Durham News: Sports

More athletes from the ‘GM’ of local schools sign up for college

Durham Academy cranks out college scholarship athletes like General Motors produce automobiles. Three more student-athletes were added to the coffers recently after signing scholarship offers.

Lakin Barry will play field hockey at Northwestern. Leander Perun is headed to Denison University with her lacrosse stick, and Cha’Mia Rothwell will run track and field at Dartmouth.

“One of the really cool things about Durham Academy is how our student body supports their classmates and teammates, and celebrates successes,” Athletics Director Steve Engebretsen said. “It’s a real pleasure when you get to recognize people who are outstanding individuals in all ways.”

Barry’s sister, Jordan, was at the same table last season signing a letter to play field hockey at Stanford. This time, Jordan was able to return the favor as she watched her younger sis via FaceTime.

“My hand was shaking when I was signing, but we’re all just full of excitement,” said Lakin who also plays soccer.

Barry leaves the Cavaliers with the most assists in school history (76) and as the second-highest scorer (75). She was named the 2014 and 2015 TISAC Field Hockey Player of the Year.

Rothwell also is a multisport athlete. In addition to being one of the fastest sprinters in the state, she earned all-conference and all-state in basketball. Last season, she joined the 1,000-point club.

“Cha’Mia is extraordinary in her ability to see the big picture. She has a wisdom that is uncommon in someone her age,” former DA track and field coach Dennis Cullen said. “She is a natural leader. People respect her for her intelligence, for her athletic ability, for her ability to get along with everyone, for her sensitivity.”

Cullen said Rothwell’s school records in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash may never be broken. She is a five-time NCISAA individual state champion and 2014 TISAC Athlete of the Year.

“The family atmosphere, the Durham Academy track team is truly a special team,” she said. “We’re all really close and we all get along, and we all really push each other and I think that’s a pretty special thing.”

In addition to lacrosse, Perun competed in girls tennis and swimming. But lacrosse, where she was a co-captain, is her first love.

“I’m really excited because I’ve worked really hard; it’s nice to have the celebration,” she said. “The support that you get from your teachers and your classmates, and all your friends and your coaches because they all just want you to do really, really well. I’ll definitely miss my coaches and all my players a lot.”

Perun earned all-conference and all-state lacrosse honors. She also participated on the U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament teams in 2014 and ’15.

“Starting as early as her freshman year, Leander’s vision and selfless play has been a driving force behind our varsity team’s success,” lacrosse coach Debbie Reboso said. “DA could always count on Leander as a leader and role model with her consistent humility, dedication and work rate.”