The D Sports Awards 2016-17: Rookie of the Year
At the end of each academic year, The Dartmouth’s sports section puts up players and moments to be voted upon by the student body as the best of the best. In the first installment of The D Sports Awards, five of the season's top rookies are pitted against each other, the winner emerging only after a popular vote by members of the Dartmouth Community. In order to vote, students and community members must go to the link to cast a single vote before Sunday, May 22, at 12 pm. The winner of this round will be announced in the Monday, May 23 edition of Sports Weekly.
Vote at: http://bit.ly/2qiFlLW
Charlie Broom ’20
Hailing from Hertfordshire, England, Charlie Broom ’20 quickly became a crucial contributing member of the Big Green tennis team. His impressive achievements this season were affirmed when he was the only freshmen in the Ancient Eight selected to the All-Ivy League First Team and named Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
“I’m glad that my hard work I put in this year have shown not only in my results but also the fact that other coaches are aware of what I’ve been doing,” Broom said. “My will to win on the court is a big contributing factor, and it’s a big part of Dartmouth tennis in general. I try to [represent] a lot of Dartmouth values every day on the court.”
Throughout the season, Broom steadily improved and gained the confidence of his coaches. Starting outside the No. 4 position, he gradually rose in the ladder all the way up to the No. 1 spot. Throughout this rise in the ladder standings, he maintained a winning record of 23-6 that included an eight-match winning streak from Feb. 5 to March 17. After going an impressive 7-1 in tournament play in the fall, he began the spring at the No. 4 position, securing a 6-2 record. He then went 4-1 at the No. 3 spot and 2-0 at the No. 2 position before earning the No. 1 spot on April 15. He won his first No. 1 matchup against Cornell University’s Colin Sinclair and finished the season at the top spot with a 2-1 record.
In addition to his outstanding singles play, Broom also excelled in doubles, playing in all three positions and ending up at the No. 1 spot. He went 3-1 with Ciro Riccardi ’18 at the No. 3 spot and finished the season 9-2 after he began playing with Max Fliegner ’18.
According to Broom, his most memorable and toughest match was against Princeton University’s Tom Colautti on Oct. 21, 2016 in the ITA Northeast Regional Championship. Despite dropping the first game 5-7 and facing four consecutive match points on his opponent’s serve, he rallied to win the match 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.
“I was down four match points on his serve and ended up coming back to win,” Broom said. “It sort of summarized my year — despite not playing the best tennis in some parts of the match, I found a way to win, and it allowed me to get through the quarterfinals in regionals. I tried to just take it point by point and not think about the results.”
Broom hopes to build off the strong year by improving over the summer.
“For me, this summer is very important for me,” Broom said. “I might be playing in tournaments, and the coaches have been working on my fitness, which is an area I’ve been looking to improve. I’m also working on a few other things, like my serve and forehand.”
Hunter Hagdorn ’20
Hunter Hagdorn ’20, a wide receiver from Manvel, Texas, led Big Green football this season with 706 receiving yards. In addition to his receiving yards, Hagdorn rushed for 24 yds and returned kickoffs for 272 more, eclipsing 1,000 all-purpose yards on the season. He was one of only four Ivy League players to reach the 1,000-yd milestone, and was rewarded with the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award for his efforts. In Dartmouth’s final home game of the season versus Brown University, Hagdorn caught 13 passes for 171 yards. Despite his success, Hagdorn is confident he can improve further.
“Just because I had one good season, I can’t be complacent,” Hagdorn said. “I need to work harder and fight for three even better seasons.”
Personally, Hagdorn wants to score 10 touchdowns and surpass 1,000 yards receiving next season, though he places more significance on team success than individual statistics. In his second season with the team, he hopes to become a more vocal leader and help Dartmouth football rebound from a disappointing 4-6 season.
“We go into every season looking to win an Ivy League Championship,” Hagdorn said. “Some things didn’t go our way this year, but we’re excited to go into next season and win more games.”
Hagdorn is thankful for the opportunities he has been given both on and off the field at Dartmouth.
“I’m blessed,” Hagdorn said. “I’m grateful to my coaches and my teammates for giving me the opportunity to succeed.”
Trevor Johnson ’20
Trevor Johnson ’20 has made a name for himself during his first season as the Big Green’s centerfielder. The native of Rye, New York, had a stellar rookie campaign, appearing in 39 of Dartmouth’s 40 games during the season, starting 38 of them. He finished the season batting .250, hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot, tallying four home runs and 21 RBIs. His efforts were rewarded with two Ivy League rookie of the week selections and one co-player of the week throughout the season.
“The whole team and the coaching staff does a good job of keeping it open and making it so that the best guy gets the job — there’s no real hierarchy,” Johnson said. “That kind of atmosphere promotes everyone being competitive, and that’s really helped with me playing.”
At the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, Johnson was an outfielder and relief pitcher. While at Brunswick, he was named the MSG Varsity Connecticut Player of the Year and was named to the All-Metro First Team, Perfect Game Northeast Region Second Team and twice named to the All-FAA First Team.
His transition to playing college ball has been smooth.
“I want to a decently good high school for baseball, so we played some good competition,” Johnson said. “You see constant good pitching and good players, which takes a little bit of time to get used to. But it’s probably five or six hours of your day almost every day, which I wasn’t expecting. But the guys are great, and that’s what makes the experience really great.”
Dartmouth has always been on Johnson’s radar because his father, Mark Johnson ’90, played for the Big Green baseball and football teams, while his mother Jennifer Johnson ’90 was a star for the women’s track and field team. Mark Johnson went on to play eight years of professional baseball.
While Trevor Johnson hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing in the major leagues, his focus for the next few years is on the Big Green.
“Team-wise, we’d like to win Ivy League Championships,” Trevor Johnson said. “We have very good, young classes, and hopefully we develop well. Individually, I just hope to get better each year, adjust more and more, and hopefully help lead the team to Ivy Championships.”
Destiny aside, Trevor Johnson figures to be a stronghold in the outfield for the Big Green for the next three years.
Lauren Jortberg ’20
Lauren Jortberg ’20 tore up the trails in her inaugural campaign as a member of the women’s nordic skiing team. A native of Boulder, Colorado, Jortberg has had quite the eventful 2017, competing at the International Ski Federation Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Park City, Utah, and a second-team All-American performance at the NCAA Championships.
“I started skiing when I could walk,” Jortberg said. “My sister raced, so I kind of followed what she did and I started racing when I was six.”
Jortberg kicked off her season at the U.S. Cross Country Nationals, placing eighth overall in the Under-20 Classic Mass Start Championships, earning her a place on the United States Junior World Championship cross-country team.
Representing the United States at the World Championships, which Jortberg called “the coolest experience of [her] life,” caused her to miss most of the regular season of racing for the Big Green. She spent nearly two weeks from late January to early February away from Hanover preparing and competing, finishing 20th overall.
After the World Juniors, Jortberg refocused on the collegiate racing season. A third-place finish at the Middlebury College Winter Carnival served as good preparation for the NCAA East Regional Championship.
“My favorite memory was at a mass-start race at the [Middlebury Carnival],” Jortberg said. “So we all go at once, and it was 15 kilometers, so a pretty long race, and the entire Dartmouth women’s team was skiing at the front.”
At the NCAA East Regional, Jortberg hit her stride with a win in the women’s 15K Freestyle, leading wire-to-wire and winning by nearly 19 seconds. But at Nationals, Jortberg felt that she had a better performance in her, despite falling during both of her races. She managed to finish 10th in the 5K Classic race.
“A lot of the skiers at the western schools are a lot older and generally European, so I was really excited to feel like I could be really competitive with them,” Jortberg said. “I walked out of NCAAs feeling confident that I could race against them.”
This confidence will be key for Jortberg when competing at the international level. She is optimistic about her next few years competing for the Big Green.
“We have a shot as a team to win NCAAs next year. We have basically the same team as this year and some incoming freshmen who are really good, so I think as a team we can maybe win,” Jortberg said. “I want to get up into that All-American First Team, which is top five, so that would be really cool. No falls.”
If this year is any indication, Jortberg will be a contender whether or not she falls.
Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20
Since entering Dartmouth, Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 has continuously impressed her teammates and blew away the competition with her Dartmouth record-breaking times. Rothwell has had a history of learning fast and excelling despite the odds. In her hometown of Durham, North Carolina, Rothwell holds five different records despite starting track at a late age. Coming in with a mindset of working hard and improving, Rothwell quickly adjusted to the more intense college track and field practices and finished with one of the best seasons ever for a program rookie.
“I just came in with the mindset to work as hard as I can,” Rothwell said. “Freshman year can be a tossup for some people [because] it can go really well or really bad. I’m just really happy I had a successful season and surpassed many of my goals, which was something I wasn’t really expecting.”
Her resiliency and immense skills were on full display at the Armory on Jan. 20 against Columbia University and Yale University — despite facing strep throat symptoms, she completed a trifecta, winning the long jump, 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles. She has also had team-leading performances in both the indoor and outdoor Heptagonal Championships. One of her favorite memories from the season was during the preliminary round of the 100-meter hurdles at the outdoor Heps.
“I finished and came in first, and walked off like I normally do,” Rothwell said. “My coach gave me a look of shock, and I wasn’t sure what was going on. I turned around and looked at the time, and I had blown away the meet record and shattered my own personal record. I was in complete shock that I had [run] that fast, and my coach came up to me and gave me the biggest hug. That was a special moment I will remember for a while.”
The wins at Dartmouth have already begun to pile up. Rothwell owns four Dartmouth records, and even those seem tentative as she continues to re-break them with each new meet. For now, her record-breaking times have occurred in the long jump (20 feet, 3 inches), 60m hurdles (8.30 seconds), 60m dash (7.45s) and 100m hurdles (13.23s). Her 8.30s 60-meter hurdles time beat an all-time Ivy League meet record set 17 years ago.
“I don’t really go into a race thinking I want to break this record,” Rothwell said. “I just go in thinking that I will go in and give it my best with the mindset that I want to become better, and in the process if that means me breaking a school record, then I am perfectly content with that.”
After a stunning first year, Rothwell hopes to continue to improve over the summer and over the course of her future years at Dartmouth. She has an eye on making indoor nationals and surpassing Ivy League records.
“This summer I plan on training a lot with a focus on hurdles and long jump,” Rothwell said. “Next season, a big goal for me was to make it to indoor nationals, which is a bit harder to make. From there, I hope to improve upon my school records I have already broken and maybe break a couple of Ivy League records as well.”