Chronicle Athletes of the Week: Erin O’Connell and Karl Anderson

By on March 8, 2006

Erin O’Connell

Sport: Track & Cross Country
Class: Junior
Hometown: Salem, Conn.
Major: Psychology

O’Connell, a transfer by way of Assumption College, earns her first Athlete of the Week award after re-writing the record books during the New England Championships.

O’Connell, a versatile middle-long distance runner, busted out a personal record time of 2:58.61 in the individual 1,000-meter race. She would finish in third place after edging out Vermont’s Diana Purtz and Jayna McCarron of the United States Coast Guard Academy.

O’Connell’s time shattered the previous school record, a time of 2:58.75 set by current Bobcat harrier Joanna Perez.

The third-place clinch earned six points, helping propel the Bobcats to a 19th place (out of 32 teams) finish at the prestigious northeast meet.

It also allowed the East Lyme High (Conn.) product to take home All-New England honors and qualify for the IC4A/ECAC championships, which took place at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on Feb. 28.

The Bobcats represented O’Connell’s alma mater well at the New England Championships. O’Connell watched as her current and former high school teammate, Jenna Nechaman, broke the five-minute barrier in the mile, crossing the finish line at 4:58.35.

With her most recent time providing momentum, O’Connell has the potential to evolve into the most dangerous mid-distance runner in the NEC.

Karl Anderson

Sport: Basketball
Class: Red Shirt Sophomore
Hometown: Chester, N.Y.
Major: Business Management

It didn’t take long for Anderson, a product of New Jersey perennial powerhouse Don Bosco Prep, to make a sizable impression in the NEC. In just his second game wearing a Bobcat uniform, the then-red shirt freshman went off for 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting in a loss to the Big Sky’s Northern Arizona.
Anderson, who was named to the NEC’s All-Rookie team following his promising 2004-2005 campaign, has since developed into a force on both ends of the hardwood.

The 6-foot-8 behemoth is fundamentally sound in all aspects of his post game. Anderson provides the Bobcats with a scoring option who crashes the boards effectively while altering shots on defense. He hustles every minute he’s on the floor, fighting for loose balls with the same vitality as a Red Bull aficionado.

Anderson averaged 14 points, five boards and three blocked shots while shooting a robust 55 percent this past week, as the ‘Cats closed out the 2005-2006 season with a first-round loss to Farleigh Dickinson in the conference tournament.

Though head coach Joe DeSantis’ efforts of resurrecting what has been a losing program (for the past three seasons) failed, the ‘Cats came one point short of pulling off the biggest upset in NEC tournament history.

Anderson scored 14 points, hauled down a team-high seven rebounds and swatted away three shots in 23 minutes. The Bobcats’ upset bid, however, was ruined by Gordon Klaiber’s game-winning bucket with 10 ticks remaining.

Anderson finishes the year as one of the Bobcats’ top four scorers. This quartet returns for a new era next season, when the Bobcats move to a 3,500-seat arena atop the Sherman Avenue Campus.


About Zach Smart