Unofficial Orientation Series 2018: Athletics/Athlete Life

This is sdz‘s update of wilk‘s short update of D‘s mostly repost of previous athletics unofficial orientation series posts.


This is part of our 2018 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Some of you frosh probably don’t know that WesTech competes in the prestigious NESCAC—the most competitive D3 conference in the country. Despite the throngs of news outlets that flock to many of our sports games, you will never have to enter a lottery system or wait in a line overnight to obtain tickets. We also aren’t like these fans, and we never will be. That’s okay. Do not believe the naysayers who claim that Wesleyan students do not support or appreciate athletics. Little known fact, Wesleyan Football holds a lifetime win record against Michigan. (never mind that our first and only meet was in 1883). I have personally witnessed Wes students get so fired up after a basketball loss to Trinity that we started a “safety school” chant. Not our best moment but definitely an example of caring!

Whether you’re attempting to relive your high school glory days, looking to get or stay fit (the freshman fifteen is real), or trying out a new sport, Wesleyan has what you are looking for!

Bottom of the Barrel D3? How about the top.

These past two years, the Dirty Birds did some real damage yo: In 2017, we had 2 national championships, 5 Little Three titles, and one NESCAC championship. In 2018, we continued to ride that wave. Some might even call this season historic. Some of this past years’ achievements include: The Men’s Lacrosse team won Wesleyan’s first national team championship (They played at Gillette Stadium, ya know). In the fall, the Women’s Volleyball team won the NESCAC Championships for the first time in program history (!), and made it to the regional semifinals in the NCAA DIII Championship. Eudice Chong ’18, named D3 Honda Athlete of the Year, won her fourth singles title and fifth crown. She is the first tennis player in NCAA history in ANY DIVISION (@D1 schools HA) to win four consecutive singles titles. Eudice actually beat her doubles partner Victoria Yu ’19 for the title. Kudos to the both of them for being absolutely FIRE tennis players. Laila Samy ’18, Wesleyan’s resident squash star, gained national attention when she was honored by the College Squash Association the Betty Richey Award. 125 Wesleyan student-athletes earned spaces on the NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team (we tied with Williams ha ha). Men’s Basketball set a program record with 22 overall wins and made it to the second round of the NCAA DIII Tournament. The co-ed Wesleyan Golf team won its first-ever point against Amherst in Little Threes this spring (incidentally, this is the first time a woman has won a point at Golf’s Little Threes). Wesleyan alum Gretchen Misspaugh Cooney ’83 competed in the Ironman World Championships, a super triathlon in Hawai’i, claiming the one spot for her age group. Women’s Lacrosse won its first ever NCAA Tournament victories and made it to the third round. So many more amazing things happened over the course of the 2017-2018 season that were probably not mentioned here. For more info, please head over to the athletic department’s website and their year end review!

Athletics for the Layman

As a member of the golf team, I love my varsity sports, but there is so much more to Wesleyan’s athletic scene!

You may be wondering how far away the Freeman Athletic Center is from central campus. If you live in Bennet: close; if you live in Butts: not close enough. Regardless, here is the link to a campus map if you’re still doubtful and here are the facility hours as an added bonus. (It’s really not that far. Distance is relative.)

Freeman has everything that you need: a weight room, sauna, steam room (yes, there is a difference), locker rooms for both athletes and non-athletes, pool, and rowing center. There is also a field house with an indoor track that has been resurfaced this summer. Do not hesitate to see Joe Fountain, the Director of Athletic Injury Care, or Bob Chiapetta, Manager of Intercollegiate Operations. The former can treat your injuries; the latter can provide you with equipment. Careful though, the trainer might only treat students that are on Varsity rosters. They are both located on the bottom floor near the locker rooms. I almost forgot about this stunner. When the varsity teams are not practicing on it, students are free to use it.

Tennis courts are available for use in the Field House, or out on Vine Street. Just make sure you’re not conflicting with Tennis practice, and you should be good!

Also, somewhere in Freeman is a Golf hitting bay. No one knows where it is though. So good luck with that.

There are a lot of ways to get involved with athletics even if you’re not on a varsity team. Check out this site for all our fall, winter and spring intramural leagues. Intramural leagues are a great opportunity to gather some friends, random people from class, or your dorm hall and having a fun time playing sports like basketball and softball, among others.

Club Sports!

Club teams are extremely prevalent at Wes. We have phenomenal men’s, women’s, and mixed frisbee teams. We also have a men’s rugby team and a women’s rugby team. There’s also co-ed ice hockey (run by a couple of really cool gals!), soccer, cycling, horseback riding, water polo, martial arts, boxing, climbing, tennis, and fencing! These teams definitely require more commitment than intramural, but they’re a great way to make life-long friends and keep yourself moving!

Fitness with Friends!

If group exercise is more your thing, Wesleyan Body and Mind (aka WesBAM) offers several different yoga and cardio classes for students, including free events almost every weekend. I 12/12 recommend WesBAM classes if you have trouble finding time to go to the gym. You can get a package that gets you classes through the semester or pay individually at $5 a class. The classes are taught by fellow students and are incredibly fun if you grab a couple of friends.

Also, if you are female identifying and are interested in learning to weight lift, Meghan Manley ’20, a member of the Women’s lacrosse team, has started a fitness group for womxn! Look out for them at the club fair this fall!

Various Awesome Sports Media

I would seriously recommend checking out the Wes Athletics website and Twitter, as they are really on top of their news and shit and I can’t possibly aggregate everything into this post. 

I will say that athletics at Wesleyan is like most things at Wes: there if you want it, there if you don’t, and you can always choose whether you want to be a part of it and, if you do, there will likely be some super passionate and impressive folks on the teams.

Since there is so much more to discover about athletics at Wesleyan, and I can only make this font so small, I encourage you to explore the main page of the athletics department. Check out the team schedules, new exercise programs, sports class offerings, and much more.

Here’s some dope Wes sports-related media. Also, please feel free to let us know about better and more up-to-date sports media in our tipbox. Or comment below if you have any questions!

Edit 8/7/2018: An earlier edition of this article did not mention the historic seasons of both the Women’s Lacrosse Team and the Women’s Volleyball Team, nor did it mention that it was the first time a woman had ever won a point at Golf Little Threes. The article has been updated to reflect these additions. The author would like to apologize for these omissions. It was not the author’s intention to misrepresent the state of Women’s Athletics at Wesleyan. Thank you to @philo_soph_er for pointing out these mistakes.



Wesleyan Softball Spring Break 2018

This choice content c/o Wes Crew ’17-’18:

Throw Culture Spring Break 2017 (Wes’s grooviest coed ultimate team):

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