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Eight student athletes

Top row, from left: de Swardt, Fitzpatrick, Holcomb, Mazzotta. Bottom row: McIntosh, Pearsall, Peck, Perrelli.

Eight student athletes to watch this Big Red winter sports season

The Big Red had unprecedented successes last winter, and while some teams have suffered substantial losses due to graduations, others have returned the talent necessary to keep the trend moving forward. Below are eight student-athletes, new and old, that will look to keep their teams in the mix for Ivy League and national championships.

Clare Fitzpatrick on the court

Clare Fitzpatrick '13 on the court with the women's basketball team.

Clare Fitzpatrick '13

After losing three of the top shooting guards in program history, the Big Red women's basketball team will look to Fitzpatrick to provide Cornell with a scoring threat. The sophomore forward was an Ivy League all-rookie selection a season ago after ranking third on the team in points and second overall in rebounds. In the Big Red's first game of the 2010-11 season vs. Cleveland State, Fitzpatrick led the team in points (14) and rebounds (6).

Christine McIntosh '14

In her rookie season, McIntosh is already making a name for herself among the top fencers in the nation. The freshman ranked 26th at the North American Cup (NAC) for Division I foil, where top-rated fencers competed to earn points and make the national team. Although only a freshman, McIntosh is the foil squad's captain and hoping to help the Red build upon its sixth-place Ivy finish last year.

Errick Peck '13

Amanda Mazzotta on the ice

Amanda Mazzotta '12 earned all-tournament honors for the Big Red women's hockey team last season.

After a strong rookie debut, Peck is ready to bring a presence to the basketball court this season. Last winter, Peck made a regular rotation with a squad that placed first in the Ivy League and progressed to the NCAA Sweet 16. Peck was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week last December and had a pair of double-figure scoring games, registering 14 points at Dartmouth and 13 at Bucknell. In the 2010-11 season, Peck looks to help uphold the name that Cornell basketball has made for itself.

Amanda Mazzotta '12

Mazzotta doesn't score the goals -- she stops them. The junior hockey goaltender backstopped the Big Red to the national title game in 2010 and earned all-tournament team honors at both the ECAC Hockey tournament and the NCAA tournament. She also earned third-team All-ECAC Hockey and first-team All-Ivy League honors. This season, protecting the Red between the pipes for a 6-1 start, Mazzotta claimed the league's weekly netminder award for two out of the three weeks of competition. She also became the Big Red's all-time career leader in shutouts when she recorded the 13th of her career on Nov. 5 against Harvard.

Armand de Swardt on the ice

Armand de Swardt '14 on the ice. At 6' 5", he is one of the tallest players on the men's hockey team.

Armand de Swardt '14

As a freshman, de Swardt is expected to provide a big presence on the ice -- literally. At 6'5" de Swardt is one of the tallest on the men's hockey team and has already contributing to the Big Red's offense. On the forward line he tallied a goal and an assist in the Red's exhibition opener against Quebec at Trois-Rivieres. He made his collegiate debut during the team's season opening weekend vs. New Hampshire. With his strength and mobility on the ice, de Swardt is one to look out for.

Dean Holcomb '11

After a record-breaking junior campaign topped off with an Ivy League championship in the 400 IM, Holcomb is serving as a tri-captain for the Big Red swim team as a senior. His championship time of 3:52.94 at the Ivies was good for first place in the school's record books and earned him first-team All-Ivy honors. Also at the Ivy League tournament, his time of 1:48.30 in the 200 butterfly was third all-time in Big Red history and earned him second-team All-Ivy honors. Holcomb was a co-recipient of the swimming team's MVP award in 2009-10 and looks to have another stellar season in 2010-11.

Maddie Pearsall during floor routine

Maddie Pearsall '11 is the gymnastic team's top scorer on the uneven bars and is looking to cap an outstanding career.

Maddie Pearsall '11

A senior, Pearsall is looking to cap what has been an outstanding career in both the gym and the classroom. An NCAA Regional qualifier, a six-time USAG All-American and ESPN The Magazine Second-Team Academic America selection, Pearsall is the gymnastics team's top scorer in the uneven bars. She is also a three-year starter for the Big Red, holding the third-highest all-around score in Cornell history. In 2009-10 Pearsall was a first-team academic all-district pick for the second straight year after earning USAG All-America honors on uneven bars. Pearsall is also a member of Cornell's 400 Club for student-athletes who achieve at least one semester with a 4.0 grade point average.

Frank Perrelli '11

After sitting behind four-time All-American wrestler Troy Nickerson, Perrelli is looking to excel in his senior year. Last season, Perrelli notched an impressive 21-5 record at 125 pounds and won the 55kg weight class at University Nationals in the offseason. He also captured the title at 125 pounds at the New York State Championships and Cornell's Body Bar Invitational and placed fifth at the Las Vegas Invitational. While the Cornell squad received a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the first NWCA/USA Today Division I Coaches Poll, Perrelli was ranked No. 1 in the EIWA at his weight class heading into the dual meet season.

Olivia Boyd '12 is a student writer in Cornell's athletic communications office.

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