Germantown Friends’ Sami Aziz, the 2012 Friends Schools League and Pa. Independent Schools Cross Country Champion, is now a freshman on the cross country team at Columbia University. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Germantown Friends School cross country and track czar Rob Hewitt dropped the LOCAL a note to provide an update about some of his former runners. The Tigers’ skipper is justifiably proud of the fact that more than a dozen former GFS cross country athletes are engaged in NCAA competition this fall.

Going back to Germantown’s Class of 2010, the current college seniors still out racing are Sam Butler (University of Chicago), Drew Daniels (Johns Hopkins), Jasia Kaulbach (Amherst), Tom Waterman (Boston U.), and Ross Wistar (NYU).

Another GFS product performing for the University of Chicago is junior Henry Blood, while David Waterman, one year younger than his brother Tom, is striding around Tidewater Virginia for the College of William and Mary. Other former Tigers in their class who are still competing are Graham Barrett (Haverford) and Jess Love (Franklin & Marshall).

Also out on the college trails are 2012 graduates Christian Brady (Dickinson), Tess Doggett (St. Joseph’s), and Nick Dye (Colorado College).

Just getting started in their collegiate careers are five members of the Class of 2013: Sami Aziz (Columbia), Eliza Lukens-Day (Brown), Paul Maxson (Earlham), Ben Stassen (Oberlin), and Lyle Wistar (Penn). Lyle Wistar is the younger brother of Ross; their sister Alice is a very promising sophomore runner at GFS.

Aziz and Lukens-Day were the individual boys’ and girls’ champions at the Friends Schools League championships last fall, both leading their teams to the FSL title for the 11th year in a row. At the 2012 Pa. Independent Schools Championships, Aziz finished first as his team copped its seventh straight crown, while Lukens-Day came in fourth, helping the GFS girls repeat as Pa. Indy champion.

This fall the GFS boys are rebuilding after losing Aziz, Wistar, and fellow tri-captain Henry Shah, along with Stassen and Maxson. The first four were among the five scorers for the Tigers at the Pa. meet, which leaves current senior James Finney as the only returning scorer from the Indy championships.

However, Coach Hewitt reports that both Finney and sophomore Grayson Hepp are running extremely well, and he sees other athletes who appear ready to step in and have an impact on the varsity outcomes. They include some members of the GFS squad that easily won the JV championship at the 2012 Independent Schools gathering.

In the mix are Finney’s senior classmate Andy Bugos, juniors Peter Jarka-Sellers and Joe Newmann, sophomores Gordon Goldstein and Calvin McCafferty, and freshman Nick Dahl, who ran a 4:46 mile as an eighth-grader last spring.

GFS was not hit as hard on the girls’ side by the departure of the Class of 2013. At the Indy championships last year the only two senior scorers for the Tigers were Lukens-Day and Isabel Goldstein, who finished 10th.

A member of this year’s senior class, Allison Love, was seventh in that race. She and CeCe Dye are the two 12th graders who should appear regularly in varsity races this season.

The Tigers’ other two scorers at the 2012 Pa. meet were Brigit Andersson (ninth) and Arielle Frank (13th), who are now both juniors. Andersson, who played soccer in the fall as a freshman, keeps getting better and better, and has her time in the mile down to 5:14.

Returning as sophomores are last year’s two 9th-grade standouts, Alice Wistar and Caitlin Harrity, and a freshman to watch this fall is Griffin Kaulbach. She’s the younger sister of Jasia and of Max Kaulbach, who went on to run at Princeton University after a stellar career at GFS (’08).

As usual, the activities of the GFS squad won’t be confined to the state of Pennsylvania. The runners attended a camp in Maryland last month, and they had planned to travel to a major race in North Carolina until a conflict with the date of the ACT exams scuttled that trip.

They’ll be over in New Jersey for the Cherokee (High School) Challenge this month and for the Shore Coaches Invite in Holmdel the first weekend in October. The following month, the Tigers hope to earn a spot in the Nike Northeast Regionals in Bowdoin Park, N.Y.

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