Each week, DartmouthSports.com 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.
Junior men's lacrosse midfielder Rhett Miller and freshman thrower Emmaline Berg lifted their teams to new heights this past week and both earned Dartmouth Athletes of the Week honors. Miller kept Dartmouth in the Ivy League Tournament hunt with a career-high six goals and an assist for seven points in the 15-11 win over Penn last Saturday. Berg was up and down the East coast all weekend as she competed at Penn Relays and won two events in the Big Green's visit to the Yale Springtime Invitational.
Dartmouth Female Athlete of the Week:
Emmaline Berg (Holliston, Mass.), Women's Track and Field, Thrower, Freshman
Freshman Emmaline Berg was the top competitor for the Dartmouth women's track and field team both at The Penn Relays and the Yale Springtime Invitational. She place fifth overall among eastern-school foes at The Penn Relays on the first day of the event. Berg ended up with a mark at 13.71 meters (44-11.75). Her success continued as she swept the discus throw and shot put at the Springtime Invitational hosted by the Elis. Berg helped the Big Green earn seven victories at the event. Field events led the way with four of the seven wins. In the discus, she marked at 41.8 meters (137-02) for a first-place finish and in the shot, her best throw came at 13.57 meters (44-06.25).
You competed at Penn Relays and the Yale Springtime Invitational this weekend. How tough was it to go from Philly to New Haven for a couple of events in a few days?
Well, both meets were a lot of fun, especially Penn Relays. The atmospheres themselves are enough to keep you motivated and excited. I really live to compete and absolutely love doing it, so i thought it was a great experience. It was a little tiring to do both, and I was exhausted at the end, but it was totally worth it and I would do it again without question! If anything, being at the Penn Relays and being able to watch these amazing athletes got me even more motivated to do well in future meets.
You have been a welcomed addition to this year's throwers. How in your mind has your first season been with the Big Green?
Honestly, the fall pre-season was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, both physically and emotionally. It was difficult to come in not knowing anyone and to start training with a brand new coach. Once we got into the winter, though, and started to compete, I became much closer to my teammates and coach which drastically improved my attitude toward the team. I've increased my personal record in shot put by more than two feet and more than 20 feet in discus since high school. I'm in the best shape of my life and have the best friends in the world. So, I think that this season has been a huge success and I am so happy to be on this team. I can't wait to keep working hard through the next three years to become the best I can be for myself and the team.
Is there a different strategy or mindset for you going into the discus vs. the shot?
Yes and no. In both I try to be as calm and relaxed as I can be as I enter the circles so I can focus on hitting the right positions and using them. Discus wasn't my main event coming in, so I don't put quite the same amount of pressure on myself as I do in shot put. I just try to focus on doing
the motions correctly and not fouling (which I'm notorious for). As for shot put, I still try to make sure I get into the right positions, but it's a little more second nature. I just have to be myself and be explosive, while keeping in mind little details to help me throw even farther. I definitely put more pressure on myself in shot put, because I was so successful in high school and I have big expectations and dreams. In the end, though, I try to be the best that I can be in both events.
Which throwing event is your favorite and why?
I would have to say shot put is my favorite, because I have been doing it significantly longer than discus and throw it consistently well. It's something I always know I can do well, so even if I've had a bad day or something, I can go throw and give myself confidence. I also have big goals for myself in shot put, which are great to look forward to and work toward.
Dartmouth Male Athlete of the Week:
Rhett Miller (Dallas, Texas), Men's Lacrosse, Midfielder, Junior
Junior midfielder Rhett Miller had a career day last Saturday against Penn in the 15-11 win over the Quakers, which kept Dartmouth in the hunt for the Ivy League Tournament and with Harvard's win over Princeton and Brown's victory over Cornell, the idea of a tournament has become the best thing for Ivy lacrosse in recent memory. Miller netted six goals, which was the most by a Dartmouth player since 2008. His second goal was a highlight-reel tally. He made an incredible diving move and fired a shot past the Penn netminder. He finished with seven points on the day, which was one point ahead of senior captain Ari Sussman (New Haven, Conn.) on the day and he tallied 13 points in the two wins over Vermont and Penn. Miller is fourth on the team in goals with 13 on the year and fifth in total points with 17. He has set career-highs in each offensive category this season, including goals where he has scored seven more goals than his previous high of eight.
Going into the game against Penn, did the team have a feeling that this was the biggest game in a while for this program?
Going into the game, the team knew we didn't have many home games, and it was important to make the most of them, and especially on Senior Day. We kind of felt as if we let some people down by losing to Yale at home the week before. The fact that a win vs. Penn kept our playoff hopes alive was also a huge motivator going into the game.
Your second goal was a highlight reel score. Is that something that just happened while you were breaking in front of the net or was it the move you had seen prior to going to the net?
Coach Towers has said all season if people press out on us we have the green light to run right by them. It was off a dead ball so it looked like they were trying to press out and cause a turnover. I just tucked my stick and ran and fortunately it turned into a goal for us.
You struggled against Yale, but had a huge day in the win against Penn. What was the difference for you in the two games?
Between the two games, we made some offensive changes. Yale did a great job of scouting and preparing for our offense, and unfortunately for Penn they hadn't seen our new offense before. That gave us the edge and our offense had a great day.
The Ivy Tournament has elevated six of the seven teams in the league and each has a chance of making it. How does it feel to have a chance to compete in postseason and what will be a key to Saturday's game at Brown?
It feels great to have a chance to make the Ivy League Tournament in it's inaugural season. It would be great for our program and the college. The key to Saturday's game at Brown will be our team continuing to come out and playing hard like we have every game this season, and playing consistent and smart for all four quarters.