Ivy League Release
PHILADELPHIA - The Ivy League released its list of student-athletes selected for Academic All-Ivy honors for the 2011-12 winter season. The 80 men and women, 10 of which were from Penn, were starters or key reserves on an officially recognized varsity team with 3.0 or better cumulative grade point averages. Each institution nominated five men and five women from its winter student-athletes.
Amrit Bhinder finished her junior campaign as an All-American for the second year in a row, after placing 12th in women’s epee at the NCAA Fencing Championships with 12 victories. Her performance at the Championships was part of a 16-win improvement for the women’s fencing team compared to just one year ago at the same event. Bhinder won over 75% of her matches this season and was named Second Team All-Ivy after going 13-5 at the Round Robins, including nine consecutive wins to close out.
Two-time first-team All-American Rachael Goh compiled an 11-5 record this season for the women’s squash team. She played primarily at No. 2, but spent part of her season at No. 1. Goh has been named to the All-Ivy team in each of the past two seasons and has compiled 38 wins through her first three seasons at Penn. She helped her team finish the year in fifth place at the Howe Cup and advanced to the Round of 16 at the CSA Individual Championships this past season.
Zane Grodman put the finishing touches on his Penn fencing career by making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships, finishing with 10 wins on the national stage and placing 15th in the men’s foil competition. On the season, Grodman captured 43 bout victories for the Quakers and helped the squad along during a 16-0 start to the year that saw them become the nation’s last undefeated team. Penn finished the year in seventh place nationally.
Jess Knapp, a senior forward on the women’s basketball team, played the final 13 games of the season on two torn knee ligaments. But the two-time team captain still finished in the top 10 in the Ivy League in rebounding (8th) and blocks (7th). Knapp scored in double figures six times and had two double-doubles in 2011-12 as the Quakers finished with their highest win total since the 2004-05 season. Knapp, who missed her entire freshman campaign with a torn ACL, led the team in blocks in each of her three seasons and finished her career ranked fourth all-time at Penn with 96 blocked shots.
Thomas Mattsson was a captain on the men’s squash team this past season. The senior played No. 1 in each of his four seasons at Penn. He compiled a team-high eight victories at the top of the ladder this year and advanced to the CSA Individual Championships. At the individual championships, he won two matches in the consolation bracket, advancing to the first round consolation semifinals. Mattsson was also named first-team All-Ivy for the first time in his career this season.
Brendan McHugh ends his time at Penn as the most decorated swimmer in school history, with six individual Penn records to his credit as well as another four as part of relay teams. A two-time Ivy League champion in the 100 Breaststroke, McHugh qualified to swim three events at the 2012 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, finishing 14th in the 100 and 200 Breaststrokes to earn Honorable Mention All-America in each. McHugh will continue his swimming career this summer, taking part in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.
Catherine Okoukoni has cemented herself as one of the top jumpers in Penn women’s track and field history. Most recently, she earned second-team All-Ivy honors at the 2012 Indoor Heptagonal Championships. With that performance, she finished her indoor career ranked third all-time at Penn in the event (12.45m). Entering her final outdoor season in the Red and Blue, she currently owns the eighth-best jump in the history of the program. In addition, she was also a member of the outdoor 4x200 and indoor 4x400 relay teams that rank among the Top 5 in school history.
Zack Rosen was a unanimous selection as the Ivy League Player of the Year and first-team All-Ivy in men’s basketball, and the senior guard was also an All-District selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as well as an ECAC All-Star. He will graduate as the Penn men's basketball program's all-time leader in assists (588), games started (115) and minutes played (4,198), and his point total (1,723) is third behind only Ernie Beck and Ugonna Onyekwe. This season, Rosen set program single-season marks for assists (173), starts (33) and minutes played (1,259), while his point total (602) was the best since Tony Price scored 633 points in 1978-79. Rosen also hit 75 three-point field goals in 2011-12, the seventh-best single-season total in program history.
Erich Smith picked a great time to peak in his collegiate wrestling career, finishing his senior season in style with a trip to the NCAA Championships. Penn’s starter at 184 pounds all season, Smith entered the 2012 EIWA Championships unseeded and needing a deep run to qualify for his first national tournament appearance. After a loss in the first round to the top seed, Smith rattled of four wins in a row to finish in third place and automatically qualify for NCAAs. At the national tournament, Smith won his first match, 6-4, against Kevin Radford of Arizona State, capping his career with a 20-18 record this season.
A junior captain on the gymnastics team, Kirsten Strausbaugh competed in the all-around a team-high eight times this season. Recently, it was announced that she was selected to compete at the NCAA Regional meet in the all-around. At the ECAC Championships, Strausbaugh won the uneven bars and floor exercise to help her team capture its first ECAC title since 2004. She also won floor exercise and finished second in the all-around at Ivy Classic, helping the team win back-to-back titles for the first time since the 2000 season.