Ella Marin of Woodbridge and Raymond Lu of Orange were named the 2019-20 CAS-CIAS scholar athletes from Amity Regional High School. They are both members of the Class of 2020.
The CIAS award ceremony, which typically takes place in conjunction with a banquet at the Aqua Turf Club, this year was held virtually with pre-taped segments. Amity High School Principal Anna Mahon was the keynote speaker. The May 3 event was broadcast on Fox 61 and can now be viewed on the CAS-CIAC YouTube page.
The scholar-athlete program recognizes two high school seniors from each of the 183 member schools for academic excellence, athletic talent, sportsmanship and leadership on the field and in the classroom, said host Bob Picozzi, retired ESPN radio personality. UConn women’s basketball star Rebecca Lobo sent a congratulatory message.
Anna Mahon, an Olympic athlete in her own right, had an inspirational message on resilience for the students. She said she was not involved in organized sports until her high school years, at which point “being a college athlete became my goal,” she said. At the University of Vermont, she started where everyone else starts — the hammer throw, she said. “I was not good at it,” she admitted, but she kept on practicing until in her junior year she developed a knack for it.
Her biggest disappointment was when she did not qualify for the Olympics, but during the next round of qualifiers in 2004 she did. She realized that succeeding in sports was not about talent by any means, rather than going on when being knocked down.” Grounding yourself and resilience is where success comes from,” she said. “Things are not necessarily going according to plan,” Mahon said, but yet it’s good to have a plan. “Learning from setbacks is the most important thing.”
As for the two local honorees, they have exciting plans going forward.
Ella Marin, who played soccer since she was in elementary school, said she also ran long-distance and was part of the Amity ski team. Sports helped her create strong ties of friendships. She has been accepted to Dartmouth College, where she is interested in environmental science or a related field.
Raymond Lu, a swimmer, also started diving during his senior year. He plans to go into Environmental Science and Health at the University of Southern California. Both athletes hope to participate in club sports at college.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent