Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Hall of Fame
Remembering Harvard Athletics
Occasions such as these force us to reflect on the past. As I took the time to reflect on my Harvard athletic experience, I found myself smiling at the memories of four special years playing field hockey and lacrosse for the Crimson.
I close my eyes and go back 15 years. I am wearing my crimson uniform with a number 5 on the back and on my feet are cleats that are perfectly molded to each foot. My legs feel strong and ready to run, but the right hamstring is a little tight. In my hand is my lacrosse or field hockey stick, which has come to feel just like another body part. My heart is beating with that magical mix of nerves, energy and excitement. With my ears I hear the pump up songs, finishing with “Don’t Stop Believin.” My hair is in a ponytail, and my mind is calm and focused thinking over my job out on the field. In two lines we walk out to the field. I look ahead to my coaches with great respect. I look to my side and behind at my teammates also with incredible respect and pride. It is this group of athletes who ultimately represent the heart of my sports experience at Harvard.
On the field we won Ivy League titles and were lucky enough to win a National Championship in lacrosse, yet it is the friendships created off the field that I remember most and will carry with me forever. We shared team travels to the UK and Vancouver, the challenges of balancing the academic load with our sport as we took final exams in a hotel conference room hours before a final four game, and many laughs such as warming ourselves in Ocean City, New Jersey by turning on the oven and opening the oven door. I feel fortunate that this collection of women were at Harvard at the same time as I was. To share so many memories with such a talented group of athletes and truly extraordinary group of women was an honor. I managed to hit Cambridge at the right time. I hope Harvard will keep striving towards bringing in this caliber of athlete and person.
Not only was I blessed with these impressive teammates, but I was also fortunate to be coached by Carole Kleinfelder and Sue Caples. They created a dynasty of winning and team chemistry that I was happy to be part of.
As I transition my reflection to my life today, I find myself laughing at how much my life has changed. Our 7:00 am lacrosse practices seemed like the middle of the night and now I have been up for an hour folding laundry, packing school lunches, and feeding four kids breakfast. I used to dread the long, boring bus rides, and now I would welcome six hours of peace and quiet. I once was able to enjoy my own music, and now I am stuck with the Star Wars soundtrack or “biddy biddy bump bump” from a toddler music class. This marks the transition from “me” to “them.” It is now their chance to become little athletes. My youngest Larsen must wear her “soccer uniform” complete with cleats and hairband and is then furious when she can only practice, not play in the game. My five year old, Skylar, is a fireball and asks for five “goal pancakes,” as she plans to whoop the other team. Sierra is seven and most like me. She runs up and down the field tirelessly, yet shies away from the spotlight. My son Derek is eight and already passionate about sports. To watch him walk off the field with tears in his eyes after a loss or celebrate with teammates after a victory takes me right back to my days at Ohiri Field.
I now look forward to a new sports journey with my kids, and fortunately I can share this journey with my husband, Brian. Together we share a passion for sports and for watching the personalities and talents of our children develop both on and off the field. We hope our kids find success on the field, but more importantly we hope they find special friendships with great athletes and great people.
As I complete this reflection of my journey and now my kids journey, my thoughts move to my parents. With them my love of sports began as they encouraged me to play and then supported me on the sidelines at every game. Knowing they were there to cheer me on throughout the game and then give me that hug of congratulations or condolence at the end was such a comfort. Now when my kids look to me on the sidelines I know the joy and comfort it brings to them. So I thank you both for being my #1 fan and for showing me how to be a loving, patient and sporty parent.
I am honored to be here tonight, and I accept this award on behalf of my teammates and my family. I know this makes my grandfather, Tim Clark, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1929 very proud. Cheers to him, my family, and all of the athletes here tonight.