It’s mid-September and that means the back-to-school grind is now upon us. And just as classes are starting to ramp up, Harvard athletics is in full swing as well, and some of Harvard’s top athletes are grinding it out in competition. But what were the best-of-the-best playing like in high school, before they became collegiate sports stars? Here’s a look at how some of the top Harvard athletes fared before embarking on their Crimson careers.
Danny Biega—Senior, Men’s Ice Hockey
Before joining the Harvard roster, the Montreal, Quebec native spent two years at Salisbury School in Connecticut. As captain his last season, he led the squad to a New England prep title and was tabbed the Defenseman of the Year while also being named to the New England Prep All-Star team. In 2010, Biega was drafted in the third round by the Carolina Hurricanes. The first defenseman in Crimson history to record back-to-back 30-point seasons, Biega hopes to add to his already decorated career in his final year at Harvard.
Andrew Campbell—Sophomore, Men’s Lightweight Crew
The 2011 U.S. Rowing Man of the Year began his rowing career when he was just 13 years old. Campbell trained in New Canaan, Conn., at the Maritime Rowing Club under the tutelage of former Ukrainian national team member Yan Vengerovskiy. Despite being slightly smaller than other rowers, Campbell nevertheless emerged as one of the top lightweight rowers in the United States, finishing second in the lightweight double sculls at the 2009 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships after finish fourth the year prior. The following year, in 2010, Campbell took the title in both the single and double sculls at the event. After taking time off last year off to train for the Olympics, Campbell returns to Charles and looks to be a dominant force on the water for Harvard.
Temi Fagbenle—Sophomore, Women’s Basketball
After picking up basketball roughly six years ago, Fagbenle moved from England to attend Blair Academy in New Jersey and hone her game. Her efforts quickly paid off. Fagbenle, who also competed on Blair’s track and tennis teams, quickly turned into one of the most dominant players in the country on the court. She helped lead Blair Academy to the New Jersey Prep A state title and garnered McDonald’s All-America honors on the heels of a stellar senior season. Although she sat out her freshman season due to a questionable NCAA eligibility ruling, Fagbenle got her fair share of time on the court playing for the United Kingdom in this summer’s Olympic Games. Expect Fagbenle to be a force to be reckoned with on the court when the women’s basketball season gets underway in November.
Amanda Sobhy—Sophomore, Women’s Fencing
Amanda Sobhy was a name widely known amongst the international squash community well before the Sea Cliff, N.Y., native set foot on Harvard’s campus. In high school, Sobhy won the 2010 Junior World Championship, becoming the first American to ever win the title. She also was the youngest player to accumulate four WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players Association) titles. Sobhy entered Harvard as the top female player in the United States and was also ranked in the top-20 internationally. The highly touted recruit ended her freshman campaign as the CSA national champion after an undefeated season and looks to add to her already-impressive resume this coming year.