Ascencion Aispuro is a three-year contributor for the Middlebury men’s cross country team and a first-generation college student. The senior from Maywood, California, posted three top-18 individual finishes in his final four races last fall, including an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Parker Lawlor is a three-year contributor for the Middlebury men’s lacrosse team in the midfield. He played in all 18 games this season with five starts, posting career-high totals in goals (20), assists (9) and points (29). A rising senior from Carlsbad, California, and a graduate of Pacific Ridge High School, the computer science and geography dual major has excelled both in the classroom and on the field at Middlebury.
Katharine Fortin is a three-year contributor for the Middlebury women’s golf team. She posted four top-10 individual finishes this year in seven tournaments, including medalist honors in the season-opening Utica Invitational in September. A junior from Wellesley, Massachusetts, she has been playing the game she loves since her first year at Wellesley High School.
Sebastian Sanchez is a three-year contributor for the Middlebury baseball team, which recently locked up its first NESCAC Tournament berth since the 2011 season. A junior from Brooklyn, New York, he has been playing the game he loves since the age of five.
Senior women’s track & field athlete Maddie Pronovost continues to rewrite the record books this year for the Panthers, including setting the school record in the heptathlon this winter. The Brookline, Massachusetts, native concluded her indoor season with an All-American status, thanks to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Sabrina Weeks is always looking for new ways to stay ahead of the curve, whether in the classroom or on the court. After a frustrating injury, the junior guard has gradually worked herself back into the rotation for the surging women’s basketball team.
Sunho Park’s path to Middlebury took many twists and turns, but one thing that has remained constant is his passion for hockey. The junior forward, originally from Seoul, Korea, has worked his way into the Panther lineup this winter.
Erzsie Nagy is one of the top-seven runners for the Middlebury women’s cross country team, which is immersed in its championship season and ranked in the top 10 nationally. A senior from Albion, Maine, she has helped the Panther women place in the top eight in the last three NCAA Championship meets, including a personal-best 42nd-place effort during the 2013 national meet.
Alexandra Fields was an integral part of the 2016 Middlebury women’s tennis team which advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in the program’s history. A rising senior from Coral Gables, Florida, with a crafty game and a never-give-up attitude, she also played in the NCAA Singles Tournament for the third-consecutive year.
South Burlington, Vermont native Linley Shaw comes from a long line of Panther athletes. Her grandfather, Gale H. Shaw Jr. ’53 and aunt Danielle Shaw Virtue ’82 were both All-Americans as well as captains of their respective skiing teams. Additionally, Shaw’s cousin, Kara, graduated in 2015 and was a key member of last winter’s carnival team.
When a person is growing up, milestones are achieved and learned in the early years including cultural ideas, traditions and foods. For Middlebury swimming and diving senior Bryan Cheuk, he had to learn and adjust to a whole new way of living when he started his collegiate life in the fall of 2012.
When entering your junior and senior years in high school, students search to find someplace they can call “home” for their collegiate years. For Middlebury football senior Trevor Miletich, he found his home away from home all the way across the country.
Athletes use many techniques and methods to get away from the rigors that can be associated with practice as well as competition. They use these ways to ease their mind and relax. For Middlebury women’s tennis senior Ria Gerger, she turns to music and the writing of it to get away from it all.
Carlyn Vachow loves life and lives it to the fullest, taking on new experiences and challenges on what seems like a daily basis. A native of St. Louis, Missouri and a graduate of John Burroughs School, which didn’t field a softball team, Vachow found other ways to compete like being named to the all-state team on the volleyball court as well as participating and honing her skills in club softball.
Growing up as a child, Shannon Gibbs gravitated toward two passions in her life aside from her academics – theatre and the game of tennis. Despite giving up the latter during her high school years, the tennis bug never completely left her.
Ari Smolyar is a first-generation American citizen whose grandparents came over and planted roots in the United States when both of his parents were young children. Much like others did during that generation, they came here with little money and hopes and dreams. They turned those dreams into reality and instilled in Ari and the rest of his family a work ethic and love for life. A native of West Orange, New Jersey and a graduate of Solomon Schechter Day School, the men’s tennis junior has carried those values into successes both on and off the court.
When asking a young child what they want to be when they grow up, many will respond “I want to be a doctor” or “I want to be a firefighter.” Not many will tell you “I want to be a first-generation college student who wants to do something in the medical field.”
On a daily basis, the student-athlete is pushed to its athletic limit and many times well past that point. Middlebury sophomore Michael McGean constantly pushes his limits not only in the pool, but he translates that adrenaline rush far beyond the walls of the Middlebury Natatorium.
The time demands of a college student-athlete can be daunting no matter the sport. A two-sport athlete, Middlebury junior Megan Griffin has to work hard to develop a time management plan balancing athletics, academics and other activities, and make it a part of her daily routine at Middlebury.
Sophomore Greg Conrad has enjoyed his fair share of success as a student-athlete at Middlebury College. But long before he donned the blue and white, Greg’s life was going full speed ahead both academically and athletically.