SUMMER 2017 FROM DARTMOUTH PEAK PERFORMANCE AND DARTMOUTH ATHLETIC SPONSORS
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SHARE OF THE IVY CROWN For the second time in three years, women’s tennis made an appearance at the NCAA Tournament, but this time they earned a share of the Ivy League title and the program’s first-ever automatic bid. The team is pictured here with President Phil Hanlon, his wife Gail Gentes, and a well-deserved piece of hardware! www.dartmouthsports.com
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THE BEST OF THE BEST
Honoring the achievements of Dartmouth’s thirty-five varsity sports teams, this year’s Celebration of Athletic Excellence was hosted on Memorial Field for the first time ever! Pictured here are the winners of Dartmouth Athletics’ most prestigious awards. www.dartmouthsports.com
CHA’MIA ROTHWELL ’20 Women’s Track & Field The Class of 1976 Award
BRENDAN BARTH ’17
The Timothy Wright Ellis 1955 Memorial Award
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The Kenneth A
WYATT OMSBERG ’18
BEAU SULSER ’16
The Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award
The Alfred E. Watson Trophy
R NG ’17
MACKENZIE ST. ONGE ’17
Women’s Hockey and Rugby
The Agnes Kurtz Award
FORESTE PETERSON ’18
JEREMIAH DOUCHEE ’17
The Class of 1976 Award
The Class of 1950 Award
MORGAN PHILIE ’18 Field Hockey
The Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award
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IN HIS FIRST YEAR AT DARTMOUTH, MEN’S TENNIS FRESHMAN CHARLIE BROOM HAS CONTINUED WHAT SOME MAY CALL A “TEAM TRADITION” BY BEING NAMED THE IVY LEAGUE ROOKIE OF YEAR AND IS THE THIRD BIG GREEN RECIPIENT IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS. THE RECRUITING VISIT OF CHARLIE BROOM WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROSITY OF JONATHAN OLD III ’82 AND JOHN HERRICK ’60 DP THROUGH THE ATHLETIC SPONSORS PROGRAM.
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TAKING THE FIFTH YEAR
When these three Big Green student-athletes enrolled at Dartmouth, taking a fifth year wasn’t in the plans. Coming back from season-ending injuries, Jack Connolly ’16, men’s lacrosse, Beau Sulser ’16, baseball, and Jeremiah Douchee ’17, football, talk about their experiences and what pushed them to return for for a final year.
Dartmouth Peak Performance 6083 Alumni Gym Hanover, NH 03755
SENIOR WRITER Bruce Wood
With hard practices, back-to-back games, and hours spent on the bus, prioritizing recovery has been essential for studentathletes to stay fresh and avoid injury. From high-tech equipment like NormaTecs and whirlpools to basic foam rolling and stretching, women’s basketball senior Andi Norman and women’s ice hockey senior Hailey Noronha give an inside look on what it takes to stay in top form.
PALM TREES TO PINE
The 5,000-mile distance between Honolulu, HI and Hanover, NH was not the only thing these student-athletes were worried about – it was the transition from flip flops to winter boots. While being far away from home and family is difficult, the tight bonds between these four Hawaiian student-athletes give them a slice of island life.
Adding Technology to the Toolbox
With a vast array of technology options available, the Catapult system has stood out as a game-changer on the field and in the weight room. If you’re working hard, the Catapult numbers will show it; if you’re not, the numbers will be telling.
A Catapult Case Study
Holekamp Family Director of Strength, Speed, and Conditioning, Spencer Brown, talks about the data that Catapult provides and what it means for player load and indicating potential injury.
EDITOR Drew Galbraith
ADVERTISING Sam Hopkins ASSISTANT EDITOR Karen Shu PHOTOGRAPHY Rob Bossi, Mark Washburn, Gil Talbot, John Risley, Mike Scott, Nate Barrett, Tom McNeill, Andy Mead, John Strohsacker, Eli Burakian and Karen Shu Problems or Accessibility Issues? firstname.lastname@example.org © 2017 Trustees of Dartmouth College
ON THE COVER The sixth-ranked Dartmouth heavyweight rowing team had its best finish in recent years with a ninth place team effort at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Regatta. The team was awarded the Clayton Chapman Trophy for being the most improved team; the Varsity Eight was named the Eastern Association of Rowing College’s Rusty Callow Award recipient for embodying the virtues of “spirit, courage, and unity”; and Wyatt Allen, the Betsy and Mark Gates 1959 Head Coach of Dartmouth Men’s Heavyweight Rowing, was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year.
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THREE TALENTED DARTMOUTH STUDENT-ATHLETES. THREE SEASONS LOST TO INJURY. THREE DECISIONS TO RETURN FOR A FIFTH YEAR. THREE DIFFERENT STORIES.
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One didn’t turn out the way he hoped, but he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. One turned out the way he dreamed, and it put a goal within reach. One is yet to be played out, but it holds great promise.
THE LACROSSE PLAYER
Jack Connolly ’16 was determined to help coach Brendan Callahan turn the Big Green program around. “I had been elected captain as a junior and then again for the 2016 season,” he recalled. “I was really excited about leading the team for a second year and continuing the progress we had made in Coach Callahan’s first season.” Although shoulder dislocation in a training accident in December of his senior year changed Connolly’s timeline, it didn’t change his goal. “The way that I hurt my shoulder essentially meant that I had to get surgery on it immediately, otherwise I would continually dislocate it throughout the course of the season,” he said. “That didn’t sound like a very promising option to me, so I elected to have the surgery. “ While he knew of players in similar situations who graduated and went on to play elsewhere as a graduate student, that wasn’t something Connolly was interested in doing. He was going to finish what he started. “The biggest thing for me in making the decision to come back was I felt like I had developed a pretty significant position of leadership on the team,” he said. “When I knew that I was going to have surgery I called Coach Callahan and I told him I was going to do whatever it took to come back.” Connolly returned to campus after his surgery, spending his senior winter taking classes and serving as a non-playing captain. He then took spring and fall off from school to preserve the necessary two terms of eligibility to participate this year. “The spring of 2016 I withdrew from classes but stayed up in Hanover with the team and in my free time I studied for the GMATs, because I knew business school was something I would like to do in the future,” he explained. The decision to return to school for a fifth year was not without a real-world cost when he had to walk away from a plum job offer in Boston to return to school. Instead of starting his professional life he took two classes in the winter and two in the spring, finishing off his major with a final government seminar and getting a jump
on his career with a Tuck undergraduate course in business strategy and management. His shoulder fully healed, Connolly was looking forward to a productive and successful year on the field when he pulled a hamstring a week before the 2017 opener against Canisius. He knew the challenge he faced because a similar issue his freshman spring had lingered long enough that he’d had to continue to rehab it the next fall. This time there wouldn’t be another fall and so he tried to play though it. After the Ivy League opener against Harvard on March 25 it was clear that desire was not enough. “After that game I sat down with Coach Callahan and we both kind of agreed that I didn’t have the same kind of pop in my leg as I usually have,” he said. “So we decided that I would take the next week off, miss the Cornell game, and try to get back in time for Yale. I did that. I worked as hard as I could on the rehab in the short amount of time.” But once more it wasn’t to be. “I was all set to come back for Yale and hurt my hamstring again that Thursday in practice,” he said without rancor. “I ended up taking another couple weeks off and got back for the game against Brown, but I definitely wasn’t myself as a player.” If missing five games and returning for a bittersweet curtain call in the finale against Brown wasn’t what he hoped it would be, Connolly is still glad he made the decision to return. “I felt like I definitely had the impact as a leader off the field and in the locker room and in practice that I had hoped I would have coming back for my fifth year,” he said. “As much as I wanted to be a great player, a lot of the gratification in playing lacrosse and playing for Coach Callahan has come from doing everything I can to help my teammates be better. And to set the program up for success going forward. “I would definitely qualify the season as a success despite the win-loss record because I really think we developed some of our younger teammates, brought them along and positioned them for success going forward.” The same can be said for their captain, who lost a job offer when he decided to return for a fifth year but landed on his feet. “I was in a little bit of a tough position,” he admitted, “but I was lucky enough to get a job at one of the firms that is competitive with my original job offer in Boston. That is something that I’m excited about.” That and the future of the Dartmouth lacrosse program. PEAK | SUMMER 2017
baseball the next July, 13 months after his injury. He had weighed three options after being hurt: • One was to go ahead and graduate in 2016 and sign if he were drafted that spring. • A second was to graduate on schedule and, if not drafted, use his remaining year of eligibility as a graduate student at another school. • A third option was to rearrange his “D-Plan” to graduate in 2017, which would allow him to pitch at Dartmouth in 2016 – his original senior year – as well as return to Hanover for a final season. Having seen how things turned out for his brother and well aware of Dartmouth coach Bob Whalen’s impressive track record for turning out pro prospects, Sulser didn’t give much thought to going elsewhere. “Coach Whalen was very supportive and made it easy,” he said. “I asked him if he’d have me back and we took care of that pretty much right after I got hurt.” The parallel tracks of the Sulser brothers diverged because as an engineering major Cole was slated to be on campus for five years and didn’t need to take a sabbatical from school to pitch the extra season. Beau, a psychology major, did. He spent the fall and winter of his junior year back home in Southern California rehabbing his THE RECRUITING VISIT OF BEAU SULSER ’16 WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE elbow and working part time with special needs kids at his high school. “I did that when I was in GENEROSITY OF R. BRUCE TEPPER ’71 AND DOUGLAS HAYES ’65 THROUGH THE high school, as a volunteer, and have always loved ATHLETIC SPONSORS PROGRAM. it,” he said. “It’s something I’d like to do in the future.” That can wait, however, until baseball is through. He made sure it wasn’t by posting a 6-1 record this spring with a 1.40 ERA that was third-lowest in the nation. He was voted the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, earned a spot on the All-New England first team and won Dartmouth’s Watson Trophy as the top male athlete in the school. Unfortunately Beau Sulser knew the drill. He topped off a memorable year in mid-June when he was Or maybe fortunately. chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the major When the right-hander hurt his elbow pitching as a sophomore league draft. in the 2014 Ivy League Championship Series and learned he needed “Coming back for the fifth year allowed me to play at the next Tommy John surgery, he didn’t have to look far to see what it level,” Sulser explained. “I actually wouldn’t have been good enough entailed. after last year. It was my first year back and my velocity was down. But also to learn that it didn’t have to end his dream of playing For most of the season it was from 85 to 88 (miles per hour). I professional baseball. wouldn’t have been picked up in the draft. This year I was 89 to 92.” Sulser’s other brother Cole ’12, had suffered the same injury While he’s looking forward to joining the pro ranks along with while at Dartmouth. After going through the surgery and the yearhis brother, Sulser wouldn’t change a thing even if his season hadn’t long rehab he had enjoyed success as a fifth-year pitcher for the Big turned out the way that it did. Green and was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2014 draft. “I was not ready to leave this place after four years, and leave This year he is enjoying a solid season as a reliever, splitting time Dartmouth baseball,” he said. “Not the program and not the school. between Cleveland’s Triple-A and Double-A affiliates. “It has been an amazing fifth-year. Even if it ended up not “Having my brother go through it we knew the process,” said the working out and I had a bad year and it didn’t look like I would get younger Sulser, who had surgery back home in San Diego in June of to continue to play, I would still think that I 100 percent made the 2014 and began to throw lightly that November. right decision because I got to be here for an extra year. It’s a great He wouldn’t be ready to pitch again in a game until summer place and special to be here for an extra year. Not a lot of people get that chance so I feel very lucky.”
THE BASEBALL PLAYER
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THE FOOTBALL PLAYER
Even before he knows how his final season will play out, before he knows if he’ll be sized up for another championship ring or endure the disappointment of another losing season – not that he expects one, mind you – Jeremiah Douchee feels thankful. He arrived on campus in the fall of 2013 looking, even back then, like a man among boys. Big, athletic defensive linemen who can run are precious jewels that are difficult for Ivy League recruiters to uncover. And that’s exactly what the Dartmouth coaches thought they had only to see chronic knee pain sideline him as freshman. The small tears in his tendons – bilateral patellar tendinosis or jumper’s knee – that made simply walking to the field to watch practice painful kept him sidelined as a sophomore. If it was starting to look as if his career would be over before it began Douchee wasn’t giving up hope, even if a doctor who said he’d be best sitting out for two years was proven right. Even if he had to undergo something called platelet rich plasma therapy, prolotherapy and shockwave therapy to get back on the field. His knees feeling better, Douchee finally returned to practice in the spring after his sophomore season and saw his first collegiate action on the 2015 Ivy League championship team. Simply being able to play might have been enough for a lot of players, but not Douchee. “Contributing only a little bit my junior year was a wake-up call that I was going to have to change my game,” he said. “I realized I wasn’t going to be just a pass rusher per se anymore in the sense of someone who is just going to come off the edge at full speed. I needed to get bigger and stronger.” He did both, bulking up to 290 pounds last fall with his legs none the worse for the extra load they carried. “I feel great,” he said. “My body is probably in the best shape since I’ve been in college. Everything has worked out well, especially with where I came from. I started off on the bumpy road, not playing my first two years and one preseason not even able to come to camp.” Douchee, who is interested in a future in public health and medicine, had 14 tackles and three of Dartmouth’s five blocked kicks last fall – two against Harvard and one that preserved a win against Towson. Along the way he decided he’d return for a final season in 2017 for reasons both on the football field and off it. “I made the decision some time in the middle of the fall to come back,” he said. “Obviously, last season left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and I didn’t want to walk away like that. This gives me an opportunity to change that. “I knew I could have the opportunity to play somewhere else or come back here but I have a good relationship with my coaches and teammates and I knew my opportunities outside of football would be better here.” The experience former teammates had as fifth-year seniors also played into his decision to return. “Seeing Eric Wickham come back and do what he did, and (Troy) Donahue as well, left a really good impression,” he said. “Both of those guys could have graduated but they came back and were
great leaders, helping out the younger guys and with their work ethic every day.” Douchee was elected a Big Green captain this spring along with quarterback Jack Heneghan and nickel Ky McKinney-Crudden. “That is an incredible honor,” he said. “It is one thing when the coaches think you have good leadership qualities but when your peers, the people that you put the time in and work with day in and day out, respect you, that really means a lot.” Douchee was honored this spring with the Dartmouth athletic department’s Class of 1950 Award as “the varsity student-athlete who has demonstrated the most extraordinary commitment to community service.” He’ll be spending his summer working for the nonprofit Cease Fire Illinois, which is aimed at reducing violence in the inner city. “I think what I’m most excited is helping host a trauma, firstresponder workshop,” he said. “We’ll try to show people what to do in case someone around them has a gunshot wound or was stabbed or something like that. “I eventually want to go into medicine in low income areas, so I think this will be a pretty good opportunity to see that from a different perspective than I would get in Hanover.” The Bottom Line Not every athlete who qualifies to return for a fifth year will or should. For these three Dartmouth athletes it was the right decision. Even for one who did not enjoy the season he hoped for. Ask Connolly what he would tell someone unsure about whether to use a fifth year or not and this is what he’ll say: “You can go to the working world just a year later and make the same kind of impact, but when you are sitting at a desk working on spreadsheets and sending emails you’ll be thinking about your time on the field with your teammates. “To have the opportunity to come back and make up for the year that you are injured is a really unique opportunity and something that it is awesome the NCAA and Dartmouth allow you to do. Absolutely take it if you can.”
THE RECRUITING VISIT OF JEREMIAH DOUCHEE ’17 WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROSITY OF BILL CARPENTER ’50 DP AND THE DARTMOUTH CLASS OF 1978 THROUGH THE ATHLETIC SPONSORS PROGRAM. 11
n re Flo he r e t nio a ge sid Se d ta eg ut m, an van e L ce p o oo nha ad uls du t-u t R ro ke P re Se igh No e ta Tec to e. We ailey mat rma stem tigu H m No Sy fa tea the very and of co ess Re ren so
G IN AY ST THE RECRUITING VISIT OF HAILEY NORONHA ’18 WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROSITY OF THOMAS RATH ’67 DP AND KIP & JUDY OBERTING ’91 THROUGH THE ATHLETIC SPONSORS PROGRAM.
sk anyone who has played basketball at Dartmouth and they will tell you the same thing. The Columbia-Cornell road trip is a killer, regardless of whether the Lions or Big Red are having a good year. Think about it. If your game wraps up at a reasonable hour in New York City and you clamber on the team bus by 9:45 Friday night it might be 2:30 a.m. before you arrive at your hotel. And if it happens to snow on the way north – as it’s been known to do in central New York – it could be an even longer night before you finally hit the sack and try to catch some Zs to be fresh for a game the same night. Andi Norman has done the Ivy League travel marathon three times with the Dartmouth women’s basketball team and no one has to tell her about the stress it puts on the body. The Ivy’s unique back-to-back schedule is hard enough, but this? “It’s a tough, tough road trip,” Norman said. So how do they do it? How do players like Norman who have pounded up and down 94 feet of hardwood for as much as 40 minutes make sure they are ready to do it all over again 24 hours and 230 miles later? Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) puts a variety of tools and services at the disposal of its athletes and staff members to enable “recovery,” but none is more revolutionary than the space-age NormaTec Pulse Leg Recovery System.
Gilad Doron Women’s Volleyball
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Looking a little like the lower half of a wet suit, the devices send pulses of “intermittent pneumatic compression” up and down an athlete’s legs, working like an automated massage to flush out the extremity. The technology that began in hospitals and nursing homes has been adopted by more and more professional teams and elite athletes over the past decade to reduce soreness and ease tired legs. Mark Kulbis, the Dartmouth strength coach who works and travels with the women’s basketball team, saw Norman and others warm to the technology this winter. “We take the NormaTecs with us on the road,” he said. “We can even use them on the bus. Kids will lay down in the aisles with them. We also use them at the hotel room. I will have a bag with me and the kids can come up, grab a pair and pull them on.” While there are experts who question just how much benefit the NormaTecs provide, count Norman among the believers. She’s been known to boot a Netflix show up on her laptop or break out a Sudoku book and spend upwards of an hour with the unit on her legs. “Part of it might be placebo because they tell me I’m going to feel fresher, but I think they genuinely work,” she said. “It’s most important when we have back-to-back games on the road and a long bus ride. That’s when I can tell it definitely helps get my legs ready for the next game.” Foam rolling – something of a misnomer because it can involve
When you are constantly going at a very high level over a long season it is very easy to get worn out and injured if you are not taking the right amount of time to recover,” she said. “Honestly, I think all recovery is effective, even if you can’t feel the results immediately. They help prevent injuries further on in the season.
“rolling” on everything from foam to hard lacrosse balls, is another weapon in the Dartmouth arsenal for recovery. Rolling is sometimes described as “self-myofascial release,” a fancy way of saying it helps athletes relax tight, stiff muscles and tissue. Norman did some rolling in high school but her introduction to regular use of the technique came courtesy of DP2’s dedicated massage therapist. “I frequently use a lacrosse ball or tennis ball to pinpoint certain areas where I’m especially sore or tender or tight,” she said. “The first time I ever did that was with Anna Terry and I thought I was going to cry. But now I have a foam roller in my dorm room and do it almost every single day. It digs into the different tendons and and muscles in your feet and helps get those knots out.” Ice baths, whirlpools, massage therapy and hydrotherapy to stimulate circulation are among other valuable tools aiding in recovery. Given a season that begins in mid-October and can continue until March, hockey player Hailey Noronha recognizes the value of, and makes good use of, the recovery tools at her disposal. “When you are constantly going at a very high level over a long season it is very easy to get worn out and injured if you are not taking the right amount of time to recover,” she said. “Honestly, I think all recovery is effective, even if you can’t feel the results immediately. They help prevent injuries further on in the season.” While Norman frequently rolls her feet in her dorm room, when Noronha does it she’s generally under the watchful eye of the hockey trainer. The rolling she does is targeted mostly at loosening up hamstrings. Like Norman, she’s thankful for the attention paid to the recovery in the Big Green athletic program. “Before Dartmouth, my season was actually two months longer than it is here, but it wasn’t as intense,” she said. “We only had two practices a week and we only had one lift a week. So here you are actually doubling the amount that you are on the ice and that you are in the weight room, so recovery is even more important.” In addition to the rigors of so many hours on the ice, Noronha has battled a lingering hip flexor issue. “It is a huge advantage to have all the resources that we have here,” she said. “Even though the NormaTecs don’t reach my hip flexor, they help with the muscles around it, which helps with overall recovery. “I like being able to go into a cold tub after every practice if I want to. They make you feel good for a day or two days after. The availability of physiotherapy is awesome, especially for students who have class and other commitments. Back home it was really tough to find a time when I could go once or twice a week. Here I could go five times if I need to.” Both Noronha and Norman cite the communication and teamwork of their coaches, the training staff and the strength and conditioning coaches for helping them stay as fresh as they can over their long seasons and occasional long games. Norman’s team had a four-overtime game against Columbia this winter, one night after a tough game against Cornell. Understanding coaches is key to making it all work, according
NormaTec units, whirlpools, ice baths, foam rollers, massage, sports psychologists, trainers, strength coaches and the rest all help with recovery. Mark Kulbis thinks the information provided by the Catapult system (see story) will ultimately play a part in the recovery recipe, but he doesn’t think any of that will matter without that most simple of ingredients “We’ve got to make sure that the basics are covered first,” he stressed. “Those are the internal mechanisms your body needs to recover like sleep. That is your number one recovery. We try to key in on that as much as we can with these kids’ busy schedules. They are up early for a 6 or 7 a.m. lift and have classes during the day. They have their social life. They have homework which can keep them up past midnight. Sleep can be a luxury for these kids. “If we don’t have good sleep? If we don’t have a sound nutrition/diet plan? And if we’re not hydrating, what are we really doing? Is the NormaTec really going to help? So we try to zone in on all of those basic things first. Educate the kids as much as we can because everything depends on those things.”
to Kulbis. “It’s big,” he said. “Basketball is a very, very long season and you can see the players kind of wearing down a little bit. If you are aware you can tell if an athlete is ready to train by the way they walk into the weight room. If their head is down, if they’re just sitting on a foam roller and aren’t really rolling out or aren’t talking to each other, the team is tired and could probably use some extra stretching and recovery methods. “There have been days when I have seen that and gone away from what I planned to do. There are coaches that might see me training a team like that and say, ‘What the heck are they doing? They are not working.’ Coach Belle (Koclanes) gives me the benefit of the doubt because she is confident in my abilities.” Kulbis played football at Bowling Green, earned his masters in Human Health and Performance at Austin Peay and interned at Ohio State so he’s no stranger to all that bigger schools can offer in terms of recovery. He applauds Dartmouth and DP2 for the tools it provides to help its athletes recover and thrive. “We are definitely blessed,” he said. “As a staff we are very grateful for the advantages the Dartmouth athletic department has provided us. They trust us to do the research, find out the next thing in recovery. We are pretty much cleared to go and talk with the companies that are developing it to get more information and possibly purchase it. “It is great to have an athletic department that is really backing strength and conditioning and recovery. We have the nutritionist. We have the sports psychologist. When you have all those resources in DP2 it makes a big difference.” Especially with those long bus rides and those very, very long seasons. PEAK | SUMMER 2017 13
PALM TREES TO PINE s
When Julia Lau ’17 was a freshman volleyball player at Dartmouth she would have been hardpressed to find anyone on campus who had ever heard
of the stuff. Let alone be willing to eat it. Four years later it might have been standing room only – and then some – if she happened to be serving the popular Hawaiian snack. Just ask fellow volleyball libero Zoe Leonard ’19. “In the 2016 class there were only two Hawaiians,” said Leonard, who recently completed her sophomore year at Dartmouth. “In my class I think there were 12 of us and there were 19 in the 2020 class. It’s amazing.” No fewer than four of the Hawaiians on campus in the 2016-17 school year were athletes – Leonard and Lau on the volleyball team, and defensive back Bun Straton and wide receiver Kamana Hobbs on the football team. “All four of us have gotten close since we are all fall athletes,” said Leonard. “Because of preseason we are here before the rest of the student body, so it was a pretty instant clique.” Hobbs, Straton and Lau all graduated from Punahou – whose basketball team once had a role player who went by the name of Barry Obama – and Leonard is familiar with the school because it is her father’s alma mater. But whatever the high school they attended, whatever the island they hail from, the Hawaiians are of a kind. “The entire Hawaii community, regardless of what school you went to – and I don’t know if it is because of the close-knit nature and family oriented lifestyle – we all hang out,” Leonard said. “We all know each other from Day One. “We are all friends. It doesn’t matter; if you are from Hawaii then we are going to be friends.” Friends who shared many of the same concerns before deciding to attend college 5,000-plus miles, six time zones, and a world removed from the life they knew in Hawaii. “It is pretty hard moving so far away,” admitted Leonard. “I have seen way too many times people from back home go away to college for just a semester and then move back to Hawaii and drop out of college.” According to Leonard, who did not take a recruiting visit to campus and had never been in this part of the world until showing up for Dartmouth preseason, just two members of her graduating class at Kamehameha School on the Big Island ventured this far East for college, with the other going to Johns Hopkins. “I think for all of us the biggest thing is the weather and being so far away from the ocean,” said Hobbs, a walk-on who first started thinking about the Ivy League and Dartmouth after meeting Big Green coach Buddy Teevens at the Manning Passing Academy in New Orleans. “I know there’s an ocean not far from here, but it is nothing like home. That’s something that is fundamentally a huge 14
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part of our culture. “Back home Bun and I body surf, or body board, or surf together almost every day at Sandy Beach Park. We will lift and then go surfing. That was probably the biggest thing we were worried about as Hawaiian kids, being away from the ocean. That and being so far away from our families.” Straton’s father played hockey at New Hampshire and he has relatives in Dover, N.H., but like his old Little League batterymate, he had concerns about coming this far to school. “One of them was being so far away from home, even if I did have family here,” he said. “I didn’t know them that well. Another thing was the weather. My official visit was the first time I had seen snow. But I managed the weather pretty well, so after that I wasn’t really worried about it.” Maybe he should have been. “I showed up for freshman fall football camp with just a sweater and maybe two long-sleeve shirts,” he said with a laugh. “I ended up buying winter clothes here.” Leonard knows of what her friend speaks. “I miss not having to look at the weather app,” she said. “I never even had one on my phone before I got here.” Understanding coaches have played a big role in making the Hawaiian athletes comfortable at Dartmouth. Before the influx of other Hawaiians, Lau’s path was smoothed out by then head coach Erin Lindsey, a fellow Punahou graduate. And by Lindsey’s father Dennis, then a Dartmouth assistant and a well-regarded coach she knew growing up in Hawaii. By the time Leonard came along native Hawaiian John Haruguchi had joined the Dartmouth staff and this past year head coach Gilad Doron brought on former University of Hawaii standout Tara Hittle, only Leonard’s idol growing up. “I had her autograph hanging in my room growing up,” Leonard said. “I have a picture from her senior night at University of Hawaii when I was 8-years-old. She’s the reason I was number three my entire volleyball career.” While the football team doesn’t have coaches from Hawaii, it has coaches who appreciate the challenges they face according to Straton. “They definitely understand,” he said. “They made it known to me from the beginning that they realize being so far away from home can be an issue. They let me know that if I ever needed anything, or to reach out to someone, they would always be there for me and could help me get to someone that I could talk to.” Not that there’s any lack of people to talk to when the athletes from the 50th state need to feed their Hawaiian jones, sometimes in a way only they understand. “In Hawaii we have pidgin or slang language,” said Leonard. “Whenever we hang out we can have fun talking like we do back home. That’s something we can’t necessarily do with our other peers here.”
Added Hobbs: “When we get together it’s a little slice of home. although it didn’t go so well. This year I tried it again and I We can ‘talk story,’ ” (a Hawaiian expression for “chit-chat” with absolutely love it now.” friends). Straton, like Leonard and the others, grew up riding the waves, Pidgin, of course, isn’t the only language spoken in the Aloha but he too gave the favorite winter sport of hearty New Englanders State. a shot. Because her parent were born and raised in Hawaii Leonard “When I went snowboarding for the first time I picked it up was eligible to attend Kamehameha Schools, which were founded really quickly,” he said. “It was a lot of fun. Way easier than surfing.” “to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian As proud as they are of their Hawaiian roots all four athletes ancestry.” As such, she learned to speak Hawaiian, passing out of expect to have more exposure to “mainland” culture after her Dartmouth language requirement via an oral test – even though graduation. she’s pretty sure her testers did not know the language. Lau will start working in Boston this summer. “I am a little more “When I tell people I passed out of my language requirement a career driven right now and need to be where the bigger finance jobs lot of people don’t realize that Hawaii is a language,” she explained. are going to be,” she said. “I know I’m going to have to be here on “I’ll say, ‘Where you think aloha and mahalo come from?’ That has the mainland a little longer before I can make the transition back been a surprising thing for me.” home where there are limited finance jobs and it is twice the cost of Hobbs who traces his living. lineage back to Isaac Davis, “I love it there, but it is not described as “an adviser to realistic until I establish myself King Kamehameha the Great,” in my career and kind of figure also speaks some Hawaiian. out what I want to do for the His given name is Slater rest of my life.” Anthony Kamanaokanakanui Leonard might end up in Hobbs but he prefers to go Beantown as well. by Kamana. He explained his “Hawaii is the end goal name this way: but I have come to really love “ ‘Kamana,’ meaning, the Boston, which I really think power or spiritual strength. ‘O,’ it is a cool place,” she said. meaning of, and ‘Kanakanui’ “There are definitely things being my grandfather’s I can do in Hawaii but there Hawaiian name, and meaning are opportunities here in a big or chiefly man.” the bigger cities that you are Hobbs’ first look at just not going to find back in Dartmouth after his junior Hawaii.” year at Punahou had two parts. Hobbs expects to be land One appealed to his interest in back home – eventually. Juniors Bun Straton, Zoe Leonard, and Kamana Hobbs (L-R) football; one appealed to his “I really can’t wait to get at this spring’s Hawaii Club Luau, which showcased beautiful interest in his native culture. back,” he said, “but what I have hula dancing and served traditional Hawaiian cuisine. “I came to the Buddy talked about with my loved Teevens football camp and ones is if an opportunity turns while I was here on campus out that I can’t turn down in I also did a program called College Horizons, a program for Boston or somewhere I would have to jump on it. Right now I am indigenous youth, kind of a college preparedness program,” he kind of thinking if one of those did come along that wouldn’t be for explained. “So I actually roomed for a week here on campus. That’s more than five years probably, and then back home. That would give when I really fell in love with this place. me a chance to kind of establish myself a little bit.” “The academic prowess really attracted me to Dartmouth of Straton, the only one with New England family connections, course, but the founding principle that the school was started for the is enjoying his time in this part of the country. “If I didn’t love it I education of Native Americans, and how they have transitioned to don’t think I would be here,” he said, but he’ll be ready to get a little include native Hawaiians and other native peoples gives us a unique closer to home when graduation comes around. opportunity to have a really nice community up here. Everybody “I might try to find something in Cali,” he said. “I know San that I’ve met on campus has been respectful of different cultures Diego has a lot of environmental stuff going on and I feel like there’s and interested in Hawaii.” just better job opportunities here on the mainland. But I might try Not that the Hawaiians haven’t been learning about the local to do some more school. The UH Marine Studies program is really ways as well. good.” “I definitely experienced a fair amount of culture shock coming The Hawaiian student athletes will go their separate ways after here,” said Lau. “The more that I have grown up here the more I graduation but they will always appreciate their shared time in farrecognize the differences in my upbringing than a lot of my peers. off Hanover, N.H., with teammates and classmates who understand In some ways that’s been kind of nice. I have learned to interact and the challenges they face. hang with people from very different backgrounds “Whenever we are homesick or going through something,” said “My teammates even tried to teach me how to ski last year, Hobbs, “there’s alway someone who has our backs. That’s special.” PEAK | SUMMER 2017 15
ADDING TECHNOLOGY TO THE TOOLBOX
couple of rivals play each other twice. One wins the first meeting handily. The same two teams, with the same lineups they used in the first game, play again at the same venue but this time the other wins handily. All other things being equal, what made the difference? Generations of coaches have turned to film, then videotape and now digital means to try to answer that question. Dartmouth men’s basketball coach Dave McLaughlin appreciates the value of video study, of course. But along with football coach Buddy Teevens and hockey coaches Bob Gaudet and Laura Schuler, he now has a 21st century tool added to his toolbox that can provide clues to what might have happened and guard against it happening again. Catapult is a wearable sensor system for monitoring athletic movement that its Australian-based company bills as helping coaches determine “risk, readiness and return to play.” Fit a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a magnetometer and GPS capability into a Catapult sensor the size of an old flip phone, strap it onto an athlete’s back and a few hours later the athlete’s strength and conditioning coach will have a digital diary of every move the athlete made in a particular practice, its intensity, its speed, its duration and its direction. The mined data provide a road map for analyzing and adapting the work load of individual athletes as well as the overall practice plan so that athletes are ready to perform at peak level on game day.
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If a player is being worked harder during the week than his coach realizes, the Catapult data will show it. If another has unaccountably lost a step, her readout will reveal it and the reasons for the diminished performance can be determined and addressed. If an entire team is tired the conditioning coach can connect the dots and provide the coaching staff with information needed to make an informed decision about the practice plan. Through Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2), Joe Gilfedder, the strength and conditioning coach who works with Dartmouth men’s basketball, used the devices this winter to help monitor Big Green practices. He believes data the units collects can take some of the guesswork out of determining why things go right one day and go wrong another. Using Catapult analytics, he explained, “We can take a look when we played really well against Bryant and really well against LIU Brooklyn and see what the buildup to those games was like. And if we played really badly against Princeton, what was the buildup to that game? “Obviously, there are a lot of factors that go into it. Sometimes a team is just better than you. But if there was a difference in our preparation we can make our practice week more like the preparation we had for Bryant and LIU than it was before other games we lost.” Count Dartmouth men’s basketball coach David McLaughlin
among the believers in the system. His first exposure to it came as an assistant at Northeastern, which sent its basketball strength coach and trainer to spend a couple of days with the Atlanta Hawks to observe how that organization collects and uses the Catapult data. A dozen or so NBA teams, 17 NFL teams and more than 30 colleges and universities use the Catapult system to quantify exertion, something that in the past coaches like McLaughlin tried to assess by “feel.” The Catapult units take hundreds of readings per second per athlete, allowing the coaches to measure exertion per minute and per practice. Using a complex algorithm that might make an Ivy League math professor’s eyes spin like a slot machine, it spits out a single number to reflecting each player’s “work load.” By comparing a player’s work load number against his or her established baseline, the coaches can identify potential problems and individualize practice plans when needed. “You are going to know when you are going too hard with the team; that’s pretty simple,” McLaughlin said. “But with this you can get actual data that backs it up. In a post game scenario you can say, Gee, we looked a little sluggish today. Let’s look back at the three previous days of practice. “Maybe we’ll see that our load two days prior to the game was 20 percent higher than it was in our four previous games. Did we do something different in practice that day? Did we go a little longer than we should have? Then we can make adjustments. It’s really neat to be able to look at that data and have some solid conversations about it.” Catapult, according to McLaughlin, isn’t a substitute for the “eye test,” but more of a supplement to it. While some veteran coaches might feel threatened by that kind science, Gaudet welcomes it. “There is a place for your intuition and eye test, but also for technology,” the veteran hockey coach said. “Some of it is just backing up what you are doing and what you already know. But to sit down and actually break down which drills we do, and what the stress level is on the players in each one, is pretty important. “As a coach sometimes you do a drill that is not stressful at all but then you look at (the Catapault data) and certain guys may be doing more reps than you are interested in having them do. So it becomes a little bit more of a stressful drill; even a simple shooting drill. Sometimes you are surprised by the results, and I think that’s a good thing.” So does McLaughlin, who this year combined the Catapult unit with heart monitors. “You might think something is one of the hardest drills we do and then you look at the impact and it isn’t as great,” he said. “Then there might be shooting drill that has a higher impact because you are just constantly moving during the drill, where another drill might be more difficult but there is not as much movement. Maybe there was more teaching that day or maybe we as coaches were stopping the drill more often than we should have. “This gives you a different read on each player based on the different data points that you get. It gives you information on guys that maybe are overworked. As a coach you might not see you have to slow things down because for some guys the impact and energy they are exerting is beyond what it should be.” Helping players be as fresh as possible and thereby giving them the chance to perform at their best on game day and throughout the
course of a season is one of the true benefits of the Catapult system. Starting next season with a year’s worth of data for each player, hockey strength and conditioning coach Nate Strah believes, will allow “to maximize this particular kid. We’ll be able to say, ‘Here’s what the recipe should be for him.’ “With the Catapult system my job is to just give the coaching staff information to make the decision they deem most appropriate.” The way head strength coach Spencer Brown sees it, maximizing performance is just part of the picture. “When we talk about performance if you can’t perform because you are injured there is no performance,” he said. “We want our athletes to be healthy and if Catapult is something that will help us keep them healthy we definitely need to pay attention to the data. “The goal is to allow us to train our athletes more efficiently. It will help us decide which conditioning exercises to use, which agility drills we choose, which things to do during practice and for how long. All of those things will help reduce the risk of injury.” According to Strah that last was a huge selling point for Catapult in his sport. “When (Catapult) marketed it for hockey their main thing was preventing groin injuries,” he said. “The rate of occurrence in the NHL made it one of the most common injuries of all the major sports leagues. That’s why they were able to successfully market it to the hockey landscape.” While making it clear that one season is too small a sample to make a definitive statement about its effectiveness, anecdotal evidence points to effectiveness of the Catapult system in Strah’s estimation. “We had shoulder injuries and contact-based injuries, which from a sports standpoint is a lot harder and almost impossible to predict,” he said. “But we had no games missed and no practice missed due to groin injury or hip flexor injury on the men’s side this year. So I would say definitely helped.” The same can be said on the hardwood side. “We were able to have zero missed games with men’s basketball this year,” said Gilfedder. “Is that because of Catapult? I don’t know but I do know we made good use of it. “Nobody missed a game because of injury. Not that they we weren’t banged up. Everybody gets banged up. It is collegiate sports. But everybody could play if they had to.” In addition to helping prevent injury, Catapult can be effective in monitoring players coming back from injury. Is there a difference in power output between left and right strides for a hockey player returning from injury? That could be a red flag. “When we see that we can try to find out what is going on,” Strah said. “What’s the number one cause of injury? It’s reinjury, so hopefully we see what’s happening and can prevent that. If it’s just a deficiency, that’s something we can accomodate in the weight room, to even out those patterns. Catapult allows us to close the gap, get all the facts we can and make more informed choices. “For those types of injuries it is absolutely a game changer because it allows us to check every aspect and find out what is happening. Is it a reinjury? Is it something from an overtraining standpoint? Is it an imbalance we can address in the weight room?” Increased teamwork among the sport coaches, strength coaches, training staff, nutritionist, massage therapist and the rest of the DP2 braintrust is an ancillary benefit of the Catapult system. “We didn’t have any soft tissue injuries this year and I think some of it was the technology we have, but also the communication PEAK | SUMMER 2017 17
we have,” said McLaughlin. “It forces you to have a dialogue with your strength coach and your trainer. Those conversations are happening, if not daily then every other day and they keep you on the same page, breathing the same air as a collective staff in terms of really helping these guys get to their max without putting them at risk of injury.” The Catapult system, the way Gilfedder sees it, really does put everyone on the same page. “If you look at practice it can be very subjective,” he said. “I like being able to get a numeric value and be able to qualitatively evaluate practice. That’s as opposed to, ‘That was easy’, or ‘That was medium’ or ‘That was hard’. You don’t really know. That’s why I like the heart rate data. That’s
why I like the catapult data. It takes that subjectivity out of it.” Gaudet, who be in his 29th season as a Division I head coach next year, welcomes the help. “Combining that eye test with up-todate technology is really important,” he said. “This is the world that the kids live in. They don’t live in the world that I grew up in. You’ve got to change with the times a little bit to be able to keep these guys involved and energized and engaged. “The way I look at it, you wouldn’t want to go to a doctor that got his or her degree 30 years ago or whatever and is still trying to put a leech on your forehead or something like that,” he added with a laugh.
CATAPULT CASE STUDY Dartmouth put the first of its 60 or so Catapult units to to the test a year ago in spring football. They were used last fall and again this spring. The process begins with strength and conditioning coach Spencer Brown distributing the rechargable devices to a group of players selected in coordination with the coaches. The players wear them in special pockets under their pads through the length practice. Each takes thousands of readings throughout the session, whether players are sprinting down the field to catch a pass or just walking onto the track to grab a little water. Before players leave the field at the conclusion of practice Brown reminds them to bring him their units and he places them in a foam-padded carrying case. Upstairs in Floren Varsity House after practice the units are plugged into a computer and 2 1/2-hours of statistics from each is uploaded simultaneously. Brown then marries the data to the practice plan. “You do that by putting in the periods for the activity,” Brown explained. “It could be walk-through. It could be ‘stretch.’ It could be ‘team.’ It could be ‘skelly.’ It could be special teams. It may be ‘individual.’ You are trying to give the coaches a picture of how everything is going and see where the hardest parts of practice are.” For his own purposes, Brown will separate the “player loads” out according to position and work up graphs using just some of the mind-boggling assortment of metrics 18
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Catapult makes available. For the coaches, however, it is important to make the information easier to digest so they can see at a glance when the “player loads” were greatest and which players they need to watch more carefully. “We try to simplify it because there are so many things we could have them look at,” he said. “It was recommended to us to do it that way so (the coaches) pay attention to the things that are most important and have been studied.” The simplified results that Brown provides are the “player loads.” They are established over time for each player. What he and the coaches are on the lookout for are deviations from an individual player’s own norm or “spikes” that indicate that player’s workload was 80 percent less than his normal or 120 percent more. One such spike in a month doesn’t reflect a great risk, according to Brown. Three in a week may indicate a potential injury or overwork that could lead to exhaustion and injury, or that may manifest itself on game day. “If you see that you know you’ve got to really watch that guy,” said Brown. “With Catapult I can go to coach and say, ‘Hey, we need to pull this guy back a little bit. He needs to go every other play or just run tops routes,’ or something along those lines. It’s not like me just telling them a kid is kind of tired.” A case in point came last spring when graduation and injuries thinned out the tight end ranks.
“We had only three tight ends and we saw they were covering like 10,000 yards during practice,” said Brown “It was crazy how far those guys were running (about 5.7 miles). It was higher than the wide-outs and DBs, and it shouldn’t be. If you are a coach you are calling plays and not thinking about things like that. “Wide receivers are a big concern for me because of the high speed distances they cover. At one point we had six wideouts and another with a hamstring meaning we couldn’t have a third group anymore. So when we went with a ‘four wide,’ some of the guys from the second group had to go up. With Catapult you can see what is happening and that you have to really manage the reps and overall volume of practice. Either you’ve got to slow it down or change up what you are doing.” Although few college strength coaches have even scratched the surface of what Catapult can do, the knowledge base is growing exponentially. Count Brown among the believers. “Just like anything else, I think it can always grow and be better,” he said. “But I do think it’s valuable now. It is a real asset to our athletes, to the strength and conditioning department, and the teams that get to use them. “If we can just reduce the opportunity for injury, then it is doing its job. It doesn’t become just data you your collecting, it becomes data you can actually use to serve a purpose to help your athletes.”
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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?
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Assigned recruit annually, Leadership display, special recognition in the football program & VIP Reception at Homecoming for more on swimming visit www.dartmouthsports.com Sponsors@Dartmouth.edu PEAK | SUMMER 2017 19
Summer 2017 PEAK Magzine