Top 25 Congressional Staff Student-Athletes on The Hill Contest Honorees Announced

WASHINGTON – The LEAD1 Association, which represents the athletic directors of the 130-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), is proud to announce the honorees for the Top 25 Congressional Staff Student-Athletes on the Hill Contest. The contest winners will be recognized at the LEAD1 Congressional Luncheon on September 26 in conjunction with the LEAD1 annual meeting in Washington.

Among those selected for the Top 25 contest, 60 percent received All-Conference, All-Region or All-America honors. The list boasts conference and national champions, both in team and individual sports, school record holders, and medalists in Olympic sports. Off the playing field and court, the honorees carried all-league academic honors, numerous conference scholar-athlete selections, and Google Cloud Academic All-District® accolades.

“We are pleased to honor Congressional staff members who are former collegiate student-athletes,” LEAD1 President and CEO Tom McMillen said. “This elite group received top academic and athletic honors at their respective institutions. We look forward to recognizing the honorees on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.”

Congressional offices were surveyed for nominations, and top selections were made by current and former leaders in Congress who were college student-athletes. The contest was open to candidates of all NCAA divisions as well as all Congressional staff positions.

For the second consecutive year, athletics directors from the Association and various members of Congress who represent LEAD1 institutions will meet on Capitol Hill for a Congressional Luncheon. Last year, the Association honored 50-plus members of Congress who were former student-athletes.

The Top 25 honorees are:

Name     School    Sport      Current Position
Carly Atchison American Field Hockey Communications Director, Rep. Tom Emmer
Will Batson North Alabama Football, Baseball Legislative Assistant, Sen. Ted Cruz
Derek Chancellor South Dakota Football Legislative Correspondent, Sen. John Thune
Mark Dennin Georgetown XC/Track & Field Policy Aide, Sen. Claire McCaskill
Derrick Dockery Texas Football Intergovernmental Outreach Director,
Rep. Paul Ryan
Anna Catharine Feaster Davidson Tennis Constituent Relations Rep.,
Sen. Lamar Alexander
Joshua Flynn-Brown Chapman Basketball Investigative Counsel,
Senate Judiciary Committee
Sean Gard Nebraska Football Chief of Staff, Rep. Gwen Moore
Lauren Gros Georgetown Golf Scheduler, Rep. Rick Larsen
Michael Hudspith Notre Dame Swimming & Diving Staff Assistant, Rep. Rick Larsen
Maxwell Huntley Michigan Wrestling Legislative Aide/Press Assistant,
Rep. Rob Wittman
Kathryn Irwin Princeton Crew Team Correspondence Manager,
Sen. Kamala Harris
Katie Lingle South Dakota State Basketball Press Secretary, Sen. John Thune
Kayla McMurry Tennessee Tennis Legislative Assistant, Sen. Susan Collins
Laura Mengelkamp Wyoming Golf Deputy Communications Director,
Sen. John Barrasso
Andrew Mitchell TCU Baseball Legislative Assistant, Sen. John Cornyn
Jackie Modesett Harvard Track & Field Scheduler/Office Manager, Rep. Austin Scott
Madeline Morrow Duke Track & Field Legislative Correspondent, Rep. Bob Gibbs
Samantha Nelson Duke Field Hockey Professional Staff Member, Senate Appropriations Committee, Financial Services, and General Government Subcommittee
Laura O’Hara Stanford Track & Field Senior Historical Web Editor,
House Office of the Historian
Addie Patterson Virginia Tech Swimming & Diving Legislative Assistant/Press Secretary,
Rep. Jeff Duncan
Elizabeth Strimer Marshall Volleyball Policy Advisor, Sen. Mitch McConnell
Margaret Tucker Fogarty James Madison Lacrosse Staff Assistant, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Becca Ward Duke Fencing Legislative Assistant, Sen. Jeff Markley
Abigail Welborn Virginia Volleyball Legislative Assistant, Sen. Tom Cotton

About the LEAD1 Association:
LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 131-member universities of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit our website at