Ransom Everglades held a signing ceremony Feb. 2 at the Anderson gymnasium to recognize the nine senior student-athletes who committed to continue their athletic careers in college: Sophia Adams '23 (sailing, Tulane), Olivia Drulard '23 (sailing, Dartmouth), Alexa Geller '23 (crew, University of Miami), Florine Lijesen '23 (crew, Duke), Jackson McAliley '23 (sailing, Penn), Thomas Segrera '23 (crew, Georgetown), Kathryn Serra '23 (crew, Harvard), Karyna Steele '23 (soccer, Macalester) and Sarah Velazco '23 (water polo, McKendree).
"Days like these are always special with the journey of our young athletes," Interim Athletic Director Scott Berman said. "Their commitment to their craft, their dedication to being great students and great athletes is obviously what we strive for at RE."
RE Chief Operating Officer and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86 welcomed the students and their parents, lauding them for the success in their sports and in the classroom. Dean of the Senior Class Roger Caron introduced each student-athlete and invited the students and their parents to a table for a ceremonial signing. "To be a college athlete, to be recruited in today's climate ... to work your way through that, and stay with it ... is quite a credit to these students," he said.
Adams, a member of RE's keelboat team, earned second place in the Rhodes 18 nationals and Hyannis youth invitational; Drulard tied for first place in the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association district championships and earned fourth among women at the 2022 nationals at Brant Beach; Geller, a four-year varsity coxswain, helped her team finish first at the 2022 Head of Indian Creek and in the top 10 at the Head of the Charles.
Lijesen earned a top-10 finish at the Head of the Charles and was in the first junior women's boat to qualify for the youth nationals in 2021. McAliley earned fifth at the 2022 Interscholastic Sailing Association Singlehanded Cressy National Championships and first in the 2022 SAISA South Points No. 2. Segrera finished fourth at the 2022 men's varsity single scholastics nationals and in the U19 men's quad at Head of the Hooch.
Serra finished first in the US Rowing Club Nationals 8+, second at the US Rowing Club Nationals 4x and first in the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling Championships Girls Quad; Steele is a four-year member of RE's girls' varsity soccer team and also played for Pinecrest Premier; Velazco has been a starter at hole set since her sophomore year and helped her water polo teams win district championships in 2021 and 2022.
RE's rowers were introduced by coach Richie Fredericks; the sailors by captain Joe Logan; and water polo player Velazco by assistant water polo coach Petar Solomun, also the Dean of Students at RE. Steele was introduced by Caron as her soccer coach, Michelle Mondell, had already left with the team for their district title game that afternoon. Steele headed to the field immediately after the ceremony. Drulard was participating in a sailing race and could not attend.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.