After finishing a jog around Fresh Pond, distance runner Lily Brown ’19 trots up a small hill to Danehy Park in Cambridge, where she sees some teammates running 400-meter sprints, others practicing long jumps, and more in a circle doing 15 push-ups as part of a team ab workout.
“That’s one of my favorite images from track,” she said. “There are so many different events you can do in this sport, so seeing everyone doing their own thing in practice is cool.”
“Track is organized chaos,” Head Track & Field Coach Charlie O’Rourke added. “But having 100 kids running track between the Lower, Middle, and Upper School (US) is awesome, and it shows there was a need for the sport at BB&N.”
Nearly 70 US students joined track and field this spring for the squad’s first season as an official team after the Independent School League (ISL) considered the group only a club last year—in the inaugural year of any sport, the ISL deems it a club rather than a team. The girls finished the season with 11 wins and four losses—just under their 15 wins and two losses in 2017—while the boys finished with three wins, 14 losses, and one tie, an improvement from last year’s one win and 16 losses.
Highlights for the girls included Isabella Kennedy ’18 winning the 3,000-meter race at ISLs with a time of 10:23.4; first-time jumper Sofia Dushku ’21 clearing 4 feet 8 inches in the high jump; and Mia Bawendi ’20 winning first, second, third, and fourth place in the triple jump, 100-meter dash, 100-meter relay, and pole vault, respectively, at the New England Championships.
Coach O’Rourke said on the boys’ side, he loved watching Jayden and Gerson Personnat (both ’21), who both ran the 100-meter dash and 100-meter relay, improve in their sprinting.
“They both went from slow junior varsity sprinters to fast varsity ones in a short time,” he said. “They worked hard, and [Sprinting Coach] Saleena [Rashed] did a great job with them. They’re great to watch.”
Boys’ Co-Captain Trevor Khanna ’18 said that a personal highlight was when he cleared 5 feet 2 inches on the high jump.
“The feeling I had was euphoric. It was a goal I’d had for a month or two, and I finally achieved it,” he said. “While it might not be the best record, I felt this great sense of accomplishment that I’m sure other people also felt when they hit their goals in their own events.”
Friday team dinners at upperclassmen’s houses also made the season memorable, Girls’ Co-Captain Margaret Hardigg ’18 said.
“We would have really deep talks, oddly, when we were sitting around eating Comella’s, but then we’d also have really goofy conversations, too,” she said.
Aanika Patel ’21, who tried the sport for the first time this year, said she appreciated how easy talking with the team felt.
“The atmosphere of the team was incredible—everyone was super open. During team dinners, I’d ask upperclassmen about advisors or some other aspect of BB&N,” she said. “I never thought I’d do that in a sport and especially as a freshman.”
Emory Sabatini ’18 said he enjoyed how the sport allows athletes to participate in a variety of different events, but he sometimes felt practices were chaotic and disorganized.
“We once ran around the courtyard [at the Upper School] for 10 minutes,” Emory said, “which was embarrassing because other teams were watching us while they did their normal workouts.”
Athletes on the new team are also getting used to how long track meets can run. Whereas fall cross-country meets have a maximum of four races and usually take no more than a few hours, track meets can require a full Saturday.
“We spend two hours round trip on the bus and five hours sitting on the field, only to run 10 minutes max,” distance runner Leyla Ewald ’19 said.
Still, jumper Ava Fascetti ’19 said, the sport is worthwhile.
“Track at BB&N offers so many different options, and you don’t have to be a certain type of athlete to join,” she said. “It’s for everyone who is willing to put in their best and try to give as much to the team as they can. That’s why we were so successful this year, and I hope we’ll continue to be successful next year.”
Led by Captains Mike Bulman, Mark Synnott, and Cooper Wolff (all ’18) Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse closed its season with a 2–15 record.
The team had the youngest roster in the ISL this season, Coach Mike Derrenberger said.
“Our team is a good group of young men who are working toward a common goal of improving as a team each and every day,” Derrenberger said. “We improved a great deal over the season and matured as a group.”
He said a season highlight was beating Roxbury Latin in overtime for the first time since 2009.
Mike Bulman said this spring was tough for the team.
“A challenging stretch of the season was when we played four of the best teams in New England all in a row,” he said. “Though the competition was difficult, we battled and gave our best effort.”
“We fought really hard to get better each day, whether it was practice or a game,” he added. “I think everyone improved significantly as the season progressed.”
Looking ahead, Coach Derrenberger said, “We want to continue to build upon the culture of hard work we established this year.”
Head Coach Carla Farkes attributed the success of Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse (GVL) this year to the consistency and dedication of its 21 players, who achieved a 10–8 overall record for the season.
“The dynamic of the team was positive energy,” she said. “It embraced hard work, good humor, and resilience.”
The team lost some early games, Coach Farkes said, and that fueled the players to improve. The result was a five-game winning streak that took their record from 3–5 to 8–5.
The team logged some big wins, including the defeat of St. Mark’s by 11-10 in the ISL tournament, which GVL went into seeded seventh, five places below St. Mark’s.
Co-Captain Rebecca Isaacson ’18 said some of her favorite moments from the season were the team’s pregame sing-alongs and the stories Jori Balsam ’19 created about what different players did in their free time.
Rebecca also praised how well the team responded to an early setback.
“Our biggest challenge was probably having our goalie break her wrist early in the season,” she said. “Nothing is more indicative of how dedicated and selfless this team is than the four field players who volunteered to step up as goalie.”
This spring Boys’ Varsity Tennis welcomed back their coach Steve Counihan, who was battling cancer last year.
“He is now cancer-free, and it was really special for us and him, to share our victories at practice every day,” Co-Captain Max Haigney ’18 said.
A primary focus of practices this year was on doubles, especially drills to improve volleys, Max said.
“Most of us have grown up mainly playing singles,” Max added. “Doubles is a key component to our matches.”
In the semifinals of the New England Championships, a play-off tournament for which only eight out of 48 New England teams qualify, the team beat Hopkins High School in the quarterfinals, their first victory against them in a decade.
“Most teams in the ISL thought this would be a rebuilding season for us after losing four of our six starters. We proved everyone wrong,” Co-Captain Armeen Golshan ’19 said. “We continue to demonstrate our pure dedication to the team and to each other.”
Will Kim ’20 said the team worked hard and took the time to bond as a group of individuals, adding, “The team spirit and determination are unwavering and led us to a very successful season overall.”
The team logged an 11–3 record in the ISL.
Although Girls’ Varsity Tennis finished the season with a 2–13 record, Assistant Coach Sam Crihfield said that this spring the girls learned how to compete.
“At the beginning of the season we were a bunch of strangers,” Coach Crihfield said. “By the end, we knew how to support each other and push each other on to compete and improve every day.”
Coach Crihfield praised the group for coming together with great chemistry and camaraderie and said a major highlight was a big home win against Governor’s Academy.
“Everybody played hard and pitched in to come out on top, 10–5,” he said.
Coach Crihfield recognized Caroline Knox ’21 as an outstanding player, who won or split most of her matches at the number-two singles position.
Giovanna Cima ’19 recognized Head Coach Sidney Cooper as one of the team’s defining characters.
“We can always count on him to do something weird,” she said, “whether he’s loudly welcoming our opponents to the ‘castle of the lady knights’ or having his phone ringer go off with slow jazz music during every match.”
“I don’t think he knows how to put it on silent,” she added.
Co-Captain Lucy Goldfarb ’18 said the team had many new underclassmen this year and bonded into a close group of girls as the season went on.
“I loved the team this year,” she said.
The efforts of Girls’ Varsity Crew (GVC) this season began amidst great uncertainty as the team stared at a gaping hole in the varsity roster. Only 10 of GVC’s roster last year returned to row this spring, with 11 rowers and one coxswain having graduated or left the program.
“It was a restocking year, so to speak,” Assistant GVC Coach Wendy Svatek said, adding that because half the varsity was new, the team had quite a few oarswomen moving in and out of the top four boats.
Coach Svatek said rowers like Charlotte Winton and Hattie Grant (both ’21), who had never pulled on an oar before the spring, eventually found themselves on varsity. Ultimately, Hattie rowed in GVC’s third boat and Charlotte in its fourth.
The team qualified all four varsity boats to the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships (NEIRAs). At the regatta, the first, second, and fourth boats did not ultimately make the finals, but the third boat advanced and pulled out a fourth-place finish, just under three seconds off the bronze medal.
“We have no easy races,” said Head Coach John Cotter of the team’s regular season schedule. “Every week we race a top-flight school.”
A week prior to NEIRAs, GVC crews triumphed in three out of four races against Brooks, Pingree, and Thayer. Second-boat rower Sophie Collins Arroyo ’19 said the race was memorable for being a culmination of the team’s hard work and one of the few away races the group had this year.
“It was nice to experience a different course for a change, and for the whole team to be able to spend time together, like on the bus,” she said.
Sophie also called out captains Eve Grimshaw and Katie McKinley (both ’18) for exhibiting great leadership.
“They’re inspirational [and] enthusiastic,” she said, “and their love for the sport is totally infectious.”
Led by Coach Craig McLaughlin and senior captains Chris Attisani and Aidan Park (both ’18), Varsity Baseball completed the season with a record of 10–12.
Some of the highlights were strong hitting from Chris Attisani and Chris Lang ’18. James Hauswirth, Aidan Park, and Ben Blackburn (all ’18) led the pitching for the team.
This year was no easy campaign for the team as it played against some of the best competition in New England and was unable to meet many of the its own high expectations, Aidan said.
“We never had all the facets of the game click at the same time,” Coach McLaughlin said. “When pitching was great, hitting was not, and vice versa.”
Coach McLaughlin still praised the team’s dedication and perseverance.
“The team had a great attitude, and the kids battled all year,” he said. “We strived to win every game we played.”
Aidan said he was impressed with the unity and support of the team in light of the season’s surrounding negativity. For example, Aidan said, the team showed good sportsmanship after a close, 4–5 loss to Milton that marked the end of that team’s 22-consecutive winning season record.
“Returning to the locker room, I was worried I was going to hear shouting or accusations against teammates, yet I heard nothing of the sort,” Aidan said. “At times like [that], it is easy to point fingers and unfairly put the blame on one individual. I am proud to say we are not those kinds of teammates.”
Coach McLaughlin said the team will call upon a core of a rising sophomores to lead them into next season. On the shoulders of these sophomores, he said, the players aspire to return to the top of the league for another ISL championship.
Boys’ Varsity Crew (BVC) Sophomore Captain Ranch Kimball ’20 said the team’s season went very well, citing both results and the depth of the younger rowers coming up.
“[We have] lots of promising rowers set to take varsity spots in the coming years,” Ranch said.
All four BVC boats qualified to compete in the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships (NEIRAs), where over the Memorial Day weekend the third and fourth boats advanced to the finals, placing fifth and fourth, respectively.
In spite of multiple injuries earlier in the season that often shook up lineups, BVC pulled off numerous wins. In April, the program secured the Mayor’s Cup against Cambridge Rindge and Latin, and in May, three of BVC’s four boats outraced Brooks, with the first boat beating the school for the first time in Head Coach Adam Holland’s career. Another highlight was the team’s races against Middlesex and Medford on May 5, when each of the four boats won by at least four seconds.
“We had been close previous years [to beating both Middlesex and Medford], but to actually sweep and beat every boat they offered felt great,” BVC third boat stroke Adon Goodpaster ’20 said.
“Our consistent and dedicated preparation throughout the entire season paid off, leading to a strong finish of a great crew season,” said Senior Captain Ben Ross ’18.
Junior Varsity boats also found time on the water, traveling to the official NEIRA course to race other JV boats near the end of the season. There, the fifth boat won, and the sixth boat came in second. Both the junior varsity and the varsity ended the season on a strong note.
Varsity Golf ended the season with a record of 8-9-1. Though the final record may not show it, they had clear improvement as the season went on, James Wade ’21 said,
“Every team we played twice, we improved against,” said Coach Kaeghan Kelly ’10. “If we lost the first time, we either won or lost by a lot less than we did before. Our team growth through the season has been phenomenal.”
Co-Captain Alex Yun ’18 brought the team into the spotlight. When 14 ISL schools each sent their top five golfers to compete at the Kingman Tournament, the season’s culminating event, Alex won it all with a score only one above par.
Zach Lang ’19 credited Alex with excellent leadership of the group.
“Golf isn’t really a team-motivation sport, but he basically led the team by example with his low scores and by helping golfers fix their putting strokes and swings.”
Zach said joking around and playing music during rides back in the golf van strengthened their team chemistry, as did practice activities such as “scrambling,” where the golfers would compete against one another in teams on the course. He recalled a humorous instance during the pre-season when one of his teammates crashed a golf cart into a tree after hitting the gas pedal instead of reverse. Such tomfoolery was evident to every player on the team and positively added to the mood of the practices, he said.
Thomas Bornhorst ’20 said he enjoyed the team dynamic, adding, “Our team chemistry has been present throughout all our practices, on and off the course.”
For the 14 Upper School (US) sailors travelling to Miami, the spring sports season started the morning of Monday, March 19 in Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal B. A woman dressed in patterned balloon pants, a studded leather jacket, and a bright pink beret greeted them: their beloved Head Coach Judith Krimski.
Coach Krimski—often called “Judy” by her sailors—joined the sailing program last spring and is known to always be smiling and offering encouragement. With the help of Assistant Coach Nate Peterson ’02, she led the team through drills, held daily discussions before each practice, and drove the team’s prized motorboat, Red October, with five different flavors of Pop-Tarts onboard.
“Judy has been an incredibly supportive and passionate coach this entire season,” Theo Lukin-Yelin ’18 said. “She excels at finding and amplifying our strengths and has made us the best team we could possibly be, and I believe it shows in our results.”
After a successful spring break trip to Miami filled with gelato, strong winds, and productive instruction from 2016 Rio Olympic Sailor Joe Morris, the team went on to a record of 16-5—an improvement over last year’s 10-4—and an eleventh-place finish in the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA).
The high note that started the season in Miami continued through wins at key events. At the NESSA Fleet Racing Championship, also known as the O’Day Trophy, the team placed sixth overall out of the 17 highest-ranked schools from the prior day’s qualifier. The team also logged victories over schools such as Moses Brown, North Kingston, and BC High, and it won the Massachusetts Bay League (MBL) Division A Regatta outright.
The three-boat starting lineup of Brooke Shachoy and Lidia Goldberg, Frankie Doyle and Zoe Ting, and Trevor Donovan (all ’18) and Laila Shadid ’19 all expressed excitement about this year’s record.
“We’ve had an awesome season and have grown immensely as team over the past five years,” Brooke said, including her first year on the team in eighth grade. “I’m so proud of all of our successes.”
Every weekday this spring, the 16-member sailing team led by captains Brooke, Frankie, Lidia, and Rob Brower (all ’18) traveled to Charlestown’s navy yard to practice racing. On weekends, the sailors raced in matches and at regattas in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine. The team sails mostly in 420s, two-person boats with a skipper, who controls the mainsail and steering, and the crew, who maintains the smaller sail, or “jib.”
In her speech at the athletic assembly, Coach Krimski said that although most people imagine sailing as a placid sport that consists mostly of sitting in a boat, team racing also involves complicated plays, maneuvers, and counter-intuitive strategies. To perform well as a team, racers need both skill and communication between boats. Individual boats may head back down the racecourse to help each other and trap or move opposing boats away from the race, often sacrificing their own position for the others in the group, she said.
“The reality is that [sailing] is a grueling sport that demands mental toughness and stamina,” Coach Krimski said. “At the playoffs, our varsity athletes sailed seven hours in conditions that included pouring rain, heavy winds, and temps in the 50s. They never once complained. They are seriously tough people.”
In addition, the 10 seniors, one junior, three sophomores, and two freshmen on the team enjoy laughter, inside jokes, and promposals.
Zoe’s favorite sailing memory isn’t a great win at a regatta or the acquisition of a new skill, she said. It was watching her partner, skipper Frankie, fall out of their boat.
“We were right by the finish line, and I turned around and saw nobody steering, and then I had to pull him back into the boat,” Zoe said.
Lidia, who has been sailing with skipper Brooke since her freshman year in 2015, said she attributes their success to the synchronicity that comes with sailing together for a long time.
“Brooke and I barely have to communicate,” Lidia said. “There is an unspoken language between the skipper and crew that allows you to move together with the boat.”
Similarly to Lidia, Zoe said that she and skipper Frankie work well together because they respect each other’s abilities and trust their knowledge of the sport.
“We’ve also gotten to know each other really well and have super-personal conversations at random times during races,” Zoe said. “I think that the team bonds so well because we spend so much time isolated on the water together.”
Looking ahead to next year, the team is hoping to recruit more sailors to replace the 10 seniors graduating, first-year sailor Emma Harden ’20 said.
To those nervous about joining, Emma said that after overcoming initial nerves, she could not be happier.
“People should join the team because of the relationships that we create with our fellow sailors. By spending so much time on the water together, we form a rare kind of connection with our partner in order to sync our mindsets and motions to maneuver the boat in unison,” Emma said. “We have had a lot of fun as a team this season.”