Menlo School is pleased to announce the following six have been inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
Jessica Thomas Brugos ’96
Soccer | track & field | football
At Menlo, she was a three-year starting forward and co-captain for soccer, who was selected first team all-league as a junior and senior. Jessie also ran track, competing in both relays, 440 and 800 She played two seasons of frosh-soph football, and was the School’s first female football player and believed to be second in the county at the time. After Menlo, Jessie went on to play soccer at Tufts University. She returned to Menlo, and served as Upper School Director of Community & Civic Engagement and an English teacher for 16 years, and also coached JV girls’ soccer for eight seasons.
John Blanchette ’01
Water polo | Swimming
A three-year letter-winner in water polo and swimming, he led Menlo to a CCS Div. II Water Polo Championship as a senior in 2000. title. John was selected NISCA water polo All-American Honorable Mention, First Team all-CCS, and MVP of the Peninsula Athletic League in 2000. After Menlo, John went on to play at UCLA where he was named Academic All-American, and helped the Bruins to an NCAA Championship in 2004. As team captain in 2005, John received the Jack Bariteau Most Inspirational Award.
Molly Lapolla ’06
Lacrosse | Soccer
Molly finished as Menlo’s all-time lacrosse scorer with 152 goals, and had 43 assists in four seasons at Menlo. She posted 64 goals and 22 assists as a senior, earning first-team All-America and All-Peninsula Athletic League MVP-Offense. Since her sophomore season, the Knights won three consecutive league titles, and compiled a 39-3 record. For Menlo soccer, she was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter, as well as senior captain. After Menlo, Molly was a four-year starter, team’s leading scorer as a senior, and all-academic selection at UC Davis.
Tim Benton ’11
Baseball | Basketball
He was a first team All-Peninsula Athletic League-Ocean selection in football (twice) and baseball. Tim recorded 65 receptions for 1,201 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. In his senior season he racked up 68 catches for 1,406 yards and 13 TDs before being named MVP. Benton helped lead the Knights to the 2009 CCS title game during which he racked up 10 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown. In baseball, he batted .323 with 29 RBI, 32 runs, and 22 steals as a senior shortstop/center fielder, boosting Menlo to a 26-5 record and a second straight CCS banner. After Menlo, he was a four-year receiver at UC Davis where he was named Freshman of the Year in 2011 before battling injury.
Sam Parker ’11
Cross country | Soccer | Track & field
At Menlo, Sam was a five-time team MVP in cross country and track & field, and swept West Bay Athletic League MVPs in cross country and track & field as a senior. He was selected as a captain of the cross country, track & field and soccer teams. Sam helped cross country break through to earn league titles in 2009 and 2010. He holds the Menlo and WBAL records in the boys 800 meters at 1:53.52. After Menlo, he competed for MIT, where he was a three-time NCAA Div. III Championships qualifier in the 4x400m relay and 800m, and an All-American in indoor 4x400m relay. Sam was also a national and all-conference all-academic selection.
Cross country head coach | Track & field head coach | Girls’ soccer assistant coach
Chen is entering his 20th season coaching at Menlo. He has led cross country to two Central Coast Section titles and seven league championships and two CCS crowns. Chen has coached the track & field team to a CCS championship and nine league titles. In 2019, both the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams qualified for the state meet, the first time in school history both teams advanced in the same season. Chen also was an assistant for five CCS champion girls’ soccer teams. In 2019, Chen won The Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Double-Goal Coach® Award for his impact on youth sports, and was one of four to be recognized at the National Youth Sports Awards. He also has helped develop Menlo’s successful middle school cross country and track program. As an assistant coach, he was honored with Menlo’s 2009 Bagshaw Family Award for Coaching Excellence. As a student at Stanford, Chen ran the 200 and 400 from 1993-1995 and competed in crew in 1996 and 1997.