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Brittney Smith and Ace Tarberry Tabbed Dartmouth Athletes of the Week

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Brittney Smith and Ace Tarberry     By Dartmouth
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­­Athlete of the Week Archive

Each week, will spotlight two outstanding student-athletes - one male, one female - as Dartmouth's Athletes of the Week. Student-athletes may be chosen based upon their efforts both on and off the field of competition.

Two of Dartmouth's elite student-athletes had a memorable Winter Carnival weekend, making basketball's Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) and skier Ace Tarberry (N. Conway, N.H.), both juniors, the clear choices for Dartmouth Athletes of the Week. Smith, the 2009 Ivy Player of the Year, scored her 1,000th career point and reached 700 career rebounds while averaging a double-double on the weekend. Tarberry won the giant slalom at the Big Green's own carnival to keep his team unbeaten this winter.

Dartmouth Female Athlete of the Week:
Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas), Women's Basketball, Junior, Forward

Junior forward Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) averaged a double-double and reached some career milestones in a split weekend for Dartmouth. Smith tallied 15 points, 13.5 rebounds per game along with five assists and five steals in a win over Brown and double-overtime loss to Yale. In the process, she scored her 1,000th career point and recorded her 700th career rebound, becoming just the sixth player to reach both plateaus. She is the 15th 1,000-point scorer in program history and the seventh-fastest to do so, taking just 81 games. This weekend, Smith recorded her eighth and ninth double-doubles of the season and reached double-digit rebounds for the eighth consecutive game. She played all 40 minutes and turned in 11 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Brown, also securing the game-preserving steal. Smith simply refused to lose in regulation against Yale, scoring all seven of Dartmouth's points in the final 2:33 to cap a 10-point comeback. She finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

You scored your 1,000th career point late in the game against Yale. When did you realize you had done that and how did it feel? 
I heard it announced at some point during the game when we were down by one point and I was happy to have gotten the 1,000 points but I wanted to stay focused on winning the game.  It was great to have done so in front of a large home crowd like Saturday. It made me feel very accomplished and even more determined to try and win the game.

You also got your 700th career rebound in that game. How does it feel to be firmly in the record books of such a storied program? 
It's a great feeling. I have tried to do my best to help the program and my team and I'm glad to be able to do so.

Personally, you have had a double-double in six of the last seven games. What has been the motivation for you this past month? 
I think everyone has a different attitude when conference play starts. I know for me, I get more aggressive and determined to win each game and I think that has helped me grab more rebounds. 

There were two good crowds at the games this weekend. Can you talk about the level of community involvement and support the team has gotten this year?
Almost every home game this year we've had great crowds. The large crowds inspire us to play harder and win games because we know how many people are there who believe in us and personally, I hate to let them down.

At 4-3, what is the mindset of the team heading into the second go-around of Ivy League play?
I came in as a freshman knowing the great tradition that the Dartmouth women's basketball team has for winning championships and my goal was to get four rings. It might sound a little presumptuous of me, but I knew with Coach Wielgus and the kind of athletes that the team recruits it was an attainable goal. We have put ourselves in a tough position with a 4-3 record but we are going to take it one game at a time and try to go 7-0 the second half of Ivy League play.

Dartmouth Male Athlete of the Week:
Ace Tarberry (North Conway, N.H.), Alpine Skiing, Junior

Junior Ace Taberry (N. Conway, N.H.) took a first and third place finish this weekend, including a big win in the giant slalom to help Dartmouth skiing win its own Winter Carnival. The highlight of the weekend was the giant slalom race, in which Tarberry outdueled Vermont's David Donaldson, last year's NCAA giant slalom champion, to take home the crown. Tarberry's two-run time of 1:47.00 was better than Donaldson by 38-hundredths of a second. On the first day of competition, Tarberry finished third in his slalom race, just two seconds behind the eventual winner from the University of Vermont. Tarberry has now won two giant slaloms and one slalom this season; he's finished in the top three in five of eight races, and has finished out of the top-10 only once. His effort helped Dartmouth remain undefeated in Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association competition, winning its 13th straight carnival, a streak that dates back to 2008.

Dartmouth skiing has been one of the top sports here in Hanover. How much fun is it to be on a team that is so successful?
Success makes anything fun, skiing especially, because we train so hard all the time, it's very rewarding. We're all very supportive of each other as well, which would keep it fun even without success.

You had a great Dartmouth Carnival weekend. Talk about your performances.
There's always a little more pressure to perform at your home hill, but we get to train on it so we're more comfortable on it. I was third in the Giant Slalom at the Skiway my freshman year so I knew coming into this Carnival that I could be competitive. All of my teammates who were not racing were up there helping out and being very supportive. There was a lot of good energy on the hill for both myself and my other teammates who were racing.

What's it like being an individual on team sport, when it's individual performances that make up the overall team score?
The team aspect of an individual sport makes it a little different, but hardly affects individual performances. We are all trying to be fast, but we're hoping our teammates are fast too. The only guys I'd want beating me are the guys on my team.

How do you see this year's Dartmouth team stacking up as the EISA season is winding down and NCAA's are around the corner?
We're so strong all around as a team. The Nordic team is doing well as usual, and it's helping a lot that our Alpine team is picking up the pace lately, getting us much-needed points.