Gunn signing day: Moving forward in athletics, academics
Zoe Banks intends to continue the Gunn pipeline at goalkeeper for the Harvard women’s water polo team.
The Crimson’s current goalie is Gunn grad Sam Acker. Banks, who was honored Thursday along with 20 other Gunn seniors heading off to play collegiate athletics, will back up Acker, who Banks refers to as her best friend, next season, then take over in the cage for the Crimson.
“The team is focused on getting better,’’ said Banks, who plans to major in psychology at the renowned campus in Cambridge, Mass. “It’s a great coaching staff and the team has a lot of potential.’’
How did a couple of goalkeepers from Gunn end up at Harvard? Head coach Ted Minnis is certainly familiar with the area. He attended high school at Menlo-Atherton and coached at Castilleja and M-A before taking over both the men’s and women’s water polo teams at Harvard.
Both of his assistant coaches also have ties to the area. Cassie Churnside is a Stanford grad and Cory Olcott has coached at Stanford and Menlo School.
The other Gunn seniors who were recognized in the ceremony at Titan Gym included Joyce Shea, track and field/cross country, UC Santa Barbara; Rhys Tracy, volleyball, UC Santa Barbara; Emma Chiao, track and field, Swarthmore; Abby Twoy, track and field/cross country, UC Santa Cruz; Cleo Goodwin, basketball/track and field, De Anza College; Oliver Qin, track and field, Carnegie Mellon; Richard Yu, track and field, Rochester Institute of Technology; Natalie Hill, soccer, UC Santa Barbara; Chloe Gong, basketball, Chapman; Jack Mallery, water polo, Pomona; Shiva Bucklin, baseball, Grinnell; Lydia Tsai, golf, Washington University-St. Louis; Nick Lang, football, Lewis and Clark; Cooper Smith, soccer, Santa Clara; DJ Barnes, football, College of San Mateo; Max Beard, wrestling, Ohio Wesleyan; Andy Zhou, golf, Brown; Andrea Garcia-Milla, lacrosse, George Fox; Allison Cheng, fencing, Tufts; Angelica Kolar, track and field, Chapman.
The Gunn girls basketball team had a tough time of it this past season, but Gong was a bright spot, a standout who led the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game.
The 5-foot-3 guard knocked down 42 3-pointers and shot 71 percent on 129 attempts from the free-throw line.
Gong plans of trying out for the team at Chapman, which went 23-5 last season and won the SCIAC championship.
“They’re pretty good,’’ said Gong, who plans on a psychology major. “It will be a good challenge for me.’’
Bucklin batted .405 playing first base for the Gunn baseball team. He doesn’t expect to play a lot his first year at Grinnell as the team has a returning senior first baseman in Menlo School grad Carson Gampell.
Attending college at the highly-regarded academic institution in Iowa will be a kind of homecoming for Bucklin, who was born in Muscatine, Iowa.
“It’s a super good school, I’m looking forward to it a lot,’’ said Bucklin, who plans on focusing on physics as a course of study on a pre-med track.