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.
The week saw two young athletes
come into their own, as basketball's Sasha Dosenko (Kiev, Ukraine) and track's Connor Reilly (New York, N.Y.) picked up Dartmouth Athlete of the Week honors. Dosenko,
a sophomore, paced the women's basketball team to a win over Harvard in its Ivy
opener while Reilly sprinted his way to a school record in the 60-meter dash.
Dartmouth Female Athlete of the Week:
Sasha Dosenko (Kiev, Ukraine), Women's Basketball, Forward, Sophomore
Dartmouth sophomore forward Sasha Dosenko (Kiev, Ukraine) led a balanced team effort to give the women's basketball team to a 45-44 win over archrival Harvard on Jan. 16. The Big Green got its scoring from a variety of sources, but Dosenko had a standout performance with 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while playing solid post defense. Dosenko, who rebounded from a tough showing in her last game at Boston College, has been thrust into a starting role this season after playing in only 20 games total as a freshman. She averages 7.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Big Green and at 6-3, is a versatile post player who can step out and hit the three.
Talk about your
individual performance against Harvard, especially the second half?
I was more concentrated and focused on the game. I didn't have the best performance at Boston College [on Jan. 7] and I had a long conversation with Coach [Wielgus] after that. It was time to refocus and do whatever it takes to win and play hard for coach and my team. Everyone wanted it really bad and I needed to play hard.
What did you do to
try to prepare yourself in practice for the Harvard game?
I tried to hustle more and run the floor and took extra shots which is always helpful. Just playing full court in practice was helpful because we ran the floor all week and it kept me in the zone.
We had more than
1,500 people here for the game, how did that atmosphere affect things?
The whole place was packed and I've never been in a gym as packed and it was so exciting. It got the whole team going and everyone was so excited and we really wanted the game to go well.
How challenging is it
to have the team down to only three post players?
It's hard in a way because you cannot mentally relax for even a second and you have to be mentally prepared for every game and practice. We don't have as much opportunity to sub out and watch other posts play.
You didn't play much
as a freshman and now what has it been like being thrust into a starting role?
I think the transition is finally taking hold. I was mentally exhausted by the time we got to the BC game and I just felt a lot of pressure to play well every game and got very tired suddenly. But I figured out that I needed to concentrate more on just playing hard. I am more used to the pressure and getting used to the Ivy League.
Talk about how the
team feels going back into Ivy League play at 1-0
We're just really excited and we have so much energy in us right now and we're supporting each other. We don't let anyone on the team fog and we are ready to work and play hard.
Athlete of the Week:
Connor Reilly (New York, N.Y.), Track and Field, Sprints, Freshman
Freshman Connor Reilly (New York, N.Y.) surprised many at Leverone Field House last weekend as he outdueled senior captain Muhammed Abdul-Shakoor to take home the 60m dash in a dual meet against the University of Maine. He didn't only defeat Abdul-Shakoor, but also passed him in the record books and became the fastest Dartmouth sprinter in the event with a time of 6.88 seconds. Abdul-Shakoor tied the record the week before at Dartmouth Relays, but he didn't have to face Reilly as he faulted out of the blocks. The Big Green might have a friendly rivalry on its hands this season.
Take us through the record-breaking
This race was very important because the week before, at Dartmouth Relays, I was actually disqualified for a false start in the semi-final round. With this fresh in mind, I was primarily concerned with staying relaxed in the blocks and running my own race. When the gun went off, I knew that I had a great start and that just needed to concentrate on my form and run through the line.
What goes through
your head when a week after Muhammed ties the record, you beat him for the record
I never really thought of it in that way. I never 'beat' Muahmmed. In our team dynamic, a win for one of us is a win for us all and I was just happy to perform well, as everyone else did. Muhammed in particular has been very supportive as a leader and a teammate. He is going to carry our team to some great wins this season.
What is your mindset
going into the 60-meters that is different than the 100-meters outside?
Indoor track is fundamentally different from outdoor track in that there are no environmental factors like wind or rain that will slow you down. Even so, the 60m is a much less forgiving race than the 100m. Whereas in the 100m there is enough track to make up for a poor start, in the 60m there often isn't.
The team won Relays
and beat Maine last weekend. What is the key to success for the big Ivy
matchups this weekend with Yale and Columbia coming to Hanover?
The meet this weekend against Yale and Colombia will be a great opportunity to see where we stand in the league early in the season. If we are to continue to compete at the level we are it will be important to keep working hard in practice with each other and coach Ford-Centonze. She is an incredible coach who is personally invested in our performances and has certainly prepared us for a strong season.