stone Ridge News
As if scoring 78 goals for the Gators over a four year high school career wasn't enough, Stone Ridge Athletics was able to catch up with Tati Ortega '18, one of the best soccer players in School history before she heads off to her extremely bright future. Thankfully the future Northeastern Husky made time to answer a few questions.
Q) Now that you've had time to reflect on your historic SR soccer season, making a great run and playing on Gator Field during your senior season, but also being in the lower division earlier in your career, what are your thoughts as you look back?
A) Reflecting on my years of SR soccer it is crazy to think about how far we've come. Gator Field has helped out the program so much. I began in the lower division my freshman year and we worked so incredibly hard to strive to get moved up to the upper division. It was more than just hard work but it was also just believing in one another and supporting each other along the way which is something so special here at Stone Ridge. It is amazing to think about how I began in the lower division as a freshman and finished in the AA upper division championship game of the ISL tournament my senior year.
Q) What are you most looking forward to with playing D1 soccer?
A) I am very excited to play D1 soccer! It has been a goal of mine ever since I was very little. I am excited to take my love for soccer to a new level. I am looking forward to continuing to grow as a student athlete. I am excited to learn new things and to be pushed to new levels. I am excited for new competitive competition.
Q) What are you doing this summer to prepare soccer wise?
A) I am currently training with the Washington Spirit Reserve team. It has been a great experience so far as I have been introduced to new competition and a new speed of play. I am also training in the gym as I have a summer workout packet I was sent that i have to follow.
Q) How did you learn about the Spirit Reserve team, what role do you have, what benefits do you hope it will provide you?
A) I learned about the Washington Spirit Reserve team through Coach KJ Spisak and also some players who have participated in the past. I am one of the youngest players on the team but everyone has been so welcoming to me. I hope to become a better player as KJ is someone who knows how to push me and always teaches me new things. It is a really competitive and fun environment that I hope prepares me for the realities of D1 soccer.
Q) As an alum now, what is your hope for SR soccer, SR athletics?
A) It's crazy to think that I am an alum now! Stone Ridge athletics has been absolutely amazing over my 13 years here. I have seen the Athletics program grow so much as a whole and Mr. McGhee has truly had a huge impact on the program. I really hope that the soccer program keeps growing from the littlest participants all the way to seniors. I hope that someday soon SR soccer can win the upper division or the upper division tournament. That would be awesome! I also hope that SR athletics continues to win the Lewis Cup as we did my senior year!
Q) What else would you like to share?
A) I just want to thank the whole athletics department for everything that they've done. They have been so supportive in everything that I do. I want to give a huge thank you to Coach KJ who has made such an impact as to who I am as a soccer player and person. She has always believed in me and always knows how to push me to new levels and is always willing to teach me new things. I am so thankful for Stone Ridge athletics and I will surely come back to watch games and I know the program will continue to strive forward.
The National French Contest/Le Grand Concours is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students studying French in grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, take a written test and compete against students with similar educational background for prizes. This year most of our Stone Ridge girls in Grade 8 French competed against 4498 participants. Congratulations to all of our students who excelled on this test!
- Two platinum medals were received for the highest distinction; these girls finished first Nationally and in the Chapter: Holly Keegan '22 and Camila Mansilla '22.
- Four gold medals were awarded, 3rd rank, to Olivia Kalu '22, Alessandra Faccone '22, Jackie Klein '22, and Amelia Lawlor '22.
- Three silver medals were awarded, 6th rank, to Adele Feldberg '22, Sarah Martin '22, and Hallie Stallings '22.
- Five bronze medals were awarded, 9th rank, to Grace Morrow '22, Sofia Kenary '22, Jackie Espinoza '22, Lauren Duvall '22, and Nadia Anderson '22.
- Eight honorable mention medals were awarded to Lorieann Brill '22, Kathryn Cochran '22, Gabriella Crafton '22, Naomi Kaprth '22, Paige Kenny '22, Ashley Sadler '22, Louann Schropp '22, and Lillian Wright '22.
FIRST LEWIS CUP TROPHY IN SCHOOL HISTORY ONLY TELLS HALF THE STORY
Since arriving in the Upper School during the 2014-2015 academic year, the Class of 2018 has helped establish the foundation for the "Stone Ridge Way" culture. It certainly didn't hurt that there was a great role model senior named Katie Ledecky '15. The eager freshmen got a front row seat to one of the world's greatest athletes to not only model the excellence they all aspired to achieve, but more importantly help them reimagine what all SR student-athletes could achieve. When Athletic Director Jason McGhee asked who will be the next Katie Ledecky, the Class of 2018 knew exactly what he meant. The class of 2018 embraced the Gator Strong mantra and every girl was the very best they could be.
The results have been historic. They've had the best four-year run in school history in all sports being one of only two schools in the ISL to finish four consecutive years in the top four of the Lewis Cup standings, and this year they've had the most athletically successful year in school history culminating with the School's first ever Lewis Cup Championship, the ISL's most prestigious award given annually to the League's overall athletic champion. In short, when the class of 2018 graduates they will be able to look back with pride at the standards and expectations they raised on and off the field.
This entire group of seniors has helped reimagine what being an SR student-athlete could be and what SR team's could achieve. As the Positive Coaching Alliance's (PCA) Triple-Impact Competitor model encourages, they have taken advantage of every opportunity presented to make themselves better, make their team and teammates better, and honoring the sports they competed in. They have given us championship level performances measured by all teams and individuals simply doing their personal best.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway is they have not been afraid to fail, and they did a lot, but that is why they've had the success they've had, by not being complacent or accepting mediocrity. By doing so they rebranded SR as one of the most well rounded, competitive, and strongest athletic departments in the DMV. If the SR WAY culture persists, specifically the foundation and groundwork laid by the Class of 2018, future results will always make us proud.
What was already well known throughout the DMV was the commitment of the school to academic excellence along with the Sacred Heart's 5 Goals & Criteria that our girls reflect whenever they take the field, and that will remain an integral part of the brand.
They dreamed BIG, believing, acting and planning, and they put in the work! Please enjoy some of the historic results from this year below. Congratulations to the Class of 2018! #GatorStrong
- Cross Country tied for 1st in the ISL Championship, and won the MD Private School State Championships. Cross Country had previously never finished above 5th for the ISL championships.
- Soccer had consecutive seasons in the ISL AA division, and this year's team competed in the AA championship for the 1st time since 2003.
- Field Hockey has gone 25-6 in the past two years appearing in back to back ISL championships, and also finished 2nd overall for two consecutive years, both program firsts.
- Ice Hockey lost one regular season and one post season, both losses to eventual champion Archbishop Spalding. Appeared in the MAGHL championship for the 1st time in program history.
- Swimming & Diving finished 2nd in the ISL Championships, their highest finish since 2013. Additionally the team finished 2nd at the National Catholics High School Swim & Dive Championships and 3rd at the Metro DMV Swim & Dive Championships, both we believe are the highest in program history.
- Lacrosse finished 3rd overall in the ISL AA division despite three nationally and locally ranked teams. The program defeated nationally and regionally ranked teams including Holton & Hockaday (TX) and received their 1st Washington Post top 10 ranking since 2007.
- Track & Field finished 3rd overall in the ISL Championships, their highest finish in school history. Further, the team broke 4 school records including the discus, high jump, 1600, and the 4X800 relay. Further, in 13 out of 16 championship events, members of this year's team finished in the top 5 all time in SR track & field history.
- Independent School League (ISL) Lewis Cup Championship, finishing 1st out of 16 schools for the first time in School history.
Congratulations to Cecilia Hornyak '19 for earning first place in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Young Writers Contest. Cecilia wrote "Witness Me," a science fiction short story. Cecilia attended the award ceremony at Balticon in full steam-punk cosplay regalia.
According to English teacher Holly Zindulis, "Cecilia is truly a brilliant writer and a star English student."
Here are the stories that rose to the top!
SR Athletics Recognizes Upper School Spring All ISL Student-Athletes
Karly Page '18, Cate Willing '18, Mollie Carr 18, Maggie Bellaschi '18, Genevieve DiBari '18 Close Out Senior Year On Top
Congratulations to the SR Athletics Upper School spring sports teams on a historic season that was punctuated with a School first ISL Lewis Cup Championship. All spring sports teams along with the step team were recognized at the awards banquet on Tuesday, May 22.
In addition to the SR awards, several of our student-athletes achieved All ISL recognition. All ISL is an incredible achievement whether voted on by coaches from other schools or when students garner it through performance such as in Track & Field. Congratulations to these student-athletes who were named All ISL for Spring 2018:
Softball: Karly Page, Cate Willing (Honorable Mention)
Lacrosse: Mollie Carr, Maggie Bellaschi
Track & Field: Genevieve DiBari for both the 1600 & 3200
Congratulations to all our spring sports teams. #GatorStrong
Kindergarten Event Reflects Goal IV
Everyone affiliated with Stone Ridge knows about the iconic Father/Daughter Field Day. Field Day is the final all school athletic event of the year and offers the last opportunity for students Grades 1-12 to win points for their Blue and Gold teams. The day includes morning competitions between students. In the afternoon, fathers join their daughters for food and games. The day ends with the final all-school sports awards celebration. This celebration culminates with the big announcement as to whether the Blue team or the Gold team was victorious for the year, and the new reigning school champions celebrate by ringing the victory bell at the aquatic center and will fly their flag at Gator Field throughout the year.
Last spring, Kindergarten teachers Emily Stewart and Lesley Sheldon along with their students, and in collaboration with their PE colleagues Kelly Donaghue, KJ Spisak, and Pat Farrell hatched an idea to include K students in the School's most time honored tradition. Now in year two, the new tradition known as Kindergarten Field Day is in full effect! Every Stone Ridge kindergartner gets to enjoy a specially formed version of "Field Day" activities.
Super fun and great job by all Gators building community! #goSRgators #SRtogether #GatorStrong
Program Cements First Lewis Cup Championship in School History
Heading into the final Independent School League (ISL) championship of the year, the SR Gators were in 3rd place of the Lewis Cup standings, but only a few points out of 1st place. For the past three years the Gators had been one of only two schools within the entire ISL to finish in the top four of the Lewis Cup standings, so they were not in bad position to secure a top finish once again. However, to make history and accomplish the goal the athletic department had set forth just three years ago to become the Lewis Cup champions, it would take an incredible finish by the SR Track & Field team.
The team did not disappoint and finished 3rd overall – its highest finish in school history based on available records. In addition, the team scored 79 points which is also believed to be the program's highest point total in history, and was only 6 points out of 2nd place. To put the team's historic performance into proper perspective, for the 16 events scored at the ISL championship, the student-athletes had finished top 5 all time in SR track & field history in 13 out of the 16 events – WOW!
The athletes had also set four school records along the way, including Ally Kabo '20 (discus), Kristin Whalen '21 (high jump), Genevieve DiBari '18 (1600), and Genevieve DiBari '18/Maddie Rodgers '18/Megan Toner '21/Hannah Gutierrez '21 (4X800). Even more amazing was the fact that the team only practiced one time all year on a properly sized track! This accomplishment is a huge tribute to the coaching staff and student-athletes who didn't let the obstacle of not having access to a track prevent them from making history, or being the best version of themselves, and accomplishing something that many didn't believe was possible. They did it the SR WAY, and displayed the SR ATHLETICS MENTALITY of being great teammates, working hard improving themselves throughout the season, being coachable, and in the end they simply did their best which is all we ever ask of every SR student-athlete.
The day before the championship started there was a team meeting in the Andreas Center. Coach Tavia Burke-Creppy, better known as Coach T, was reviewing all the team's season performances along with the rest of the ISL schools. Coach T emphasized how great they were and what was possible and within their grasp. The team clearly listened as they went on to have one of the greatest performances of any team in history. This historic performance coupled with a lasting legacy by the senior trio of Genevieve DiBari '18, Maddie Rodgers '18 and Isabel Barnidge '18, the program is well positioned for future success. Congratulations to the Stone Ridge Track & Field team and all the gator teams. #GatorStrong #LewisCupChamps
Senior Becomes the 9th SR Student-Athlete to Commit to College Athletics This Year
Congratulations to Ali DiZinno '18 on her recent decision to play golf at Florida Institute of Technology. Ali will become the second Gator to be competing in golf at the collegiate level, the other being Ariza Kimura '16 who is playing at NYU.
As with each of her eight classmates who committed earlier this year, Ali has an incredible list of individual accomplishments and successes that were highlighted during the college-signing ceremony. What stood out most was the incredible humility and gratitude Ali displayed not only during the ceremony but at all times, especially to those who know her best. Another highlight was Ali's family who was present along with a reading of an email from Ali's Aunt Jo who days before had secretly asked SR Athletic Director Jason McGhee to surprise Ali with the reading. In short, it was a very Sacred Heart and Stone Ridge type of event.
For 22 consecutive years Stone Ridge has had at least one student-athlete move on to compete at the collegiate level. Ali's signing brings this year's total to nine student-athletes who have committed to playing a sport in college, bringing the Class of 2018 to more than 10% of the entire class. They will be truly missed both in and out of the classroom.
Congratulations to Ali and good luck! #GatorStrong
Congratulations to senior Grace Christenson who was given a Gabelli Presidential Scholarship from Boston College. As a Gabelli Presidential Scholar, Grace will be provided a full four-year scholarship as well as a summer program each year, starting with service, then with international experience, and finally a professional internship the summer after her junior year.
We are so proud of Grace, who has been going to Stone Ridge since preschool, and we can't wait to see what her tomorrows bring.
For more information on Grace and highlights of her accomplishments and Sacred Heart education, be sure to read a recent article on her in the Catholic Standard.