Barefoot Athletics Challenge Returns to Support Babson’s Championship Pedigree

The annual Barefoot Athletics Challenge is back next week, March 4-6, celebrating Babson’s athletic programs and championship pedigree. 

Logo for the Barefoot Athletics Challenge

The popular Babson tradition gives alumni athletes, parents of student-athletes, and Babson superfans an opportunity to make a gift in support of the College’s student-athletes and its 23 athletic programs. Now in its 11th year, the Barefoot Challenge has helped provide funding for team travel, new training equipment and technology, assistant coach positions, leadership development, and mental health resources for student-athletes.  

The theme this year is “Champions Then, Champions Now,” echoing Babson Athletics’ first-of-its-kind fundraising campaign titled Champions Forever

Men’s ice hockey coach Jamie Rice ’90 knows what it takes to be a champion. The winningest coach in program history played in three NCAA Frozen Fours as a student-athlete and has coached the Beavers to six NCAA tournament appearances. 

“I think being a champion is about reaching your ceiling, being the best you can be,” Rice said. “It’s how you carry yourself. It’s how you prepare. It’s how you view the opportunities you have ahead of you. It is about being the best version of yourself. It’s about being selfless and being on a team. It’s about caring about others more than yourself.” 

Make a gift to support the Barefoot Athletics Challenge, March 4–6.

The Barefoot Athletics Challenge—initially funded by former Babson President Brian Barefoot ’66, H’09, P’01—is the biggest single fundraiser for Babson Athletics. To date, it has raised more than $1.4 million in contributions from more than 13,000 Babson alumni, family, and friends. Last year, the Barefoot Athletics Challenge saw 1,708 donors contributing $241,590. 

During the challenge, the men’s and women’s athletics teams—which include about one-quarter of the College’s undergraduate population—compete to help unlock $10,000 in challenge funds, and the team with the highest percentage of alumni donors receives an additional $5,000 in challenge funds.  

It’s also an exciting time for the men’s basketball team (15-13), which earned its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth by defeating Clark, 73-64, Saturday to repeat as champion of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament. Steph Baxter MSEL’24 was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Babson will play No. 9 Oswego State (25-2) at 6 p.m. Friday in Oswego, New York, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  

Other winter sports teams in postseason competition last weekend included: 

  • The men’s swimming & diving team set six school records to finish fourth at the NEWMAC championships with 740.5, its highest point total since 2002. Blake Albanese ’24 (200 breaststroke), Pat Anutarasoti ’25 (100 butterfly), Spencer Ernst ’26 (1650 freestyle, 1000 freestyle, and 500 freestyle) set program records, as did the 400 medley relay team of Albanese, Anutarasoti, Nathan Ford ’24, and Anthony Taslakov ’27. 
  • The women’s swimming & diving team set two school records and finished seventh at the NEWMAC championships. Kendall Garvey ’25 shattered the program record in the 1650 freestyle, and Vera Belfonti ’24 set the mark in the 100 butterfly. 
  • The women’s basketball team (15-13) ended its season Sunday in the NEWMAC tournament championship game, losing to Smith.  
  • The men’s and women’s alpine ski teams competed in the NCAA regional championships in Hancock, Vermont. The Beavers will conclude their season at the USCSA National Championships in Lake Placid, New York, beginning March 5. 

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