Balancing Acts: Two Newest Members of Foxcroft's Sports Hall of Fame Live the School Motto

Jacy Edelman and Alison Firestone Robitaille, who were both inducted into the Foxcroft School Sports Hall of Fame Saturday (Feb. 28), have a lot in common.

They are both members of the Class of 1995. They both grew up near Middleburg and attended the Hill School before coming to Foxcroft. They are both mothers of young children with demanding careers.

And, of course, they are both terrific athletes.
And both Robitaille, one of the country's preeminent equestrians, and Edelman, a college All-America in two sports, know a lot about the delicate balance between mind and body — and they credit Foxcroft for teaching them that.

“Whether you are a soccer player, a tennis player, a yogi, a swimmer or equestrian — each of you knows the unique flow when your body and mind are working so exquisitely as one,” said Edelman, in her acceptance speech during the induction of Foxcroft's second class of Sports Hall of Famers in the Mary Louise Leipheimer Gymnasium 
during halftime of the annual Fox/Hound basketball game. “I want to thank Foxcroft for nurturing this balance of mind and body, of sports and academics, of an understanding heart and an inquisitive mind. And the only advice I want to share with you is to encourage you to let this motto carry you through all walks of life.”
 
Robitaille, a consistent force in show jumping for more than 20 years, said that she learned how to handle that mind-body juggle as the first participant in Foxcroft’s unique Exceptional Proficiency Program, which allowed her to spend the winter training in Florida while meeting all the School’s academic requirements. A rising star on the Grand Prix show jumping circuit, Robitaille was competing internationally by the time she graduated — with an acceptance to the University of Virginia in hand.
 
“Being a student while pursuing my goals as a rider taught me a lot about time management, about balancing academics and riding,” said Robitaille, who decided to forego college in favor or riding and, two years later, was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Equestrian of the Year. “I never would have been able to accomplish what I did as quickly as I did if it weren’t for Foxcroft’s program."
 
And what she accomplished is, as McGehee put it, “exemplary.” In 1997, Robitaille helped the U.S. Equestrian Team find victory in the inaugural Samsung Nations’ Cup World Series; both she and her horse, Gustl P, led the series. Robitaille was the top-placed U.S. rider at 1998 World Equestrian Games and competed for the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the Pan American Games.

Robitaille has been a strong and consistent force on the U.S. Grand Prix circuit ever since, even as marriage and motherhood (Ava is 5 and Zoe 3) have cut down on her travel. In 2004, Alison was an alternate for the Olympic Games and in 2012 helped the U.S. win the FEI Nations Cup in Argentina.
 
She also trains up-and-coming riders and clearly remains a role model to many young equestrians — including two Foxcroft freshmen who came to the reception in Roomies following the induction ceremony Saturday.

“I’m a show jumper too,” one girl said excitedly upon being introduced, “and I think you are wonderful.”
 
Edelman is pretty wonderful too. The daughter of Technology Director Merrilyn Saint, Jacy won the Theresa E. Shook Award (Foxcroft’s highest athletic honor) and then became the first player at Wellesley to be named New England Women and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Rookie of the Year in two sports. She did it in field hockey and lacrosse during the 1995-96 school year.

A truly remarkable athlete, Edelman also achieved national small college All-America status in both sports — third team in field hockey (1998) and honorable mention in lacrosse (1997). She was named to NEWMAC all-conference teams seven times (four in field hockey and three in lacrosse).

Fulltime work and 20-month-old Oliver have made it more difficult but Edelman still plays field hockey when she can. On the field and in her job as Project Coordinator of a program to put student-centered technology into an economically-diverse elementary school, she uses what she learned on Foxcroft’s athletic fields daily — and encouraged Foxcroft students to do likewise. 

“It's the traits of perseverance, grit, cooperation, leadership, problem-solving, focus, and grace under pressure that developed through playing here at Foxcroft, that carried me through my college career and that I still count on every single day in my professional life,” said Edelman. “So I hope you'll each let that unique flow you cultivate in sports -- or whatever your creative outlet -- let that flow be your glow, your mojo, your everyday inner 'Go, go go!'"
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.