News

Anya Pilgrim ‘23 makes the U.S. Gymnastics Junior National Team

Anya Pilgrim '23 joins the Class of 2023 this year on the heals of making the U.S. Gymnastics Junior National Team. Anya competed recently at the 2019 US Gymnastics Championships held in Kansas City, MO.

Anya has been a competitive gymnast for 10 years and trains at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, MD. She practices 32 hours/week. Anya comes to Stone Ridge from St. Elizabeth's Catholic School and tells us that she "chose Stone Ridge for high school due to its ability to nurture a student-athlete’s personal growth, and support the balance between challenging academics and a highly competitive sport."

Director of Athletics Andrew Maguire says, "We are so excited to have Anya join the Stone Ridge community. Her commitment to gymnastics and experience competing at such a high level is is admirable and will be a great example of dedication to all Gator student-athletes."

Congratulations, Anya!

 

Anya Pilgram

 

Taylor Kim '20 wins a Team Gold at Youth Archery Nationals

The 2019 Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Nationals were held in Raleigh, NC from July 11-14, 2019. As the largest and most premier youth archery event in the country, the event serves as the national championship, comprised of four intense days of competing. Archers from every state competed in front of supportive crowds of friends and family.

In her final year competing at the youth level, Taylor Kim '20 had a great individual showing early in the tournament, making it to the 1/16 Round. Competing later in the tournament as part of her team, Taylor contributed to her team's gold medal showing during the Team Round Eliminations - her best finish in 5 years of competing at the tournament! Taylor, your dedication and commitment are admirable - congratulations! #GatorStrong

A First for a Catholic School

Stone Ridge is the first Catholic school in Maryland to offer the opportunity to earn a Seal of Bilteracy. Ten members of the Class of 2019 earned the Seal of Biliteracy! This seal recognizes students who have achieved a high level of linguistic and cultural proficiency and demonstrate an international mindset and appreciation for a variety of perspectives. 

Piper Suk '20 to Perform at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall

As the winner of the 2019 National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute (SMI) Concerto Competition, Piper Suk '20 will be playing the Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129, with the SMI Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  

The concert will take place Sunday, July 28, 2019, at 6:00 pm. No tickets are required to attend the concert, which also will be live-streamed on the Kennedy Center website and archived at www.kennedy-center.org/video/upcoming  

Piper began studying cello with Mark Evans of the NSO in 4th grade, and has been a National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellow since 9th grade. She has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Strathmore Hall, and Carnegie Hall.  he has performed in masterclasses with Alban Gerhadt, David Teie, Johannes Moser, and Yo-Yo Ma, and has attended summer music festivals such as the Brevard Music Institute and Festival and Tanglewood Institute Cello Workshop.

The Kennedy Center/National Symphony Summer Music Institute is a 4-week tuition-free program for approximately 60 students (ages 15-20) from all over the United States and a number of other countries. The program consists of orchestral and chamber music coached by NSO musicians, conducting and master classes, private lessons with NSO musicians, two side-by-side rehearsals with the NSO; and enrichment sessions concentrating on music literature, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, and Citizen Artistry.

Congratulations, Piper!

Teaching Religion to MoCo Teachers

Upper School religion teacher Christopher Murray lead a one-week class for Montgomery County teachers covering various religions. This was the 10th time he taught a teachers' course on religion, whether as a summer intensive or a 15-week night course during the school year. Murray considers himself a religion nerd. 

Mr. Murray sets up this class and has the MoCo teachers of all grade levels tour some of the Washington area's religious institutions, from a Muslim mosque to a Sikh gurdwara to a Jewish synagogue. They meet with experts who teach them about the difference between Catholic and Protestant, Sunni and Shiite, atheist and agnostic.

Read more from The Washington Post.

Corinne Fogg Recognized by Alma Mater Williston Northampton

Our Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, Corinne Fogg, received the 2019 Alumni Trailblazer Award from her alma mater, Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, MA. The Alumni Trailblazer Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna of the school under the age of 40 who has demonstrated significant professional achievement, contributions to his/her profession and/or community and continued promise of success in the future.

Besides serving as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Stone Ridge, Corinne coauthored Enough As She Is: The Educator's Guide with New York Times best-selling author, Rachel Simmons. Corinne presents at a range of regional and national conferences on education. Her most recent panel discussion was at the CS&A Women's Institute in Boston on June 14, on the topic Mentors vs. Sponsors: What Does It Mean & How Do I Find One? 

Corinne sets a wonderful example of living out Goal II, A Deep Respect for Intellectual Values, and Goal V, Personal Growth in an Atmosphere of Wise Freedom.

Stone Ridge Appalachia Service Project

17 Stone Ridge Upper School students and six members of the faculty and staff spent the first week of summer volunteering in Logan County, West Virginia, through the Appalachia Service Project (ASP). The work crews repaired joists, installed new sub-flooring, and replaced a tin roof while building relationships with three wonderful homeowners. Through this service-learning experience, these Stone Ridge girls put their faith in action while building leadership and teamwork. This year, Stone Ridge also received a certificate of recognition for five years of dedicated service to the people of Central Appalachia. 

Grace Bullard '22 reflected, "ASP fostered a true love of service within me, and showed me generosity, empathy, and peace in every person involved in the life-changing program. It brought me closer to my Stone Ridge sisters, God, and the community of Logan County as we all worked together." Caroline Speidel '21 said, "The two weeks that I have spent repairing homes in Appalachia as a volunteer for ASP have been some of the most unique and eye-opening weeks of my life. Through volunteering with ASP, I not only have acquired skills with tools, but have also formed new relationships and gained a fresh perspective on what it means to serve and bring peace to others. This organization truly changes the lives of both the volunteers who serve and the people who are served." 

#Goal3lived

Student Volunteers: Hannah Joseph '19, Alison Manca '19, Alicia Pané   '19, Madeleine Sateri '19, Reade Hauge '20, Camilla Moore '20, Daphne Shipe '20, Anna Stallings '20, Caroline Friedrichs '21, Naina Makkad '21, Ashlyn Morick '21, Clare Nickerson '21, Caroline Speidel '21, Grace Bullard '22, Sarah Joseph '22, Clare Siffermann '22, Hallie Stallings '22; Adult Volunteers: Michelle Akaras, Rick Alfonso, Chelsea Bollerman, Suzanne Chaconas, Sky Lesnick, and Holly Zindulis 

Appalachia Service Project

Appalachia Service Project

Appalachia Service Project

Dr. Jeannie Downey-Vanover Presented For God and Youth Award

For her work as Director of Music Ministry for Youth at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Washington Office of Youth Ministry presented the For God and Youth Award to Dr. Jeannie Downey-Vanover, Assistant Head of Upper School. The award recognizes adults in youth ministry who have faithfully lived out their call of service, exemplified Christian examples and dedicated service to the Church and is a positive role model to youth.

Of Dr. Vanover's service Sherry Moitoza, Director of Social Concerns at St. Rose of Lima says, "For many years Dr. Vanover has been a true example of paying attention to young people by inviting, instructing, and mentoring them to lead the parish in liturgical music. Children, teens, and parents learn by her example what it means to serve the Church. Jeanne models discipleship by selflessly sharing her love of the faith, her vocation to teach, and the gift of her time. Her gift of mentoring empowers them to sing more than notes on a page by starting first with prayer. They in turn inspire us to lift our hearts and our voices to God. Young people learn to take risks and lead, knowing that they are well prepared and supported by the entire community. The youth of Saint Rose of Lima move all of us, through song, to deepen our communion as the Body of Christ. We give thanks to God for Jeannie's gift of leadership that inspires all parishioners and visitors to recognize the Lord in our midst."

In addition to her role as Assistant Head of the Upper School, Dr. Vanover is the Chair of the World Language Department and teaches AP Spanish Literature.

Congratulations, Dr. Vanover.

A Gator On the Water

Madeline Fontana '21 has become Stone Ridge’s first ever competitive rower. Since her start of crew this spring, Madeline has represented Stone Ridge in several regattas as a member of the Montgomery Boat Club. Stone Ridge offers the opportunity for girls interested in rowing to practice and compete with the Montgomery Boat Club, with boats comprised of girls from several area schools. The regattas that Madeline competed in include the Baltimore City Championships, where her 4+ women’s boat finished first, resulting in Madeline’s first medal in her first season of crew for Stone Ridge. 

Madeline’s hard work also enabled her to qualify and be selected by the Coaches to compete with a limited squad, given the level of competition at the regional level at the Mid-Atlantics (a qualifier for Youth Nationals) in Princeton, New Jersey with her 4+ boat finishing an impressive fourth place racing at the highest level in our region the first day.

Crews are selected on the basis of rowers’ physical ability, technical ability and attitude, which includes effort and attendance.

Congratulations, Madeline! #GatorStrong

Madeline

Students Participate in Social Entrepreneurship Summit

Upper School Science Teacher Kathleen Flood took Cecelia Gadina '19 and Madeline Fontana '21 to a Social Entrepreneurship Summit at Saint Stephens and Saint Agnes School in April. The event was an empowering one-day summit for high school students throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area who are interested in brainstorming, creating, or expanding a social impact business or nonprofit organization.

Students who attended the summit took part in an enriching experience that helped them: define their core values and passions for social change; develop personalized blueprints for sustainable leadership; receive direct mentoring from experienced social entrepreneurs, business coaches, and civic leaders; explore tangible strategies and build community networks for translating their social impact vision into sustainable practice.

Social Entreprenuership Summit

Sofia Rojas '19 Participates in Sustainability Panel Discussion

Kudos to Sofia Rojas '19 for her excellent and informative contribution to a panel discussion on sustainability, the environment and ways through which we can all contribute to making the world a better place. The discussion was preceded by a concert by Sandbox Percussion, a New York City based percussion quartet, and the New Orchestra of Washington featuring Viet Cuong's percussion concerto, "Re(new)al", which featured music celebrating nature and renewable energy.

Neil Weston, Cross Divisional Chorus Teacher at Stone Ridge, had this to say of Sofia's participation in the panel of local leaders, "Sofia inspired the audience at the  Re(new)al discussion. Her passion and eloquence on sustainability issues was apparent, and she represented Stone Ridge in a remarkable way. On a panel of heavy hitters, including Rabbi Warren Stone, a climate change leader for three decades, and Alan Yu, from the Center for American Progress, Sofia gave a unique perspective, which referenced her experience at Stone Ridge, and how Stone Ridge has helped her develop a passion for activism."

Special thanks to science teachers Joanna Caudle and Heidi Johnson for mentoring Sofia.

Beyer Bullard '19 Earns Girl Scout Gold Award and Scholarship

Congratulations to Beyer Bullard '19 for earning both the Girl Scout Gold Award and becoming a Gold Award Scholar—earning a $1,000 educational scholarship from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC).

Beyer's Gold Award project, SOAR with SCIENCE, focused on introducing STEM topics and activities to elementary school children in the DC metropolitan area. The project addressed teachers' need for time and resources to provide interactive science activities for their students in grade 3-5. Beyer's two hour science workshops, which included activities from fossil making to studying organisms in local ponds, gave students hands-on science experience and teachers with easy ideas to make science more interactive for students without using up a lot of time and resources.

Beyer's decision to focus on science in the classroom stemmed from her own love of science. "I am passionate about the importance of science in the classroom and feel that often science is not considered as important as other subjects. Frequently, schools are unable to give students a regular opportunity to explore science in a hands-on and interactive way. I believe that if students were exposed to the wonders of science more frequently and in a more engaging way, they would be less likely to become intimidated by it as it becomes more difficult, and more likely to consider one of many science careers as they go to college."

Beyer created a booklet that she gave to teachers at the conclusion of her workshop containing instructions for the activities, materials, the main purpose of the activities and other resources that she found related to the station topic in the hopes that teachers will consider using some of the activities in future years or classes.

Girl Scout

   Beyer in her early years as a Girl Scout, front row center

Andi Poole, Beyer's Girl Scout troop leader had this to say about Beyer's accomplishments, "As Beyer's Girl Scout leader for the past 13 years I can say unequivocally there was no question that Beyer would get this Gold Award. Her commitment to a task, a project, our troop and herself are never in question. She approaches everything she does with passion and  complete dedication. Her final project expressed her joy in working with young children and her sincere concern for introducing, enlightening and educating our kids and our community about the value and need for STEM programs. I am so proud of Beyer and so blessed to have had a role in her life and have her in mine!"

In deciding who of many applicants would earn the scholarship, a Gold Award Scholarship Selection Committee, comprised of local businesswomen, reviewed written applications and identified finalists to be interviewed in-person. Based on the interviews, committee members selected scholarship recipients from all areas of the Council.

Beyer and other scholarship finalists will be recognized as a group at this year's In Your Honor ceremony on Saturday, May 11 at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC.

Details on Beyer's workshop in action at Arcola Elementary can be seen in this Montgomery Housing Partners Fall 2018 Newsletter on page 7-8.

Awards for Ceramics Students

Congratulations to sophomores Callie Mowry and Cam Saxon! These two student artists, from Tom Doyle's Ceramics 1 class, were chosen for this year's National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (K-12 Exhibition). Their work was selected from over a thousand entries and were shown in Minneapolis at the end of March 2019. In addition, they both won several awards:

Cam Saxon 21'
For her work "Take Note"
Awards: Artistic Achievement Award
Jack Troy Award
Bailey Pottery Equipment Award

Take Note

Callie Mowry 21'
For her work "The Great Wave"
Awards: Honorable Mention Award
Bethany College Inspiration Award

The Great Wave

Annie Kelly '19 Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

Congratulations to Annie Kelly '19 on earning the prestigious Girl Scouts Gold Award. For her Gold Award project, Annie decided to serve the community of Darnestown, Maryland and those who are always looking beyond themselves to help others. 

Annie is a parishioner at Out Lady of the Visitation Parish. When she is on school breaks she tries to attend daily Mass at the small Thomas More Chapel, Parish Barn. Over the years during her visits to this chapel, she noticed the chapel was getting tired and needed an update. When Father Ray Fecteau mentioned renovating the chapel as a project, Annie knew it was the right thing to do.

The scope of the project included repairing drywall and patching up holes and cracks where necessary, completely repainting the room with new bright colors, and reupholstering the chairs. Annie and her team also replaced the ceiling tiles, polished the furniture, and cleaned the radiator heating. Annie invested far more time than the required 80 hours necessary. Of the project Annie said, "It has been my pleasure to serve the community by helping the church through my project. For those who attend daily Mass, their devotion was my motivation!" She hopes that everyone enjoys this renovated quiet place, tucked in a barn, amongst the cornfields of Darnestown to comfortably meditate in God's presence.

Annie would like to thank Debbie Waechter who was her Gold Award Project Advisor, Steve Waechter, Father Ray, Aileen, her parents and all her friends who were there to help.

Annie

Junior Chorus Performs with Trinity Chamber Orchestra

The Stone Ridge Junior Chorus represented Stone Ridge with a truly beautiful performance along side the Trinity Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, April 7.

They sang the premier performance of "Sancta Trinitas," composed for them by composer, Dr. Joseph Santo. Dr. Santo said the girls "sang like angels." After the concert, Dr. Santp also said "The girls did a marvelous job with the singing of the chant and verses--and all memorized!" 

Dr. Elaine Walter, Dean Emeritus of the  Catholic University School of Music wrote to Director Nancy Fazio, "I loved EVERY MINUTE of your concert. I'm so glad I came!"

Numerous Orchestra and audience members commended the Junior Chorus on the excellent tone, diction and feeling with which the girls sang, especially when singing the orchestrated version of "Over The Rainbow" in an arrangement that progressed into three higher keys where the chorus stunningly sang and sustained the high G, at the end of the song.   

Well done to our singers.

Winter Sport Gators Collect Post-Season Accolades

Congratulations are in order for numerous Gators who have been recently recognized for their achievements in winter sports.

Competing on the hardwood, Chetanna Nweke '20 and Kristin Lucas '21 were recognized as All-ISL team members by the head coaches of the ISL basketball teams. Nweke ranked second in the league in points per game, averaging 19.6, while Lucas was both an anchor on the defensive end and significant contributor on offense—with a team-leading 20 blocks on the season while averaging 11.4 points per game.

In the water, several Gators were acknowledged at the conclusion of the championship meets at the end of a historic season. Phoebe Bacon '20 and Genevieve Thibodeau '20 were each named to the All-ISL and All-Met teams for individual events, while Erika Chen '20 and Mackenzie Higgins '20 received honorable mention acknowledgement to the All-Met team for individual events. The 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams—comprised of Bacon, Chen, Higgins, and Tia Thomas '21—received All-ISL accolades, as well as All-Met recognition as the top 400 Freestyle Relay in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Lastly, Thibodeau and Bacon were named the Washington Metropolitan Private School League Diver and Swimmer of the Year, respectfully; and Bacon was also recognized as the Performer of the Meet at both the National Catholic High School Championships and the Metro Championships.

On the ice, both Katherine Khramtsov '22 and Charlotte Flannery '19 were named to All-Met teams, with Khramtsov garnering 1st Team accolades and Flannery receiving an honorable mention. Notably, the All-Met recognition for ice hockey is co-ed, recognizing the top players from all-boys and coed schools as well. Khramtsov and Flannery led all girls players in the DMV, averaging 5.0 and 2.0 goals per game, respectfully, and both significantly contributing to the Gators undefeated season run to the Mid-Atlantic Girls Hockey League (MAGHL) Championship crown. In the coming weeks, the All-MAGHL awards will also be announced.

These dedicated student-athletes will be be recognized in front of their peers later in the month, as well as at the end of year SR Celebration of Athletics banquet on May 21.

We are proud to call them Gators!

Ice Hockey

Swimming

SR Student-Athletes Living Goal III in Running Equipment Drive

SR collects and donates more than $10,000 worth of used and new sports equipment to local DC organization.

Stone Ridge's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently completed its inaugural Sports Equipment Drive, collecting used and new sporting equipment to donate to Level the Playing Field (LPF). Level the Playing Field is a local non-profit organization that collects and donates used sports equipment to kids' programs in the the Washington, DC area to enable the opportunity for more children to participate in sports. In total, 458 donated items were accepted by LPF, with an estimated value of $10,663!

Lauren Cerretani '19 and Sophia Trone '20 were the leaders in coordinating the equipment drive with both the staff and administration at Stone Ridge and LPF. In commenting on the original purpose for SAAC's decision to run the equipment drive, Lauren stated, "Our goal was to partner with LPF to give kids in the DC area the best opportunity to participate in sports. Many of us at Stone Ridge have been fortunate to experience numerous growth opportunities through sport, and we were hopeful that by organizing the drive we could positively influence the lives of other kids." Looking forward to the future and realizing the potential for such drives at Stone Ridge, Sophia stated, "I think our first year of this drive was a tremendous success! The generosity of the student body was amazing, and the outcome is impressive in only our first year. Level the Playing Field is an amazing charity and these donations will truly help kids get off the sideline and play sports they love. I am excited to see what we can do in the future!"

Stone Ridge Athletics is proud of Lauren and Sophia and all of the other SAAC members and the Stone Ridge community that made the drive possible. Living Goal III! Go Gators!

LPF filling the van - volunteer

Making A Splash – With Barely A Splash!

Genevieve Thibodeau '20 Takes First in Diving at Metros
 
For the first time in Stone Ridge history, a Gator diver has won the diving competition at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving championships – the meet affectionately known as "Metros." Metros is the culminating swimming and diving championship meet for all public and private schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including schools from across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Metros represents the most competitive high school swimming meet of the season, and for Genevieve Thibodeau '20, the competition was not competition. Genevieve's cumulative 11-dive score bested more than 50 other divers at the meet!
 
The past four weeks have been busy for Genevieve, collecting a lot of hardware throughout a historic championship season for both herself and the swimming and diving program. At the National Catholic High School Championships in January, which the Gators won for the first time in program history, Genevieve placed second. Since then, motivated by the team victory, she has not looked back – winning both the Independent School League and Washington Metropolitan Private School League Championship meets preceding her victory at Metros. In doing so, Genevieve also became the first Stone Ridge diver to ever win three individual championships in one season.
 
Commenting on motivation to be the best she could be and already looking forward to next year's season, Genevieve stated, "The team dynamic makes going to meets lots of fun instead of feeling like an obligation. Everyone is so supportive and to have a team that is there pushing you to do your best makes all the difference. Personally, I am very excited to come back next year coming off so much of the team success and I know I'm not the only one. I think that having such a great season this year is really motivating because it shows us how much we can achieve together."
 
The Stone Ridge community is incredibly proud of Genevieve's accomplishments this season. Of being Genevieve's teammate, fellow diver Mary Fromm '20 stated, "Genevieve's humility with all of her success this season has been incredibly inspiring as she leads by example, laying a foundation for future Gators and a strong diving program for years to come."
 
Although she won't be competing for Stone Ridge until next winter, Genevieve is already busy training fo upcoming USA Diving competitions with regional, zone, and national competitions taking place between April-June. Stay tuned as she continues to compete across the country - we know that she will continue with great success!

Genevieve and Coach Travelpiece
Genevieve and diving coach Adam Travelpiece at Metros after Genevieve won!

SR Hockey Wins Championship

Freshman Katherine Khramtsov '22 scored seven goals to help lead Stone Ridge's hockey team to their first Mid-Atlantic Girls Hockey League championship. The Gators defeated Georgetown Visitation 9-5 on Friday, February 8, to cap an undefeated season. Coach Mary Carpenter's game plan of "hard work, taking it to the net, getting rebounds, and playing smart," paid off. The Gators had a great showing of fan support, packing the Gardens Ice House in Laure, MD. The SR ice hockey team only formed in 2013 and has been growing with the number of players and skill level every year. Way to go Gators! Read more from The Washington Post. #Gatorstrong

Katherine Khramtsov

SR Shines at MD Private School XC Championships

On November 12, 2018, the Stone Ridge cross country team finished their historic season with another strong performance at the Maryland Private School Championship at McDaniel College. The varsity squad finished in second place with a team score of 44 points,

XC Wins MoCo Private School Championships

The SR Varsity Cross Country team won their first Montgomery County Private School Championship on Wednesday, November 7 at Covenant Life School with an impressive team score of 21 points – the second best winning score in meet history!

Racing in muddy and slow conditions, the entire varsity squad earned All-County (top 15 honors), lead by Katherine Strong '22 with a 2nd place finish and personal best time of 20:36. Hannah Gutierrez '21 ran her fastest time of the season (23:34) to finish 10th overall and complete our scoring top five runners for the first time in her career. Emma Attar '20 ran a lifetime best of 24:54 to finish 21st overall to help lead a strong junior varsity pack.

Running in the same race as the varsity runners, the JV squad (runners #8 - #14) all finished in the top half of the field, ahead of many competitor school's varsity runners.

The team will look to complete the trifecta of championships at the Maryland Private School State Championship on Monday, November 12 at McDaniel College.

Way to go Gator runners! #GatorStrong

SR XC Gators Place Second at Landon Invitational

The Stone Ridge Varsity Cross-Country team placed second overall at the Landon Invitational with a strong team score of 45 points, just behind St. John's 62 points. The varsity squad was led by Katherine Strong's 3rd place overall finish (21:08). The Gator Varsity squad was 2nd out of 13 teams and JV team was 4th out of 8 teams. "I was incredibly proud of them," said Head Coach Peter Rook. "They ran super tough. Our top seven were all freshman and sophomores, and for a few of them this was their first ever invitational...I was almost in tears at the finish line I was so proud of them."

Stone Ridge had terrific fan support at the event thanks to the new Swamp Shines initiative by the SR Boosters who encourage Gator fans to attend meets/games/matches. Head of School Catherine Ronan Karrels '86 came out to cheer on the Gators. According to Andrew Maguire, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Training, "I don't think it would be a stretch to say we had the most support/spirit/best tent set up of the 10+ teams there!" Read more

Grit and Goals for Swimmer Phoebe Bacon '20

Phoebe Bacon '20 returned to Stone Ridge for the start of the school year coming directly off the trip of a lifetime. She competed for Team USA in Fiji at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. Upon return, Phoebe sat down with the Athletic Department at Stone Ridge to describe her experiences, what the trip meant to her, and what she will be able to bring back to the Stone Ridge community from the experience.

In total, Phoebe came home from the championship meet with an individual gold medal, two relay gold medals, three meet records, and achieving several personal best times throughout the meet – all while serving as one of the Team USA captains for the meet. The Stone Ridge community could not be more proud of her.

SR Athletics: You have had an amazing summer in the pool - most recently representing, captaining, and medalling for Team USA at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji last week. Can you briefly explain what the process was for obtaining a spot on the USA Team?

Phoebe: In short, I made the team by my finish at the USA Swimming National Championship in early August as that was the official selection meet for several USA Team rosters... but it was actually a pretty hard process! My summer was a culmination of a lot of hard work over the last few years and included a lot of meets and all of the training throughout the summer I had to do. Going into this summer, my goal was to hopefully make the Jr. Pan Pac team. Throughout the summer, I was preparing for USA Swimming Nationals – which included a lot of early mornings in the pool, then workouts during the day, and then pool practices also at night – not much free time! Heading into Nationals, I was really nervous because the progress I had made over the last two years set me up for my first real shot to be selected for a USA Championship Team.

I was nervous! The 100 backstroke was the event that I had the best chance of placing high enough to be selected to a USA Team. The event was on the 3rd or 4th day of competition at Nationals – which was later than usual. However, I had to swim a few other events first, which built my confidence headed into the day of the 100 backstroke. In the preliminary heats in the morning, I tried not to focus on making a USA team and simply focused on trying to finish in the top 8 swimmers in the morning so that I would be swimming in the championship final at night. Based on the seeding, I would have to go a best time. During the preliminary heat, I was swimming against a former Olympian and another girl that would go on to set the world-junior record later that night – and I won the heat – in a best time! This helped to calm my nerves, but I knew that I would have another swim that night, which would be the deciding factor in selection to a USA Team.

The heat of 8 swimmers that night was comprised of two former Olympians, and I was seeded 2nd from my time in the preliminary heats. At the end of the race, I finished 4th in a time that was just off my best time from that morning. The top two finishers in the race were selected for the Pan Pacific Championship team to represent the USA in Tokyo, Japan and I was selected for the Junior Pan Pacific Championship as a top finished under the age of 18. Despite just missing the top USA team that was selected, I WAS SO EXCITED TO MAKE THE JR. PAN PAC TEAM AND ACCOMPLISH MY GOAL!

SR Athletics: Can you tell us more about the team you were selected for? How many girls were selected for the team?

Phoebe: The Jr. Pan Pac team was a team of 20 girls and 20 boys, all under 18, and then a whole bunch of coaches and other staff members. Being one of the 20 girls that went, which is a not a big group, was very cool. Since our numbers were not as big as many college, club, or high school teams, we were able to bond and become really close.

SR Athletics: What was it like to travel, compete, and be part of a team with girls from across the country?

Phoebe: I knew a bulk of the people that were selected to the USA Team from seeing them at other club team meets over the past few years in the US. I had also met a few of them at swim camps that I had been selected for in the past. There were also a lot of new faces that I was excited to meet and spend time with. Being able to be there with all these people that I am friends with and representing Team USA and our home country was a really awesome experience and a lot of fun.

SR Athletics: What was the international aspect of the competition like?

Phoebe: It was a really fun experience! You could see that Canada was there, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Fiji among a few others. The meet was open to all countries that border the Pacific Ocean. The venue had all of the flags of these countries flying, which was awesome to see. It was really fun to meet the Canadians and Australians. We hung out with them between sessions of the meet and at the meet. It was incredible to make these friendships with people all over the world that I don't think I will ever lose because of this shared experience. I am hoping we continue to see each other at meets in the future.

SR Athletics: What was most exciting part of the trip to Fiji, both in and out of the pool?

Phoebe: One of the best parts of the meet in competition was being selected to be on the mixed-medley relay, which was comprised of 2 boys and 2 girls, each doing 100 meters of one of the four different strokes. Mixed-medley relays are rarely an event a meets in the US and are mostly included as a fun and unique event in international competitions. Being able to swim with two of the fastest boys and another girl on the USA Team was such a unique experience I will never forget.

Out of swimming, we finally got to go to the beach on the last day! Being in Fiji - that is all I wanted to do! Before the trip I had looked up pictures and the beaches were so beautiful with white sand and crystal clear water. We went with the whole team and it was such a great way to end the trip.

SR Athletics: You have been fortunate to compete internationally on a few occasions. Are there any upcoming international meets that your Stone Ridge fans should mark on their calendars to follow and support you?

Phoebe: This past spring I went to Ireland to compete and I also got to go to Vancouver, Canada to compete as part of the USA Swimming National Junior Team, which I had been selected for last summer. From these experiences, I am hopeful that I will be selected for and have more opportunities to represent Team USA abroad in the future.

SR Athletics: What will you bring back to Stone Ridge from your experiences representing Team USA? Both to the school community and the swimming program.

Phoebe: I was elected as one of the team captains for the girls' team on this past trip to Fiji - it was a great honor. Being able to come back to Stone Ridge and show the underclassmen, or even the middle school and lower school girls that you can go somewhere and be a leader and act like a leader, without ever being on a trip or without ever doing something like that before or that you thought you could do. I was just myself!

This year I will be a junior on the Stone Ridge Swim team, I have learned how the season and everything goes, I am really excited to show the underclassmen how much fun it can be with all of the cheering and different meets we go to and how important it is to hang out and bond outside of just the swim practices and meets.

SR Athletics: Congratulations, Phoebe!

Zoe Barnette '19 Competes at Fencing Nationals Championships

Zoe Barnette '19 and her Senior Women's Foil Fencing Team won the gold medal at the 2018 National Championship on June 29, in St. Louis, MO. Zoe is the team captain of her team, the Dazzling Panda Stars

A foil is one of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing, all of which are metal. It is flexible, rectangular in cross section, and weighs under a pound. Points are only scored by contact with the tip. Way to go, Zoe! #GatorStrong

Zoe is the second from the right.

Zoe is on the left.

Katie Ledecky Named AP Female Athlete of the Year

The Associated Press named Stone Ridge alumna Katie Ledecky '15 its Female Athlete of the Year. Editors and news directors voted on the winner, giving Ledecky 351 points and second-place Serena Williams 343 points. She was the eighth female swimmer to earn the honor and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Katie is also the first Washington-area star ever to earn the women's award. Several of the AP's male athletes of the year have had Washington ties, including DC native Maury Wills (who won in 1962), Orioles star Cal Ripken (who won in 1995) and Baltimore's Michael Phelps (who won in 2008 and 2012).

The vote reflected Katie's dominance in the July 2017 world championships in Budapest, Hungary, where she earned five gold medals and one silver medal.

Katie attended Little Flower School and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She is now a sophomore at Stanford University. Katie told the Catholic Standard that attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington helped make her the person she is today. "I received an excellent, faith-filled education at both schools. Having the opportunity to attend academically rigorous schools has facilitated my interest in the world and in serving others, and has enriched my life so that it is not solely focused on my swimming and athletics" she said.

Congratulations Katie!

Read more:

The Washington Post

The Catholic Standard

Catholic News Service

Crux

Katie Ledecky at Stone Ridge
Katie talks with Middle School students at Stone Ridge (August 2016)

SR Athletics Strengthening Sacred Heart Connections

Anyone who is part of the Stone Ridge community knows about the Sacred Heart Network – a vast group of Sacred Heart schools that spans the globe. As part of this Network, SR students go on exchange and/or attend leadership conferences at a "sister" school.

The Network connection includes athletics. Over the past couple of years, SR has competed in basketball, field hockey, and swimming with fellow Network schools Stuart Country Day School (SCD) from Princeton, NJ and Convent of the Sacred Heart/91st St. Convent (CSH) from New York, New York. Recently, SR played host to both schools. First up was CSH, who arrived for lunch and tours on Friday, November 17. The students were greeted at historic Hamilton House along with many coaches and swimming student-athletes. They enjoyed lunch in the large parlor and were led on tours by senior swim captains. After a brief practice on campus, they checked into their hotel and enjoyed an evening of sight seeing in Washington, DC. On Saturday, CSH came back to campus to compete in varsity basketball and swimming. (Last year, our SR varsity basketball and swim teams made a trip to New York City and made lasting memories connecting with their sister school. The SR girls toured the 9/11 Memorial museum, Times Square, and the CSH.)

Stuart Country Day (SCD) also arrived on Friday afternoon to compete in junior varsity and varsity basketball. The relationship with SCD has been growing over the past few years with competitions in field hockey and basketball. Both schools have made the trip, and the relationship continues to strengthen. While visiting SCD last year for a basketball tournament, the SR students were able to take in some laser tag, bowling, and team meals. The team also had the chance to watch a women's basketball practice at Princeton as well as tour their athletic facilities.

The Sacred Heart connections reach all areas of Stone Ridge. In October, the varsity cross country team competed in a race in New York and stayed in a hotel just blocks from 91st Convent. The Sacred Heart students always notice the familiar Five Goals banners, and pictures of St Philippine and/or Mater. It is very special to observe the girls excitement upon seeing familiar Sacred Heart traditions. SR Athletics plans to continue to provide Network opportunities for all sports. There's even talk of having a 3-4 team swim and basketball tournament next year as well as adding some spring competitions! #WeAreSacredHeart #GatorStrong

Photo includes Stone Ridge coaches and seniors and coaches from the Convent of the Sacred Heart