Athletics Hall of Fame
The Athletics Hall of Fame spotlights the very best of the many remarkable individuals and teams from The Hill School’s storied past, linking the past to the present and inspiring current Hill student-athletes, coaches, and teams to further greatness.
Curt Alitz broke many of the distance running records at The Hill. During cross country season, Alitz broke The Hill’s school record by 50 seconds and broke the course record on every course he raced. In outdoor track, Alitz was undefeated in the one and two mile runs. He ran in the marathon in the 1974 Penn Relays, finishing second overall. Alitz was also an accomplished swimmer, being a member of the Trophy Room 1973-74 swimming team that finished with an 11-1 overall record and placed sixth at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Championships.
Chris Bala was the leading scorer on The Hill’s varsity hockey team during both of his seasons at Hill, averaging more than two points-per-game in his career. Bala made his professional ice hockey debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League in 2001-02. In his rookie season, Bala was named an AHL All-Star and earned a call-up from the Ottawa Senators, playing six games in the National Hockey League.
The Reverend John Bensinger became head varsity soccer coach in 1985. In just his fourth season as head coach, Bensinger guided the 1988 team to an undefeated 18-0-1 season, the only undefeated season in the program’s modern history. The 1988 team set several program records that stood until 2013, including single-season wins, most goals for in a season, and fewest goals allowed in a season.
Frank Bissell was captain of the undefeated 1932 football team and the inter-form wrestling champion during his sixth form year at The Hill, and then went on to have an outstanding wrestling career at The University of Michigan. He became the head wrestling coach of The Hill School wrestling team in 1947, and by his retirement in 1973 he had amassed a career record of 243-66-5 and guided the wrestling team to 17 Prep National Championships.
Jodi was a member of the inaugural girls’ water polo team in 2000 and helped get the program off the ground. Upon her graduation, Jodi was the program’s career scoring leader by a wide margin, a record that would not be surpassed for more than a decade. In 2002, Jodi was selected as a member of the All-American Interscholastic Water Polo Team. Jodi won the Hill Athletic Award for swimming in 2001-02 and Water Polo in 2002-03.
As a fifth former, Carr set a school and state record in the javelin with a throw of 173-1, making him the ninth farthest thrower in U.S. high school history at that point in time. In 1924 he blossomed in the vault, setting three state records and eventually clearing 12-9 to win the Eastern Olympic Trials, becoming the third-highest high school vaulter in U.S. history in the process. His school record in the pole vault stood for 38 years. He qualified for the 1928 Olympics and won the gold medal in the pole vault.
Ken Clausen was a four-year letter winner on the football and boys’ lacrosse teams, and was team captain of both during his sixth form year. He was a three-time All-MAPL selection on the lacrosse team and was an All-American in 2006. After graduating from The Hill, Clausen embarked on a storied lacrosse career at the University of Virginia. In 2010, Clausen was an All-ACC selection. He won the Schmeisser Cup, given to the top defenseman in the NCAA, and he was a USILA Scholar All-American.
Henry Colbath coached varsity track from 1910-1952, a span unrivaled by any other coach at The Hill. He produced many championship teams and winners of the Interscholastics. He developed individuals who became record-breakers of Olympians. Some of his greatest performers were developed from mediocrity or even complete inexperience. To Henry, track was more than a competitive sport; it was something intensely human and personal.
Blackie Costin earned 11 out of a possible 12 varsity letters during his four years as a Hill student. Costin was a strong two-way player during his three seasons of varsity football and was one of the team’s leading scorers during his final two seasons. On the ice, Costin was a four-year starter on some of the strongest teams of the Ned Hall era. In his four years on the tennis courts, Costin worked his way up the ladder and mostly played at the number two position in 1965 and the first half of 1966 before moving up to number one for the second half of his sixth form season.