Four senior girls at West Hartford’s Hall High School signed their letters of intent Wednesday.
By Ronni Newton
Four members of the Hall High School Class of 2020 who plan to participate in sports at the Division I or II level formalized their commitments Wednesday during the National Letter of Intent early signing period.
The following students, pictured above from left to right, officially signed their letters at the ceremony, which was attended by families, friends, high school coaches, and teammates.
Maggie Mantz – Swimming, University of Vermont
Aislinn Mitchell – Swimming, University of Delaware
Olivia Bonee – Basketball, St. Anselm College (New Hampshire)
Jenna Zydanowicz – Cross Country and Track and Field, University of Connecticut
West Hartford Athletic Director Jason Siegal praised the “four awesome young women athletes,” noting that they are very excited to be continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
“I know you’ll be leaving us in a few short months but I think you should know by now you’ll always have a home here at Hall High School, so please come back and join us and tell us how it’s going and share your experiences with us and your teammates,” Siegal said.
Coaches also took a few moments to offer congratulations to their athletes.
Girls basketball coach Brittany Huggins said she is “incredibly proud” of Bonee. “She’s made so much improvement from freshman to senior … she works really hard and has overcome a lot of adversity and challenges.”
Swim coach John McClure noted that Mantz and Mitchell are the last of a group of sisters who swam for Hall over the past eight or nine years. Mantz was an All-State swimmer for the past three years, and Mitchell has been All-State for the past two years, and both have multiple entries in Hall’s record books for top-10 times.
“They’ve had a very good career at Hall,” McClure said of Mitchell and Mantz. “We will miss their leadership, they were both captains this year … their spots in the line-up will be very hard to fill.”
Cross country and track coach Betty Remigino-Knapp commended Zydanowicz not just for her athletic achievements, but also for her character and strong academics.
“Her accomplishments are certainly very impressive as a student athlete, and I emphasize ‘student,’ because she’s also an excellent student, she takes a very demanding schedule,” Remigino-Knapp said.
Zydanowicz has won championships in track as well as cross country, has never been beaten in a dual meet in cross country, and has earned All-State hours in cross country every year she has run. She has been runner of the year in cross country the past two seasons, and has five school records in outdoor track – in events ranging from the 800 meter to 2-mile events, and has earned All-Academic honors in every season in which she has competed.
“But what’s really impressive about Jenna is really her character, and it’s not always been easy. She’s the kind of kid who says ‘never say die’ … and this is one young woman that never gives up,” Remigino Knapp said.
It’s rarely smooth sailing when competing at such a high level, but she will use all her skills, Remigino said of Zydanowicz, and will continue to focus on the team. “You have set a really high bar for us,” she said.
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