Winter Sports Roundup: The Quakers Enjoy Some History-Making Moments
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The 2019/2020 winter sports season wrapped up by making history in three sports: a career high in basketball, huge successes from young and veteran swimmers alike, and the first-ever all-girls tournament in wrestling. Here are some highlights from an incredible varsity season.
The boys' varsity basketball season saw them repeat as Quaker Classic and Governor's Challenge champions, as well as winning the Bishop Walker tournament. After winning the DC State Athletic Association (DCSAA) AA in the 2018/19 season, this year the team reached the quarterfinals. The Quakers finished as runners-up in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) tournament with Ryan Cornish ’21 named to the All-MAC team, as well as being named to the DCSAA second team and receiving an honorable mention for the NBC Sports Washington All-DMV team.
Girls’ varsity basketball welcomed new head coach Tamika Dudley to a team that was already the 2018/2019 Independent School League (ISL) co-champion. How do you beat that? Finish the ISL as outright regular-season champions. The Quakers were No. 1 heading into the DCSAA AA tournament championship, finishing second after falling to St. John’s in the championship game. Sidwell Friends girls’ basketball also played a competitive non-conference schedule, traveling up to New York City for the Rose Super Jam and then back home for the She Got Game Classic. Coach Dudley was named Girls Coach of the Year for DCSAA, and Jayden Donovan ’23 was named to the DCSAA second team. Kiki Rice ’22 was named to the first team for both the DCSAA team and the NBC Sports Washington All-DMV team, as well as being named DCSAA Girls Basketball Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year for DC. Oh, and she scored her 1,000th career point—as a sophomore.
This year, six seniors from the girls’ varsity swim team will graduate, but the team is still rich in talent. Ayanna Wu ’21 and Cate Sheridan ’23 had individual successes, qualifying for the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships (Metros) in their events. Sheridan, just a freshman, placed 13th at Metros in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.75 seconds. The 200 medley-relay team (with Sheridan, Alden Zhang ’22, Ayanna Wu ’21, and Isabel Apfel ’22) and the 200 freestyle-relay team (with Sheridan, Mikey Panner ’20, Apfel, and Wu) each qualified for Metros, too. “I have enjoyed seeing the improvement over time with the team,” says Coach Megan Miller. “Swimming is a unique sport where you get instant feedback on development—your time!”
This season varsity wrestling had a program first: Kate Borkowski ’22 and Julia McCormack ’22 competed in the first-ever Women’s National Prep Wrestling Tournament. Borkowski (105 pounds) finished in third place and earned All-American status. The Quakers competed, among other meets, at the Sidwell Friends School Invitational, MAC Superquad, MAC Championships, Melee on the Metro, DC Classic, and National Preps. Matthew Rosenstein ’23 (152 pounds), Lucas Donovan ’20 (160 pounds), and Ian Palk ’20 (182 pounds) were named MAC champions. Borkowski and Myles McPartland ’20 (170 pounds) finished as MAC runners-up.
Unfortunately, due to the spread of COVID-19, spring athletics around the city were all cancelled—a difficult decision, said Athletic Director Keith Levinthal in a letter to parents on March 15. "Our priority must be to protect the health of our own community and to do our part for the sake of the greater community beyond our school," Levinthal wrote, noting that the cancellation would be particularly difficult for those senior athletes who wouldn't be able to complete their final seasons. Still, Levinthal wrote, these athletes will leave a legacy that goes far beyond the record books and scoreboards. "The leadership in this group is especially strong, and the impact that they have made in our athletic program is hard to measure," he wrote. "I am very grateful for this group and the contributions they have made to make us one of the premier athletic programs in the DMV."
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