Weeks #8 + 9 of Summer 2018: July 24 – August 6

Mike DiSanto ’08

DiSanto ‘08, Reed ‘10, Richards ‘14 Make US Senior National Rowing Team

Andrew Reed ’10 (far left) and Alexander Richards ’14 (far right)

On July 31, US Rowing named its 2018 Senior National Team, including three Belmont Hill alumni: Mike DiSanto ’08 and Andrew Reed ’10, who will row in the eight-man shell, and Alexander Richards ’14, son of Latin teacher and Rowing coach Mr. Richards and brother of rising junior Charlie Richards ‘20, who will row in the four-man. The team will compete in the 2018 World Championships in Bulgaria from September 9-16. The three alumni made the team, often seen as a strong indicator of Olympic squads, after competing at a selection camp at the US Rowing men’s training center in Oakland, CA, and will now train with the team before the Championships, which run from September 9th through the 16th.

For DiSanto, Reed, and Richards, each of whom rowed at Harvard University, this is not their first time competing for their country on the world stage. Reed was a member of the eight-man boat which won the silver medal at the 2017 World Championships, Richards competed on the 2017 Worlds four-man, and DiSanto represented the US in the 2016 Rio Olympics, narrowly missing out on a medal as a member of the fourth place eight-man boat. DiSanto returned to Belmont Hill this past year to deliver a chapel speech about his journey to the height of international competition. Congratulations to Mike, Andrew, and Alexander and good luck in the Championships and in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics!


Mr. Martin Enjoys Beautiful Maine

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review

Thanks to the Boston Globe and Allied Media, two Panel staff members attended a special press pre-screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. On July 23, they convened at the AMC Loews Theater in Boston to watch the film (the sixth iteration of the Mission: Impossible series), which opened in theaters across America on Friday, July 27. Read their review below:

Since the first installment of the series in 1996, the Mission: Impossible franchise has consistently produced heart-stopping action films that have ruled over the Summer months, and with July’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, this year is no different. Despite the increasing age of the series’ star and head stuntman (a surely Scientology-powered, 56-year-old Tom Cruise), Paramount Pictures kept the perilous feats coming and delivered possibly the best chapter of the Mission: Impossible series to date.

While the first five Mission: Impossible movies followed five different storylines and saw five different directors at the helm, Fallout shared director Christopher McQuarrie with the last M: I film (2015’s Rogue Nation) and picked up where the last story left off: MI6-agent-turned-anarchist Solomon Lane, captured by Cruise’s Ethan Hunt during the fifth film, is safely in prison. But the remaining members of his criminal syndicate, termed “The Apostles,” have been linked to terror plots around the world and, through a failed mission by Hunt, have gained access to enough plutonium to build three atomic bombs. With obstacles piling up, Hunt must find the plutonium and uncover the identity of mysterious Apostle leader John Lark before the bombs can be deployed. But as Hunt tries to save the world, the IMF once again finds themselves under attack from the US government, who see the group as having too much free rein and assign swaggering agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to watch over Hunt and his team. The two spies quickly clash, leaving Ethan unsure of whom to trust.

In Fallout, the M: I crew leans on what it does best: the movie overflows with action, twists, and suspense, and is relatively unpredictable in a genre that is often too easy to anticipate. And while the audience knows the gist of what will happen (a major movie series is unlikely to kill their beloved star), it doesn’t really matter; the plot is a vehicle for breathless combat and death-defying stunts, and the suspense lies in the details – as Ethan seems to dig himself further into a hole, it often remains unclear how he plans to climb out. The film contains all your favorite Mission: Impossible tropes, from the crazy stunts and the status of the World as entirely in Ethan Hunt’s war-ready hands to a world-traversing plot and chase scenes in iconic cities, as well as the famous IMF masks, which, despite taking an extreme amount of suspension of disbelief, always make for an exciting and triumphant scene once the rubbery face is ripped off. The movie includes a gripping motorcycle chase through the streets of Paris, building hopping in London – a scene in which Cruise broke his ankle but continued acting – and a high stakes helicopter chase followed by a fight for the fate of the world on the edge of a cliff in Kashmir. Occasionally, as with most action films, the fight scenes may have been gratuitously long, but, in what is possibly the best way to endorse the work, it never felt like the two and a half hour movie dragged on. A white-knuckled ride from start to finish, the latest Mission: Impossible is well-deserving of the title of biggest Summer blockbuster, leaving us to hope that Tom Cruise’s body will hold up for the next one.


Members of XC Team Train at Dartmouth Running Camp

On Thursday, August 2nd, six members of Belmont Hill Cross Country (Matthew Smith ‘19, Matthew Goguen ‘19, Nick Daley ‘19, Colin Braun ‘19, James Donahue ‘22, and Howard Huang ‘22) completed the Gold Medal Running Camp at Dartmouth College, marking the fourth year that Belmont Hill students were in attendance. Starting on Sunday, July 29, the grueling overnight camp lasted five days. As soon as the Belmont Hill runners arrived at camp, they were split into one of five groups based on mile PR and mileage for the previous week; Belmont Hill runners spanned from groups two to five. After all the campers had settled into their dorms, which, this year, unlike years prior, were air-conditioned, they immediately began their training with some pre-run stretching and a long run (up to 7+ miles) followed by a cookout. The camp’s intensity and high mileage, for which it has earned its reputation, however, only increased in the following days. On Monday, campers completed three runs: a two-mile wake-up run before breakfast, a 2-mile fartlek (a workout characterized by alternating periods of hard running and jogging recovery) accompanied by 2+ mile warmups and cooldowns, and a 3+ mile run in the afternoon. On Monday, campers also were treated with a visit from Ben True, a Dartmouth alumnus and one of the top distance runners in the US. Tuesday was similarly difficult: runners again completed a 2-mile run in the morning along with a hill repeat workout and 1-mile afternoon run. Tuesday also included breakout sessions which covered topics ranging from college recruitment to injury prevention and a visit from a Nike representative. Finally, on Wednesday, Belmont Hill runners and their fellow campers got rest and recovery; activities for the day included a short run, aqua jogging, form drills, and a chance to try on the newest running shoes from sportswear giant Nike, the sponsor of the camp. The time off, however, didn’t last very long. On Thursday, runners concluded the camp with a time trial on a brutal 2.1-mile course called “Roller Coaster.” Whether Belmont Hill runners, cognizant of overuse injuries at the camp in the past, treated the time trial more like a tempo workout or instead chose to test their limits, such as James Donahue, who finished sixth overall, did, the team’s work throughout the week and at the time trial displayed promise and prowess for the upcoming season. Hopefully, future generations of Belmont Hill runners can continue to reap the rewards of this worthwhile and infant tradition for years to come.

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