University of Pennsylvania Head Coach Craig Thorpe-Clark has announced the incoming Class of 2008. Four new student-athletes will don the Red and Blue for a men’s squash program that finished the 2003-04 season ranked seventh in the nation.
“All four recruits have the ability to make an impact on the line up,” said Thorpe-Clark. “With all of the starters returning from last year’s team that finished ranked seventh nationally, competition will be tough to make the traveling squad. These freshmen have a good blend of experience but all have a huge upside for improvement and are eager to make their marks on Penn squash.”
Pierce Cravens (New York, N.Y., The Professional Children’s School) has had a successful junior career, culminating in his victories in several national tournaments. Although Cravens has not had the constant exposure to regular tournament play of his fellow recruits, his desire to improve all aspects of his game should prove to make him a threat in the Quakers lineup. In addition to his squash experience, Cravens is an accomplished actor, appearing in numerous musicals around the country as well as being featured in an episode of “Switched!” on ABC Family in 2003.
Spencer Kurn (Providence, R.I., Moses Brown School) joins the Quakers as the No. 1 ranked player from the Moses Brown School, an experience which led him to being ranked among the top eight performers at the New England Interscholastic Tournament this past year. Kurn was awarded the Most Improved Player award in the Men’s “A” division of the Rhode Island League in 2003. In addition, he was ranked No. 12 among all junior players in the nation that same year.
Lee Rosen (Linwood, N.J., Mainland Regional) has represented the United States in international competitions around the world, culminating with a gold medal and the Outstanding Athlete Award at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2001. At the 2003 Can Am Junior Games in Chicago, Rosen was named Most Valuable Player of the American team. He has been nationally ranked in each age division since 1999, when he qualified for the U-12 national ranking. In addition to his other international experience, Rosen has competed in the Scottish and British Junior Open Squash Championships several times.
Suleyman Saleem (Larchmont, N.Y., Hackely School) finished his high school career as the No. 1 player on the Hackley School varsity team. Saleem, as well as being ranked in the top-20 nationally, participated in the 2002 Scottish Junior Open and the 2003 British Junior Open. Saleem continued his international competition when he was recently selected to represent the United States in the 13th World Junior Men’s Team and Individual Squash Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Quakers finished last season with a 9-9 overall record and a 1-5 Ivy mark. Penn will return 10 letterwinners to Ringe Squash Courts in 2004-05.
written by Jennifer Hildebrand, athletic communications assistant