• National Champions Rebuild Young Team

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm Comments are Disabled

    Many students do not have the faintest clue that a club sport at Mason won a national championship only a year and half ago. A far cry from the fame won by the Final Four basketball team in 2006, the club cricket team has not received much accolation for their success. Hashim Khan, who graduated last spring, founded the  team two years ago. “It was hard to recruit members for the team, I remember Hashim telling me, as many Americans have never even heard of the sport,” said Muhammad Awais, current president of the cricket club. “I joined immediately.” This did not hold the team back, as they went on to win the collegiate cricket championship their first year as a club sport, becoming the 2010-2011 national champions. Mason shockingly beat out Montgomery College, the 2009 national champions, and favored team, 138 runs to 124 runs at the cricket national championship held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It was an amazing feeling to be a part of such talent,” said Awais. “No one expected us to beat Montgomery, and to exceed people’s expectations was truly an experience.” Cricket, a sport often compared to baseball, has not gotten much coverage in America, […]

  • Don’t Rock the Boat: Academics and Athletic Balance Recognized

    Don’t Rock the Boat: Academics and Athletic Balance Recognized

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm Comments are Disabled

    The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) recently selected senior women’s rowing captains Merrideth Bennett and Madison Beumer as 2012 All-Region Scholar Athletes.   This is the second year in a row for both women to be selected for this award. To be nominated for this award, athletes must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and participate in at least 75 percent of the current spring races or race in a regional event. Selection is then made by the CRCA, which has coaches from nearly every team. The award is a sign of not just academic and athletic success but also personal time management and scheduling balance. “With workouts, two-a-days, travel and all the extra time I put in with the team, it [totals] about 30 to 35 hours a week,” Bennett said. Time management is something that nearly all college students pick up on after their freshmen year. This is especially true of athletes. “Not going to lie, it is a little hard and requires a lot of sacrifice. Some nights, I want to go out but can’t, and other times, I’m on the bus cramming for tests,” Bennett said. In addition to being recognized for her academic and rowing […]

  • Former Patriot Finds New Voice With Redskins

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm Comments are Disabled

    Die-hard Redskins fans know his name and his voice, but most probably do not know that he attended Mason. Grant Paulsen, beat reporter for the Redskins on 106.7 the Fan, is a graduate of Mason. Paulsen’s time at Mason began during his senior year in high school. His first impressions of Mason were during the exciting time of Mason’s Cinderella run to the Final Four. He came in 2006 to visit friends, and as a result, Mason became his top runner for college. When it came time to finally decide where he would attend college, Paulsen picked Mason because it was a local college and it would help him continue to build rapport with people in the journalism and media fields in the area. Paulsen came to Mason knowing that he wanted to work in sports journalism one day. With guidance from professors, especially well-known journalism professor Steve Kline, Paulsen honed in on his journalism skills. “Professors here are really connected and active in their fields at Mason. They create great opportunities to make connections,” said Paulsen. Paulsen believes that for anyone trying to get into sports journalism or any other sports communication job, Mason is a good place to […]

  • An Aquatic Affair

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm Comments are Disabled

    This coming weekend, the swim team will compete in its most difficult meet to date against the University of Delaware. In its first meet against American University, the team took first place. In their most recent meet at Loyola University, Mason defeated Loyola 213-87 while falling United States Naval Academy 169-130 in a close race for the win. Stand out swimmers included freshman Kyle Sockwell, who took first place in the 200 backstroke with senior Austin Witherow following close behind. Sockwell and Caleb Williams have been excellent additions to an already first-rate team. “This team is the best we have had in years and we have a great chance at winning the conference title,” Witherow said. The team has been intensely preparing for the meet this coming weekend with practices twice a day, six times a week. They alternate their workouts by doing lifting, running, and a variety of swimming sets. The team also credits certain innovations within the athletic department, including longer swimming pools. “During practice, we are able to swim a long course of 50 meters, rather than the usual 25. I feel this gives us an edge over the competition, as no one else is able to […]

  • Every Stroke for the Team

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm Comments are Disabled

    A year ago, the Mason Men’s Crew Club competed in the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships in Georgia. McKinney, President of the Mason Men’s Crew Club, remembers the start of the race being calm and collected, with no one joking around or talking. He and his team had been training for this. Those next six minutes would determine how their hard work would pay off. After counting down his last 20 strokes and hearing the beep of the team’s finish, McKinney knew that his team had finally medaled. Since McKinney joined during his freshman year, he has been able to see the team grow. The team made petite finals at the Dad Vail Regatta and finished third out of 33 teams at the ACRA Championship. With these accomplishments under its belt, the team hopes to make it back to these competitions and improve on its finishes from last year. A sense of teamwork comes about from any timed sport, but especially from rowing. Every team member relies on everyone else and everyone needs to be doing his best for the team to succeed. Cooperation is needed from every member of the boat from the beginning launch to the last twenty […]

  • From Mason to the Mountain Tops

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm Comments are Disabled

    Waiting for that first snowfall around the beginning of winter is exciting for everyone, but for members of Mason’s Ski and Snowboarding Club it means it is finally time to hit the slopes. Founded in 2010 by student snowboarders and skiers, the club is expanding and growing. Last year, most of the team’s trips took small groups to Liberty in Pennsylvania, but the club is planning to travel to even bigger resorts this season. “We’re planning a big trip to Killington in Vermont over winter break and [another] one over spring break to Mt. Tremblant in Canada,” said president Chris Mullins. Whether you are just starting to practice on the bunny slope or are the next Shaun White, the club has a spot for you. Current members of the club include people who have never been to the slopes people who go often. “This year, we’re really trying to hook up people who are experienced with new snowboarders and skiers, so they can learn faster and don’t have to pay for lessons.” These winter sports can be expensive, especially with a season starting as early as November and lasting until March.  With  equipment, a lift ticket and skis or a […]

  • Stephen Kline/Broadside

    This is Madness: This is Mason

    Sports October 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm Comments are Disabled

    It is almost upon us – the Patriot Center, the Green Machine, the T-shirt gun, the cheerleaders and of course, the teams. Mason Nation is more than ready for basketball, but before tip-off on Nov. 9, the glowing embers of Patriot Pride need to roar into a full fire storm. For 14 years, Mason has been partaking in a tradition that ignites our Basketball season spirit Mason Madness. On Oct. 14 at 9:30 p.m., students and local Mason fans will get a good look at the sports programs that have been kept under wraps since March. With featured performances from independent artists and Mason clubs such as UrbanKnowlogy, the Green Machine and The Masonettes, the event is always a huge hit. Originally held in the RAC gym, Mason Madness was a glorified high school pep rally with pull out bleachers in a tiny gymnasium. “Hard to believe that is where the varsity teams played when you look at the Patriot Center today,” said  writer for Creative Services, Buzz McClain. “But it worked, and as you can see, the crowds at the games have grown and the basketball program has developed to what it is now.” Other sports teams have also […]

  • Running Down a Dream

    Sports October 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm Comments are Disabled

    The men’s cross-country team hosted its first and only home meet of the season in Leesburg, Va. at Oatlands, the team’s relatively new home course. The competition was fierce for the men as they placed second against top teams such as La Salle University, the favorite to win the Atlantic 10, and American University, whose assistant coach was Mason’s former cross-country assistant coach. Andrew Gerard, who is in his eighth year as Mason coach, is the director of Track and Field and has completely revamped the cross-country program since he has arrived. With experience at such prestigious schools as William & Mary and Stanford, he was able to put cross-country on the radar in Mason’s sports program. “This year’s team is one of the most experienced and most accomplished teams I have ever coached at Mason,” Gerard said. “They could do some of the most unprecedented things ever done in the program. We have just been putting the last few pieces together and I look forward to a strong showing this weekend.” With six weeks until the end of the season, the team has been training extra hard. “We have been pushing hard these last few weeks. The boys are […]

  • Rise of the Patriots: Improvements in Athletics

    Sports October 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm Comments are Disabled

    Athletic Director Tom O’Connor believes Mason’s athletic program is the model program in the CAA. The unforgettable Cinderella journey to the Final Four in 2006 started the beginning of a new era in Mason Athletics.  Most recently named the number one Up-and-Coming University this year by US News and World Report, Mason is still feeling the effects of its historic underdog run. Year after year, the sports program continues to thrive and gain more recognition.  Currently, the cross country and soccer teams are ranked 9th and 20th, respectively, in the nation.  Over the summer, four athletes from Mason represented the United States at the Olympics in London.  Last year, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field won the CAA championship while Men’s Swimming finished second place.  With a flourishing basketball team, yearly expectations are high once again. “I don’t want to say it’s a roller coaster but we’re always on the upper level with our sports programs across the board; somewhat of a measure is the won and loss records of teams or championships but, you also have to remember that it is a complete program,” said O’Connor on the state of Mason Athletics. “We don’t have any NCAA violations.  We’re at […]

  • Mason Club Takes Hockey to New Depths

    Sports October 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm Comments are Disabled

    Mason is home to the highest ranked college underwater hockey team in the nation.  The team placed 10th overall out of several adult, club and college teams at the  national tournament this past spring. This semester, they are looking for recruits to replace graduating players, five of whom have gone on to play for the U.S. national team. Underwater hockey is more than just the subject of a random factoid mentioned on tours to prospective students; it’s a full fledged team that is part of a growing national community. Having originated from the United Kingdom in the early 1950s as a game called Octopush, underwater hockey has slowly been on the rise for the last half century. It has also found a home at Mason. The sport is similar to its icy counterpart except it is played in eight feet of water and does not require a goalie.  From above the waterline, it looks like feeding time at the aquarium, but under the water, it is a scene of precise passing, swift swimming and intense play. “Everyone should come out for one day and try it. I thought it would be a lot less interesting, but I came out and […]