Four seniors sign Division I/II NCAA National Letters of Intent

four students

Congratulations to four Minisink Valley seniors who have signed Division I/II NCAA National Letters of Intent (NLI):

student with administrators, board member and coaches

Division I

student with familyZouhair Elsibai, Track & Field, Sacred Heart University
Coach:  Todd Derkacz

“Zouhair has proven to be one of the most versatile runners on our roster during his scholastic career,” said Coach Derkacz. “As at home, running a leg of the mile relay as he is running the mile run, he has qualified for and competed at two national championships and at the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival. The consummate teammate, Zouhair is as easy-going and empathic off the track as he is passionate for competition on it.”

Zouhair is a high honor roll student, a member of the National Honor Society and a NYSPHSAA scholar athlete. Having participated in multiple dual enrollment and AP courses while in high school, Zouhair has been accepted into the Sacred Heart University Honors Program.

student with familyGavin Rossi, Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field, Monmouth University
Coaches: Christopher Ruckdeschel and Todd Derkacz

“Gavin won nine out of 10 cross-country dual meets in his junior and senior year,” said Coach Ruckdeschel. “He finished in the ‘Top 5’ in five out of six invitationals. Gavin won the Section IX Class A cross-country championship race this year, the first runner in program history to do so. In addition, he set the school record for the 5k in that race, running 15:41, which is 5:04 per mile. He finished 12th in the Class A State Championship race.

He added: “Gavin is the best cross-country runner in Minisink Valley history. I have worked with him for three years as a coach, and I am impressed by his consistency, his honesty, and his humility.”

Coach Derkacz agreed, also adding: “Gavin will graduate in June as among the most decorated athletes in the history of the cross country and track & field programs at Minisink. He is a two-time NYSPHSAA qualifier in cross-country and indoor track, as well as a two-event qualifier in outdoor track. He has also qualified for and participated in five national championship competitions across the indoor and outdoor seasons. He currently holds nearly a dozen program records, with two months of his scholastic career left to run. Gavin is the perfect intersection of natural ability, work ethic and passion for competition, the athlete with whom every coach dreams of having the honor and privilege to work.”

Division II

student with familyJayden Beck, Track & Field, Lynn University
Coach: James Beck

“Jayden’s journey in varsity track & field began in eighth-grade, where she swiftly emerged as a pivotal contributor, consistently securing top scores for our team at division meets, said Coach Beck. “Her success continued as she clinched the title of division champion four times. Jayden honed her skills to become a field event captain. She is also the school record holder for the indoor long jump. Additionally, she is a two-time field event MVP.”

Coach Beck added: “Jayden’s dedication goes beyond athletics. She’s excelled academically, consistently making the honor roll throughout high school. She’s also been instrumental in our team’s scholar-athlete achievements over the years.”

student with familyEmma Pollock, Cross Country, University of New Haven
Coach: Ed Sucich

“Emma is a two-year captain, with two personal records in the last two championship meets,” said Coach Sucich.  “She has the fastest time run by a girls team member in the last four years at her final section championship race with 20:31.”

He added: “Academically, Emma is in the ‘Top 20’ of the senior class, High Honor Roll, C-tech High Honor Roll, National Honor Society Member, National Technical Honor Society and is the Temple Beth Shalom Volunteer of the Year.”