Featured Athlete: Chloe Fequiere (XII)
Maddie Fremont-Smith | Staff Writer
Q: What would you consider to be your role on the basketball team?
A: I’d consider myself to be a strong, uplifting, confident team player and captain.
Q: When did you start playing basketball?
A: I started doing a basketball clinic in Pre-K. I was the tallest in my class and on my team. I then started playing CYO basketball (Catholic Youth Organization) in the second grade. I went on to play AAU basketball/club team (Athletic Amateur Union) in the fourth grade.
Q: What is your favorite part about basketball?
A: One of my favorite things about basketball is being able to improve in a certain skill, such as shooting. I especially like to the swish sound that the basketball makes when it goes through the net. But my favorite part about basketball is the feeling of competing at a high level as well as winning, because I love to win.
Q: What is your favorite part about playing on Marymount’s team?
A: My favorite part about playing on Marymount’s basketball team is the camaraderie with the girls that I play with. Each individual brings her own unique skill-set to the basketball team, as well as her personality. Having two supportive and dedicated coaches is another great part about playing on Marymount’s basketball team.
Q: Do you plan to continue playing basketball after you leave Marymount next year?
A: Yes, my ultimate goal is to play basketball at the collegiate level. Participating in several extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and community service has kept me balanced throughout my life. I love to multitask!
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: I listen to music as well as talk to my dad before the game, just to get some words of empowerment.
Q: As one of the leaders of the team, what would be your main piece of advice for a team mate?
A: “No matter what the score is, we have to stay positive and play together as a team to the end!”
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I would like to give a shoutout to Camilla Persley from the Class of 2029, who is as passionate and enthusiastic about the game of basketball as I was when I was her age. Go Lions!
The Millrose Games
Fiona Neibart | Staff Writer
The Millrose Games consist of an annual track and field meet held each February in New York City. The games began in 1908 when the Millrose Athletic Association was formed as a club by the employees of the John Wanamaker Department Store. The name “Millrose” comes from the manager Rodman Wanamaker’s country home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Over the next six years, the Millrose Games popularity and participants led to the sport moving to Madison Square Garden in Brooklyn.
In 1916, the famous Wanamaker’s 1 ½ mile race was the highlight of the Millrose Games, and continued to hold that reputation for around nine years. The final edition of said race was won by the nine-time Olympic gold medalist: Paavo Nurmi, representing Finland. Come 1926, a half mile was taken away from the race; and thus, the birth of the Wanamaker Mile occured. The Wanamaker Mile earned its 81st run just last year, and was won by 44 different men.
For 70 of the 96 years of the Millrose Games, the role of meet director was passed down from fathers of the Schmertz family to their sons. Fred Schmertz, meet director in 1934, gave the role to his son, Howard Schmertz in 1975. In 2003, Schmertz followed the legacy by giving the title to his son, Howard Miles Schmertz.
In May of 2011, the President of the Millrose Games, Norbert Sanders announced that the Millrose Games were moving to the Armory in Washington Heights.
So Long Ski Trip!
Lucy Booth | Co-Editor and Chief of Online Publishing
January 17, 3:15 pm, Marymount School mourned the loss of its most favorite annual tradition: the Okemo Ski Trip. During the cold month of January and transition back into school, this was a tough one. As Caroline O’Daly (XII) has observed, after winter break “the ski trip can get me through school.” Marymount girls share in sorrow.
The ski trip ia a chance for classes to bond. As Serena Greene said: “I am really upset because this a tradition our class gets really into.” Since last Martin Luther King Jr weekend, students have been looking forward to the 2019 trip, and for seniors, their last big hurrah. The weather report was so last minute that students struggled to cancel their ski rental, and others were frustrated about their recent purchases for the trip. Caroline O’Daly exclaimed,“we were going to up our instagram game!” after describing the new white flared ski pants she bought. Other students, like Serena Greene, had been envisioning their late night Dominos order for a while.
In the end, it was those who did not plan on attending who dodged the unexpected struggle. Ski racer Morgan Norquist chose not to go on the trip and train for racing instead. Some girls like Ellie Sullivan (XI) did not plan on going because they don’t ski. Some athletes had avoided going to minimize injury-risk.
Mr. Walter, school science teacher and meteorologist, advised to cancel the ski trip due to safety reasons. He found that there would be significant snow north of a line from Buffalo across to Albany and est to Boston. And indeed, Burlington, VT ended up getting 18 inches of snow. Between New York City and Ludlow, VT there was freezing rain and sleet that made it too dangerous to drive, and temperatures dropped below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It is safe to say that though students love the annual trip, it was not worth going in the weather conditions.
Lions Defeat the Khaki-Clad Opposition
Victoria Callizo: Editor in Chief of Digital Publishing
Ladies, time to celebrate. On the cold and slushy afternoon of November 9, Marymount faced off against the Regis volleyball team, and came out victorious. Before the event had even commenced, it was all anyone could talk about at either school; it was the social event of the sports season. Posters adorned every single wall, and the event was taking social media by storm. Teachers, parents, and proud peers filled the Regis gymnasium, and a crazy hour-long game took place. The game was divided into two sections. First, the underclassmen played and set, and the upperclassmen followed. Though the underclassmen gave it their all, the khaki clad opposition took the cake. It wasn’t the success we were hoping for, but it was a great effort on the team’s part.
What ensued next was a nail-biting match between the upperclassmen. The game was head to head, and room was filled with anxiety; however, we never lost faith. Finally, the first upperclassmen set ended in a resounding victory. The crowd roared. A spontaneous rematch followed the victory, but once again we emerged as champions. Overall, it was an incredibly proud and eventful afternoon for Marymount, and it was a testament to what strong, talented women are capable of.
Featured Athlete: Olivia Haskins
Lucy Booth: Editor in Chief of Digital Publishing
Olivia Haskins has been an incredible volleyball player since she started playing at eleven; she played twelve years of club volleyball and four years of Varsity Volleyball. Olivia is “supportive and super passionate” as described by teammate Grace Anci (X); “if we are losing she won’t get mad, she will hype the rest of the team up.” Olivia looks forward to continuing her play at Northwestern University.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome?
A: My first year playing club volleyball, I dislocated my knee, and it was in the beginning of the season. That was a big disadvantage because I lost a year trying to recover from my injury, and then had to catch up to where my other teammates were.
Q: How many positions have you played? Which is your favorite and why?
A: I have played two: middle and right side. I like them both, but I like middle better because even though you do not get set as much, it is fun to block, and that’s the job.
Q: What is your club team, and why do you do club?
A: My club team is NYC Juniors; this year I am on the 18s team. I have been doing Juniors since 12s. I really like playing club because you get to meet so many different people, there are girls on your team from all different schools, and it makes the school season more fun when you play against more people you know.
Q: What is the difference between playing Marymount Volleyball and Juniors?
A: When I play Marymount Volleyball I play with all different ages, so it is nice to be able to get to know all of them and see them in the halls. Club volleyball is more intense; there is more traveling.
Q: What advice would you give your teammates as a Varsity Volleyball captain?
A: It may sound cheesy, but don’t think that you are not good enough. I was definitely not very good when I started playing, but I just stuck with it. You will get better and learn from your experiences. Never think you are not good enough; just work hard at every practice and make every rep count.
Q: What is your biggest game superstition?
A: I need to be even when I play. When I am doing a warm up, everything has to be even, my left and rights.
Q: What is your favorite pregame snack and why?
A: Gatorade in the color of our opponent’s mascot! Otherwise, a solid peanut butter and jelly.
Q: What is your favorite team cheer?
A: I like when we do the “do it” cheer, which is when everyone goes in the middle and dances with their position.
Q: What college did you commit to and why?
A: I am committed to Northwestern for next year. I chose that team because it was the perfect mix between a high academic school and big volleyball program, because they are in the Big Ten.
New Year, New Pool
Elizabeth Gramley: Publicist
Last year, the Marymount swimming team had a small problem. They didn’t have a pool. For the first time in recent history, they would not be heading to Hostos Community College on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. After a few weeks of turmoil, however, the intrepid swim team had found alternative solutions. They began doing dryland practices and running in Central Park twice a week. From 6 to 7 in the morning, they practiced at Sacred Heart’s swimming pool. As the season wore on, the team practiced at a patchwork of pools, mostly in the Bronx.
The team didn’t let this stop them. They continued to show up to practice, spent hours on the bus and risked frozen hair. Their hard work paid off and they were able to come in fourth out of seven in championships.
Now, that drama is in the past. The team is not back at Hostos, but they are swimming at the same pool every day they practice (and continue to swim at Sacred Heart in the mornings). On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, they make the trek to the Bronx YMCA, located in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx, on the shores of Westchester Creek. Overall, the team enjoys the facilities.
“There’s this beautiful large window,” says Sanaa Sondhi. In fact, notes Kate Unrath, the window is floor to ceiling. “There’s a giant bridge,” too, says Unrath. “We have a nice view of Westchester Creek,” Sondhi adds. There is one complaint, however. When asked what her feelings were about the new pool, Violet Hall says, “Honestly, it’s not a cold pool, so I kind of-” “It’s weirdly warm,” Unrath interjects.
The conversation keeps going back to the window. Not only is the sunlight nice, but when it’s dark out, the bridge is lit up and apparently quite the sight. The window is also a great way to measure time. Even the commute can be nice. Patterson says, “I really enjoy the time in the bus. During that time I can regroup whether it’s after school or after swimming.”
Eventually, inevitably, the conversation turns to Hostos and how the new pool stacks up. Some people miss Hostos, others don’t. One difference is that this year, the team shares lanes with younger kids during part of their practice, which means that many of them end up doing dryland in some form. They also share the pool with Marymount’s middle school team. Still, the broader enthusiasm from the team is evident. They are pleased to have the pool, to spend time on the same bus, and to spread out their meets over a longer period of time.
Volleyball Team History
Morgan Shepard: Staff Writer
The reason for Varsity Volleyball’s success in the past few years is due to the strong program that has been built up through rising athletes and the relationships and chemistry the team shares on and off the court. Coach Yang has been an integral part of Marymount Volleyball throughout his five years working here. As the Varsity Volleyball coach, he works hard to develop the program, and contributes time to attend Middle School and JV games and practices. His goal in doing this is to develop the program and prepare athletes for Varsity level volleyball. Within the past two years the Varsity team has won back-to-back State Championships, and the team hopes to defend its title this season
Q: Coach Yang, what is the hardest part about coaching the team now vs. your first year?
A: My first year as a coach I didn’t realize the extent of the overall Marymount community. In the past few years as the varsity coach, I’ve realized what a privilege it is to represent such a large community of volleyball players and families here at Marymount.
Q: What season was your favorite and why?
A: In 2016, our volleyball team won its first League and State championships and in dramatic fashion. So that has to be one of my clear favorites. But I have to say that last year’s JV basketball team was absolutely amazing as we went from a 1 win season to first runner ups in our league championship. JV for life!
Q: What is the best part about coaching this team?
A: Last year was very basic. We had the best players and we won, period. This year we are still very strong, but we have a few challenges. I truly enjoy the preparation and strategic part of volleyball games, and I love being the best coach in the gym. Period!
Q: What do you do to develop the program?
A: Our volleyball program can only be as good as the coaches we place with it. In the past few years our athletic department had worked extremely hard at putting qualified individuals in the appropriate places to teach and develop not only volleyball skills, but important life skills as well. Coach Ricky Myint, who works with our Varsity and Class VI teams, is a great example of how placing the right person in the right place is essential to our overall success.
The two senior captains of the team, Olivia Haskins (XII) and Vivienne Lange (XII) helped describe the unique atmosphere of this team and the special relationships formed every year that contribute to their successes.
Q: How has Coach Yang helped you in your development as a volleyball player and a teammate?
A: Vivienne: Mr. Yang has played a vital role in our team’s development to winning two state championships. He sets very realistic goals and expectations for our team and makes sure everyone does their job on and off the court.
Q: What is the difference between the team now and the team your freshman year?
A: Olivia: The team our freshman year was less experienced and not as focused on our goal of winning. Now, our team is cohesive, and we all are unified in our goals of winning, playing to the best of our ability, and each doing our parts as teammates.
Q: What will you always remember from being a part of this team?
A: Vivienne: I will remember the camaraderie and support on and off the court and Mr. Yang’s dedication to the team and the growth of the program.
Q: Why do you find it important to build strong relationships with your teammates?
A: Olivia: It is important because we are not together all the time since we are all in different grades, so it is important to get to know each other. To be a great team, we have to mesh well together when we play by trusting our teammates on the court.
Lack of Space for Sports Teams Leads to Enormous Marymount Spirit
By: ELEANORE JENKS, Staff Writer
This winter, the Field Hockey team ended its season in an astounding fourth place in the league, overcoming significant adversity by working hard and remaining determined. While it is true that athletes were frustrated with not being able to properly practice, their determination showed another side of them, one that made everyone continue to cheer their teams on. As Kristin O’Donoghue (X), a swimmer as well as a field hockey player, recently said: "This whole ordeal has taught me a lot about hard-work, ethic, perseverance, and the drive necessary to fully commit to something, even when it seems that all hope might be lost.”
For some students, sports teams are an important part of their after-school activities, and many show high levels of dedication to one or more teams. However, for the Varsity Field Hockey and Swim teams, practices entailed a struggle because of a lack of space for them to practice, which not only frustrated the athletes, but their classmates as well, who wanted them to do well. It is well known that the Field Hockey team did not often have a field to practice on, spending many practices running around the bridle path in Central Park for their practices. But then, the Swim team fell into a similar situation, finding itself without a pool in the afternoons and spending many of these afternoons doing dry land practice, and compensating with early morning pool practices.
Talking to several members of each team gave insight into how the lack of space affected them. Sydney Gardner (XI) said: “It’s not fair that some sports get [a lot] and others get nothing. It happened to Field Hockey pretty bad, but that’s also because we were combined with Spence. I don’t know anything about the Swim team, but they need to be able to swim.” Sydney’s fellow Field Hockey player, Caitlyn King (X), agreed with her, saying: “It was really upsetting because we worked so hard to improve, but since we didn’t have field space, we really couldn’t work on our skills, which is part of why the team didn’t do too well. In the beginning we did have fields, which is great, and that’s why we greatly improved, but towards the end of the season it was harder to keep up. I just wish that we could have figured something out”.
The sentiment appeared to be the same among other team members. As Erika Chan (XI) said: “the fact that we didn’t have a field a lot meant that we couldn’t develop our skills, which put us at an inherent disadvantage.” Kristin O'Donoghue (X) agreed, saying: "I attended an incredibly low number of field practices, and the team wound up running so much that we rivaled the cross country team!"
Much of the Upper School was already familiar with the ongoing challenge facing Field Hockey. On the other hand, the Swim Team’s situation was a new one. Perry Zimmerman (XI) said: “Even though there is no space for us in the afternoons, we do have two mornings of getting up before dawn to get our strokes in, [which] makes us much stronger. The lack of space for swimming has been very annoying this season, but I do think that with teamwork and determination we can take down a competitor or two in the coming weeks.”
While many may think it’s only frustrating for students, it is frustrating for coaches as well. Mme Andre, who coaches the swim team, explained: “We’ve had a longstanding contract at Hostos for their pool, which is wonderful because we got all six lanes for just Marymount. However, over the summer, the person who was responsible for rental contracts changed and [they] revised their contract procedure. As a result, it was this kind of terrible waiting game, ‘Are we going to have it? No, we don’t’. We managed to find two other pools and made the most of the time we had. The swimmers worked really hard in spite of all the trouble we’ve had. I think it’s a really good learning experience for the girls to overcome this challenge and continue to do their best.”
Fiona Benson (XII), who is one of the captains of the Swim team, said: "while it is unfortunate that we don't have a pool this season and that many sports teams have to practice in smaller facilities, I think that it's understandable because we're a small school on the Upper East Side, and it's difficult to get sports facilities across the city. Also, I know the Athletics Department really tries to get sports facilities in advance. I know it's been somewhat of a frustrating season for the Swim team, but I think we've really tried to make it work. And in the end, we really succeeded, just making the best of our situation." She went on to say: "looking forward, it is dismaying to see that they will not be building a pool at the School of the Future. It would be a fantastic investment for Marymount, and it would help our swim program flourish and grow.”
As many have said, Mr. Cook works incredibly hard to find facilities for our teams. When asked about this, he said: “Facilities are extremely hard to come by, very challenging for all sports, not just swimming [and] field hockey. I have the challenge with volleyball, I have the challenge with basketball, the list goes on and on. My position is never to complain as to why we don’t have A, B, and C. I do my level best to get what we need for our teams. Probably the most stressful situation that I’ve experienced this year has been swimming. We had a long relationship with Hostos College, then it kind of went by the wayside and put us in a very precarious position, very late into the season. While it really is terrible - it stinks! - we learned lessons from it and we tried to do our best to procure facilities as quickly and early as we can. For example, I was starting at the end of the fall to work for the following year as I do for all the sports. Still, we’re not the only ones that go through this - there are a number of schools that experience this - and my thrust and drive is to do the level best that I can to procure facilities for all teams.”
Indeed, we’re grateful for the school spirit that the department, the coaches, and the student-athletes all showed, setting a true example of determination in the face of adversity. And we look forward to future Marymount sports’ triumphs in the months and years to come, no matter what the fates may throw at us!
Controversy Surrounding the Winter Olympics
By: AMELIA FAY, Managing Editor
February 9 marked the Olympic torch lighting in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This year, around 90 countries are participating in the Games, and many fans are eagerly anticipating the return of their favorite athletes. However, while the Olympics is supposed to be an event around which we can come together, there has already been a significant amount of controversy surrounding this year’s Games.
It’s no secret that hosting the Olympics is a costly responsibility. The brand new Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium has already received a great deal of criticism due to its $58 million price tag, especially because not only will the stadium be taken down following the Games, it will not be used to host any events outside of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Furthermore, the stadium has an open roof, which will expose athletes and audience members to the freezing weather. This is particularly relevant as the 2018 Olympics have been predicted to be the coldest in history.
The Olympic Committee has also faced criticism for the deforestation of several slopes of Gariwang Mountain to build the Jeongseon Alpine Center, set to host downhill, Super-G, and combined events. The committee explained that these slopes were the only ones that met the qualifications of the alpine events and promised that the forest would be restored following the games. However, many environmental groups were upset due to the fact that the mountain is home to many rare and ancient species, which will likely be impossible to restore.
Another controversy surrounding this year’s Games is the Russian doping scandal. Following the release of Icarus, a documentary exposing Russia’s state-sponsored doping program, Russia’s Olympic Committee was banned from the 2018 games, and over 40 Russian athletes were banned for life. Several Russian athletes will be allowed to compete, but any medals they win will not count towards a Russian medal count. The Russian team has also lost one third of the medals it won in Sochi.
Hopefully, despite these various obstacles the spirit of the Olympics will not be lost, and we will all be able to enjoy the Games.
Featured Athlete: Alexa Jonke
By: NINA CURRAN, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Describe the weapon you use when fencing, and can you accidentally hurt your opponents with it? Well, there are three types of fencing: Epee, Foil, and Sabre. I fence Epee, which is a heavy, flat, blade with a large bell guard. Fencers are required to wear several layers of safety gear so there's an incredibly small risk of injury.
How did you get involved with fencing? I was bored one summer, and my mother signed me up for a one-week introductory camp to Fencing for children ages 10-14. It was incredibly fun, and when the week was up, my mother signed me and my sister up at the Fencer's Club in New York City.
Do you plan to fence in college? Unfortunately, none of the schools I'm applying to offer fencing. Maybe after I graduate I will pursue it again.
The fencing team does not attract as many members as some of the other sports at Marymount. What is one little-known thing about fencing that you would like to share with other students? It is not like a number of other team sports: while you do have the aspects of teamwork and support from your teammates, you are the only person fencing your opponent. Also, many people call fencing "physical chess" because it involves lots of strategic thinking and planning, in addition to the rigorous physical aspect of the sport.
Why I Hate Morning Practices
By: BRIGIT LAPOLLA, Guest Writer
My sleep is stolen by the unforgiving URNGH URNGH URNGH of my alarm clock. Dread washes over me. I cannot bring myself to open my eyes--to accept that it is, in fact, 5:15 a.m. on yet another bleak Tuesday morning. The hardest part is departing from my comforter: I won’t feel this warm or dry in hours. “Do it for the breakfast,” I tell myself.
The next two hours are spent on auto-pilot, and after retreating from my bed I often fall into a complete sleepwalk. I keep my eyes shut long after I roll out of bed, feeling my way to the bathroom with my arms stretched before me. I then suffocate myself into the tiny piece of nylon and throw my uniform skirt on top. This is the moment I realize--almost every week--that I am late. I pack up my bag, and bolt down the stairs. I scurry down my block with my eyes half closed, to avoid spotting a rat running into Riverside Park (I have a terrible phobia of these creatures). I stick out my arm only to find: no cab. Goosebumps consume me; my teeth chatter. Finally, I hail a taxi. “91st and 1st, please.” The cab ride is literally a roller coaster: no traffic actually does have its downsides. I stumble out--nauseous to the core--and I run down the block. Before I know it, I am submerged in an ice bath, out of breath within seconds. “Do it for the breakfast,” I remind myself.
The morning practice itself is actually the best part of the entire situation; it is the before and after that makes it difficult. Getting a good night’s sleep on Monday is almost impossible, especially since Monday’s own practice is followed by hours of homework. Even if I somehow make it to bed at the glorious hour of 9:30, my entire house is still awake, so actually falling asleep is highly unlikely--agonizing over the very fact that I have to wake up can also keep me up for hours. Tuesday morning feels long, but it is definitely bearable. My circadian rhythm dips a bit early, so I often treat myself to a twenty minute power nap upon returning home.
Still, despite all my whines, I do benefit greatly from morning practice, and I am lucky that I have the privilege to swim. Every Tuesday, I am reminded that so many people wake up extremely early every day, and I am at once flabbergasted and humbled. I get to experience the city in rare form: tranquil and desolate. And, I always sleep well on Tuesday nights (which is a big plus). By the time Wednesday rolls around, I am already dreading the next Tuesday morning, but I know I will be at peace once the practice is over, once I have a warm muffin in my hand.
Why I Love Morning Practices
By: FIONA BENSON, Guest Writer
My legs move up and down on the pedals, and my knuckles are splotched red and white from the icy air. I glance to my left and see the buildings lining the southern end of Central Park. The city is waking up: first lights coming on in high rises, newspaper delivery trucks clattering, and the scent of fresh bread wafting into my nose as we pass the occasional bakery. On any day when the temperature is above freezing, I ride a tandem bike with my father to get to morning swim practice. When it’s bitterly cold, I slouch down in the seat of a car. It is quiet, except for the soft mutterings of the morning radio. These are my two favorite ways to commute to the Upper East Side: on my tandem bike, or in a car, where I don’t have to wait for the line to board or count the number of stops. Knowing my father will drive me on either two wheels or four to the Upper East Side for 6:00 AM swim practice makes the thought of waking up before dawn a little bit easier.
The most difficult part of morning practice is actually jumping in the pool. Even after four years, my body seems to never expect the shock of the chilly water. While I swim back and forth in my first 50 yards, I am shivering and angry the entire way. Why do they keep this pool so cold? But once those 50 yards are over and I am no longer kicking just to stay warm, I feel triumphant. It is only 6:03AM and I have already won the war against the water.
When I exit the pool at 7:00AM, I am refreshed and invigorated. The thought of a warm egg and cheese sandwich makes me rush to get changed into my uniform, and when I finally sit down in the Teahouse at 7:40AM to eat, I am starving and completely content. I feel like I deserve to eat whatever I want because I have already exercised. Besides, I have never been a breakfast person, but to eat after swimming, no matter what time it is, feels like an early lunch. Classmates walk in with sleepy eyes and tousled hair, and although my hair may be soaking wet and unbrushed, and goggle marks may adorn my cheeks, I am wide awake. I am completely ready for the day and whatever it may bring. If you can travel through the cold dark of the budding day and into the chill blue of the practice pool before most people are out of their pajamas, the rest of the day ought to be easy.
Swim practice simply seems a bit more heroic when we do it in the morning. So the next time my alarm goes off at 5:20AM and all I want to do is plop my head back down on the pillow, I’ll remind myself to think like a hero, get up, and slay the dragon of morning practice.
2018 Winter Olympics Complicated by North Korea Tension
By: SAM ZACCARO, Staff Writer
Two months from now, from February 9 to 25, thousands of athletes from all around the world will gather in the town of Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Security is one of the top concerns for the Olympics, especially with the town of Pyeongchang located only an hour from the border of North Korea and with the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. Indeed, North Korea has made significant progress with its nuclear weapons programs in past months, testing missiles. France has even said that if the crisis deepens, the French Olympic teams could stay at home. “There is no Plan B...We know that the world is watching the current geopolitical situation on the Korean peninsula,” said Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang organizing committee. He also stated,“We continue to work very closely with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure we can deliver a safe and secure Games for everyone involved.”
Olympic organizers have tried their best to reassure potential visitors and the countries that will be in attendance about the threats, but the situation is complex. Two North Korean athletes, figure skaters Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sies, have qualified for the Games, and the pair’s Olympic qualification could be a positive development amid all this tension on the Korean peninsula. Many hope their sheer presence will serve as an insurance policy against any conflict.
Featured Athlete: Alexandria Brown
By: AMAYAH SPENCE, Co-Editor-in-Chief
What sports do you play, and what are your positions? I’m captain of the winter track team, and a member of cross country and spring track. For cross country, I just do the 4k and 5k. In the spring, I usually do the 300m, and I want to start doing the 55m hurdles. I also do the 100m hurdles and the 200m, while dabbling in some discus throw.
What is it about running that you like so much? I started running because of asthma, and it only grew after that. I use cross country for endurance for my other races, so I don’t get out of shape - even though a lot of times I do! In general, I use it just to train for other seasons. Winter track helps me train for spring track. The 55m helps me train for 100m hurdles for spring track. Sprinting is so satisfying when it’s over, because you really feel so accomplished. I’m also competitive, so running helps feed into my nature.
How excited were you to hear that you would be the next captain? I was so happy that I couldn’t describe it. I was super happy that I could lead a team, and I wanted to represent my teammates well, conscious of it as both an opportunity and a responsibility - not to mention my desire to compete against other teams and lead my team to victory.
When did you start doing Track and Field, and why did you choose this sport? As I mentioned, I started running track because of asthma. I did so many sports: I was in ballet when I was 3, and I went to soccer when I was five, six, and seven. I even did golf for a month, and also karate. I switched to track, and it was something I started doing to help improve my lungs. It began helping my breathing. I would always have an asthma attack every year and my mom wanted me to be active so I could be healthier, and so my asthma wouldn’t get worse over the years. In fact, it has helped me learn better breathing techniques. I finally chose track because I like it so much - and I have no hand-eye coordination! - so that narrowed it down. I like the team dynamic and that I can do things on my own, even as we have to come together as a team to win things like relays.
How has track and field impacted your Marymount experience? I feel like staying with Track for all three seasons helped me get to know my coaches better. My dynamic with the coaches have improved since freshman year. I can go to them for anything, and I feel comfortable talking to them and letting them know my problems.
How has your track coach supported or inspired you? When I’m running, whether it be cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, I can always hear Mr. Davenport’s voice, clear as day, saying, “Kick! Drive! Pump your arms! Push!” That always pushes me to continue running, even when I’m tired, because I know there’s someone there supporting me, even though I feel completely exhausted. At the end, it gives me the extra boost to keep running, because I don’t want to let my coaches down. I have to push it, push it, to the limit, limit, cause we’re in it to win it.
Do you intend to keep running in college? Yes. I want to run in college - it’s fun, and everything I like is there: the team dynamic and the coaches. Still, I’m not going to keep doing cross country.
Why aren’t you going to continue running Cross Country specifically? The distances get longer, and my endurance gets shorter. The distances get to 6k and 8k. I just feel like the longer the distance, the less it helps me: strength conditioning would actually be better for me than cross country.
Cross Country Places Ninth at Brown
By: AMELIA FAY, Managing Editor
Every year, the Marymount cross country team travels to Rhode Island for the Brown University Northeast Invitational. For the past three years, the overnight trip to Brown has been a favorite part of the cross country season because it gives the team a chance to bond and spend quality time together off the race course.
Unfortunately, the weather this year was not ideal, as it was raining for the entire race. Nevertheless, the team persevered and placed ninth out of twenty one. Much of this success is due to Lauryn Heskin (IX), who won the 5k race with a time of 18:25. She said, “I thought the race went pretty well. Overall I was happy with how I did and how our team placed. The overnight trip to Brown was a great bonding experience for our team, and I really hope we are able to go back next year!”
While cross country is no easy sport, it’s a wonderfully special experience. As a senior on the team, I can truly say there’s no other group of girls I’d rather run hills with! The cross country team is a family, and I’ll be very sad to leave it next year.
No More Cool Swag?
By: ARABELLA BAKER, Staff Writer
The athletic department has made the decision that moving forward, there will no longer be any spirit gear available for after-school sports teams. Instead, teams are encouraged to purchase spirit gear from the newly launched Marymount sports store, though this gear is not individualized to teams. Still, if our fearless field hockey players can bring their team back for another year and if students can protest a holiday and get it renamed in our school, perhaps another round of in-house activism will mean we haven’t actually seen the last of team gear.
In conversation with Mr. Cook, we learned that he would like to get rid of team gear because of how complicated it is to order gear for each team. He added that purchasing already designed items of clothing through the new spirit store is much easier. Another benefit is that it is available to everyone in the school, including people who do not participate in sports.
On the other hand, while the spirit store is a strong idea, others still believe that we should have team gear. Some students seek additional ways to promote pride in their teams, while others simply think the gear looks cool. Afterall, Marymount Singers have “team gear” in the form of their letterman sweaters. So why should Marymount get rid of sports teams’ gear, when sports team members put in so much hard work for an entire season and really do deserve gear for the sports they participate in? After all, what is a pep rally without being able to show off your pride in being part of a sports team through fabulous team gear?
Featured Athlete: Analiese Schwartz
By: MADDIE FREMONT-SMITH, Staff Writer
How long have you been playing soccer? I’ve been playing soccer since I was three, and I’ve been on a travel team since I was eight.
What does your practice schedule look like? I’m playing on a team outside of school as well as on the Marymount team, so I have a lot of practices. I play on every weekday but Tuesday for Marymount, and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for my other team.
Do you enjoy playing as a center back? I do, especially because the position gives me more control of the field.
How would you describe your playing style? I’m a very physical player.
Is there anything that you use as a captain of the team to keep up morale? Before every game, I make sure to tell my teammates, “We’re all playing for a team, it's not individual!”
Congrats on your commitment to Roanoke! How are you feeling about it? I’m so excited, and I’ve been talking to a bunch of the girls.
By: PIETRA SABLIC, Staff Writer
Lauryn Heskin (‘21) reached out, opened her locker, and took out her New Balance racing #silenthunter sneakers. These sneakers turned to fire as Lauryn launched off the start line of the league meet at Van Cortlandt Park last month and broke the Marymount 4k (2.5 mile) record formerly held by Izzy Vilalba, who ran a time of 15:38 in 2013. Lauryn had broken the record by 8 seconds! When asked how she felt after her record-breaking race, Lauryn responded, “I was unbelievably happy. My first thought was to tell my dad, since my mom was already there. I was extremely proud of myself because I made them proud.”
It is important to note that Lauryn is not new to breaking records, as she holds multiple world and national records. Her love of and commitment to running was born at a very early age, as she started in kindergarten. She practices four times a week in order to excel in her running. Lauryn certainly has speed in her blood, but her hours of practice each week just strengthen her talent. When asked about her future plans, she responded, “I want to take my running career further and excel throughout the years so that I can run professionally once I’m older.”
Lauryn’s passion for the sport just beams from her, and it is clear this is the start of something special. You can see it in her eyes.
Go Lauryn! The Marymount Lions are very proud of and support you. We can’t wait to write the next story!
Three Student Athletes Celebrate Their Early College Commitments
By: AMAYAH SPENCE, Editor-in-Chief
By just the second week of school, three students - Francesca Meldrum (XII), Analiese Schwartz (XII), and Olivia Haskins (XI) - had already been recruited and had committed to a college for their talents in their respective sports. These colleges include Dartmouth College, Roanoke College, and Northwestern University, respectively.
Francesca Meldrum decided to commit to Dartmouth College’s Division I women’s volleyball team at the end of her junior year, though she was also recruited by Columbia University and Harvard University. Francesca has been playing volleyball since seventh grade. She has always disliked contact sports, which is why she was drawn to volleyball. She says that her favorite part of playing volleyball is how vital communication is and how important the team aspect is.
Analiese Schwartz committed to Roanoke’s women’s soccer team during the second week of school. For Analiese, playing soccer is something she’s loved for as long as she can remember. She started playing soccer when she was three and says, “I first realized how much I truly loved and had a passion for soccer when I made my first travel team. I was eight years old.” Analiese decided on Roanoke after visiting the other schools that recruited her, and deciding that Roanoke was the best fit for her both socially and academically.
Olivia Haskins committed to Northwestern University over the summer after her sophomore year. She has been playing volleyball on a club team since seventh grade, but she only realized she would consider making a career out of it two years ago, which is when she realized how strong of a volleyball player she was becoming. She explains deciding on Northwestern as easy, because “It offered everything I wanted, and it had always been my dream school,” and also, it plays in the elite Big Ten competition. Olivia loves volleyball because there is always so much passion and energy on the court and within the team and because you’re forced to rely on your team.
Featured Athlete: Francesca Meldrum
By: AMELIA FAY, Managing Editor
First of all, congrats on your commitment to Dartmouth - we’re all so excited for you! Have you already gotten to know your future teammates? Yes, I met most of them when I went on my recruitment visit, and then I got to know them better when I went to the Dartmouth volleyball camp this past July.
When did you start playing volleyball? I’ve been playing volleyball since seventh grade, when I joined the Marymount middle school team.
How has volleyball impacted your life these past five years? Volleyball has provided me with the opportunity to travel the country and partake in programs that have helped me form some really important friendships in my life.
Is playing on the Marymount team very different from playing on your travel team? How so? Yes, it’s very different because my club team travels almost every weekend and is much more time-demanding. On my club team, there’s a lot more pressure to perform because everyone is trying to get recruited. Practices are a lot more technical and intense, whereas on the school team I can just enjoy playing the sport while also playing at a pretty high level. One thing I love about school season is the spirit and pride we have for the program!
What are you most looking forward to about college, and what are you going to miss most about Marymount? I am excited to meet new people, have fun, and see what life is like outside of NYC. Volleyball-wise, I’m looking forward to playing at the college level and improving my skillset. I’ll probably miss Marymount’s traditions and its close-knit community the most.
Do you have any advice for any underclassmen who are either currently on the team looking to play volleyball in the future? If you really love the sport and put in the work, you will get the results you want.
Varsity volleyball was undefeated last year. What do you think was the key to this success? We had tremendous spirit and an exceptional team dynamic last year; we really cared about each other and had fun together both on and off the court. I think all of the bonding we did during preseason and throughout the year had a really positive impact on our performance. I hope for similar success this year!