Lower School Athletes to Watch

Wren Fortunoff

While new to the Circle, Wren Fortunoff ’22 is by no means a stranger to the sport of cross-country. She ran in 7th and 8th grade at her old school and from the very start of girls varsity preseason has stood out as an exceptional runner at Groton. Thus far, she is placed first amongst her teammates, and in her second race of the season, Wren placed first overall out of 55 competitors. Results aside, co-captain Abby Kirk ’19 mentioned that Wren “always shows up to practice with a grin,” and “really works hard at every practice.” Cross country coach Mr. O’Donnell added, “It’s clear that Wren really loves running, and the tougher the terrain, or the bigger the challenge, the happier she seems.” So far, Wren holds a personal 5K record of 20:20, but hopes to break the 20:00 minute mark in the near future.

Tyler Weisberg

This time last year, Tyler Weisberg ’22 was ranked second to last on JV cross country, so it came as a bit of a surprise for him, and his teammates, to see him shoot up to rank second on varsity this fall. His record time this year (which he set at BB&N), is 17:03 — a seemingly unreachable time compared to his 26:00 minute record last year. Tyler attributes the discrepancy to running on the treadmill in the winter, the track & field program in the spring, and running in Maine over the summer. His hard work and focus on the sport does not go unnoticed. “Tyler is one of the most enthusiastic runners I have ever come across,” co-captain Leo McMahon ’19 said, “his success comes in large part from his formidable work ethic.” Cross country coach Mr. Capen mentioned that “he always runs the extra mile — literally,” referring to his common practice of running extra laps once the regular workout has finished. Tyler set a goal for himself to break 17:00, and while he is doubtful of its plausibility, on the upward trend he’s on, the day might not be far off.

Karenna Beckstein

Age has never limited Karenna Beckstein ’23, especially when it comes to playing soccer. She was first introduced to the sport when she was four.  At eight, she started playing for a club team in an age bracket two years above her before switching to her current club, F.C. Stars, in 5th grade. An incoming second-former, she found herself immediately starting in the left wing midfield position on Groton’s girls varsity team. Her impact on the field is evident: she can be seen weaving past defenders with her quick foot skills and driving strong shots towards the opposing goalie. Her coach, Mr. Spring, described her as “skilled and creative as an attacking player, yet … also tenacious and tough.” Co-captain Angelika Hillios ’19 added, “She’s just relentless. Always going after every ball and never giving up.” Looking forward to the rest of this season, Karenna said she hopes to score a goal, adding that in the long-term, she aspires to play soccer at a Division I college.