Seniors of the Week: 4/23/21

The Athletics department celebrates the Class of 2021 through a Seniors of the Week series honoring Hackley’s graduating athletes.

Kiara Abbey ’21 - Girls’ Track and Field
Kiki has been an outstanding talent and leader on the outdoor track team. Her versatility fuels her output, as she participates in multiple sprints, jumps, and relays for the team. Her knowledge of the sport, combined with her work ethic and attitude, make her a model of participation for her teammates. She is able to encourage and motivate others while holding herself to a high standard as well. Kiki will be an integral part of the team’s success this year and will be a track and field athlete to be reckoned with beyond her years at Hackley.

Jacob Abraham ’21 - Boys’ Lacrosse
Jake’s play, competitiveness, enthusiasm, and easy-going nature made him an easy choice to elect as captain after his sophomore season. As a two-year captain, he has been an indispensable part of maintaining a sense of team throughout COVID’s challenges. Every successful lacrosse team needs a reliable presence in the goal, and every player on the team always knows that Jake has their back. He was a part of two championship teams and the starter as a 10th grader in the second. He will be missed next year, but there is no doubt he will go on to achieve great things on the field in college too.

Benjamin Aybar ’21 - Baseball
Ben is a two-year member of the varsity baseball team and a consummate team player. He consistently demonstrates impressive leadership skills and a can-do attitude, and always strives to help the team succeed. Ben exemplifies the collaboration and character to unite the team, and also the drive to work toward perfecting his game. In an impressive display of flexibility and determination, Ben moved behind the plate last year, a change from his usual as an outfielder. He is a contact hitter who always seems to be able to put the ball in play somewhere on the field. Ben is sure to thrive wherever life takes him beyond the Hilltop.

Jessie Bard ’21 - Girls’ Lacrosse
Jessie is a two-year varsity player. Given the loss of last season, we are so excited to see what Jessie will bring to the field as a senior.  Already, her powerful shot has been something that stands out in her play.  She is a strong attacker who fights for every ball and has a strong finish.  But what Jessie brings to any team transcends the field.  Jessie is the consummate team player who always brings her intensity, fire, and enthusiasm to the field.  She has already brought her leadership to the team, and will undoubtedly continue to leave her mark on this team throughout this season. She will certainly be missed next year, but know that she will go on to do great things.

Austin Benedetto ’21 - Boys’ Tennis
After taking a few years away from the team to work on his corner three, Austin has brought his spot-up shooter mentality back to the courts, playing to his strengths and creating his own opportunities.  A starting varsity player as an eighth-grader, Austin’s doubles prowess has returned in full force this year, but with a renewed joy and love for the sport. He is a leader on the courts, while also displaying a tremendous amount of humility and enthusiasm in learning the game.  We know Austin will go on to do great things in college, like continuing to hit monster passing shots while reciting lines from Plato.

David Bernstein ’21 - Baseball
David returned to baseball this year after a three-year hiatus and has since demonstrated the spirit of teamwork and a keen interest in improving his skillset. David is certainly enjoying his time both on and off the field as he refines his throwing and fielding abilities while also rooting for his team’s accomplishments. David brings enthusiasm and hustle to each practice, and he is sure to go forth to do amazing things beyond the Hilltop.

Hadley Chapman ’21 - Girls’ Track and Field
The track and field program at Hackley has been fortunate to have Hadley on the team for several spring seasons during her Upper School career. Hadley has the grit necessary to endure and also possesses natural speed, making her a great middle-distance runner. Hadley loves challenges and is a motivating force with her teammates. She focuses on track repeats and is a great role model for others through both her work ethic and words of encouragement. Hadley is a real leader as she knows how to inspire each one of her teammates, regardless of their goals. Hadley is truly dedicated to Hackley as she continues to participate on a club soccer team while running for her school. We wish Hadley the best and hope that her experience with track has ignited a passion to run for many years to come.

Zachary Couzens ’21 - Boys’ Track and Field
Zach joined track and field his junior year and then Hackley turned to distance learning due to the pandemic. So, as a senior, this is Zach’s first year truly running for Hackley. As he noted, he set his 1600M personal record at this year’s first-time trial since it is his only timed event since beginning track. Meanwhile, Zach has fit in perfectly with his teammates. He puts forth great effort into his training and encourages his teammates to improve. He is respectful towards his coaches, asks great questions, and executes the workouts accordingly. While it’s Hackley’s loss that Zach started so late, we hope he has caught the running bug and will continue on this path. 

Andrew Davis ’21 - Boys’ Track and Field
Andrew Davis is one of the most dedicated runners to ever attend Hackley. Besides always being knowledgeable about the newest technology and latest gear, he researches other teams and proposes ways in which our team can outperform them. Davis’ confidence in Hackley’s team comes from the tireless effort that he, along with his teammates, put forth. Whether cross-training using his bicycle or running track workouts, he puts in the work necessary for success. In addition, Andrew is someone who will do one more repeat just to support a struggling teammate to finish the workout. Throughout his Upper School career, Davis has managed to balance his endurance and speed. As a result, he has become a great middle-distance runner. We wish him well running in college and know that the friendships formed through running at Hackley will last a lifetime.