By Melania Diah ’23
The winter season has finally come to an end. Students will now have to wait another 365 days to get back to shooting baskets and wrestling on the mats. Just a year ago, none of these activities were possible due to Covid. This season, Friends Central was back and ready to put up a fight! This year’s athletic performances were definitely ones for the books. From FCS students getting personal records, state champions, and even the highly coveted All-American title, it's safe to say students have been busy winning titles left and right. Here is a recap of the most notable achievements of FCS’s student-athletes.
Starting with squash, the Boys team went 2-2 with a first round bye, and played in division 5 at Germantown Cricket Club. After having all the divisions in the U.S. Team Nationals rumored to be hosted at the new Spector Center in Philadelphia, it was quite a bummer to instead have our two teams play roughly an hour away from each other. This didn’t stop the girls, however, with their team going 3-1 at the Penn Athletics Center in division 3. With a tough first round loss to the team who won the division, they persevered, winning 1st in the consolation finals and 9th overall. It is worth noting that two individuals, Janie Lytle ‘23 representing FCS at #1 and Theresa Moloy ‘22 representing FCS at #2, went undefeated the whole weekend. That's quite a feat!
Another feat is the 59-55 win Boys’ Basketball had against Malvern Prep. Malvern was the Inter-Ac champion so a win against them was quite fulfilling. Madison Smith ‘22 on the Girls’ team reached one thousand points over the course of her years in the Upper School. The magnitude of such an accomplishment is unreal. Congrats to Madison Smith and all of the basketball players who played this year!
The Friend Central swimmers are always up to something. At Eastern Swimming Champs, Clara Behling ‘24 came 5th in the 200 IM getting a PR. Spencer Thorne ‘22 broke the 200 IM record and Hope Lane ‘23 broke the 100 freestyle record. The Girls 200 medley relay broke the team record, and the Girls 400 free relay broke the team and the league record. Boys 200 and 400 free relays also broke the team and league record. Cooper Johnson ‘23 noted that “The practices were grueling but honestly, that is why we improved and smashed all those records. In the end, the hours we put in were worth it. Next year, I hope freshmen see this success and want to join the team to be a part of it.” This season was a success and the team absolutely deserves the praises that have been coming their way.
The wrestlers went to the Wrestling Nationals and did not disappoint. Drew Bukasa placed 5th at PAISWT making him eligible to participate in Nationals. He then placed top 16 in the nation. Roma LoGiurato ‘25 placed 4th for her weight class at Nationals and Melania Diah placed 3rd for her weight class. These two made history as the first wrestlers to ever become All-American wrestlers at Friends Central. With this season being Roma’s first Upper School winter season, she found that: “ With each tournament, the season got harder. However, we had a closely knit team to where it felt like a family. Sadly, the seniors will be leaving us but there is so much in store for the future of the wrestling team.” This winter season is making waves, and historic ones at that.
Lastly, the Girls’ Track Team shattered all expectations. Maya Garrett ‘22, Miracle Price ‘22, Micah Trusty ‘22, Avery Lewis ‘24, and Quin Stovall ‘24 got 63 points during the Indoor Track and Field State Championships. This score won them the State Championship title. Avery Lewis won the 60M, 200M, and the long jump, with a winning jump of 19 ft 11 in. Micah Trusty, Miracle Price, Quin Stovall, and Avery Lewis won first for the 4X200. Micha Trusty won the 800M and Miracle Price finished 4th for the 800M. The 4X400 team, with Quin Stovall, Miracle Price, Maya Garrett, and Micah Trusty, finished 2nd. This team is doing wonders on the track, impressing everyone who watches them. Alex Schoenwandt ‘23 was a part of the Boys’ track team and attributed the indoor team’s talent to the following: “Whether it be running timed 300s, or practicing over at the JCC, the team this year exuded sportsmanship and teamwork. Seeing that it was a quite small team this year, I think everyone who ran either on the boy's team or the girl's team was able to feel a sense of accomplishment and experience true teamwork. Everyone was able to bond with each other and gain a new level of friendship within the team. And while a true team was formed during practices, records were being made on the field. This indoor track season proved to be extremely successful for the girl's team, in particular, competing in nationals and shattering state records. Overall, this season seemed to be one of the best I’ve been a part of, as it proved to be successful both on and off the track.”
The winter season might be over, but the spring season brings new team experiences and even more opportunities to win big. There is no doubt that these monumental events will set the path for future athletes to perform their best. These students embody the determination, dedication, and drive for which Friends Central strives.