---- — Award for Downey
Former Pentucket player Rachael Downey was recently awarded the Blue & Gold Award at the year-end dinner for athletes at Simmons College. The Simmons tennis team went undefeated in the regular season and the freshman had the highest doubles winning percentage on the team and had clinching wins in both the regular season and playoffs.
The Blue and Gold award is similar to the Bruins’ 7th player award and is given to someone who goes above and beyond expectations. She played with a hurt knee for much of the season.
Downey’s sister, Coli, is the No. 1 player as a sophomore for this year’s Pentucket team.
Mt. Washington bike races
As a reminder for those cyclists who like a grueling challenge, there are now three bike races up Mount Washington this summer.
The first is the third Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race June 15. That’s followed by the eighth Newton’s Revenge July 6. The grand finale, which is also the original and largest of the races, is the 41st Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb set for Aug. 17.
Former Phillips Academy runner Georgina Norton of North Reading, a senior at NYU, recently ran a 4:40 in the 1,500 to qualify for the ECAC championships in Springfield this week.
The younger sister of talented Harry Norton, Georgina recently was one of 19 undergraduates honored with the NYU Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award.
Boardman to Hall
Phillips Academy girls basketball coach Lani (Boardman) Silversides, who was on maternity leave this year, has been named to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and will be honored June 22 in Worcester.
A 2001 graduate of York (Maine) High School, she set school records in points (1,413), rebounds (1,111) and blocks (299) and was also an all-state goalie in soccer and a state hurdles champion. The 2001 Maine Female Athlete of the Year went on to have an outstanding basketball career at the University of Vermont. She was named team MVP as a senior.
Pinkerton’s boys volleyball team (10-3) is enjoying a fine season in New Hampshire while Methuen is rebuilding in Massachusetts. So it will be interesting to see what happens Thursday when the Astros host the Rangers. The Astros won 3-0 last week.
In the preseason, Pinkerton coach Colin Walker said that he feels that volleyball in Massachusetts is slightly ahead of the Granite State. But the Astros have been playing well behind the net play of 6-foot-6 Justin Scott and improving newcomers Zach Sanford and Andrew Lechner.
Billerica’s Leo Trindade, who was a New England champion at 195 pounds and finished second at Senior Nationals, has signed a scholarship to wrestle at West Virginia University.
At the individual state tennis tournament last weekend, all three Andover singles players and both doubles team made it to the second round. In the second round, Paige Webster lost a tough match. Everyone else — Samantha Camilo, Rachel Holzman and the doubles teams of Julia Alagero/Laurie-Maude Chenard and Pooja Mukund/Karena Yan — will have to wait until this weekend to play second-round matches.
The 24th Sons of Italy Memorial Day weekend road race, a 5K race and walk starting at 10 a.m., will be May 25. It will be held at the new lodge at 459 Merrimack St. in Methuen. Stay tuned for more information about the race.
Same race director
Speaking of road races, this year will mark the 27th anniversary of the Bobby Bell Road Race in Haverhill, all under the direction of Dave LaBrode — a remarkable run under one race director. The race, which last year benefitted eight charities, is set for Oct. 6. Last year’s race raised $8,571, with $4,000 going to the Sapienza Scholarship Fund at Haverhill High School.
Busy race day
There will be plenty of options for local runners Sunday, including two races in Newburyport — Trav’s run at Maudslay Park and the Newburyport Half-Marathon. Also on tap are the Hoppon Mad 10K and 20K in Amesbury and the Every Brand Apparel Kids race in Methuen. On Saturday in Salisbury is the Evelyn’s Run for the Rose 5K for women and the Men’s Run for the Women in Salisbury.