Menlo News June 06, 2023

Class of ’23 student-athletes commit to play in college

Two dozen Knights continue academic and athletic careers

Menlo Class of 2023 College Athletics Commits


6.5.2023 – Menlo School seniors will graduate on Thursday, and 24 are set to continue their athletic and academic careers at the collegiate level in 12 NCAA Div. I and Div. III sports at 18 schools.

These student-athletes paced the Knights to NorCal, CCS and League Championships and 16 CCS Scholastic Team Awards.

“The high level of accomplishments these student-athletes have reached on the playing fields and in the classroom speaks volumes,” Director of Athletics Earl Koberlein said. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication to their academics and sports, and wish them great success in their pursuits at the collegiate level and beyond.”


The Knights finished with two 15-win seasons the past two years. Carson Cleage, who is headed to Washington-St. Louis, was a four-year letterman as a catcher and infielder. As a senior, he had a PAL-Ocean leading seven home runs and led the team in RBIs (25) and on-base percentage (.438) earning first-team all-league honors. … Left-handed pitcher Colin Dhaliwal, set to play for Babson, was twice an all-league selection, and ? was named league player of the year after compiling a 5-3 record, 1.72 ERA and batting .400. He led the league with 81 strikeouts.


Lucas Vogel, CCS Scholar-Athlete and a four-year letterman in lacrosse and basketball, will continue his studies and basketball career at Washington-St. Louis. Menlo basketball won a section title in 2022 and a league title in 2020. A two-year captain, he surpassed the 1,000-point career mark in less than 3.5 seasons.

Men’s cross country/ track & field

Two runners were integral to the success of history-making teams at Menlo: cross country which finished second at state and track & field which took third at CCS. Both will compete in the fall and spring seasons in college as well. Aiden Deffner, a first-team all-league pick twice in three seasons, plans to compete at Johns Hopkins. He was part of the state runners-up in the inaugural 4x800 - as was Justin Pretre, the league Most Valuable Runner in cross country and two-time MVR in track, who is headed to Cal. Pretre is the school record-holder in the 1600m and 4x800.


It was a season of firsts for football, which landed the School’s first Central Coast Section championship and the fifth section title in program history. Menlo made its first regional appearance and advanced to the CIF NorCal Div. 4A final. Seven players from the record-breaking team will continue their football careers in college. Receiver/safety, three-sport athlete Robby Enright is set to play for Johns Hopkins, slotback/defensive back Chris Liao joins Carleton, kicker Ross Muchnick is headed to Washington-St. Louis and tackle/defensive end Avery Romain is bound for Amherst. First team all-league tight end/linebacker Cort Halsey is committed to North Carolina while Ralston Raphael, league defensive lineman of the year, goes to Trinity and running back/cornerback/kick returner Ty Richardson, PAL Utility Player of the Year, is bound for Tufts.


Ari Krane, California Interscholastic Federation-CCS Spirit of Sport winner for his leadership, sportsmanship and contributions to the school and community at-large, will continue playing lacrosse at Vassar. Krane played football for four seasons and is four-year letterman and all-WCAL pick in lacrosse.

Women’s rowing

Malia Thompson, who played volleyball and basketball at Menlo, before diving into crew, has rowed for two years and is committed to two-time defending national champion University of Texas.

Men’s tennis

A letterwinner since he was a freshman for Menlo tennis and all-WBAL first team selection, Nikhil Agarwal is set to play for Connecticut College. Agarwal played singles and doubles for the highly successful Knights, which won two NorCal and two CCS titles in three seasons.

Men’s track & field

Pole vaulter William Floyd set a West Bay Athletic League record in the pole vault with a mark of 15”-0, and helped the Knights to win bronze at CCS, the highest podium finish by a small school. Also a runner and hurdler, the league’s most valuable athlete in field events Floyd is bound for University of Chicago.


Emma Donley, who was part of a select group to train with the United States Volleyball Association National Team Development Program for the past two years, joins Cal Beach Volleyball … Hitter Annie Stent, a three-year letter-winner and all-league selection who was among the Knights leaders in kills per set and blocks, is headed to Bowdoin.


Men’s water polo

Every season, Menlo has made the top-tier CCS Open selection, and the Knights have been a leader in the powerful WCAL. A remarkable number of five players from this senior class will continue their water polo careers in college. Ethan Babel, a two-time all-league selection is set to play for Johns Hopkins. Finn Byrne, an all-CCS Senior All-Star and Olympic Development Team goalie is headed to NCAA No. 15-ranked Fordham… Michael Fang, an all-league pick and the leader in plus-minus as a junior, joins No. 7 Princeton. … Two-time all-WCAL pick Jackson Kay is bound for MIT. … Tommy Kiesling, twice a first-team all-WCAL selection and the Knights leading scorer, is headed to NCAA No. 6-ranked UC Davis. Kiesling also was a CCS qualifier in swimming as a junior with the league champion 200 medley relay.

Women’s water polo

Malia Chavinson, who was an all-WCAL selection and a starter since freshman year, helped the Knights earn bids to the top-tier CCS Open Division each season, is headed to Brown to continue her athletic and academic pursuits.

2023 College Commits

  • Nikhil Agarwal (Connecticut College tennis)
  • Ethan Babel (Johns Hopkins water polo)
  • Finn Byrne (Fordham water polo)
  • Malia Chavinson (Brown water polo)
  • Carson Cleage (Washington-St. Louis baseball)
  • Aiden Deffner (Johns Hopkins cross country/track & field)
  • Colin Dhaliwal (Babson baseball)
  • Emma Donley (Cal beach volleyball)
  • Robby Enright (Johns Hopkins football)
  • Michael Fang (Princeton water polo)
  • William Floyd (University of Chicago track & field)
  • Cort Halsey (North Carolina football)
  • Jackson Kay (MIT water polo)
  • Tommy Kiesling (UC Davis water polo)
  • Ari Krane (Vassar lacrosse)
  • Chris Liao (Carleton football)
  • Ross Muchnick (Washington-St. Louis football)
  • Justin Pretre (Cal cross country/track & field)
  • Ralston Raphael (Trinity football)
  • Ty Richardson (Tufts football)
  • Avery Romain (Amherst football)
  • Annie Stent (Bowdoin volleyball)
  • Malia Thompson (Texas rowing)
  • Lucas Vogel (Washington-St. Louis basketball)