The Colgate Scene
May 2008

Raider profiles

[Photo by Meredith Rieder]

Lyle Tolli '10
Track and field, cross country

By Aleta Mayne

When Lyle Tolli runs, he says he thinks of it as an opportunity to give glory to God. "I believe that I have been given a gift by God, and I have a passion for using this gift to the best of my ability," the sophomore explained. "I used to be focused on proving myself, but now I realize that any ability I have isn't mine to begin with — it's God's."


The modest athlete from Buffalo, N.Y., has been running competitively since elementary school. His father passed down the passion for running and coached young Tolli through a youth track program called the Western New York Jets, which raced in local open meets and bigger events such as the Junior Olympics.

This passion has helped Tolli break the six-year Colgate record for the 1,000-meter run as well as clock the fastest time of the 2008 season in the Patriot League for the mile. For his wins in the 1,000 meter and the mile at the 2008 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship, Tolli became Colgate's seventh runner in history to earn the Track Athlete of the Year award. "They were both come-from-behind victories where he had to overtake competitors who were leading the race," said Art McKinnon, men's indoor and outdoor track and cross country coach.

Tolli considers these accomplishments a by-product of his work toward larger goals such as helping the cross country team win the championship in the fall. "It's nice to break records, but that comes along the way of a journey to something bigger," he said.

Despite the solo nature of a sport like track, Tolli counts his team's successes above his own. When asked what his biggest accomplishment has been during his time at Colgate, rather than mentioning his personal bests, he answered: "Colgate getting fourth at the Patriot League Championships with such a small team. That was the most fun experience I've had."

"He is committed to the team and will help his teammates in any way that he is asked," McKinnon said, adding that Tolli demonstrated this trait by running the 4 x 800 meter relay and the distance medley relay at the championships. "[Running] four events at a meet of that caliber is exceptional."

The economics major also qualified last year for the Phi Eta Sigma first-year honor society, has been named Patriot League Scholar Athlete, and has made the Dean's List every semester he's been at Colgate.

"His success as a sophomore ranks him among Colgate's best," McKinnon said. "The next two years should be an exciting challenge."

[Photo by Barrett Brassfield]

Shevorne Martin '08
Women's basketball, guard, #1

By Aleta Mayne

Shevorne Martin is the voice heard over the speakers as she enlivens the crowd at Dancefest, raises donations at The Brothers' charity auction, and pumps up the pep rally crowd. The senior guard on the women's basketball team has been "the voice" since stepping on campus nearly four years ago.

Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., Martin decided when she enrolled at Colgate that she would make the most of her experience, and emceeing has been one way in which she's accomplished this goal. "The first thing I learned was not to limit myself and to take advantage of every opportunity, so I figured, why not do it through speaking?" she explained.

Martin's limits were tested as a first-year player when she had to sit the season out because of a stress fracture in her shin. After being diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome — a medical condition resulting from constant muscle strain — Martin had to modify the way she plays and better understand her body's capabilities. "I learned more about what I could do and never said what I couldn't do," Martin asserted.

Although it was a disappointment for the recruited player to miss her first season, she supported the team in different ways until she could rejoin them on the court. "With all the challenges and difficulties, I've learned to apply the positives from those situations to my life," she said. The team honored Martin's energy and positive attitude despite her painful injuries when they gave her the Sparks Award last year.

"Shevie is curious, ambitious, and a self-challenged student whose vibrant, positive attitude is infectious," said Beverly Low, dean of first-year students and Martin's adviser.

In addition to becoming one of the most valued members of the women's basketball team, Martin is also a role model for younger students on campus. After completing an intensive orientation process and the summer Colgate Leadership Institute, Martin became a Link leader this year, assisting 19 first-year students with their adjustment to college life. Helping new students adapt to the social aspect of college was a natural fit for the vice president of We Funk alternative dance group and member of the Student Athletic Committee, Black Student Union, and Caribbean Student Association. Martin also lends her voice and encouragement to prospective students when she emcees for admissions during April visit days.

A Jill of all trades, Martin is also a dancer and sketch artist. When she's not busy with her numerous activities or working to maintain her honor roll grades, Martin spends time with her friends around campus. Looking back on her college years, Martin said she will miss the people the most. "It's a family-like atmosphere," she said of Colgate, adding, "I've learned a lot from people from all different realms of life and I've gained a lot of knowledge growing with different types of people."

Not wanting to leave out her most important support network, she added, "My family members are the ones who have really made me who I am. They're the foundation of why I am the way I am."

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