WILMINGTON – The latest class of inductees into the Ursuline Academy Athletic Hall of Fame will be honored March 10 during a luncheon at the Wilmington school. The women represent Ursuline classes spanning more than 70 years and multiple sports.
The honorees are:
Jane Thatcher Howell, 1932 alumna, attended Ursuline for 12 years and participated in field hockey, basketball and tennis. She also coached the Raiders’ field hockey team in 1933-34. Howell became a dental hygienist for two years until starting her family, eventually giving birth to five children. She volunteered with the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Ursuline Sisters and the cloistered Visitation Sisters. She was also active in other church activities. Howell remained active in sports until her death in 1972. The Jane Thatcher Howell ’32 Award, presented to a senior each year, is the school’s highest athletic honor.
Sarah Gause Flanders from the Class of 1982 was a two-sport standout and state champion with the Raiders and won state championships in both sports. In basketball, she was the first Delaware player, male or female, to be named first-team all-state three times. She also won two state Division II championships in the high jump and one in the shot put. As a freshman at Georgetown University, she was named Big East Basketball Rookie of the Week in her first month. She later transferred to the University of Delaware and was the East Coast Conference player of the year in 1984-85. In her three years in Newark, the Blue Hens were a combined 56-28. She also excelled in track and field. Flanders currently works as the nurse manager in the Wilmington Hospital emergency department.
The 1983 swim team includes 26 members and won the school’s first state championship in that sport in just its fourth year of existence. That first title was the first of seven consecutive for the Raiders. The squad set numerous school records, and many of the members were underclassmen, setting the stage for the future success. The Raiders were coached by Gail Glynn and Sue Wilson.
Betsy Lazzeri Riley, a member of the Class of 1999, holds 11 school records for indoor and outdoor track and field, including long jump, triple jump, high jump, pentathlon and several hurdles events. She was also a member of many clubs and was student council president. After graduating, she attended the University of Notre Dame, where she also participated in track and field. She worked with NBC on the Notre Dame football telecasts and became a research assistant for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Since then, she has become a director and producer for the network, working her sixth Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She recently finished her work as associate director for Thursday Night Football and is currently doing freelance work from Baltimore for various networks.
Sarah Williams, a 2005 graduate, earned first-team all-Catholic and all-state honors in both volleyball and basketball. She was a part of four volleyball state champions and two more in basketball. In 2005, she was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Delaware, and she surpassed 1,000 career points in basketball. She began her college basketball career at the University of Richmond, earning a spot on the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team before transferring to James Madison University. As a member of the Dukes, Williams earned several academic awards, and during her senior year the team went 29-7. She coached at JMU for three seasons and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Louisville in educational leadership and organizational development with a focus in sport administration.