Orticerio, Lamoureux ink NLIs to D-I schools

Orticerio, Lamoureux ink NLIs to D-I schools

Anna Orticerio, left, and Karleigh Lamoureux are all smiles during last week’s National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at Smithfield High. Both athletes will be competing at the Division I level after they graduate: Orticerio is heading to Bryant University to join the Bulldogs’ track and field program, and Lamoureux is going to Sacred Heart University to continue her equestrian career. (Breeze photo by Kayla Panu)
Sentinels’ throwing standout heads to Bryant; Sacred Heart lands Smithfield equestrian

SMITHFIELD – For the past several years, Smithfield High has seen its share of student-athletes receive athletic scholarships at the Division I collegiate level, and last Tuesday afternoon, May 28, two members of the Class of 2019 signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers at D-I universities.

During a signing ceremony inside the school’s gymnasium, Karleigh Lamoureux signed an NLI to continue her equestrian career at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and Anna Orticerio, who is a thrower on the school’s girls’ indoor and outdoor track and field teams, made her plans to attend nearby Bryant University official.

For Rhode Island student-athletes competing in the weight and hammer throws in track and field, there are several opportunities to compete at D-I colleges with the help from scholarships. When Orticeiro was a freshman on the Sentinels’ 2016 state outdoor championship team, two throwers, Meagan Malloy (Michigan) and Alyssa Colbert (New Hampshire), signed NLIs to D-I schools.

There are opportunities to compete in the throwing events in track and field in the Olympics, but not much further professionally. Orticerio said that she did not think she had the ability to compete at that level, but she wanted to continue to compete in college, while also getting a good education.

“Bryant just made me feel like a priority and that what I did (at Bryant) was really going to benefit the team,” said Orticerio, who during last winter’s indoor season, had a personal-best throw of 45 feet, one inch in the weight (at the New Balance Nationals in New York).

Entering last weekend, she was also ranked 34th in the nation in the outdoor hammer with a throw of 145 feet, six inches.

Orticerio, who plans to major in accounting, added that Bryant made academics a priority and she said that’s really important to her. Plus, she has already taken a class at Bryant and likes the programs there. Another reason Orticerio chose Bryant was the location; she said she wanted to be close to her family and stay local.

As for attending Smithfield High, “I wouldn’t have had the accomplishments if I went any other place,” Orticerio added. “I think that Rhode Island is the best state in the country for hammer. A lot of success stories have come out of Rhode Island. I definitely couldn’t have done it without my coaches, Mr. (John) Sliney, John Marchand, Joe Bennett, LeAnn Brown, and Meghan Malloy as well.”

Lamoureux, meanwhile, trains for Willow Brook Equestrian Team in Lincoln. She began riding as a 6th-grader when a friend invited her to try the sport, and she’s been in love with it ever since.

“My friend asked me at lunch one day if I wanted to come to the barn with her,” she recalled. “I was uncertain at first, but I went and loved it; I loved the atmosphere. Then I scheduled a time to ride with our trainer. And I’ve loved it since then.”

Once she fell in love with riding, she started to compete, and her sophomore year, she went to Virginia to compete in the nationals.

When deciding where she wanted to attend college, Lamoureux said that she did a little research to see if she could get a scholarship for riding.

“I sent videos to multiple coaches and I went to some schools to visit them,” said Lamoureux, who will major in nursing. “I loved Sacred Heart for the academics, and I wanted to see if they had an equestrian program, and they did.”