On May 13, 2023, the Cincinnati Country Day School community celebrated the Class of 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees – Marc Comisar `71, Meredith “Meridy” Vollmer McLane `01, Erika Armstead `12, and Kyle Kistinger `12.
“The stories of how Country Day changed the lives of our student-athletes never fail to inspire me, and they reaffirm my faith in the power of athletics as an essential element of a Country Day education,” said Head of School Rob Zimmerman `98 to open the ceremony. “At Country Day, we firmly believe that athletics are not an ‘extra-curricular’ activity; rather, they are central to the mission of our school. These inductees remind us of the standard of excellence to which we aspire, perpetuate our culture of success, and connect us to our history and our future.”
Meridy Vollmer McLane `01, who Coach Steve Conner called one of the most naturally-gifted athletes he has ever seen, was a three-sport athlete, playing soccer and basketball and running track during her years at Country Day. She was a state runner-up in the high jump, was a member of the state-qualifying 4x800m relay team, and participated in multiple league, district, and regional championships.
“This is a great honor. As a current parent of three Country Day students, I can see so much more clearly the love and dedication of this faculty and staff,” said McLane. “My coaches pushed me to try everything, which helped me be more versatile in so many areas of my life. The fact that Coach [Steve] Conner and Coach [Theresa Hirschauer] Hirsch are still here is a testament to their dedication and passion. Country Day played such an important role in my life and continues to be a great source of friendship and memories.”
Erika Armstead `12, who was a three-sport athlete, essential to the volleyball, basketball, and track teams, and a state champion in the long jump, with the third farthest jump in Division III championship history, agreed with Meridy’s sentiment about the dedication of the school’s faculty, staff, and coaches.
“Country Day has such an incredible community. Someone was always cheering for me, picking me up when I was down, or congratulating me, whether it was at a game or in the classroom,” said Armstead. “I want to thank everyone – my coaches, friends, teammates, and opponents – for making me the woman I am today and for giving me the opportunities, faith, and push that I never knew I needed.”
Gratitude was a common theme throughout the afternoon, and Marc Comisar `71, who was an essential member of the back-to-back undefeated football teams of 1969-70 and 1970-71, touched on how that extended beyond the field, courts, and tracks.
“What I have been able to accomplish in my life is directly related to my education during the six years I spent at Cincinnati Country Day School. I am grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to go to Country Day. I came to Country Day in 7th grade to play sports. I saw the students playing out in the fields one day when we drove by, which made me want to go here but I didn't realize at the time what kind of education I would get; it should be the model for all schools. I can't tell you what it means to me to receive the great teaching I did here [at Country Day] – it changed my life.”
All the inductees spoke about their life-changing experiences at Country Day, including Kyle Kistinger `12, who still holds the school record in three events: 800m (1:58), 1600m (4:18), and 3200m (9:43).
“I'm fairly certain there is not another school in the state or country that has this level of faculty interest in their students, and it speaks volumes. It is a tremendous testament to their dedication to creating an environment for kids to learn and feel comfortable. The fact that some of my closest friends to this day are in this room with us shows how much this school fosters relationships that will hopefully last a lifetime. It's been a pleasure to be involved in the Country Day community; my family and I will certainly continue to be involved moving forward.”
The purpose of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame is to honor former Country Day athletes, coaches, and members of our community who have contributed to the strong tradition of Country Day athletics. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit https://www.countryday.net/alumni/awards.
If you'd like to see the photos from the event, click here.