On Friday, May 22, Director of Athletics Mark Conroy held the annual spring athletic assembly to recognize the outstanding athletic achievements of the past season and to particularly honor the contributions by members of the Class of 2015. The assembly, which kicks off a weekend of end-of-year ceremonies, culminated in a slideshow of the year in Wildcat Athletics.
Spring highlights included such individual achievements as junior rider Lacey Gillis qualifying for the Regionals; freshman pitcher Jordan Strum throwing a perfect game (facing the minimum of 21 batters in 7 innings) during a softball game against Cushing Academy; and Mike Dereus breaking the school record in the 200 with a time of 21.8 in boys track. Sophomore Alexis Ryan won the NEPSAC discus event with a throw of 106’8”.
Among the team achievements, girls crew placed third in the second varsity four finals of the Lowell Invitational Regatta, and Ultimate won the Northfield Mount Hermon Tournament and the Spirit Award at the Amherst Invitational. Girls varsity tennis had a first-place finish at the Suffield Invitational Tournament, while girls golf finished the season with the second-best overall record for the team in the 13-year history of Williston’s program. Girls softball advanced to the Class A Tournament, the girls water polo program had such first as a winning record and a NEPSAC playoff berth, and the the varsity girls lacrosse team had another outstanding season, finishing with a 12-2 record.
The varsity boys lacrosse team, led by Coaches Syfu, Dietrich and Johnson, enjoyed their finest season in 16 years, with a record of 12-3. The boys went 6-0 against Western New England Division II foes to win the league championship for the first time in several years. Co-head Coaches Syfu and Dietrich were recognized with the Division II Mike Fuller Coach of the Year award.
The 4 x 100 relay team of sophomore Rebecca Sundel, junior Sideya Dill, and seniors Lena Gandevia and Gabby Thomas broke the school record with a time of 49.76 on the way to becoming NEPSAC champions for the second consecutive year.
Mr. Conroy singled out senior Gabby Thomas in his remarks, noting “I don’t think it is overstating that Gabby enjoyed one of the finest performances by a track and field athlete in recent NEPSAC history and perhaps all of Williston’s track and field history.” Ms. Thomas capped off an extraordinary Williston career by winning four gold medals at the New England Championships, matching an equally impressive performance last year. In addition to a gold in the 4 x 100, Ms. Thomas won the 200 meters, and a gold medal in the Triple Jump (where she setting another NEPSAC meet record of 39’11”). Her best triple jump leap this spring was 40’7”, the fifth-best jump in the country this spring.
Ms. Thomas also won the 100 meter title for the fifth year in a row, breaking her own NEPSAC record with a time of 11.71. This time puts her in the top 20 100 meter times run in the country this spring. For the second consecutive year, Gabby was named the MVP of the NEPSAC championship meet. In recognition of all of her accomplishments at Williston, Mr. Conroy presented her with a special plaque. Ms. Thomas also received a Blanket Award and the Alumnae Bowl, given each year to the top girl in the school’s athletic program.
Jump to the section on:
Girls Water Polo
Track and Field
Individual Senior Awards
Five Williston students rode this spring at Fuller Horse Farm in Westhampton under the guidance of Laura Etzel. The team was led by senior captain Summer Grace Flemister. This group of riders ranged from beginner to advanced. Junior Lacey Gillis enjoyed a very successful riding season competing at five horse show competitions where she qualified for the Regionals and held the top two spots in her classes.
MV Rider: Lacey Gillis ’16
MI Rider: Eden Swasey ’18
Sportsmanship: Anabelle Farnham ’18
The crew team had a strong spring season this year with a scrimmage in Holyoke and three competitive regattas. On the girls’ team, Amelia DeFrancis, Sofia Triana, and Maggie White were part of a Northampton Community Rowing varsity squad that placed fifth in the Founders’ Day Regatta grand final; had a third-place second varsity four in the Lowell Invitational Regatta; and advanced through to the semi-finals of the US Rowing Northeast Regional Championship. The second varsity four went on to the finals at the championship regatta where they placed fifth.
Junior Teddy Wolfe and the Hamp Crew varsity boys also advanced to the finals in the Lowell Invitational Regatta, where they placed fifth in the second four category. On the novice teams, Alara Akisik, Camila Brown, Theo King, Christie Lee, Michael Lemme, Skylar Nieman, Caleb Stern, and Lizzy Warncke also did well. The women’s freshman four placed third to medal in the Lowell Invitational Regatta. They also had a strong showing at the championships and made it to the semifinal round.
Congratulations to all the rowers on a terrific spring season!
This spring, Ultimate transitioned from a pilot program to a full-fledged varsity program. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Coaches Rutherford and Chambers, 20 boys and 10 girls played in 11 games and three tournaments. The team competed hard all spring, highlighted by an early season victory over our neighbor Northampton HS. Other highlights of their season included winning the Northfield Mount Hermon Tournament, winning the Spirit Award at the Amherst Invitational and improving on the finish at the season-ending New England Prep School Ultimate Championships held at Choate.
MVP: Milo Cowles ’15
MIP: Cade Zawacki ’15
Sportsmanship: Maisy Glick ’15
Coach Garcia and Thompson’s JV tennis team improved steadily all season, highlighted by exciting victories over Rectory and Wilbraham & Monson and a thrilling season-ending 4-3 victory over Kingswood-Oxford.
MVP: Peter Cheney ’20, Emmett Wint ’16
MIP: Tomasz Paluchowski ’17
Sportsmanship: Jerry Gao ’17, Luke Po ’20
Under Coach Ryan Tyree’s leadership, the boys varsity tennis team enjoyed an exciting building season under the leadership of seniors Nile Buranasiri, Loren Po, Nate Manwell, Terry O’Brien and Bryan Hong. Highlights included a 5-2 victory over Millbrook, and victories over rivals Wilbraham & Monson and Suffield. The Suffield match was a particularly great day as the team won in thrilling fashion 4-3 when sophomore Zack Robbins gutted out a third set tie-breaker in dramatic fashion. Very close 3-4 losses to Westminster and NMH were more evidence that our squad is improving and looking forward to next year.
A. L. Hepworth MVP Award: Nile Buranasiri ’15
MIP: Nate Manwell ’15
Sportsmanship: Loren Po ’15
Next year’s captains will be: Gleb Pashchenko ’16, Zack Robbins ’17
MVP: Isabelle Cheney ’20
MIP: Ava McElhone Yates ’17
Sportsmanship: Natalie Romain ’18
Girls Varsity Tennis
Coach Kelly Canniff’s varsity team played competitive tennis all spring against a tough schedule. There were many highlights during the season, including a convincing 7-0 victory over Suffield Academy and an exciting 4-3 victory over NMH. The girls finished their season on a high note with a first-place finish at the Suffield Invitational Tournament held on the final Saturday. Leading the way for Williston were junior Julie Lord who came in second at #1 singles, Ray Stein who came in first at #2 singles and the doubles team of Fuka Iwama and Yoonji Kim who won the #2 doubles bracket.
MVP: Julie Lord ’15 (second year in a row)
MIP: Fuka Iwama ’18
Sportsmanship: Umi Keezing ’15
Captains for next year: Caroline Borden ’16, Abby Foster ’16
Boys Junior Varsity Golf
The JV team, led by Coaches Whipple and Shelton, demonstrated steady improvement throughout the season, highlighted by victories over Suffield, Berkshire and Deerfield.
MVP: Issei Nakano ’17
MIP: Chris Hudson ’16
Sportsmanship: Long Nguyen ’17
Boys Varsity Golf
The boys varsity golf team, under Coach Mike Fay’s tutelage, emerged from their rebuilding season in 2014 to become a top contender once again in prep school golf. The team’s nine-hole match average improved a full three strokes this season to just over 41. The boys ended their regular season with an excellent 12-8 record. Highlights of the season included a sweep of a tri-match against Deerfield and Wilbraham & Monson, and a convincing win over NMH, where sophomore Jacob Zaranek shot an outstanding 35. The team’s best match score came at an 18-hole match against Berkshire and Kingswood when 8th grader, Tyler Senecal, shot an impressive 75. As a sign of this team’s depth of talent, Williston had nine players compete in at least three matches over the course of the season. At the season-ending Kingswood Invitational Tournament, our young squad came in ninth out of the 23 schools that competed. With the top eight golfers all returning next year, the future of Williston boys golf is very bright.
Robert C. Varnum ’60 MVP: Jacob Zaranek ’17 (2nd year in a row)
MIP: Daisuke Sasakawa ’16
Sportsmanship: Jared Karas ’15
Captain for next year: Jacob Zaranek ’17
MVP: Cameron Stanley ’16
Most Improved: Vivian Tin ’16
Sportsmanship: Nikki Foster ’20
Girls Varsity Golf
The 2015 varsity girls golf team, led by Coach Ann Pickrell, had a terrific season, compiling an 11-3 match play season record this spring. This is the second best overall season record for the team in the 13-year history of Williston’s program. Highlights included victories over strong squads from Hotchkiss and Loomis, and shutout (5-0) wins over Miss Hall’s and Ethel Walker School. Despite only having three home matches, the team turned in an impressive 7-2 record on the road, traveling to unfamiliar courses throughout the season.
MVP: Sabrina Sampson ’16
Most Improved: Nancy Kang ’17 ( second year in a row)
Sportsmanship: Yuwei Cao ’16
Captains for next year: Yuwei Cao ’16, Sabrina Sampson ’16, Lu Zheng ’16
Boys Junior Varsity Baseball
Fielding a young team of mostly 7th and 8th graders, Coach Spearing and Harper’s JV Baseball team battled hard throughout the season demonstrating great resilience and improvement.
MVP: Connor Cavanaugh ’20
MIP: Tom Pham ’17
Sportsmanship: Nat Markey ’20
Boys Varsity Baseball
The varsity baseball team, led by Coaches Sawyer, Lapolla, and Cheney also battled hard all spring competing in the Western New England Baseball League. While the team had some great wins, they also suffered a number of tough losses—including six games by one run alone. Among these losses was a great effort in a 4-3 loss to Salisbury and exciting game at Berkshire that was tied up in dramatic fashion in the 7th inning with a two-out, two-run home run by junior Justin Frometa. Unfortunately, Berkshire pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the 7th.
Despite these heartbreaking losses, the team did manage to enjoy some great wins as well, including beating Pomfret convincingly twice. The highlight of the season was clearly a win at divisional leader Cheshire Academy led by two seniors. Pitcher Joe Sansone had a great day on the mound and fellow senior Emmett O’Malley had a key two out, two run double.
Several players earned all-league recognition for their outstanding play. Earning second team honors were sophomore Derek Zewinski and junior Justin Frometa. Earning first team honors were sophomore Ian Ostberg and seniors Jack Gethings and Joe Sansone.
Walter R. Miller ’41 MVP: Jack Gethings ’15
MIP: Derek Zewinski ’17
Sportsmanship: Teddy Carellas ’15
Next year’s captain will be Justin Frometa ’16
Girls Varsity Softball
Led by Coaches Davey, Ward, and Marsland, varsity softball enjoyed another excellent season, finishing with a record of 9-4. There were many highlights to the season, including decisive victories over Deerfield Choate, Berkshire and Pomfret. One of the biggest highlights took place when the girls beat a tough Kingswood Oxford squad 4-3 in a thrilling game. Another game worth special mention was the 10-0 win at Cushing Academy when freshman pitcher Jordan Strum threw a perfect game facing the minimum of 21 batters in 7 innings—a tremendous accomplishment at any level.
For the second year in a row the girls qualified for the Class A League Tournament, this time in exciting fashion when they traveled to Loomis for a Friday play-in game. In another nail bitter, the girls advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory, thanks to the outstanding play of our two league all-stars: Jordan Strum pitched another terrific game and junior Delaney Belinskas hit a two-run home run.
MVP: Delaney Belinskas ’16 and Jordan Strum ’18
MIP: Natalia Baum ’15 and Gabby Dicomitis ’18
Sportsmanship: Maggie Cummings ’15
Captains for next year: Delaney Belinskas ’16, Morgan Fisher ’16
Girls Water Polo
Led by Coaches Bill Berghoff and Adeleen Brown, the girls water polo squad was short on numbers but, according to Coach Berghoff, “long on character and intensity.” Playing most games without a full squad, this group nevertheless reached a level of success that was not believed possible at the beginning of the spring. A training trip to Florida in March helped establish a nucleus of players that would encourage the entire team to attain a special level of success.
Six one-goal wins in a row—including wins over Exeter and Andover in the same day—propelled the girls to a first-ever invitation to the NEPSAC tournament. A thrilling, but heartbreaking, loss to Exeter on a last-minute goal finished the season, but with no regrets!
Eight wins, a winning record, and a NEPSAC playoff berth were all “firsts” for the girls’ water polo program. Led by the offensive strength of Annika Smith and 8th grader Abbie Coscia and anchored by the defense of Emily Grussing, Aubrey Berghoff and MVP Mary McCarthy this team exceeded all expectations!
Special mention went to senior goalie Mary McCarthy, who finished her outstanding career with several school records, including save percentage and most saves in a game, season, and career. Ms. McCarthy was presented with a memento of her tremendous career during the assembly.
MVP: Mary McCarthy ’15
MIP: Mary Koback ’17
Sportsmanship: Annika Smith ’15 (second season in a row)
Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse
Boys JV lacrosse, led by the dynamic duo of Coach KaneLong and Hanford, had an outstanding season finishing with a 10-1 record including winning their last 10 in a row! Highlights included a tremendous 11-10 win at Pomfret and an equally thrilling 7-6 overtime victory over Hopkins!
MVP: Devin DeVerry ’18, Cam Ward ’18
MIP: Oskar Lee ’18
Sportsmanship: Ethan DeMaio ’20
Boys Varsity Lacrosse
The varsity boys lacrosse team, led by Coaches Syfu, Dietrich and Johnson, enjoyed their finest season in 16 years with a record of 12-3. The boys went 6-0 against Western New England Division II foes to win the league championship for the first time in several years. There were many, many highlights during the season including beating Division 1 opponents Taft and Loomis – both on the road. The gritty 6-4 win over Loomis was just our second victory over them in the last 29 years. Other great wins included beating Millbrook for the first time in 6 years and convincing wins over NMH and Canterbury.
Five members of the team earned all-league distinction. Senior Andrew Liu and juniors Nick Garofano and Jake Ross were named first team while sophomore Brian Sullivan and senior Curt McLeod were named second team. Nick Garofano was also named the William LaBelle Offensive Player of the Year award for Western New England Division II. Finally, congratulations also goes out to our co-head Coaches Syfu and Dietrich who were recognized by their fellow coaches in Division II with the Mike Fuller Coach of the Year award.
Frank Dorsey MVP: Nick Garofano ’16, Jake Ross ’16
MIP: Caleb Holmberg ’16
Sportsmanship: Saul Blain ’18
Captains for next year: Nick Garofano ’16 and Jake Ross ’16
Girls Thirds Lacrosse
Girls lacrosse at Williston had another outstanding season. The thirds team, under the leadership of Sarah Sawyer and her crackerjack assistant Julia Valine, demonstrated great improvement throughout the season.
MVP: Katherine Borden ’20
MIP: Mia Bacon ’19
Sportsmanship: Addie Rogers ’20
Girls Junior Varsity Lacrosse
The JV squad, led by Coaches Garrity and Baldwin, also had an exceptional season with a record of 10-1 including victories over Choate, Loomis and Deerfield.
MVP: Rachel Burke ’19
MIP: Anna Harvey ’18
Sportsmanship: Morgan Fogleman ’16
Girls Varsity Lacrosse
Led by Coaches Fulcher, Jablonski and Evans, the varsity girls lacrosse team had another outstanding season, finishing with a 12-2 record with only three goals separating them from an undefeated season. In the past eight years the girls’ lacrosse team has had an incredible 98 – 6 record!
While there were many great wins during this season, there were several victories that stood out for Coach Fulcher. The first three were decisive but hard fought victories over perennially tough opponents NMH, Choate and Deerfield—all on the road. Arguably the two most exciting victories took place on the road as well, at Westminster and at Tabor. At Westminster, the girls were down five goals before rallying in the second half to win 11-10. In their final game at Tabor, the team demonstrated their trademark grit and determination by winning a thrilling triple overtime victory 11-10!
In terms of postseason recognition junior Meg Szawlowski and senior Gracie Simpson were both recognized for their outstanding play by being named to both the All Western New England team and the All NEPSAC team. Congratulations to both girls!
MVP Award: Gracie Simpson ’15, Meg Szawlowski ’16
MIP: Sophia Schaefer ’18
Kate Risley ’93 Sportsmanship Award: Sam Newman ’15
Davis Award for overall contribution: Emma Lawrence ’15
Next year’s captains will be Chloe Harris ’16, Haley McCreary ’16, Meg Szawlowski ’16, Caroline Wysocki ’16.
Track and Field
Boys Track and Field
Under the leadership of head coach Michelle Lawson and fellow coaches Martha McCullagh, Jane Lucia, Noah Lipnick, Lori Pelliccia, Annie Schneider, and Alex Rivenburgh, both the boys and girls track teams enjoyed very successful seasons. Highlights of the boys’ 9-5 dual meet season included victories over Hopkins, Avon, Kingswood-Oxford, and Cheshire. At the New England championships held at Tabor last Saturday, the boys finished in 11th place. Earning team points on the day were junior Mike Dereus with a fourth in the 100 and a third in the 200, senior Anthony Aquadro with a fifth in the 800, Aidan Greenwood with a fifth in the long jump, Nick Hill with a sixth in the 3000 and Kyle Doucette with a sixth in the shot put. I should add that Mike Dereus also broke the school record in the 200 with a time of 21.8! Congratulations Mike!
Frank Putnam MVP: Michael Dereus ’16
MIP: Kyle Doucette ’16
Sportsmanship: Stephen Goldsmith ’16
Next year’s captains will be Michael Dereus ’16, Kyle Doucette ’16, Nate Gordon ’16
Girls Track and Field
The girls track and field team had another amazing spring finishing their dual meet season with an outstanding record of 13-1. The team has lost only two dual meets the past two years. As they did a year ago, they swept through their dual meet season defeating all of their Division II opponents. At the New England championships the girls had an outstanding day, finishing in third place and narrowly losing out to the Governor’s Academy. Individually, nine girls earned points on the day:
• Junior Sideya Dill finished 6th in the 400
• Freshman Sophie Carellas finished 5th in the pole vault
• Junior Maddy Scott finished 4th in the 300 hurdles
• Junior Rachel Rockwell finished 2nd in both the Javelin and the 100 Hurdles narrowly losing by 1/100ths of a second!
Five girls are deserving of special mention:
• Sophomore Alexis Ryan finished 5th in the shot put and won the Discus with a throw of 106’8”.
• Also becoming NEPSAC champions last Saturday for the second consecutive year was our 4 x 100 relay team of sophomore Rebecca Sundel, junior Sideya Dill, and seniors Lena Gandevia and Gabby Thomas. Additionally, they broke our school record with a time of 49.76.
MVP: Gabby Thomas ’15 (fifth year in a row)
MIP: Alexis Ryan ’17
Sportsmanship: Ashley Fitch ’15
Next year’s captain will be Rachel Rockwell ’16, Maddy Scott ’16
Individual Senior Awards
Students at Williston are encouraged to participate and get engaged in all aspects of our life here. Many of our graduating seniors have made an exceptional commitment to participating in our competitive athletic program. To honor this distinguished level of participation, the Athletic Department presents a senior award, the Blanket Award, to recognize those students who have participated on a team every season during their junior and senior year. For students who have been at Williston for more than two years, they are eligible for the award if they missed only one season during either their freshman or sophomore year. The following 24 seniors were recognized during the athletic award ceremony.
One-year students: Alicia Lima
Two-year students: Marcus Gould, Joe Labrecque, Elie Small
Three-year students: Waleed Eltigani, Alex Fabbri, Stephen Goldsmith, Quinn Griffin
Sixteen students who have been here at least four years: Anthony Aquadro, Nile Buranasiri, Jen Carellas, Joy Chen, Matt Cullen, Ashley Fitch, Lena Gandevia, Emily Grussing, Maddy Jerolman, Sameer Jhaveri, Sam Newman, Terry O’Brien, Jenna Phelan, Loren Po, Gracie Simpson, Julia Valine
Mr. Conroy also awarded Williston’s two most prestigious senior athletic awards. The George Denman Bowl for boys and the Alumnae Bowl for girls are “awarded to seniors whose contribution to the athletic program has been characterized by exceptional achievement, faithful participation, and loyal devotion to the best interests of the school.”
George Denman Bowl
The Denman recipient has been a three sport athlete for six years at Williston, earning 13 letters along the way. During the fall, he was a two year captain of the Varsity Boys Soccer team earning both team MVP and all-league honors as a senior. During the winter season, he brought his athleticism to the ski program where he earned letters the past six years captaining our NEPSAC champion team this past winter. During the spring, he captained his third team in helping lead the Boys Track and Field team specializing in middle distance running where he scored team points in the 800 in the NEPSAC championship meet. He is regarding by his coaches as a tremendous team player whose work ethic and self-less approach made him a tremendous young man to coach.
On behalf of the athletic program it gives us great pleasure to award this 2015 Denman Award to Anthony Aquadro.
The Alumnae Bowl recipient had an equally impressive career at Williston during her six years here, earning 11 letters. In the fall, she was one of the leading scorers on our varsity girls soccer team, using her great speed to her advantage. During the spring, it would be an understatement to say that she has been a significant contributor to our track and program. Here is just a sampling of her accolades as a track and field athlete: six-year letter winner, five-time team MVP, two-time NEPSAC MVP, and 11-time NEPSAC champion. She holds five school records that she has broken numerous times during the past four years. Her tremendous accomplishments in our track and field program make her arguably the most accomplished track and field athlete—male or female—in our school’s history. Beyond her outstanding accomplishments, she is widely considered by her coaches not only as a fierce competitor, but also as a humble and supportive teammate.
It gives us great pleasure to award the 2015 Alumnae Bowl to Gabby Thomas