On Friday, May 3, Gill held its annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner as the school honored individuals who had made significant contributions to the athletic programs.
This year was extra special as not only were former members of Gill athletics recognized for their achievements, but current ones were as well. After opening remarks from Head of School Sid Rowell, Director of Athletics Will Taylor recognized the successes of the teams this year. On behalf of the Hall of Fame Committee, head boys’ soccer coach Tony Bednarsky and head boys’ basketball coach Mergin Sina were honored for reaching milestone victories this past year.
Bednarsky won his 500th career game back in September and also helped lead his team to the program’s fourth Non-Public B state title. Sina meanwhile collected his 300th win at Gill in December and also helped lead the Knights to their ninth-straight conference divisional title and fifth-straight Somerset County title. Both coaches received glass clocks to commemorate their achievements and a tribute video was also played during the program which included pictures and messages of congratulations from former players and their children.
The second half of the program recognized this year’s inductees as two players and one coach were selected to Gill’s Hall of Fame. Each member received a portrait plaque displaying images from their competing days.
The 2019 Inductees
Jim Behot ‘07
Behot was the epitome of a student-athlete during his time at Gill as he excelled both on the track and in the classroom. By the time he graduated from Gill in 2007, he held every sprinting record at the school and still owns the 100 meter record. He was also crowned Prep B and Patriot Conference champion in the 100 and 200 meter races in 2006 and also qualified for the prestigious Meet of Champions. He earned a perfect score on the SATs and went on to compete for the Princeton University track team all four years.
“These were my most influential years and running here for Shelly LaBarre (head coach) and for Gill have always been my favorite years,” Behot said. “It is such a huge honor to be here tonight.”
Lauren Calone ‘00
Calone was an exceptional athlete at Gill and was recognized as being a rare three-sport athlete as she competed in soccer, basketball, and track. In soccer, she was a four-time all-county and all-state selection while also being on two Prep Conference championship teams (’97, ’98) and three state Prep B championship teams (’96-’98). On the track, Calone holds records in the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprints, the 4 x 100, 4 x 200, and 4 x 400 relays, and also the high jump. She was named MVP in all three sports and went on to play soccer at Georgetown University where she was a four-team all-academic league selection, voted Most Improved Player, and captain.
“Gill is what changed me,” she said. “This school is something special and I was very fortunate to have Gill provide such great life experiences and memories.”
Chimes worked at Gill for over 40 years and spent 33 of those years coaching various athletic programs at Gill. His coaching career spanned five decades and he helped lead seven different sports programs at the school. His teams won numerous divisional and state titles under his leadership, including the famed 2011 girls’ cross country team that swept the Prep B and Non-Public B state titles while also finishing seventh at the state Meet of Champions. Even more important than his success on the field, Chimes was remembered as a great mentor and communicator to all of his student-athletes.
“Most of all, for me, it is about the student-athletes,” he said. “They make it all worthwhile. It’s always so rewarding and satisfying to take a group of individuals and make them into a team.”