Rye’s various varsity sports teams ended their 2013-14 seasons with a host of stirring performances over the past two weeks.
By Mitch Silver
Rye’s various varsity sports teams ended their 2013-14 seasons with a host of stirring performances over the past two weeks. In the water and on the ice, within glassed-in courts and around oval tracks, on mats and hardwood, Garnets, Wildcats and Gryphons pushed themselves to the utmost in the most important games and meets of the season.
In swimming, States were held this year at the Webster Aquatic Center in Rochester February 28 and March 1. Tenth grader Liam Egan made Rye High’s biggest splash. This was his third time at the State championships but only the first time he made the finals, placing third among all public school swimmers in the 100 Freestyle, ninth overall. Egan’s 46.32 was a personal best. He swam another best in the 200 IM, finishing 13th among public school entrants and 16th overall in 1:55.81.
Coach Lara Vivolo had a second swimmer in the pool: eleventh grader Pat MacAuley swam in the 500 Free on Friday. “I’m so proud of all the hard work he put into the season,” Vivolo said. “It paid off by his making States. Pat finished 44th overall, 34th among public schools, with a time of 4:53.72.” She smiled. “It was a great meet in which to watch our boys compete.”
The State meet for track and field was held the same weekend up at Cornell. School of the Holy Child coach Mike Simon had Joshane Wakefield, anchor of his strong 4×200 relay team, run the individual 300. “Joshane ran a season best 42:45. We are very proud of her efforts and look forward to warmer weather and a strong outdoor season.”
Earlier, in the Westchester County meet, Rye High’s Maggie McDermott was fifth overall in the 1,500 meters, as was the mile relay team of Maggie, Anji Logue, Hana Kano, and Jackie McGowan. Charlotte Kirby took a sixth place in the high jump. Meanwhile, sophomore Jack Ryan won the ???3,200 meters, earning him a spot on the All-County team. Senior Matea Friedel (pole vault) also took All-County honors.
The Holy Child squash team finished their season at the New England championships in Millbrook, New York (apparently an honorary part of New England for tournament purposes). Coach Kat Bhayani summed up their efforts: “It was an all-day event and in the end the girls had fun playing a range of players and levels. We didn’t win, but four of our girls made the Consolation Finals. They also gained insight in to what it takes to be a champion.”
Over on Grandview Avenue, Rye Country Day Girls Hockey Coach Courtney Doucette spoke with real satisfaction. “For the majority of the season, we competed with just nine skaters. Even so, we were a tight-knit group. With an overall record of 4-10, we may not have won as many games as we would have liked, but we had a great deal of fun and improved tremendously.”
And the season’s highlights? “Beating The Hill School and Princeton Day, as well as playing tough defense twice against our rivals, Greenwich Academy, those were big. The team had chemistry, heart, and a great work ethic, especially our Captain, Ciara Clare, and Assistant Captain, Jamie Simensky.”
The Wildcats’ boys squash team competed in the “A” division of the three- day New England Championships, finishing 14th. Rye’s number one, Carl Shuck, took 11th place in the elite division. Number two James Pierpont ended in the top eight. Highest finisher was Jared Yaris, seventh among his fellow number 7s.
Coach Brian O’Callaghan congratulated his senior Captains Will Chai and Pierpont on successful careers. “We will certainly miss their leadership, and we wish them the best of luck at The University of Pennsylvania and Hobart next year.”
As for Rye High’s grapplers, Coach Matt Beatty’s men had a strong showing at Sectionals. “At 126 lbs., our senior co-Captain Brian Gardner was lights out. His semi-final match against the defending state champ was tied at 3-each when, unfortunately, Brian suffered a concussion and could not continue. His default left him 6th, a shame because he had already beaten most of the wrestlers placed ahead of him.”
At 170 lbs., fellow senior co-Captain Alex Raynor came into the tournament a day after suffering a loss in his family. “We were not sure he would even compete,” Coach O’Callaghan told me. “Well, he did, and right off the bat he upset the number 3 seed, a kid who only lost three times all year. Alex beat him 7-0, the most dominating match I’ve witnessed in a long time. He then lost two heart-breaking matches, one in overtime, ending his wrestling career. I could not be more proud of these young gentlemen for all their hard work and commitment.”
Rye High boys’ basketball Coach John Aguilar looked back on a rebuilding year: “We had a very young team — ten players will return next year — and the toughest schedule of any team in Class A. Even so, we got quality wins over Rye Neck, Ossining, Pelham and Greeley (twice). With a playoff victory against Gorton in the first round, we’ll look to build on this experience for next year.”