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More Than 25 SM Grads in Spring College Athletic Action
More Than 25 SM Grads in Spring College Athletic Action

Summer is now here, and it is time to look back at the more than two dozen SM alumni who saw athletic action in college and university teams during this past spring season.

In college tennis, Grace Conrad '16 (pictured at right) had an outstanding year for Lafayette, going 15-8 in singles play (mostly at the #3 spot, but she was unbeaten during her brief stint at the #1 position) and winning seven more times in doubles. A two-time All-ISL selection while at St. Mark's (she was twice team MVP, when the Lions won the N.E. Class C title in 2015 and came in 2nd in 2016), Conrad was named an Outstanding Athlete of the Year this spring by the Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Conrad's SM classmate, Jonathan Hallal '16, went 3-2 in singles play for Colby. He played at the 4th, 5th, and 6th spots for the 10-7 Mules. Hallal was also a multiple All-ISL selection and team MVP during his time at St. Mark's.

The college baseball diamond saw four St. Markers in action. Steven Gilbert '13 finished up a successful career at Skidmore. Over four seasons, the Thoroughbreds outfielder batted .301 with 19 doubles, 55 runs, 30 RBI, and 14 steals. During his junior year at Skidmore he led the team in batting, while he was the Thoroughbreds' top base stealer as a senior. At St. Mark's, Gilbert earned All-ISL status as a Sixth Former, after being recognized as All-ISL Honorable Mention the previous year.

Two of Gilbert's SM classmates—Zach Twitchell '13 and Austin Cave '13—just completed their junior college seasons. At Union, shortstop Twitchell—like Gilbert an All-ISL in 2013 and HM in 2012—batted .284 with 11 runs, 12 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 2016. Cave, a pitcher with Holy Cross, appeared in six games with one start, posting a record of 1-0 with seven strikeouts over 11 innings. Finally, Luke Chiasson '15 pitched as a sophomore for Virginia Wesleyan. He appeared six times in relief, with eight strikeouts over nine innings. A Communication major at VW, Chiasson was named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Academic team this year.

Nine St. Markers played women's lacrosse at the collegiate level this spring. From the SM Class of 2014, Brown University junior Mikaela Karlsson (a three-time All-ISL selection and team MVP as a Sixth Former at St. Mark's) made nine starts in goal for the Bears, posting a .534 save percentage, while Hope D'Orsi (also a three times All-ISL and SM MVP in 2013) played midfield for the 14-6 University of Richmond Spiders, who this year made it to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship finals before falling to Boston College. Already in her three seasons at Richmond, D'Orsi has 16 goals and 7 assists for 23 points.

Playing for that Boston College team was Christina Walsh '15, one of four from her class playing college lacrosse. Walsh, an All-ISL selection in 2015—when St. Mark's won the ISL championship—appeared in all 24 games for the 17-7 Eagles, making 12 starts on defense. After winning the ACC title, BC won four in a row in the NCAA championship tournament, before losing to top-seeded Maryland in the final.

Also from the SM Class of 2015, college sophomore Maddie Torgerson plays attack for William & Mary. Torgerson—herself a three-time All-ISL star and a member of St. Mark's ISL championship team as a senior—was named to the Colonial Athletic Association's all-rookie team as a freshman. Classmate Sydney Howard (All-ISL Honorable mention during that championship Sixth Form year) is a sophomore attacker for Bates. In her two years with the Bobcats, Howard has appeared in 31 games and has tallied 23 goals and 12 assists for 35 points so far on her college lacrosse career, with a 90.5 shots on goal percentage.

Having taken a year to work at an orphanage in Peru, another member of that St. Mark's ISL championship team, Sarah Marino-Babcock '15, is now a freshman at William Smith, playing backup goalie for the 20-2 Herons (runner-up in NCAA Division III women's lacrosse championship tournament). Babcock appeared in the Herons' 15-1 win over Bard College, allowing no goals.

Three from the St. Mark's Class of 2016 played women's lacrosse as true freshmen this spring. Tess D'Orsi '16 (at left) led all Princeton freshmen in scoring, with 38 goals and 13 assists for 51 points—the second most ever by a first-year player in Princeton history. She also had 11 ground balls, 8 draw controls, and 7 turnovers caused. D'Orsi— two-time ISL champion, three-time All-ISL selection, two time SM team MVP, and 2016 ISL MVP—helped the Tigers take home both the Ivy League regular season and tournament titles in 2017. Her first six shots of her freshman campaign were all goals, and she earned Inside Lax Rookie of the Week honors for her auspicious debut. She had six hat-tricks, including four goal games versus Virginia, Brown, and Dartmouth; and three-goal games against Loyola, Syracuse, and Harvard. For her spectacular college freshman season, Tess was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy League.

Kara Finnerty '16 was the third leading scorer for Bowdoin's women's varsity lacrosse team this year, leading all freshmen with 27 goals and 13 assists for 40 points. A three-time All-ISL selection and two-time ISL champion, Finnerty (pictured at right) was also first on the Bowdoin team in causing turnovers (24), second in draw controls (40), and third in ground balls (20). She scored five times against Connecticut College, tallied four against Williams, and three versus Wheaton. Against the University of New England, she tallied three assists, had 5 draw controls, and caused three turnovers. For her efforts this year, Kara was named to the All-NESCAC 2nd team and to the All-Pilgrim Regional 1st team.

Finally, Becca Shea '16 was a freshman defender at St. Anselm's. A 2016 All-ISL selection and two-time ISL champion, Shea appeared in 14 games for the 6-11 Hawks. She had 15 ground balls, five caused turnovers, and one draw control.

One St. Marker, Owen Allen '16, played men's varsity lacrosse in college this year. Starring at both attack and midfield for 8-8 Babson, the former two-time SM MVP and three-time All-ISL selection led the team in assists with 13 and was second on the team with 27 goals, good for 40 points overall (also second on the team). He helped lead Babson to the semi-final round of the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference tournament, before bowing to Springfield. Allen had five hat tricks, scoring four times in games against Skidmore and UMass Dartmouth and three times each versus Mass Maritime, Wheaton, and in the final tournament game against Springfield.

In men's collegiate crew, Julian Palermo '16 had an outstanding year rowing for St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He was part of the Hawks' freshman 8+ which took home silver in the Murphy Cup and bronze medals in both the Knecht Cup and Bergen Cup races. Promoted to the men's 3rd Varsity 8+, Julian was part of the crew which rowed to a gold medal finish at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta, qualifying them for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association's national championship regatta, where they finished an impressive fifth. A St. Mark's alumna, Caroline Ellwood '14, is also in a men's rowing program, as a coxswain for Columbia's men's heavyweight crew.

Seven St. Markers were part of college and university women's crew programs this year. Maddie Vachris '13 ended her four years at the U.S. Naval Academy in top form. The senior captain led Navy to its third straight Patriot League Championship on May 12th with a commanding performance, winning gold in the second varsity 8+, varsity 4+, and silver in the varsity 8+ race, after sweeping the qualifying heats earlier in the morning. Vachris rowed in Navy's second varsity 8+ which won by an incredible 15 second margin over silver medalists Bucknell and bronze medalists Holy Cross. The team's dominant performance earned them an automatic qualification to the 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships, where they finished 4th in the NCAA semi-finals. While at St. Mark's, Maddie was co-captain of Varsity Girls' Crew and rowed in the Varsity 4+ as a Sixth Former.

Claire Benning '15 rowed for Brown as a sophomore, on the 2nd V 8+, winning the Ivy League title, and finishing 5th in the NCAA championships. Madison Falzon '16 rowed as a freshman for Syracuse on the 3rd V 8+. Her boat came in first at the annual Doc Hosea invitational in April; defeated Iowa, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Harvard; and came in 2nd in the ACC championships. Another college freshman, Desi Goodwin '16 rowed for Harvard-Radcliffe in 2017. Promoted to the 1st V 8+, she helped her boat earn a gold medal at the Eastern Sprints in Worcester this past April. Other St. Markers in women's collegiate crew programs include Jasmine Williams '16, coxswain of Dartmouth's 2nd V 8+; Abigail McNulty, coxswain of Trinity's unbeaten novice 4+ and then promoted to the Bantams' 3rd V 8+ boat; and Claudia Chung '16, coxswain for the Bryn Mawr Owls.

All told, some sixty SM alumni/ae participated in intercollegiate athletics during the 2016-17 academic year. While ten will be graduating, 15 more from the class of 2017 will be joining the ranks of college athletes in 2017-18, so there will be as many as 65 St. Markers playing in college next year.

Congratulations to all these talented St. Markers for their athletic successes at the college/university level!

If you know of any other St. Markers playing at the collegiate level that we have not included, please let us know.