The D Sports Awards 2016-17: Female Athlete of the Year
Frankie Sands '19 is The Dartmouth's Female Athlete of the Year. She amassed 1,989 total votes in a landslide victory. Rugby player Yejadai Dunn '16 won the award last year. Sands, the center and captain, in her first season after transferring to Dartmouth from Norwich University, was named a finalist for the Sorensen Award, given to the best collegiate women’s rugby player in the nation. In the fall, Sands was third on the team in points and her seven tries was second-most on the Big Green squad. She was also named as one of the team’s captains for next year.
Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20
Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 blew away the competition with her Dartmouth record-breaking times. The Durham, North Carolina native quickly adjusted to the more intense college practices and finished with one of the best seasons 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.”
Rothwell owns four Dartmouth records in the long jump (20 feet, 3 inches), 60-meter hurdles (8.30 seconds), 60-meter dash (7.45s) and 100-meter 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 qualify for indoor nationals and surpass more Ivy League records.
Frankie Sands ’19
Frankie Sands ’19 has dominated the rugby scene since transferring to Dartmouth. The center was named as one of four finalists for the Sorensen Award, given to the best collegiate women’s rugby player in the nation.
Sands was an All-American in rugby and cheerleading in high school and was recruited to play rugby at Norwich University. While attending the National All-Star Camp, a week-long tryout for the U.S. Women’s Rugby National Team, she met head coach Katie Dowty, and the rest is history.
“Getting to know [Dowty] and her coaching philosophy was something that really attracted me to Dartmouth ... once I got in, it was a no-brainer,” Sands said in a previous interview with The Dartmouth on May 2.
In the fall, Sands was third on the team in points and her seven tries was second-most on the Big Green squad. She was also named as one of the team’s captains for next year.
“The Sorensen Award is great — again, I can’t say enough how excited I am about it,” Sands said in the earlier interview. “But being named the captain of the women’s rugby team ... since coming to this team ... for them to have that confidence in me, that means the world.”
Taylor Ng ’17
The native of Haddonfield, New Jersey established herself as one of the best women’s tennis players to represent the Big Green. The team’s co-captain was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Northeast region player of the year and received All-Ivy First Team honors for the third time in her collegiate career. During her final season at Dartmouth, she accumulated a stellar 24-12 record in singles and a 22-12 record in doubles.
But she was not always so committed to tennis.
“I played a good number of USTA tournaments until the age of 14, and then I stopped completely.” Ng said. “It was only until the middle of my junior year that I got back into playing tournaments because I realized I wanted to play tennis in college.”
Ng played many memorable games throughout her Dartmouth career, but her most memorable was her final regular season match against Princeton University on April 21. In that match, the Big Green clinched a share of the Ivy League title and with it, a berth to the NCAA tournament.
“I’ve always been an all-court player with a lot of variety,” Ng said. “Learning to harness different shots and when to use them against different players has been one of my greatest improvements. For doubles, learning how to anticipate and becoming more aggressive at the net has made a huge difference.”
During her four years, she helped Dartmouth qualify for the NCAA team tournament twice while being the first individual to qualify for the NCAA singles tournament in 2015 and part of the first Big Green duo to qualify for the NCAA doubles tournament with Kristina Mathis ’18. She was also named Ivy League Player of the Year in the 2014-2015 season.
Foreste Peterson ’18
Foreste Peterson ’18 was the top skier on an outstanding women’s alpine team that won carnival victories all season long, finishing no lower than second in the team standings of all 12 carnival races. Despite missing the University of Vermont carnival to compete at a North American Cup race, Peterson finished the season with three giant slalom victories and was the second-ranked giant slalom skier in the East.
“I improved my mindset going into every race this year,” Peterson said. “I had a very straightforward mindset that let me trust myself to perform well and execute.”
Peterson came into the season on a tear, with a series of top-10 and top-five finishes in NorAm Cup races before the college season.
“I had a rough start in the college season and crashed in my first two carnival races, which humbled me a bit,” Peterson said.
However, she quickly recovered and performed well down the stretch, winning the giant slalom at the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth and Bates College carnivals. At the NCAA Championships, Peterson earned first team All-American status with a third-place finish in the slalom. She capped off the winter by taking fourth place in the slalom and second in the giant slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf.
Courtney Weisse ’17
Courtney Weisse ’17, an attacker for women’s lacrosse from Westfield, New Jersey, emerged as a clear offensive leader for the Big Green in her final season, leading the team in goals, points and shots. Her 2.47 goals per game tied for sixth in the Ivy League. On three separate occasions, against University of Massachusetts Lowell, Siena College and Cornell University, Weisse tallied five goals.
After beginning their careers under a different head coach, Weisse and her teammates had to learn a new system under first-year head coach Danielle Spencer this past season.
“When you’re on a team with 30 girls, you learn how to manage things very well, and it pushes you very far,” Weiss said in a previous interview with The Dartmouth on April 17. “It definitely hasn’t been an easy year, in the sense of switching up coaching staff, but that has taught me so much.”
Weisse leaves Dartmouth a clear leader and offensive weapon. Her senior season efforts earned Second Team All-Ivy League honors.
“I am really so proud of being on this lacrosse team and learning so many different skills and having so many different experiences,” Weisse said in her earlier interview.