Women’s rugby takes national title
The women’s rugby team fought its way to victory at the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) 7s National Championship tournament held April 29–30 at Founders Field in Cheswick, Pa.
On the first day of the tournament, the Raiders maintained their undefeated record, beating out Simpson College (22–17), Endicott College (38–0), and York College of Pennsylvania (19–12). The wins earned the Raiders a spot in the national semifinals the following day.
In the semifinals, Colgate’s face-off against Lee University ended in the Raiders’ favor with a win of 19–17. After a long break, Colgate returned to Founders Field for the last time to take on six-time national champions Wayne State College, which beat out Colgate for the NSCRO 15 National Championship in early December. The Raiders were determined to secure a national title, though, and with strong defense and patient attack play, won 15–12.
“Amidst tears and cheers, we gathered on the pitch to revel in a long-awaited win,” reported scrum-half Bria Vicenti ’17. As the Raiders came off the pitch, they were greeted by a standing ovation from other teams.
During the awards ceremony, Ciara Pettinos ’17 was named to the all-tournament team and was also named the championship MVP. She was later recognized by the Rugby Breakdown (an online source for U.S. girls’ and women’s rugby) as player of the week and player of the month.
Vicenti reflected: “Huge thanks to all of the fans and alumni who cheered us on from around the world, and so much love and gratitude to anyone who has ever been a part of our community. You all made this win possible, and we can never thank you enough.”
Olympic Medalist: Livia Altmann ’19
Raiders row to three medals at Dad Vail
Colgate and the Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, continue to be a match made in rowing heaven.
The Raiders medaled three boats at this year’s competition in Philadelphia, including gold by the Freshman 4+ crew of David McCarthy, Andrew Pratt, Luke Smith, Alex Damjnovic, and coxswain Sophie Boyd. The Freshman 4+ also captured the Lindy Cup for the second year in a row. Colgate’s Varsity 4+ — Justin Manzi, Matt Oakley, Clarke Cady-McCrea, and Alex Damjanovic, with coxswain Ben Halligan — earned silver; and the Varsity Pair, Liam Emmart and Peter Rex, took home bronze for the Raiders’ best overall showing since 2008.
Taking football safety to the next level
During spring practice, Colgate football added yet another layer to student-athlete safety with the implementation of Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System for helmets. The Raiders equipped 20 helmets with the cutting-edge technology, which features sensors throughout the helmet that record impact data.
Coaches, equipment staff, and athletic trainers not only get real-time alarms if a player takes a big hit on the practice field, but they can also analyze all of the hits after the fact. They can use that data to discuss changes in tackling techniques to make players safer and correct mistakes that might lead to injury.
“It’s been great,” head coach Dan Hunt said. “We can study the data and ask ourselves if a drill needs to be tweaked and if there is too much contact to the head, or if it’s a case of an individual player who might be lowering his head too much and the bulk of the contact is on the top of his head.”
For Hunt, the best feature of the new technology is knowing that a player has received a major hit during practice.
“We know instantaneously if a player sustained a large hit to the head — it sets off an alarm for the equipment managers and trainers.”
The information from the sensors is downloaded every night, offering a precise record of which players are receiving impacts to the head, how many a player receives, and where on the head they are occurring.
In addition to overall player protection, the goal of the new headgear is to improve fit, stability, and vision inside the helmet.
“Player safety is foremost to us,” said Hunt. “We firmly believe we can be a physical football team but also practice smart and teach the game the right way.”
Two former Raiders are helping implement these important safety measures at Riddell: Dan Arment ’84 is company president and CEO, and Pat Friel ’13 is product manager.
Football to open season on Week O
Colgate’s 2017 football season kicks off a little sooner than originally planned. Twenty-four hours sooner, to be exact.
The Raiders and Cal Poly Mustangs have agreed to move their game to Saturday, August 26, at 4 p.m. Pacific time (7 p.m. Eastern). That’s one day earlier than initially planned and all part of Week 0 scheduling negotiations with ESPN.
The game remains a big part of the ESPNU opening slate of televised college football. It is confirmed as the only Football Championship Subdivision game on tap that day and one of just a handful of games on the national landscape during the final weekend of August.
This is Colgate’s first California visit since the Raiders played at St. Mary’s in 1999. Cal Poly is set to complete the two-game series against Colgate in Hamilton during an upcoming campaign.
Raiders continue NCAA academic excellence
Student-athletes maintained their standing for another year among NCAA Division I leaders in academic achievement, with 18 Colgate teams earning perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for 2015–16.
Colgate also received 13 NCAA Public Recognition Awards for the second-straight year and saw 11 teams once again record perfect multiyear APR scores. For men’s golf, it’s the 12th straight year of a perfect APR score — one of just 93 programs nationwide to hold that distinction.
The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for Division I sports teams nationally. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for postseason competition and can face penalties for continued low academic performance. The APR measures eligibility, graduation, and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2012–13 through the 2015–16 academic years.