Contributors: Bria Irizarry, Isaiah Caldwell ’20 and Colleen Gunning
The spring sports postseason has been one for the record books! The girls track and field team earned a handful of first-place finishes at the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference meet at Cary Academy, including sophomore Veronica Quiett in the discus event; Amani Diallo in the 100-meter run and the 4x100-meter and the 4x200-meter relays; senior Lucy Steiner in the 400-meter run; and junior Julianna Hallyburton, who set a TISAC record in the pole vault with a score of 11 feet, 8 inches. Senior Ryan Norris of the boys track and field team secured first place in the 300-meter hurdles. Girls lacrosse junior Brooke Epstein was named an All-American by US Lacrosse, and her teammate senior Katherine Lantzy was named an Academic All-American. Girls soccer coach Susan Ellis notched her 200th win of her career, and the DA boys lacrosse program reached the state semifinal for the first time since 2014.
DA boys golf ended the season with a seventh-place finish out of 12 teams at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship on Monday at the Greensboro Country Club Farm Course. Senior Jackson Brimfield shot a 79 in his last outing wearing the green and white, while seventh-grader Tate Duensing shot a 74. Sophomore William Chapman finished with a 75, while classmate Nicholas Hogan and ninth-grader Quin Huckabee tied at 81.
The team ended the year 2–3–1 in the regular season, third place in the TISAC and seventh place in the state.
DA boys lacrosse earned a spot in the state semifinal game last Thursday with a convincing 17–4 win over North Raleigh Christian Academy, the team’s win against the Knights this season. The Cavs had an impressive start to the game, scoring five goals in less than six minutes of action. Sophomore Brodie Mason was the first to score, followed by seniors Gavin Schulz and Blake Smith and junior Charlie Rand. At the end of the first quarter, the Cavs led the Knights 7–1. DA continued with the offensive momentum in the second quarter with the help of Mason, who was winning the faceoffs 11–1. When the referees blew the whistle for the half, the Cavs were ahead 12–2, and Smith had tallied five goals on the night.
The Cavalier defense had some crucial plays in the third quarter, as both junior Larkin Ng Cashin and sophomore John Bolognesi came up with ground balls that helped convert defense into offense. The Knights were able to sneak one shot past senior goalkeeper John Donovan, but the score was still in favor of the Cavs, 14–3, at the start of the fourth quarter. DA saw contributions from juniors Theo Pacchiana and Aamer Husain, as well as ninth-grade goalkeeper Lucas Little. It was a total team effort that was capped off with a feed from senior Alex Pfeil to ninth-grader Clay Meredith for the final goal of the game.
On Tuesday afternoon, the DA boys lacrosse season came to a halt when the Greenies of Christ School defeated the Cavs 16–6 in the state semifinals. The Greenies notched the first three goals of the game in the first three minutes and remained in the lead for the entirety of the contest. Midway through the first quarter, the Cavs got on the board after a save from Donovan and a quick give-and-go from Rand to Bolognesi. Mason capitalized on a man-up opportunity for the Cavs, but Christ School remained in the lead, 6–2, at the start of the second quarter. The Greenies kept the Cavs scoreless in the second quarter and won all 14 faceoffs heading into the half. The score was 10–2.
Sophomore Hugh Wheeler and classmate Mason found the back of the net in the third quarter to bring the score to 13–5, but the Greenies continued to earn possession off the faceoff and consequently more goals. Ng Cashin forced a turnover off an interception and Mason converted once more, but it was not enough to get past Christ School. The 16–6 loss put the Cavs at 9-6 on the season and a fourth-place ranking in NCISAA Division I, according to maxpreps.com.
The girls lacrosse team secured its place in the NCISAA state semifinal last Thursday afternoon after defeating visiting Saint Mary’s 16–5. Junior goalkeeper Mirella Kades set the tone for the contest early with three big saves to fuel the Cavs’ offense. Junior Brooke Epstein (two goals) and sophomore Spencer Jennings (one goal and two assists) helped give DA a 3–0 lead. Ninth-grader Evelyn Guyer scored an unassisted goal late in the first half to bring the score to 10–0. At the halftime whistle, the Cavs were ahead 12–1.
It wasn’t until almost midway through the second half that Saint Mary’s got on the board again with two back-to-back goals, but the Cavs held onto the momentum moving forward. Ninth-grader Fleming Burkert notched a goal of her own to help propel DA to a 16–5 win. Jennings finished with five goals and three assists, while senior Kathleen Donovan added four goals and one assist on the night.
Tuesday evening had a different ending, as DA fell 17–12 to the visiting Buccaneers of Charlotte Country Day in the state semifinal. The Cavs went down six goals in the first 13 minutes of play but recovered with six unanswered goals of their own. Guyer assisted three of the goals, finding ninth-grader Kyla Newkirk and Epstein twice. Jennings eventually hit Donovan to tie the game at 6, and by the end of the half, the score was again tied at 7 after Guyer connected with Newkirk for the second time.
The teams exchanged goals and Kades had some big saves in the second half. The score came to a tie again at 8, 10 and 12, but around the 13-minute mark, the Buccaneers began to pull away. For the second time in the game, Charlotte Country Day scored six unanswered goals, the last getting past Kades at 4:12 to give the Bucs the final 17–12 lead.
DA girls lacrosse ended the 2021 season 11–2 overall and with two US Lacrosse All-America accolades. Epstein was named a 2021 All-American, and senior Katherine Lantzy was named an Academic All-American.
The DA girls soccer playoff run came to an end in the second round of the state tournament after falling to top-ranked Wesleyan Christian in overtime on Friday.
The Wesleyan Trojans were first to strike, sending a shot into the back of the goal in the first 20 minutes of play. The Cavs had a few scrambles in front of the net but still found themselves trailing 1–0 at halftime. It wasn’t until late in the second half that ninth-grader Bohan Gao headed in the equalizer and sent the game into overtime. After much back and forth in overtime, the Trojans scored again to take the 2–1 victory.
The Cavs ended with a 6–7 overall record to close out the 2021 season. Despite a slow start with a number of injuries, DA finished strong, ending the regular season with back-to-back home wins, including a 1–0 win over Saint Mary’s on Senior Night to give Coach Susan Ellis her 200th win at DA!
The varsity boys tennis team competed in the second round of the NCISAA state tournament against Cary Academy on Tuesday after the match was postponed twice due to inclement weather. Both times these two teams competed against each other in the regular season, the result was 6–3 in favor of DA. This contest started off with doubles play, with DA winning on Courts 2 and 3, but falling short on Court 1. Sophomores Pete Crowley and Owen Brent-Levenstein won on Court 2, and seniors Joey Shaheen and Jackson Zobrist won on Court 3.
The match moved onto singles play with DA in the lead 2–1. The Cavs needed three more tallies in order to secure the win, but Cary Academy put up a fight. The first result came in on Court 1, where Crowley defeated his opponent. Shortly after, Zobrist defeated his opponent on Court 6, but senior Frank Borden lost on Court 3, bringing the score to 4–2. At this point in the match, DA only needed one more result to secure the win. On the remaining three courts, the Cavs lost the first set, and it looked like Cary might take all three points. All eyes were on Court 2, where sophomore Paul Wang was sparking a comeback in his second set. He won the set 6–2, forcing a tiebreaker that could send the Cavs to the final four. Wang and his opponent were going back and forth, and at one point Wang was down 5–3. With the support of the home crowd and his teammates by his side, Wang rallied to win the next seven points to win the match for the Cavs.
DA are in Charlotte today to face Charlotte Country Day School in the final four.
Track and Field
The varsity boys and girls track teams competed in the TISAC meet at Cary Academy on Friday and Saturday. Both teams performed well, and as a result, the girls team earned first place and the boys team earned fourth.
Senior Charlie Robb led the way for the Cavs in the 200-meter and 400-meter events, winning third place overall in the 400-meter race and setting a personal record. Sophomore Aaron Caveney set a personal record in the 800-meter race and won second place overall, with senior Jay Shanahan following closely behind in fourth place. Shanahan took second place in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races, setting personal records in both events with times of 4:31.41 and 9:47.79. Senior Alexei Bylerly earned second place in the 110-meter hurdles race, setting a personal record with a time of 17.40, and classmate Ryan Norris earned first place in the 300-meter hurdles. For the field events, junior Jet Tanaka earned third place in both the long jump and the triple jump, while senior Griffin Edwards captured third place in the discus throw.
The girls continued on their path of excellence, notching the team’s sixth consecutive win. Sophomore Amani Diallo won the 100-meter race with a time of 13.00. In the 200-meter race, Diallo and senior Lee Jeffries placed second and third, respectively, and both set personal records with their times of 27.40 and 27.69. Senior Lucy Steiner and sophomore Mariam Abdelbarr took first and second place, respectively, in the 400-meter race, and they also set personal records with times of 1.02.71 and 1.03.89. Steiner beat her own record in the 800-meter race, which propelled her to win third place overall in the event with a time of 2.32.60. Senior Anna Catherine Wilson took second in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races, setting a personal record in the 3,200-meter with a time of 11.21.34. The DA girls 4x100-meter relay team, including Jeffries, Diallo, ninth-grader Ama Mensah-Boone and sophomore Julianna Halleybutron, won both the 4x100-meter and the 4x200-meter races, contributing to the girls overall point total.
In the field, sophomore Veronica Quiett earned first place in the discus and second place in the shot put with a new personal record. Ninth-grader Ava Rose Turek tied for first place in the high jump, and junior Izzi Gershon earned third place in the triple jump. A highlight of the meet was when Hallyburton broke the TISAC conference meet record in the pole vault, setting both her own personal record and a new Durham Academy record with a score of 11 feet, 8 inches.
Both teams will next compete in the NCISAA state meet on Saturday, which will conclude their 2021 seasons.
Keeping Up with the Cavs
As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).
- For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit www.da.org/teams.
- Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
- All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).
The DA App: Schedules and Results
- The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
- The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.