SPS Today: Spring Athletics
Another NE title for girls crew; girls lacrosse dominates; boys tennis caps winning season
In a sprint to the finish, the girls first varsity eight won the NEIRA Championship on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. With the victory, the Big Red became the first SPS girls crew to successfully defend its New England title since the 2001 and 2002 seasons. The grand final featured a rematch between the first eight (5:03.08) and Andover (5:04.99), the only crew to defeat the SPS first boat during the regular season. The girls second and third boats also earned spots in the grand finals. The second eight won bronze (5:29.87) behind Exeter and Andover, while the third boat finished fifth (5:47.96). “The tremendous depth of the team this year – six full boats,” said Coach Michael Spencer, “bodes wells for the future and helped to elevate the work of all of the crews.”
The SPS boys crews recovered from a slow start to the day, as the second boat earned bronze at the NEIRA Regatta and the first boat won the petite final, besting nearest competitors Andover and Hanover. In the middle 500m of the second eight grand final, SPS established third position. In the third 500m, Kent extended its lead, with Exeter pulling into clear second position. SPS closed well, finishing half a length ahead of St. John’s and well clear of BC High and Fairfield Prep. This was an excellent performance by a young SPS crew. A youthful third boat performed well, finishing fourth.
A sixth-place finish at the NEPSTA Championship meet capped a solid season for the Big Red girls track team (10-1). In track events, the SPS 4 x 100m relay team placed second, earning All-New England honors for Isabelle Geneve ’19, Cecilia Marrinan ’20, Maddy Gibbons ’18, and Toni Johnson ’20. Marrinan also finished third in the 100m and earned All-New England honors with a second-place finish in the 200m. Lauren Henderson ’19 (3rd in 1500m, 6th in 400m) and Josie Varney ’19 (4th in 3000m) also performed well. Top finishers in field events included Jessica-Ann Ereyi ’20 (6th in shot put); Olivia Carter ’19 (6th in discus); Adani Duguay-Webster ’20 (6th in javelin); and Johnson (6th in long jump).
For the boys, captain JR Ereyi ’20 got things started by winning the shot put and earning All-New England honors with his throw of 50’2.5”. Eze Tiede ’20 followed in the javelin with a throw of 168’, which was good for second place and All-New England honors. Other top performances included the fourth-place finish of the 4 x 100m relay team of Taiyo Olorode ’20, Diego Dorantes-Ferreira ’18, Tiede, and Julien Menes ’19; Tiede’s sixth-place finish in the 110m high hurdles; Dorrantes-Ferreira placing fifth in the 100m and fourth in the 200m; and the fifth-place finish of Joss Eyondi Ngea ’19 in the high jump.
SPS boys finished the 2018 season at 9-3. Victories over New Hampton, Worcester Academy, Vermont Academy, Kimball Union, Dexter, Brewster, NMH, and Cardigan demonstrated the strength of the team. SPS suffered a pair of closely contested losses to Exeter and a competitive loss to ISL powerhouse Nobles. The team got strong performances from Sixth Formers Will Yee ’18, Spencer Rowley ’18, and Richard Li ’18. Other Sixth Form contributors, mostly in doubles, included Josh Hrasky ’18 and Rhys Foulkes ’18. Newcomers Erik Hoets ’20 and Garrison Famiglio ’21 were instrumental to the teams’ success. Both participated in the New England Prep School Invitational at Choate. With five players graduating, the Big Red will have a different look in 2019.
After a slow start, the girls tennis team won eight of its final nine matches to finish at 8-4 overall. The Big Red earned victories over Brewster Academy and Exeter to close out the season. The 6-3 victory over Exeter in the spring finale avenged a loss to the New England opponent in the season opener.
In a season marked by offensive power, five players scored more than 25 goals for the Big Red girls lacrosse team in 2018. Gillis Frechette ’18 led the way, racking up 56 goals and 22 assists in 18 games. Sophie Ward ’19 (40g, 12a), Phoebe Day ’19 (38g, 5a), Bridget Babcock ’19 (30g, 36a), and Charlotte Clark ’18 (28g, 32a) were other top scorers. Shea Jenkins ’18 added 23 goals and 17 assists for SPS. As a team, St. Paul’s went 17-1, earning wins in its first 14 games before suffering its lone setback. The Big Red outscored opponents 296-133, for an average margin of victory of 16-7, including three games in which the team reached the 20-goal mark.
Weather conditions created a cold and sporadic start to the season for Coach Davies Cabot and the SPS boys varsity lacrosse team. Competing in the eight-team Lakes Region league, St. Paul’s faced teams such as Exeter, Andover, NMH, and Pingree. Highlights included wins against Vermont Academy, Berwick, Worcester Academy, and NMH. St. Paul’s avenged a regular-season overtime loss to Tilton by defeating the squad in a rematch to advance to the Lakes Region playoffs. Captains Reid Clemmenson ’18, Hayden Dieterle ’18, Jon Saklad ’19, and David Roselle ’19 provided strong leadership. Individual honors went to Luc Bryant ’18 (Coach’s Award), Jon Saklad (Defensive MVP), Clemmenson (Offensive MVP), and Roselle (Roby Lacrosse Medal). Goaltender Roselle earned NNELL all-star honors, with a .500 saves percentage. Defenseman Charlie Murphy ’20, faceoff specialist Kenny Ziniti ’20, and Charlie Kessler ’20 (25g) earned NNELL honorable mentions. SPS graduates only four Sixth Formers.
St. Paul’s played an abbreviated 11-game schedule in a gap year between league play. The team got off to a positive start on a 4-1-1 training trip to Florida. Season highlights included wins over Vermont Academy, Brewster, and Holderness. Pitcher Oliver Morton ’18 received the Coach’s Award and pitched many key innings for SPS, including a mid-season stretch of three consecutive scoreless outings against Thayer, Berwick, and Tilton. Catcher Jake Demers ’18 batted .333 and earned the Douglas Baseball Medal. Colin Chase ’18 earned the Defensive Player of the Year honors, making only one error all year while starting every game at second base. Offensively, Chase sported a .441 on-base percentage. Sean Lee ’18 earned the Offensive Player of the Year, batting .357 with a .386 OBP as the Big Red’s leadoff hitter and right fielder. The future looks bright, as SPS returns three of its top four pitchers in 2019, along with several young fielders and batters.
A young SPS softball team suffered growing pains, but showed consistent improvement throughout the season. A strong example of that growth was the difference between an early-season runaway loss to Tabor, which turned into a one-run rematch near the end of the campaign. Among the standouts for the Big Red were shortstop Brett Stoddard ’19, pitcher Arianna Morataya ’21, Liv Hale ’18 (third base), and catcher Willa King ’18. Among the young players who show promise for the future are Kaitlyn Bergeron ’21 and Anna Solzhenitsyn ’21.