Carla was the consummate scholar / athlete, the kind every coach would want on his or her team. A four year volleyball player, Carla was a team captain and team MVP twice. The Lady Tigers won one city championship and two second place finishes during this time. Bennett’s cumulative record during Carla’s tenure was 43 wins and 5 losses.
Carla was even more successful in swimming, her strongest sport. Carla was an All-High swimmer in at least one event all four of her years on the squad, with the Tigers winning two Syracuse Cup championships during that time. Carla finished with six school swimming records and two city records in the 100 yard Individual Medley and the 200 yard Freestyle Relay.
Carla didn’t waste her spring seasons either. She played three years of varsity tennis, with the Tigers winning the Dr Bapst city championship all three of those years. Carla was an All-High first doubles player.
Carla earned a Rochester National Scholarship to the University of Rochester. There she was the only freshman to start on the U. of R. volleyball team. Carla later received a BS degree in Computer Science from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo, and an MA degree from Clark University in Massachusetts. She is presently employed by Avocent Corporation as their Mid West Sales Director.
Carla and her husband, Michael Bankovich, reside in Cleveland, OH, and have three daughters, Francesca 16, Arianna 12, and Nina age 8.
Maurice Maloney, ‘48, competed in his first track competition in the spring of his sophomore year. He won his second race–the half-mile– helping him earn his first Bennett letter. As a junior, age 15, Maurice led Bennett to a Columbia Cup Championship in cross country. He finished second overall in the race–7 seconds faster than the previous course record. His senior year, Maurice ran the mile only once in competition–winning the race at 4:36 and breaking the Bennett record. At the Buffalo All High track meet, he was declared second in the half-mile in a dramatic and disputed finish.
While at Bennett, Maurice also raced with the Buffalo YMCA Track Club. The “Y” team–made up of high school kids–competed in the NAUU CC Championship in Detroit. Racing against 15 colleges, Maurice finished 7th overall, and helped lead the “Y” team to a second place finish behind Michigan State–besting 14 other colleges. He also became Canadian Junior Champion of the half-mile, winning the race 3 tenths of a second off the all-time Canadian record.
Maurice received a scholarship to Michigan State. At MSU, he was Captain and high point man of the Freshman Cross Country and Track Teams, and the only sophomore to make the Cross Country Varsity Team. Competing with 40 colleges at the IC4A CC Championships in New York City, he was the first sophomore to finish the race. His team won the 1949 NCAA Championship. In track, he was a member of MSU’s undefeated 4-mile relay team.
A serious knee injury at the end of his sophomore year ended his running career.
Kristin played three varsity sports, volleyball, basketball and softball during her three year tenure at Bennett H.S. Interestingly enough, Kristin’s coach for all three sports was her dad Steve Poliachik, a long time coach of girls sports at Bennett H.S. Coach Poliachik got to see first hand, his daughter achieve first team All-High status in each of two sports in both her junior and senior years. In volleyball, Kristin was regarded as an excellent server, once serving 14 consecutive points in a key league match against Hutch Tech. In her best sport, softball, Kristin was second team All-High as a sophomore, and first team All-High as a junior and senior. Kristin was a catcher / first baseman on some very competitive Tiger softball teams. After her senior season, Kristin was selected to participate in the “super Senior All-Star softball game”. Kristin’s high water mark was a lofty .350 season batting average. Her efforts led to a softball scholarship offer from Edinboro State College in PA. Among Kristin’s awards at graduation was recognition from the “West Side Businessmen’s Association” as a top scholar-athlete.
Kristin transferred to Canisius College after two years, and became a teacher. This school year will be her 18th year as a teacher at her Alma Mater, Bennett H.S. Kristin joins her sister Kim as a member of our Bennett Sports Hall of Fame.