Kenyon sports notes – June 10

Installation of McBride Field’s new playing surface was recently completed by Maumee Bay Turf Center. The 78,416 square-foot synthetic surface will serve as home base for the Kenyon College football, field hockey, and men’s lacrosse teams for years to come.

NEW FIELD READY FOR ACTION – Installation of McBride Field’s new playing surface was recently completed by Maumee Bay Turf Center. The 78,416 square-foot synthetic surface will serve as home base for the Kenyon College football, field hockey, and men’s lacrosse teams for years to come.

McBride’s old surface, which had been in use since 2004, was peeled back a couple weeks ago to make way for the new surface, a UBU Sports Speed S5-M synthetic turf system that features the 2.5-inch Harmony fiber and an infill mixture of 70 percent rubber and 30 percent silica sand. The system ensures a fast, firm, and safe playing surface with a drainage capacity that exceeds 40 inches of water per hour. It’s the same playing surface used in the past two Super Bowls and the same currently being used by several National Football League teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We are extremely excited to have the chance to update and upgrade McBride Field,” Assistant Director of Athletics Justin Newell said. “UBU is second-to-none for multipurpose surfaces ideal for high-impact sports like football and lacrosse, as well as for smooth, even play in field hockey.”

The surface is decorated with the Kenyon athletics logo at midfield and the Kenyon athletics wordmark in the end zones. While Kenyon’s football and field hockey teams will use their August preseason practices to become accustomed to the new turf, the first scheduled competition on new-look McBride Field is slated for Wednesday, September 9, when the Ladies field hockey team hosts The College of Wooster.

KENYON CLAIMS 38TH PLACE IN FINAL DIRECTORS’ CUP STANDINGS – Improving its rank for the fourth consecutive year, the Kenyon College Department of Physical Education and Athletics registered 383 points to place 38th among 322 scoring NCAA Division III institutions in the final 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. The department’s placement was its best since a 37th-place finish in the 2007-08 Directors’ Cup.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup is a program that began in the 1993-94 academic year and honors institutions that maintain a broad-based program while achieving success in many sports, both men’s and women’s. In the NCAA Division III Directors’ Cup standings, each institution is awarded points for participation and advancement in one of 18 NCAA Championships (nine men’s and nine women’s).

Kenyon’s final total was tallied from three NCAA Championship appearances in the fall, two in the winter, and one in the spring season. In the fall, Kenyon’s field hockey team (19-3) netted 25 Directors’ Cup points. Women’s soccer (13-8-1) doubled that number and men’s soccer (18-2-2), which made a run to the NCAA quarterfinals, collected 64 points. In the winter, the Lords swimming and diving program earned 100 points for capturing its third straight and 34th overall national championship. The Ladies swimming and diving team placed fourth at the championship meet and collected 80 points. Finally, in the spring, the Lords tennis team (20-6) made it to the third round of the NCAA Championship and took home 64 points.

One year ago, Kenyon placed 43rd in the Directors’ Cup standings. In 2012-13, the Lords and Ladies were 47th and in 2011-12 they were 61st. This year’s No. 38 spot in the standings marks the eighth time over the last 12 years that Kenyon has placed among the top 50 NCAA Division III institutions.

SIX MORE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS LIFT KENYON TO RECORD MARK – With six more honorees named Tuesday, the Kenyon College athletics department established a new institutional record for the number of Capital One Academic All-Americans selected in a single year. Swimmers Arthur Conover, Hannah Cooper, Trevor Manz, and Haley Townsend, as well as tennis players Wade Heerboth and Robert Turlington, were selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) to respective men’s and women’s 2014-15 Academic All-America At-Large teams for NCAA Division III student-athletes.

Those six join Kyle Hardacker (baseball), Sam Justice (men’s soccer), and Grant Carney (men’s soccer) to give Kenyon a total of nine Capital One Academic All-Americans for the 2014-15 season. The department’s previous best total was six honorees during the 2012-13 athletics season.

The Capital One Academic All-America At-Large men’s and women’s teams each consisted of 45 NCAA Division III student-athletes who were selected from a wide variety of sports. The 45 were then split into three teams. On the men’s side, Conover was the lone Kenyon first-team selection. Heerboth and Manz were voted to the second team, while Turlington picked up a third-team position. In women’s voting, both Cooper and Townsend captured spots on the first team.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete had to be a varsity starter or key reserve, had to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, had to reach sophomore athletic and academic standings, and had to be nominated by his institution’s sports information director. Additionally, a student-athlete had to be previously voted to the first team of an Academic All-District squad.

Conover and Manz, who just completed their sophomore seasons, were a part of Kenyon’s third straight and 34th overall NCAA Championship team. Conover was the national champ in the 1,650-yard freestyle, which he won in NCAA record time, and Manz was a part of the Lords’ title-winning and record-setting 200-yard medley relay team. Additionally, Conover, a physics major with a 3.76 GPA, was runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relay. Manz, a biochemistry major with a 3.99 GPA, also swam a leg on Kenyon’s runner-up 800-yard freestyle relay team and produced another four, top-eight finishes at the championship meet.

On the tennis court, Heerboth and Turlington were key pieces to a Kenyon team that went 20-6, won the North Coast Athletic Conference title, and earned a national rank as high as No. 8. Heerboth, a recent graduate who majored in economics, owned a 3.83 GPA. He was 18-11 in singles play, 26-6 in doubles, and was one of just 32 players invited to participate in the NCAA Singles Championship. He finished his four-year Kenyon career with overall records of 89-30 in singles play and 83-20 in doubles.

Turlington, a junior biochemistry major, possesses a 3.96 GPA. He played mainly at the No. 3 spot in Kenyon’s lineup and produced an overall record of 20-6. Through three years with the program, he is 32-10 in singles play. In 2013, Turlington and Heerboth played doubles together and were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Americans.

On the women’s side, Cooper was a psychology major who graduated with a 3.85 GPA and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. In the pool, she was a part of the national champion and NCAA-record setting 200-yard medley relay team. She also swam with the runner-up 400-yard medley relay team and took a solo fifth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Over her career at the championship meet, she collected seven All-America awards.

Townsend, a rising senior and an international studies major, sports a 3.94 GPA. She was the only one of the six Kenyon nominees to be a repeat winner. With a career total of 15 NCAA All-America swims to her name, Townsend had three of those finishes at this year’s NCAA Championship, where she swam a leg on the second-place 400-yard freestyle relay, the fourth-place 200-yard free relay, and the tenth-place 800-yard freestyle relay.