Athletics Beyond DA
The lessons learned and memories made through participation in Durham Academy's athletics program stick with our students long after graduation. And for some student-athletes, opportunities to compete continue in college and beyond.
Durham Academy student-athletes' preparedness to compete beyond high school is enhanced by the quality of competition in our conference — the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference — and our state athletic association, the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association, as well as by the high academic standards that DA students must achieve. Durham Academy students are considered hard workers, well-coached and highly motivated by college coaches.
DA has close to 50 alumni currently playing competitive college athletics at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels. A record 19 members of the Class of 2023 are playing their sport at the collegiate level.
Established in 2013, the Durham Academy Athletic Hall of Fame comprises alumni athletes, coaches, staff members and administrators who were particularly outstanding in a specific sport and helped to advance athletics at DA in their time at the school.
Five classes have been inducted into the Hall of Fame — which now stands at 37 members, representing alumni classes ranging from 1978 to 2016, as well as coaches and supporters spanning the decades. The sixth class of the DA Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted in December 2024.
Beischer, an All-Conference and All-State basketball player, still ranks in DA’s top five in rebounding and field goal percentage. Wearing a Cavs track and field uniform, he set school records in shot put and discus and was an individual state champion in discus. He remains among DA’s all-time top five in shot put and discus. Beischer is now a professor of architectural history and theory at Stanford University.
Cerwin excelled in field hockey, basketball and track at DA. She earned All-Conference and All-State honors in field hockey. She was a three-time individual event state champion in track and set the DA record in the 800-meter run. Cerwin went on to play field hockey at UNC-Chapel Hill, and she now works in digital transformation at Biogen.
Rothwell scored more than 1,000 points in basketball. On the track, she won five individual state championships in three different events and currently holds DA records in the 100-meter, 200-meter, 100-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump events. She set records in hurdles at both Dartmouth College and at Duke University, where she is earning a master’s degree in management studies.
Soo — twice named N.C. Gatorade Cross-Country Runner of the Year — won track state championships in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. She graduated as DA’s record-holder in the 1,600-meter, the 3,200-meter and cross-country; she still holds the cross-country record. Soo ran track and cross-country at Duke University and is now an emergency medicine attending physician in Seattle.
Warren, described as “possibly the best male tennis player in DA history,” won multiple All-Conference and All-State honors in a Cavalier uniform. He is the DA record-holder for most career wins in tennis, with 127 victories. Warren went on to play at the University of Connecticut and now works at Red Hat and serves as an assistant coach for DA varsity boys tennis.
As parents, grandparents and DA athletic program supporters, the late Dr. and Mrs. Moylan were consistent in their support of DA athletics. Their contributions of volunteer time, counsel with young coaches and administrators, financial assistance, medical advice and dedication to DA teams and athletes left an enduring mark on DA’s athletic program.
Lauren Blazing ’11 was a three-sport star at Durham Academy, earning All-Conference and team MVP honors in field hockey, basketball and softball, and was Senior Athlete of the Year. She was a multi-year NCISAA All-State performer and an All-American in field hockey, making her one of DA’s all-time greats in the sport. She played field hockey at Duke University, where she earned All-ACC honors, was a three-time All-American and helped lead Duke to the NCAA Final in 2013. Blazing joined the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2014, competing internationally for the United States. She attends law school at Yale University.
Lawrence Craige ’85 is one of Durham Academy’s all-time best tennis players. Leading the Cavaliers, he finished with an 82–1 career singles record, posting undefeated single records as a sophomore and as a senior. Craige won three consecutive NCISAA singles titles, which remains a tie for the most high school singles titles in North Carolina history. Craige went on to be a conference singles and doubles champion as a player at the College of William and Mary. He is an attorney and lives in Wilmington.
Brandon Henry ’95 was a three-sport standout at Durham Academy, earning 10 varsity letters and was named MVP of the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams his senior year. Henry was an Academic All-American, a two time North Carolina Independent Schools Association (NCISAA) All-State selection and two time state champion in lacrosse. In addition, he was an All-Conference soccer player and was the Senior Athlete of the Year at Durham Academy. Henry was a four-year lacrosse letter winner at Dartmouth College. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
Tracy Hardaker Rankin ’91 was a three-sport athlete at Durham Academy, earning varsity letters in field hockey, basketball and soccer. She was an All-Conference field hockey player and the Senior Athlete Award winner in 1991. Rankin also was an All-Conference and NCISAA All-State basketball player, and was one of Durham Academy women’s all-time top three in career points per game. She also is one of only six female members of the 1,000 career points club, totaling 1,323 career points. Rankin lives and works in Nashville with her family.
Cab Townsend ’87 was one of the best high school high jumpers in the nation during his career at Durham Academy. A two-time individual state champion and leader of two Durham Academy state championship track and field teams, Townsend still holds the NCISAA record with a height of 6’10”. He went on to better that mark, becoming a 7’ high jumper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Townsend is an attorney and lives in Atlanta with his family.
Kristin Weinhold-Weaver ’99 is one of Durham Academy’s most outstanding swimmers ever. She won six NCISAA individual championships and set state records in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle. She is still a DA record holder, and was All-Conference, All-State and a three-time swimming All-American. Weinhold-Weaver was also an outstanding softball player, earning All-Conference honors twice. She swam for Penn State University, where she was a Big Ten record holder and earned All-American honors. Weinhold-Weaver lives in Durham with her family.
Hall set the school record on DA’s old cross-country course in 1988. He is a five-time NCISAA individual event champion and is also a two-time Durham City-County Meet champion. Hall now stands among DA’s all-time top-three athletes in the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races, and he helped lead DA to four state championships in boys track and field and four state championships in boys cross-country.
Henry is counted among DA’s best all-around athletes ever, having earned 10 varsity letters in lacrosse, soccer and basketball. He earned multiple All-Conference and All-State honors and helped lead DA to two state championships in soccer. However, Henry garnered the most acclaim as a lacrosse player; he was a three-time All-State player and a two-time High School Lacrosse All-American, and he helped DA win three state championships.
Holtzclaw was a stand-out athlete in both track and volleyball. She remains among the top five long-jumpers and top 10 high-jumpers in Durham Academy history. Holtzclaw lettered in volleyball all four years of high school, earning All-Conference honors twice and being named All-State as a senior — a year in which she led her teammates to the NCISAA state championship.
Kearney was a two-year varsity basketball letter winner, twice earning All-Conference honors, and she lettered in soccer five years. As DA’s goalkeeper, Kearney developed into the top goalie in North Carolina and led the Cavaliers to the state tournament each season, including a runner-up finish in 2006. She earned All-State honors twice.
Moore is a seven-time NCISAA individual champion — including two championships each in cross-country, the 3,200-meter race and the 800-meter race. He holds the course record for DA’s old cross-country course and is a three-time winner of the Durham City-County Meet. Moore led the Cavs to six team NCISAA titles — four in cross-country and two in track and field.
Under Murray's leadership in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, the varsity girls basketball team won 407 games, earned multiple conference titles, competed in six NCISAA Final Fours, appeared in four state championship games and won two NCISAA titles. He continues to serve as the head coach for both the girls and boys golf teams, which have won a combined eight conference titles. His girls teams have been runners-up in the state tournament twice, and the boys program has won one NCISAA championship.
Pearce earned All-Conference and All-Region honors on the soccer field and competed in six different events over the course of his career as a track athlete, earning team awards in each sport. He was the leading scorer of the 1976-1977 state championship basketball team, earning All-State honors. He holds the DA record for making 27 rebounds in a single game. He once scored 37 points in a game and was the first member of DA’s 1,000-point club.
Suggs is counted among the all-time great DA field hockey players, and she also competed on the basketball, soccer and track teams. As a field hockey player, Suggs was named All-Conference three times; All-State three times; Conference Player of the Year; and All-America two times. She is the DA field hockey program’s all-time leading scorer.
A multi-sport athlete, Barritt excelled in cross country, swimming and softball. She was cross country NCISAA individual state champion in 1993. A swimming high school All-American, she was an eight-time NCISAA individual state champion in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, and led DA to the 1994 NCISAA state swim team title. Barritt had an accomplished swimming career at UNC, where she was team captain.
Chandler has been DA’s varsity field hockey coach since 1992. In that time, she has won 22 conference championships and 10 NCISAA state championships and coached multiple athletes who went on to play in college. Chandler coached varsity softball from 2007 to 2012, winning one conference championship.
Engebretsen began teaching and coaching at DA in 1981. As varsity boys basketball coach in the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, he won 200 games and took DA to four NCISAA final-fours. In 10 seasons as varsity softball coach, his teams won 131 games and four conference titles. Since becoming DA’s athletic director in 1991, Engebretsen has served administratively at the state and conference level, has grown DA’s athletic program to 47 teams and has won 41 state championships.
One of DA's all-time great soccer players, Hilpert was a four-time all-conference player and two-time all-state player. He was three-time team most valuable player at DA and led his team to two NCISAA state championships. He scored 82 goals and had 52 assists at DA and participated in the North Carolina Olympic Development Program from 1991 to 1996. Hilpert played collegiately at Wake Forest University.
Among DA’s first great girls basketball players, Porcelli is also one of the all-time leaders in games played and in scoring. She was a three-time all-conference player and earned All-State honors while leading DA to the state tournament final-four in 1984. She was named to Durham’s all-area team and was tapped as DA’s senior athlete of the year in 1984.
As varsity soccer coach from 1991 to 1999, Seivold led the program to a 111-37-8 record and two NCISAA state championships. As varsity lacrosse coach from 1991 to 2004, Seivold’s teams won 10 state championships and compiled a 214-36 record. He coached multiple all-conference, All-State and All-America players and set a standard for excellence that remains a presence at DA today.
Smoke was a three-year starter on the basketball team and holds the single game record for rebounds with 20. As a track athlete, she holds every record in shot put and discus at DA and in the NCISAA, and her records are among the best-ever for a North Carolina high school athlete. Smoke was a nine-time NCISAA individual state champion in track. She led her DA team to two state championships and earned 13 varsity letters at DA. She went on to have a successful track career at N.C. State University.
Spach was one of DA’s first outstanding three-sport athletes. In cross country, he was the Durham city/county meet champion and NCISAA individual state champion, and he led his DA team to a NCISAA state championship. In basketball, he was a two-year starter at point guard and helped DA win the 1977 NCISAA state title. In tennis, he was the No. 1 player and team captain, and he won five North Carolina junior open tournaments. Spach played tennis at the University of Virginia, where he was team captain.