Previous issue's column | July/August
Contents | Gazette Home
Champions and Other Winners
Selected highlights from the past year in sports.
By Noel Hynd
is the case every year, hundreds of student-athletes played hundreds of
intercollegiate games for Penn this past yearfrom which emerged
at least as many lasting friendships and memories. Especially notable,
however, were six championship teams and certain individual performances:
Football: Senior Jim
Finn rushed for 188 yards on 36 carries and one touchdown to lead Penn
to its first Ivy League title since 1994, with a 35-21 win over Cornell
on November 21 at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca. The Quakers finished with
an 8-2 overall mark and a 6-1 Ivy League record. Finn was named the 1998
Asa Bushnell Player of the Year for the Ivy League, earned unanimous First
Team All-Ivy honors for the second consecutive season and received a flurry
of media attention when he was selected by the Chicago Bears as the 253rdand
finalpick in the 1999 National Football League draft.
Sprint Football: The
1998 Sprint Football team won its second title in three years and the
first under the new league name, the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
The Quakers recorded their best season ever with a record of 5-1 overall
and 3-1 CSFL, and junior running back Tim Ortman was named the Leagues
Most Valuable Player.
After being upended at the Palestra on February 9 in a disastrous
come-from-behind victory by Princeton, the Quakers came back in dramatic
fashion, finishing the season with a 13-1 Ivy record and paying back the
Tigers with a 73-48 drubbing at Jadwin on March 2 to take the Ivy League
Championship. Junior Michael Jordan and senior Paul Romanczuk were named
First Team All-Ivy League. The Quakers were defeated by the University
of Florida, 75-61, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mens Fencing: The
Quakers won their 13th Ivy League Championship and first in 16 years,
with a 5-0 league record (also their first since 1983).
Gymnastics: The 1999
Penn gymnasts recorded their third consecutive Ivy Classic Championship
at the Palestra on February 28. Penn scored 188.925 points for the win
and senior Molly Sullivan was crowned champion in the all-around. Sullivan
went on to be named the ECAC Gymnast of the Year and set a new school
record in the floor exercise at the 1999 ECAC Gymnastics Championships,
among other honors.
Wrestling: The Penn
wrestling team continued its dominance in the Ivy League and the EIWA,
winning its fourth consecutive championships in both leagues. The Penn
team finished 11th overall in the 1999 NCAA Championships (the highest
Penn finish since 1942), and three of the eight wrestlers representing
the teamseniors Andrei Rodzianko and Bandele Adiyni-Bada and junior
Brett Matterwere named All-Americans. Rodzianko, who racked up numerous
honors throughout his career, placed fourth individually at the NCAAs.
He finished the year with a record of 25-2 and was named to the All-Ivy
First Team for the second consecutive year.
There were many other noteworthy
contributions to Penn sports this year. Among them:
Mens Swimming: Penns
Most Outstanding Swimmer in the EISL Championships was freshman Kenneth
Goh. Goh finished second in the 100-yard breast stroke in 56.5 seconds,
breaking a 12-year-old record by more than a.second and qualifying for
the U.S. nationals in the process. The mens team turned in strong
performances overall as more than 75 percent of the team.accomplished
The womens swim team was led by two freshmen, Devin McGlynn
and April Fletcher. Fletcher proved to be the fastest breaststroker in
Penn history, recording times of 1:07.3 in the 100 and 2:25.4 in the 200
to set new school marks. McGlynn broke the 200-yard freestyle record (1:53.0)
held by Ivy Silver Anniversary Honoree Sarah Ralston.
Led by three senior tri-captains, the womens tennis team completed
its most successful season in the nineties. Seniors Karen Ridley, Julia
Feldman and Brooke Herman wanted to finish their careers as Ivy Champions
and made the best effort in recent memory to do so, but fell just one
match short of a storybook season. Penns second place finish, with
a record of 6-1 in the Ivy League and an overall mark of 19-2, was only
matched in 1996 and 1985. Despite a string of 15 straight match wins this
spring, the team just missed an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with
a loss to Harvard.
Heavyweight Rowing: After
finishing fourth at the San Diego Crew Classic, the Penn varsity eight
returned to the East coast to win the Blackwell and Adams Cups on the
Schuylkill River (the first time since 1991 that Penn defeated Harvard
for the Adams Cup). The Quakers finished third at the EARC Sprints with
a time of 5:48.91.
Lightweight Rowing: The
Penn lightweight varsity eight boat finished second at the San Diego Crew
Classic in 1999, but fell in its next three cup races. Penn claimed its
only Cup of the spring against Navy, extending its Callow Cup victories
to three. The Quakers finished ninth with a time of 6:04.91 at the EARC
The Penn crew recorded six straight wins and an 11th place finish at the
San Diego Crew Classic. The first varsity boat defeated Yale for only
the third time in 21 years of rowing for the Connell Cup and kept its
nine-year winning streak intact by defeating Navy for the Class of 91
Plate on the Schuylkill River.
Last but not least, it is
always significant to honor genuine student athletes. This past year,
30 of our best were chosen to represent Penn on the Academic All-Ivy League
lists for the 1998-99 school year.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.
The final fall-sports schedule of the century begins in a few weeks.
Noel Hynd, C'70, writes on sports for the Gazette.
issue's column | July/August Contents | Gazette
Copyright 1999 The Pennsylvania
Gazette | Last modified 7/6/98