Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame Welcomes Seven New Members

Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame Welcomes Seven New Members

The 2015 Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame Class (David Silverman).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - On Friday, Oct. 23, Harvard Athletics recognized seven new members inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame at a dinner and ceremony held at the Harvard Club of Boston. Below is a brief recap of each inductee’s accomplishments during their respective Harvard careers.

Deborah Abeles ’00, Softball
Deborah Abeles is no stranger to the record books.  Maintaining the top spot in assists in a season (119 - 1997), total bases in a season (126 - 1998), and career triples (13), Abeles’ name still appears amongst the best of the best a total of 48 times.  As a freshman in 1997, she was tasked with playing shortstop, a position she was not familiar with prior to Harvard, and finished her first season as the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.  She earned a spot on the second team All-Ivy squad, and led the league in RBI (37).  In her second year, Abeles was the only Harvard player to start or play in all 56 games.  She set the single-season and career records for home runs (10, 13) and RBI (53, 90), and earned All-Ivy first team honors while leading the team with a strong batting average (.423) and to an undefeated Ivy League season, securing the title for the first time in Harvard history. 

Abeles continued to lead as a junior with a league-topping batting average (.411), and she set new Harvard records for hits (71), RBI (53) and home runs (10) in a season while becoming the program’s career leader in RBI (108). Abeles earned All-Ivy first team honors, and helped the squad finish second in the Ivy League.

Abeles ended her collegiate career again on the first team All-Ivy squad, and was named the Ivy League Player of the Year after helping Harvard to an 11-1 record and a second Ivy League championship.  Abeles also excelled amongst her classmates as the Mary G. Paget Prize Award Winner, given annually to the senior female athlete who has contributed the most to women’s athletics.

Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00, Football
Isaiah Kacyvenski made a lasting impact as a four-year letterwinner with the Harvard football program.  The first to ever start all 40 games in a four-year career at Harvard, Kacyvenski was an immediate and consistent contributor for the Crimson.  As a freshman he was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year while also earning an honorable mention All-Ivy nod.  His sophomore year was a memorable one for Harvard football, winning the Ivy League with a perfect 7-0 record against conference opponents and personally landing a spot on the All-Ivy first team.

He also received first team All-Ivy accolades his junior and senior years, and was the recipient of the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award as Harvard’s MVP after setting the school record for tackles in a season (108) as a junior.  He broke his own mark the following year (135), which helped him earn recognition as a first team All-America selection. 

Kacyvenski was recognized as the most outstanding male athlete in the senior class as the William J. Bingham Award winner in 2000.  His reign lives on, as he still holds the top two spots for tackles in a game (20 - 1999 versus Colgate, 1999 versus Fordham), tackles in a season (135 - 1999), and career tackles (395).

Joseph Killar ’00, Wrestling
Joey Killar was one of the most fearsome wrestlers to ever put on a Harvard singlet. His accolades on the mat also make him one of the most decorated Harvard wrestlers of all-time. As a four-year letterwinner, Joey placed in the top six during each of his EIWA Championship appearances. More impressively, during his junior and senior campaigns, he won the EIWA title. Joey carried this success to the national stage where he became a two-time All-American, placing sixth his junior year and eighth his senior year at the NCAA Championships. He is one of five Harvard wrestlers to ever earn All-America status twice.

Killar finished his career with 101 wins and 25 falls, ranking eighth and fourth, respectively, in Harvard history.

Throughout his impressive career, Killar was also recognized with Ivy League honors. In 1997, he was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, making him just one of 10 Harvard wrestlers to ever receive this honor. Additionally, he was a first team All-Ivy selection in both 1997 and 2000, making him the 12th wrestler in Harvard history to receive this honor twice.

Jessica Larson ’00, Women’s Soccer
It takes a lot to stand out on a team that wins four straight Ivy League championships, but Jessica Larson did just that, helping to propel the Crimson to four NCAA tournament appearances including reaching the third round in 1997.

As a freshman and sophomore she earned All-Ivy second team honors, while finding her way on to the first team as a junior. Additionally, Larson was named to the Soccer Buzz All-Northeast and NSCAA All-Northeast second teams.

Though her position in the backfield did not lend itself to registering stats, Larson earned an impressive amount of accolades, all supporting the claim that she was the best sweeper in the Ivy League.  Her senior year she earned Ivy League Player of the Year, as well as a spot on the All-Ivy first team to top it all off.

Tim Martin-Vasquez ’00, Men’s Swimming and Diving
Tim Martin-Vasquez graduated as the fastest distance freestyle swimmer in Harvard history.  He made an immediate splash as a freshman, winning the 1,000 meter freestyle at the Eastern Conference Championships, and is the only three-time conference champion in the event (1997, 1998, 2000).  Recognition both in the league and nationally started that same year, as he earend a total of six All-Ivy first team, two All-Ivy second team, and seven All-America nods.  

In 1997, he was named All-Ivy first team in the 1,000 freestyle, and earned All-America honorable mention in the 1,650 freestyle.  In 1998, he was named All-Ivy first team in the 500 freestyle, 1,000 freestyle and the 1,650 freestyle, as well as picking up All-America honors in the 1,650 freestyle, and All-America honorable mention honors in the 500 freestyle.  In 1999, he earned All-Ivy first team in the 1,000 freestyle and the 1,650 freestyle, and All-Ivy second team in the 500 freestyle.  That same year, he earned three spots in the record books: first in the 1,650 freestyle (14:58:38), fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:21:73) and second in the 1,000 freestyle (9:01:19).  All of these times remain among the program’s top eight today.  That same year he earned All-America honors in the 1,650 freestyle, and All-American honorable mention honors in the 500 freestyle. 

In his final three years, he won the Phil Moriarty Award, given annually to the swimmer who scores the most points at the Eastern Conference Championship meet.  His senior year, he earned All-Ivy first team in the 500 freestyle, and All-Ivy second team in the 1,000 freestyle, as well as All-America honorable mention honors in the 200 and 800 freestyle relay.   As a senior, he also won the Harold Ulen Award, given to the Ivy League career high point athlete.  Martin-Vasquez’s consistent performances helped lead the Crimson to four consecutive Eastern Championships (1997-2000).

Chris Menick ’00, Football
Chris Menick is remembered as one of the most powerful running backs in Harvard’s history.  As a sophomore, Menick rushed for a then school record 1,267 yards, which ranked first in the Ivy League and 10th in the nation.  He was the first running back to post at least two single-game rushing totals of 200 or more yards (261 versus Holy Cross, 201 versus Brown), and broke the school record for single-season touchdowns that same year (14).  Following the season he earned first team All-Ivy as well as All-New England honors, and was the recipient of the Fredrick Greeley Crocker Award as the MVP on Harvard’s undefeated Ivy League championship team. 

Menick made All-Ivy second team as a junior, and earned a spot on the All-Ivy and All-New England teams as a senior.  At the time of his graduation, Menick was the career rushing leader with 726 attempts, 3,330 yards, 26 touchdowns and an impressive average of 4.6 yards per carry, and was the fourth all-time leading rusher in Ivy League history.  He held the top spot until 2007, and still holds the second spot to this day.

Kate Schoolwerth ’00, Field Hockey
Kate Schoolwerth made her presence known at Harvard immediately.  Landing a spot on the All-Ivy first team as a freshman, she helped her team go 5-1 in conference play.  Her sophomore year she put up 10 assists, ranking third in the school record books at the time and still good for the seventh spot today. She also earned a spot on the All-Ivy second team, and All-Region second team that year.  Her junior year she totaled 20 points with five goals and earned a was tabbed to the All-Ivy first team and All-Region second team. 

As the team’s top returning scorer and having started every game in her career, Schoolwerth came into her senior year with lots of momentum.  That year she scored six goals and had two assists for a total of 14 points, earning All-Ivy and All-Region first team honors while helping the Crimson to the second round of the ECAC Tournament. Schoolwerth graduated with 16 goals and 13 assists for 45 total points, and having made three ECAC tournament appearances.