College notes: As pandemic eases, athletes get back to spring of things

  • Jack Meehan Jenna Schad—Jenna Schad/Tufts University

  • Former Hanover High golfer Jack Meehan was named the NEWMAC's rookie of year at Tufts University recently. Courtesy Tufts University

  • Hanover High graduate Johanna Copeland scored a team-high 21 goals for Wesleyan University women's lacrosse this spring. Courtesy Wesleyan University

  • Johanna Copeland Courtesy Wesleyan University—

  • Lebanon High graduate Marcus Roper was a recent recipient of the Panther Award, an honor handed out by Plymouth State University that recognizes individuals from each athletic team who best represent the school's mission on the field, in the classroom and throughout the community Courtesy Plymouth State University — Mike Gridley

  • Marcus Roper

  • Kennedy Mullen

  • Canaan's Phoebe Day played a role in Boston College's run to an NCAA Division I women's lacrosse championship, appearing in all five of the Eagles' tournament games. Boston College photograph—

  • Canaan native Phoebe Day, rear, defends a North Carolina counterpart in an undated photograph. Day played a role in the Eagles' NCAA Division I women's lacrosse championship run, appearing in all five tournament games. Boston College photograph — Kerry North

  • Canaan's Phoebe Day saw action in all five of Boston College's games en route to the program's NCAA Division I women's lacrosse championship. Boston College photograph—Kerry North

  • Jordy Allard

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 7/3/2021 9:35:32 PM
Modified: 7/7/2021 8:44:54 PM


Valley News Sports Editor

College sports have been largely missing around New England since the COVID-19 pandemic hit a year and a half ago. A little bit of winter activity picked up as the calendar turned, but the arrival of spring sports — where they could occur — gave us the first indication that normalcy was slowly returning.

Not everyone got the chance; the Ivy League maintained its shutdown of all athletic activities until relenting for a few games here and there in late April and early May. Elsewhere, however, life picked up. Some programs squeezed in a handful of contests; others managed full schedules.

The Valley News is about two years removed from the last time we produced a College Notes column. A lot of things have changed; a lot of student-athletes have graduated and moved on. Getting a list of spring competitors together required plenty of computer screen time. While some of the news you’re about to read arrived via previous stories, news releases or tips, the majority of this compendium came from scanning hundreds of rosters from schools all over the Northeast.

Did we forget anyone? Of course we did. But like the accomplishments of the men and women to follow, it’s a start.


Senior Jordy Allard (Hartford HS) won NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year honors for Babson College, going 7-0 with an 0.91 ERA, 55 strikeouts and two walks over 49⅔ innings. Named both first-team All-America and All-New England, the right-hander will do a grad transfer year at Richmond next season. … Junior Will Smith (Hanover HS) batted .279 over 29 games for Roanoke (Va.) College. The Maroons went 23-10 as Smith hit three home runs, drove in 17 and stole 10 bases. … Smith’s teammate, Meriden’s Trey Parker (Kimball Union Academy), appeared as a pitcher in four Roanoke games, allowing seven hits and six earned runs over four innings. … Senior Henry Day (Holderness School), a Canaan native, played in two games for St. Lawrence, drawing a walk. … Freshman Joey Perras (Hanover HS), Day’s teammate with the Saints, pitched in four games, allowing 12 runs over 2⅓ innings. … Norwich University freshman shortstop Ryland Richardson (Windsor HS), batted .172 in nine games for the Cadets, getting two of his five hits on the season in a 5-1 loss to Lasell on April 2. … Another Norwich freshman, Zeb Perreault (White River Valley), caught one game for the Cadets, drawing a walk in a 15-1 defeat of Rivier on April 10. … After transferring from Colby-Sawyer College, Plymouth State junior pitcher Derek Griffin (Lebanon HS) posted a 4.79 ERA in 4⅔ innings for the 8-16 Panthers. … Northern Vermont-Lyndon senior Codi Smith (Hartford HS) was named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. The outfielder led the NAC in batting (.478), on-base percentage (.557), slugging (.977), homers (seven) and RBIs (30). Smith was also 3-1 as a pitcher. … Former Hartford High standout Hunter Perkins (Bridgton Academy) batted .290 in 18 games with eight doubles and 10 RBIs as a sophomore outfielder at Castleton. … Junior Ryan Nicholson (Lebanon HS) played five games for 1-23 St. Michael’s, highlighted by a 2-for-2 day against Bentley on April 10. … Junior RHP Moises Celaya (Hanover HS) was on the roster at Maine’s Colby College but didn’t play. … Senior Caleb Broughton (Lebanon HS) closed his college career by hitting .258 in 26 games for Bucknell, earning Patriot League player of the week honors for a seven-hit weekend against Navy in April.


Sophomore pitcher Madie Fornwalt (Oxbow HS) went 2-5 with a 7.91 ERA in 25⅔ innings for Merrimack College. Her spring included a complete-game 3-0 shutout of Wagner on March 20 in which she fanned four, walked five and allowed three hits. … NVU-Johnson’s Jade Jamieson (Thetford Academy) pitched and played infield in 13 games as a freshman, hitting .111 for the 0-13 Badgers.


Graham Penfield (Hanover HS), a midfielder and attackman at Connecticut’s Trinity College, returned as a starter and played in all six of the Bantams’ games, netting a goal and an assist. … Lebanon native Mike Fleury (New Hampton School) ranked second in scoring for Plymouth State with 24 points and third in goals with 14, scoring four times in a 10-6 defeat of Eastern Connecticut on May 4. … Junior midfielder Griffin Van Niel (Woodstock HS) started in two of 12 games at Castleton, scooping up 12 ground balls. … Spartan teammate Dawson Nalette (Hartford HS), a sophomore, started on attack in five of his eight Castleton appearances, scoring five goals with two assists. … Gabe Marsicovetere (Woodstock HS), a sophomore middie, saw action in three games at Keene State after missing all of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. … Freshman middie Andrew Kelly-Jacobs (Windsor HS) made the roster at Wheaton College but didn’t play in any of the Lyons’ three games. … Wheaton teammate Jack Smyrski (Lebanon HS) had one ground ball and two caused turnovers in his one game for the Lyons. … Former Hartford High midfielder Nick Dorain (Bridgton) appeared in four games for New England College, securing two ground balls. … Defenseman Nick Porter (Hartford HS) played in all four games for RPI, with three ground balls. … Lebanon native Jake Dulac (New Hampton) played all 10 games for Massachusetts, mostly as a sophomore longstick midfielder. In addition to 16 ground balls and five caused turnovers, Dulac turned his first two shots in collegiate lacrosse into his first two career goals and, later, made the CAA Commissioners academic honor roll. … Freshman Brendan Brigham (Hanover HS) and senior Dan Robinson (Woodstock HS) both played in all 11 games for St. Lawrence this spring. A midfielder and faceoff specialist, Brigham recorded a team-high 40 ground balls and won 74 of 126 draws (58.7%) for the Saints. Robinson had an assist, 17 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers.


Senior Johanna Copeland (Hanover HS) soared as a senior attack at Wesleyan, leading the 3-3 Cardinals with 21 goals. Her final season included five-goal efforts, once against Hamilton and twice against Trinity. … Maddie McCorkle (Hanover HS) appeared in six games as a freshman middie at Duke, starting three times and scoring her first two collegiate goals in a 19-3 rout of Mount St. Mary’s in a second-round NCAA tournament game on May 14. … Senior Amelia Lubrano (Hanover HS) saw action in four games as a Colby midfielder and later won the NCAA Division III Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award for working on a road race that raised $28,000 for COVID relief. … Canaan native Phoebe Day (St. Paul’s School) had a role in Boston College’s run to an NCAA Division I championship, playing midfield in all five of the Eagles’ playoff wins and scoring a goal in a quarterfinal defeat of Notre Dame. … Maddie Lyons (Hanover HS), a junior, was on the roster at Middlebury, which didn’t have a season because of the pandemic. … Brittany Poljacik (Woodstock HS) suited up in eight games for 2-6 Norwich U., scoring six goals with a team-best 29 ground balls. She was also second on the squad with 18 caused turnovers. … Castleton freshman goalkeeper Emi Harlow (Hartford HS) allowed 10 goals and made four saves in 42 minutes of action over three contests. … Josie Hastings (Lebanon HS) played in three of Rivier College’s four contests at attack this spring. … Freshman Isla Cotter (Hanover HS) took up a defensive position for 2-3 Bates, appearing in three games. … Norwich native Hailey Fahey (KUA) scored two goals, had three ground balls and caused two turnovers in three games at attack for 0-5 Connecticut College. … Clark midfielder Greer McCarty (Hartford HS) played in all four of the Cougars’ games, recording one shot, four draw controls and six ground balls. … Junior goalie Kelly Smiga-McManus (Hanover HS) made the roster at MIT, which canceled its season due to COVID-19. … Defender Michaela Ricker (Hartford HS) started in six of her eight games at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), securing 12 ground balls and forcing eight turnovers.


Jack Meehan (Hanover HS), a freshman at Tufts, was named NESCAC’s co-rookie of the year following a pandemic-shortened four-tournament slate. The recognition came from the combined scores of two NESCAC league events in which Meehan shot a 36-hole 154 that included medalist honors with a 70 at the first tournament. … Meehan’s former high school teammate, Caleb Hamblen (Hanover HS), made the Liberty League’s all-academic team as a competitor at St. Lawrence.


Benny Gantrish (Hanover HS) played one singles match and three doubles encounters at Pennsylvania’s Allegheny College, earning an 8-7 (8-2) win with partner Woojoon Cho over Ohio Wesleyan on April 13. … NVU-Johnson’s Dylan Griffin (Oxbow HS) got in three matches in March before the Badgers’ season fell to the pandemic. His 7-5, 4-6, 10-5 defeat of MCLA’s Cal Najimy on March 8 was the team’s only point won during its shortened campaign.


Mia Manheimer (Hanover HS), a swimmer in high school, got out of the water and picked up a racket at Castleton, appearing in seven matches between singles and doubles for the 1-7 Spartans.


Plymouth State’s Marcus Roper (Lebanon HS) capped his junior season by earning the program’s Panther Award for representing the school’s mission in the classroom, on the field and in the community. The Panthers finished a program-best fourth at the Little East Championships on May 2 aided by Roper’s third-place discus toss (121.75 feet) and his fourth in the shot put (39.89). … Chris Gish (Sharon Academy) completed his running career at Vermont by making the America East all-academic team. An all-New England selection, Gish posted the Catamounts’ best time in the 1,500-meter run at May 7’s Dartmouth Invitational (3:52.69). … Kyle Doucette (Hanover HS) made the UVM roster as a freshman sprinter but didn’t see action. … Another Catamount, junior Clifford Ransom (Thetford Academy), competed in the 800, 1,500 and 4x400 relay. He set a PR in the 800 (1:58.31) at the Dartmouth Invite. … Franklin Pierce freshman Thomas Darrah (Thetford Academy) was part of a third-place 4x800 relay effort at the Northeast-10 Championship on Mat 6 that netted all-conference honors. He repeated the feat at the New England Championships two weeks later. … Graduate Liam Fleming (Rivendell Academy) was on the roster at Colby-Sawyer, which didn’t compete due to COVID-19. … Junior Morgan Baughman (Hanover HS) set a PR in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:04.48) at Tufts on May 1. … Freshman Mason Martell (Newport HS) earned all-NESCAC recognition in the 110-meter hurdles for Connecticut College, winning once with two runner-ups and a PR of 15.69 on May 1 at Tufts. … Abayomi Lowe (Hartford HS) and 4x100 relay team recorded a DNF in the sophomore’s one competition of spring as a Brown University sprinter. … While also a freshman on the track team, Cody Davis (Lebanon HS) made his first race appearance for Sacred Heart in a February cross country meet, running 10:04.32 over 3,200 meters. … Aiden Rowley (Hanover HS) made the all-Liberty League East second team in the 4x400 relay and received honorable mention in the 800 for Union College. … Fellow Dutchmen runner Benjamin Tichner (Lebanon HS) was also part of the all-league second team effort in the 4x400. … Freshman Tyler Wojcik (Thetford Academy) ran the 5K and 10K for a Southern Maine team that eventually finished second at the Little East Championship on May 2.


Quinnipiac freshman Grace Davis (Thetford Academy) was fifth in the high jump (4.92 feet) at the MAAC Championship, helping the Bobcats to second place behind Monmouth on May 9. … Olivia Brooks (Woodstock HS), a junior middle-distance runner, was on the roster at Vermont. … Freshman Nikki Harrington (Sharon Academy) competed in three meets as a Castleton sprinter, recording a PR of 15.85 seconds in the 100 dash at St. Lawrence on April 24. … Senior Leanne Burgess (Oxbow HS) took fourth in the 10K at the Little East Championship on May 1 to close her Plymouth State career. … Keene State junior Grace Furlong (Lebanon HS) ran a PR of 19:50.43 to take second in the 5,000 at the Little East Championship. Season bests in the 800 (2:45.20), 15,00 (5:31.08) and mile (5:45.43) were all good for top-three finishes in the respective races. … Franklin Pierce graduate Katey Comstock (Windsor HS) wrapped her throwing career by finishing eighth in the shot put (36-0) at the NE-10 Championship on May 8. She was also 12th in the discus (101-10) and threw a season-best 112-6 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on April 3. … Freshman Kennedy Mullen (Hartford HS) was Trinity College’s female athlete of the week for a third-place 400-meter dash time of 59.82 at the Tufts national qualifying meet in late May. It was one of the fastest times in New England this spring in Mullen’s first attempt at the distance. … NVU-Johnson’s Kiana Johnson (Thetford Academy) and Colby-Sawyer’s Anna Bieszczad (Lebanon HS) were on their respective rosters but didn’t compete. … Junior Izzy Giesing (Oxbow HS) reached the NCAA East preliminary meet in Florida for UMass Lowell, running 2:06.42 in the 800 to miss nationals by three seconds in what coach Gary Gardner called “the fastest 800-meter field in NCAA history.” Giesing still won four 800s in the spring and was sixth in the delayed America East cross country championship in March. … Corinne Kennedy (Lebanon HS) saw her distance-running season at Cornell waylaid by the pandemic. … Ileana Sirois (Hartford HS) was on the roster at RPI in hurdles and jumps but didn’t compete. … Freshman Sophie Chesnut (Sharon Academy) made the all-Liberty League East second team in the 3K steeplechase at Union. … Freshman Emma Doyle (Lebanon HS) placed seventh in the discus (112-2) and 11th in the shot (33-10.25) at the NE-10 Championship for New Haven. Her second-best shot attempt of 34-2.75 was good for second place at the Wilton Wright Invitational on April 3. ... Sisters Kathleen and Kimberly Merchant (Lebanon HS) both scored for St. Lawrence at the All Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference Championship on May 20. Kathleen set a personal best with a second-place shot put of 42 feet, 4.75 inches. Kimberly took fifth in the discus (121-5). The Saints were 11th out of 30 teams. ... The St. Lawrence roster also included junior Sadie Lingelbach-Pierce (Hanover HS) and sophomore Laken Mooney (Lebanon HS). Both joined the Merchant sisters on the Liberty League’s spring all-academic team.


Charlie Goodrich (Hanover HS) had a seat on the Navy second lightweight varsity eight that was part of an IRA national championship win on May 28, winning their race by open water in 6:41.36. The Midshipmen won first and second varsity eight and straight fours in a finals-only format in New Jersey. Goodrich was also recently named an Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association scholar-athlete. … Freshman Will Bender (Hanover HS) will represent Dartmouth College at the U23 world championships in the Czech Republic later this week, joining Big Green teammate on the men’s eight. With Bender on board, the Big Green’s first varsity eight took fourth at the IRA championship. … Canaan’s Keith DeSantis (Northfield Mount Hermon) and Hanover’s Daniel Tengden (home-schooled) competed in three head-to-head races for WPI, beating Coast Guard and Connecticut College. Tengden had a seat in all three races. … Andrew Wilson (Lebanon HS), a senior, sat on the second varsity eight boat at Ithaca College that was third at the Liberty League Championship on May 1. … Alex Roth (Hanover HS), a freshman, lost his season at Vassar to the pandemic.


Senior Katrina Wheelan (Hanover HS) sat on the Williams College first varsity boat that took third in the women’s NESCAC Championship on May 8. … Marion Miller (Hanover HS) completed her rowing career at North Carolina as a member of the Tar Heels’ third varsity eight at May’s ACC Championship. She made the team as a walk-on after transferring from St. Lawrence two years ago. … Shannon Walsh (Hanover High) was on the Boston College women’s team that won a pair of petite finals at the ACC Championship in mid-May. … Sophomore Cate Rooney (Hanover HS) landed on the NESCAC all-academic team as a member of the Bates crew program. … Charlotte Bedford (Hanover HS), a sophomore, made the roster at Clark University, which didn’t compete this spring. … Emma Tysinger (Hanover HS), also a sophomore, made the team at MIT, which canceled is season because of the pandemic. … Katie Ball (Proctor Academy), a Hanover native, met the same fate with her Wellesley women’s crew team. … Graduate Emily Winslow (Hanover HS) completed her varsity career at Rhode Island on the varsity eight that won its flight at the Atlantic 10 Championship on May 15 en route to the conference title. The four-year captain was also named A-10 all-academic for the third straight year, holding a 3.95 GPA while working on her MBA. … Lyme’s Honor Clements (Phillips Exeter) lost her Columbia season to COVID-19, but she received a King’s Crown Leadership and Excellence Award from the Ivy League school for innovation and enhancement in the classroom. … Hannah Marks (Hanover High), a Cornell senior, also saw her season wiped out by the virus. … Union’s Amelia Roth (Hanover HS), a junior from Lyme, landed a spot on the all-Liberty League second team, holding down the bow seat on a Dutchwomen crew that won its first three races of spring. … Olivia Simon (Hanover HS) made the most of her freshman season at WPI, competing on a boat that won three of its four head-to-head races. ... Freshman Falcon Jaacks (Hanover HS) competed on a Wisconsin women’s lightweight crew that won the IRA Championship team title in New Jersey on May 28. … Heather Stafford (Hanover HS), a sophomore at Syracuse, sat on the Orange’s varsity four boat and took part in a program-best 10th-place effort at the NCAA Championship on May 30. ... Sophomore Margot Davis (Hanover HS) saw time at California’s Santa Clara University, making the West Coast Conference’s all-academic team for maintaining a minimum 3.20 GPA as a significant member of the Broncos’ roster. Davis has a 3.59 GPA as a biology major. … Julia Golder (Hanover HS) completed her sophomore season at UCLA by racing on the third varsity eight in a win over San Diego on April 24.

Greg Fennell can be reached at or 603-727-3226.

Note: Added women’s crew items on Falcon Jaacks, Heather Stafford, Margot Davis and Julia Golder on July 5.

Note: Added women’s track items on Kathleen and Kimberly Merchant, Sadie Lingelbach-Pierce and Laken Mooney, golf item on Caleb Hamblin and men’s lacrosse items on Brendan Brigham and Dan Robinson on July 7.

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