Feb. 16, 2017
WASHINGTON - When Rory Quirk (C'65, G'71, L'80) began his introductions for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony this past weekend, he remarked on the tremendous accomplishments of the inductees.
In doing so, he referenced Lou Little, the former Hoya Head Football Coach and an inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame member. Little, who also coached at Columbia and is a member of its Hall of Fame and has a game played between the schools bearing a trophy with his name, was asked how he defined excellence. His response, as Quirk noted in his introduction, was something that was to describe the class of Georgetown athletes being inducted that night.
Regarding excellence, Little said this: "The real test is whether a person is good enough to get everything there is out of a game, and out of life."
The 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame induction class included individuals who were captains five times, six team most valuable players, five Georgetown career record holders, five postseason qualifiers, one BIG EAST Conference champion, four Dean's List members, one Penn Relays champion, three All-American performers with multiple year recognition and three Olympians or national team members.
The inductees include the first-ever women's soccer inductee, Christina Bruner (C'98), track and field champion Bryan Woodward (C'97), tennis star Christopher DiCarlo (C'97), field hockey standout Lori Sousa (C'99), field hockey and lacrosse force Lauren Hilsky (C'98), all-star lacrosse goalie Christine Lindsey (B'98) and intercollegiate rowing medalists Gregory Johnson (C'95) and Michael Altman (F'97).
"When this group joined us as young people, they accepted an extraordinary responsibility--a commitment to competing at the very highest levels, and also of meeting rigorous standards of academic excellence...a commitment which requires perseverance, discipline and courage," Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said. "Some of our inductees joined our community as members of new athletics programs, others joined established programs, or programs in transition...And as you engaged in the work of formation, honoring your commitment to bring out the very best in yourselves and one another--as leaders, teammates, competitors--our Hilltop was transformed by your efforts. Your many contributions have helped to strengthen our community's commitment to excellence, and your accomplishments continue to inspire our young women and men engaged in intercollegiate athletics today."
Altman, the eighth member of the Athletic Hall of Fame from the sport of men's rowing and the sixth athlete from the 28-year tenure of former head coach Tony Johnson, was a member of varsity boats at Georgetown that captured gold medals at the Champion Collegiate Regatta. The 1996 heavyweight crew scored a first by reaching the finals of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship and then traveled to the Henley Royal Regatta and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Ladies Plate Challenge Cup. Altman, who earned a bachelor's degree from the School of Foreign Service, continued to row after college and was a member of the U.S. National Team, representing the country over 11 years in seven world championships and two Olympic Games.
Bruner is the first member of the Athletic Hall of Fame from the sport of women's soccer. She was the first player recruited to the Hilltop by the first coach at Georgetown, Leonel Popol, and joined a team that was in its second year as a varsity program. As part of a young program at Georgetown, she scored or assisted on more than one-third of the goals scored (44-of-123) during her career and was on the GU team that registered its first-ever conference win during her junior year, and then helped lead the team to a pair of BIG EAST wins as a senior. A four-year starter, captain and two-time offensive MVP, she graduated as the school's all-time leader in goals, assists and points and her records were not broken for another 11 years.
"It was one of the greatest honors of my life by far," Bruner said. "Being recognized by Georgetown, a place that has played such an instrumental role in my life, was overwhelming."
DiCarlo was a four-year varsity letterman and played No. 2 singles and doubles during his first year on the Hilltop. The next season, he took over the No. 1 singles and doubles positions and held those for the remainder of his career. Improving each year, he was ranked 30th in singles in the eastern regional Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings as a sophomore; as a junior, achieved an ITA doubles ranking of 11th in the East and won the ECAC Invitational Tournament with partner JonJon Chang. A two-time captain and the only three-time MVP, in his final two years DiCarlo participated in the ITA Grand Slam national tournaments events. He graduated from the College in 1997 as a government and economics major.
Hilsky, a two-sport athlete, is the third member of the Athletic Hall of Fame from women's lacrosse and the fourth from field hockey. She was among the nation's leaders in total goals and assists in 1997 in field hockey and smashed the school records for single season and career goals, assists and points as a senior. She played field hockey and lacrosse during her last three years on the Hilltop and guided the lacrosse team to the 1997 ECAC title and to its first-ever NCAA appearance in 1998. A high-scoring midfielder, Hilsky was named to several All-America teams and was presented with the Coaches' Award as a junior and senior.
"What a wonderful weekend," Hilsky Clegg said. "My family and I really had a wonderful time. It was one of those milestones in your life you will never forget. I am honored to be part of such a special group of athletes and coaches."
Johnson is the seventh member of the Athletic Hall of Fame from the sport of men's rowing and the fifth athlete from the 28-year tenure of former head coach Tony Johnson, his father. He came to Georgetown in 1991 and his freshman heavyweight eight enjoyed an undefeated season, capturing a gold medal at the Dad Vail Regatta, the small college national championship. The following year, Johnson finished in first in the varsity heavyweight pair event at the Princeton Chase and then was part of the boat that won a gold medal at the IRA Regatta in 1993, the second in program history. He spent his junior year abroad in Ireland, competing in the Henley Royal Regatta, and as a senior helped his varsity eight finish in first at the season-ending Champion Regatta.
Lindsey, who graduated with a degree in human resources from the School of Business, was widely regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders ever to play the sport of women's lacrosse. She came to campus and was a starter, setting Georgetown records for saves and save percentage and helping the team to the ECAC Championship game while being named an honorable mention All-American. In her final three years, the team was ranked among the top-10 teams in the country, captured the 1997 ECAC Championship and earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Lindsey was a two-time team MPV and earned first team All-America honors in each of her last three years and was named the 1998 Division I Goalkeeper of the Year. She finished her career as GU's all-time leader in saves sand save percentage and still holds two NCAA records, the single-season mark for save percentage and total saves.
.A three-time Academic All-America selection in field hockey, Sousa graduated from the College in 1999 with a degree in English. Sousa started immediately and began her assault on the Georgetown record book, setting a school record for wins with 12 as a sophomore. She graduated as the all-time record holder for single-season saves (345), save percentage (.898) as well as total wins (39) and save percentage (.858). A team captain and unsung hero awardee, Sousa led the team in 1996 and 1997 to the most victories in school history.
"The speech I prepared for the Hall of Fame ceremony began with profuse thanks to the selection committee for this incredible honor," Sousa said. "Except when I got up there, and heard Mr. Quirk say the line about our names being "enshrined as the greatest in the history of the University...," it was all I could do to hold back tears! So please accept my belated "THANK YOU!" for this truly incredible honor.
"From the time I received the good news from Pat McArdle in October, the only word I can use to describe this honor is "overwhelming." I'm the type of person who sets a goal, tries to do my best and then I move on; I don't like to dwell or rest on the past. So to me this experience was, in part, permission to reflect on all of the great times, great people and great accomplishments during my time at Georgetown. My connection to the school, my feelings of gratitude and my awareness of my blessings have never been stronger."
Woodward, who earned a degree in psychology and Japanese from the College in 1997, was one of the leading middle distance and relay runners in Georgetown history. He helped lead the Hoyas to four IC4A indoor team titles and six BIG EAST team titles -- three indoor and three outdoor. In the indoor 800-meter event, he was a two-time individual champion and three-time IC4A champ. Woodward won the 800-meter outdoor title twice, was a two-time Penn Relay champion as a member of Georgetown's 4x800 and sprint medley relay teams and capped his collegiate career by winning the NCAA Championship in the 800 meters in 1997. An eight-time All-American performer, Woodward appeared in the 1995 and 1997 World University Games, won the USATF national title in the indoor 800 meters in 2000 and competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
"The induction was an emotional experience for me," Woodward said. "Nostalgic, humbling, disorienting, validating. I also found myself developing a fast camaraderie with my fellow inductees, just based upon the dinner and infrequent email banter from December-on (and hope it can continue - look me up if you're in the Silicon Valley/Bay area!).
"On the track side at least, I sense it's re-invigorated my and many track alumni's involvement with a re-energized program (Joe White may be breaking my almost 20-year school record in the outdoor 800m soon). Overall, I feel more connected to the university and am looking for meaningful involvement. If it wasn't conveyed this weekend, I'm riding on Cloud-9 for the honor. It's hard to process and articulate the pinnacle last weekend represented, so I'll just say with teary-eyed gratitude that I'll never forget it. Thank you again."