Ricky Mazella & Nick Lovett
Kelly Curtis of the women’s track and field team and Alex Berthiaume of the men’s basketball team have started off the second semester on the right track earning the Springfield Student Newspaper Players of the Week award for 01/19/12 through 01/25/12.
Athletes of the Week for 01/19/12–01/25/12
Kelly Curtis had a fantastic afternoon on Saturday after having a field day in all three events in which she competed. These finishes helped the host Pride to place fourth out of 10 teams with 68 points. The Pride hosted Coast Guard, Tufts, Ramapo, UMass Dartmouth, Wheaton, MIT, Westfield State and Mount Holyoke. Curtis would ultimately finish with two fourth-place finishes in the long jump and 60 meter hurdle events. She jumped 16-feet-eight-inches in the long jump, and finished with a time of 9.47 seconds in the 60 meter hurdle event. Curtis also competed in the high jump, in which she placed fifteenth. The Pride will travel to Gorham, Maine to face Southern Maine this Saturday before their final home meet of the winter season the following week.
Q. What is it like to be involved in multiple events during a meet?
A. It keeps me on my toes to say the least. While I may not do my best in one event, I know I have a chance to redeem myself with another event coming up.
Q. Describe what your experience with Coach Pennington has been like.
A. It’s been refreshing to work with a coach with so much experience and who knows how to set demanding, yet attainable goals. While he may not use the most conventional ways to teach technique, he gets the results he is looking for and he has a good sense of how to peak athletes for their most important meets.
Q. What is the purpose of having athletes participate in multiple events during meets?
A. We have a number of athletes on the team who can compete competitively in multiple events. We also use the smaller meets in the beginning of the season to prepare for the larger meets. For pentathletes, these meets are often less strenuous than our event, so an overload of events can also be used as conditioning.
The senior point guard has been on a scoring tear as of late. In the the last three games, Berthiaume has recorded at least 17 points. All three games were NEWMAC wins for the men’s basketball team (13-5, 5-1 NEWMAC). Berthiaume scored 24 in a win over Wheaton, 17 in a win over Clark, and Wednesday night scored a team-high 21 points as the Pride were able to knock off visiting WPI, earning a big victory as Springfield heads into the final month of the season. Berthiaume, the junior transfer from Division II, St. Michael’s, has flourished in his short time on Alden Street. The 5-foot-11 guard leads the team in scoring at 18 points per game. He also leads the team in assists and steals. The Springfield, Mass. native will lead the Pride in their next game against Babson on the road Saturday.
Q.The basketball team has been on a roll lately. How does that make you feel?
A. We’ve really been working hard on our defense and letting our offense build off that. We have a really good group of guys.
Q.You’ve had a hot shooting touch lately. What is it about the last couple games that has allowed you to score so many points?
A. The whole season, me and the kid from MIT have been switching back and forth as the league leader in points. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team out.
Q.Do you consider yourself a shooter first or do you consider yourself a playmaker?
A. Whenever people ask me if I am a point guard or a shooting guard, I always say I’m a scoring guard. I like to get my teammates involved but I also know when to look for my shot.
Q. What’s your outlook on the rest of the season?
A. I think we have a really good streak going on right now. If we keep playing the way we have been, there’s no reason we can’t win the conference. Our main goal is to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Ricky Mazella may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org