Boston High School: Maddy Berkson

Notebook: R.I. athletes get their hall call

January, 18, 2014
Jan 18
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Add the names of Eddie Markowski, Maddy Berkson, Shane Lagor and Sean Reddy to the long list of high school athletes and coaches that have been honored by Words Unlimited, Rhode Island’s organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

Rhode IslandEach member of this quartet will be honored on February 16 when the organization holds its 68th annual awards banquet – one of the oldest of its type in the country.

Markowski, the Schoolboy Athlete of the Year, graduated last spring from Hendricken. He earned Second Team All-State honors in hockey and First Team All-State accolades in baseball. In addition, Markowski also was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Division I Baseball Tournament which the Hawks captured by beating North Kingstown in the finals.

Markowski gave a premonition of things to come in the semifinals when he belted a home run in the third and deciding game of the best-of-three semifinal series against Johnston.

Berkson was voted the Schoolgirl Athlete of the Year after a stellar track and field and cross country career at Classical. She’ll be attending Stanford next year on a scholarship.

Berkson earned All-State honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. In the process she led Classical to a share of the 2013 outdoor state track title, sole possession of the 2013 outdoor championship and a third-place finish in the cross country championships.

Not only did she excel at middle and long distances but during the last indoor season, she attempted the long jump and recorded a distance of 19 feet, 1 inch which was three inches shy of the state record that’s stood for 28 years.

Berkson’s loyalty to her team was never more evident than last winter when she passed up an opportunity to participate in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix which is a qualifier for the prestigious Millrose Games. But because the Grand Prix fell on the same date as the Class A championships, she opted to stay home and run for the Purple.

“The team is really tight-knit,” said Berkson. “I wanted to be there for them.”

Among other things, she captured the 600-meter run and anchored a victorious 4x400 relay team which helped Classical finish second overall in the team standings.

In retrospect, her greatest victory was the message she sent to her teammates by opting to stay home instead of bolting the premises.
West Warwick’s Lagor was voted the Schoolboy Sports Coach of the year.

After a very young Wizards team lost its first two games, the chances of it evening qualifying for the Division II Tournament appeared to be slim and none (and slim already had departed for Texas).

Instead, the team regrouped under Lagor’s direction and finished 11-3 overall which included West Warwick’s first Division II Super Bowl appearance in 11 years – a 48-13 pounding of Cumberland.

Reddy was voted the Schoolgirls Sports coach of the Year after leading La Salle Academy to its third consecutive Division I state basketball title – plus its sixth state crown in seven years. The Rams waxed Barrington, 62-29 in the finals.

Reddy’s hallmark is his strict attention to fundamentals, improvement of individual skills and unselfish team play. In practice, his mantra is “No time for sitting.”

Rare honor: Invariably, Rhode Island schoolboy basketball players are deemed to be too slow, too short, too something but something invariably negative. But that’s not the case with Classical senior Kealen Ives.

Ives has been nominated to play in the 2014 McDonald’s Senior All-American High School Basketball Games.

Of all the 984 boys and girls who play basketball in the Interscholastic League, Ives was the sole play to be nominated for the games which are scheduled for April 2 at Chicago’s United Center.

The final rosters will be announced on Jan. 29.

Ives led the Purple to the Division I state title last season by averaging 21.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Moreover, he notched his 1,000th career point and was voted the MVP of the state tournament.

“Kealan has come a long way in a short time,” said coach John Kavanaugh. “He committed himself to his teammates and coaches and has done everything you can ask a player to do.”

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New England Gatorade girls' track honorees

June, 19, 2013
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Gatorade announced its girls' track and field state Players of the Year today.

Here's a look at the winners across New England:

CONNECTICUT - Claire Howlett, Westhill
The 5-foot-7 junior won the 3200-meter run with a state-record time of 10:20.03 and the 1600-meter run in 4:53.97 at the State Open Championship this spring. At the Class LL divisional championships, Howlett broke the tape in the 3200-meter run in 10:20.03 and finished second in the 1600-meter run in 4:56.25. Her 3200- and 1600 meter run times at the state meet, respectively, ranked No. 12 and No. 65 among U.S. prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Also a cross country standout, Howlett has maintained a 4.54 weighted GPA in the classroom. The Online Editor-In-Chief of her school’s student newspaper, she has also donated her time on behalf of Westhill’s buildOn club, serving the Darien Book Aid, St. Luke’s Lifeworks and the Bruce Museum. She has also completed a service-mission trip to the Republic of Malawi.

MAINE - Kate Hall, Lake Region
The 5-foot-9 sophomore won three individual championships at the Class B state meet this spring, leading the Lakers to second place as a team. This past winter’s Indoor Track Female Performer of the Year as named by the Portland Press Herald, Hall captured the long jump outdoors with a leap of 18 feet, 5.75 inches in addition to sweeping the 100-meter dash (with a time of 12.12 seconds) and the 200 (in 25.49). She also anchored the 4x100-meter relay quartet that broke the tape in 50.65. Her 100-meter dash time of 11.68 at the Western Maine Conference Championships, her 200-meter dash time of 24.89 and her long jump leap of 19-0.75 at the New England championships all set state records.

Also a soccer standout, Hall has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth track and piano instructor, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a foster care program and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE - Hannah Parker, Coe-Brown Nortwood Academy
The 5-foot-9 sophomore won two individual state championships this spring and led the Black Bears to the Division II state title as a team. Parker won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.73 and the 1600-meter run in 5:12.29. At the Meet of Champions, she won the 800 in 2:10.62 and ran the second leg on Coe-Brown’s winning 4x800-meter relay quartet. Parker also won the 800 at the New England Outdoor Championships in a meet-record time of 2:06.42, which ranked as the nation’s No. 3 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Parker has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of her school’s student council, she has volunteered locally at the Nottingham Recreation Center and as a mentor at an area school.

RHODE ISLAND - Maddy Berkson, Classical
The state’s returning Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year, the 5-foot-4 junior won the 1500 meters at the state meet this spring and led the Purple to a state title. Berkson, hampered earlier this spring by a health issue, also ran the second leg for Classical’s winning 4x400-meter relay quartet and placed third in both the 800-meter run and the 3000-meter run. At the New Balance Nationals Outdoor, Berkson placed third in the 800 with a state-record time of 2:08.40, which ranked as the nation’s No. 12 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection. She holds five state records and her best times in the mile (5:02.01), 1500 (4:34.27) and 3000 (10:09.86) all rank in the top 100 nationally this spring.

Berkson has maintained an unweighted 4.07 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a lab technician in her Advanced Placement Biology class and at youth track events.

VERMONT - Autumn Eastman, Champlain Valley Union
The 5-foot-3 junior won two individual state championships at the Division I state meet this spring and led the Redhawks to a second-place finish as a team. Eastman won the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 2:13.06 and the 1500-meter run in 4:40.72, which ranked as the nation’s No. 63 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection. Eastman ran the anchor leg for CVU’s 4x800-meter relay quartet that won with a state-record time of 9:29.75, and she ran the second leg for the 4x400-meter relay squad that finished third.

Eastman has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with Champlain Valley Union’s Athletic Leadership Club to promote positive sportsmanship and was accepted into the MedQuest Health Careers Exploration Program at the University of Vermont this summer to explore her interests in science.
In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Carla Forbes of Newton North High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Forbes is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Newton North High School.

The 5-foot-6 junior field athlete won the long jump, with a leap of 19 feet, one inch, and the triple jump, soaring 40 feet, at the All-State Meet this spring, leading the Tigers to first place as a team. An All-Scholastic as named by The Boston Globe and Boston Herald this past winter, Forbes ran the third leg of the second-place 4x100-meter relay squad that crossed the line in 49.78 seconds at the All-State Meet. She also swept the long jump (19 feet, 3.5 inches) and the triple jump (41 feet, two inches) at the Eastern Mass. Division 1 championships, setting meet records in both events. In addition to winning the long jump at the Nike Indoor Nationals in 2011, Forbes won the triple jump at the 2010 Nike Indoor Nationals as a sophomore, the 2011 World Youth Track & Field Trials as a junior and the 2012 New Balance Indoor Nationals this past winter.

Forbes has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. She has donated her time as a youth athletic instructor and mentor on behalf of the Waltham Track Club.

“Carla has a tremendous competitive spirit and a driving force to be the best that she can be,” said Newton North Head Coach Joe Tranchita. “Her attention to details surpasses any athlete I have coached, as does her work ethic. Her desire to not only be the best, but to do her best each and every workout and competition, has led her to become a real student of her events.”

Forbes will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

Forbes joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Nadia Eke (2010-11, Holy Name Central Catholic High School), Deanna Latham (2009-10, Triton Regional), and Emily Jones (2007-08 & 2008-09, The Bromfield School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

CONNECTICUT: PRECIOUS HOLMES, NEW HAVEN ACADEMY/HILLHOUSE
The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Holmes won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.51 seconds and the 400-meter dash in 53.92 at the State Open this spring, leading the Academics to second place as a team. A two-time returning All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, the 5-foot-4 junior sprinter swept the 200-meter dash in a class-record 24.04 seconds and 400-meter dash in a class-record 54.42 at the Class MM Championships. She also ran the third leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 3:58.43. Holmes clocked a 52.67 in the 400-meter dash at the Loucks Games, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 performance by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.

Holmes has maintained a B average in the classroom at New Haven Academy, where she attends high school and which does not offer a track program. She has donated her time as a youth track instructor in addition to volunteering annually on behalf of her track club at a local road race.

“I can wholeheartedly endorse Precious Holmes as the Gatorade Connecticut Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year,” said Lin Schulte, head coach at rival Jonathan Law High. “She possesses all the qualities necessary while remaining humble and being a role model for other athletes.”

Holmes will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

MAINE: BETHANIE BROWN, WATERVILLE
The 5-foot-3 junior distance runner won the 1,600-meter run with a class-record time of 4:55.23 and the 3,200-meter run in a class-record 10:34.79 at the Class B state meet this spring, leading the Purple Panthers to the state title as a team. Brown ran the second leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 4:06.77. She also swept the 1,600-meter run in a state-record 4:50.39 and the 3,200-meter run in 10:31.19 at the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which ranked as the nation’s No. 30 and No. 39 performances, respectively, among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.

Also a cross country standout and an avid writer of poetry, Brown has maintained a 4.31 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has received her school’s Renaissance Award, presented to students who excel in academics, service and character on behalf of the nationwide Renaissance Program. A Student Ambassador for incoming transfer classmates, Brown also donated her time to promoting science in local fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms.

“Bethanie is a tremendous competitor and holds herself to a high standard in all areas of her life,” said Waterville head coach Ian Wilson. “She does not avoid competition, but rather seeks better runners whenever possible. She embraces the opportunity to compete at a national level. Many athletes do not want to face greater competition, fearing their weaknesses may be exposed. Bethanie wants to know what she needs to improve upon, recognizing that the only way to know that is through better competition.”

Brown will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: HILLARY HOLMES, EXETER
The 5-foot-6 senior won three individual state championships at the Division I meet and the Meet of Champions this spring. At the Division I state meet, Holmes won the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3.75 inches and the triple jump with a leap of 38-2 and led the Blue Hawks to the state title. She also won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.81 seconds and placed second in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.94. Holmes concluded her prep track career with seven state titles and the state record in the indoor long jump (18-6.25).

Holmes has maintained a 3.84 GPA in the classroom. Selected to attend a state leadership convention for high school athletes, she has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit the Special Olympics and food pantries and as a youth basketball instructor.

“Hillary Holmes has been dominant,” said Bob Mullen, co-president of the New Hampshire Track & Field Coaches Association. “She is a true student-athlete and an awesome talent.”

Holmes will attend Cornell University this fall, where she will compete with the track & field team.

RHODE ISLAND: MADDY BERKSON, CLASSICAL
The 5-foot-4 sophomore set a state record in the 1,500 meters at the All-State meet, leading the Purple to a third-place finish as a team. Berkson won the 1,500 with a time of 4:27.92, a time which ranked No. 13 in the nation by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection. She also ran the anchor leg for Classical’s winning 4x400-meter relay team. The Rhode Island Track Coaches Association State MVP, she placed second in the 800-meter run at both the All-State Meet and the New England Outdoor Championships.

Berkson has maintained an unweighted 4.12 GPA in the classroom. She is a member of Classical High’s Debate Club and Chess Club.

“The hard thing to remember about Maddy Berkson is that she is still only a sophomore,” said Steve Turgeon, head coach of rival Barrington High. “Her state record in the 1500 was probably most impressive. She broke a record that seemed untouchable.”

Berkson will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

VERMONT: MOLLIE GRIBBIN, SOUTH BURLINGTON
The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior won four individual state championships at the Division I state meet for a second straight outdoor season and led the Rebels to a second-place finish as a team. Gribbin won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.10 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 25:16, the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3.25 inches and the triple jump (39-10). Also the triple jump champion at the New England Outdoor Championships, she concluded her prep track career with 22 individual state titles and 11 state records.

Gribbin has maintained a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. A member of her church youth group, she has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit leukemia research and as a youth track coach.

“Mollie Gribbin has been the best athlete in Vermont for the past two years in any sport,” said Chip Langmaid, head coach of rival St. Johnsbury Academy. “She has not only destroyed records and won championships, but she has competed in any event that her team needed. I watched her when she was 8 years old and she hasn’t stopped. It has been an honor to compete against her and simply to enjoy watching her compete.”

Gribbin will attend Dartmouth College this fall, where she will compete with the track & field team.

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