The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

What athletes are up to over the break

Rowan Larson

  This article was previously published in print on Dec. 05, 2023.  

As the fall semester finally comes to an end, Hamline’s student body will get a much needed break from the chaos that is academia. For most the winter break gives scholars prolonged time away from the everyday stress of being in college. 

However for some athletes the grind does not stop, as multiple programs will be traveling along with many athletes holding down the fort on campus. These are their stories.

Women’s hockey has been off to a white hot start amassing a 7–2 record thus far, only losing to nationally ranked teams in St. Norbert and St. Mary’s. The Pipers have found their way into national rankings as well thanks to the early success. 

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The number 17 ranked Pipers close out the first half of the season on Dec. 5 versus a familiar foe in University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. When they return from sabbatical they will get the privilege to compete in Charleston, NC. 

“We cannot wait to get to Charleston at the end of December to play Williams College and Bowdoin College in two non-conference games,” Head Women’s Hockey coach Whitney Colbert said.

The tournament will take place just five days after Christmas, a quick turn around that the Pipers will surely be ready for. 

“With any break, the challenge is always coming back in great physical condition but I know our team will continue to do a great job taking care of themselves in preparation for an important second half of the season,” Colbert said. 

The slate of games following the tournament consists of just one opponent outside of MIAC play and then a long 12 game in-conference stretch before the postseason.

“It’s always important to play our best against non-conference opponents and to get the east coast overlap, raises the stakes that much more,“ Colbert said. “We know we have to showcase our best in these two games to help national rankings and we’re excited for the challenge.”

The team trip is the first time the program has been outside the confines of the midwest in quite some time, an experience the players and staff surely will not forget.

Switching over to the hardwood, both of Hamline’s historic basketball programs will venture to the sunshine in Florida to compete in the Daytona Beach shootout. This will be the first time the programs will compete outside of the region post-pandemic.

The men’s program has been off to an expected but nonetheless solid start, sitting at 3–2 with two early MIAC victories.

“It’s kind of been what I expected and we have a pretty experienced group coming back so it’s allowed us to hit the ground running,” Head Men’s Basketball coach Jim Hayes said. 

Coach Joshua Hersch and company meet in a huddle during a timeout during Hamline’s 76–65 victory up Snelling Ave. over Bethel University. (Sam Luhmann)

Back on Nov. 29 the Pipers ousted the insidious Bethel University in the final seconds in dramatic fashion. 

“We got the ball in order for us to get that last shot with four seconds left and got the ball in Brad Cimperman’s hands and he did what he does best,” Hayes said.

The pressure to sink the final shot was not Cimperman’s first rodeo as this was the St. Paul native’s third game winning shot in the last two seasons. The Pipers have three games remaining in the first half, then will compete in the aforementioned Daytona Beach Shootout. 

“We’re gonna go down there expecting to win two games but as much of what those trips are about anything it’s the opportunity to become closer as a group,” Hayes said. 

Following the warm weather and unfamiliar opponents the remainder of the season is exclusively against in-conference foes for the Pipers before the postseason.

Inside the neighboring locker room at the historic Hutton Arena, the Pipers welcomed longtime assistant Joshua Hersch as the program’s new Head Women’s Basketball coach. Hersch was able to hit the ground running at the start of his tenure, leading the Pipers to victory in his first three games. 

The women’s basketball team will as well venture down south after the holidays to Daytona Beach. The Pipers have two games slated versus Desales and Salve Regina before the MIAC play stretch.

Many athletes across other programs of athletics will also reside in the Hamline Midway neighborhood over the break. Millie Grand, a second year defender for women’s soccer will be staying on campus over the break to use the world class athletic facilities on campus while also being a short commute from home. 

“Having that break from classes allows me to zone in on soccer for a while and just really focus on getting better without also worrying about school,” Grand said.

Although there are no official team practices, many of the athletes will stay in the gym and get as much training done at indoor facilities over break.

The Track and Field program will be getting into starting position following the winter break as they will hit the ground running in early January. The first meet of the season for track and field will take place on Jan 12 at the St. Thomas invitational.

With the departure of most around campus after finals, athletics will keep the heartbeat of the institution beating for the holiday season and into January. Go Pipers!–

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