Caltech Basketball: 26 Years Later with David Werntz
David Werntz, who graduated from Caltech in 1986, played basketball for three years and was a member of the team that last won a SCIAC game. He witnessed the next Beavers' victory, after a 26-year-drought, on Tuesday night. Here are some of his thoughts:
To a man, our 1985 team couldn't be happier for the 2011 team. I look forward to the day when winning a conference men's basketball game isn't even noteworthy, but we cheer this important step and the recognition it has brought to the team and Caltech.
It was fun seeing so many people that I know from my days as a student, from working at Caltech for 6 years, and being around Caltech for nearly 30 years. It reminds you how small and close a community Caltech can be. The energy and support for the team was incredible.
Playing more than 25 years ago is a lot like it is now, but different in many ways too. I had a lot of deja vu. The score of the game we won was nearly identical to the score of Tuesday's game and we also won on a last-second shot (by Ed Zanelli). There were not nearly as many people at our game, though. Our coach at the time was part-time and a teacher during the day, our uniforms were kind of sad-looking, and we played in the old Brown Gym, which wasn't nearly as nice as the new gym. I don't think we had nearly the recognition from faculty and staff that there is now, but that's a great change to see.
Several of my old teammates and classmates were anxiously getting my updates on Facebook and commenting as the game went along. It was a roller-coaster ride watching the game. As a player, you know how it goes all too often: you get close way more often than you win. The guys kept fighting and staying close, despite not shooting particularly well from the field. I got worried when they were down by 8 points. But they didn't panic, and they fought back and tied it near the end. When number 23 [Ryan Elmquist] got to the free throw line with 3.3 seconds left, I was pretty sure they had it and they DID! They did what Caltech teams always do: try hard. This time, it paid off with a win.
Written by Marcus Woo