Graduating student-athletes leave their mark on GW Athletics

Media Credit: File Photo by Arielle Bader

As graduating seniors prepare to leave their collegiate athletics careers behind, they said their time as student-athletes gave them "Only at GW" moments and teammates they could rely on.

As Commencement quickly approaches, the Colonials prepare to trade in their buff and blue uniforms for caps and gowns.

After an unprecedented 2020-21 season when the COVID-19 pandemic shortened seasons, student-athletes returned to a degree of normalcy in the 2021-22 season with less restrictive safety measures as women’s sports recorded their highest number of championship-winning seasons with three titles. We asked a few star athletes to reflect on their time at GW and share what being a part of GW Athletics meant to them.

Here are some of the standout performers of the graduating class of 2022:

Dylan Arzoni: Men’s swimming and diving
During his career, Arzoni has become an integral piece of the 200-free event with two gold medal relays throughout his career that helped the Colonials gain the A-10 title. Arzoni was named to the A-10 First Team for three consecutive years and has made the GW Athletics Dean’s list for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

“My experience with GW swimming and diving has opened up opportunities both in the pool and outside of it,” Arzoni said in an email. “I’ve been fortunate to have some unforgettable Only at GW moments, such as hosting the GW Athletics Georgey Awards twice and also getting the opportunity to sit down on stage for a conversation with U.S. Olympian Katie Ledecky earlier this year in front of a live audience at Lisner Auditorium.”

Lauren Bolton: Women’s rowing
During her junior season, Bolton helped the team place second place in the A-10 Conference, where she sat in the third seat in Varsity 8 and matched the program’s best finish.

Bolton, a walk-on member of the women’s rowing team, said the program has taught her life skills that have allowed her to grow. She said during 6 a.m. practice, she has been able to better appreciate the city, watching the sun rise over the monuments.

“Being a part of this team has taught me invaluable lessons and skills that I will carry with me beyond graduation,” Bolton said in an email. “More importantly, it has brought me some of my closest friends.”

Beth Ellinport: Women’s soccer
Ellinport, a starting midfielder on the women’s soccer team, has played a total of 691 minutes during her career. She returned with vigor from a sophomore year injury that kept her sidelined through her junior year, starting for five matches as a senior.

Volunteering has been a major part of her years at GW, as she worked with the Grassroot Project – a group of local alumni that train student-athletes to educate middle school students on a healthy lifestyle –since her freshman year. Ellinport has educated students on sexual health and mental health through games as part of her work with the organization.

“GW athletics has allowed me to grow mentally and emotionally more than anything – it has also given me the opportunity to be heavily involved in the D.C. community with organizations like the Grassroots Project,” Ellinport said in an email. “It’s been a chance to make an impact through athletics, and I’ve loved it.”

Cade Fergus: Baseball
Fergus played an integral role within the GW lineup with 61 RBI’s, 116 hits and 109 runs over his career with the Colonials. He was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week twice during his freshman year.

“Being an athlete at GW has just provided me with a different perspective on D.C. itself,” Fergus said in an email. “Every day we wake up and we’re right down the street from the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. We’re located in the most powerful city in the world, so to have the opportunity to grow and thrive here is an opportunity nowhere else can provide.”

Tori Hampton: Lacrosse
Hampton became an asset for the Colonials with a .452 shooting percentage and 42 goals throughout her career. She was injured in her junior year season but tallied four goals within four games.

“GW Athletics has been such a motivating experience,” Hampton said in an email. “The student-athletes here are some of the hardest working people I know and have definitely pushed me to demand the best out of myself, on and off the field. There are so many people I have had the opportunity to learn from and look up to.”

Megan Osterhaus: Softball
Osterhaus has spent the majority of her four years in relief appearances on the mount for the Colonials, logging a career-best 2.17 ERA in her junior year with a reliable .917 fielding percentage throughout her career. During her sophomore year, she logged 32.1 innings in their conference slate, the second most on the team, and made the A-10’s All-Tournament Team.

“GW Athletics has given me a family and a safe space to grow as a person,” Osterhaus said in an email. “I’m so thankful for the abundance of resources and connections that it has provided to me and all the memories that I’ve made along the way.”

Courtney Sicinski: Women’s swimming & diving
Sincinki has been a star swimmer during her career for the Colonials, qualifying and placing seventh in the A-10 final 200-breast event during her senior year to push the Colonials into fourth place at the A-10 Championship during her junior campaign.

“Being part of GW swimming and diving has made my entire experience here very positive,” Sicinski said in an email. “No matter the circumstances, I always have my team to fall back on because we are a family. Swimming kept me disciplined and motivated, and this program provided me with a community of people who will support me for the rest of my life.”

Olivia Zona: Gymnastics
Zona leaves a mark on the gymnastics team as a co-captain during her senior year after she averaged a 9.825 score on the floor throughout her career and registered a career-high score of 9.85 on the vault during her sophomore year. She has earned the ALL-Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League honor and was named to the ALL-EAGL Second Team and the ALL-EAGL Scholastics Team for four consecutive seasons.

“My experience as an athlete at GW has meant everything to me,” Zona said in an email. “Gymnastics has brought me my best friends, introduced me to countless mentors and taught me the greatest life lessons. Being able to work hard and have fun while teammates, coaches and administrators supported me is something I will forever be grateful for. Athletics has provided me with unique opportunities and countless resources that ensure I will find success not only at GW, but in my post-grad life as well.”

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