Double Diamonds: KUA Teams Take Two NEPSAC Titles
Abbey D'Agostino, right, celebrates with Dartmouth College teammate Elizabeth Markowitz, left, after the pair tookfirst and second, respectively in the mile run during the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships in Hanover, N.H., Sunday, March 2, 2014. It was D'Agostino's last race for the Big Green. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)
Meriden — With three of its winter teams playing in NEPSAC championships on Sunday, Kimball Union Academy had the odds in its favor that someone would be busy sewing new banners in the coming days.
Make it a double.
The Wildcats’ girls basketball and boys hockey teams won their respective titles, one in comeback fashion and the other with stem-to-stern control. KUA girls hoop turned a 16-point second half deficit into a 43-36 win over Hamden Hall to take the NEPSAC Class C crown, while KUA boys hockey dominated the Dexter School, 5-1, for the championship of NEPSAC’s Piatelli-Simmons Small School hockey tournament.
Kimball Union boys basketball tried to emulate the girls in its NEPSAC Class AA championship game against Cushing, but a second-half rally fell short in a 78-70 defeat.
KUA 43, Hamden Hall 36
Dedham, Mass. — The third time proved the charm for the Wildcats, who claimed the NEPSAC Class C championship for the fifth time since 2000 after falling in the finals the last two winters.
The top seed in the tournament, KUA (18-5) fell early victim to a foe with solid outside shooting and interior height in a title game played at Noble and Greenough School. Second-ranked Hamden built a 26-14 halftime lead and expanded it to 16 in the second half before Kimball Union mounted its comeback.
The Wildcats had the deficit down to seven points midway through the second half, three within the game’s final four minutes and took the lead for good with 3½ minutes on the clock on an Abby Kelly 3-pointer.
Tournament MVP Taylor Ong led KUA with 13 points, adding key late rebounds to solidify Kimball Union’s rally. Kelly and Kaitie Sanders added key defensive contributions, Miranda Judd gutted out the contest on a bad ankle and Shannon Walsh led the rebound assault with eight caroms.
KUA 5, Dexter 1
New Haven, Conn. — The Wildcats reclaimed the NEPSAC small-school crown by bunching its goals in the second and third periods at Yale University’s Ingalls Rink.
Christopher Shero broke a scoreless tie with 5:44 left in the second period to get KUA (26-6-5) going. Kimball Union stretched the lead to 2-0 through Jacob Paluch, then used goals from Robert Hall, Tyler Bird and Dominic Franco — the latter into an empty net — to pull away.
The Piatelli-Simmons championship was KUA’s second in three years and the first for first-year head coach Tim Whitehead.
Cushing 78, KUA 70
Beverly, Mass. — The Wildcats (21-7) dropped into a first-half deficit and could never quite catch up to Cushing in the NEPSAC Class AA championship at Endicott College.
Kimball Union trailed 40-36 at the half. Down double digits for most of the second half, the Wildcats closed to within 63-59 with less than five minutes to play before Cushing pulled away.
North Carolina State-bound Malik Abu finished his KUA career with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Duby Maduegbunam followed with 13 points, Malcolm Brent had 12, Crew Ainge netted 11 and Oliver Tot contributed nine points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
Track and Field
Dartmouth Women Second at Heps
Hanover — Led by unanimous outstanding track performer Abbey D’Agostino, the Dartmouth women’s track and field team claimed second place at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship at Leverone Field House, the Big Green’s best team performance since 1996 and the program’s most points ever at an indoor championship.
Only Harvard spoiled a fairy-tale finish for Dartmouth, which netted just 16 points the last time the school hosted the indoor Heps four years ago. The Crimson used late performances to score 122 points to Dartmouth’s 102.
A day after winning the 5,000 meters, D’Agostino followed by taking the mile in 4 minutes, 40.28 seconds. Teammate Elizabeth Markowitz followed in second (4:44.53). Both also made up half of Dartmouth’s winning 3,200-meter relay entry, joining teammates Meggie Donovan and Megan Krumpoch to post a winning time of 8:45.41, the program’s first such victory at the indoor Heps.
Krumpoch won the 800 for Dartmouth, passing Harvard’s Erika Veidis on the final lap to take the race in 2:05.56, an NCAA championship-qualifying time. Jennifer Meech claimed the 200 dash and Janae Dunchack won the pentathlon and took second in the long jump for the Big Green, and Lebanon High graduate Cathy Liebowitz also added a point to the cause, taking sixth in the weight throw (54 feet, 8.75 inches).
Dartmouth’s men finishes sixth in the eight-school championship. The distance medley relay team of John Bleday, Phil Gomez, Steve Mangan and Will Geoghegan had the highlight performance of Sunday, winning by more than a second over Columbia in 9:47.69. The result came a day after Mangan’s meet-record 4:01.69 to win the men’s mile.
Women’s team scores: Harvard 122, Dartmouth 102, Columbia 95, Princeton 79, Cornell 54, Brown 37.5, Penn 22.5, Yale 15.
Men’s team scores: Cornell 145, Princeton 117, Harvard 95, Columbia 64, Brown 62, Dartmouth 53, Penn 28, Yale 24.
Fla. Int’l 11, Dartmouth 7
Miami — The Big Green (1-2) dropped the rubber game of a season-opening set with Florida International despite a bases-clearing double from Jeff Keller that ignited a ninth-inning rally.
Roche Woodward led FIU’s 14-hit attack with two home runs and four RBIs. Aramis Garcia added a two-run shot for Golden Panthers. Keller went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs for Dartmouth.
The Big Green started well, with Keller and Nick Lombardi scoring in the first inning. It was just about all FIU after that, with the hosts building a 9-2 lead after three complete frames.
Dartmouth visits No. 12 TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 14 to start another three-game series.
Dartmouth 4, Indiana 1
Bloomington, Ind. — The bottom end of the Big Green’s singles ladder provided the key points in Dartmouth’s second straight road victory.
Cameron Ghorbani, George Wall and Brendan Tannenbaum won at Nos. 4-6 after the Big Green had claimed the doubles point with two wins in three matches. The victory avenged a 6-1 loss the Hoosiers (7-7) from a year ago.
Dartmouth Senior Wins Title
Boston — Dartmouth senior Nejc Zupan broke a 34-year-old pool record in the 100-yard breaststroke in the morning, then bettered himself in the finals at the Ivy League Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships to win his sixth career conference title on Friday.
Dartmouth at CSA Event
Philadelphia — Fletcher Pease represented the Dartmouth men’s squash team at the CSA Individual Championship on Saturday.
Pease took part in the Molloy Division, which features the No. 33-80 ranked players in the country. He defeated Franklin &Marshall’s Dylan Cunningham to advance to the quarterfinals where he lost to Drexel’s Justin Singh.
Four Dartmouth women competed in the Holleran Division of the CSA event. The Holleran Division features the No. 33-80 ranked players in the country.
Jacqueline Barnes, Melina Turk and Nina Scott played in the round of 16, where they were eliminated.
Katherine Nimmo competed in the consolation bracket, winning her second round match before losing in the the consolation quarterfinals.