Rocky Hill seniors Elizabeth Stockman and Maggie Montalto signing college Letters of Intent on Nov 13th
Rocky Hill seniors Maggie Montalto and Elizabeth Stockman recently signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at a collegiate level.
The two signed their commitments in front of family and friends at Rocky Hill High School on November 13th.
Montalto is headed to Assumption College, where she will become a member of the Greyhounds Division II golf team in Worchester, Massachusetts.
“It was a perfect fit for me,” said Montalto, who has already bonded with her future teammates, “I did my overnight and the girls are super close. I’m excited to have that team atmosphere throughout the college experience.”
A native of Rocky Hill, Montalto began playing golf at the age of three when her dad, Joseph, would bring her and twin sister, Anna, to a range in Cromwell.
“He would bring us just for fun, but then we started getting into competitive golf around 10 or 12 and we played with some really elite kids who inspired us. One is committed to Florida and one is committed to Duke. The competition helped a lot and it made us want to get better.”
The competition, along with her father’s tutelage, helped her prosper into one of the state’s best golfers.
“[My dad] pushed me to continue to practice even when I didn’t want to. He pushed me to stick with it and him making me stick with it ultimately led me to realize that I didn’t want to miss it and that I wanted to play in college.”
All the years spent on the links has paid dividends. As a junior, Montalto finished third in her section and ninth overall at the 2019 Connecticut state tournament, as well as, winning the Sportsmanship Award and finishing the runner-up for Player of the Year at the CTPGA.
Montalto in a unique position at Rocky Hill High School as the school doesn’t have a girls’ golf team, so her and Anna have joined forces with the boys. The sisters have both made All-Conference in each of the last two seasons.
“It’s been fun. No one judges you for being a girl, it’s like being one of the guys. It’s cool because it’s a different dynamic. When I play in the summer I play with girls, it’s a lot more chill.”
Head coach Josh Dinerman, who coaches Rocky Hill’s co-ed team, said he chuckles every time Montalto steps to the tee because her smooth swing and how she strikes the ball always amazes the boys.
“Maggie is an exceptional student athlete, leader and person. She is a constant grinder on and off the course,” added Dinerman, “Maggie takes her leadership to the next level by helping teammates with course strategy, swing technique and their schoolwork at any possible chance.”
Montalto has co-captained the team since she was a sophomore and is looking forward to her final season on the high school links before her new adventure starts.
“I’m 18 so I won’t be able to play junior golf anymore, it’s all ending at once,” reflected Montalto. “It’s been a really good experience, so I’m trying to take it in more.”
Stockman has committed to attend the University of Richmond, where she will become a member of the Spiders Division I running program in Richmond, Virginia.
“I think it’s a good balance between academics and athletics. I learned a lot from what the girls had to say on my official visits. The girls spoke very highly of the coaches,” said Stockman, who made the tough decision to leave the northeast, “I was looking at a lot of schools and I was very undecided. I was undecided on a major, I didn’t know if I wanted a city school or not city, big or small.”
Ultimately she chose to head south, hundred of miles from her childhood town of Rocky Hill.
“I only looked at two schools in the south and most where in the northeast. I’m excited to go a little further away, but it wasn’t something that I was expecting,” stated Stockman, who looks forward to the collegiate competition, “I’m so excited for it to be more competitive and to also have a team that I can train with everyday. The girls go out on their runs together, which seems like it could be fun because I’m usually running by myself.”
During her time at RHHS, Stockman has set a new standard for distance running. She competes year around, excelling on the cross country trails, as well as, distance events during Indoor and Outdoor track seasons.
Her long list of accomplishments includes state championships in the 2017 and 2018 cross country class finals, and state titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters during both the Indoor and Outdoor Track championships.
It’s an impressive list considering Stockman only dabbled with distance running in middle school before falling in love with it during high school
“I did cross country in 7th grade because my parents said I should do a sport,” recalled Stockman, speaking of father, John, and mother, Nancy, who was also a distance runner, “I didn’t really enjoy it and I ended up breaking my foot and tearing a tendon. Then in high school my friend (Emily) said I should come out for the team and I was kind of hesitant about it. I ended up doing it and I really enjoyed it. There’s just something about it.”
“I didn’t realize that I could be competitive and be good at it until the end of freshman year. I missed qualifying for Opens by one spot, so I was sad about that, but I used that as motivation. I trained pretty hard over that summer to make it to States.”
Stockman returned with a sensational sophomore season, before battling through injuries during her junior season and still posting great times. She credited her coaches with helping her though the ups and downs and called head coach Brian Graca and the rest of her coaches “awesome”.
“[The coaches] have helped me become more disciplined. All the work they have put in has made me a better runner. They give me a plan but obviously I’m the one that has to go out and run it. Even on the days that I don’t want to run, just doing it helps me be able to do things in life that I don’t want to do.”
When she’s not running, Stockman is the President of the school’s Spanish Club and the Secretary of National Honors Society.
Currently she’s in the beginning stages of her final Indoor track season before finishing up her high school career with Outdoor in the spring.
“As a runner I just want to get my times down. I think we have a really positive team culture right now where all the girls are super excited about getting after it,” said Stockman, who described her time at RHHS as positive, “I’ll definitely miss the team, especially this year. At states we all wore ribbons in our hair. I’ll miss stuff like that and all the team dinners, team dinners especially. For the most part it’s been a pretty awesome experience.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin