Northwestern boasts a talented group of athletes, all records aside. If Team USA ever needed any new members, these players would make great additions.
Nikola Cerina: ice hockey
Some of the greatest hockey players possess a unique combination of hand-eye coordination, quickness, shiftiness and strength. Who else exemplifies all of these more than forward Nikola Cerina? He’s nimble on his feet and commands respect in the paint from every opponent. He would suit up for his native Serbian national team and be king of the ice. The average NHLer is a little taller than than 6'1" and weighs 204.42 pounds. Cerina is 6'9" and weighs 235. Now that makes for one mean enforcer.
Tre Demps: biathlon
Biathlon is a sport that fantastically combines rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. That means these athletes need to have incredible endurance and marksmenship. Redshirt sophomore Tre Demps, who reps the 'Cats on the basketball court, has both. Playing in 23 games this season and averaging 26.5 minutes per game, Demps has been tapped to carry a large workload. Demps is also shooting (baskets) at 39.3 percent on the season and 35.2 percent from behind the three. His time on the basketball court over the past few years would aptly prepare him for a competition on the ice and snow.
Alyssa Leonard: slalom
Alyssa Leonard holds the Northwestern women's lacrosse record for most career draw controls won, with 306, and for most draw controls won in a single season, with 125. So she's no stranger to stiff competition. She could easily turn her attention to the slopes in the Winter Olympic games. As a center, Leonard is forced to weave in and out of defenders as she sprints with the ball up Lakeside Field. She does so with ease and even gets some goals out of it–51 in her career to be exact. The snowy terrain may feel a little different from turf, but Leonard could certainly handle the change.
Ashley Deary: cross-country skiing
Just like the biathlon, cross-country skiing requires endurance and strength. Even though Ashley Deary is only a freshman, she has been a superstar on the basketball team so far this season. She has started each of the 'Cats' 22 games this season and played 35 minutes per game. She scores just under seven points per game and has taken on most of the ball-handling responsibilities as well. Deary's time on the court, her readiness to step into the point guard position, combined with her size, a compact 5'4", makes her an ideal candidate for a cross-country skiier.
Venric Mark: speed skating
We haven't seen him on the field in a while, but in case you forgot: All-American football star Venric Mark is incredibly fast. Remember his punt return for a touchdown against Syracuse in 2012? Yeah, he's fast. Back in his junior year of high school, he recorded a 4.35 second 40-yard dash time. Back for his fifth year, Mark only stands to improve his speed and agility, too. Speed skating would definitely be his Winter Olympic sport.