Student-Athletes Post One of the Cavs’ Most Successful Years Ever

Story by Bria Irizarry

Durham Academy’s athletics program posted one of its most successful years ever in 2021–2022. Both the girls and boys varsity programs won the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference (TISAC) Prestige Cup, which is awarded to the athletic program that accumulates the most points based on the conference finish of each team over the course of the year. Collectively, the Cavaliers also tied for fourth place in the Wells Fargo Cup rankings of all schools in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association’s 4A division — tying for Durham Academy’s highest-ever finish.

Read on for an overview of the spring teams’ accomplishments.


Durham Academy baseball was crowned the Triangle Independent School Athletics Conference champion and went on to earn the No. 3 seed in the state tournament, making it to the semifinal for the first time in more than 30 years. The Cavs finished the 2022 season 17–4, and senior Jackson Niedel was named TISAC Player of the Year. Juniors Sam Schaeffer, Jack Goldstein and Ben Tarpey, along with Niedel, were named first team All-Conference, while senior Sean Donahue was named second team All-Conference. 

Boys Golf

DA boys golf went 5–2 on the regular season and earned the TISAC title after defeating North Raleigh Christian Academy and Ravenscroft School by just one point. The team earned a final score of 303 with the help of eighth-grader Tate Duensing, who scored a 73, and juniors Nicholas Hogan and Jack Condray, who both finished with a 77. Duensing, junior Will Chapman and eighth-grader Hall Chapman earned first team All-Conference honors. This year’s TISAC victory was especially momentous, as this was head coach Greg Murray’s final season with the team. 

Boys Lacrosse

The varsity boys lacrosse team ended the 2022 season with a 9–6 record and a trip to the state quarterfinals vs. Charlotte Country Day. Durham Academy won the TISAC championship after defeating Ravenscroft by just one goal, 6–5. Senior Rocco Pachianna, in his first year playing goalie, held the Ravens to just one goal from midway through the first quarter. Four Cavaliers earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team: seniors Austin Corbett and Charlie Rand and juniors Brodie Mason and John Bolognesi. 

Girls Lacrosse

Durham Academy girls lacrosse earned the No. 4 seed in the state tournament and won the TISAC championship this spring. The team traveled to Charlotte to face the Charlotte Latin School Hawks in the state semifinal but could not overcome an early deficit and ended their season with an 18–7 loss. Senior Brooke Epstein was named TISAC Player of the Year with 128 total points, 90 goals and 38 assists.  

Senior goalkeeper Mirella Kades and the Cavs defense held their opponents to less than 10 goals a game throughout the 2022 season, which aided in the team earning a 11–5 overall record. Epstein, Kades, sophomore Evelyn Guyer, junior Spencer Jennings and 10th-grader Fleming Burkert earned first team All-Conference honors. 

Girls Soccer

The girls varsity soccer team ended the season with a 6–7 overall record and competed in four games that went into overtime or penalty kick shootouts. Senior Haley Fogg had a standout performance when she made a penalty save for Durham Academy against North Raleigh Christian and then turned around to score the game-winning penalty kick in favor of the Cavs. Four team members were named All-Conference;  senior Isabel Trahey-Matzen earned first team honors, while senior Molly Hunter, sophomore Sarah Penry and junior Faith Hanson earned second team honors.


Durham Academy softball returned to competing at the varsity level in 2022 after spending the 2021 season in a development year. The Cavs’ 0–13 record did not accurately reflect the success they found on the field, including 21 total runs scored; 15 strikeouts from ninth-grade pitchers Maya Patel and Whitney Wiles; and an in-park grand slam hit by junior captain Holly Wilcox at home vs. Saint Mary’s School. 

Boys Tennis

The Durham Academy boys tennis team earned a spot in the 2022 state semifinals in exciting fashion by securing a one-point win over Providence Day in the quarterfinal. Despite a terrific effort, the Cavs dropped the state semis contest to Charlotte Country Day School 5–1. Juniors Paul Wang and Nikolas Larson earned the lone point for the Cavs, defeating their matchup 8–1 on court three in doubles play. DA boys tennis ended the year with an impressive 19–5 overall record, and junior Pete Crowley was named TISAC Player of the Year. Juniors Paul Wang and Owen Brent-Levenstein earned first team All-Conference honors, while senior Gavin Levinson and ninth-grader Jet Bilsborrow were named to the second team.

Boys Track and Field

Durham Academy boys track and field earned three first-place finishes during the regular competition season and finished third in the conference meet and 10th at the state meet. Junior Aaron Caveney won the 400-meter and the 800-meter races at the TISAC championship meet and placed second at the state meet in the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:55.83. The 4x800-meter relay team of sophomore Hutch Levinson, seniors Michael Yancy and Stewart Roessler, and junior Connor Barritt won their TISAC meet race, and the same combination of runners took second place at the state meet in the 4x800-meter event.

Girls Track and Field

The girls track and field team also fared well this year. Junior Amani Diallo earned the conference crown in the 100-meter and 200-meter individual races and contributed to the 4x100-meter relay win. Diallo was named the TISAC championship meet Most Valuable Player. Sophomore Ama Mensah-Boone took first place in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles and contributed to the 4x400-meter relay team win. Eighth-grader Audrey Crowder placed first in the 3,200-meter and joined Mensah-Boone, eighth-grader Catherine Hall and sophomore Allison Hall on the 4x400-meter relay team. Senior Julianna Hallyburton won the pole vault for the second year in a row, and ran one leg of the 4x100-meter relay along with Diallo, senior Izzi Gershon and sophomore Kate Parker. Sophomore Margaret Hulka won the TISAC championship in the discus event.

The girls earned a third-place finish at the state meet with standout performances in the field and on the track. Hallyburton earned her second-straight state title in the pole vault, clearing 11 feet, 6 inches. Mensah-Boone set a school record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 0:47.05 and a second-place finish. She also earned third place in the 100-meter hurdles (16.23); Hulka came in third place in the discuss (95’ 9”); and sophomore Ava Rose Turek placed third in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches).