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Both XC teams finish in top 10 at All-Ohio meet

Zane Wright

Contributing Writer

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed in the upper half of 20 teams at the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championships on Oct. 3rd in Cedarville, Ohio on the Elvin R. King Course.

The Wooster men’s cross country team finished seventh in a strong Div. III field of 21 teams, while the women finished 10th in their field of 20 teams.

Forty-eight teams from all over Ohio attended the meet, competing on the Div. I, II and III levels.

Joe David ’15 led the men’s team for the 8K and raced past the finish line in 16th place out of the 284 runners in Div. III, and 79th out of the 569 runners overall (26:19.49).

Another stand-out performer was Blake Pecoraro ’17 who finished just behind David, crossing the finish line in 19th in Div. III (26:23.08).

Derek Marshall ’15 placed 57th (27:27.64), and Albert Darling ’16, who finished exactly one second behind Marshall (27:28.64) in 59th, helped contribute to the Scot’s seventh-place finish.

Will Wojtkiewicz ’15 and Karl Stemen ’15 rounded out the six top runners for the Scots, with Wojtkiewicz (27:51.72) finishing in 76th and Stemen (27:57.07) finishing 87th.

“Our team has been running consistently all season, and we are hoping to step it up a notch or two before the championship portion of the season,” said David. “Our goals going into conference are to push the top teams and build some momentum going into regionals.”

Leading the women to their top-10 finish, one spot higher than their finish last year, was Lauren Buyan ’15 (23:46.18), who finished 31st in Div. III and 94th overall out of the 503 total runners on the 6K course.

The women’s competition was stiff. The Scots competed against three nationally-ranked Div. III Ohio teams: Oberlin, Mount Union and Case Western Reserve.

Rachelle Herrin ’15 crossed the finish line next (24:38.44) in 62nd, followed by Kayla Zboran ’17 (24:46.66) in 68th. Rounding out the women’s scoring was Mackenzie Kellar ’18 (24:58.20) in 77th, Erin Andrews-Sharer ’15 (25:03.09) in 82nd, Gabriella Neubauer ’18 (25:07.99) in 90th and Gabriella Gilfoy ’15 (26:16.91) in 144th.

The women beat out Kenyon College, with their total time one minute faster and each runner’s average time 10 seconds faster. This is the second time this season the team beat the Ladies by a narrow margin.

“The team has been getting stronger at every race… the key to our success will be to continue to work together, run as a pack, and have confidence when we step to the line,” said Buyan.

Both teams are having a strong season so far and will look to keep up this momentum in two weeks at the #JennaStrong Fall Classic, which is hosted by Wilmington College.

Michael Phelps: impressive athlete, not role model

Anna Duke

At the end of September, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, was arrested on the charge of driving under the influence. As the media and the swimming world debate whether or not the consequences for his second offense in 10 years are fair, I have been reading the articles unphased. The former “role model” has finally made another mistake, but this time big enough for the public to question his reputation in society.

I was a competitive swimmer for 15 years, and I competed during what many would call the Michael Phelps era. The sport of swimming was becoming more popular than it had been in years thanks to the Maryland swimmer. At the age of 17, Phelps became a stand-out swimmer on the world stage after setting a world record and winning 11 medals at the Pan Pacific and World Championships. Two years later, he made the Olympics and took home six gold medals and two bronze — a feat that had only been achieved once before by swimmer Mark Spitz.

The publicity about Phelps and his swimming accomplishments increased the number of children who were enrolled in swim programs around the world. Even younger swimmers on the Olympic scene, like Olympic medalists Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, attribute their interest in the sport to Michael Phelps.

Unlike these swimmers, I have completely disregarded Phelps as a role model for the sport. My distaste for the Olympian started a year after his DUI charges in 2004 when I met him in person.

When I was in middle school and aspiring to be an amazing swimmer, I attended the University of Michigan Swim Camp where Phelps was training with Bob Bowman. If Phelps were to practice while anyone at swim camp was in the natatorium, the swim staff would turn off all of the lights in the pool so we couldn’t see Phelps come on the deck. When the lights went back on, Phelps was in the water, mixed in a sea of swimming arms.

Later in the week, we all stood in line to get signatures from Olympians. When giving out autographs, it was obvious that he was not enthused to be there. I am sure he gave thousands of autographs that year, but there were 120 swimmers that all wanted to be like him lined up that day. It seemed like he couldn’t care less. Instead of looking up to him, I looked to lower profile swimmers like Matt Grevers, Rebecca Soni and Christine Magnuson who were grateful to have fans.

On top of my personal experience, other situations Phelps has been in have proven my middle school judgment right. Phelps has dutifully fulfilled the dumb athlete stereotype and broken the law repeatedly.

Almost anyone who listens to an interview with the Olympian can tell that he is not the smartest. Watching Phelps speak at press conferences or after his races is painful. The statements on how he feels about his swims or accomplishments are so emotionless and boring that I am tempted to mute the TV. When he was close to breaking Spitz’s Olympic medal record, he was interviewed about Spitz’s records. Phelps admitted he didn’t even know who the man was until his coach, Bob Bowman, told him.

The swimmer has not had a spotless past either. He has been in the media three times now for drug and alcohol infractions. First, a DUI in 2004 when he was only 19. Then in 2009 when he was 23, he went and visited a girl at the University of South Carolina and was caught on camera taking a hit from a water bong.

While I do think there is a fine line between public and personal life that the media sometimes crosses, I think that if Phelps is considered to be a role model, he should be somewhat put together in all parts of his life. I understand that young athletes make mistakes, and I am tolerant of that. However, Phelps has made too many mistakes for me to view him as a role model. At this point, his impressive achievements should be taken at face value instead of people looking up to him.

Women’s soccer team stumbles over long fall break


Megan Zerrer

Contributing Writer

The women’s soccer team played two games over Fall Break, the first on Oct. 7th and the second on Oct. 11th. The women put up a fantastic effort but were unsuccessful on both counts.

The first game was held on campus, and the ladies played the Case Western Reserve University Spartans. The Spartans displayed their willingness to fight for the win, committing seven fouls against the Scots in the first half alone, compared to the Scots’ four. The Spartans took three shots within the first 15 minutes, going head to head against Wooster goalie Elizabeth Clark ’17, who managed to save all three.

The women were finally able to take a shot on the Spartans’ goal about fifteen minutes in, but the shot was saved by Case Western goalie Abbey Smith.

The Spartans claimed the first goal of the game about 25 minutes in. Wooster struggled to match the strength of the Spartans’ offense, allowing them to take four more shots on goal within the next five minutes. However, the Scots, true to their name, came out fighting after halftime, taking two shots on the Spartans’ goal in the first five minutes of the second half. Unfortunately, soon after the Spartans began to dominate offensively, they ultimately won the game 2-0. The Scots’ defense managed to hold the Spartans until about 30 minutes into the second half, when the second goal was scored.

The Fighting Scots then set their sights on the upcoming game against the Kenyon College Ladies. While they didn’t have the home-field advantage, the Scots put up much more of a fight, matching the Ladies for every goal they scored. The Ladies were the first to score, putting the pressure on the Fighting Scots to follow up with a goal of their own. The goal was scored five minutes in, and the Scots were unable to get themselves on the board until the 30th minute.

This 1-0 lead was the largest the Ladies were able to achieve throughout the entire game. The lead ended when Lauren Hancher ’16 scored, assisted by Carly Joliat ’16. While Kenyon managed to score one more point before the half, the Fighting Scots were ready and waiting to put another point on the board, which they did. Jessica Friesen ’15 scored this second goal for Wooster into the upper right corner of the net, assisted by Rachael Davis ’16. The goal once more tied the match at 2-2.

Kenyon followed up with a goal of their own, claiming the lead once more. That lead lasted only seven minutes, after which Hancher converted a penalty kick into another point, allowing Wooster to regain the lead. The goal was Hancher’s fifth of the season.

In the end, Kenyon scored the final goal, giving them a 4-3 lead. This goal was scored in the last six minutes of the game, and Wooster did not have time to retaliate. All in all, the game was a great display of the two teams’ offensive power, as the combined total shots taken was thirty, while the goalkeepers made only five saves.

The Fighting Scots played Hiram College on October 14 after press time. Their next game is home on October 18 against Denison University.

With four games remaining in the regular season at press time, the Scots are in second place in the NCAC. The top four teams make the conference tournament on November 5, and Wooster (2-1 in conference) trails first place Kenyon by 1.5 games (4-0 in conference).

Field hockey jostles for conference playoff spot

Lincoln Plews

Sports Editor

To this point in the season, the field hockey team has had its fair share of ups and downs. The Scots have not lost more than two games in a row, but they are currently sitting just below .500 on the year with a 6-7 record (4-5 in conference). The team’s longest winning streak was three games in mid-September against Transylvania (3-0), Washington & Jefferson (2-1) and Earlham (5-0).

With six games remaining in the regular season at press time, the Scots are in fifth place in the NCAC. The top four teams make the conference tournament on Nov. 5, and Wooster trails the fourth place Wittenberg Tigers by 1.5 games (6-4 in conference).

The team suffered a significant setback in the playoff race this past Saturday, as they fell in a back-and-forth 3-2 decision to the Tigers. Wittenberg’s first goal came just six minutes into the game, but the Scots answered 10 minutes later with a goal from Taylor Thorp ’15. Thorp recovered a wide right shot from Kerry O’Connor ’17 and put it past the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

Wittenberg scored again five minutes into the second half, but Wooster answered with a goal of their own, this time off a penalty shot from Shelby Stone ’15. Unfortunately, the game would not stay tied for long.

The Tigers took just two minutes to regain the lead, putting a rebounded shot past the keeper to score what would be the game-winning goal. Despite the unlucky final goal, goalkeeper Carrie Mount ’15 gave an inspired performance, stopping 13 of 16 Wittenberg shots on goal, as the Scots were outshot 34-10 on the game.

Two days before their game against Wittenberg, the Scots faced the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops in an away match-up. OWU trails Wooster in sixth place in the NCAC, so the outcome was also essential to the Scots’ playoff hopes.

The teams battled hard throughout, but the game remained scoreless for the first 54 minutes. After missing their first nine shots, lightning struck for the Scots in the 55th minute. O’Connor delivered a penalty corner to Leah Prescott ’17, who dished the ball to Thorp deep in enemy territory. Thorp then knocked it past the keeper to give the Scots a 1-0 lead.

The Scots locked down defensively in the remaining time, allowing OWU just one shot on goal in the final 25 minutes, and took the victory.

After the game, team captain Taylor Thorp credited her entire team with helping to set up the goal and take home the win. “Like many other sports, a goal in field hockey cannot be scored without the hard work of the whole team,” said Thorp. “It starts with a strong defense to prevent the other team an opportunity to score, a solid midfield to bring the ball onto the offensive, and forward players to finish with a goal.”

Co-Captain Shelby Stone also commented on the team’s positive chemistry. “We have had a lot of good combinations, especially between the midfield and forward lines,” she said. “We have a lot of players who just work really well together, and this season, they’ve been clicking.”

Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats return to Wooster

oct17 Acrobats Story

Alexandra Wendt

Contributing Writer

This Saturday, the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats return to Wooster. Founded by Lien Chi Chang in 1967 in the province of Cangzhou, Hebei, they represent a tradition that has been ongoing for more than 25 centuries. Recognized as the premiere Chinese acrobatic company in the United States, the Golden Dragon Acrobats have toured all 50 states and more than 65 countries. In 2005, they performed on Broadway, and they have won two New York Drama Desk Awards. They performed at The College of Wooster in the fall of 2010, and were so well-received that the College asked them to return. Lara Sinangil ’15, who serves as W.A.C.’s Cultural Events Director, says that she recommends that “everyone should come see the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats -— not only will people be able to experience a top quality performance, but they will also be able to learn more about one of China’s oldest traditions.”

The Golden Dragon Acrobats give over 200 performances each year at 100 to 200 venues across the United States. They are also the only Chinese acrobatic company to tour year round in the United States. Along with dazzling viewers with flawless skill and lithe, fluid movements that make the most complicated and difficult routines appear effortless, the Golden Dragon Acrobats also spend more than one-third of their tour participating with community and youth outreach programs.

Among other awards, the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats are a seven-time recipient of the National Association of Campus Activities Entertainer of the Year Award and the Campus Activities Today’s Performer of the Year Award. They have also performed for President Clinton.

The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform at Wooster this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel.


Lily Iserson

I have fond memories of lazy schoolkid afternoons when I’d sprawl across a long blue futon and watch cartoons until mid-evening. I tried everything, from PBS’s educational adventure-cartoons to Cartoon Network’s anime specials, eager for anything spontaneous and unpredictable.

Of course one of these formative shows was Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. With its charming cast and clever world building, every episode expanded the borders of my imagination and anticipation.

Happily, when Avatar appeared on Netflix a few years back, I was able to rediscover the Gaang’s enduring quality. What other show was as quick to take risks as Avatar? When network comrades Spongebob and Timmy Turner preferred hyperactive gag-humor, Avatar upheld a powerful, long-term narrative, a diverse cast and a story that respectfully derived influence from a variety of world cultures — feats some live action sagas are incapable of emulating.

When its sequel-series Legend of Korra premiered in 2012, I wondered if the series would match the excellence of its predecessor. I admit, I was disappointed with its initial seasons. An unnecessary love triangle and lost plot potential pervaded the first season, while the second season carried on in much the same way despite interesting tie-ins to the canon’s spiritual realm.

Comparatively, Korra’s third season showed miles of improvement. Wisely abandoning its romantic focus, Korra concentrated on new settings, as well as intriguing Airbender and Beifong family subplots. Although I maintained minor concerns, the show’s bittersweet finale reinforced a concise theme, as Korra must grapple with being the Avatar in a world that may not want her.

This would establish the tone of Korra’s last season, which premiered on Nickelodeon’s website this past week (Korra no longer airs on television, a witless decision on Nickelodeon’s part, but that’s another Scene). The season’s second episode, “Korra Alone” depicted an emotional portrayal of Korra’s path towards physical and emotional healing after her battle with Zaheer. The episode showed more maturity and frustration in Korra than I’ve ever seen — understandable, as Korra’s disability directly contradicts her defining physical strength. Moreover, Korra’s friends are beginning to grow without her; an excellent decision on the part of the writers, who can now turn their attention to Mako, Bolin and Asami’s development independent of Korra, and vice versa.

Korra spends the rest of the episode journeying through familiar destinations, detached from her role, unable to relate with anyone. For the first time I felt that Korra was confronting a low on par with Aang’s loneliness as the last airbender, which made dearly missed Avatar favorite Toph’s reappearance all the more meaningful. Toph will surely give Korra the tough-love she needs to feel confident in the best environment possible — the place where Aang and Toph first met. The subtle callback has me thrilled for Toph and Korra’s swamp-filled training sessions and all their future adventures, just as I was excited years ago.