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Athletics Hall of Fame: Spotlight on Lexa Gandolfo (Castiello) '93

During her senior year at St. Andrew’s, Lexa Gandolfo (Castiello) ’93, clinched not one, not two, but three conference titles—one each in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.
But despite her athletic prowess—she’s a two-time winner of the school’s Female Athlete of the Year award and an All-Met athlete—it is her humility and her dedication to lifting up her teammates that distinguish her legacy. On October 15, those teammates, and others, will get to honor her when she is inducted in the inaugural St. Andrew’s Athletics Hall of Fame class.
“She was clearly more athletically gifted than pretty much everybody out there, but she was very unassuming about it,” said Torie Ketcham ’93, Gandolfo’s twin sister. “She worked hard and never looked at herself as being more important than anybody else in the group.”
Gandolfo played center midfielder in soccer, point guard in basketball and attack wing in lacrosse. In four years, Gandolfo and her teams secured nine conference titles, including the three during her senior year.
“That was a proud moment. This was our last year,” Gandolfo said. “These were the girls I had been playing with all through high school. It was exciting to end on a high note.
“St. Andrew’s provided me with a very supportive environment in which to compete. We did a lot of winning, but the emphasis was really on sportsmanship and camaraderie and working together with other people on your team to accomplish a shared goal.”
Alison Condie Jaenicke, the varsity girls’ basketball coach in the early ‘90s, recalled Gandolfo as a “great team contributor” who took the time to perfect the 3-pointer so her team would have an “extra threat.”
“She was the consummate competitor,” Jaenicke said. “She had the ability to see the whole court. She was really able to take on the classic point guard role. She was very unselfish and ready to step up.”
Gandolfo went on to play soccer and lacrosse at Princeton University, where she said she was challenged athletically and academically. It was during a regular season lacrosse game in her sophomore year when her communities at Princeton and St. Andrew’s would meet.
Gandolfo remembers seeing teachers from throughout her time at St. Andrew’s in the stands during the game.
“It made me feel special. They had families and lives but they made the effort to come. They wanted to be there while I played,” Gandolfo said. “I really hope that I expressed to them how much it meant to me.”
Gandolfo would return to St. Andrew’s to coach lacrosse for a season. She stays connected with St. Andrew’s through her nephews, Colin McLearn ‘18 and William McLearn ‘16.
“I feel like that same spirit of camaraderie and companionship and compassion really has been sustained through the present day,” Gandolfo said.
She said she is humbled by her induction into the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, calling it an honor she “didn’t expected but wholly appreciated.”
Ketcham said her sister deserves the recognition because she “embodies all the elements of the kind of person you want to be on your team.”
“She was talented, she was a leader, she was humble, she was a team player, and I think if you asked anyone in our class who is deserving of that honor, I think most, if not all of them, would mention her name,” Ketcham said.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.