It’s all in the details

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Chad Kosanovich ’13 in his very specific warm-up gear: faded green Umbro shorts and an animal shirt

While some of us are taking a long winter’s nap, there are many among us—like Denison athletes—who are running through the cold or lifting weights in the wee hours. And it seems that’s not the only strange behavior spring athletes seem to cherish. We asked them to tell us about their superstitions.


Michelle Clark ’13

Track and Field, Biochemistry Major

Michelle makes a playlist before every season and must listen to all the songs—in order—before she races. She also chooses a warm-up T-shirt at the beginning of every season and must wear it to prepare for each race. “It changes season to season,” she says, “but once I pick it, I stay with it.”


Chad Kosanovich ’13

Track and Field, Biochemistry Major

Chad ensures the accessibility of a waffle or pancake PB&J for breakfast the day of a race. If, for whatever reason, this unique sandwich will not be available at the dining hall or hotel, he tracks down a nearby Bob Evans the night before to make sure he is prepared. In addition to his diet, Chad wears some very specific warm-up gear: faded green Umbro shorts and an animal shirt that, as he puts it, “adequately channels my spirit animal on the day of the race.” His current choice? A family of red-eyed tree frogs. Other options include snakes and dinosaurs.


Danny Kraus ’13

Baseball, Economics Major

According to Danny, he and his teammates each have their own superstitions that develop throughout their season and under the influence of new coach Mike Deegan. But this much is certain: stepping on the foul line before and during the games is a universal “no-no” and the same wristbands, arm sleeves, undershirts, and sliding shorts are worn by all players for every game.


Spencer Riehl ’13

Lacrosse, Economics Major

Spencer already has invested in a new pair of red socks to wear at every game this season. If the socks aren’t enough, you can spot him on the field with the unique eye-black style of a backwards “7,” which he has worn since high school. The team has its own pregame ritual of rewarding a standout player of the week the opportunity to score against a goalie from the 12-yard line. Afterwards, this player has the honor of giving the team a pep talk after practice.


Carly Schultz ’14

Golf, Environmental Studies Major

Carly claims that everyone on the golf team has her own signature marker. This ensures the correct placement of their golf balls in case of collision. Carly has used a smiley face marker since her first year at Denison.


Jessica Robertson ’13

Softball, Psychology Major

Music plays an important role in the softball team’s pregame rituals. In addition to dance parties in the locker room, each player has a walk-up song that plays as they approach home plate.

Players also have a specific routine before stepping to the plate, including lucky handshakes and specific adjustments to helmets, batting gloves, and the dirt around home base. And if Jessica or any of her teammates get into a slump, these practices are the first things to change until “they find something that works.”


Kelsey Geppner ’14

Tennis, Economics and Communication Double Major

While some traditions such as stretches and warm-up music before matches are consistent from year to year, the seniors of the girls’ tennis team greatly affect current team rituals. Kelsey recollects that their playlist last year was dominated by 50 Cent because their senior Sarah Short ’12 “was obsessed.”

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