Athlete of the Issue: Ellie Burke ’20


I Lok U ’20

Captain Ellie Burke ’20 hits a rail against an opponent from Loomis Chaffee.

Ellie Burke ’20, a three-year Senior and three-year member of the Girls Varsity Squash Team, is co-captain of the team and their 1st seeded player. Aside from playing squash, Burke plays JV Lacrosse in the spring. Teammate Nina Flinn ’21 said, “Ellie always brings a positive attitude to our practices and games. She is amazing at cheering on everyone. Playing with her has made me a better player.”

As a co-captain of the team, how do you feel about its success this year?
This year has been really great, because we had a lot of returning players compared to previous years, so there was a lot of experience on our team. We’re nationally seeded as one of the top Division 2 [teams], which is exciting. Our team also has three new Preps who have brought a lot of great depth to the bottom of the team, and hopefully they continue to improve [in their] next three years here.

What has been your favorite memory playing squash at Hotchkiss?
It has definitely been when our team goes to two tournaments at the end of the season: New Englands and Nationals. There is a lot of group camaraderie, and sometimes we will meet up with the boys and have a big Hotchkiss Squash dinner to commemorate the end of the season, which is really fun. It’s just a really great ending to the winter season.

What has been the biggest challenge for the team and how did you help them overcome it?
Probably one of the bigger challenges has been remaining mentally tough throughout the matches. We have played a lot of very strong and a lot of very weak teams. So, [in] the matches which are a lot closer, we’ve had to work on staying mentally tough and remaining very positive and working to implement all the [skills] we’ve learned in practice, especially since we have a new coach and new methods. It’s just been really important and a tough transition for people to go from playing very easy matches to ones that they have to really work [to] win and switching their mentality [for the different matches].

If you could give advice to a current or future athlete at Hotchkiss what would it be and why?
I would just say that it’s really important to make sure you are able to manage your time really efficiently here [at Hotchkiss], especially if you are travelling for tournaments that are off campus. You have to reach out to teachers in advance and make sure that you are catching up with work when you get back. When you are at school, [athletes] have to prioritize sports and academics. So, you just have to make sure that you stay on top of everything and it’s all possible.