The 2021 spring athletic season will hold a special place in School history: Not only did Buccaneer teams compete during a pandemic year, but they also earned MAPL championships along the way.
“I am very proud of our spring student-athletes,” said Paul Clavel ’88, director of athletics. “They faced unprecedented challenges this season due to the pandemic and never backed down. These Bucs overcame incredible adversity and have added to the legacy of Blair athletics.”
Girls’ Varsity Crew Earns MAPL Crown
On May 1, the girls' varsity crew team captured a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) championship on Mercer Lake, making a statement by winning four of five races.
To start the day, the girl's novice four achieved a definitive win over the Hun School. Next up, the girls' third varsity four had their best race of the year, beating Peddie and Hill and giving a fast Lawrenceville crew a true test down the course. The girls' second varsity four were put to the test by the Peddie School over the first 1000m of their race; however, as the conditions worsened, Blair's second varsity locked in and executed the best part of their race, their sprint. They pulled ahead for a nearly four-second win over Peddie.
The girls' first varsity four led immediately off the start and opened the gap for the remainder of their race, rowing a very high standard. The first varsity had a seven-second gap over Peddie by the finish buoy, claiming the title of girls' All-MAPL Crew.
The day ended with the girls' novice eight taking to the water, with five athletes completing their second race. They cruised down the course with a commanding win over their field.
“I am extremely proud of our team's MAPL championship win,” said John Redos ‘09, director of crew programs and head girls’ rowing coach. “This event means a lot as the result is dependent on the entire varsity program as opposed to the top boat. The work these athletes have put in over the past year, and the way they treat one another, led to a definitive day on the water at Mercer.”
Girls’ Varsity Golf Earns Sixth MAPL Championship
On May 5, the girls' varsity golf team secured its sixth MAPL championship in program history. The Bucs won the event with a total score of 165, 15 strokes lower than the second-place Hill School.
Lucy Barton ’23 and Chloe Barton ’23 both had the lowest score of 40, along with Hill's Lulu Nakagawa. This led to a sudden-death playoff, which Lucy won with a birdie on the third hole. She was crowned MAPL individual champion. Chloe, Molly Wu ’23 and Jassiel Sanchez ’24 were each awarded All-MAPL honors, as well.
This MAPL championship marks the varsity girls’ golf team’s fourth MAPL crown in five years. “This championship win was very impressive,” said Mr. Clavel, head girls’ golf coach. “Not only did the girls win in tough weather conditions, but they also recorded the lowest overall score for the team this year.”
Varsity Boys’ Tennis Claims Fourth MAPL Championship
The Bucs hosted the 2021 boys’ tennis MAPL championship on May 15 and defended the home courts by securing their fourth MAPL title in program history. This marks their second conference championship in the past five years.
All Bucs received a bye in the first round. In the second round, John Boellhoff ’21 and Nick Harpe ’21 swept their opponents 6-0, 6-0. In singles, Marc Riera Manzanaro ’22, Jack Weber ’21, Hagen Shook ’21 and Ethan Turkewitz ’22 all won in two sets.
The six players advanced to the championship round, where they secured enough points to clinch the MAPL championship. Jack won the round 6-0, 6-3 to be crowned MAPL champion for the Bucs. Overall, Blair’s team scored 21 points, followed by Lawrenceville with 19 points.
“I'm proud of the team,” said Associate Head of School Ryan Pagotto ’97, head coach of boys’ varsity tennis. “I knew we had the talent this year to win the MAPL title, and it was just a matter of the individual players rising to the moment when they needed to, on championship day and in each match this year. They earned it!! What a phenomenal group of young men to work with, and I'm especially happy for the five seniors on the team to have had this win on campus and in front of their friends and faculty.”