Athlete’s Corner: Field hockey player Emma Kircher shares her daily routines and plans for another successful season.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with sophomore athlete Emma Kircher. Kircher plays defense for the women’s field hockey team and also ran track up until this past season. 

Unfortunately, a fractured back has put her track career on hold, at least for the time being. When asked about short term goals over the next few months she said, “My top goal is having a full recovery and playing at 100% with no pain.”

So far, Kircher’s athletic career has been highlighted by making the MAC Championships for track. She also has made academic honor roll and played in every game for field hockey. Not only has she played but has also been one of the top scorers on the team. 

When asked about what makes her a great athlete, Kircher said, “I stay positive, I am very encouraging to my teammates and a good communicator on the field. I put extra work into practices and outside of practice.”

Outside of field hockey, Kircher’s other interests include hanging out with friends and watching sports, whether it be local sports, Eastern teams or professional. Recently, she has especially been following the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team. She is involved in the kinesiology club and the Nest club and is also team chaplain.

Kircher is majoring in exercise science in pre-athletic training. With early morning practices, classes, lifts, physical therapy for her back and work, it takes a lot of discipline to manage and stay on top of everything. She emphasized working ahead on assignments for classes, going to the library to get work done and keeping a planner to stay organized. 

Eventually, Kircher plans to use a fifth year of eligibility as she will be continuing her education with two years of graduate school. During her second year, she would like to have a coaching role on the field hockey team. 

As far as the future for Kircher, one thing is for sure. With her work ethic and devotion to academics and sports, she will be successful in whatever she puts her mind to.

The “Art Of” Golf: A look at simple yet artistic phenomena in the game of golf.

Sports, believe it or not, are art forms, and athletes are artists. Golfers are some of the most artful athletes in the world, and the art of golf takes on many forms.

Most clearly, golf course architects are artists. They have a vision for the layout of the course and use the land around them to bring this vision to life. They possess the master craftsmanship to create fairways and greens that challenge the golfer yet reward good shots.

Nature’s art complements golf courses, adding to their beauty. Augusta National in Augusta, Ga. is likely the most naturally beautiful golf course. Stunning magnolias line the course in the springtime. Each hole is named after a different flower, some of which are found on that hole or right on the course.

The actual game of golf is quite artistic, too. It’s always said that it’s not you versus the other golfers; it’s you versus the course. A golfer must play the course to its advantages and avoid hitting the ball in a spot that will make the hole even tougher.

It takes artful skill to play different kinds of golf shots based on the ground you are on. A seemingly flat lie can be deceiving; your golf ball might be resting on a tiny piece of uneven land. It takes precision to make clean contact with the ball anywhere, not only in the fairway.

Sand bunker shots and punch-out shots (where you’re stuck behind some trees and you can’t hit the ball normally) require techniques that take years to learn, let alone perfect.

But no matter how much you think you’ve “perfected” each shot, golf will always surprise you with another bad break.

Perhaps my favorite part of golf, and the most artsy, is the style. Of course, I don’t have enough money to buy the nicest golf clothes. However, as a college golfer, I make do with what I have and, nonetheless, stick by my motto of “look good, play good.”

My favorite tournament day outfit is a black EU golf shirt, black pants, white EU golf hat and white shoes. It’s clean, it’s professional and it makes me feel like I’m on the Tour.

But, looking at professional golfers’ outfits, they know how to combine colors and match shoes and hats to look super spiffy on the golf course. Whether it be plaid or checkered pants, bright orange everything or red and black on Sundays, golfers all have their
signature styles.

Just as a painter has their signature style or era of art, a golfer adheres to their style of play (or style of dress). Golf, although a sport, is artsy and beautiful, especially to those who can appreciate it.

Swiatek Makes History: Iga Swiatek becomes the first Polish woman to achieve the number one singles ranking.

Iga Swiatek first became popular when she won the 2020 French Open as a teenager. She was unseeded at the tournament and did not drop a set en route to winning her first grand slam title. After winning a major, Swiatek cooled off for quite some time, but after an incredible start to 2022, the drought seems to be over.

Swiatek came into the year with little confidence after not performing well at the majors last year. However, throughout the tournament, she found her rhythm as she made the semifinals of the Australian Open. 

Starting in Doha, Swiatek began to play unbelievably well and started a 17-match win streak. Since then, her ranking has been rising with each tournament. Swiatek started the year ranked ninth in the world. Now, after compiling a record of 26–3 on the year, she has reached number one for the first time in her career. 

What makes this so significant is not only the personal achievement of becoming world number one at the age of 20 but also that Swiatek is the first tennis player from Poland to ever hold the top spot. 

It became official when Ash Barty from Australia surprised everyone when she retired from tennis at the age of 25 earlier this year. Barty had just won the Australian Open and said that she had to step away from the sport because she could not push her body anymore. With Barty’s retirement and being taken out of the ranking system, it meant that Swiatek would automatically become world number one.

Swiatek had just won Indian Wells to send her to number two in the rankings. She had started with a few tight matches at the beginning of the tournament. Ultimately, she found her form and ended in dominant fashion, beating Maria Sakkari 6–4, 6–1 in the final. 

Swiatek’s amazing performances continued in Miami. She did not drop a set the whole tournament and destroyed Naomi Osaka 6–4, 6–0 in the final. This was huge for Swiatek because it showed that she truly was the woman to beat and she deserved to be number one in the world. 

It has been an incredible year so far for the Polish number one, and she has won all three of the Masters 1000 level events on the women’s tour, becoming the first lady to ever accomplish this. Swiatek will hope firsts like this continue throughout the year as she heads to the clay season, which is her preferred surface. 

Sources: WTA Tennis

Megan Mahoney

Megan Mahoney is one of the most accomplished and ambitious people you will ever meet. She is graduating in May with not one but two degrees: her bachelor’s in English literature and creative writing and her master’s in Arts in Teaching. A Templeton student, she was able to pursue her master’s degree simultaneously with her four-year track bachelor’s. Being able to read one thousand words per minute certainly helps with that! She has worked as a TA for six semesters, in the English department and in Templeton. She’s leaving Eastern with a full resume and more than prepared to have a life of fulfillment and joy beyond university.

After she graduates, she’s moving back to her beloved home state of Arizona to teach middle schoolers at the liberal arts charter school she herself attended and graduated from. She’s specifically teaching poetry and literature: two subjects she’s studied thoroughly and become expertly familiar with through her educational years. I attended a sister school of the one Megan is going to be teaching at, and I can confidently say that she is easily the most capable and qualified 21-year-old applicant and first-year teacher they have ever had. 

Wickedly smart, Megan is also an author. She writes YA fiction and has queried two of her books and will query a third this summer, hoping to be published soon. (Find her author profile on Twitter: @meganwritesYA). Additionally, she is a founding member and chair of the Poikilia Project, a small organization dedicated to researching and developing methods for bringing historically-excluded voices (women, people of color, etc) to the Western canon that we all study to some degree in our formative years. She writes beautiful poetry occasionally in her spare time that she thinks is not great (it is). Even more: she speaks Mandarin and French, and has studied Latin and ancient Greek. Megan has staffed and written for the Waltonian for her four years here, and has staffed and participated in ETHELS for her four years as well. She never does anything part-way. 

She’s a loyal friend, with an enormous heart and a strong ethic of commitment. Megan deeply cares for the wellbeing of her family, her friends, and everyone around her, and she’s giftedly perceptive about the needs of her loved ones. She’s incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about her occupations and areas of study — able to talk about any of them in detail for hours. She is wonderfully faithful and a treasured friend, and her intuition and wisdom is unparalleled. 

If you ever have the blessing of knowing Megan, or even merely meeting her, you’ll know that she cultivates a safe and encouraging space around herself, and you will be affirmed and inspired to move about your life devotedly and diligently. And, if you want to be endeared to her forever, I recommend giving her some dark chocolate or burrata cheese — both is even better.

 

The 2022 Masters at Augusta National: Scottie Scheffler wins the green jacket at the PGA Tour’s biggest event of the year.

The Masters is the PGA Tour’s biggest major tournament of the year, and every spring, invited golfers test themselves against the gorgeous Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Ga.

This year’s Masters champion was Scottie Scheffler, a 25-year-old from Ridgeway, N.J. and an alum of the University of Texas. Scheffler entered the tournament with the number one World Golf ranking and the number one FedEx Cup ranking.

Scheffler was hot coming into the tournament, and he kept this energy throughout the four rounds. He led by five strokes going into the third round, which ended up being a chilly day in Augusta, Ga. Scheffler powered through Saturday, along with Cam Smith, Shane Lowry and Charl Schwartzel, to gain a secure spot on the leaderboard going into Sunday.

On Sunday, Rory McIlroy made a surprising run for the jacket, finishing with a total four-round score of seven under par. Collin Morikawa, who was his playing partner, finished the tournament at four under par. The two chipped in a pair of sand bunker shots on the 18th hole to cap their final rounds.

Scheffler’s green jacket win comes as his fourth PGA Tour victory in about three months. He won the Waste Management Phoenix Open on February 13, the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 6 and the Dell Technologies Match Play on March 27. He has also not missed a tournament cut line since October 2021.

Scheffler was praised for his poise, strength and ability to overcome the adverse weather throughout the four rounds at Augusta National. In interviews after his win, he was vulnerable and disclosed that he was especially anxious going into Sunday’s round.

“I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed out. I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there telling [my wife] Meredith, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this…’” Scheffler said. Alas, Scheffler was ready, and he took the golf world by storm with his dominating finish on Sunday.

Despite the many successful golfers in the field, like surging Scottie Scheffler, Cam Smith and perhaps even Jon Rahm or Dustin Johnson, the talk of the week was Tiger Woods’s return to golf.

Woods has been slowly making his way back onto the golf course after sustaining severe leg injuries in a single vehicle car accident in February 2021. (See “Tiger’s Hopeful Return” on The Waltonian’s website.) Doctors were even considering amputating his right leg, so the recovery was a hefty one.

Woods surprised everyone when he teed it up at the Masters. He played well in the first round and managed to make the cut after the second round. Tiger struggled the last two rounds, but afterward, he still expressed his gratitude and progress.

“Even a month ago, I didn’t know if I could pull this off,” he said. “I think it was a positive, and I’ve got some work to do and [I’m] looking forward to it.”

Sources: ESPN, Golfweek, Golf Channel, Golf Digest, Masters, PGA Tour

Concert Spotlight: Inhaler: The young Irish quartet made a stop at Irving Plaza.

I can imagine that Inhaler’s leading man, Eli Hewson, hates hearing it, but during his concert at Irving Plaza — a venue that his father once graced — he sure resembled his dad. For those that don’t know, Eli is the son of U2’s frontman, Bono. Yes, the band that put an album on your iTunes account is now old enough to have children at the age that they started out. Inhaler, after
years of singles releases, finally put out a full album, titled “It Won’t Always Be Like This,” last summer (the CD is still in the first slot of my car’s player). Now they are embarking on their first headlining tour and have just wrapped up their North American dates. I was lucky enough to catch their show at Irving Plaza last Monday, and what a night it was.

When Inhaler took the stage, the energy in Irving Plaza rose exponentially when the opening synthesizer from“It Won’t Always Be Like This” — the titular track from their debut album — hit. Keeping the momentum going, the band went into the fast-paced “We Have to Move On,” a single that wasn’t on their debut album. The same goes for “Ice Cream Sundae,” which is one of
the band’s lighter songs.

The whole band is great, but shoutout to drummer Ryan McMahon, who deserves a lot of credit for keeping the beat steady. A drummer has one of the hardest jobs in the band, and McMahon never faltered. As a bass player, I also appreciated Robert Keating, whose bass line in “In My Sleep” is the best part of the song. Out of all of the band members, Keating is by far the most active on stage; standing close to the fans and interacting with McMahon on a few occasions.

Unlike some younger groups, Inhaler looks like a well-oiled machine on stage. They’ve been playing together for years, but an almost spotless performance is worth noting. Mistakes are kept to a minimum, and it’s impressive how much the band connects with the audience and each other. Eli has the audience in the palm of his hand — much like his father — and can have people hoppin’ and boppin’ to “Who’s Your Money On? (Plastic House)” and lovers swaying to “Totally.” This is not a criticism of other young bands — being on stage is not an easy task — but you’d swear that Inhaler was as experienced as the Goo Goo Dolls if not for their babyfaces.

Perhaps the only criticism of their show is that it’s a bit short. The band plays for roughly an hour, and that’s including the entirety of their debut album (with the exception of “A Strange Time to Be Alive,” an interlude) and a couple of non-album singles (“We Have to Move On” and “Ice Cream Sundae”). They don’t have a lot of other released songs to play, but “Falling In” was
severely missed.

Just over 20 years ago, in anticipation of their new album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” U2 played a promotional show at Irving Plaza. It’s now amazing to see Bono’s son, who was likely a toddler when his father played there, headline a show there with a crowd of rabid fans of his group. Bono was there in-person, and I’m still kicking myself for missing a chance to meet the Irish legend. And while Inhaler certainly benefits from having the Bono connection (Eli smartly goes by his real name and not “Bono Jr.”), they are talented with or without that connection. Greta Van Fleet is here to save the 70s rock and the spirits of Led Zeppelin; Inhaler is here to save the 80s punk rock scene and spirits of The Cure, The Smiths, and Joy Division. Inhaler is a band still on the rise, and their status as such will only last so long. As the name of their debut album and opening track on their album suggests, “it won’t always be like this,” and they’re going to become a household name sooner than later.

Cole Patti

My plan after graduation is to get a part time job while I begin to study for two tests that will allow me to manage a client’s assets and be a financial planner. I have a trade broker company that is sponsoring me to take the tests and work under a financial planner, who will mentor me for about a year until I am able to do it on my own. My goal is to eventually start a business that is related to my major, which is Communications Digital/Emerging Media. 

My time at Eastern has been a blessing and I am pleased with what I have learned and accomplished in my time here. Academically, I have really enjoyed being a part of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern. Taking some of the courses through Templeton really helped me to grow as a person and solidify what I believe. I also spent a year on the council for THC and was able to help plan events and other activities for it.

Another thing that I have enjoyed at Eastern is being in SGA. As a sophomore I was the treasurer for the class and I enjoyed being a voice for the community at Eastern. My Junior and Senior year I served as the class president. Throughout my time in SGA, I have been able to work with a wonderful group of people in my Senate and put on a number of events for our class. 

Since my Sophomore year I have been an RA on campus in Gough, KG and Sparrowk. Being an RA has really helped me to grow as an individual and I have learned so many important things such as setting boundaries and time management. 

For a year at Eastern I was also the President of Bridges Club. Bridges was important to me because the club was for International students here at Eastern and I have always had a heart to make them feel welcome and that they belong. We met once a week and had different events to share everyone’s culture through music, food, games, dancing, etc. 

I was also on the men’s tennis team here at Eastern. I started as a Freshman playing number three singles and I moved up to first singles Sophomore year before covid interrupted our season. My Junior year I was not able to play because of injury. This year I was able to return and have been playing second singles. 

This past semester I became the editor for the sports section of the Waltonian and I have had a lot of fun with it. Growing my skills as a writer and learning to better communicate with people on deadlines and other issues has helped prepare me for a job. 

My time at Eastern has been great and I am pleased with what I have been able to accomplish. Above everything, I am happy to have met so many great people and made many friendships that will hopefully continue beyond graduation.

Darryl Mackey

I’m Darryl Mackey, the Web Editor for The Waltonian, and I was the Interim Sports Editor for a short time before we found a replacement. I’m a senior Communication Studies major in Digital and Emerging Media with a minor in Marketing. During my time here at Eastern, I didn’t do much outside, having fun with my friends and focusing on classwork. Although, I will say my favorite year here has to be my senior year, due to my time with The Waltonian and my internship for the Athletics Department.

During my senior year, I accomplished a lot and tried new things. While being asked to join The Waltonian multiple times years prior, I decided to join the team. My experience with The Waltonian has been enjoyable, and I have met many brilliant people that I wish nothing but the best for them. While being the Web Editor throughout the year, I wanted to make everyone’s job easier while handling online submissions, social media updates, and even changing the old boring website design to be more modern. When editors struggled, I tried to help them the best way I could to make things easier for all. While I’ve only been with The Waltonian for a year, I wish I had been with them years before.

While lacking time or motivation to write what I cared about, I steered away from sports blogging. However, with The Waltonian, I wrote stories for Marin Dremock and Cole Patti, which made me gain back what I believed I lost. I thank The Waltonian, its members, and Dr. Jung for believing in me to be the web and sports editor and write stories for the other sections. 

I plan to continue writing sports articles after graduation for the Eastern University Athletics Communication Department. I am the intern for Dan Mouw and worked alongside him and Sean Douglas. In addition, I am the sports photographer and volleyball stat keeper for Eastern, and I’m truly blessed by making their jobs easier. I’ve learned so much from them, and I plan to continue working with them after graduation. I’m grateful to both The Waltonian and the Athletic Department for making my senior year and college experience something to remember.

NBA Playoffs Are Here: A student provides insight on must-see playoff matchups and who is dealing with the most pressure.

The NBA Playoffs are finally here after the great showing teams in the play-in tournament gave viewers. In the play-in tournament, the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks cemented their spot for the playoffs. Here are matchups that viewers should watch.

One matchup to view is the second seed Memphis Grizzlies against the seventh seed Timberwolves. This series has two of the most popular teams in the NBA, with both having talented young players that have taken the league by storm. With the Timberwolves, who have Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell alongside a formidable roster led by trash talker Patrick Beverley. On the other side of the court, the Grizzlies have a young and gritty team led by All-Star point guard Ja Morant who has made a jump to become one of the best players in the NBA.

Another must-watch matchup is the second seed Boston Celtics against the seventh seed Brooklyn Nets. This series has a lot of traction; the Nets’ star point guard Kyrie Irving makes his return to face his former team. Boston fans and Irving have a heated relationship with Irving leaving the Celtics and even stepping on their logo in front of fans. Expect nothing but boos from the Celtics crowd once Irving touches the floor and the ball. This Celtics team flipped the switch going on an unstoppable run from being the tenth seed to having homecourt as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. With their star players in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the team relies on the production of these two and defense. While the Nets’s Irving and superstar forward, Kevin Durant, can produce numbers, Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown Jr. and Andre Drummond will need to help their stars to win this series. 

Other than matchups, both players and teams have an enormous amount of pressure on them. The Philadelphia 76ers’ recently acquired star shooting guard James Harden has the biggest target on his back. With his constant struggles throughout this season, drama from being traded from his previous team (the Nets), his antics off the court with partying before crucial games and disappearing, Harden’s role in the playoffs is unpredictable. If his performance is not spectacular and the 76ers don’t make it far in the playoffs, expect Harden’s reputation to take even more of a hit.

One team to look at are the Utah Jazz, as they are close to losing their star guard Donovan Mitchell if the team doesn’t help him make it far in the playoffs. Since his early years, Mitchell has found success with the team; while having success, the team has failed in their last two playoff appearances. The Jazz has a deep roster known for their defense and three-point shooting; however, the team lacks another scorer who can create their shot to help Mitchell. Losing a 3–1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the 2020 Playoffs during the NBA Bubble and losing in six games against an injured Los Angeles Clippers team in 2021, Mitchell might find himself walking away from the franchise, as analysts have speculated.

With the 2022 NBA Playoffs underway, be sure to check out the schedule on ESPN and keep up with the latest news around other series.

Sources: ESPN

Mary Johnson

When asked whether I am prepared to graduate, I simply explain that I have 300 unopened emails and several assignments that currently amount to blank google documents. As I hope and pray that no more emails flood my inbox and that words will magically fill my google document, I do find that I will miss this phase of life despite also feeling ready to move onward. 

Beyond the endless quantities of emails and assignments, I have an immense gratitude towards the people I have met through clubs and experiences that I’ve been a part of. As I reflect on my time at Eastern, I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today (YACHT) club, Chamberlain Interfaith Fellowship, A Breeze of Hope ambassadors and the Waltonian. Each club has encompassed a community of people who have invested their time and love into one another, and for that I am thankful. 

In addition to Eastern’s clubs, as a Special Education major, the vast majority of my final semester has been spent student-teaching in a 6th grade intensive mathematics class. Having received special education services for a learning disability in mathematics, I found this experience to be a unique and fascinating parallel between my former experience as a struggling student in math class and my students’ experience in math class. 

Although I am unsure whether I will ever enter the traditional route associated with the education major of becoming a full-time teacher or school personnel, I do hope to work in an area associated with education, specifically prison education. Therefore, following graduation, I will be working for the Prison Education Program here at Eastern (that’s right, I won’t be gone for too long!). Specifically, I will be a Teaching Assistant to several Eastern University professors. 

Before I open the 300 unread emails and fill in my blank google document, I want to conclude with a quote that I hope to live by within my future: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together,” as stated by Lillan Watson.