Recruited Athletes at Pine Crest: A Look into the Process


On February 2nd, “National Signing Day,” 16 Pine Crest seniors committed to playing their various sports at the collegiate level. Paw Print talked to two future Division 1 athletes to learn more about their athletic journeys and their futures in sports.

Samantha Feeley ‘23, a 4 year member of the Girls’ Varsity Crew Team, will be continuing her athletic and academic pursuits next year at Georgetown University. Feeley began rowing in 6th grade, when she believed it would be similar to her past hobby of paddle-boarding, though she discovered the two were extremely different. Paw Print asked Feeley how she landed on Georgetown to continue her rowing career.

“The schools that I was looking at were all D1, so it really motivated me to train and put in the extra work to get the times to get recruited at that level,” said Feeley. Her hard work was rewarded when she received an offer from Georgetown, and she had the opportunity to meet the team and gain a better understanding of the environment she grew to love. Many aspects of the university experience appealed to her when making her decision.

“I loved the coaches and the team environment. Some of my friends that I did summer camp with row at Georgetown and they talk about how much they love it and how great the coaches are. Georgetown has a really specific approach, Cura Personalis, which is [how] they approach the person as a whole, not just academics, and that really spoke to me,” explained Feeley further. 

Samantha is excited for the opportunities in the future, telling Paw Print, “I’m looking forward to the team environment because they really prioritize togetherness and family and really to push my limits and see what training at the next level looks like and see how far it can take me.”

Reflecting on her high school athletic career and accomplishments, Feeley recommends “finding the balance that works best for you.” She advises that prioritizing sleep and nutrition was the most important thing alongside staying on top of her school work.

Paw Print also talked to Riley Botting ‘23, a Yale University Swimming commit. Botting started swimming at the age of 6 with a recreational team to participate in a fun athletic activity with some of her friends. However, she immediately fell in love with the sport and knew she wanted to pursue it competitively. Botting has had an extremely successful upper school swimming career, playing a crucial part on a highly decorated Pine Crest team. 

Reflecting on her various achievements, Botting said, “My favorite moment from high school swimming would definitely be when the girls’ team won the state title. As we were awarded the trophy the whole team jumped in the pool, including all the fully clothed coaches, and celebrated together.”

Another notable achievement in her swimming career was being part of the winning Pine Crest relay that broke the school record, leading to an All-American qualification. Riley told Paw Print, “It was so special being able to share the success with three of my teammates.”

Botting is thrilled to continue swimming at Yale University next year, saying she is looking forward to the team environment the most. “From the very first moment I met the Yale swim team I could tell how important community was to them, not only in the pool but all throughout. On my official visit the coaches and swimmers made it feel like I already was a part of the team, which was such a big factor and how I chose my college,” she told Paw Print. 

Looking back at the success of her high school career, Botting advises aspiring collegiate athletes to set goals and aspirations.  “Every sport and athlete will have ups and downs, but with an endpoint, you can pave a stronger path to those goals,” she explained.

Regarding the recruiting process, she recommends “to reach out to a lot of schools and coaches to explore all your options, and learn as much as you can about the team and school before crossing the school out.”

Pine Crest is home to a range of highly talented and accomplished athletes, with many successes in and outside of the classroom. We wish these 16 exceptional athletes the best of luck in their future pursuits in college!