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Wheaton Lyons

The Wheaton Lyons represents Massachusetts' Wheaton College and fields 21 varsity intercollegiate teams, 9 for men and 12 for women, in addition to 14 club sports programs and a variety of intramural activities. The school's teams play within the NCAA Division III and in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

Wheaton Lyons
Logo
CollegeWheaton College
ConferenceNEWMAC
NCAADivision III
Athletic directorGavin Viano
LocationNorton, Massachusetts
Varsity teams21 (9 men's 12 women's)
Basketball arenaEmerson Gymnasium
Baseball stadiumSidell Stadium
Softball stadiumClark Softball Field
Soccer fieldKeefe Field (men's) Mirrione Stadium (women's)
Aquatics centerBalfour Natatorium
Lacrosse fieldNordin Field
Tennis venueClark Tennis Courts
Outdoor track and field venueBeard Field House (indoor)
MascotRoary the Lyon [1]
NicknameLyons
ColorsWheaton Blue   and White  [2]
Websiteathletics.wheatoncollege.edu

Background

The Wheaton Lyons finished in the top 15% of the NACDA Directors' Cup in 2013–14, highlighted by women's track and field, which placed fourth in the NCAA indoor championship and tied for sixth at the outdoor championship. Also contributing to Wheaton's point total was men's soccer, women's lacrosse and softball. Men's soccer and women's lacrosse both won the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament second round, while softball earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after a 30-win season.

Wheaton has found success in a number of its athletic programs, starting in 1983, when field hockey became the first Wheaton team to make an NCAA tournament. In 1986, women's lacrosse became the first Wheaton team to advance to an NCAA Final Four. Eight years later, women's basketball made its first Final Four, followed by the 1997 softball team finishing third at the national tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The following fall, men's soccer became the first men's team to make the NCAA tournament, followed by volleyball advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

In addition, men's and women's cross-country, women's lacrosse, men's and women's swimming and diving and women's tennis all have competed in the NCAA post-season. Overall, Wheaton has won eight NCAA National Championships, 17 ECAC championships and 101 combined NEWMAC regular season and tournament titles.

Nickname

Wheaton's mascot is a Lyon, named after founding principal Mary Lyon which can be traced back to the early 1980s.[3] On October 14, 2016, the Wheaton College Athletic Department announced the first-ever mascot name for the Lyon... Roary. Hundreds of potential names were submitted as the Mascot Naming Committee narrowed the searched down to three names: Roary, Lee-O and Wheat T. The Wheaton College community voted for their favorite name during a span of two weeks and after votes were tabulated, Roary the Lyon was officially unveiled during Fall Fest 2016.[4]

Sports sponsored

The Wheaton Lyons women's basketball team in blue away-game jerseys against the WPI Engineers

Wheaton College Varsity programs include baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, synchronized swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field and women's volleyball.

NCAA Division III Sports

Men's Sports Women's Sports
Baseball Artistic Swimming
Basketball Basketball
Cross Country Cross Country
Lacrosse Field Hockey
Soccer Lacrosse
Swimming & Diving Soccer
Tennis Softball
Indoor Track & Field Swimming & Diving
Outdoor Track & Field Tennis
Water polo (in 2023–24) Indoor Track & Field
Outdoor Track & Field
Water polo (in 2023–24)
Volleyball

Club Sports

Men's Sports Women's Sports
Men's Ice Hockey Women's Ice Hockey
Men's Rugby Women's Rugby
Co-ed Sports
Archery
Cheerleading
Equestrian
Fencing
Outdoors
Ping Pong
Soccer
Tennis
Ultimate Frisbee

Women's track and field

Wheaton's greatest athletic success has been on the track, as the women's track and field program has claimed 8 NCAA Division III National Championships and finished in the top 3 at the NCAA championships 6 other times (twice in indoor and four times in outdoor). Starting in 1999, the women's indoor team won five consecutive titles, while the outdoor team won three straight times from 2001–2003.

Individually, Wheaton has more than 375 all-American performances and 64 individual national championship accolades in school history. Highlighting that list is Amber James '04, who was pivotal during Wheaton's run of winning six consecutive NCAA indoor and outdoor national championships from 2001–03. James, a 17-time national champion and 24-time all-American, was recognized by the NCAA as the greatest female athlete in the 25-year history of the Division III indoor track & field championship in 2009. In addition, she was selected to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Silver Anniversary Team, which commemorated the 25th anniversary of women competing in NCAA outdoor track & field championships. She served as the event representative for the 400-meter dash.

Men's track and field

Men's track and field also has been successful, finishing in the top 10 of the NCAA Division III indoor championship seven times, in addition to four top-10 NCAA Division III outdoor championship finishes.

A number of track and field athletes have gone on to professionally train at the World Athletics Center.[5]

Baseball

The last varsity team established at Wheaton was in 1997 in the form of Baseball. The Baseball team also achieved success with the only team sport at Wheaton to advance to a national championship game, which it has done twice (2006 and 2012) in addition to one additional Division III world series (2017). Baseball has also won 14 of the 19 NEWMAC championships in conference history.

Two alums have been in the Major League Baseball (MLB) teams with one being drafted in to the MLB. Chris Denorfia '02 was a 19th round pick in the 2002 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Denorfia spent parts of 10 years roaming the outfield for five Major League teams, most recently as a part of the 2015 Chicago Cubs. In the summer of 2014, Mike Gibbons was signed to a professional baseball contract by the New York Mets, making him Wheaton's first student-athlete to sign with a professional team before using all four years of eligibility.

Women's soccer

Women's soccer advanced to 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments (2000–2012), which was the longest streak in the New England region of Division III women's soccer at that time. During that stretch, the women advanced to one national semifinal (2004) and 3 national quarterfinals (2002, 2003 and 2004).

Softball

Softball has been to 3 NCAA Division III championship rounds, finishing third twice (1997, 2001) and fifth once (2004).

Women's golf

Deborah Simourian finished in a 72-hole tie for the AIAW individual collegiate golf championship in 1975 before losing a 3-hole playoff.[6]

Women's artistic swimming

Wheaton has also had two synchronized swimmers named collegiate swimmer of the year. Gina Lighthall '99 in 1999 and Christiana Butera '12 in 2012. Butera was also member of the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team during the summer of 2011.

Men's soccer

Men's soccer has been to one national semifinal (2003) and two national quarterfinals (2001, 2003) in the NCAA Division III men's soccer championship.

One alum has been drafted into Major League Soccer. Jim Maganello '99 was a second round pick of the NY/NJ Metrostars in the 1999 Major League Soccer draft. In addition, Dan Antoniuk put together a long career in professional soccer, playing with teams like the Portland Timbers and Montreal Impact.

References

  1. ^ ""Y" The Lyons?". Wheatoncollegelyons.com. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Brand Guidelines" (PDF). Wheatoncollege.edu. September 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  3. ^ ""Y" The Lyons?". Wheatoncollegelyons.com.
  4. ^ ""Y" The Lyons?". Wheatoncollegelyons.com.
  5. ^ "Best value". Wheaton College Massachusetts. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  6. ^ "Miss Barrows (sic), Ariz. State Golf Victors". The New York Times. New York. June 22, 1975. Retrieved 2017-02-27.

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