St. Margaret's Student-Athletes Commit to Top Colleges During Fall National Signing Period

St. Margaret's Episcopal School is proud to announce that senior student-athletes Maddie Barkate, Gracyn Benck, Kevin Groeninger, Ethan Hill, Niki Miles, Kelly Ramm, Alex Smith and Katie Stephens will continue their academic pursuits, as well as play their respective sport, at an impressive group of colleges and universities.

Maddie Barkate, Harvard University

Maddie Barkate, a member of St. Margaret's 2018 U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section Champion lacrosse team, will study and play lacrosse at NCAA Division-I Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Maddie was a 2018 U.S. Lacrosse All-American, First Team All-CIF selection, U.S. Lacrosse Notable Player of the Week, OC Register Player of the Week and selected to the Orange County National team delegation. Maddie compiled five goals and two assists and helped capture St. Margaret's first Southern Section Championship in 10 years this past May.

At the club level, Maddie was named Adrenaline All-American, Under Armour Underclass Notable player, Highlight and Command team selection.

Maddie also competes for the varsity basketball team at St. Margaret's.

Maddie has been a two-time Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipient and is a regular volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of San Juan Capistrano. Maddie also volunteers her time as a lacrosse coach.

Maddie intends on studying government at Harvard.

Gracyn Benck, The College of the Holy Cross

Gracyn Benck will continue her education and play volleyball at NCAA Division-I The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

Gracyn, a four-year varsity starter, led the Taran volleyball team with 478 kills and a .370 kill percentage in her senior campaign. Gracyn has been named an All-League selection in all four years of her St. Margaret's career, earning a Most Valuable Player nod in 2016.

At the club level, Gracyn was a member of the Junior Olympics 15's National Championship squad, a two-time bronze medalist at JVA 16's and 17's and qualified for 16's and 17's Open Junior Olympics.

Gracyn has volunteered her time at St. Margaret's summer volleyball camps, the Brookdale Senior Home and for Special Camp for Special Kids.

Gracyn intends on majoring in science at Holy Cross.

Kevin Groeninger, Bryant University

Kevin Groeninger will study and play lacrosse for NCAA Division-I Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

Kevin, a four-year varsity starter for the Tartan lacrosse team, has so far accumulated 297 career points, including 146 goals. Kevin has been named a two-time First Team All-County, two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American and 2018 OC Varsity and U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Player of the Year. Kevin served as team captain and led the Tartans to the U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Championship in 2018.

Kevin's club accomplishments include being named an Inside Lacrosse four-star recruit, being selected to the West Region Under Armour Underclass selection in 2016 and 2018, and was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes National teams in 2016 and 2018.

Kevin is also a member of the Tartan varsity soccer program where he is a two-year starter and 2017 First-Team All-League selection.

Kevin has volunteered with Special Camp for Special Kids and Atria Retirement Home.

Kevin plans on studying business at Bryant.

Ethan Hill, University of California, Los Angeles

Ethan Hill will study and play volleyball at NCAA Division-I University of California, Los Angeles.

Ethan has been a four-year member of the Tartan varsity volleyball team, having been named First Team All-League and First Team All-CIF in 2017 and 2018. Ethan was selected as League MVP in 2018.

Ethan was also a member of the 2016-2018 Junior National Championship teams, and was the starting middle blocker for the USA U19 National Team, taking second place at the NORCECA Championships in 2018 and qualifying for the Youth World Championships to take place n the summer of 2019.

Ethan volunteers his time with the residents at Brookdale Senior Living in San Juan Capistrano.

Ethan intends on majoring in business economics at UCLA.

Niki Miles, University of Pennsylvania

Niki Miles, a member of St. Margaret's 2018 U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section Champion lacrosse team, will continue her studies and play lacrosse at NCAA Division-I University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Niki, a First Team All-Orange County selection in 2018, will serve as a team captain for the Tartans in 2019. Niki led St. Margaret's in ground balls, interceptions and takeaways during the 2018 campaign.

Niki has also been selected to the Under Armour Underclass All-American and U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament teams in 2017 and 2018.

At St. Margaret's, Niki has also been an integral member of the Tartan basketball program as a junior and soccer program as a freshman and sophomore.

Niki has devoted her free time to volunteering as a youth lacrosse coach, participating in coaching clinics at the U-11, U-13 and U-15 levels.

Niki Intends to major in business in The Wharton School at Penn.

Kelly Ramm, Stanford University

Kelly Ramm will study and be a gymnast at NCAA Division-I Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.

Kelly, a South Coast Gymnastics team captain in 2018-2019, has been a member of the competitive team since age six. Kelly, in her fourth year at level 10, has been a state and regional qualifier in levels 8-10.

Kelly has been a member of the National Charity League since 2013 and is a recipient of the Ticktocker Service Award each year. Kelly has volunteered at Thomas House, Race for the Cure, Ticktocker Thrift shop as well as Special Camp for Special Kids.

Alex Smith, United States Naval Academy

Alex Smith will study and play baseball at The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Alex has been a starter and All-League selection for the Tartan baseball program for the past three years. Alex was named All-CIF in 2018 in recognition of his accomplishments during the spring season.

Alex is also a member of the Tartan varsity football team, playing defensive back and wide receiver.

Alex volunteers his time with Special Camp for Special Kids, having been a counselor of the past three summers.

Katie Stephens, University of Virginia

Katie Stephens will continue her studies and row at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

Katie has rowed in the U-18 Junior National Team and won gold in the U-19 category and earned silver in the Intermediate class at the Junior National Team Worlds. Katie, who picked up rowing as a sophomore, trains 18 hours a week for the Newport Sea Base.

Katie has volunteered her time at Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano and as an assistant at Learn to Row Camp in Newport Harbor.

Katie plans on majoring in cognitive science at Virginia.

“Having eight Division-I athletes commit during the first signing period of the year is a testament to the elevated work that has been happening on campus. The athletes, coaches, faculty and families have collaborated to form an incredibly supportive network and we are extremely proud of what they have accomplished,” said Director of Athletics Patrick Bendzick.
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