||On Saturday, January 26, numerous Hill School alumni and their families returned to campus for the annual Alumni Winter Games Day. The day’s schedule included standard Winter Games Day events: a family ice skating session, alumni games in basketball, ice hockey, and squash, and several home athletics contests in which alumni cheered on the current Blues teams.
In addition to the regular events, there were two special events on this year’s schedule: the unveiling of a mural celebrating 20 years of girls’ sports at The Hill and the dedication of new swimming starting blocks.
Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, the School is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first year of coeducation at The Hill in 1998-1999. To celebrate the athletics program, a large 10’ by 5’ mural featuring photos of female athletes and championship girls’ teams taken throughout the past 20 years was created and now hangs in the hallway leading to the Elizabeth J. and John J. McCaslin '42 Girls' Day Student and Female Faculty Locker Rooms.
During the ceremony unveiling the mural, Headmaster Zachary Lehman explained the significance of the mural and the reasoning behind its creation.
“I have always been impressed by our students’ knowledge of the School’s past and the way in which that past inspires them to write their own sections of our School’s history book,” Lehman said. “With this in mind, our goal was to create something that celebrates the first 20 years of girls’ sports at The Hill while serving as a daily reminder of our proud legacy for years to come. This mural does just that.”
Director of Athletics Seth Eilberg and Hill Alumnae Society President Ali Jacobs ’07 also shared brief remarks.
Earlier in the day, six newly installed starting blocks were dedicated prior to the swimming and diving meet against Salesianum School and Ursuline Academy. The Lewis family generously donated the new set of blocks, which are a significant upgrade to the previous set.
“The new blocks are much more advanced than our old set,” said Hill Aquatics Director Amy Agnew. “The larger, powder-coated platform allows swimmers to maintain better grip and balance on the blocks and fits swimmers of all sizes. Additionally, swimmers can choose to grip the front of the block or the side hand rails depending on their preference so that they can achieve the most power on their dive. We were able to get a newer feature that not many blocks have yet, the foot ‘chock,’ which can give swimmers an edge to get off the block faster. The backstroke handles are welded to the rest of the block so that no movement is possible, and they have comfortable grips for a secure hand position on the back start. Finally, each block sports Hill’s color scheme and clearly designates the lane number, something that was missing on the old blocks.”
Throughout the day, there were eight home athletics contests. In the first event of the day, the boys’ and girls’ swimming teams split results, with the girls’ defeating Ursuline 109-58 and the boys’ falling to Salesianum 98-72. On the hardwood, all five Hill basketball teams took on MAPL-foe Mercersburg Academy, with four of the five teams posting victories. And, finally, the boys’ and girls’ ice hockey teams faced The Gunnery, with the girls’ winning 4-1 and the boys’ dropping a 5-1 decision.