Athletic Hall of Fame
The Athletic Hall of Fame honors those in our Stuart community who have made a significant achievement in their sport and who exemplify the principles of sportsmanship and those in the goals and criteria of Sacred Heart Schools.
On Saturday, May 5 we were thrilled to induct two more inspiring athletes into Stuart's Athletic Hall of Fame. Thomas Harrington was the founding coach of the Stuart cross country program at the Middle School level in 1996 and coached championship cross country and track teams while at Stuart. Lauren Morford '03 was a two-time Mercer County Swimming championship finalist while in high school at Stuart before our school had a swim team. She went on to become an Ivy League champion at Columbia University and later swam in trials for both the Olympics and the World Championship teams. Scroll down to read about the accomplishments of the other incredible athletes inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Coach Thomas Harrington began his tenure at Stuart in fall 1996, when he became the founding coach of the Stuart cross country program at the Middle School level. The 1998 season was the first for the Stuart varsity team, which won the Patriot Conference championship on its way to seven consecutive Patriot Conference championships. Coach Harrington was a patient, encouraging coach who knew each of his athletes well and led his teams to much success: Middle School cross country went 60-0 against other girls teams; varsity cross country won seven Patriot Conference championships and six Prep-B State championships; and varsity track garnered three Patriot Conference championships and three Prep-B State championships.
Lauren Morford ’03 was a two-time Mercer County Swimming championship finalist while in high school at Stuart, before our school had a swim team. She was a four-year varsity swimmer at Columbia University where she was team MVP in 2004 and 2007 and captain senior year. Lauren was the 2004 Ivy League champion in the 1000-yard freestyle, a nine-time Ivy League finalist, and the 2006 recipient of the Tina Steck Award for having the greatest impact both in and out of the pool. Lauren swam in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials and the 2009 and 2011 U.S. World Championship Trials for the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle.
In 2017, three powerful women were inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Val Van Horn Pate '81, a four-sport collegiate varsity athlete; Barb Van Horn Yocum '81, who earned 12 varsity letters and All American Lacrosse honors in college; and Sarah Driscoll Kuchar '01, Yale's all-time leading point scorer in field hockey. All three women are tremendous leaders both on and off the field.
Val participated in field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse while at Stuart. After graduating, Val attended St. Lawrence University, where she was one of only a few athletes in the school's history to participate on four varsity teams in the same academic year: field hockey, ice hockey, swimming, and lacrosse. Among her many accomplishments and leadership positions, Val was named Senior Female Athlete of the Year in the class of 1985, and was inducted in the St. Lawrence University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Barb participated in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse while at Stuart. At Denison University she earned 12 varsity letters in the sports of field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse. Barb served as captain of the swim team for two years and the lacrosse team for one, and she competed in nationals in all three of her sports. Among her many accomplishments, Barb was named an All-American in Lacrosse. Barb was inducted into the Denison University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
Sarah participated in field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse at Stuart, earning High School All-American honors in lacrosse. Sarah went on to attend Yale University, where she was a 4-year varsity letter earner in both field hockey and lacrosse. She was Yale's all-time leading point scorer in field hockey and was named Second Team All-American in field hockey and First Team Regional All-American in lacrosse. At her graduation in 2005 from Yale, Sarah was named Female Athlete of the Year.
The first inductees were honored on September 14, 2013, as part of Stuart's 50th Anniversary celebrations.
The 1979 Stuart Varsity Basketball Team
The 1979 Stuart Varsity Basketball Team won the Division A New Jersey Independent Schools State Championship, defeating Oak Knoll School, 58-48. The team avenged a crushing defeat the in the previous state finals to win Stuart’s first state basketball title. The high scorers of the final 1979 game, Cynthia McVay ’79 (17 points) and Shelley Hearne ’79 (14 points), were also named to the All-State and All-American teams. Along the road to victory, the Stuart Varsity Basketball Team defeated Princeton Day School (35-28) and The Newman School (51-50). Earlier in the season, Stuart also defeated Princeton High School, a significant achievement.
The players on this championship team are honored for their commitment, dedication, and contribution to Stuart Athletics.
The 1979 State Champion Team:
Ann Marie Krystaponis Barnwell ’79
Gabrielle DiBianco ’80
Shelley Hearne ’79
Christine Leahy ’82
Cynthia McVay ’79
Theresa McKee Sayia ’79
Julie Stockman-Burke ’80
Carolyn Moran Zack ’80
Coach Gordon Stevenson
Carrol Florkiewicz is a legend at Stuart. For 30 years she taught, coached, inspired, and sent young women off with a drive to succeed in athletics and life.
Under the leadership of Mrs. Florkiewicz, the Stuart athletics program grew from recreational activities to a competitive program with five varsity sports. Many of her students went on to compete at the college level.
During her tenure as athletic director, the mighty Stuart Tartans won their first state titles, including the 1979 basketball championship. Mrs. Florkiewicz taught her athletes that the basics are a foundation for greatness, she taught them the rules, and she taught them how to be their best.
The 1995 yearbook dedication reads, “From you we have gained strength: strength of body, strength of mind, strength of purpose, and strength of conviction.”
Gia Fruscione-Loizides ’96
Gia Fruscione-Loizides ’96 was the goalkeeper on four Stuart state championship field hockey teams. Halfway through her high school career, and having participated in national tournaments, Gia was selected to the United States national team, representing the USA in the Netherlands as a member of the Under-16 Team.
Two years later Gia missed her graduation from Stuart to compete with the USA Under-21 Team in the Netherlands and competed in the Junior Pan American Games in Sanitago, Chile the following year.
Amidst her national career, Gia went on to play at Princeton University, leading Princeton Field Hockey twice to the Final Four for the first time in the school’s history. Gia competed in field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse at Stuart, was a competitive downhill ski racer, and while at Princeton played at the Division I Varsity Level in both field hockey and ice hockey.
She received All-State and All-American honors throughout her field hockey career. Gia coaches field hockey at Stuart and for the Spirit Eagles Elite Field Hockey Club in New Jersey.
New honorees will be selected in 2017.
The Athletic Hall of Fame honors women in our Stuart community who have made a significant achievement in their sport and who exemplify the principles of sportsmanship and those in the goals and criteria of Sacred Heart Schools.
Stuart recognizes the contributions of all its athletes throughout its history. It is the mission of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee to induct, over a period of time, all deserving athletes as described in the criteria for selection. It is not the intent, nor the mission of the Athletic Hall of Fame to determine the best athlete of athletes in a particular sport or in the general athletic history of the school.
- The criteria for nomination of an athlete:
- The nominee must be out of high school for ten years.
- The nominee must have graduated from Stuart.
- The nominee must have competed in their sport for Stuart.
- The nominee must have made a significant achievement in their sport. This may have taken place at the high school, collegiate, national, or international level.
- Head varsity coaches must have been employed by Stuart for a minimum of five years.
- Athletic Directors must have been in the position for a minimum of five years.
- The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the athletic department over an extended period of time.
- Nominees must not be currently employed at the position for which they are being nominated.