Five St. John's School Field Hockey athletes played their way to the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championships this summer.
HOUSTON, TEXAS … This summer, five St. John’s School athletes played their way to the top of the USA Field Hockey tournament pipeline. Senior Sarah Urdahl, Junior Sam Night, Sophomores Carson Peacock and Paige Albert and Freshman Mackenzie Mott, were all selected to play in the 2011 National Futures Championship Tournament. The tournament took place June 25 – 30 at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The St. John’s five were selected from more than 5,000 field hockey players who tried out for Nationals in tournaments this past Spring from coast to coast. “The National Futures Championship is the premier event for the Futures Program, serves as a selection event for USA Field Hockey and is the foundation of our Olympic pipeline system,” noted Paula Conway, manager of Olympic Athlete Development for USA Field Hockey. Athletes selected for the National Futures Championship are considered to be the top 13 percent in the nation.
Teams at the National Futures Championship were divided into U14, U16 and U19 divisions and all teams were named after Olympic host cities from the past and future.
Senior Sarah Urdahl was selected for the third straight year for Nationals. This year, Sarah played on the U19 Team Solchi. Solchi won First Place Gold in their pool of 16 different U19 teams. Team Solchi also was awarded the Barbara Longstreth Sportsmanship Award.
The Barbara Longstreth Sportsmanship Award is an annual award given to only one team in each of the three divisions. “USA Hockey is very proud each year to honor the U19, U16 and U14 teams which exemplifies the qualities of fair play, graciousness in both winning and respect for umpires and opponents,” said Laura Darling, managing director of Olympic and Athlete Development for USA Field Hockey. "Barbara Longstreth is truly an icon for those of us who know and love her. We appreciate what she has given to the game and know she is proud of each and every athlete who brings to the game the characteristics she values.” The winning team has their name engraved on the Barbara Longstreth trophy and each team member received a certificate to commemorate the honor.
Junior Sam Night played on U16 Team Nagano. Based on Night’s extraordinary play, she was selected to play at the 2011 AAU Junior Olympic Games, which took place August 2 -6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. There were 134 U16 athletes selected from the U16 pool at Nationals to play at the Junior Olympics. This was Night’s first time to play at Nationals and her first time to play field hockey in the Junior Olympics.
Sophomores Carson Peacock and Paige Albert also played in the U16 pool at the National Futures Championships. Peacock played on Team Antwerp and Albert played on Team Paris. This was Peacock’s first time at Nationals and Albert’s second time, having also been selected in 2010.
Albert’s Team Paris was awarded the Barbara Longstreth Sportsmanship Award – the only team out of the 16 different U16 teams to be selected. Additionally, Team Paris was the only team chosen out of all three divisions – 38 total teams – to be awarded the Spirit Award. The Spirit Award was voted on by coaches, umpires and staff of USA Field Hockey.
Freshman goalie Mackenzie Mott played on the U14 Team Los Angeles. There were six different U14 teams and Team Los Angeles placed fourth in their tournament pool.