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Adie set the WMA course record twice this season.
Peter prepared for the season by joining a rowing club during the summer.
Sara stayed with the team throughout the season despite missing the last three meets due to illness.
Derick, a postgraduate, will play for the Division I Hatters in Florida.

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All-NE, MVP XC season for Adriana Russell '15 

Undefeated regular season; All-New England postseason; MVP all season.

After a great fall season of running, Adriana Russell ’15 was named Most Valuable Player for the Girls’ Cross Country team at the 2014 Fall Sports Awards Ceremony at Wilbraham & Monson Academy Nov. 11.

“I love running so much, and it’s great to be honored with the MVP Award,” Adie said. “Winning the MVP and running such a satisfying race the next weekend was definitely satisfying for me, and a good end.”

Adie went undefeated in dual and tri-meets, won the Marianapolis Invitational, and twice set the course record at WMA, with her time of 20 minutes, 32 seconds now the time to beat.

“I was definitely pleased with my season,” she said. “I proved myself. All the training I did definitely impacted how I ran. And being my last year, I wanted to do well.”

Adie earned All-New England Cross Country honors after she placed 12th at the New England Prep School Track Association Division III Meet at Vermont Academy Nov. 9. She capped her season by taking 11th in 20:01 at the NEPSTA All-Star Meet at St. Mark’s, which featured the top prep runners from throughout New England.

“The All-Star race was more fitting to how I run,” Adie explained. “My first mile was a 6:17, and my second mile was under 13:00, so I had a quick second mile. It was a good race. I was happy with how I placed. That race definitely showed how much I’ve improved over the last four years of high school. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had. I was pleased with it.”

“Adie ran an excellent race on a challenging course at the All-Star race,” Coach Marissa Axtell said. “She was focused and determined to leave everything she had on the course. All of her hard work paid off as she ran a smart race, placing herself in the top 10 for a majority of the race.”

Adie has drawn interest from Northeastern University, Boston University and Babson College.

Peter Labbe '17 named Coaches Award winner for Crew

After a promising start to his crew career, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Peter Labbe '17 was named the recipient of the Coaches Award for the WMA Crew team for the 2014 season.

Peter spent the summer training by rowing at the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club to further hone his skills.

“It takes time going to a regatta and spending all day traveling around,” Peter said, “and how to rig and de-rig the boat. All that stuff . . . your first year there’s a little bit of a learning curve. This year was easier because I knew what to expect.”

Peter’s determination and persistence are ultimately what led him to receiving the Coaches Award. Peter is the perfect example of how hard work is the key to success.

During the Fall Varsity Sports Award Ceremony, where Peter received his award, Coach Heidi Ostendarp said, “The winner of the Coaches Award pulls much more than his own weight. He practiced rowing over the summer to increase his strength and refine his technique. He rowed a fantastic race in Springfield, in which his boat placed first, and in Northfield, which helped his boat a second place.

“Whatever seat he fills – sweeps, sculling, steering – he quietly strives to do his best. At the boathouse, he doesn’t ask, ‘What can I do?’ Instead, he looks around, sees what needs to get done and quietly does it.”

Coach Ostendarp’s use of the word “quietly” was appropriate, as Peter has proven to be teammate who does not strive for recognition, and does not need the satisfaction of public recognition to work just as hard as everyone else.

- James Sabatino ’16

Sara Burke '15 wins Coaches Award for Girls' XC

The character traits of team dedication and humbleness make a great combination when describing a team captain. Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Girls’ Cross Country captain Sara Burke ’15 is a perfect example of a team captain upholding these core values.

Sara was the recipient of the Coaches Award for the 2014 Girls’ Cross Country team, which was presented at the Fall 2014 Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony at the Academy Nov. 11.

Sara exhibited remarkable dedication during the season. Due to prolonged injuries, she was not able to participate in the last three races of the season. However, she still attended these meets, one of which was the New England Championship, held on a Sunday at Vermont Academy. Sara clearly has a passion for her team, and made every effort to stand by her team’s side, even if that meant traveling across state lines.

“Sara was the glue that held the team together,” Coach Marissa Axtell said. “She was a veteran on the team, as it was her third year and she was one of the senior captains. She was a constant motivator for the team by pushing the girls both by encouraging words and example.

“Sara had to work through many injuries this season. She never stopped pushing herself and setting a high standard for the rest of the team that if she could push through it, they could as well. Sara led meet day rituals during warm ups and the girls’ famous Titan chant. She was the person that the team look towards everyday.”

Sara takes great pride in her team. “As a team we grew in talent and size, and also as a family because we all became really close,” Burke said. “We had a lot of new talent on the team, both international and domestic – we went from nine girls to 19. We were all hard working and we had a great season.”

- By James Sabatino ’16

Derick Newton '15 signs NLI to play hoop at Stetson

To the friendly chants of “Here we go, Newt,” Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Basketball player Derick Newton ’15 signed his National Letter of Intent Nov. 18 to attend Division I Stetson University in Florida.

“I can’t wait to get to Stetson and play for Coach Corey Williams and the coaching staff,” Derick said. “It just feels right.”

“I know Derick’s excited to become a Hatter and go to Florida and enjoy the warm weather down there,” Coach Mike Mannix added. “They’re getting a very good player, and more important a good person. Derick’s a high-character person. He’s a skilled player and I’m sure he’s going to do great things here at Wilbraham & Monson and leave here as prepared as he can be for Stetson.”

Derick signed his NLI at WMA before a group of a dozen friends and teammates. Wearing a gray Stetson University men’s basketball T-shirt and a black and green SU baseball hat, he thanked his family, coaches and friends for the support he’s received along the way.

“I appreciate everything everyone has done for me,” Derick said. “I want to thank Wilbraham & Monson for giving me a second shot my senior year. Not a lot of kids get a fifth year of high school.”

Derick, a postgraduate at WMA, played for Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles last season. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward, slowed during his high school career by a shoulder injury, felt under-recruited following his senior season.

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