By Eli Ruiz
MONTICELLO On Thursday the Sullivan Striders Club held its 10th annual Scholarship Dinner at Albella Pizza and Restaurant in Monticello where five scholar athletes were honored with awards totaling $3,500.00.
The five beat out a total pool of 14 candidates, all of who had to meet certain requirements, which included achieving academic excellence as well as participating on school cross country or track teams. The winners were:
James Bernstein of Tri-Valley Central School plans to attend SUNY Oneonta where he was recruited to run on the school’s cross country and track teams. Bernstein won the individual Division IV cross country title in 2010 and also the Section IX cross country championship in 2011 among many other accomplishments.
Christine Donnelly who was Eldred's Salutatorian for 2012 will be attending Sacred Heart University on an athletic scholarship. At Eldred, Donnelly was on the varsity and indoor track teams from grades 8-12, varsity outdoor track from grades 7-12 and served as captain for all three sports her senior year.
Among her many athletic accomplishments, Donnelly also received the Scholar Athlete Award her senior year for cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She is very active in her CYO group and helps out at the local food pantry. Donnelly was named the Sullivan Striders Club top female scholarship award winner this year.
Amanda Bertholf of Liberty High-School will be attending Middlebury College in Vermont and was recruited to participate on the varsity track team. An all-around athlete, Bertholf participated on Liberty’s ski, soccer, indoor/outdoor track and girls’ basketball teams. Bertholf, though, is much more than just a gifted athlete she is also an honor student, musician, vocalist and theatrical performer.
Rachel Deppa from Sullivan West High-School is headed to SUNY Brockport and has been running for more than six years and race walking for four years. Deppa medaled in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) four times in race walking and won sectionals form 10th through 12th grade.
She was the first female from Sullivan West to ever qualify for the state championship in indoor track and placed 27th at Nationals in race walking her senior year. She was the Section IX, Class B, champion three times in race walking and broke the school record with a time of 7 minutes and 35 seconds in the 1,500 meters.
Erica Concors from Monticello High-School could not attend Thursday's ceremony as she was participating in college orientation at Binghamton University. Concors was a member of the varsity cross country and track teams since the 9th grade and has been named a scholar athlete in cross country and skiing from 9th to 12th grade. Concors was named the OCIAA Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year her senior year and has won the Carol Drobysh Award for Excellence in Academics and Athletics.