Since its inception in 1954, Sports Illustrated has been one of the leading sports magazines on the market. Covering everything from professional to NCAA Div. I sports, Sports Illustrated has almost everything the avid sports fan can ask for. In 1956, Sports Illustrated adopted a column that allowed it to focus not simply on the upper echelon of professionals, but on amateur and non-professional athletes. “Faces in the Crowd” allowed Sports Illustrated to laud both high school and collegiate athletes – for example, NCAA Div. III athletes from Williams – for their accomplishments. Coincidentally, Williams athletes have been featured many times since the columns inception.
In the past 59 years, over 15,000 athletes and coaches have been featured in “Faces in the Crowd.” And since 1989, 41 of these have come from the Purple Valley. Over the past 26 years, seven coaches and 34 athletes have been given this much-coveted honor, with 21 women and 20 men receiving recognition. Of Williams’ athletic teams, women’s swimming and diving has had the most honorees. Four swimmers, one diver and two coaches have been inducted. Yet the most recent addition to “Faces in the Crowd” is not on women’s swimming and diving. Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, and a member of women’s golf, Cordelia Chan ’19 is the most recent Eph to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated.
As soon as Chan stepped on the fairway at Taconic Golf Course, she forever altered the history of the women’s golf program. The excerpt on Chan in last Monday’s issue of “Faces in the Crowd” reads, “Chan, a freshman at Williams, the defending [NCAA] Div. III champion, shot a one-over 145 to win the Mount Holyoke Invitational at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass. Her second-round 68 set a school record. Chan finished the season with a stroke average of 77.70 and was named NESCAC rookie of the year.” Chan won herself two Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association Rookie of the Month awards, for both September and October. Chan also took home first prize at the inaugural NESCAC Championship for women’s golf.
“I actually didn’t know what it was when I first found out,” Chan said about the honor. “It was only when everyone started texting me that I [understood] how exciting this election was. This fall season has been unbelievable; we were undefeated with one girl medaling at each tournament. I’ve never been on such a dominating team and it feels great. I definitely want to keep working on my game to eliminate the big numbers and hopefully our team will get another bid to Nationals!”
By receiving this nationally recognized honor, Chan joins a bevy of Williams athletes, old and new. Steve Kuster, the head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving, has been honored along with Aaron Kelton, head coach of football. Mike Russo, the recently retired head coach of men’s soccer, has been honored along with the head coach of women’s tennis, Allison Swain ’01. Chan is the first Williams athlete to be lauded this year, following Sarah Thompson ’15, a member of women’s swimming and diving, who was given the honor last spring.
In the past ten years, athletes Jenn Campbell ’05 of women’s swimming, Bryan Chow ’13 of men’s tennis, Caroline Cretti ’06 of women’s cross country and women’s track and field, Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 of women’s cross country and women’s track and field, Darren Hartwell ’13 of football, Joey Lye ’09 of softball and women’s ice hockey, Amanda Nicholson ’09 of women’s swimming, Ryan Malo ’11 of wrestling, Trey Meyer ’13 of men’s tennis, Lindsay Payne ’06 of women’s tennis, Lauren Sinnenberg ’10 of women’s soccer and Logan Todhunter ’12 of women’s swimming have all been featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”