Our guys have earned lots of awards-All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, Carthage Athlete-of-the-Year, and even an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Tuesday, though, we earned another as Isaac Rothenbaum was named the 2008 NCAA Sportsman of the Year.
Considering there's only one male and one female selected each year this is huge. Isaac modestly shrugged it off when he found out, but it is something to be proud of and in a way, I think its reflective of our team because its something any of them would have done. As great as our facility, our staff, our campus, and our academic programs are, I'm always telling recruits that the BEST part of Carthage swimming is the team and the guys who make it up. Here's the writeup on Isaac.
Last February, the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Swimming Championship was held at the Wheaton College (Ill.) Chrouser Fitness Center Pool in Wheaton, Ill. Carthage was en route to wrapping up its third conference championship in four years and second in a row. In between the preliminaries and the finals, Rothenbaum, who would later be named the “most outstanding participant,” noticed a Wheaton swimmer getting ready to begin a time trial in the 100 breaststroke. The Thunder’s Jonathan Nitz was trying to qualify for a spot in the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming Championship. Seeing that Nitz had no one in the water with him for the time trial, Rothenbaum told his gathered teammates that they should stop what they were doing up and cheer on their conference competitor.
With the support of Rothenbaum and his fellow Red Men, Nitz proceeded to turn in a national-qualifying time. That beats shaking your opponent’s hand anytime.
Rothenbaum, a double major in computer science and graphic design, has been named to the Carthage dean’s list three times. He finished fourth in the CCIW 200 freestyle, eighth in the 100 freestyle and was part of a conference-championship 800 freestyle relay team. From non-scorer to conference champion in one year. Not bad.