Athletes ready for next-level contests

High school grads set to continue their athletic careers on college, university teams

By Pamela Lannom

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This is the second installment in a two-part series on high school student-athletes who will continue to pursue their sport in college. All but Grace Carstensen, a graduate of Nazareth Academy, attended Hinsdale Central High School.

Alex Burt

University of Chicago, track & field

I'll remember: my teachers. I've had a lot of teachers that were fun or inspiring or interesting or annoying, and there have been a lot that are memorable for different reasons.

I'm looking forward to: hitting new PR's in high jump and triple jump. The best part of high school track was the adrenaline rush of hitting a new height or distance and I hope to carry that into college.

Grace Carstensen

DePaul University, basketball

I'll remember: my Nazareth teammates and coaches who pushed me nonstop to be a better person on and off the court. I will miss playing with my best friends and the fun the team had together.

I'm looking forward to: traveling with my new team as well as learning new things and getting better. I'm very excited for my new coaches and all I will experience at DePaul.

Chase Collignon

Carnegie Mellon University, basketball

Ill remember: winning the Holiday Classic.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new people and competing at the next level.

Ava Elliott

IUPUI, soccer

I'll remember: high school soccer the most. The experience and feeling it brought me was unmatchable.

I'm looking forward to: competing against fellow friends and teammates, especially playing my sisters.

Sarah Fischer

University of Pennsylvania, CC/track & field

I'll remember: all of the amazing friends and teammates I had throughout all of my four years.

I'm looking forward to: competing at higher level meets and developing and improving as a runner.

Michael Gallagher

University of Wisconsin-Platteville, football

I'll remember: making new friends and being part of a team.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new people from other states and countries and getting better to play at the next level.

Jesse Gamboa

DePaul University, CC/track & field

I'll remember: winning and losing with my team throughout the season.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new teammates and competing for another four years.

Reese Kolke

Carnegie Mellon University, football

I'll remember: the Friday night football games, having the community all coming out and supporting our team. We had a very strong bond with the team - felt like a family - so being able to go out on the football field and make great memories is what I'll cherish most from my time at Central.

I'm looking forward to: competing with talent from all around the country, and the intensity with which the game goes up.

Catie McCabe

Indiana University, CC/track & field

I'll remember: my teammates from cross country and track. My best memories were made on that team and I won't forgot them.

I'm looking forward to: meeting new people and being able to train at a higher level.

Ben Oosterbaan

University of St. Thomas, basketball

I'll remember: the great friendships and bonds I made. I met so many great people and friends in both sports and school at HC.

I'm looking forward to: getting the opportunity to learn and compete with and against a bunch of great players and people from all over the country.

Brady O'Rourke

Wabash College, football

I'll remember: the friends I made and my experience playing for the football team.

I'm looking forward to: start competing and making an impact as soon as possible (I'll be out with an injury this season).

Gio Pamfili

Trine University, football

I'll remember: my time spent in football and with my teammates, even if it wasn't spent on the field. They treated me like one of their brothers. For that I will always be grateful.

I'm looking forward to: showing people what I can do and compete for Trine University, to hopefully earn a national championship and a fine degree.

Ari Tavoso

UC Berkeley, lacrosse

I'll remember: the clubs I was in and the people who made those clubs so enjoyable and an awesome outlet away from school and sports. But I will also remember being on a team for four years. The girls on the team became my family and playing with people you love to be around is so special. Playing for a school with a great team culture and a great support/fan base makes playing a lot of fun.

I'm looking forward to: being challenged at another level that I've only dreamed about. Playing at college, everyone is good, everyone is competing, everyone is so strong and fast. Even though I've been playing this sport for so long, it's a brand new experience I am not used to, and I can't wait to become an entirely new and better player from it.

Sarah Thornton

Northwestern University, golf

I'll remember: all of the amazing opportunities I was given while on the HC golf team, as well as what it was like to be on a team with such dedicated and passionate players.

I'm looking forward to: playing on the highly competitive scale and improving as much as I can in college.

Dan Watcke

University of Oregon, CC/track & field

I'll remember: the 4x8 from Nike nationals in 2023.

I'm looking forward to: competing at a higher level and building relationships with runners from across the country.

The Hinsdalean was unable to connect with these athletes prior to deadline.

• Angie Conley, University of Notre Dame, lacrossse

• Sean Lynch, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, football

• Gavin Myall, University of Louisville, rugby

• Reese Napier, Arizona State University, lacrosse

• Max Pavlik, Tufts University, baseball

• Tommy Webster, York College of Pennsylvania, lacrosse

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean