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Harvard diver working to connect LGBT athletes on campus

LGBT college roundup: Princeton divers Liam Fitzgerald, Charlie Minns look forward to Ivy League Championships

Harvard senior diver David Pfeifer stands on a diving board. Pfeifer and teammate Schuyler Bailar have created a group for Harvard’s LGBT athletes called Harvard QUADS.
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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Harvard senior diver David Pfeifer specializes in the 3-meter springboard, and at his final home meet on Feb. 2, he won the 3-meter springboard with a score that matched his best score this season — 359.55 points.

“My mantra for this year has been that I want to go out with a bang,” Pfeifer said. “To see this win as proof that I am taking steps to improve myself even as a second-semester senior, it’s great.”

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Pfeifer felt positive after winning 3-meter at his last home meet, but he also left the meet excited that he was one of at least five LGBT athletes at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet on Feb. 2-3.

In addition to Pfeifer, Harvard swimmer Schuyler Bailar and Yale diver Wayne Zhang have previously talked publicly about being LGBT. Pfeifer encouraged Princeton divers Liam Fitzgerald and Charlie Minns, who both identify as gay, to come out publicly in this story.

Creating visibility and a connection among LGBT athletes has been a passion for Pfeifer this school year. During the fall semester, he and Bailar started to create a student group for Harvard LGBT athletes that they’ve named Harvard QUADS — queer undergraduate athletes do sports.

The group was recently approved, and Pfeifer said about 15 athletes have expressed interest in the group. He hopes to have the group’s first meeting within the next month.

“There is still kind of a stigma or ostracization regarding LGBT athletes,” Pfeifer said. “That’s the main reason (we) started a club.”

Fitzgerald, a Princeton senior, appreciated Pfeifer reaching out and the visibility of Pfeifer and other out athletes.

“Seeing familiar faces, especially in the world of out athletes, it’s really comforting,” Fitzgerald said.

Minns, a Princeton sophomore who has been out as gay since before college, came in second to Pfeifer in the 3-meter springboard with 341.45 points. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Fitzgerald finished eighth (284.8), and Zhang took 12th place (119.6).

“I was pleased to get the dives I got off, but ideally for later on in the season, I would like to be performing better,” said Minns, who is from Wallingford, England.

The 5-foot-5, 140-pound Minns did the best of the four on 1-meter springboard. He took third place (306.2 points) with Pfeifer fifth (280.25) and Fitzgerald eighth (225.6). Zhang didn’t compete on 1-meter.

Bailar swam three events, and his best result was 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.68 seconds).

Up next for the athletes is the Ivy League Championships at Princeton from Feb. 21 to 24.

The Princeton men’s team missed last year’s Ivy League meet when the team’s season was canceled for vulgar language on an email chain.

“That was a little bit rough, and I think the team has regrouped very well and used that as motivation — both in terms of rebuilding team dynamic and then also in terms of us actually having the chance to compete again and making the most of that experience,” said Fitzgerald, who helped Princeton win Ivy League titles in 2015 and 2016.

The Ivy League Championships will also be the first time that Minns’ mom, Sarah, will see him compete for Princeton.

“She’s been following the results, but she hasn’t had the opportunity to come out and visit,” Charlie Minns said. “I’ve come a long way since I used to compete back home. … It will be nice for her to see how far I’ve come in the sport.”

Princeton diver Liam Fitzgerald, 22, can be found on Instagram @LiamFitzgerald_. Princeton diver Charlie Minns, 20, can be found on Instagram @Minnsy98. Harvard diver David Pfeifer, 22, can be found on Instagram @DavidJP95.

Princeton divers Liam Fitzgerald, left, and Charlie Minns stand together. Both divers identify as gay and are scheduled to compete at the Ivy League Championships on Feb. 21-24.
Submitted

Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT. Results are for competitions that took place Jan. 29-Feb. 11.

Division I

Jace Anderson (junior, Nebraska men’s track & field) finished sixth in the triple jump (48 feet, 5 1/4 inches) at Saturday’s Gorilla Classic. On Feb. 3, Anderson produced his longest jump of the season to win the triple jump (48 feet, 8 1/4 inches) at the Husker Invitational.

Philip Batler (sophomore, Brown men’s track & field) and Johnny Kemps (sophomore, Boston men’s track & field) competed at Saturday’s BU Valentine Invitational. Batler finished 15th in the 200 meters (21.78 seconds). His time is the fourth fastest indoor 200 in Brown history. Saturday was his first meet since Jan. 13. Kemps took 41st in the mile (4:08.91).

Nile Clark (senior, Miami men’s tennis) helped the Hurricanes (5-2 overall) go 4-0 in matches the last two weeks. Clark went 3-1 in doubles matches. He did not play singles.

Konrad Eiring (junior, Illinois men’s track & field) took 24th in the 800 meters (1 minute, 51.08 seconds), matching the previous week’s season-best time, at Saturday’s Iowa State Classic. On Feb. 3, he finished fourth in the 800 meters (1 minute, 51.08 seconds), running an indoor-best time, and he helped the 4x400 relay take fifth at the McCravy Memorial Meet.

Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) averaged 25.7 points a game the last two weeks as the Hokies (16-9 overall, 5-7 ACC) went 2-1. She scored a career-high 32 points in Sunday’s 64-62 loss to Virginia, produced 25 points and six assists in a 90-74 win at North Carolina on Feb. 7, and provided 20 points and nine rebounds in a 73-64 win at Syracuse on Feb. 1. Emery was named the ACC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday.

Bryce Fehringer (sophomore, South Dakota men’s swimming) competed in five events at the Coyote Invite on Feb. 2-3, and his best result was third place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.83).

Dylan Geick (freshman, Columbia wrestling) competed at the Messiah Open on Feb. 3, and he went 2-2 in bouts at 157 pounds.

Emmonnie Henderson (redshirt senior, Louisville women’s track & field) won both the shot put (54-11 1/4) and weight throw (66-4 3/4) at Saturday’s Hoosier Hills Invitational. Her weight throw distance Saturday set a personal record. On Feb. 2-3, Henderson finished second in the shot put (54-10 1/4) and sixth in the weight throw (65-11) at the Power Five Invitational.

Bree Horrocks (redshirt junior, Vanderbilt women’s basketball), Kelly Komara (assistant coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) and Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) saw the Commodores (6-19 overall, 2-9 SEC) go 1-2 the last two weeks. Horrocks played in two of the three games. Thursday’s game against Mississippi State is scheduled to be broadcast on SEC Network at 8:30 p.m. ET, and Vanderbilt’s game Feb. 18 at Florida is scheduled to air on SEC Network at 1 p.m. ET.

John Kim (senior, VMI men’s swimming) earned America East Male Swimmer of the Week on Jan. 30 for breaking school records the previous weekend in the 100-yard backstroke and 200 backstroke. VMI’s next meet is the America East Championships, which start Feb. 15.

Dawson LaRance (freshman, Minnesota men’s track & field) and Brad Neumann (redshirt senior, Minnesota men’s track & field) competed at Saturday’s Iowa State Classic, where LaRance finished 30th in the 800 meters (1:51.42) and Neumann helped the 4x400 relay finish 10th. On Feb. 3 at the Power Five Invitational, LaRance took second in the 800 meters (1:50.0), which is the 10th fastest indoor 800 time in program history.

Alexis Lewandowski (junior, IUPUI women’s track & field) and Kelsey Tyler (senior, IUPUI women’s track & field) competed at different meets Saturday. Lewandowski took third in the 3,000 meters (10:57.24) at Saturday’s UIndy Invitational, and Tyler competed at the GVSU Big Meet in the mile (5:22.15) and the 5,000 meters (18:56.9). On Feb. 3, Tyler finished sixth in the 3,000 meters (10:37.89) at the Akron Invitational.

Kennedy Lohman (sophomore, Texas women’s swimming) won the 50-yard freestyle (23.91 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.41) in a dual meet against TCU on Feb. 2.

Justice Lord (junior, Barton men’s volleyball) and Michael Tyler (junior, Barton men’s volleyball) saw the Bulldogs (5-6 overall) go 3-1 the last two weeks. Lord started all four matches, and he logged two aces and five kills, including the kill that closed the second set, in a three-set win against North Greenville on Feb. 2. Tyler did not play in the four matches.

Michael Mitchell (freshman, Lehigh men’s track & field) took eighth in the 3,000 meters (8:54.82) at Friday’s Bucknell Tune-up.

Tiffany Moore (junior, Sacramento State softball) is not on the Sacramento State softball roster this season.

G Ryan (senior, Michigan women’s swimming) swam two relays in a Feb. 2 dual meet against Michigan State, and the best result was the 400-yard medley relay taking second place. At the Feb. 2 meet, Ryan was honored on Senior Day.

Jaron Thomas (redshirt senior, North Texas men’s track & field) took third behind two unattached runners in the 60-meter hurdles (8.3 seconds) and finished 15th in the 60-meter dash (7.26 seconds) at the J.D. Martin Invitational on Feb. 3.

Drew Davis (assistant coach, North Dakota State women’s volleyball) accepted an assistant coaching position with the North Dakota State women’s volleyball program, and he started in the role Feb. 7. He was an assistant coach with Creighton women’s volleyball during the 2017 season.

Patrick Jeffrey (diving coach, Stanford men’s & women’s diving) guided women’s diver Haley Farnsworth to wins on both 1-meter and 3-meter springboard during Saturday’s dual meet against California.

Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) helped the No. 4-ranked Bruins win Saturday against California 197.750-197.225, but on Feb. 4, No. 1 Oklahoma beat UCLA 198.050-197.950.

Lee-J Mirasolo (assistant coach, Harvard women’s hockey) saw the Crimson (11-13-2 overall) go 2-2-1 the last two weeks. Harvard tied No. 5-ranked Cornell at 2-2 on Feb. 2.

Cale Robinson (assistant coach, Stanford women’s gymnastics) went through a 195.752-195.025 loss at No. 25-ranked Arizona on Sunday. On Feb. 2, No. 20-ranked Stanford won a quadrangular meet with 196.150 points.

Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) saw the Gauchos (3-4 overall) go 1-2 the last two weeks. One of the losses game against No. 6-ranked Pepperdine.

Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) opened the season 5-0 over the weekend with the No. 4-ranked Bruins. UCLA beat UC Riverside 13-2 in 5 innings on Sunday to complete the opening weekend sweep.

Division II

Alanna Carvalho (senior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) scored five goals with two assists in Sunday’s season-opening 25-10 win against Birmingham-Southern.

Kylon Drones (senior, West Texas A&M men’s track & field) won the 60-meter hurdles (8.32 seconds) and took fifth in the heptathlon (4,672 points) at the MSSU Lion Open on Feb. 2-3.

Austin Shupp (senior, Shippensburg men’s track & field) competed in four events at Friday’s Fastrack National Invitational with the best individual result a 14th place in the triple jump (43-6). On Feb. 3, Shupp won the long jump (22-1) and took second in the 60-meter hurdles (8.37 seconds) at the Susquehanna Open.

Mark Johnson (assistant coach, Tampa baseball) saw the No. 2-ranked Spartans go 4-2 to open the season, and it included two wins against No. 16-ranked Georgia College.

Lauren Lappin (assistant coach, Missouri-St. Louis softball) started the season by going 2-2 with the No. 14-ranked Tritons.

DJ Slifer (assistant coach, Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball) went through an 0-4 stretch with the Javelinas (6-18 overall) during the last two weeks.

Division III

Chris Cassingham (senior, Mary Washington men’s swimming) competed in three events at York College on Feb. 3, and his best result was third place in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:17.74).

Kyle Davis (junior, Ithaca men’s track & field) has not competed since Jan. 20 due to a torn adductor muscle, but he expects to return Friday for a dual meet with Utica.

Alec Donovan (redshirt sophomore, Centenary wrestling) went 4-0 in his bouts the last two weeks as the Cyclones earned four dual meet wins.

Michael Drougas (senior, Oberlin men’s tennis) went 1-2 in both singles and doubles the last two weeks. Both his wins came in Oberlin’s 7-2 win against Wabash College on Feb. 3.

Dominick Gutierrez (junior, Lynchburg men’s tennis) went 1-1 in both singles and doubles to open the season. Both his wins came in Lynchburg’s 8-1 win against William Peace on Feb. 1.

Jason Hadley (junior, Mount Union men’s track & field) helped the distance medley relay take sixth at Saturday’s All-Ohio Championship, where Mount Union won the team title with 143 points. On Feb. 3, he took second in the 1,000 meters (2:41.92) at the Wuske Invitational.

Harrison Knowlton (junior, Middlebury men’s track & field) and Tucker Meijer (junior, Amherst men’s track & field) competed at the Cupid Challenge on Feb. 3. Knowlton took 14th in the 5,000 meters (15:17.91). Meijer finished ninth in the 3,000 meters (8:42.74).

Nathan Matthews (junior, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) helped the Tigers (8-6 overall) go 4-2 the last two weeks. He started four of the six matches, and his best statistical match came in Saturday’s three-set win against Sage with four kills and four digs.

Cal Neikirk (junior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field), Nick Vucovich (senior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) and Lucas White Moon (sophomore, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) opened the outdoor track and field season at Saturday’s Occidental dual meet. Neikirk won the 110-meter hurdles (15.33 seconds), 300-meter hurdles (39.87 seconds) and the high jump (6-2). White Moon finished second in the long jump (20-3 3/4) and triple jump (42-2). Vucovich helped his distance medley relay finish second.

Isaac Reed III (junior, Denison men’s track & field) finished fourth in the triple jump (43-0 1/2) at Saturday’s All-Ohio Championships. He took second in the 60-meter hurdles (9.51 seconds) at Friday’s Ohio Wesleyan Open. On Feb. 3, Reed finished second in the 60 hurdles (8.83 seconds) and 14th in the long jump (18-9 1/4), which are both personal-record performances for Reed.

NAIA

Jaxon Cork (freshman, Clarke men’s volleyball) and Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) helped the Pride (9-3 overall) go 5-3 the last two weeks. Cork made his collegiate debut in Friday’s five-set win against Missouri Valley College.

David Gilbert (redshirt senior, Lewis Clark men’s track & field) finished 12th in the mile (4:45.62) at Saturday’s Boise State Challenge. On Feb. 3, he finished 15th in the 800 meters (2:07.23) at the Cougar Indoor Invitational.

NJCAA

Lexie Gerson (assistant coach, Harcum women’s basketball) saw the Bears (16-11 overall) go 3-1 the last two weeks for the four games that results were available.

Layne Ingram (head coach, Lansing women’s basketball) guided the Stars (12-10 overall) to go 1-2 the last two weeks.

Erik Hall can be reached via email at hallerik7@gmail.com or on Twitter @HallErik or Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.