By John Torenli
School's out, but that doesn't mean our local colleges aren't gearing up for next year.
St. Francis College recently announced a pair of new additions to the women's track and field and men's water polo squads.
Terriers track and field coach Kyle Brown inked Brush Prairie, Washington's Chantalle Blundell to a National Letter of Intent, hoping the versatile athlete can boost the program's bourgeoning program in the fall.
“We are extremely excited to have Chantalle join the St. Francis College track and field team," said Brown. “Chantelle is a very experienced and talented runner who will make an immediate impact on the women's cross-country, indoor and outdoor team.”
Blundell had a stellar final season for Hockinson High School, posting nine first-place finishes. On April 20, at the Bruin Invitational, Blundell crossed the finish line with a time of 5:23.30 to take home gold medal honors in the 1600 meters. At the 2A District IV Championships, Blundell took both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter championships.
An accomplished cross country runner, Blundell set her best mark in the second race of the season at the Bruce Flanagin Invitational, claiming first place with a personal-best time of 19:15.
St. Francis men's water polo coach Igor Samardzija announced the signing of Andrew “Cole” Hamre to a National Letter of Intent.
The Orlando, Florida native, a 6'2”, 180-pound hole set, attended Lake Nona High School, where he helped lead his team to the No.3 ranking in the entire state this past spring, eventually losing to the state's top-team, Gulliver High School, in the state semifinals. In his three varsity seasons at Lake Nona, Hamre was the team captain and broke all of the school's scoring records en route to being named the team's MVP three times in a row.
His scoring records include most goals in a game (11), most in a season (112), and most in a career (269). Hamre's top honors include First Team NISCA All American, two-time First Team All Central Florida, two time First Team All Metro and two time First Team All District. In addition to being considered one of the best water polo players in the state of Florida, Cole was captain of his swim team and also excelled in the classroom, carrying a 3.6 GPA.
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In other local college sports news, Brooklyn College senior guards Tyshawn Russell and Amil John (South Shore High School) were honored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) this week.
Russell was named to the Downstate All-BCANY Division III First Team, while John was named to the Downstate All-BCANY Division III Second Team.
Along with garnering BCANY honors, the Bulldogs' backcourt tandem were also named to the All-Met Basketball Writers Association Men's Basketball Division III Third Team, as well as the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) All-Star Second Team during their senior campaign.
Russell and John were instrumental in leading the Bulldogs to a 19-10 overall record this year, including a 7-4 mark in CUNYAC action to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. BC would go on to earn the No. 3 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro Tournament, making a memorable run to the championship game before falling to Mount St. Mary on March 4.
Russell started all 29 games this past season, averaging a team-high 22.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game. The sixth all-time leading scorer in Bulldogs history finished 15th in the nation in scoring and 22nd in steals.
John also started in all 29 games this year, averaging 17.3 points, 6.6 boards, 4.0 assists and 3.4 steals. Within CUNYAC, John ranked first in steals, third in both assists and minutes played, fourth in assist/turnover ratio, seventh in scoring, eighth in rebounding and ninth in field-goal percentage. Nationally, John ranked fourth in steals per game. He finished his Bulldog career with 1,383 points, just behind Russell for seventh place.
The duo helped lead the Bulldogs to a 79-35 overall record during their four years at BC, including a 38-12 mark in the CUNYAC, to go along with back-to-back CUNYAC championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010.