Sophomore Gabby Thomas had another outstanding day at the NEPSAC Division II Track and Field Championships held at Williston Northampton School this past Saturday. Her top finishes earned her All New England recognition in four events, and included a record-setting run.
In the 100 meter dash, she earned her third straight NEPSAC title with a final time of 12.06, breaking the NEPSAC Division II record of 12.31. Hers was equal to the fastest electronically timed 100 meter dash in a NEPSAC championship meet at any level.
Ms. Thomas also had a second place finish in the triple jump with a jump of 36’ 6” and a fourth place finish in the long jump with a leap of 17′ 5″. Along with teammates Rachel Rockwell ’16, Jen Carellas ’15, and Lena Gandevia ’15 Ms. Thomas anchored the 4 x 100 relay team that finished in third place.
Ms. Thomas is Williston’s record holder for the long jump, triple jump, and 100 meter dash.
Senior softball captain Laura Aptowitz represented Williston on Sunday, May 5th in the annual Western New England Prep All Star game held at Loomis Chaffee School. Ms. Aptowitz, a four-year starter, went 2-for-3 with a double in helping her team to victory.
As an athlete, Ms. Aptowitz has certainly left her mark at Williston where she has earned 12 varsity letters as a three sport athlete in field hockey, ice hockey and softball. A slick fielding shortstop in softball, Ms. Aptowitz has had a terrific senior season at the plate, hitting .472 with 5 doubles and 2 home runs. Coach Molly Ward says that Laura “has been a great pleasure to coach.”
Ms. Aptowitz has been recruited to play softball next year at Union College. Congratulations, Laura!
Coach Rick Francis was the kind of person who not only worked tirelessly with athletes on the football field and basketball court, but served as a mentor off the field as well.
“He was always quick with a smile, a hearty hello, and a word of encouragement,” wrote Peter Kostos ’87 in his nomination. “He was also, at least to many of us who played for him, a surrogate parent, somebody we could trust and come to with a problem, concern, or question that we felt we could not ask somebody else.”
Coach Ray Brown, who was known to heft more than a few victory cups in his time, has been inducted into not one, but two halls of fame. Both were nods to his long, winning records as the boys soccer coach (1965-1993) and girls basketball coach (1976-2002).
After attending Williston Academy as a post-graduate with the Class of 1955, Coach Brown played soccer and basketball at Kenyon College. He returned to Williston in 1959, where he would remain for the next 43 years.
Coach Wilmot “Babs” Babcock certainly knew how to win, accumulating an astounding 341-47-2 record over the course of 20 years. After starting the Williston swimming program in 1951, Coach Babcock took the team to 15 New England Championships — 11 of them in a row. This legacy also produced 15 national prep champions.
“This one’s a no-brainer. Just looking at Bab’s record speaks volumes by itself,” wrote Paul Doty ‘64, one of Mr. Babcock’s former swimmers. “But what you may not know is how advanced he was for his time. We were doing pulley weights before Doc Councilman at Indiana was!”
Was there any title that Patrick Rissmiller ’97 didn’t earn? It doesn’t seem likely. During his time at Williston, the ice hockey star (who also the most valuable player and All-League selection for soccer and team captain in lacrosse) led the team to a 23-4 record. For those keeping score, that’s the most wins in school history.
“My parents wanted me to repeat my junior year in high school,” said Mr. Rissmiller of on his two years at Williston Northampton. “It worked out great.”
In his senior year, Mr. Rissmiller was named both captain and MVP. While cranking out enough points to put him third for all-time single season totals, Mr. Rissmiller was named an All-New England selection, and NEPSAC West Senior All-Star. He was also selected to play for the Team Massachusetts in Chicago Showcase.
“He’s the guy you want out there (on the ice) if you’ve got a penalty shot. He’ll put it past most goalies,” said Mike Fay, boys varsity ice hockey coach. “He’s just a really creative player who sees the game well and makes things happen.”
Out on the cross-country course, no one could catch Martha Grinnell ’85. They still can’t — Ms. Grinnell’s course record of 19.40 over 3.3 miles still stands.
Ms. Grinnell, who went undefeated in dual meets over two years and was one of the most decorated runners in the school’s history, held course records at five schools by the time she graduated. As captain of Williston Northampton’s team, Ms. Grinnell set records for both the 1,500 meters (5:01.3) and 3,000 meters (10:32.4).
She was no slouch off the course, either. At graduation, Ms. Grinnell was presented with the White Blazer, as the top senior girl.
Whether he was taking to the court or the field, Mark Timm ’76 was simply outstanding — at almost any sport. While earning 12 varsity letters over the course of his time at Williston, Mr. Timm was also named captain for three sports.
To kick off his freshmen year, Mr. Timm was named starting quarterback on the varsity football team. He passed for 609 yards and ran for 192 yards, leading his team in both statistics.
David “Duff” Tyler ’63 was a record-setting swimmer and soccer player. As part of the 1963 swimming team, he set national prep records in three events—50 free, 100 free, and 200 free—and was named All-American for both those events and three others—200 medley relay, 200 free relay, and 100 butterfly.
Mr. Tyler continued his domination at Trinity College, where he was named All-American three times, was a national champion in the 500 free, a national runner-up in the 200 free, and set seven Trinity records.
The 1963 football team had a perfect 7-0 record under the leadership of Coach Rick Francis and captains Dick Buckley ‘64 and Bob Montgomery ‘64. In the first undefeated (and untied) season since 1895, the Williston Academy team was the highest scoring prep team in New England.