Ridgefield High seniors sign to compete at NCAA D1 programs

Eight Ridgefield High seniors who will play sports for NCAA Division I programs were honored during the first signing ceremony of the 2017-18 school year at RHS on Wednesday morning.

Held in the Toni Morrison Room inside the RHS library, the ceremony was attended by family members and coaches and included comments by Principal Stacey Gross and Athletic Director Dane Street.

Following are short bios for each of the eight athletes:

Greg Gatto will continue his lacrosse career at Yale University next year. Gatto has been a starter on the Ridgefield High boys lacrosse team since his sophomore year and made the All-FCIAC and All-State first teams last season, while also receiving All-American honors.

Gatto, who has cumulative GPA of 4.2, plays for the Team Superstar Box Program in the offseason. He is also the starting quarterback for this season’s Ridgefield High football team and recently set a program record with seven touchdown passes in one game.

Madeleine Siegel has signed a National Letter of Intent to row at the University of Connecticut, where she plans to major in engineering. Siegel is an honor roll student at Ridgefield High and is a member of the National Honor Society. Siegel trains at the GMS Rowing Center in New Milford, competing in the varsity quad and varsity double boats and also racing a single in the fall. She has participated in many regattas, including the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Canada.

In addition to rowing, Siegel was on the RHS girls ski team as a freshman and sophomore, receiving All-State honorable mention in 2015 and All-State honors in 2016, along with earning a spot on Team Connecticut.

Luke Gaydos has committed to play men's lacrosse at Brown University. Gaydos is a high honor roll student with a cumulative GPA of 4.29 at Ridgefield High. Gaydos has started on the varsity boys lacrosse team since his freshman year and is also a captain on the varsity football team this fall. Gaydos earned All-FCIAC second team and All-State second team honors in lacrosse last spring, after making the All-FCIAC West team in football last fall.

Caroline Curnal has signed a National Letter of Intent to play women’s lacrosse at Lafayette College. Curnal has been an honor roll student at Ridgefield High since her sophomore year and has a cumulative GPA of 3.427. As a junior in 2016-17, Curnal was named the Hearst Connecticut Media Female Athlete of the Year. Curnal was a senior captain on this fall’s girls volleyball team, earning All-FCIAC first team honors.

During her junior year, Curnal earned All-FCIAC and All-State first team honors in both girls basketball and girls lacrosse. Curnal was a member of the Lower New England Regional team that competed in the US Lacrosse National Tournament at Yale University last spring.

Katie Pieterse will attend Yale University and play field hockey. A member of the National Honor Society, Pieterse is a high honor roll student with a cumulative GPA of 4.50. She was a four-year starter on the Ridgefield High varsity field hockey team and served as a captain this fall. Pieterse was selected to the All-FCIAC West team after her sophomore season and the All-FCIAC first team following her junior and senior seasons. Pieterse also earned All-State second team honors after her junior and senior seasons.

Pieterse was named an FCIAC Scholar Athlete of the Month and was chosen to the Hearst CT Media Field Hockey All-Star Team and the Connecticut Junior Select Team. She has participated in the USA Field Hockey Futures program and plays club field hockey with AGH Field Hockey, competing in regional and national showcases and tournaments, including the USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournament.

Simon Preston has signed a National Letter of Intent to wrestle at American University in Washington, D.C. Preston is an honor roll student planning a business-based major. A member of the Ridgefield High wrestling team, Preston has been named a captain for the 2017-2018 season and is ranked first in the state in his weight class.

As a junior last winter, Preston cracked the top 10 for most wins (40) and most pins (23) in a single season at RHS. He finished third in his weight class at the FCIAC championship and fourth at the Class LL state championship. Preston is a freestyle state champion and trains at GPS Wrestling in Armonk (N.Y.) during the offseason.

Kieran Smith has signed a National Letter of Intent to swim at the University of Florida. As a junior at Ridgefield High last winter, Smith won all six of his individual races in three post-season meets. He finished first in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke at the FCIAC championships, then won the 200 and 500 freestyles at the Class LL and State Open meets. His times in the 200 freestyle (1:37.28) and the 500 freestyle (4:24.69) at the Open were both meet and state records.

Competing at the FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Junior Championships this summer, Smith won a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley and finished fourth in the 400-meter individual medley.

Andrew (AJ) Bornstein has signed a National Letter of Intent to swim at the University of Michigan. As a junior at Ridgefield High last winter, Bornstein won the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley at the FCIAC championship. He went on to place second in both events at the Class LL meet and was second in the breaststroke at the State Open, breaking his own school record with a time of 56.39 seconds.

This summer, Bornstein finished second in the 200-meter breaststroke and ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Speedo Junior Nationals with personal-best times of 2:13.96 and 1:03.04, respectively.