CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Ten Harvard student-athletes are among those honored as members of the spring 2009 Academic All-Ivy League team, announced Tuesday by the league office.
The honorees are starters or key reserves on officially recognized varsity teams who have cumulative grade-point averages of at least 3.0. Five men and five women are honored from each of the eight Ivy League schools, based on the quality of their academic records and their athletic performance.
Each of Harvard’s 10 selections was an All-Ivy or All-New England pick—or both—in 2009. They have combined for 26 All-Ivy and All-New England selections and four All-America honors in their careers. Eight have competed or will compete in their sport’s national championship event this year.
Half of the Harvard selections come from water sports, with three representing the nationally ranked Harvard and Radcliffe crews and two coming from the coed sailing squad. Women’s track and field joined sailing as the only teams with multiple honorees. Five Academic All-Ivy choices are seniors, while four are sophomores and one is a junior.
The list is perhaps headlined by three-time All-America selection Becky Christensen, a six-time Heptagonal champion the women’s track and field team. A winter and spring student-athlete, Christensen is being honored for the fifth time in her career. Christensen won her fourth straight outdoor Heps title and her second straight indoor Heps crown this season. The psychology concentrator from Celina, Texas placed third at the NCAA East Regional to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore distance runner Claire Richardson is the other Academic All-Ivy selection from women’s track. She is a four-time All-Ivy honoree, earning first-team honors with her fourth-place Heptagonal finish in cross country and her wins in the 3,000 meters at indoor Heps and in the 5,000 at outdoor Heps. Richardson, a neurobiology concentrator and St. Paul, Minn., native, competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall and was a provisional NCAA qualifier in the 3,000.
Christensen and Richardson are both two two-time all-academic selections of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Both honored sailors are competing this week at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Spring National Championships in San Francisco. Sophomore Alan Palmer and senior Lauren Brants sail together in the Crimson’s A-division boat. Both earned All-New England honors and contributed to two national-qualifying performances, including a second-place finish at the New England Team Race Championship.
Palmer concentrates in applied mathematics and hails from Yarmouth, Maine, while Brants is a history and literature concentrator from Forth Worth, Texas. They teamed up to place third in their division at the New England Dinghy Championship.
Oarsmen Noah Bruegmann and Jared Dourdeville are also competing for national championships this week, at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships in Sacramento, Calif. Bruegmann is a junior in the Harvard heavyweight crew and occupies the stroke seat in the third-ranked Crimson varsity eight. The chemistry and physics concentrator from Lafayette, Calif., was named to the All-Ivy second team after helping the Crimson varsity to a runner-up finish at Eastern Sprints. He has helped the boat to a 6-0 dual record so far.
Dourdeville helped the lightweight varsity eight go 8-1 in dual races and finish second at Sprints. He earned second-team All-Ivy distinction and helped the Crimson win the Jope Cup as lightweight team champion at Sprints. The engineering sciences concentrator and Marion, Mass., native is part of a boat that takes a No. 2 national ranking into the IRA regatta.
Senior captain Anna Kendrick, a history and literature concentrator from Boston, helped lead the Radcliffe heavyweight crew to its third straight appearance at the NCAA Championships this season. An All-America pick last year, Kendrick recently received her second All-New England and Scholar-Athlete honors and earned second-team All-Ivy status with the varsity eight’s runner-up Sprints finish. She helped the Black and White reach No. 5 in the national rankings this season.
Senior Emily Balmert is Harvard’s only four-time first-team All-Ivy golfer and has helped lead the Crimson to its first two Ivy championships the past two seasons. A biology concentrator from El Cajon, Calif., Balmert was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2006 and has won four tournaments during her career.
Sophomore Alexei Chijoff-Evans of the Harvard men’s tennis team was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection in singles and garnered second-team honors in doubles. In singles, he carried a 14-5 dual record, including 12-2 at the No. 2 position and went undefeated (7-0) during league play. The anthropology concentrator from Plano, Texas went 21-14 in doubles and teamed up with senior Chris Clayton to win the ITA Northeast Regional in the fall.
Sam Slaughter is a senior captain on the Harvard men’s lacrosse team, which climbed as high as No. 11 in the national rankings this season. The Wilton, Conn., native studies economics and was a part of a Crimson defense that ranked third in the nation. He was selected to the All-Ivy second team, the All-New England first team and the roster for the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association North-South All-Star game.
Spring 2009 Academic All-Ivy League Team
Noah Bruegmann, Men’s Heavyweight Crew (Jr.; Chemistry & Physics; Lafayette, Calif.)
Alexei Chijoff-Evans, Men’s Tennis (So.; Anthropology; Plano, Texas)
Jared Dourdeville, Men’s Lightweight Crew (So.; Engineering Sciences; Marion, Mass.)
Alan Palmer, Coed Sailing (So.; Applied Mathematics; Yarmouth, Maine)
Sam Slaughter, Men’s Lacrosse (Sr.; Economics; Wilton, Conn.)
Emily Balmert, Women’s Golf (Sr.; Biology; El Cajon, Calif.)
Lauren Brants, Coed Sailing (Sr.; History & Literature; Fort Worth, Texas)
Becky Christensen, Women’s Track and Field (Sr.; Psychology; Celina, Texas)
Anna Kendrick, Women’s Heavyweight Crew (Sr.; History & Literature; Boston, Mass.)
Claire Richardson, Women’s Track and Field (So.; Neurobiology; St. Paul, Minn.)