As the calendar prepares to flip to a new year, Knights Online looks back at some of the top storylines from the last 12 months. With 20 varsity sports, our panel of judges couldn't fit everything into our top-10 list, but we think you'll enjoy this stroll down memory lane...and get excited about the prospects of what might happen in 2017. Happy New Year!
Additionally, after taking time to review the top storylines of 2016, make sure to cast your vote for the top highlights in Carleton College varsity athletics history as Knights Online participates in the College’s sesquicentennial celebration. Find more information HERE.
1. WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK AND FIELD: Ruth Steinke is a Top Honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year Award
Throughout her stellar four-year career as a member of Carleton College's cross country and track and field teams, Ruth Steinke ’16 (Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) accumulated numerous Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championships and All-American honors while also excelling in the classroom and in the community. Steinke was the MIAC's nominee for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year award and was tabbed as one of the NCAA's top 30 honorees for the award.
Amelia Campbell ’16 (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) capped her Carleton career with a come-from-behind victory (5108 points) in the heptathlon at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. This was her third career individual national championship as she previously won NCAA titles in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon in 2014. Not surprisingly, Campbell was tabbed the Central Region’s women’s field athlete-of-the-year for the third consecutive season.
After posting one of the top seasons in NCAA baseball—across all three divisions—last spring, Carleton College catcher Hayden Tsutsui ’16 (Northridge, Calif./Chatsworth) was selected to both the D3baseball.com and ABCA/Rawlings All-America teams. Tsutsui is the Knights’ first All-American on the diamond in 25 years. Tsutsui’s .475 batting average and .561 on-base percentage ranked third-best across all NCAA divisions (D-I, D-II, and D-III). He added an.803 slugging percentage as he led the MIAC in home runs (7) and total bases (98) while hitting safely in 26 of 33 games. Tsutsui finished with a .438 career batting average.
Even before Hart Hornor ’16 (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) closed his collegiate career with his fifth career All-America award, he had already been voted by USTFCCCA coaches as the Central Region’s men’s track athlete-of-the year. He was also selected as the MIAC’s Outstanding Track Athlete for 2016 and his 5K victory at the conference meet was voted the Outstanding Performance of the MIAC Championships. Hornor’s senior year included trips to the NCAA Championships for cross country (All-America), indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field (All-America).
Although the game was moved to Northfield High School due to flood damage at Laird Stadium, the Carleton College football team refused to send its fans home without a victory to celebrate. Down 31-23 with 5:15 left to play against previously undefeated Hamliine University, the Knights engineered a triumphant comeback on Oct. 1. Making his first career start, Ethan Trujillo ’17 (Brighton, Colo./Brighton) finished the day 29-of-48 for 362 passing yards and two touchdown tosses as well as a fourth-quarter touchdown run. That 10-yard scamper and subsequent two-point conversion tied the game with 3:27 remaining. Following a defensive stand, the Knights moved into Piper territory. Brandt Davis ’17 (La Verne, Calif./Bonita) kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Carleton to a 34-31 victory.
For the first time in school history, the Carleton College women’s golf team had two individual qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Ziyi Wang ’19 (Beijing City, China/Lighthouse Christian Academy) finished in a tie for 21st place, while Grace Gilmore ’16 (Edina, Minn./Edina) took 23rd in the field of 109 golfers. The final round of the national championship was wiped out due to severe weather, and Wang officially finished with a 54-hole score of 233 (79-78-76) to finish 17-over par and one shot ahead of Gilmore (78-78-78). They were two of only 15 players to break 80 in each round of the tournament.
Lucy Stevens ’18 (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) continues to accumulate accolades in establishing herself as one of the most-decorated players in Carleton College volleyball history. For the second consecutive season, she picked up both All-Region First-Team status and All-America Honorable Mention recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Stevens became the first player in program history to receive multiple AVCA All-Region First-team awards, so it is not surprising that she is also the first Knight to be twice recognized on the national scene. Stevens averaged 3.82 in kills per set and 4.51 points per set, the latter of those figures ranked 33rd in the nation. She owned a .312 hitting percentage and was among NCAA leaders in blocks per set (0.76).
Seniors Mikayla Becich ’16 (Bradfordwoods, Pa./North Allegheny), Grace Davis ’16 (Neenah, Wis./Neenah), and Joyce Yu ’16 (Taipei, Taiwan/Taipei American School) each won in both singles and doubles to lead the Carleton College women’s tennis team to a 7-2 road victory over national No. 36 Gustavus Adolphus College. With the win, the Knights clinched a share of the MIAC regular-season title. It was Carleton’s sixth conference crown and third over the last five seasons.
Led by All-Region performers Kevin Doyle ’17 (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and Riley Phelps ’17 (Bowling Green, Ky.), the Carleton College men’s soccer team continued its decade-long string of success with yet another visit to the postseason. The Knights’ 10 consecutive visits to soccer’s second season is the longest active streak in both MIAC men’s and women’s soccer.
Showcasing the depth of the Knights’ roster, the Carleton College men’s tennis team had six players named the All-MIAC squad in 2016. Patton McClelland ’17 (Rock Hill, S.C./Charlotte Latin School) earned his second straight honor in singles, while Kevin Mei ’18 (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) and Jordon O'Kelly ’19 (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) and Andrew Qi ’19 (Auckland, New Zealand/Saint Kentigern) earned their first singles award. Both Ezra Frankel ’17 (Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill School) and Aaron Goodman ’19 (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Park) secured their first all-conference recognition for doubles.