With the team playoffs around the corner and the track stars already holding their final meet before states and New Englands, we found 18 athletes worthy of Winter Week 8’s HAN-FCIAC Athlete of the Week nominations. Check out the nominees and vote for your male and female picks below.
Last week’s winners were Daja Polk of Fairfield Warde girls basketball and Edward Rudman of New Canaan boys swimming.
This week’s winners will be announced during HAN’s Nutmeg Sports show on Monday, Feb. 15, live at 2 p.m. You can watch Nutmeg Sports with Rob Adams, Donald Eng and Dave Stewart Mondays through Wednesday at 2 at live.HAN.Network.
As the official broadcasting partner of the FCIAC, the HAN Network’s sports editors and sports broadcasters each week recognize the top male and a female athletes during each week of the season.
The HAN Network spent Winter Week 4 providing live HD coverage of boys and girls ice hockey, the FCIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships and the FCIAC Cheerleading Championships. You can watch those broadcasts in their entirety at the following links:
The HAN Network will be covering numerous events throughout the FCIAC’s winter season, including ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and the conference’s postseason championships.
This week’s schedule includes a boys-girls basketball doubleheader on Thursday with Fairfield’s Coaches vs. Cancer Classic featuring Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe. On Friday, we’ll have boys basketball between Wilton and Brien McMahon. On Saturday, we’ll have wall-to-wall coverage of the FCIAC Wrestling Championships. Check out the complete broadcast schedule here.
HAN-FCIAC Male Athlete of the Week nominees
Eric van der Els, Brien McMahon Track & Field
Van der Els helped lead the Senators to a runner-up finish — their best-ever showing — at the FCIAC track and field championship. The senior, who won the league’s cross country title in the fall, won the 1,600-meter run in a meet record 4:16.91, and the 3,200-meter run in an FCIAC and meet-record time of 9:18.56.
Devonte Clarke, Danbury Track & Field
Clarke, a Danbury senior, set a new meet record with a time of 6.48 seconds in the 55-meter dash at last Thursday’s FCIAC indoor track and field championship meet in New Haven. He broke the old mark of 6.60 set back in 2013. Clarke was also second in the 300-meter dash in 36.35 seconds, as the Hatters won the league crown.
Terrell Cunningham, Danbury Track & Field
Cunningham played a huge role in the Hatters’ FCIAC track and field championship as he anchored a pair of winning relays, and took second place in the 600-meter run last Thursday. He ran the final leg of the 4×400 relay (3:33.94) and the sprint medley relay (3:43.87), which set a new FCIAC and record.
Jack Moore, Trumbull Basketball
Jack Moore scored 35 points to lead Trumbull to a 68-40 victory over Norwalk on Feb. 1. Only one of Moore’s 12 baskets came from 3-point range. He was 10-for-10 from the foul line.
Joe Lucy, St. Joseph Basketball
Joe Lucy scored 19 points and had three timely 3-pointers in leading St. Joseph to an 84-73 victory over Brien McMahon on Feb. 1.
Jay DeVito, Stamford Basketball
DeVito led the Black Knights with 28 points, including nine in the fourth quarter during a 46-38 victory over Westhill on Feb. 1. The win gave Stamford its first city title since 2011.
Eric Day, Brien McMahon Basketball
Day scored a game-best 19 points as the Senators defeated city rival Norwalk, 82-70. It was McMahon’s first win over Norwalk since 2011. The Senators improved to 11-4 with the win.
Sam Knowlton, Darien Ice Hockey
Knowlton, a Darien defenseman, had two assists in the Blue Wave’s 6-4 victory over Fairfield Prep last Wednesday. Knowlton is on a pace of more than a point per game this season.
HAN-FCIAC Female Athlete of the Week nominees
Jada Harris, St. Joseph Indoor Track & Field
Jada Harris won two league titles at the FCIAC Indoor Track Championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Feb. 4. Harris was the FCIAC’s best in the 55-meter hurdles (8.26) and the high jump (5-07). She placed second in the 55-meter dash (7.44).
Katherine Jasminski, Ridgefield Track & Field
Jasminski was part of the Tigers’ winning 4×800 relay team, which kicked off the FCIAC track and field championships with a victory last Thursday in New Haven. Running the third leg, Jasminski had a split time of 2:24.85, as Ridgefield finished in 9:51.00, more than six seconds ahead of second place. She was also third in the 600-meter run (1:41.55) and led off the 4×400 relay (4:10.85), which also finished third.
Katie Kirchgasser, Ludlowe Cheerleading
Kirchgasser helped the Falcons repeat as FCIAC cheerleading champions during the conference competition Saturday in Wilton. Ludlowe, which has won the title in five of the last six years, scored 169 points to edge Trumbull, which as second at 166.5. A senior flyer, Kirchgasser was also a part of the Falcons’ winning performance in the partner-stunt event.
Hannah DeBalsi, Staples Track & Field
DeBalsi won the two longest races during the FCIAC track and field championships last Thursday in New Haven. DeBalsi, a three-time FCIAC cross country champion, won the 1,600-meter run (5:10.08) by more than seven seconds, and the 3,200-meter run (10:57.63) by more than 30 seconds. She was also part of the Wreckers’ 4×800 relay team, which was second (9:57.05).
Nina Vetter, Trumbull Basketball
Nina Vetter scored 16 points and had nine rebounds to lead Trumbull to a 50-35 victory over Norwalk on Feb. 1. She also had seven rebounds in the Eagles’ 35-27 win over Wilton on Saturday.
Claire Conley, New Canaan Track & Field
Conley claimed the FCIAC shot put title during the conference championships on Thursday in New Haven. The top seed, Conley won the event with a throw of 35 feet, 9.5 inches, more than a foot better than her seeding. She won the event by nearly three feet over Danbury’s Jessica Robbins, who was second at 33 feet.
Alana Gianokos, Trinity Catholic Basketball
Alana Gianokos scored 10 points, with two of her baskets coming from beyond the three-point line, when Trinity Catholic defeated Bridgeport Central, 41-35, on Feb. 1.
Maris Estevez, Fairfield Ice Hockey
Maris Estevez scored two goals to lead Fairfield to a 5-2 win over Notre Dame of Fairfield on Feb. 1
Molly Thomas, Wilton-Norwalk Ice Hockey
Molly Thomas had a hand in all four goals in the Wilton-Norwalk girls hockey team’s 4-1 win over Fairfield on Saturday. The Wilton High sophomore finished the game with three goals and one assist, as the Warriors notched their second straight win.
Sam Aparicio, Darien Gymnastics
Aparicio, the defending FCIAC individual gymnastics champion, led the Wave during a pair of meets last week. She scored 35.9 to win the all-around in a contest against New Canaan, Stamford and Westhill on Wednesday, and led the all-around with a score of 36.6 versus Trumbull on Saturday.