ’70 was featured in Wednesday’s New York Times regarding his strong belief in the Honor System and how it affected his choices with regards to his federal income taxes.  For more on the story, please visit the W&L News Blog written by Jeff Hanna.

Fun in the Sun

April 7, 2010

By: Josh Williamson
Head Athletic Trainer

It’s amazing what a little change in the weather will do for the spirit.  It wasn’t but a few weeks ago (maybe a little more) that I was writing about the snow.  And now, here it is, early April and we are dealing with summer heat!  Just when the cold was starting to wear on me, some warm sunny days came in and picked me up.  But it seems to me that I am not the only one that it has affected.  Many of the student-athletes, coaches, staff, crew, and random people I’ve run into on the street seem to be positively affected by the change in the weather.  It’s so refreshing to have such a positive vibe everywhere you turn.  I know that it has put me in a better mood and makes the days so much more enjoyable – probably not only for me but for those that have to deal with me!  This change in the weather also serves as a reminder that the end of the academic year is fast approaching.  It has a tendency to sneak up on you (at least it does for me).  As we approach the end of the academic year, we also approach another sports championship season!!  This is what I really look forward to each season.  You just can’t beat spring/early summer weather and sports championships!  So, after being refreshed by the nice weather (and applying a copious amount of sunscreen), I’m ready to see our sports teams close in on some championships!  You should do the same…come out and support the Generals!!  Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

2010 W&L Track & Field Carnival Video

April 6, 2010

By: Kris Hoey
Head Women’s Cross Country Coach

The last time I wrote a blog, I wrote a Top 10 List of Reasons You Should Come to the W&L Track and Field Carnival.  The Carnival has come and gone, but I have captured some of the highlights from the meet in the video below, so if you were unable to make it to the carnival this year take a peek at what you missed. You may even catch a glimpse of our Athletic Director Jan Hathorn!

The kids race is the first clip on there, unfortunately the only record of the Nellie and Chase turn around that Wendy spoke about a few blogs ago is in our memory.  You will just have to come next year to see the rematch.  We could not have put on this great meet without the help of all the volunteers from the athletic department and across campus, helpers, coaches and facilities crew.  Take a look, check it out and see the W&L Carnival in action.

Traveling Man

April 2, 2010

By: Neil Cunningham
Head Women’s Soccer Coach

When you are a college soccer coach, the month of March is an exciting one. The previous two months have been quiet, weather has been horrible and March brings that sense of new optimism that the next recruiting class might just be the best ever. So the tournament planning begins and it’s time to hit the road and air to find the next All-American.

I love recruiting. I love to hit the road and scout future players. What I do not like to do is fly! I should explain that it is not for some fear of flying, but more the insane and inexplicable things that happen that are completely beyond your control and no matter how many times you see them happening they still leave me with that unanswered question: “Are you kidding me….”

Let me elaborate here and please feel free to reply and let me know if it is just me or a regular occurrence.

1. Finding your seat.

The last time I checked, seat numbers went up one number at a time starting at 1 ( even though I never get to sit here) and ending with a much higher number like 30 for example. If your little ticket stub says 20F it means your row comes after 19 and if you get to 21 you have gone too far. Why must people hold their ticket up to their eyes and then read every row number as they move slowly back to their assigned seat. Do they really think that Row 20 will just suddenly jump out at them after Row 8? Do you really think the person who put those numbers on the seat rows had a sick sense of humor and were trying to trick you? Did you not get past kindergarten math and therefore struggle with counting in sequence?

2. Where have you been?

Probably my favorite ritual when traveling has to be the line to get through security. It’s like a reunion for every school bully in America. Put your lotions in a clear zip lock; take your belt off; shoes off; if you have a laptop…; do not put your kid on the conveyor belt; and the list of instructions that get barked at you go on and on. Oh I feel safer already J

However the one that kills me is the person of zero intelligence that does not understand what a metal detector does for a living.

Picture the scene: Man walks ( it’s always a man, because we are stupid!) through the metal detector. BEEP BEEP.

“ Sir do you have any metal in your pockets.”

“ Yes, I have some lose change”

Please put your lose change in the bin and try again.

BEEP BEEP

“ Sir do you have any metal in your pockets.”

“Just my keys”

At this point the TSA person should be perfectly within his right to protect the National Security of the country by beating this person with a big stick and branding them with a : “Not allowed to Fly for being an Idiot”

3.  Dress Code

I do not pretend to be Mr GQ but I would be in favor of instituting some sort of dress code on anyone flying. Have you looked around you and seen what people wear to travel? You clearly have no respect for yourself but have a little courtesy for the fellow man here. Men should not be wearing Tank Tops. ( there is an argument for never, but I can settle for just not in public when you are sitting next to me?) Wear some shoes please. The only thing more amazing than a guy travelling like this is the fact that the woman accompanying him, who I might add looks fantastic,  lets him out of the house. Are you kidding me. I am well aware that it’s nice to be comfortable but there are other options here. I think there is a direct correlation here between e-tickets and a worsening dress code. When there were live people at check in, they would look you up and down and roll their eyes, and think to themselves “What in the world was he thinking…) Next time I see someone dressed like this I will call airport security and save my fellow passenger from having to sit next to this person , often in the dreaded middle seat, for the interest of National Security.

4. The line at Car Rental

You have been travelling all day. Left at 4am to get to the airport 3 hours early in case of traffic ( my dad always did this) , sat next to the family with 8 kids, endured being violated many times by the airline company including the people that took $25 for the privilege of taking your bag with you, and then to cap off the perfect day you arrive at the place to pick up your rental car to find a nice long line. Oh well, what’s another 45 minutes. So there are 10 people ahead of you and two people working. You start to do the math and realize it may be a while. Finally, I am next in line. I make sure I have my credit card out, drivers license ready to go and wait for the starters gun. Unbelievable! When it’s my turn one of the 2 staff goes on break. Can you believe that? There is no-one behind me. Can you not wait for that cigarette? Its 11.30pm.

So I finally get a very irritated unhappy worker (not many of them about) and they are just miserable.

“ Mr Cunningham. I have a nice Mercedes for an extra $ 75 dollars a day if you want to upgrade”

No thanks I will stay with my Kia wind up car

“ Would you like the coverage for an extra $50 per day”

No thanks. Now she is really mad. They lecture you on the fact that you are now responsible for the vehicle and if anything happens to it….

“Would you like to purchase Gas at $8 a gallon or fill it up yourself?

When you reply that you can fill it up yourself the person reminds you that if the gas tank is not returned full you will be charged $17 a gallon to fill it up.

At this point I just want a car and to get to my hotel. It’s no wonder it takes so long.