Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn nsellyn@princeton.edu

June 4, 2003:
A gallery of top performers
The P-Nut selects his athletes of the year as only he can.

By Nate Sellyn '04

Kids are packing; grades are coming in; I'm trying to buy a wristband for Reunions... it must be the end of the year.

Another sign of the year's end came last month, when the women's lax squad brought home its second consecutive national championship. That may not be enough to put team leaders Theresa Sherry '04 and Alex Fiore '03 on my list of the year's best athletes, however. Only one vote gets you on The P-Nut's Amazing All-Gallerian Team, and I'm tough to please:

The Whole Team, Women's Lacrosse: Just like Lay's potato chips, I couldn't take just one. Rachael Becker '03, M.V.P. of the national championship tournament? Theresa Sherry '04, the team's leading scorer? Alex Fiore '03, who dominated the tournament final and led the team during the season with 86 ground balls? It's hard to choose when the entire Mid-Atlantic first-team is composed of Princetonians. That's right, attacker Whitney Miller '03, midfielder Elizabeth Pillion, and defender Katie Norbury '04 also made the team. All can start for The P-Nut, and although three are seniors, I expect the others to be back here this time next year.

Yasser El-Halaby '06, Men's Squash: The kid is 18 years old. He's a freshman. He sleeps with a blanket he calls Captain Tickleberry. But none of that stopped him from putting up the kind of season men's squash at Princeton has come to expect. Like the Yik brothers before him, Yasser did everything expected of the Tigers' #1: Collegiate squash national champion; a second-place finish for Princeton in the national team championships; Ivy League Player of the Year; Ivy League Rookie of the Year; and first-team All-America. His dorm room can't hold all his awards. The kid is so good that other coaches tried to stop him by creating visa problems. What's scary is that Yasser has three more years. What can he accomplish? El-Halaby, without question, can become the greatest college squash player of all-time.

Ilvy Friebe '03, Field Hockey: Named E.C.A.C. Division I Field Hockey Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, Friebe was once again the offensive catalyst for the 12-7 Tigers. She was recognized as Ivy League Player of the Year, and gained first team S.T.X./N.F.H.C.A. All-America and first team regional All-America honors. She was fourth in the nation in points, second in points per game, third in goals, and second in goals per game. Friebe has spent four years racking up wins and awards — the kind of player The P-Nut loves.

Greg Parker '03, Wrestling: O.K., this pick might be more to honor a career than a season. Greg Parker is both a two-time All-American and a two-time E.I.W.A. champion, as well as two-time, first-team All-Ivy selection — he pulls in a lot of hyphens. Last year he won the 174-pound weight class in the conference and was an N.C.A.A. finalist. This year he finished eighth at the N.C.A.A. championships, losing to Penn State's Mark Becks — not bad in any way, but disappointing, since Parker was seeded second in his weight class. I've seen him wrestle — , I'm the hyphen. Wrestlers love hyphens) and Parker IS a Princeton Tiger. His opponent literally ran away from him in the ring. The whole match took about 30 seconds. It was like watching When Animals Attack except with singlets. I'm afraid of what the guy would do to me if I left him off this list.

Thomas Pauly '04, Baseball: Pauly was a monster coming out of the Tiger bullpen throughout the season, but that's not why he's here. The P-Nut loves winners, and The P-Nut loves players who get it done in the clutch. (The P-Nut also loves barbecue chicken and redheads, just so you know.) Pauly made the move to starter at the end of the season, and responded with two complete game wins. The second of these came in the Ivy League Championship, where he pitched a four-hitter. His 1.25 ERA is third in the nation. Look for Pauly to make a strong bid to repeat here next year, unless the Major League's come calling at draft time.

So that's my squad. Think some sports lack representation? Men's lacrosse? Basketball? Just wait until next month, when I'll unveil my not so grand "List of Shame." I'll also give an update on my NBA status, including how I've been doing in some of my individual workouts. For now, let's just say this — they're replacing backboards out in Cleveland, and I've still got chunks of glass stuck in palms.


You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU