These outstanding Vermont high school athletes left their mark in 2021-22 (2023)

Alex Abrami,Jacob RousseauBurlington Free Press

With our annual features on the Vermont high school athletes of the year posted, now it's time to giveproper credit to other outstanding performances and accomplishments from the 2021-22 year.

Here are a batch of standouts — 10 girls, 10 boys — who also caught our attention in the fall, winter and spring months:

STANDOUT GIRLS

Hattie Barker, Mount Mansfield Union High School

The MMU senior retained her individual crowns at the Division I Nordic skiing state championships in February, sweeping the classic and freestyle races to lead the Cougars to a runner-up team finish. In the fall, Barker was a key midfielder for the Cougars' girls soccer team, earning spots on the Metro coaches' first team and the D-I coaches' all-state squad. This spring, Barker placed in two events with a pair of personal-best runs in the 1,500 and 800 at the D-I track and field state meet. Barker also placed third at U.S. junior cross-country skiing nationals in the 5k freestyle 18-under division.

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Autumn Carstensen, Rice Memorial High School

Carstensen closed out her career in style last month, winning the decathlon state crown. She also won two events (100 hurdles, high jump) in a 36-point day at D-II track and field states to push Rice to second place in the team standings and was a defenseman on the Green Knights' lacrosse team. In the winter, she was a member of Rice's first girls basketball title team in 11 years and won high jump at the indoor track championships. Carstensen also landed on the Lake Division coaches' second team in soccer as Rice seized its second D-II crown in three years.

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Tess Everett, Champlain Valley Union High School

A tireless worker, the junior took big strides in the midfield for CVU field hockey, a D-I semifinalist, to earn a spot on the Free Press all-state first team. She also landed on the BFP honorable-mention team in hockey as a forward for the CougarHawks and was named a D-I coaches' all-state first-team pick in midfield for CVU lacrosse, which reached the semifinals.

Caitlyn Fielder, U-32 High School

The junior shined in a trio of sports for the East Montpelier school. She landed on the Free Press all-state honorable-mention squads in field hockey and hockey, the latter after tallying 23 goals and 28 assists to increase her career point total to 94. In lacrosse, Fielder played in the midfield and was selected to the first team for D-II coaches' all-state.

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Caroline Hamilton, Hartford High School

A four-year starter in field hockey, Hamilton piled up 14 goals and 10 assists in the fall to earn a Twin State selection and a spot on Free Press all-state first team as a forward. In the winter, Hamilton nabbed third in the 55-meter hurdles and long jump at the indoor track state meet. Also the senior class president at Hartford, Hamilton wrapped her career by surpassing 100 career points and earning All-American honors for the Hurricanes' girls lacrosse team, which captured its first state title.

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Loghan Hughes, BFA-St. Albans

Hughes excelled in five sports this school year. She won the D-I XC running title in the fall, setting multiple course records along the way, landed on the D-I coaches' all-state honorable-mention squad in Nordic skiing and won the the 1,500 and 3,000 at the indoor track state meet. In lacrosse, Hughes repeated as an All-American and broke the program's career scoring record to lead the Comets to their first D-I state crown. In outdoor track, the UConn-bound Hughes garnered the state's Gatorade award after winning the 1,500 and 3,000 at D-I states, placing second in the 1,600 at New England and winning the two mile in the Rising Stars division at New Balance Nationals.

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Maggie McKearin, Proctor High School

The multi-sport star from tiny Proctor, McKearin racked up 45 goals and 21 assists to lead the undefeated Phantoms to a D-IV soccer three-peat. She finished her career with 130 goals, fourth most in state history, and 72 assists. In the winter, the 5-foot-4 McKearin averaged 27.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 5.4 steals a game during the regular season and made the BFP all-state second team as Proctor reached the D-IV state final. In the spring, McKearin switched to catcher for Proctor softball and earned a SVL honorable-mention nod from the coaches.

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Kathryn Moore, Rutland High School

Moore collected 12 shutouts in net, nine of them during a nine-game winning streak, for the Rutland girls soccer team, which reached the D-I semifinals. Moore, who finished with 63 saves against 76 shots over 17 games, was named the goalie for the Free Press all-state first team. For Rutland basketball, Moore averaged 11 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals a game to earn a spot on the Free Press all-state honorable-mention list. In lacrosse, Moore was a D-I coaches' second-team pick as an attacking player.

Elliot Rupp, Windsor High School

The lefty point guard who ignited Windsor's run-and-gun offense, Rupp averaged 13.3 points and 3.8 rebounds a game while leading the team in assists (4.9) and steals (3.6) in their march to the D-III state championship. Rupp was named to the Free Press all-state second team. In soccer, Rupp was a D-III coaches' all-state selection, and in the spring Rupp played for Hartford and picked up D-II coaches' all-state first-team honors to help the Hurricanes to their first state title.

Sophie Zemianek, BFA-St. Albans

After landing on the D-I coaches' all-state team in soccer, Zemianek fulfilled a years-long goal by being named Free Press Miss Hockey. On the ice, Zemianek was the vocal leader who tallied 21 goals and 22 assiststo finish with the most career points (88) for a defenseman in program history. The Comets also completed the program's first perfect season after edging rival Spaulding in the D-I final. In the spring, Zemianek helped BFA to its first lacrosse championship and garnered D-I all-state first-team honors by the coaches.

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STANDOUT BOYS

Ryan Canty, Champlain Valley

As one of the best linebackers in the state, Canty captained the Redhawks’ defense while averaging more than five tackles per game. In the process he received Free Press all-state and coaches’ league first-team nods. In the spring, Canty was the Metro co-pitcher of the year and hit in the four-hole for the Redhawks. Canty also played on the CVU hockey team.

Dominic Craven, White River Valley

The senior won championships in basketball and baseball and was a SVL coaches’ first-team selection in both sports. Craven was a Free Press honorable mention standout in basketball. He also played soccer in the fall and was a coaches’ all-state selection.

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Hayden Gaudette, Mount Anthony

Gaudette, a Free Press honorable mention all-state defensive lineman, was a standout on both sides of the ball for the Division II runners-up this year. The senior starred on the wrestling mat and was a three-time state champion with more than 150 victories. His win in the 220-pound weight class sealed MAU’s state title. A stout goalie, Gaudette is committed to American International College to play lacrosse this fall.

Matt Merrill, BFA-St. Albans

A two-time captain for Toby Ducolon and BFA-St. Albans hockey, Merrill was a second team Free Press all-state selection. The senior was also a BFP honorable mention selection in soccer and in the spring played lacrosse for the Bobwhites.

Everett Mosher, Green Mountain

The senior forward eclipsed 100 goals for his career after pouring in 40 and adding 13 assists this fall. As a Free Press first-team all-state soccer selection, Mosher was just the sixth boys player in Vermont history to cross the century mark. He was also a SVL coaches’ all-league selection in basketball and on the track he won the D-IV individual titles in the 1,500, 800 and 400.

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Slade Postemski, Rutland

A football standout at all facets of the game, Postemski caught 46 passes for 776 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Raiders. He also had 40 tackles and four INTs and was a potent kicker. Postemski, the Free Press football player of the year, will compete at Bowdoin College next fall. The gridiron isn’t the only place he shines. For runner-up Rutland basketball, Postemski was a Free Press all-state honorable mention pick. And in the outdoor track and field, he seized first place in the long jump and fourth in shot put at the D-I state meet.

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Tarin Prior, Hartford

Prior’s standout senior year was solidified with SVL coaches’ all-league first-team selections in football, basketball and lacrosse. Prior, the Hurricanes’ netminder, tallied 10 saves in the championship loss to Rice and in the fall was a receiving threat for the football team. His four touchdowns on five receptions to start the fall season earned him Free Press athlete of the week honors. Prior also shined for the Hurricanes' basketball team.

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Walker Root, Essex

The do-it-all football star for Essex was a pass-catching threat at tight end with 21 receptions, nearly 300 yards and4 TDs, but he also filled in at tackle for the Hornets. And on defense he captained Essex. He played basketball in the winter and in the spring was a D-I coaches’ first-team selection in lacrosse as a defenseman.

Connor Tierney, Hartford

At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, the junior used his size and speed to excel at football, hockey and lacrosse. He was a Free Press all-state first-team selection on the offensive lineman and honorable mention defenseman in hockey. His lacrosse skills garnered a D-II coaches' first-team pick.

Evan Thornton-Sherman, St. Johnsbury

The St. Johnsbury senior is the proud owner of the indoor 1500-meter (3:56.99) and 3,000 (8:28.44) state records after setting a blistering pace this winter. He followed with another record-breaking performance in outdoors by smashing his own record in the 1,500 with a new mark of 3:52.77 and reset the 3,000 D-I mark in route to being named Gatorade’s boys track and field athlete of the year for Vermont. Thornton-Sherman also won the individual cross-country running title in the fall as the Hilltoppers claimed their first team championship since 1958.

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Contact Alex Abrami ataabrami@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter:@aabrami5.

Contact Jacob RousseauatJRousseau@gannett.com. Follow on Twitter:@ByJacobRousseau

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