College athlete signing ceremony celebrates recruited seniors


Desiree Luo

Recruited senior athletes Alexa Lowe, Ishaan Mantripragada, Ritika Rajamani, Megha Salvi, Austin Wang, Bobby Wang and Sophie Zhang-Murphy pose for a group photo following the annual college athlete signing ceremony.

by Katelyn Zhao and Desiree Luo

The upper school athletics department recognized nine seniors during the annual college athlete signing ceremony in the Athletic Center at 12:45 p.m on Thursday.

Seniors Alexa Lowe, Ishaan Mantripragada, Megha Salvi, Ritika Rajamani, Austin Wang, Bobby Wang and Sophie Zhang-Murphy, along with Mark Hu and Tara Ozdemir, who did not attend the ceremony, will continue to play their sports at the collegiate level as recruited athletes.

Upper School Athletic Director Dan Molin initiated the ceremony by congratulating the seniors. The seven present seniors introduced themselves to the audience, which consisted of peers, teachers and family members, before participating in a mock signing that signified their transition from the high school to collegiate level of sports.

Megha, who committed to Johns Hopkins for soccer, expressed gratitude for her teammates on the girls soccer team.

“I’m excited to play high level collegiate soccer,” Megha said. “I’ve always loved the sport, so exploring it further than high school will be really exciting for me. The Harker team is so close knit and we always feel almost like a second family.” 

Austin, Bobby and Mark, members of the varsity boys baseball team, will attend Caltech. After the ceremony, the seniors’ friends, family, coaches and teammates congratulated them, providing them with hugs and flowers.


“[The most exciting part of the ceremony was] probably signing the letter coming in, but also getting picked up by my friends,” Bobby said. “Going to the same school with my friends from the past four years, my brother [Austin] and Mark, and continuing that friendship in the game and in the classroom for the next four years will be really fun.”

Prior to the signing, Molin introduced varsity girls softball head coach Laurisa Hernandez, who acknowledged and gifted flowers to team seniors Emma Crook, Madeleine Hansen and Uma Iyer. Despite the cancellation of softball season due to a shortage of team members, Hernandez wanted to celebrate their dedication to the team throughout high school.

“We decided to recognize the seniors because they have been playing for the three years,” Hernandez said. “With this being the[ir] last year, [they] deserve recognition for being on the team even though [the season] didn’t go as planned.”

Katelyn Zhao

Below are the recruited seniors, their respective universities and their respective sports.

Mark Hu: Caltech, Baseball

Alexa Lowe: Carnegie Mellon University, Track & Field

Ishaan Mantripragada: Caltech, Soccer

Tara Ozdemir: Stetson University, Beach Volleyball

Ritika Rajamani: Swarthmore College, Cross Country

Megha Salvi: Johns Hopkins University, Soccer

Austin Wang: Caltech, Baseball

Bobby Wang: Caltech, Baseball

Sophie Zhang-Murphy: Princeton, Golf