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Jbg. grad named national field hockey Player of the Year

Johnsburg 2010 graduate Kelly Blackhurst (front right), a now field hockey player for Skidmore College, battles a Middlebury College player for ball control during a recent game. Blackhurst was honored recently as a top field hockey player in the nation.
Photo provided

Johnsburg 2010 graduate Kelly Blackhurst (front right), a now field hockey player for Skidmore College, battles a Middlebury College player for ball control during a recent game. Blackhurst was honored recently as a top field hockey player in the nation. Photo provided

Kelly Blackhurst, a 2010 graduate of Johnsburg High School, has been honored as a top college field hockey player in the U.S.

Last week, Blackhurst, a Skidmore College senior, was named the 2013 National Player of the Year by the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association.

Blackhurstis the first field hockey player ever at the college to achieve this prestigious award — the one athlete chosen from among about 4,500 players on about 180 Division III field hockey teams.

Blackhurst played varsity field hockey for Johnsburg from eighth grade through her senior year. She continued in field hockey Skidmore, starting every game since she joined the Thoroughbreds as a Freshman.

Blackhurst scored 32 goals and tallied 15 assists for 79 performance points during the 2013 season.

Her efforts were rewarded with the title of 2013 Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year.

She led the Thoroughbreds to a 19-4 overall record, the 2013 Liberty League Championship, and a trip to the NCAA Final Four.

Over her college career, Blackhurst scored 105 goals and 54 assists, tallying 264 career points. She is the all-time leading scorer at Skidmore and in the Liberty league. She also holds the Skidmore record for the most game-winning goals (20), the most points in a season (79), the most goals in a season (32) and the most game-winning goals in a season (8).

Blackhurst is a four-time Liberty League First Team selection, a three-time Longstreth/NFHCA All-American selection, and a two-time Longstreth/NFHCA North Atlantic Region Player of the Year.

Of all Division III college players on record, Blackhurst ranks fifth for career scoring.

Regardless of all her achievements and awards, Blackhurst credited others, noting that her personal success was in large part due to the athleticism of the other players and their outstanding teamwork.

Blackhurst said Dec. 16 that she has played field hockey ever since she was introduced to the sport in the fourth grade at Johnsburg Elementary. Over the next 11 years, she always competed from front-line and attack positions.

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