Written by Ryan Denholm
The addition of the men’s swimming team and women’s swimming team was a big announcement for the Athletics Department. After an accomplished career that has included competing in the 2012 Olympic trials, Scott Thacker was hired to be the head coach.
At the ODAC Championship on October 29th, 2016 in Buena Vista, Virginia, the women’s cross country team achieved a second-place finish as a team. Kerri Dalton led the team with a first-place finish, and Claire Brooks finished fourth. Dalton earned herself First-Team All-ODAC honors and was named the ODAC Runner of the Year. The men’s cross country team earned themselves a 5th place team finish.
The men’s baseball team had a historic season in 2017, winning the ODAC and South Regional Tournaments and advancing to the semifinals in the NCAA Division III World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin. The team was the first in program history to advance to the World Series. They ended the season ranked third in the nation and shattered the school record for wins with 35, tying the third-most wins record in the ODAC.
In 2018, the men’s cross country team earned themselves a 4th place finish at the ODAC Championships for the second year in a row. One pair of now graduating teammates would finish back-to-back, 33rd and 34th, when Tyler Barrett ‘20 crossed the line just 1.3 seconds ahead of Nathaniel Willis ‘20. The team secured 124 points with a total time of 2:13:23. The women’s cross country team finished 5th with 161 points.
The men’s soccer team got off to a hot start in their 2019 season, beginning 7-0-1. Due to this, the team began receiving votes in the national United Soccer Coaches Top-25 Poll, in addition to ranking No. 4 in the South Atlantic Regional Poll. They ended up finishing the season 14-2-4, making it to the NCAA DIII National Championship Tournament for the first time since 2012.
The United Soccer Coaches College Women’s Team Academic Award began in 1996 to recognize athletes’ scholastic achievement. Roanoke has earned this achievement for seven consecutive years and eight times total (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). To qualify for the award, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Roanoke College Director of Athletics Scott Allison announced the addition of wrestling as the college’s 22nd NCAA Division III sponsored athletic program. While wrestling is not currently a sponsored sport by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, Roanoke joins Ferrum, Shenandoah (2020) and Washington and Lee as ODAC schools that sponsor the sport. Nate Yetzer, who has coaching experience at Virginia Tech, Ferrum, and Binghamton, was hired to be the head coach. He wrestled for NCAA Division I Edinboro University from 2001-05. He won Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference titles in 2004 and 2005 and earned the Eastern Wrestling League title in 2004. Yetzer was a four-time NCAA Division I Tournament qualifier and capped his 2004 season with an All-American finish when he placed 8th in the 174-pound weight class.