High School Athletes
Photo by Tom Knox
Game-changer: Abby Meyers
Walt Whitman, senior, basketball/soccer: Name a sport—or activity—and Abby Meyers likely excels. The Princeton University women’s basketball recruit—and sand castle-builder extraordinaire—was also a four-year girls soccer standout and, if she’d had the time, could’ve been in tennis and golf, too. As of press time, Vikings girls basketball was 68-7 with her on the court; she averaged 20.5 points per game during the 2015-2016 season to lead the team to its first state title since 1995.
Between basketball and soccer, she’s won three state and four regional titles. Says Vikings girls basketball coach Pete Kenah: “I don’t think there’s been a better female athlete at Whitman in the last 15 years.”
Photo by Damon Montelone
Defying Odds: Rohann Asfaw
Richard Montgomery, senior, distance runner: Long and lean, Rohann Asfaw, a University of Virginia recruit, looks the part of a distance runner these days. But four years ago he was a chubby eighth-grader who admittedly “was teased a lot.” His 2013 New Year’s resolution was to start running every day, but soon it became less about losing weight and more about a love for the sport. He swept the 2016 outdoor track championship season in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and in October he followed up his second straight county and regional cross-country titles with his first state crown. Physical education teachers at Julius West Middle School still tell his story to encourage students.
Photo by Kevin Milsted
Reaching New Heights: Victoria Toth
Bethesda-Chevy Chase, senior, pole vault: Victoria Toth’s tremendous upper body strength (she can easily reel off 50 pushups on command), coupled with speed down the runway and body awareness while soaring through the air, helped the B-CC senior surface as one of the county’s all-time best female pole vaulters during last spring’s outdoor track season. After crushing a six-year meet record to win her first Montgomery County title with a 10-foot jump, she became the county’s first state champion since 2001. Her 11-foot leap—improved from 8 feet, 6 inches in 2015—was the highest ever by a county athlete at the state meet and also tied an all-time county record for female pole vaulter.
Photo by Sergio Pakou
Breaking Barriers: Thierry Siewe Yanga
Montgomery Blair, senior, track and field: “Win the day.” Those are words Thierry Siewe Yanga says he lives by. When the Cameroon native moved to Maryland in 2010, he didn’t speak a word of English (French is his first language). During outdoor track last spring, he swept the championship season in the 800-meter run, posting the county’s eighth best time on record (1 minute, 53.94 seconds); he also anchored Blair’s 3,200-meter relay that won the state championship. After reuniting with his mother in June for the first time in six years, he placed ninth at the New Balance Nationals in the first race she attended.
Making History: Bullis Boys’ Lacrosse
Led by three best friends—current senior Alex Trippi, and 2016 graduates Nicky Petkevich and Steven Shollenberger—whose cohesion on offense was undeniable, the Bulldogs won the program’s first-ever Interstate Athletic Conference championship last spring. Along the way, the Bulldogs became the first team in 10 years to go undefeated in one of the nation’s most competitive leagues. Bullis finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country by Nike/Lacrosse Magazine, and Trippi, a North Carolina recruit who led the team with 106 points (56 goals, 50 assists), was named Nike/Lacrosse Magazine’s Mid-Atlantic Region 2016 Player of the Year. Petkevich’s team-high 62 goals were three shy of the school’s all-time record.
Photo by Paige Taylor
The Magician: Philip Satin
2016 Winston Churchill graduate, ice hockey: Often the smallest player on the ice, Philip Satin’s hockey knowledge, ability to read the game, awareness on the ice and stick skills enabled him to “make plays where most players don’t see it or are unable to do it,” Bulldogs coach Ray McKenzie says. Satin scored 40 goals and had 66 assists in the 2015-2016 season, leading Churchill to its third Maryland Student Hockey League title since 2013 and eclipsing the league’s all-time points record (he finished with 211) in the process. “He just makes everyone around him better,” McKenzie says. The Bulldogs placed third at USA Hockey High School Nationals last March.