South Portland Red Riots Winter Athletes of the Year

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2011-12 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

CHAD MACWHINNIE, Senior-Swimming


* Most Valuable Swimmer

* Team captain

MacWhinnie has been a steady four-year performer in the pool for the Red Riots and had a solid senior campaign.

MacWhinnie started swimming in middle school, taking to the sport right away. He honed his skills with the Pine Tree Swim Club and has emerged as one of the top freestylers, who is also adept in other disciplines. After scoring at states in the backstroke and 200 free as a junior, he capped his high school career in style.

This winter, MacWhinnie came in third in the 100 free at Southwesterns. At the state meet, he finished seventh in the 100 free. MacWhinnie was named the team’s top swimmer and certainly made an impact on his teammates.

MacWhinnie swims year-round, anywhere from 1.5 to 5 hours a day, six days a week. He also plays ultimate frisbee and will attend Gannon University in Erie, Penn., where he’ll swim and study software engineering.

MacWhinnie kept getting better during his high school career and made the most of his opportunities. He’s primed for more success at the next level.

Coach Rob Card’s comment: “Chad is a very talented swimmer who can swim all the strokes very well. As a freshman, he experienced a lot of success and this caused him to really focus on swimming. He decided to swim during the offseason through the YMCA program, which made him a total swimmer with experience. This year, he battled a bad shoulder, but still performed at a very high level. It has been a real pleasure to coach him.”

2010-11 winner: Tommy Ellis (Hockey)

2009-10 winner: Zach Horton (Hockey)

2008-09 winner: Keegan Hyland (Basketball)

2007-08 winner: Nick Wright (Basketball)

2006-07 winner: Coleman Findlay (Basketball)

2005-2006 winner: Tim Clark (Hockey)

2004-2005 winner: Andrew Cousins (Basketball)

2003-2004 winner: Max Ludwig (Indoor track)

2002-2003 winner: Ethan Gato (Indoor track)

2001-2002 winner: Jesse Ludwig (Indoor track)

2011-12 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

NYAJOCK PAN, Junior-Indoor track


* SMAA all-star, first-team, 1,600 sprint medley relay

Pan has long been known for her distance ability. Beyond being great on the track, she’s a very well rounded and impressive young lady.

After moving to South Portland from Portland in time for the seventh grade, Pan quickly emerged as a top runner and her reputation preceded her to high school. She was named Fall Athlete of the Year after a solid cross country season and this winter, gave up basketball to run indoor track. It proved to be a very good decision.

Pan was consistently near the top in the distance events all season and impressed in the postseason. She set new school records in the 800 and the mile. She also was part of a new school record-setting 800 relay team. At the SMAA meet, Pan was second by .56 of a second in the 800 and came in fifth in the mile. At states, she managed a third place finish in both the 800 and the mile, results she called “better than expected.” Pan capped the season by finishing 19th in the 1,000 at the New England championships.

Pan’s hoping to win the 800 outdoors and get her mile time under 5 minutes, 8 seconds, the school record, which is held by Andrea Giddings. She also hopes to be in the top 25 in New England in cross country and to get her CNA before graduating. Pan wants to run at a Division I or II school in New England and plans to study nursing.

Catch her show while you still can. It’s not often an athlete this talented and well rounded comes around.

Coach Karen Reardon’s comment: “I’ve worked for two years to get Nyajock to come out for indoor and finally this year, she decided to do it. I think she had a pretty good first year. She was outstanding all season long. She also excelled at the relays this winter and was on the teams the broke school records twice. She hates to lose and is willing to give her very best effort for the benefit of the team. I think she sets a great example. In a nutshell, she’s a very versatile runner with a great attitude. She’s a leader on and off the track and is a lot of fun to coach and to have on the team.”

2010-11 winner: Abby Hasson (Basketball)

2009-10 winner: Danielle DiBiase (Basketball)

2008-09 winner: Brianna Hawkins (Basketball)

2007-08 winner: Curry Girr (Diving)

2006-07 winner: Kelsey Flaherty (Basketball)

2005-2006 winner: Christina Aceto (Basketball)

2004-2005 winner: Whitney Morrow (Basketball)

2003-2004 winner: Courtney Albin (Indoor track)

2002-2003 winner: Abby Lesneski (Basketball)

2001-2002 winner: Abby Lesneski (Basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.