Football team caps memorable ride
The second-best postseason run in Colgate football history came to an end with a 48–21 loss to No. 10 Sam Houston State in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Huntsville, Texas, on December 12 (pictured above; photo by Bob Cornell). Colgate’s season ended at 9–5, but not before the Raiders bagged an eighth Patriot League title, along with multiple playoff victories. Colgate’s seven-game winning streak ended against a team that advanced to the national semifinals for the fourth time since 2011. Only Colgate’s 2003 national championship finalist team had a better postseason run than this year’s squad.
Raiders are third nationally in grad success rate
Colgate student-athletes moved up one spot to third in the latest NCAA Division I Graduation Success Rate (GSR) release. For the fourth-straight year, the Raiders are at 98 percent, placing Colgate alongside peer schools Columbia, Davidson, Duke, Harvard, Holy Cross, Loyola-Chicago, Notre Dame, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.
Colgate recorded 100-percent graduation success rates from 23 of its 24 NCAA-sponsored teams — three more teams than a year ago.
The NCAA’s GSR includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing. The GSR measures graduation over six years from initial enrollment.
Women ruggers finish second in the nation
The women’s rugby team faced off against the University of Minnesota in the national championship game in Charlotte, N.C., on December 6. They brought a perfect record into the contest, but lost the big game 44–24.
Named to the All-Star Team were McKenna Valley ’17, Erica Hiddink ’17, Maggie Nelsen ’18, and Natalie Smith ’17. Co-captain Kate Hardock ’16 won the Heart and Soul Award.
Colgate is part of the Excelsior Women’s Rugby Conference, formed four years ago to bring together competitive DII central New York college teams within a two-hour radius: Colgate, Hamilton, Siena, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Cortland, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Le Moyne. By the second season, Colgate was playing competitively, in a three-way tie for the 2013 league championship with Hamilton and RPI. At the playoffs, the Raiders lost to top-ranked Vassar in the first round.
“Determined to never have a tie again, we redoubled our efforts and training last season and went undefeated,” Coach Anne-Marie Lemal Brown said.
The Excelsior conference joined the National Small College Rugby Organization, which paved Colgate’s pathway to the 2015 nationals. “For the second year in a row, we held off the other teams, including a strong Cortland squad made up entirely of senior players,” said Brown. “We were the only team to beat them in the regular season and only by the slimmest of margins (29–28).”
The Raiders met Cortland again for a competitive championship match on Colgate’s home turf on November 1. “Both teams wanted [a win] badly,” Brown said. “Colgate was in the zone, putting together everything we had been working on all season and dominating in the first half — something we had never done before. In the second half, both teams hammered away at each other, trying to score.” Through teamwork and athleticism, Colgate prevailed.
Following this victory, Colgate beat the University of Rochester in the first round of playoffs on November 14. Then in the championships, the Raiders beat Denison University — qualifying them for the final four and a trip to the NSCRO National Championships in North Carolina.
On December 5, the team faced Lee University from Tennessee. The first half was an all-out battle, but Colgate came out in the second half and dominated for the win. In the title match the following day, the Raiders confronted Minnesota State University–Moorhead in their third trip to the championship. It was an exciting matchup, with MSUM finally overpowering the Raiders for the win.
Reflecting on their success this season, Brown said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have recruited a full roster of new players with strong athletic ability and devotion to the team. Women’s rugby is rapidly growing in popularity at college campuses all over the country. I have noticed a big change in the level of competition since I started coaching seven years ago. The sport’s popularity is sure to grow even more after rugby returns to the Olympics this summer in Rio.”
Alumna wins U.S. Rowing Fan’s Choice Award
Colgate support helped guide Lauren Schmetterling ’10 to being named U.S. Rowing’s 2015 Fan’s Choice National Team Member of the Year.
One of five finalists for the award, Schmetterling trailed in early voting. But with the help of the Colgate Raider community, she vaulted to the top spot and was honored at the Fifth Annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner on November 19 at the New York Athletic Club.
A three-time national team member and three-time world champion, Schmetterling sat in the four seat of the U.S. women’s eight that brought home the 10th consecutive World/Olympic Championship at this year’s World Rowing Championships. She also finished in the eight and four at the 2015 World Rowing Cup II in June to round out her gold-standard year.
U.S. Rowing’s Fan’s Choice Awards showcase top performances over the current year. This year’s winners were nominated by and voted for based on their contributions to the sport and achievements on the water.
Men’s lacrosse earns sportsmanship award
Colgate University and Head Coach Mike Murphy are District 2 recipients of the James “Ace” Adams Sportsmanship Award for the 2015 season. The honor comes via the U.S. Lacrosse Men’s Collegiate Officials Committee.
Initiated in 2006, the awards are presented annually to the college or university in each of the 11 officiating districts whose coaches, players, and fans exhibit the best sportsmanship throughout the season. Both varsity and club programs are eligible. Winners are voted among members of the National Intercollegiate Lacrosse Officials Association.
“I know sportsmanship is very important to the NCAA, and to have our team recognized for this special award is fantastic,” Murphy said.
The award exemplifies the tradition and sportsmanship in lacrosse displayed by Ace Adams, who, at the time of his 1992 retirement, had the most wins of any active Division I coach. This year’s winners were recognized January 22–24 at the 2016 U.S. Lacrosse National Convention in Baltimore.
Sold out crowd
Cotterell Court was at capacity when women’s basketball took on the nation’s No. 1-ranked UConn Huskies, including Breanna Stewart (#30, left), a standout player from central New York who will likely be a member of the 2016 Olympic team. The Huskies prevailed 94–50.
Photo by Bob Cornell
Lacrosse player combats rare syndrome
The trouble began last fall when she noticed that her left arm was sore, swollen, and turning purple. After a visit to Dr. Merrill Miller, team physician and director of Health Services at Colgate, she learned that it was a serious blood clot. In just two days, the clot grew to be seven inches long.
Gorajek was rushed for additional testing to University Hospital in Syracuse, where she was diagnosed with venous thoracic outlet syndrome, a rare disorder that occurs when there is injury or irritation in the veins of the neck and chest area.
Most people with this condition end up taking blood thinners for the rest of their lives, and as a result, they cannot play contact sports. The risk of severe bleeding after sustaining even a minor injury is too great.
Gorajek, however, could not imagine giving up lacrosse, so she found an alternative: the removal of her first rib, the one right below the collarbone.
Following the rib removal surgery, she was cleared to play in less than two months despite the prediction that it would take six, and she went on to have a great season. She played in all 16 games, scored 20 goals, made three assists, and even landed a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
“Not once did I think about quitting,” Gorajek told Lacrosse Magazine. “I truly believe that it was my family and teammates that made giving up not an option.” Her parents were both lacrosse players and her sister recently played for Bowdoin College, so it is no surprise that lacrosse means so much to Gorajek.
Her teammates, who rallied around her and visited her in the hospital during the rough months, have renewed appreciation for the sport as a result of this situation.
As Coach Heather Young told Lacrosse Magazine, “Seeing LoGo [Gorajek] endure and overcome this has made us all more grateful for the days we get to spend on the field together.”
Alumna races in cycling championships
Professional athlete Kathryn Bertine ’97 competed in two major cycling events this fall: the UCI World Championships and the Caribbean Championships.
From September 20 through 27, Bertine raced in Richmond, Va., at the 2015 UCI World Championships. She finished 34th in the individual time trial, and also did the team time trial as well as the road race.
Bertine biked Barbados October 17 to 18 as part of the Caribbean Championships. Racing as a dual citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis, she came in first place in the time trial and second in the road race. (Bertine acquired dual citizenship in 2008 in return for helping their cycling federation support women and future Olympians.)
For the duration of the 2015 season, she raced for the U.S.-based professional team BMW/Happy Tooth Dental. Bertine has just recently signed a contract for 2016 with Cylance Pro Cycling.
The year 2016 will mark Bertine’s fifth season racing professionally, after entering the sport as an amateur in 2007.
“I am living proof that there is an entire world of athletic potential available to us beyond college,” Bertine said. “Back then, I had no idea pro cycling existed. Now, at 40, I’m on the eighth-ranked team in the world; you can still be doing this when you’re an ‘old lady.’ It’s been an unexpected but amazing journey.”
Bertine, who is a Colgate rowing alumna, has also figure skated professionally and competed as a pro triathlete.
As a writer, she has made a commitment to bringing visibility to female sports. She has authored three books, all sports memoirs, in addition to having a successful career as a journalist for ESPN. “Most people associate professional sports with a lavish lifestyle; however, in women’s pro sports, many of us have to work at least part-time jobs to supplement our contracts.”
— Emma Loftus ’16
Three golds for men’s rowing
First-year rowers pulled in big victories during one weekend of two regattas in November. The Raiders competed at the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta and the Bill Braxton Regatta for their final fall competitions.
At the Frostbite, two Colgate boats won Freshman Four races. Colgate A crossed in 7:02.46, manned by Ben Halligan (coxswain), Caleb Tansey, Peter Rex, Ryan Kiel, and Matt Oakley. Colgate B also captured gold, in 7:32.64, as Matthew Froelich (coxswain), William Holding, Robert Sasse, Christo-pher Munoz, and Charlie O’Connell were on board.
Colgate’s Varsity Eight finished third behind Temple and Washington (Md.). The Raiders posted a time of 6:20.09, with a crew of Halligan (coxswain), Tansey, Rex, Kiel, Oakley, Liam Emmart ’19, Shane Buchanan ’17, Clarke Cady-McCrea ’17, and Justin Manzi ’17.
At the Braxton, Colgate’s Freshman Eight captured first-place honors. The crew of Halligan (coxswain), Tansey, Rex, Kiel, Oakley, Emmart, Holding, Sasse, and O’Connell registered a winning time of 6:36.45.
The Varsity Eight again placed third, this time behind Temple and Marietta. The Colgate crew of Halligan (coxswain), Tansey, Rex, Kiel, Oakley, Emmart, Buchanan, Cady-McCrea, and Manzi crossed in 6:23.76.
Celebrating 125 Years of Raider football
8 Patriot League championships including 2015
9 wins this season, for the 9th time in program history
1932 unbeatable team: 9 wins, 0 losses
1918 wartime put the kibosh on sports
63 Raiders have gone on to play in the NFL, 3 to the Super Bowl
137 wins in 18 seasons gave Coach Dick Biddle the most career victories at Colgate
85 players on the 2015 squad
6′-6″ is the height of the tallest player this year: tight end John Quazza ’16
634 total victories
41 Colgate jersey number of president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers Mark Murphy ’77, former Colgate athletic director who played in two Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins
Paying tribute to an athletics legend
With The Dunlap Rules, Fred “Tiger” Dunlap ’81 honors his parents, Fred ’50 and Marilyn Dunlap, who impacted the lives of many people in the Colgate community and beyond. Fred Sr. was Colgate’s head football coach from 1976 to 1987 and served as director of athletics from 1976 to 1992. The book is available at
gocolgateraiders.com and the Colgate Bookstore. Here, Tiger shares some insights.
Q: Tell us about The Dunlap Rules.
A: [It’s about] my parents, who are 85 and 87 years old. They’ve been phenomenal mentors to me. The book is written in a vignette style, with each chapter being a separate story. The book hits on a lot of different themes: leadership, management, parenting, and dealing with stresses and conflicts. The prevailing theme, however, is showing how my parents’ methods, which were applied in a sports environment, could also be effectively transferred to the business world, where I made my career.
Q: How did you get the idea to write this book?
A: On Dec. 26, 2014, my parents were visiting for Christmas, and Dad was sitting with my wife and me and talking about the past, as we always did. As I listened to him that morning, [I realized] that the bigger story of Marilyn and Fred had to be told.
Q: What messages are you trying to relay to your readers?
A: Depending on each reader’s orientation, certain themes and sections may resonate more than others. Vicky Chun [vice president and director of athletics] read the book and said, ‘This book is not just about your parents, Tiger. It’s about the environment of Colgate University. It’s about going to a school that regards academic excellence and athletic excellence and puts a demand on a high-quality student to deliver on both fronts. It’s small-college athletics with high aspirations.’
Q: What has been your parents’ reaction to the book?
A: When I told them what I was planning to do, they were thunderstruck that anyone would write a book like that, and even more so that it would be their kid doing it. As I made progress and shared segments with them, their excitement continued to grow. Since receiving the final manuscript, they have read the book cover to cover five times. And Mom keeps prodding Dad to read it to her again.
Q: Tell us about your career.
A: I went into the health care industry right out of college. I spent the first 17–18 years working in sales and operations with larger companies. In 2000, I moved into private equity. I was a turnaround guy, taking over troubled health care companies, trying to reorganize them and make them grow. In 2008, I became chairman and CEO of XLHealthCorporation, based in Baltimore, Md. We repaired the company and grew it substantially. That progress resulted with a sale of XLHealth to UnitedHealth Group in February 2012. After assisting with the integration, I retired in July 2012. I spend my time as an investor in private equity and also dedicate much of my time to writing — a love of mine since being an English major at Colgate.
Q: What have been your other writing projects?
A: I have been writing an informal investment blog for the past two years, and have two other blogs as well. I have four other book projects well along the way. But The Dunlap Rules took total focus to pump out a 490-page book in eight months. Now I will be refocusing on those other projects, and I expect to finish at least one of them in the coming year.
Raider Nation: Fan spotlights
Fred and Sally Miers
Game: Football vs. Fordham
(W, 31–29) on 10/31/15
What brings you two to the game today?
Fred: We’re season ticket holders. We live in Norwich, and we love coming to Colgate.
How long have you both been coming to games?
Fred: Forever. We both grew up in Norwich, so we’ve been coming here since high school.
What do you think makes a good Colgate fan?
Sally: Cheering for the team.
Fred: We like the atmosphere; it’s so friendly.
Julia Smaldone ’16
Hometown: Manhasset, N.Y.
Game: Men’s soccer vs. Loyola (W, 1–0) on 10/31/15
What brings you to the game today?
I’m a senior and it’s on my Colgate bucket list to go to a sporting event for every team.
Have you been to any other sporting events today?
Yes. I went to the Patriot League Championships for cross country, and I was at the football game and volleyball game before this.
New York, N.Y.
Game: Women’s volleyball vs. Navy
(W 3–0: 25–18, 25–16, 25–18) on 10/31/15
What brings you to the game today?
My daughter [Natalie Bryt ’17, pictured] wanted to go. I have never been to a Colgate volleyball game before.
What do you think makes a good fan?
Somebody who has a lot of school spirit.
— Interviews and photos by Jessica Rice ’16