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CHAMPION (AGAIN) Abbey D’Agostino ’14 outdid herself this fall, becoming the first Ivy athlete – male or female – to win an NCAA Cross Country title. She also helped lead the Big Green to the Ivy title as a team and a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana in November. Dana Giordano ’16 also earned All-America honors for Dartmouth. D’Agostino now has five NCAA titles to her name – more than any other Ivy athlete in history. D’Agostino now has five NCAA titles to her name – more than any other Ivy athlete in history.





ON THE ICE Tyler Sikura ’15 leads the Big Green men’s hockey team into the heart of ECAC and Ivy play this winter.





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CHAMPIONS (again) The 2012-13 Sailing team was honored for its women’s national title and coed third place national finish at the Cornell football game in November.


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FEATURES 12 LUCKY BREAKS A longshot Internet lead? 4,000 miles from home? A broken bone in a skiing accident? It all adds up for All-America swimmer Nejc Zupan 18 CLIMBING MOUNTAINS TOGETHER Dartmouth Skiing continues its tradition of excellence with an assist from family trees



PEAK Dartmouth Peak Performance 6083 Alumni Gym Hanover, NH 03755 EDITOR Drew Galbraith

22 NET (AND BOOK) MINDER Lindsay Holdcroft strikes a balance between one of the toughest positions in sport and high achievement in the classroom 28 THE HEALING HAND For nearly a quarter century, Charlie Carr has been the doctor of choice for Dartmouth athletes.

DEPARTMENTS 10 From the Desk of Peak Performance 31 Staying Connected Career Connections Update


SENIOR WRITER Bruce Wood ADVERTISING Sam Hopkins ASSISTANT EDITOR Katelyn Stravinsky CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bob Miller, Donnie Brooks, Claudette Peck, Steven Spaulding PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Washburn, Gil Talbot, John Risley, Mike Scott, Steph Bambury Problems or Accessibility Issues? © 2014 Trustees of Dartmouth College

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VISION Dartmouth Athletics aspires to provide the best student-athlete experience in the Ivy League and the Nation. We see staff, coaches and teams that consistently develop and improve their skill, preparation and mental toughness. We see teams that display resilience and play with humility, integrity, fortitude and passion. We see teams that display ingenuity and creativity.



We see teams of valor and courage placing the greater good above the individual. We see teams displaying comprehensive excellence, marked by students who actively engage academically on our campus, and are competitively strong vying successfully in the Ivy League and the Nation.


We intentionally produce leaders of character who have a positive campus-wide impact.

The Athletic Department has spent the summer and fall undergoing a thorough process of examining its Vision, Mission and Values. This coincides with President Hanlon’s arrival on campus, the growth of Dartmouth Peak Performance and substantive thought about how we can continue to improve the student-athlete experience at Dartmouth. Our goal through this process was to develop a transformational leadership philosophy that inspires and motivates people; that translates people’s talents and abilities into outstanding levels of performance; that is about being both tough and compassionate; that is clear on the direction we want to go; and that is brutally honest with ourselves and others about what it takes to get there. Here are the results. We are excited to embrace this philosophy as we move forward in providing the best experience possible for our student-athletes and offer opportunities for them to reach their true potential as students and athletes.


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This is the Dartmouth way.

To develop teams of comprehensive excellence in order to build a championship culture and Dartmouth leaders for life.

VALUES DEVELOPMENT: Seek to establish a growth mindset in developing yourself and your teammates. RESILIENCE: Develop mental toughness and be adept at energy management. INGENUITY: Be creative and innovative in finding solutions to meet the goal, not fault. Establish critical thinking skills while being adaptable to the changing nature of the athletic environment. VALOR: Demonstrate courage for the sake of the team and the greater good by developing your communication skills to hold others accountable and manage conflict. EXCELLENCE: Learn how to set goals consistently and always look to achieve the next level of proficiency.




Athletic Sponsors include more than 1,000 Dartmouth alumni, parents and supporters who love Dartmouth, who love sports, who either played or watched athletics as undergraduates, and who feel that Dartmouth should be a leader in the classroom and on the field. We are men and women in our 20’s and our 90’s and we are represented by nearly every class. WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

We know that success on the playing surface begins long before the contest starts... it has its genesis in recruiting. Without outstanding talent, success can only be an occasional dream. We are therefore committed to providing Dartmouth coaches with the resources they need to recruit exceptional student-athletes. We also know that Dartmouth has a unique and powerful trump card. The campus is close to irresistible when experienced in person. That’s Dartmouth’s edge! The trick is to get impact scholar-athletes face to face with this great institution to make a decision for Dartmouth. That’s the primary focus of what we do. We fly student-athletes to Hanover and send coaches to their homes. HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO THE COLLEGE?

Very! While the NCAA allows one paid visit to campus, the Ivy League legislates that those expenses cannot be budgeted items. That’s where we come in. We provide the non-budgeted funds. Every year we fly in about 250 potential impact athletes, and of those recruits accepted by the Admissions Office, the vast majority (about 90%) decide to enroll at Dartmouth. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

Satisfaction and pride! You’ll be sent our official online newsletter Peak, and your name will be listed in the next season’s home football programs. If you choose certain membership levels (see box at right) you will also be informed of a specific athlete whose recruiting trip your donation made possible, so you can follow his or her progress through four years at Dartmouth. Most important, all Sponsors share the rewards of helping young men and women make a decision to embark on the very special “Dartmouth Experience.” That’s the real reason our program has grown from 6 members in 1955 to more than 1,000 today!

Sponsors and Friends enjoy the complimentary pre-game tent overlooking Memorial Field at each home football game




Assigned a recruit every 3-4 years


Assigned a recruit every 1-2 years and listed on our Leadership display in Alumni Gym


Assigned recruit annually, Leadership display & special recognition in football program

$5000 & up

Assigned recruit annually, Leadership display, special recognition in the football program & VIP Reception at Homecoming

To contact the Athletic Sponsor Program office, please call 603-646-2463 or email P E A K | WI N TER 201 4



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Nejc and the Class of ‘14 changed the attitude of the program

Dartmouth’s swim coaches will boot up their computers in the morning and sure enough someone from overseas will have filled out the team’s recruiting questionnaire, or perhaps dug into the website a little deeper to send an email directly to one of their addresses. “We get back to them all right away,” said head coach Jim Wilson, now in his 21st year in Hanover. “Sometimes they aren’t very good swimmers, but they may have a friend who is. Sometimes they are very good but they are looking for a program that is stronger nationally. Sometimes they are looking for a scholarship because they don’t understand need-based aid. “Probably 99 times out of 100 they’re not going to pan out.” Nejc Zupan is one who did. Four years after the senior from Kamnik, Slovenia discovered Dartmouth on the Internet, he holds Big Green records in the 1,000 freestyle, the 1,650 free, the 100 breast, the 200 breast, the 200 IM and the 400 IM. He also swam on the school-record 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. But as they say in the infomercials, wait, there’s more. A three-time member of the All-Ivy League first team, Zupan set two Ivy records and won a school-record three events last winter to become Dartmouth’s first-ever Swimmer of the Meet at the Ivy League championships. And still there’s more. At Indianapolis last March, the six-time Ivy League champion not only became the first Dartmouth swimmer to compete in the NCAA Championships since Todd Taylor in 1980 but advanced to the finals and finished eighth in the 200 breast. He also qualified for and swam in the 200 IM and the 100 breast. To top it off, he was named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division I Scholar All-America first team for his exceptional performance in the classroom as well in the pool. And to think it all started on the Internet. “I had no idea whatsover about college teams,” said Zupan, whose grasp of English vernacular has come a long way since he told Wilson about a friend back home who had a “fraction” in his leg. “I knew if you did well enough you could go to the U.S. to swim. A lot of swimmers from my club would go to more swimming-oriented colleges and universities.” The son of an engineer and a nurse, Zupan was a gifted student at the highly regarded Gimnazija Bezigrad international school in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, not far from his home in Kamnik. When he began his American college search the academic reputation of the colleges he would consider was of paramount importance. “I didn’t want to go somewhere just because of its swimming

program,” he said. “I wanted to get a good degree out of it, which is why I was looking at a different set of schools, mainly in the Northeast. The majority of guys from my club wanted to go to warmer climates.” Zupan sent inquiries to the usual high-academic schools and was intrigued by what he learned about Notre Dame. He had good conversations with the Fighting Irish coaches, spoke with the Cornell coaches and was in touch with the usual cohort of Ivy League schools. But he particularly liked what he heard from Wilson and assistant coach Jenn Verser about Dartmouth’s reputation in economics and engineering, the strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and even the look and feel of the campus from what he could glean from the ‘Net. “The coaches from Dartmouth were able to communicate the objectives of both the swimming and academic programs very clearly,” Zupan said. “They were very helpful in answering all of the questions that I had.” For more independent opinions about the various schools that made his initial cut, Zupan clicked through the college forums. “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, but I liked what I saw online,” he said with a laugh. Zupan applied to Dartmouth sight unseen. Likewise, Wilson brought him to the States without having seen him. Based on his times the Dartmouth coach projected him as someone who could play a role in an uptick of the Big Green fortunes, but not necessarily as a game changer. “I thought this was a kid who would be a good swimmer and is going to do well in the Ivy League,” Wilson said. “Top eight in the Ivy League. That’s where his times fell.” But thanks to a tireless worth ethic about which Wilson raves, Zupan far exceeded those expectations right off the blocks. In addition to winning the 1,000 free at the Ivy League Championships his freshman year, he became the first Dartmouth swimmer ever to win the 1,650 free, breaking another school record in the process. If Zupan’s results in his first year surprised his coach, they also surprised him. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “Coming here versus going to Michigan or some other very strong swim school, I made an implicit decision to have school as priority number one and swimming priority number two. But I think that once you go through the first couple of meets you see how much it matters. “I like being part of a team because it helps you when you are struggling with lack of motivation of any sort. It gives you an external goal that is greater than yourself or your internal goals. College sports foster that team spirit. There is obviously an individual component to it because each person does want to be individually successful, but there’s also the team component that lifts the sport to another level.” Zupan’s career took a fortuitous – and ultimately fortunate – turn in his sophomore year. A promising young skier who chose to concentrate on // CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

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ACADEMIC swimming inNOTES Slovenia because specializing on skiing would have meant missing upwards of 100 days of school a year, he broke the knuckle in his thumb doing a trick skiing off a jump in December of his second year in college. Limited in the pool during a six-week recuperation, Zupan wrapped a plastic bag around his cast and did what he could do. Unable to train long distance he turned to a bodyboard to maintain his cardio fitness and work on his breaststroke kick. When he finally returned to competition the Dartmouth coaches made a fateful decision. “He hadn’t been able to really train, so we decided to try him in his second-best stroke, which was the breaststroke,” Wilson said. “We had already started using him on the medley relay in the breaststroke, but we had still been concentrating on distances sophomore year. After he broke his thumb, we said, ‘You’re not going to get the training in (for the Ivy League Championships), so let’s cut these distances down to something more manageable,’ and he worked extremely hard at it. Whenever he’s in the pool he is not going to lose to anyone.” Zupan made the decision look good when he set a school record in the 200 breast at the Ivy League Championships. He also won the 400 IM and finished fourth in the 200 IM, with yet another school record. Still, it was the 200 breast time that was the real eye-opener. “All of a sudden his breaststroke took off and he became an internationally strong breaststroker,” Wilson marveled. “That’s


unusual. It was a freak of nature but I would like to think that if I’m not smart enough to see it, hopefully one of my assistants would have been smart enough to see his breaststroke potential.” Ironically, it was another injury a few years earlier that had given Zupan the breaststroke fundamentals he would refine when he missed time in college. “In my sophomore year of high school I was injured and my coach taught me proper technique, so I knew how to swim it,” he said. “But I always thought I was more of a distance freestyler, so I would focus on those events. My freshman year, if someone had told me I was going to be a breaststroker, I would have laughed.” But that’s exactly what Slovenia’s preeminent long distance swimmer was becoming. At the European Championships in France last November he shattered the Slovenian 200 breaststroke record by five seconds, finishing third behind a Russian and a Ukranian. By extending the taper he did for the European Championships less than a week later he set a school record of 1:53.87 at the Brown Invitational, the best time ever by an Ivy League swimmer and fast enough to win a spot in the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis in March. But having tapered for the Ivy League Championships in early March, he was somewhat apprehensive heading to the NCAA’s a full three weeks later. Finishing 42nd in the 200 IM on the opening day of the competition in Indy did nothing to allay his worries. “Without proper training you sort of start losing the strength 16

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and endurance that you previously had,” he explained. “My first event was much worse than my personal best, so there was concern that I would do really badly in the breaststroke as well.” There was good news and bad news on the second day. Although he was disqualified from the 100 breast for an illegal kick at the start, if his time had held up it would have been school record and close to advancing to the finals. Bolstered by that strong swim, he returned to the pool for the 200 breast on the final day of the Championships and broke his own school record with a 1:53.29, the third-fastest time in the prelims. A solid 1:54.40 in the finals brought him eighth place, the best finish by a Dartmouth swimmer at Nationals since Terry Robinson ’69 was sixth in the 200 free in 1968. “I was positively surprised at the end,” Zupan said. “It’s hard coming from the Ivy Championships, where I was in great shape and felt great in the water, to feeling much worse in the water. But I was really happy that I mentally prepared myself for that race and managed to pull off the final.” He’s determined to return to NCAAs and do even better this March, but that’s only one of his goals in his final season. Chosen a captain by his teammates, he’s eager for the Big Green to continue the ascent up the Ivy League standings that began when his class arrived on campus. “When Necj came in our team was the dregs,” Wilson said, not mincing words. “That’s probably the best way to put it. We always worked our tails off and the kids did very well. But you can’t win the race without the horses, and we did not have the horses. “Since Necj’s class came in, both the men and women have things turned around. We were a solid fifth with both teams last year. We are trying to catch Yale, which was fourth in the Ivy League. We are not ready for Harvard and Princeton yet, but we’re trying. Necj and a couple of others in the ’14 class changed the attitude of the program from a team that would go to meets and do the best that we could, to a team that could beat almost anybody in the league.” Zupan plans to stay in the United States for a while after graduation to work in finance or economics. He’s got his eyes on possibly swimming in the Rio Olympics, but his immediate focus is much closer to his adopted home. “We are shooting for top four in the Ivy League this year,” he said, echoing his coach. “That’s a huge leap in the Ivies because you need every single person do their best to score points in every single event. “The fact that we have been able to build a squad that can actually be competitive with the best teams in the Ivy League I think is pretty remarkable, but we aren’t going to stay still.” Nor is Zupan, a true student-athlete committed to succeeding in the pool and out of it. “I would feel I am wasting this huge opportunity I have been given as a student at Dartmouth and as a member of this team if I wasn’t doing my best in both to get the best out of it,” he said. “Classes and swimming is hard, The Athletic Sponsors but if you like doing it, if you like your funded a total of 14 major and you like learning, that’s recruiting trips from 5 basically what the point of college different countries by is. It’s not as hard as long as you are international recruits passionate about it.” in 2012-13. Spoken like a true Zupa-man.

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Dartmouth Skiing continues its tradition of excellence with an assist from family trees


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Cami Thompson Graves has been head coach of the women’s cross country ski team at Dartmouth for fully a quarter of a century. She was the National Intercollegiate Coach of the Year last winter, serves on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing Committee and is a member of the New England Nordic Ski Association Board of Directors. Given such a distinguished resumé and her bonafides as a former member of the U.S. Ski Team who competed on the World Cup level, Graves probably knows as many people in the tightknit world of American skiing as anyone you are likely to find. All of which makes it amusing that she’s been known to do a doubletake just walking across the Dartmouth Green outside her Robinson Hall office. “There are times when you see someone walking around campus in a Dartmouth ski team jacket,” Graves said with a laugh, “and you are thinking, ‘Where did they get that jacket?’ ” The irony, of course, is that student-athlete in the jacket with the iconic block-D in a snowflake logo who Graves doesn’t recognize might well play a role in whether her team achieves its ultimate goal of helping Dartmouth reprise its 2007 national championship. That’s because while the athletes in the vastly different disciplines of alpine and Nordic are part of the same team – much as shot putters and sprinters are part of the same track team – skiing takes things one giant leap further. Not only are point totals from two distinct disciplines combined, but the men’s and women’s team scores are then mixed together to make one grand total. Given that four different head coaches are charged with recruiting and guiding four different teams all in pursuit of a common goal, there can be a lot of peer pressure to carry his or her own share of the load. But Graves knows without pressure there are no diamonds like the one mined seven years ago when Dartmouth won the NCAA Championship. 20

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“It’s always a challenge when you put four teams together,” explained Graves, who was raised in the skiing hotspot of Stowe, Vt. “There are some years when one of us shines and somebody else doesn’t. We’ve worked together long enough that we don’t beat each other up over it. We are all giving it our best. “I know my team might be hot right now, but I will have my year when it’s not.” And yes, her team is indeed hot right now. Scorching hot. At the NCAA’s last March the Nordic women she coached – she also served as interim men’s coach for the year – finished second in their discipline to help Dartmouth place fifth in the overall team scoring. The Big Green had the maximum three skiers in each of the Nordic disciplines and all of them return this year. NCAA scorers back this winter are sophomore Mary O’Connell, who finished second in the 5K Classic and fourth in the 15K Freestyle, senior captain Annie Hart, who was seventh and eighth in the two races last year, and soph Corey Stock, who was 20th in the first race and 15th in the second. O’Connell and Hart earned AllAmerica honors. Prominent among a talented group of skiers pushing those three will be senior co-captain Izzy Caldwell, junior Carly Wynn and Emily Hannah, a sophomore transfer from Harvard. While who does what on the Carnival circuit and advances to the NCAA’s is yet to be determined the goal is hasn’t changed in the past half dozen or so years and won’t change anytime soon. “It’s the NCAA Championship,” Graves said without a hint of hesitation. “There was a mental shift when we won it in 2007. Now we know we can win. A lot of things have to go our way, but that will always be our goal now. “It used to be, ‘We don’t offer scholarships, we don’t always have snow, we can’t compete.’ Somewhere along the way we realized we could compete, and then we won the championship. Now it’s, ‘We should be in the top three all the time.’ We have higher expectations than we had in the past and having higher expectations usually leads to better results.” Part and parcel of competing with the best teams in the country is recruiting some of the best skiers in the country. It helps that of the schools that have a realistic shot at a national team championship Dartmouth has the highest academic profile. “We definitely fill a niche,” said Graves. “If you talk to someone like Ida Sargent ’11, who is on the National Team and hopefully is going to the Olympics, she is so happy to have that Dartmouth degree behind her. She is doing something she is passionate about, that she loves, but things change. Things happen. She knows that a Dartmouth degree is always going to be there.” It also helps that Graves, men’s Nordic coach Ruff Patterson and men’s alpine coach Peter Dodge – all with 20-plus years in Robinson Hall – and fourth-year women’s alpine coach Chip Knight can point back to the 2007 championship and make it clear that winning another is the goal. “It puts pressure on us but the flipside of that is if you don’t strive for the next bigger mountain to climb, you aren’t going to get there,” said Graves. We are attracting athletes who are looking at bigger things and in order to compete for and attract those athletes we have to be looking at bigger things outside of just winning the Dartmouth Carnival.” It may seem counterintuitive, but while national championship aspirants such as Vermont, Colorado and Utah can offer scholarships, Graves and her fellow Dartmouth coaches believe the absence of grants-in-aid can actually be a plus for the better skiers. “If you get a scholarship there is an expectation you are going to

help those schools win,” said Graves. “We have a good program and we are actively seeking out those kids who are going to think outside of the college skiing box, who want to challenge themselves to be better people and better skiers.” To that end Graves and her fellow Dartmouth coaches actively recruit skiers who want to ski internationally – even if it means they will occasionally miss Carnivals and sometimes even the NCAAs. “They may do that, but usually spend some time skiing for us,” said Graves. “Ida Sargent skied for us for three years and most of those years went to World Juniors or something. Could we have gotten more out of her? Probably. But she’s going to the Olympics this year. We are certainly very proud of how many athletes we send off to the national team.” Being allowed to ski overseas during the year is an incentive to come to Dartmouth, according to Hart, the Nordic co-captain. “Cami encourages us to go on these trips because she cares about us as people, and cares about our future in skiing,” she said. “While Carnival wins are certainly nice, Cami does not just view us as ‘points.’ She understands the opportunity associated with participating overseas in World Juniors and U23s, and wants us to be the best skiers and people that we can be. “That said, I think that all of us who have gone overseas understand that it is stressful and less than ideal for some Carnival scorers to be gone, and because of that we try really hard not to let it affect the races we do participate in at school, and still play an active role on the team.” Among the skiers who took advantage of the opportunity to go overseas was Sargent, the third sibling from Orleans, Vt., to ski at Dartmouth, following in the tracks of brother Eben ’05 and sister Elsa ’08. The Sargents are hardly the only family contributing to the Big Green’s success on the snow. Skiing for Graves on this year’s team is junior Karina Packer, who followed brother Eric ’12 from Anchorage, Alaska. Erika Flowers ’12 made All-America for Graves, and sister Natalie ’14 arrived from Bozeman, Mont., two years later. And then there’s Izzy Caldwell, the senior from Peru, Vt., whose sister Sophie ’12, was the Ski Racing magazine 2012 Nordic Collegiate Skier of the Year. Her brother Austin is a junior teammate, and cousin Paddy Caldwell skis on the men’s team. They are just the latest offspring of ski Hall of Famer John Caldwell ’50. “When I was looking at colleges I wanted to join a strong team and at the time Dartmouth was definitely the best women’s team in the East,” Izzy Caldwell said. “My older sister, Sophie, was also at Dartmouth and she loved the school and the team, which is another a reason I chose Dartmouth.” That an abundance of siblings as well as members of the same clubs – there are a handful of Steamboat Springs skiers on the Big Green this year – have helped keep Dartmouth in the national title conversation each winter, is no accident. “I think some of it has to do with the fact that Ruff and I have been here a long time,” said Graves of Dartmouth’s strong Nordic reputation. “We have had success with a lot of brothers and sisters and people who go back and talk to their clubs. Or they are coaching now and they talk about the program. To some degree, it has bred itself. “It helps that after all these years we know quite a few people in a lot of places.” Even if occasionally they do a double-take at one walking across the Green with the snowflake-D on his or her jacket.

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In his role as the academic advisor to the Dartmouth women’s ice hockey team it’s not unusual for professor John Collier to be asked for recommendations about Big Green players. And so it was that one day Collier found himself fielding questions about Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft, a candidate for an intern position in the Adult Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Collier is the Myron Tribus Professor of Engineering Innovation at Dartmouth and was the 2010 New Hampshire professor of the year as selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He has taught and known a great many bright and accomplished student-athletes, and so after being quizzed about Holdcroft for a bit he cut to the chase. “This lady was asking all these questions,” he recalled, “and I said, ‘Let’s just stop for a second.’ I said, ‘I can imagine you have this whole list of questions. We are talking about somebody here who is extraordinary. And there are very few people I see coming to Dartmouth who are really, truly extraordinary.’ “I said, ‘This girl is extraordinary. So whatever you are looking at, whatever your criterion is, outgoing, personable, smart, capable, intelligent, worldly, just put the word extraordinary next to it and it will save us both a lot of time.’ ” A human biology and psychology major who intends to go to medical school, Holdcroft was offered and accepted the position.

TALK WITH DARTMOUTH COACH MARK HUDAK about his senior co-captain and he will tell you that for as gifted as she is as an athlete and student, it is her work ethic, her focus and a remarkable competitive drive that separates her from so many others with similar gifts. Holdcroft’s father thinks Hudak has figured his daughter out, but he’s loathe to take much credit for giving her the drive to become a true student-athlete. “We can’t look at her and say, ‘Oh yeah, that came from me,’ or ‘That came from (her mother) Melissa,’ Bob Holdcroft said. “That’s just inside of her. “She has two brothers and you have got to stay on top of them and push them a little bit. With Lindsay we never had to say, ‘You should be studying,’ or ‘You shouldn’t be doing this or that.’ She came out wired that way.” 24

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Bob Holdcroft, a former club hockey player who also played golf at Penn State, saw the drive that would well serve his only daughter emerge in her first year of hockey. Given that she hadn’t been skating for long, 8-year-old Lindsay was the last player chosen for the Mite “B” team after her first hockey tryout. Her father explained with a chuckle it probably didn’t hurt her chances of getting the final spot that there was a need for another coach and he happened to have played the game in college. Where she ended up playing was a bit of a surprise. “Growing up in hockey, the goalie was always kind of the weird kid so I didn’t encourage any of my kids to play goalie,” Bob Holdcroft said. “I still think if you decide to play hockey you have two choices. You can shoot a puck at somebody or you can have a puck shot at you. The people who choose to have it shot at them are just a little off.” With just three goalies trying out in Lindsay’s first year the low-level “B” team figured to have a different netminder rotating through every few games. That is until an unlikely candidate emerged. The daughter of the Mite coach. “My brother had put me in street hockey pads and shot on me before,” Lindsay Holdcroft said. “I remember my Dad saying, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Are you really sure?’ He asked me a bunch of times.” Yes she was sure. Really sure. “I was content to give the pads to another kid every couple of games before she said she would try it,” the dad recalled. “Then she didn’t want to give it up. She is still like that and you can ask Mark. If he doesn’t play her, she is not happy. It’s just her makeup.” After a slow start, young Lindsay’s Mite “B” team worked its way into the playoffs. “I could tell at that time playing goalie got into her,” Bob Holdcroft said. “She was hooked.” Mark Hudak needed a goalie and the 5-foot-4 kid who had posted a sub-2.00 goals against playing for the boys team at North Allegheny Senior High School and had been the first girl to earn the Pittsburgh Penguins’ High School Hockey Player of the Month in the 20-plus years it had been handed out was one of two potential recruits he was weighing against each other. She was on Hudak’s radar after the first time he watched her. “I knew there was something about her that I liked, but it was hard the first time to pin it down,” he explained. “She is not a real

big kid. Certainly, the athleticism stood out for me. After couple of times of watching her I could see she competes harder than anybody else on the ice. When you see that in somebody, the first thing you’re thinking is that if they are willing to compete and work that hard, that is somebody you can coach. Because they want to get better.” Still, because Pittsburgh girls hockey isn’t Minnesota or Ontario girls hockey, Hudak was eager to see how she performed at the USA Nationals, only to have her sit out with him in the stands. “Her dad was coaching and I was kind of nervous asking him why he didn’t play his daughter,” Hudak said with a laugh. “A lot of questions started popping up like, ‘Do you really not think she is your number one?’ “As it turned out she was hurt. I had wanted to see her play once more before making my final decision because we had another player we were considering as well. But the more I talked with her dad, the more I realized what a great family she came from and I decided we would take a chance on her. It has worked out well for us.”

YES IT HAS. Holdcroft played in 27 games as a freshman, posting a 2.34 goals against with four shutouts. She earned ECAC rookie of the week honors twice, ECAC goalie of the week once and was selected honorable mention All-Ivy League. Only one freshman in Dartmouth women’s hockey history ever had more than her 578 saves that winter.

I have always tried to

Holdcroft, who thought seriously about Cornell before falling in love with Dartmouth and Hanover on her first visit to campus, didn’t expect to get that kind of ice time in her first season. “It surprised me,” she said. “I kind of came in with no expectations but knowing that I would work really hard to try to get that number one spot. I feel very fortunate to have come in and gotten a lot of playing time early. “It was definitely a big jump. I think playing with the boys skill wise really helped prepare me. There was quite a bit of pressure but an exciting kind of pressure getting to wear the jersey and knowing the tradition that came before you.” As a sophomore Holdcroft saw her goals against drop to 1.90 while recording four more shutouts, all in ECAC play, and earning second-team All-Ivy. Last year she made a career-high 659 saves including 41 in a nationally televised 2-2 tie against Harvard. She came into her senior season second on the all-time Dartmouth chart for goals against average, third in save percentage, fourth in shutouts and fifth in games played and wins. Although she’s not by nature a loud “rah-rah” type, Holdcroft was chosen to be a Big Green co-captain along with classmate Ali Winkel this year. Not surprisingly, it’s a responsibility she takes seriously. “I have always tried to lead by example and I think that is definitely necessary to be a captain,” she said. “But to really be a good captain you’ve got to do more. This year it’s been a lot more finding my voice, but using it in a way that feels authentic to me and that will feel authentic to the team. I think the team would recognize that’s really not me if I were trying to

lead by example, but to be a really good captain you’ve got to do more.”

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I don’t know if there is anybody on the team who works as hard as she does, who is as focused as she is in the classroom, on the ice, just all-around.”

overdo it, or use it in a situation where I normally wouldn’t.” Like the old E.F. Hutton tag line, when Lindsay Holdcroft talks, people listen. “She’s not a person of a lot of words but when she does speak what comes out of her mouth is very mature, very insightful,” Hudak said. “When you talk with her you know that everything she is talking about she is thinking about. It’s not just an off-the-cuff, emotional response. “Just as her teammates listen to her, her coaches listen to her.” Given that in the fall she was the psychology resident expert for DP2 holding open hours one night a week for psych students looking for a little help, it’s probably no surprise that Holdcroft has a pretty good grasp on what makes her tick. Part of it, perhaps a large part, is her competitive nature. “I would say so,” she said. “I can’t ever remember a time not being like that from elementary school on. It’s just a part of me when I do things. “I like to do them well and I like to do them the best I can, whether it is in sports or in school.” That rings true with Hudak. “I guess in some ways she is an overachiever,” he said. “She definitely wants to be successful. She’s very, very competitive. Whether it is to make herself better, competing against a shooter, or looking at a goalie at the other end and saying, ‘I am going to do better than they are.’ “Even though she has a pretty good skill set athletically, and a pretty good intelligence skill set, I don’t know if there’s anybody on the team who works as hard as she does, who is as focused as she is in the 26

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classroom, on the ice, just all-around.” Collier compares Holdcroft’s approach to that of another variety of Dartmouth athlete. “It is, ‘I’m going to work just as hard as I have to because I am out there by myself and I am going to make it happen,’ ” he said. “You expect that in a Nordic skier, especially at Dartmouth. But she has that as a goalie. If the puck goes in it is her responsibility in her view. The fact the defense may have muffed up or somebody may have slipped up doesn’t matter. She says it is all her responsibility. If the puck comes her way she is supposed to get it.” Whether it is a puck that slips past her or a quiz that doesn’t go quite the way she hoped, Holdcroft’s response is to redouble her effort. “In little ways, I feel like I fail every day but that’s not a bad thing,” she said. “I think that pushes you.” Which is what Dartmouth has done. “I came in with these big expectations and it has fulfilled those and even more,” she said. “In some ways it has shaped me and in some ways I feel like I am the same person with certain things that are different. I think it pushed me in ways that I didn’t know it would. I appreciate it more than I ever thought I would.” Holdcroft has her sights set on medical school after graduation but first she will take some time away from the grind. “I would kind of like to do something a little different for a year or two,” she said. “I’ve thought about going abroad. I’ve thought about doing something with mental health in a different country for a while. I’ve thought about teaching. “I have been on this track for a while and it is pretty intensive.” Like an odd-man breakaway, she’s handled every challenge thrown at her with aplomb in the eyes of the academic advisor to the women’s hockey team. “You don’t get too many opportunities to deal with someone like her,” Collier Lindsay Holdcroft’s said. “She’s the real deal. Somebody recruiting visit to who is extraordinarily nice, is a Dartmouth was made possible by the leader, is brilliant in her courses generosity of the Class and brilliant on the ice. You don’t of 1964 and Dorothy get that. You get parts of it, but it’s & John Byrne through really rare that you get the whole the Athletic Sponsor thing and that’s what she is.”



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our son tore his ACL making a cut on Memorial Field or your daughter broke her wrist crashing into the boards at Thompson Arena. Your child is scared, you are perhaps 3,000 miles away and both of you are nervous. Charlie Carr, Dartmouth Class of 1979, can relate. A father of three boys, Carr saw two of his sons have their high school football careers derailed by injuries. One went down with a broken collarbone in the first game of his senior year after being elected a team captain. One blew out his knee in his first game as a varsity fullback in his sophomore year, and each time he tried coming back he suffered a reinjury. Yes, Charlie Carr can relate. Make that orthopedic surgeon Charles Carr, Dartmouth’s director of sports medicine and team physician, can relate. Although his sons were playing sports for nearby Hanover High School when they were injured, Carr’s experiences as a parent give him valuable insights into what the athletes and their parents are feeling and fearing when injuries occur. “Having three boys myself with two of them who have gone to (college) a ways from me, I understand what the angst is when they are sick or they are hurt,” Carr says. “Most of the Dartmouth athletes I see aren’t local. Some may be from Massachusetts or New York, but a lot of them are from a long distance away.” Wherever they are from, the athletes – and their worried parents – are in good and talented hands thanks to Carr, Dartmouth’s head team physician since 1998, a former youth football coach and team physician at several local high schools. “He’s one of the most supportive orthopods I have ever come across,” says Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens, who has seen a lot of them at athletic powerhouses like Florida and Stanford. “He has seen so much and done so many ‘repairs’ over time. He can advise and direct. He’s a wonderful source of knowledge and very personable. “When someone is hurt he will take the time to call people himself. He will receive calls. He will take that extra step. He’s a Dartmouth guy himself and he ‘gets’ it. This isn’t just a business for him. It’s his way of life.”


Like most military brats, Carr moved frequently as a kid but he fondly recalls spending his early years in Massachusetts and junior


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high and high school in the Los Angeles suburbs. He was a typical Southern California athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball before giving up the last to compete in track. “Football was my sport,” the onetime wide receiver and cornerback says. “We played in big collegiate stadiums in front of 7,000-8,000 people. It was pretty exciting.” When it came time to apply to college Ivy League schools and Stanford were on his radar. It was his mother, who grew up in Massachusetts and had a friend who graduated from Dartmouth, who encouraged him to take a look at the college. “I came here and fell in love with the place,” he recalls with a smile. “I applied early decision.”


Like a lot of kids who had success in high school Carr was hit with a dose of academic reality in his first fall at Dartmouth. “I didn’t do nearly as well as I should have,” he says. “I came from a huge public suburban L.A. school. My class was 1,200 kids, bigger than my Dartmouth College class. It was a very non-competitive high school and to come here and compete against these Exeter and Andover kids was a real eye opener.” He had arrived in Hanover with thoughts about being a veterinarian but as a result of what he terms a “disappointing” grade the dream was put on hold while he hit the books hard. At the same time he was high jumping and long jumping on the Big Green track team and dabbling in other sports. “I struggled with the combination of academics and sports here because it was an increased level of academics for me when I came,” he says. Struggling is a relative term, of course. He would eventually graduate cum laude in June of 1979, ironically without finishing a major.


His academics in order, Carr was considering biology or biochemistry as a major when in his junior year the dream of being a doctor was reborn. But not tending to dogs or cats or horses. He was, as he describes it, “one of the last of our kind,” an admittee to Dartmouth Medical School while still an undergraduate. “They used to have a three-and-three program at Dartmouth,” he explains. “Medical school used to be three years, and they would accept one or two kids out of the junior class into the medical school a year early. I was lucky enough to get the acceptance. “I got in at the end of my junior year, so I got out of a lot of requirements to get into med school. The MCAT and some of those other things.” For Carr, the accelerated medical school program had a dual benefit. “It was kind of a neat thing,” he says. “Your first year of med school was pass-fail but you actually got grades and they counted toward your undergraduate degree. So you graduated with your class. “It was almost like a four-and-two rather than a three-and-three. Everybody now takes four-and-four. I got to graduate with my class and two years later I graduated with my med school class.”

PARTINGwith SHOT Dartmouth athletes,” he says. “Just a general practitioner a little office in Dick’s House (the college infirmary) and athletes going over to see him.” By the time Carr assumed the role of assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Dartmouth Medical School in 1989 the athletic department had evolved to include a regular orthopedic doctor as team physician. Honored multiple times with New Hampshire Magazine’s Top Doctors Award for Sports Medicine, Carr held the role of assistant team physician from 1989-98. He became the head team physician in 1998 and assumed the title Director of Sports Medicine at Dartmouth College in 2011. Joining Carr in providing medical care to Dartmouth athletes are Dr. Jack Turco, the head of college health services who for two decades oversaw sports medicine, Dr. Kris Karlson, who conducts several clinics each week at Davis Varsity House, Dr. Jamie Ames, and Art Maelender, PhD. Karlson has teamed with Maelender in developing a concussion protocol to keep Dartmouth athletes safe. “They are a critical part of the sports medicine program,” says Carr. “They do a really great job.”



The down side of making it quickly through college and medical school was the fact that Carr didn’t get the kind of exposure to all the specialties in medicine that is common for medical students today. That came when he did a PGY-I (PostGraduate Year I) Flexible Internship at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego shortly after graduating from medical school. After two months in orthopedics he was pretty sure of the specialty he wanted to pursue, although before going on he worked as a general practitioner for a practice associated with an orthopedic group that confirmed his decision. “I thought it was great,” he says, “so I started applying to orthopedic programs.” After a couple of years in the warmth of San Diego, the future snowboard instructor landed back in New England in the familiar surroundings of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center doing a general surgery residency for a year and then a three-year orthopedic surgery residency at DHMC that included rotations at a children’s hospital in Connecticut and the V.A. Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. After a six-month orthopedic traumatology fellowship in Seattle and a year fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, Carr set down roots at Dartmouth Medical School and DHMC.


A sea change in the care and treatment of Dartmouth athletes has taken place since Carr graduated from the college in 1979. “There was a GP when I was a student here who took care of the

Carr is justifiably proud of the Dartmouth sports medicine program. “I don’t know the details of a lot of the Division I schools, but I know how the Ivy League schools are run and I don’t think any of them can hold a candle to what we have,” he said. “When the fall starts, any kid that suffers an injury or any problem can be seen, any day of the week. “We have a clinic Monday through Thursday. If the team is away, I travel with football on Friday and Saturday and we have a clinic on Sunday. So we have seven days coverage over here at the college for athletes that are hurt.” Carr is the residency director for the DHMC program that is training 22 doctors each year to become orthopedic surgeons. With a high percentage interested in sports medicine there’s a ready pool of young doctors to help examine and treat injured Dartmouth athletes. “Our chief residents actually see the athletes the same day the injury occurs,” Carr says. “They will see them at a 5 p.m. clinic at Davis Varsity House. “Whatever injury the sport occurs in, they get sent to that clinic, so they get seen that night. I get called, or at least told within 24 hours, about all the kids that they see, and have to sign off on anybody they’ve seen.”


In addition to clinics, Carr and the others staff a good percentage of Dartmouth competitions. The director of sports medicine himself is at every football game, home and away. Given that up to 40 percent of the 800-1,000 or so Varsity House clinic visits each year involve football, Carr felt it only made sense for him to personally work the sidelines and travel with football. He’s also present for ice hockey games.

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“I hadn’t even seen the kid but I had him on my operating schedule ready to go because I can trust the trainers, and because the trainers have access to us all the time.”


“It used to be we would see kids in clinics but maybe not hang out on the sidelines as much,” he explains. “When I looked at what other Division I and Ivy League schools were doing I felt Dartmouth’s team physician had to be more visible, because in the past we had been behind the scenes a little bit.” Still, the medical staff isn’t as visible at some sports as much others, and Carr is sensitive to that. “I always feel a little guilty that it appears to many coaches I give a lot of my time to football and hockey,” he says. “But one of my partners, Jamie Ames, is now taking care of soccer and lacrosse. We may not be on the sidelines with every team, but we know what’s going on. We know about every injury. “We aren’t playing favorites. It’s what the NCAA requires for coverage of athletic events and it’s also based on statistics. At certain events we are needed more than others because of what’s involved.” Football is obviously one of those events. Traveling with the Big Green, Carr says he’s come to know a good 75 percent of the football players by name or nickname and they’ve gotten more comfortable with him. “They’ll say, ‘Hi Doc,’ or ask how things are going,” he says. “It’s not only very helpful, but it makes the job more fun.”


While Carr and his staff have become a more regular presence in athletic venues, he’s quick to say the omnipresent Dartmouth training staff is invaluable. “They are everything,” he raves. “We are very fortunate to have an incredibly good training group. From the football trainers right through the sailing trainer, they are all just incredibly good. “I am fortunate because you have to trust your trainers and I can trust every single one of them. I can trust when one of the trainers calls me and says, ‘I have a really bad knee injury. I can’t really get him to see you today but I know he needs an MRI.’ ” The rugby team’s November trip to North Carolina for Nationals was a perfect example of the cooperation between the trainers and the doctors. “I got a call from a trainer down there about a kid with a broken ankle who went to the emergency room,” Carr says. “We set up when I was going to operate on him over the phone. I knew I could trust what the trainer was telling me about his X-ray and I said, ‘Here’s what my schedule is.’


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In the end, Carr is a surgeon. For as much satisfaction as he derives from getting athletes back in action without operating, that’s not always possible. He estimates that of the 250 or so surgeries he performs each year 10-to-15 involve injured Dartmouth athletes, and that 80-85 percent of his operations are on shoulders and knees. The chance to help a Big Green basketball player return to the Leede Arena court or a baseball player to the Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park outfield is tremendously rewarding. “You can really feel the impact you are having on somebody’s life in a shorter period of time than treating sickness and disease,” he explains. It doesn’t always happen of course. Despite the advances in ACL reconstruction not everyone is Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. More often than people know, Carr says, athletes can’t make it all the way back, and sometimes he has to look an athlete in the eye and say it might be over. “Usually it is from chronic injuries,” he says. “The most devastating ones are when a kid gets recruited here and arrives as a freshman with a chronic injury that has been dealt with since high school and you look at him and say, ‘We will do our best to get you back,’ but you know what the chances are. Then you have to tell the coach, ‘He may never play a down for you.’ ” But then there are the success stories, like the operation he did on a Dartmouth ’15 who never even competed for the Big Green. “I did Hannah Kearney’s ACL,” he says of the Olympic moguls skier from Norwich, Vt. “To see her win a gold medal after fixing her knee was very rewarding when you know that 50 years ago she wouldn’t have been able to ski again.”


Whether he’s speaking with his residents, the occasional premed athlete he treats or others he gets to know during his interaction with various Big Green teams, Carr likes to tell them his job has three parts. “I take care of patients,” he starts off. “I get to be part of the Dartmouth College athletic program. And I get to run a residency program. It’s definitely the last two that are the most rewarding. They involve young minds and teaching them. “I get a great reward when a Dartmouth football player or athlete decides to go into medicine and eventually sports medicine. (Football’s) Tim McManus ’11 didn’t come here thinking about medicine but I got to spend a lot of time with him and he spent three months with me seeing what I do. He’s In 2012-13, 37 prospects now in the process of applying to from California visited medical school. Dartmouth through the “Those,” Carr says, “are the generosity of the Athletic biggest rewards. They are why I Sponsor Program feel like I’ve got the best job in the Upper Valley.




STAYING CONNECTED DP2 Career Connections Update from Donnie Brooks

Current students at Dartmouth have heard a lot about the “Golden Years” of the 70’s and 80’s, the days when a phone call and firm handshake could put you in a position to get a job no matter the GPA, major or work experience as an undergraduate. As you can imagine, the size of the fish in those stories has grown substantially. Although the Dartmouth connection is still one of our strongest assets, the economy has created an ultra-competitive landscape for entry-level jobs, internships and admission into graduate school programs. According to the 2012 Dartmouth Graduation outcomes report, which is annually published by the Center for Professional Development (formerly Career Services), only 60% of 2012 graduates had secured an entry level job or internship at the time of graduation. Another 10.3% reported that they were immediately enrolling in a graduate or post-baccalaureate program. With roughly 30% of graduates without plans, it reinforces our responsibility to educate our student-athletes about the realities of the work force, and to make sure current student-athletes are coached in the art of networking, relationship building and using the Dartmouth network. Since the introduction of DP2 in 2011, the Center for Professional Development and DP2 have worked in conjunction to develop programs that focus on core competencies such as building a strong resume, interview skills, proper use of social media for networking purposes and teaching students how to sell the transferrable skills that sports develop. The primary goal of the collaborative is to connect student–athletes with alumni who are looking for ways to stay engaged.

One of the most beneficial ways for our students to prepare for life after Dartmouth is for them to conduct an informational interview with a Dartmouth alumnus. When done correctly, the informational interview creates opportunities for Big Green athletes to expand their knowledge around industries of interest, helps them to develop leads for jobs/internships and expands their professional network. Evan Sterneck ’14 of the Women’s Golf Team has taken full advantage of the alumni network and has found that many alumni want to help. “I’ve had a great experience speaking with Dartmouth alumni. Thanks to the Career Network, I’ve been able to talk to and learn from alumni at various companies that I’m interested in. Every alumnus I’ve reached out to has either taken the time to talk to me themselves or connected me to someone who they thought would be more helpful. They’ve all been genuinely interested in helping me in any way possible and enjoy hearing about how things are unfolding for me.” said Sterneck. Conversely, the interviews also help alumni to connect the present studentathlete experience. In the summer of 2013, David Gardner ’05, Steve Callahan ‘05, and Jason Meyer ’06 started Men’s Basketball’s “Little Green Book”. The Little Green Book was created to facilitate meaningful interactions between fellow Dartmouth

basketball players - past and present. Due to the initiative, the coaches and studentathletes now have access to a list of more than 75 alumni who have volunteered to make themselves accessible. Gardner, founder of digital agency Colorjar Inc., has taken part in informational interviews with Dartmouth Athletes from all sports. “The Little Green Book is dear to our hearts because we want to help give Coach Cormier a competitive advantage. It’s our aim to do more than any other Ivy League program in helping our student-athletes achieve success after graduation.“ DP2 is currently in the process of working with teams who would like to set up their own Career Connections databases. The database allows for alumni to sign up and only commit to a level of contact that they feel comfortable with. If you have questions about the program or how you can help Big Green student-athletes, please contact Donnie Brooks, Asst. AD for Peak Performance, at

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