By Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor & Sports Editor
Manhattan College has become a home-away-from-home for many international student-athletes, from basketball, to track and field, to soccer. These athletes have made a leap of faith by traveling far from their families, friends and hometowns. However, despite adjusting to a new city, and country, these athletes have shown they are crucial for Manhattan’s teams. Let’s see where some of our top Jasper players joined us from.
Simard, a middle distance and distance runner for the Jaspers, is a native of Manitoba, Canada. Simard says there hasn’t been too much of a change from home. However, Simard does say there is a noticeable difference in the temperatures, since he often runs outside for training. As a freshman, Simard said that he has felt very welcomed on to the track and field team here at MC, and is excited for his future seasons.
Blagrove, traveling to the States from the Netherlands, just wrapped up her junior year season with the Jaspers. Blagrove has been a key player for the squad, who made it to the MAAC Championship game two years in a row. Blagrove transferred to MC after spending her freshman season with the University of South Florida. She said the drive of New York City was major in getting her to join the Jaspers.
Lytovchenko comes to Manhattan from Dnipro, Ukraine. A freshman jumper on the college’s track and field team, Lytovchenko has been a standout performer in his rookie season. He recently won the high jump by two meters at the 2023 Outdoor Metropolitan Championships at Icahn Stadium. Lytovchenko told The Riverdale Press that he is proud to be Ukrainian and is grateful to be at MC.
Katsamouri is a senior on the basketball team here at Manhattan. Katsamouri is a native of Thessaloniki, Greece, graduating with a degree in communications from MC. Katsamouri has been a critical player for the team, helping to make crucial plays in the 2023 MAAC tournament. On top of being a top-tier Jasper athlete, Katsamouri has worked hard in her academics. Recently, she led the revival of Quad TV, a project that creates TV news segments based on campus news.
Akki, a freshman on the men’s soccer team, was named Male Student Athlete of the Year at the 2023 Jaspys, an annual award ceremony honoring all of the college’s teams. Akki came to join the Jaspers’ squad from his hometown of Bordeaux, France. Akki was named 2022 MAAC Defender of the Year and was named 2022 First Team All-MAAC. Further than the MAAC, Akki has received national recognition, being named to the top 100 freshman of the 2022 season by Top Drawer Soccer at number 89.
Stickdorn is a junior thrower on the Jaspers’ track and field team. She has proven herself to be a top performer for the squad. Joining the Jaspers all the way from Germany, Stickdorn has made a commitment to the team. Stickdorn was recently named MAAC Field Performer of the Week, just days after achieving the Manhattan College hammer throw school record. Stickdorn threw a 59.09 meters throw, claiming the record.