Ungvarsky, Black, Benites, Stepnowski and Blamon Move On to Compete at Division I Colleges

George Rider, Staff Writer

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*Advisor’s Note – Reprinted from June 2017 printed edition.

Here at CHS we have many great athletes. When you have a slew of talented athletes in your high school you’re bound to draw attention from colleges.

This year Cinnaminson High School has fi ve athletes moving onto Division 1 athletics: Andrea Benites; Mike Ungvarsky; Lily Black; Frank Stepnowski; and Prisca Blamon.

Andrea Benites is continuing her athletic career at Rider University where she will be running
track. “It didn’t hit me until this spring season when I realized how much harder it was going to be,” Andrea said about becoming a D1 athlete, “from being beyond average in high school, but in college everyone is just like you talent-wise. Being a completely different team is nerve wrecking but I know coach Moore has prepared me for it,” Andrea said.

Andrea was a big contributor in the team’s success throughout this whole season. “I’ve only ever ran track for the high school so it’s the only experience I have. Running in State meets have mentally
and physically prepared me for college. My coaches have never failed to build me strong for big races.”

It’s hard to jump into college athletics if you aren’t prepared but Andrea thinks
she’s ready for any obstacles.

“Dmo being my coach,mentor, and role model has taught me the most during high school. He showed me how to not think too much and have fun on the track and always reminds me why I do track,” Andrea said.

Frank Stepnowski is continuing his athletic career  at Duquesne University where he will be throwing
for the Dukes.

“It’s shocking to become a Division 1 athlete to be honest, most of my life when I’ve mentioned D1, I was told that I don’t have the size, speed, or strength for that level of athletics but now I’m here, I beat the
odds and it feels amazing,” Frank said.

Frank helped the track team go 5-0 this season.

“High school sports have definitely prepared me for college athletics, in both sports (track and football). I was extremely regimented in my practices, lifts, film and meets. So I can imagine the level of intensity in college athletics won’t be a major shift after this,” Frank said.

Frank was a big part of not just track, but football as well. He was one of the key players on the roster this season for both sports.

“The parenting and the coaching I’ve received throughout my life is unparalleled. My parents raised me to be an individual and set the bar for the rest, not listen to what everyone else says. And my coaches made me relentless. They’ve helped me achieve goals that someone my size should never be able to achieve, they made me into the athlete I am today and I’m forever grateful,” Frank declared.

Mike Ungvarsky is continuing his athletic career at Duke University where he will be running
track.

“It has been a goal of mine to compete in college since middle school so fulfilling that goal is pretty
incredible. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be able to compete on that level so I take a lot of pride in being able to compete D1,” Mike said.

Mike was one of the best long distant runners around our area, he helped the team to a 5-0 record.

“High school sports has prepared me through the team aspect. That relationship I have with the people I give my all with day in and day out is like no other and it will be the same in college. The work ethic in high school carries over to college,” Mike said.

Mike had a lot of people help him get to where he is now.

“My coaches definitely helped me get to where I am now. Without Mr. Fourney and Mr. Callinan I wouldn’t be the caliber runner I am. Also my family for the support and how much they put into my
pursuit of athletics,” Mike said proudly.

Prisca Blamon will continue her athletic career at Monmouth University where she will be doing track.

“It’s a big accomplishment for me but it’s scary because it’s the highest level of competition,” Prisca said.

Transitioning from high school to college athletics can be nerve wrecking for some athletes.

“I feel as though high school sports have prepared me for college because it gave me a taste of what I’m getting myself into. High school sports have pushed me mentally and physically and have also caused me to be more self-motivated which I will need for my college career,” Prisca said.

Prisca was a great performer for track this season and also helped the girls to a 5-0 record.

“My coaches and teammates have helped to come this far. Mr. Kind and Dmo have always pushed me and told me that I have the potential to make it far and with their help I have improved greatly over the
last four years. My teammates have pushed me during workouts and lifts to test the limits and all that combined has turned to two school records and two sectional titles. So I thank them the most for not only the athlete I am today but the person I am too.”

Lily Black will continue her athletic career at Rutgers University where she will be a part of the swim team.

“I am really excited to become a D1 athlete. It has always been my goal ever since I was child. I’m nervous; but, ready for the commitment as well. Especially since I’m going into the Big 10, where some Olympians have come out of, I know that the competition will be fierce and intense.”

Lily was one of the top performers on the Cinnaminson swim team.

“I feel like high school sports have prepared me for college because I know how to manage my time as best as I can. For example, with at least 3 hours of practice everyday after school I only have so much time after school I only have so much time to do homework, eat dinner and go to bed before 10 so
that I’m rested enough forthe next day of training and school. It has also taught me what hard work feels like and that you get out what you put in,” Lily said.

Lily has multiple people she thanks for helping her get to where she is today.

“I would say that my coaches and teachers got me to where I am today. Without them pushing me I know that I would’ve slacked off and wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have. But I also wouldn’t
be where I am now without myself. No one gives themselves credit because I know I could have easily quit and just gave up but I kept going because my goal was to swim for a D1 college,” Lily said.

Having five Division one athletes come out of your school is a huge accomplishment for everyone involved in sports for the school. Cinnaminson High School has a great sports program with many of the sports in the school being successful and upcoming. With four out of the five division athletes being a part of track it shows a lot about how good they are.

Indoor Head Coach and Outdoor Boy’s Assistant Coach, Mr. Kind, had this to say about the four
track athletes, “All four kids have worked extremely hard to get to the point where they can compete
at this level in college. All four of them can be extremely successful if they work as hard in college as
they did in high school. I am sure they’ll represent Cinnaminson High School proudly.”

*Advisor’s Note – story originally run in June 2017 printed edition of newspaper.  PDF version can be found here – http://chs.cinnaminson.entest.org/ourpages/users/kindc/Final%20Copy%20-%20June%202017%20Issue.pdf

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