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The Daily Pennsylvanian dives into the best graduating men’s athletes for the Class of 2024.

Credit: Ethan Young

At the close of their Quaker careers, here are the best graduating men’s athletes for the Class of 2024.

Baseball — Wyatt Henseler

Credit: Picasa Junior third baseman Wyatt Henseler throws the ball during NCAA Tournament game against Samford on June 3 (Photo courtesy of Mike Nance).

Pitchers across the Ivy League will breathe a collective sigh of relief once Wyatt Henseler hangs up his Penn jersey for the final time. The all-time home run king, not just for Penn, but for the entire Ancient Eight, Henseler stands alone in terms of dominance at the plate – just ask any hurler who was on the other end of one of his 51 career homers.

Last season, Henseler was a critical cog in arguably the greatest team in Ivy League history. The 2023 Quakers won the Ivy League and defeated Auburn and Samford in the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, ultimately falling just one win short of becoming the ` Ancient Eight team to advance to a super regional. Henseler was crucial to the cause, racking up seven hits and a home run over Penn’s four tournament games.

Henseler was named First-Team All-Ivy in both 2022 and 2023, and will likely earn the same honor in 2024. After racking up a number of Penn and Ivy League records, including the program hits record and the conference RBIs mark, Henseler will spend his graduate year of eligibility at Texas A&M. From the Ivy to the SEC, Henseler owns every plate to which he steps.

Basketball — Clark Slajchert

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Senior guard Clark Slajchert during the Big 5 Tournament matchup against La Salle on Dec. 2.

Though Slajchert, a Southern California native, will return home and spend his graduate year of eligibility at USC, he made an indelible impact during his time in the Red and Blue. After facing significant adversity early in his career, including a canceled freshman campaign and a serious leg injury, Slajchert persevered through it all, eventually becoming the 43rd player in Penn program history to score 1,000 points.

Slajchert was a part of several notable Penn teams, including a 2023 group that went 9-5 in the Ivy League and fell to Princeton in overtime in the first round of Ivy Madness. Slajchert’s 17 points in that contest served as a preview of what was to come during his final campaign.

Slajchert’s senior season saw him take the reins of the Quaker offense following the departure of 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year Jordan Dingle, and he delivered in every sense of the word. Slajchert led the Quakers with 18 points per game and shot 42% from three, earning Second-Team All-Ivy and First-Team All-Philadelphia Big 5 honors.

Cross Country — Troy Hill

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Now-senior Troy Hill leads the men's cross country team with a second-place finish at last season's Haverford Invitational on Oct. 21, 2022.

Hill occupies a unique mantle as one of just two seniors on the men’s cross country roster. Though many of his accomplishments have come on the track, competing in distances ranging from 1,500 meters to 10,000, Hill has also carved out a solid career for himself on the long course.

Hill’s best season in the Red and Blue came during his sophomore year, when he set career bests in the 4 mile, 8K, and 10K. At the 2022 NCAA Division I Mid-Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships, Hill helped Penn finish 8th out of 26 teams with a personal best of 31:29.7 in the 10K, good for 53rd out of nearly 200 runners. In 2024, Hill concluded his Quaker career with a number of strong showings, including an 18:39.7 for 19th place in the 6K at the Lehigh Invitational, part of an overall team second place performance at the meet.

Fencing — Bryce Louie

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics

Senior Bryce Louie graduates after four years with Penn fencing.

Winning a national championship is an honor few athletes can lay claim to, but Louie finds himself in the exclusive club after his NCAA title foil victory this past season. It was an all Red and Blue bout in the title match with Louise defeating fellow Quaker Blake Broszus, but in the end, it was Louie who earned immortality.

Louie’s victory at the championships marked the culmination of a career in which he steadily improved each season. He was selected to the Second-Team All-Ivy in 2022 with a record of 12-14, then earned a mark of 10-2 during his junior season. At the 2024 NCAA Championships, Louie dominated the field, winning 19 of his 23 bouts overall.

Louie’s exceptional individual performance also aided in an eighth place team effort for Penn. From a historical standpoint, Louie became the first national champion fencer for the Quakers since 1997, a feat that will not soon be forgotten.

Football — Joey Slackman

When Slackman first committed to Penn in 2019, he did so as a wrestler, aiming to further his career in a sport he had won a state championship in during his senior year of high school with the belief that his football career may be behind him. Now, he leaves the Quakers as one of the school’s most decorated linemen.

After earning a spot on the football team and converting back to the gridiron, Slackman left a legacy of dominance at Franklin Field. During his senior season, he became the first Quaker since 2015 to win the Bushnell Cup, awarded to the Ivy League’s most outstanding players on offense and defense. Slackman was also named First-Team All-Ivy in 2023.

Slackman’s 25 career tackles for loss and immense 6’4”, 300-pound frame made him a sought-after target in the transfer portal this past winter, when he eventually committed to Florida for his graduate year of eligibility. Slackman became the first player to transfer from the Ivy League to the SEC in four years, and in his new conference, he will be better positioned to pursue his NFL aspirations.

Golf — Jimin Jung

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Junior Jimin Jung during the Cornell/Temple Fall Invitational at Plymouth Meeting on Sept. 18.

As the sole graduating senior on the men’s golf team, Jimin Jung has put together an incredibly respectable career. In his rookie season, Jung was in the lineup for five tournaments, averaging 76 strokes. In his junior year and second season, Jung featured at all but one tournament where he recorded a team-low 73.5-stroke average. His performance earned him GCAA All-America Scholar honors.

In his senior year, Jung averaged 75.5 strokes while once again participating in all but one tournament across the fall and spring. He finished in 34th overall at the Ivy League Championships with his best individual finish being when he tied for fourth overall at Iona’s Battle at Rum Pointe earlier this year. 

Sprint Football - Danny Coale

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics

Senior sprint football player Danny Cole graduates in 2024.

Like many players in sprint football, Coale was a two-way player for the Quakers during his collegiate career, contributing to the team at both as a wide receiver and a defensive back. His most notable contributions came as a pass-catcher during his senior season, when he provided a reliable target for Penn’s quarterbacks.

Coale’s best game came on September 15 against Chestnut Hill, when he hauled in three receptions for 50 yards, including a career-high 41-yard catch. Coale was also selected to the College Sprint Football League All-Academic team during his senior season. As a team, the Quakers finished the campaign 2-4, with wins over Cornell and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Lacrosse - Emmett Carroll

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics

Senior lacrosse goalkeeper Emmett Carroll graduates in 2024.

Penn men’s lacrosse is one of the premier programs in the nation, and much of the Quakers’ success is thanks to their excellent play in the field. But none of it would be possible without the man who guards the net.

Carroll has racked up a decorated resume during his four years with the Quakers and was named to the All-Ivy first team as the conference’s top goalie during his senior year. His 6-foot-3 stature gives him the size necessary to defend a variety of attacks, and his play was critical to Penn’s success this season, which included a win over then-No. 1 Duke.

Against the Blue Devils, Carroll racked up 17 saves at a 0.586 clip to help secure the Quaker upset. Carroll started all 29 of Penn’s games during his junior and senior seasons, and his 446 career saves are a testament to his consistency at the net.

Lightweight Rowing — Simon Dubiel

Credit: Courtesy of US Rowing

Senior lightweight rower Simon Dubiel at the U23 World Championships.

Senior lightweight rower Simon Dubiel has stroked for the Varsity 8+ boat since coming to Penn. After his freshman season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubiel represented the United States in the lightweight double sculls at the 2021 U23 World Rowing Championships. 

In his sophomore season, he helped row on a boat that finished first at two lightweight invitationals. His junior year saw much more success as the Quakers took home the Callow Cup and the Matthews Trophy and Leonard Cup. The group finished in fourth at the EARC Sprints and third at IRA Nationals. 

Dubiel’s performance led to him receiving first team Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-America, IRCA Scholar Athlete, and IRA All-Academic honors. Dubiel also represented the United States in the lightweight quad sculls at the 2023 U23 World Rowing Championships. In his senior year, Dubiel is part of a crew that has already won the Dodge Cup, the Callow Cup, and the Wood-Hammond Trophy, with the EARC Sprints on the horizon. 

Heavyweight Rowing - Ben Rutherford

Credit: Weining Ding

Senior heavyweight rower Ben Rutherford poses with his oar on Mar. 24.

At times, sports are more about how you respond to adversity than how you train for success. No one knows that lesson better than Rutherford, who overcame obstacle after obstacle to become one of the nation’s best in the boat.

After Rutherford’s freshman season was canceled due to COVID-19, he later dealt with a rib injury that sidelined him for much of his junior spring. The injury also derailed Rutherford’s goal of being selected to the U23 national rowing camp, where the best collegiate rowers in the nation get the chance to compete against one another.

But Rutherford took those failures in stride and has come out on the other side as a leader for the Quakers both on and off the water. He was named a team captain, while also winning IRCA’s Comeback Athlete of the Year award. During his senior year, Rutherford has been a key contributor to a successful Quaker season that most recently included a win at the Madeira Cup.

Soccer - Nick Christoffersen

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Senior Nick Christofferson during last season's matchup against Drexel on Oct. 18, 2022.

The goalkeeper known among Penn men’s soccer as “The Hammer” has stamped his mark on the program during his four years in the Red and Blue. A First-Team All-Ivy selection and the Philly Soccer Six Player of the Year, Christoffersen has been dominant in goal for the Quakers, buoying a squad that has seen historic success during his time as the starter.

In 2022, Christoffersen helped Penn to an Ivy League title and a win in the NCAA tournament. Then, in 2023, the Quakers again finished with the best record in the conference before suffering a stunning loss in the opening round of the tournament — a game Christoffersen missed due to injury. 

Christoffersen was nonetheless excellent throughout the season, with arguably his best individual performance coming in Penn’s road win over No. 14 Penn State, when he recorded a career-high six saves. In 2022, he was selected 83rd in the Major League Soccer draft by CF Montreal.

Squash - Nick Spizzirri

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics

Senior squash player Nick Spizziri graduates in 2024.

Being named a First-Team All-American is an honor most athletes can only dream of. For Spizzirri, it’s a habit.

Spizzirri was recently named to the prestigious group for the second time in his collegiate career, capping off a senior season that has seen him summit the squash world. Spizzirri was the top player on a Red and Blue team that brought home the program’s first national championship, while also reaching the semifinals of the CSA individual bracket.

Spizzirri went a combined 26-2 in team competition over his junior and senior seasons, demonstrating his consistency against the best players in the country. He was also undefeated in Ivy League play during his senior year. While Penn squash will continue to be one of the best programs in the nation, it will be difficult to replace a player of Spizzirri’s caliber.

Swimming - Ben Feldman

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Men's swimming junior Ben Feldman competes in the 100-meter freestyle against Harvard at Sheerr Pool on Jan. 21.

Though much of this season’s swimming attention has deservedly gone to junior breaststroker Matt Fallon, the Quakers also feature a strong group of senior contributors. Feldman is one of the best, specializing in freestyle and butterfly as one of Penn’s top racers.

Feldman was named Second-Team All-Ivy after finishing second in the 50 freestyle at this year’s conference championships, with his time of 19.71 being one of the best in the NCAA. He was also a key contributor to a solid weekend overall for the Quakers, with the men’s team taking fourth at the meet.

In addition to the 50 freestyle, Feldman also competes in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly. His personal best of 43.77 in the 100 free leads the team, while his 47.20 in the 100 fly ranks second.

Tennis - Sameer Gangoli

One of Penn Athletics’s smallest teams features just one graduating senior: Gangoli, who has been a reliable player for the Quakers throughout his collegiate career. Though he has not competed for Penn during the spring seasons, Gangoli has made an impact during his fall campaigns, posting a record of 7-3 over the course of his sophomore and junior seasons.

In his senior year, Gangoli scored his greatest achievement as a Quaker with a trip to the Round of 16 in the ITA Northeast Super Regional. It was the deepest run of any Penn player at the tournament. At the same event, Gangoli and doubles partner freshman Parashar Bharadwaj also advanced to the round of 16, aiding Penn to a strong showing.

Track & Field - Scott Toney

Credit: Nathaniel Sirlin

Senior pole-vaulter Scott Toney attempts to clear the bar at Penn Relays on Apr. 27.

Toney, who will head to Washington next season for his final year of collegiate eligibility, is no stranger to lofty heights. His 5.54-meter personal best in the pole vault is good for ninth in the nation and second best in Penn program history, trailing only teammate James Rhoads, whom Toney has long competed with and against for Ivy League glory.

Before April’s Penn Relays, Toney expressed a desire for him and Rhoads to go “1-2” — take both of the top spots at the oldest meet in American track and field. And the pair did just that, dominating the field and making their mark as two of the nation’s best.

Toney often discusses the significance that the loss of his brother, Marc, plays in his career. At this season’s indoor Ivy League championships, Toney took first with a winning jump of 5.36. It would have been his brother’s 29th birthday. As his athletic career presses on, Toney will hope to find even more bountiful success, honoring his brother along the way.

Wrestling — Michael Colaiocco

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Now-senior Michael Colaiocco leans in to grapple with UNC's Jace Palmer during their matchup last season on Jan. 7.

The 133-pound senior wrestler Michael Colaiocco came in ready to win. As a true freshman, Colaiocco qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 125-pound weight class after winning the Keystone Classic that year. He posted a 24-7 record while leading the team with wins over ranked opponents and major decisions, earning himself a spot on the Second-Team All-Ivy.

His second season was no less impressive as Colaiocco posted an overall record of 21-2, going undefeated against EIWA opponents and in the Ivy League. In Ithaca, Colaiocco won the 133-pound title at the EIWA Championships, earning himself First-Team All-Ivy recognition as he qualified for the NCAA Championships once again. His junior season saw him return to the NCAA Championships after posting a record of 25-7 that earned him his second career spot on the Second-Team All-Ivy. 

In his senior year, Colaiocco concluded his time with the Red and Blue by, once again, making the journey to the NCAA Championships. With a record of 15-7. Colaiocco received his third Second-Team All-Ivy nod, EIWA All-Academic honors, and NWCA Scholar All-America honors.