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Fulmer Helped Raise Rye Field Hockey to Elite

RYE, N.Y. -- The Rye varsity field hockey team had always been a Section 1 perennial power. Nina Fulmer and her classmates would thrust Rye into the elite.Fulmer was instrumental in leading Rye to consecutive New York State Class C championships in 2000 and ‘01. Those were the first of four state titles and five trips to the championship game last decade.Fulmer also started a family tradition. Younger sister, Holly, was a starter on the 2003 state title team and the ‘04 team, which was a state finalist. Younger brother, Sam, was a member of the 2005 and ‘07 Rye football state champions.“Being able to say you are a two-time New York State champion is a pretty awesome feeling,” said Fulmer, who lives in Chicago and works in the Local Media Division of NBC. “I am still great friends with many of the girls on the team and I can’t pretend we don’t occasionally recap our glory days, especially if there are some Rye Garnet football players around."“My father made a donation to the Rye High School athletics department to purchase one of the old ‘Welcome to Rye’ signs as it had state championships listed for my sister, my brother and myself. It’s a pretty cool thing and my dad has it hung proudly on our wall.”Fulmer, who started at Dartmouth and graduated in 2006 with a degree in English, was the sweeper on Rye’s title teams. Fulmer was an unyielding force, who possessed the hardest drive in Section 1. Opposing players were in a dangerous position if they attempted to block a Fulmer drive.Fulmer still remains active in sports, playing softball and soccer in adult leagues and riding her bicycle along Lake Michigan. As much as she enjoys all sports, field hockey is her passion. Fulmer would make varsity as a freshman and start on the 1999 Section 1 winning team. However, the 1999 team had its state title hopes stopped at Skidmore in a regional game.“I still remember that game at Skidmore my sophomore year very well,” Fulmer said. “That was supposed to be our big year and we lost. This actually ended up making our state championship win the following year even better because we were supposed to be experiencing a ‘rebuilding year’ and we were regarded as underdogs going into the season.”Fulmer was a member of an outstanding senior class. It also included Kelly O’Brien, Leslie Cacciapaglia and Nicole Cavino, to name a few. O’Brien went on to play at Bucknell, Cacciapaglia at Yale and Cavino played soccer in college.Looking back on it being Rye’s first state title winning team, as well as two-time state champ, is something Fulmer cherishes because of her teammates.“I think what made us special is that we were all great friends,” said Fulmer of O’Brien, Cacciapaglia, Cavino and the other seniors. “Many of us had been playing in the Rye youth sports leagues since we were six or seven. It definitely was a special group of athletic and motivated girls.“At that time, winning two state championships was amazing. It’s a fun and special memory to have together.”

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