One year ago today, I noted the incredible aggregate accomplishments of Eph women.  I predicted that the men would respond in kind in 2009-10.  And wow, did they ever, and then some (although the women, incredibly, more or less equaled their amazing year as well).  A sampling of the amazing individual and team accomplishments by Eph men this school year:

  • Men’s basketball returned to its glory days with an incredible year including: playing in the national title game, beating Amherst twice, winning a NESCAC championship (while going undefeated in NESCAC play), setting a team record for consecutive in-season wins,  and leading the country in two point percentage, three point percentage, and scoring margin.  Several individuals also received accolades as well: NESCAC player of year, all-American, and Josten’s winner Blake Schultz, first-team all NESCAC player and fourth-team all-American James Wang ’12, NESCAC coach of the year Mike Maker, and second-team all NESCAC and all-Final Four team member Troy Whittington ’11.
  • Men’s wrestling had another big year, winning its second straight New England Championship and earning recognition for its academic accomplishments.  The team was led by NCAA pins leader Ryan Malo ’11, who finished second nationally and was featured in SI’s Faces in the Crowd.
  • Men’s ice hockey had a strong year, led by the first ever Eph NESCAC player of the year Alex Smigelski ’10 (also a first team all-American and finalist for the national player of the year) and first team all-NESCAC performer Brian Malchoff.  For the second straight year, an ice hockey player also received plaudits for his community service work, in this case Zach Miller ’10.
  • Men’s cross country overcame injury woes to finish second in the country, and just as impressive, were the national scholar-team of the year.  Edgar Kosgey ’10 had an incredible year as an individual, finishing third in the country at the national championships.  Connor Kamm ’10 had a big year in both cross country and in outdoor track, where he won the national title in the 1500 meter run.
  • Men’s soccer made a surprising run to the final four, where they gave perennial national champion Messiah a run for their money.  Men’s soccer featured yet another NESCAC player of the year, this time, Conor Smith ’10, in addition to several other all-Conference honorees.
  • Men’s swimming and diving made a huge improvement from last year, moving up from 21st to 9th.  The team was dominated by frosh and sophomores and should continue to improve next year.
  • Although baseball had a tough end to the season in the NESCAC tourney, they did win the regular-season NESCAC West title and the Little Three, while at one point putting together a 12 game winning streak, and star Al Matthews ’10 was named the co-player of the year in NESCAC.
  • Men’s crew had a spectacular year, capped by winning the program’s first ECAC National Invitational Regatta, which essentially serves as the national championship for the Ephs’ peer group.
  • Of course, women’s teams, in the aggregate, had yet another spectacular year, highlighted by two national championship squads and big years from soccer, volleyball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, swimming and diving, tennis, crew, cross country and track and field.  But the huge aggregate improvement for the men’s teams helped Williams win the Director’s Cup by (in my calculation) an absolutely staggering (and possibly record-setting) margin.  So, despite another great year for women’s athletics at Williams, I hereby (narrowly) dub 2009-10 the year of the Ephman due to the tremendous aggregate improvement of the men’s teams.
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