Miller School of Albemarle

Archive for April 2012

MSA Tennis a Winning Team! by Michael Dalton

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MSA Tennis has been on a tear as of late winning its first 4 conference matches.  We have wins over Blue Ridge, LCA, Hargrave and North Cross.  We began the season blessed with beautiful weather but, as of late, Mother Nature has not been cooperating.  We haven’t played a conference match in over two weeks now and our team is chomping at the bit for another match.  The team has a fantastic work ethic and they have truly earned the success and respect that they enjoy now.

We are led in the #1 singles spot by Kyle Ottaway, a junior in his second year on the team.  He’s also a fantastic mountain biker and we are very pleased that the Endurance team shares him during this busy spring season.

At the #2 slot, we have the big man:  Chase Cannon.  This 3-point specialist on the basketball court is a fiery competitor on the tennis court as well.  His real strength lies in doubles but he is, nevertheless, a force to be reckoned with in singles.

#3 for us this year is Ross “Achilles” Scarborough.  This young man is a true warrior and he touts a 4-0 record as well to begin the year.  He is fast, smart and dominating on the court.

#4 is young André Coscia, a freshman.  He has the best overall game on the team.  He, like Ross, is 4-0.  André has beaten two of his opponents 10-0 this year.  His serve is improving every day as well.

#5 is Bo Yoo and Bo is 3-1 on the season.  Bo is going to be a tremendous player and he is playing like it already.  He really loves the game and it shows!

#6 is Han Li.  Han is new to MSA this year but he is a very strong player.  He also combines with Kyle to play at #1 doubles.

Coach Vega and I have had such a great experience with the team this year and we are very excited about the future of MSA Tennis!


Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM

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Tour of the Battenkill by Andy Guptill

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Touted as the largest bicycle race in the United States with almost 3000 competitors, Cambridge, New York’s Tour of the Battenkill promised to offer some of the best competition the MSA Endurance Team would face all year. Consisting of both paved and gravel roads, the notoriously difficult event is a brutal test of attrition, tactics, and bike handling all in one. With daily training rides utilizing the numerous gravel roads surrounding the Miller School of Albemarle campus, every Endurance Team member competing was well prepared and motivated!

The first riders to tackle the course wearing the MSA teal and green where Chris Keeling and Summer Team rider Matthew Phillips in the Junior Men 17-18 race. After a quick warm up, Coaches Phillip Robb and Andy Guptill met them at the start line to collect their wind vests and leg warmers, talk last minute race tactics, and then they were off. As the 63 mile event unfolded, Chris and Matthew were on the front end of every split and appeared to be comfortable following all potentially dangerous moves. As they approached the second feed zone at mile 45, they decided to take matters into their own hands and forced a split of just 10 riders. Driving the group to the bottom of the final climb, the duo knew they would have to make another move if they wanted to have a shot at the win. With Matthew keeping the pace high, Chris waited patiently and finally jumped with everything he had to crest the climb in the lead. While he was able to open a small gap, the drag to the finish proved too long and four other riders were able to bridge up to him. With his legs still burning from the effort, Chris was unable to match the other rider’s finishing speed, but still finished a remarkable 5th! Matthew had limited his losses on the climb and crossed not far behind for an impressive 8th place!

Next to take the start were the Junior 15-16 men with Sam James and Summer Team rider Parker Brookfield. Similar to the 17-18 race, both riders both were well represented at the front of the race as attacks flew and splits formed. As planned, Sam began pushing the pace in the final 20 miles and quickly whittled the front group down to just 8 riders. Several attempts for a solo escape were in vain and Sam entered the finishing stretch with five other riders. When one rider jumped early, Sam reacted immediately but wasn’t quite able to come around by the line, but still finished an incredible 2nd place, less than a bike length behind! Parker rolled in moments later with a strong group of riders to finish a very respectable 18th place!

Later that afternoon, MSA’s Ashlyn Woods took the start in the Women’s Cat. 4 race. Fresh off early wins in North Carolina and the recent Jeff Cup, Ashlyn was looking to continue her success with a strong result in New York. Unfortunately, an untimely crash took her out of the race at mile 43, and she was diagnosed with a broken right clavicle. Ashlyn is as tough as they come, however, and was optimistic as she saw an orthopedic surgeon back in Charlottesville several days later, where she received the news that everything looked okay and she would be back on the bike in less than two weeks!

All in all, it was a very successful trip for the MSA Endurance Team and great learning experience for all of the riders. The Team also owes a big “thank you” to their hosts, JT, Lucy, and Aiden, for great meals, plentiful stories, hearty laughs, and comfortable beds!

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

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Headmaster’s Corner

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“Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.”  ~ Maori Proverb

The springtime always cheers us up. Days are sunny, the temperatures are warmer, and lots of people seem to be in a good mood. A sunny, warm morning just makes us feel good with the world. Why not? As we have often discussed throughout the year, our progress and success usually come from what we do next, that is, the choice we make in one minute from now, tomorrow, or next week. Yes, we can look backward and probably question something we did before; however, we can create our own goodness and happiness with our next step.

Rick France, Headmaster


Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

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Spring Honors 2012

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On April 4, 2012 MSA held its annual Spring Honors with Taylor Baker and Aaron Barnett as Masters of Ceremonies; a day in which students can show off their many talents. The design/build students displayed their beautiful and skillfully created furniture, wooden boxes and a go cart they designed and constructed, as well as architectural models of homes they had designed. Students entered essays in Spanish, Poetry and Fiction, Literary Analysis, Research and the Iron Grammarian. Poetry students also performed their poems in a Poetry Slam. Photography and visual art were also submitted, displayed and judged.

A Spelling Bee was held with the participation of fourteen students. When it came down to just Max Johnson and Taylor Parsons remaining, Max pulled out the win with the word ‘diurnal’ and was awarded a copy of The Oxford Dictionary.

A game of Miller Jeopardy was played between team Jennie and team Chase. A lot of clever strategy was used by both teams, but team Chase won by one point for a score of 2201 to 2200 with a final Jeopardy question about the Branuli Principal and definition.

Music students wowed the crowd with performances in the following categories: Classical, Contemporary/Vocal and Musical Group.

Awards were presented in all categories and are listed below. The program was wrapped up with a singing of the Miller School song. For video of the event, go here. For photos, go here.

Thanks to our judges, Terri Allard, Kiera Allison, Ashley Faulkner, Thomas Fickley, Molly Jones, Robin McElwee, Chris Ross, Andrew Shurtleff, Jo Vining, Betty Walsh.

Award winners are as follows:

Poetry – First place, Alexey Zielinski with his poem “Ode to a Pen”, Second place, Max Johnson with his poem “Oxymoronic”

Classical – Denny Yoo playing and arranging Frederic Chopin’s Op. 10 #5 and Op. 64 #2, Honorable Mention, Edward Her performing Chopin’s Op. 10 #4

Contemporary/Vocal Music – Nelly Hawley-Hayes and Andrew Bowman performing “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore”

Musical Group Performance –  Paradox performing “Yellow”

Spanish Essay – First place, Grayson Gunner, Second place, Chris Keeling

Literary Analysis – First place, Sara Vogelgesang, Second place, Chris Keeling, Honorable Mention, Sam James, Eight grade Honorable Mention, Helen Hylton

Research – First place, Chris Keeling, Second place, Grayson Gunner

Iron Grammarian – Sam James

Fiction – First place, Andy Mangham, Second place, Elias Hubbard

Photography – First place, Rachel Leach, Second place, Grayson Gunner, Honorable Mentions, Max Johnson, Ashleigh Claybrooks, Christian Cassity, Devon Anderson, Will Karns

Visual Arts – First place, Nira Liu

Congratulations to everyone, it was a fantastic day!

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

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Incredible showing for the MSA Endurance Team at Jefferson Cup

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Running for 24 consecutive years, the Jefferson Cup Road Race in Charlottesville, Virginia is regarded as one of the most prestigious races in the southeast. With such a high-status event taking place so close the Miller School of Albemarle, Endurance Team members have been training through the winter with the goal arriving in top condition and even utilized afternoon practice time to preview the course several days before the race.

Lining up in the Junior 15-18 category, Taylor Clarke was the first rider of the day to tackle the course sporting MSA’s teal and green, and was joined by Summer Team rider Parker Brookfield. An aggressive start did not seem to faze them and they quickly settled into a comfortable position near the front of the field. Parker was constantly on the offensive and attacked often while Taylor maintained composure and didn’t waste a bit of energy as he stayed safely tucked into the slipstream of the riders in front of him, waiting patiently for a sprint finish. Approaching the line, both Parker and Taylor found themselves slightly farther back than they would have liked, but were still able to unleash impressive sprints to cross the line in 3rd and  6th place, respectively, giving MSA its first podium appearance of the day!

Rolling out just minutes after the juniors, MSA’s Ashlyn Woods was hoping for another great result in the Women Cat 4 race. As the race unfolded, multiple attacks steadily reduced the group until the last time up the main climb when the lead pack was whittled down to just 10 riders. Ashlyn was feeling good and riding well and able to make all of the splits without over extending herself. As the finish line approached, she sat patiently in perfect position until just over 200 meters to go, at which time she launched up the right side of the road with everything she had and took 1st by several bike lengths!

Rising temperatures and increasing winds greeted MSA Endurance Team riders Chris Keeling and Sam James as they lined up for the Men Cat 3/4 race. With six challenging laps ahead, both riders tried to ride conservatively near the front of the large field. As the laps ticked by, both riders realized they were on good days and had a real shot of netting a top result. Unfortunately, Chris suffered a mechanical issue that prevented him from standing up to pedal, limiting his sprinting ability, but he refused to let that discourage him and continued to race aggressively during the final laps. With just 3 miles remaining to the finish, Sam capitalized on a lull in the pace and jumped with everything he had over the last steep climb, managing to establish a small gap on the peloton. Realizing this could be his chance, Sam lowered his head and buried himself, pouring absolutely every ounce of energy he had into the pedals and flew down the finishing stretch. As he approached the line, he took one last look back and knew he had it! As Sam cruised across the line for 1st, the field sprint followed closely behind, where, despite his mechanical hurdle, Chris was still able to finish a very respectable 6th place!

(Written by Andy Guptill)

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM

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Teams and Players Featured in Daily Progress Articles

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MSA Basketball players Andrew White and Ashleigh Claybrooks as well as the Girls Basketball team have articles in the Sunday (April 1, 0212) Daily Progress. You can read a copy of the articles HERE, or go to the Daily Progress site HERE. Congratulations everyone!

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

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