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Spring 2012
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Alumni News



As the world prepares to celebrate the 2012 Olympics in London, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences reflects on some of its own star athlete-scholars. Several went on to take home medals for their countries, while others made their marks on the ice, in the gym, or as managers for top teams.

Rebecca Johnston ’12

Rebecca Johnston
Credit: Patrick Shanahan

Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Johnston ’12 on the ice with the Cornell women’s hockey team.

Canadian Rebecca Johnston ’12 has been playing hockey since she was 4 years old, including many years competing on Ontario boys’ teams before joining the Cornell women’s hockey team in 2007 as a forward. After two impressive seasons with Cornell—she led the Big Red in both goals and points—scouts picked Johnston to try out for a spot on Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The decision to take a year off from Cornell paid off handsomely: The team won the gold. Johnston was the second Cornell women’s hockey player to compete in the Olympics, joining Dana Antal, who played in 2002 in Salt Lake City to win a gold medal with Team Canada.
Morgan Uceny
Credit: Cornell Athletics

Olympic hopeful Morgan Uceny ’07 was a four-time All-American when she ran at Cornell.

Morgan Uceny ’07

Fans of track star Morgan Uceny ’07 are hoping 2012 is the year for Big Red gold. Uceny, a communications graduate with a minor in applied economics and management, will be trying in late June to qualify for the London Olympic Games in the 1,500 meter. Uceny won the 1,500 at the 2011 Diamond League and is the reigning “world’s best” in her distance, according to Track & Field News. At Cornell, Uceny was a four-time All-American. She now trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., under coach Terrence Mahon.

Kyle Dake
Credit: Lindsey Mechalik

Kyle Dake ’13 made wrestling history when he won the NCAA Div. 1 National Championship at the 157-pound weight class.

Kyle Dake ’13

At the NCAA tournament in St. Louis on March 17, Kyle Dake ’13, development sociology, became the first wrestler to win three national titles in three different weight classes. That win also scored him one of 10 wildcard positions for the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in men’s freestyle, which will be held April 21-22. Wrestling at 157 pounds for the Big Red, Dake went 35-0 this season. Last season he won the title at 149 pounds, and as freshman he took it at 141 pounds. Dake, along with Cam Simaz ’12 and Steve Bosak ’12, nutrition and business management, also set a Cornell record by winning three NCAA national titles. “It’s amazing to do something that no other wrestler has been able to do, and I don’t think that I could have done what I have at any other university,” Dake said.


CALS Olympians

Walker Smith ’20
Track and Field (1920 Belgium)

John “Jack” Watt ’18
Track and Field (1920 Belgium)

Walter Wright ’24
Wrestling (1924 Paris)

Peter Sparhawk ’54
Rowing (1956 Melbourne)

Al Hall ’56
Track and Field (1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome, 1964 Tokyo, 1968 Mexico City)

David Auble ’60
Wrestling (1964 Tokyo)

Kevin Freeman ’63
Equestrian (1964 Tokyo, 1968 Mexico, 1972 Munich)

Dick Edmunds ’69
Rowing (1968 Mexico)

Marion Greig ’76
Rowing (1976 Montreal)

Pete Pfitzinger ’79, MBA ’82
Track and Field (1984 Los Angeles)

Darren Eliot ’83
Ice Hockey (1984 Sarajevo)

Curt Hampstead ’86
Track and Field (1988 Seoul)

Kent Manderville ’93
Ice Hockey (1992 Albertville)

Tom Murray ’91, MS ’01
Rowing (1996 Atlanta)

Joe Nieuwendyk ’88
Ice Hockey (1998 Nagano, 2002 Salt Lake City)

Travis Mayer ’05
Freestyle Skiing (2002 Salt Lake City, 2006 Turin)

Ken Jurkowski ’03
Rowing (2008 Beijing)

Jennifer Kaido ’03
Rowing (2008 Beijing)

Rebecca Johnston ’12
Ice Hockey (2010 Vancouver)