For the last edition of 10 Questions this semester, sun columnist Katie Schubauer sits down with men's squash co-captain McKay Claghorn. They discuss his team's unique relationship with its female counterpart, and McKay's impending nuptials with a certain member of said team.
1. McKay, you’re the senior captain of the Cornell Squash team. What has squash meant to you over the course of your collegiate career?
Squash has definitely been a major part of my life throughout my time at Cornell. It’s been both challenging and fun to lead such a great group of guys over the past three years. We’ve done very well; my freshman year we finished 11th in the nation and the past two years we finished sixth. This year, we’re looking once again to break into the top four, and we have an extremely competitive squad. The team has improved dramatically since Coach Mark DeVoy took over. It’s been a phenomenal experience so far and hopefully we can finish on a high note this year.
You have a big match coming up this weekend against Harvard. What are your thoughts?
I think it’s going to be a very close match. I don’t want to jinx it but we obviously have a great shot at beating them—it all comes down to who shows up to play. We took them down two years ago in our barn so we’re looking to make that happen again. We are home the entire season and we’re starting off with a huge match. We are hoping we can get as many fans as possible to come out and support us and see the excitement and intensity of good squash. We have the strongest team Cornell’s ever had and we’re really looking forward to a groundbreaking season.
2. Who is your favorite teammate on the men’s team? And why?
It’s hard to pick one favorite, but I’d have to show some love to [sophomore] Owen Butler. He’s my little brother in my fraternity and he’s a guy that I’ve taken under my wing. Since he got to Cornell, I’ve been a leader as well as a friend to him. I am his sensei, and he is my grasshopper.
Who is your least favorite?
Alex Domenick. I call him the Taz, because he’s got a hilarious combination of energy and fury. I’m sure my calling him my least favorite will spark some serious Tasmanian anger—I’m looking forward to it.
3. One distinction the squash team has is that it is so close with the women’s team—you guys share the courts and you often travel together. Do you think that benefits your team or acts as a distraction?
The great thing about the squash team is the tight-knit dynamic and I think overall it benefits our team because the men’s and women’s teams bond so much. We know what the each team is going through and that helps us whether we’re on the road or at home. Also, I think that the fact that we get along so well really works out because if we didn’t, we’d probably get sick of each other since we do spend so much time together. Although I would have to credit the women’s team with being better fans/supporters than the men’s team.
I understand you have a history with some squash players on the women’s team. Is there anyone in particular that you would like to give a shout-out to?
I’d have to give a shout out to the bodacious Maxi Prinsen, who graduated last year. Also, Lauren Sachvie and I have already agreed to eventually get married. We’ll see what happens.
You’ve played squash with both of Lauren’s brothers—her older brother, Chris, was your co-captain of the squash team last year and her younger brother, Nick, is on the team now. Do they support your union with their sister?
Yeah, I’m good buddies with Chris and I’ve become friends with Nick this year. But it’s not awkward that I’m going to marry their sister. I think we have their blessing.
4. Who is your favorite on the women’s team? (I’m assuming Lauren, since you two are betrothed.)
Other than Lauren, I’d go with Jen Gemmell simply because of her impeccable movie selection on road trips.
Such as She’s the Man and Hairspray. Real high quality films.
5. People tell me you always have your hair perfectly gelled and your shirt tucked in. Does this have to do with your fear of your mother?
In my defense, there is minimal gel in my hair. As for the part about my mom, I would say it’s more out of respect. My parents and my coaches always taught me to look presentable on the field or on the court, especially when representing my school. And I’ve taken that to heart.
6. What are some of your other hobbies besides squash?
I’m a member of the club lacrosse team. I love playing lacrosse and it has continued to be a big part of my life here as well. I also dabble in some pick-up soccer in the off-season.
Would you ever trade being on the squash team for official “lax bro” status?
Well, the squash team has been such a huge part of my life at Cornell and all the guys on the squash team are really good friends. It’s a very close group and I could never walk away from the squash team. But club lacrosse is a legendary group of guys as well, and they’d probably agree that I’m still a lax bro, even if it is unofficial.
7. You are obviously quite the athlete. Do you have any non-athletic hobbies?
In high school I was head of my a cappella group but I don’t sing here. It just didn’t work out in terms of scheduling. I always have squash and we’ve been on the road a lot so I haven’t been able to pursue it here but I still do enjoy singing.
OK, be honest. Was it cool in high school or were you kind of lame?
Believe it or not it was actually cool at my high school. I swear. Nothing like a heart-melting solo to sweep a girl off her feet.
8. If you had to choose between sleeping with a super model and your dog Zoula, which would you choose?
Well, nothing quite compares to snuggling up next to your dog. But I have to say I would let Michael Vick babysit my dog for a week in exchange for a night with Marisa Miller.
9. Speaking of sleep, where do you prefer sleeping? On the floor outside your apartment or in your bed?
I mean, obviously my bed, but as long as were on the subject, I like to consider the hallway in front of my apartment a very comfortable resting place. And as far as I’m concerned, the hallway in front of my door is my hallway so I like to establish myself there.
Please explain to us the circumstances that led up to you being found sleeping outside your apartment with a piece of pizza in your mouth.
Well, after a pretty aggressive night out on the town, so to speak, I picked up some pizza at Mama T’s or CTP (there’s no telling where), and I guess I got a little overeager and/or distracted and posted up in the hallway while eating my pizza. I was obviously very tired from all my rigorous studying. I knew my faithful apartment mates would soon come to the rescue.
10. Which other Cornell team do you like to hang out with the most? (Besides women’s squash).
I guess I would have to go with the lacrosse team. There’s still some lax bro in me after all.