Junior Emily Mulcunry of the Bristol Eastern girls swimming and diving team and senior wide receiver Nathan Rosa of the Bristol Central football team have been selected as the “Athlete of the Week” picks for area scholastic sports.
Mulcunry, the daughter of Beth and Rob Mulcunry, placed eighth with a score of 318.90 at the Class M state diving championships at Bulkeley High School on Wednesday after previously having captured first place in the event a few days before at the CCC South championships with a 352.90 point tally.
“Emily has worked hard over the past three years as a diver,” coach Alyson Phelan said. “She has learned to hone her skills to improve her dives during the course of the season. She is a wonderful teammate and supports her team to reach their best scores and times. Emily is an asset to our team and is on track to have a very successful senior season.”
Mulcunry beat Bristol Central’s Erin Petke, last week’s female “Athlete of the Week,” for first place in the conference championships.
“It was definitely close,” Mulcunry said. “I wasn’t positively sure about [winning] it. I just wanted to have fun and I had a positive mindset. Erin’s one of my good friends and we’re planning to practice together in the off-season.”
Last year, the Lancers competed in the Class L event and she had a better score than the one in Class M this year, but she has graciously accepted the fact.
“I’m satisfied,” Mulcunry said. “My freshman year I finished 17th at Class L states, sophomore year I was 11th at Class L states and junior year I was eighth at Class M states, so I’ve been improving each year. My goal is to make State Opens next year.”
Mulcunry added that her career personal bests were 239 points in six-dive competition and her winning CCC South total of 352.90 in the 11-dive. This success came despite just taking on diving as a freshman.
“I was a gymnast for a while,” Mulcunry said. “My mom [a college gymnast] coaches at Farmington Valley Gymnastics. I like spending time with my friends. I like [diving] because it’s similar to gymnastics, so it was easier getting a handle on it.”
In addition to school, Mulcunry competes for Elite Diving out of Wesleyan College in Middletown. She is hoping that Petke joins the team, which travels to meets throughout the year.
As far as college in two years, she’s unsure what her studies will encompass, but is thinking something in the medical field right now. She added that she would love to dive at the collegiate level.
Rosa, the son of Deanna and Glenn Rosa, has been playing steady for the Rams (4-5), whose most recent win was by a score of 34-13 against host East Catholic on Saturday.
“Nate’s come such a long way these four years,” coach Jeff Papazian said. “He’s worked his tail off to turn himself into a complete receiver. He’s always had great hands and his height causes matchup problems for teams. But he really got after it in the weight room the past two seasons. Now we’re seeing the results of all that hard work.
“He’s been tremendous blocking in the run game for us. And he’s developed to the point where he’s running past people and getting away after the catch. He’s a great kid who does everything right in the building during the day. I think he’s got the ability to continue on and become a really good college wideout if that’s what he chooses to do.”
Rosa took up the sport as a second grader with the Bristol Bulldogs. His father had been his coach at the start and to eighth grade after having played here himself in high school.
“Having a dad who knows what he was talking about and played before made me a better player,” Rosa said. “He taught me things in different ways.”
It’s been a family game. Things are the same for Rosa’s brother, Victor, who also starts on the gridiron for the Rams as a receiver. This past Saturday, the younger Rosa scored the first two touchdowns of his high school career, caught two passes for 44 yards and ran the ball on eight occasions for 117 yards.
“He’s a freshman who plays wife receiver and safety,” said Nathan Rosa. “He plays alongside me. It’s good. I’ve never played with him before because of our age difference. It’s really special to play with him.”
Up next for the Rosa brothers and their teammates is the annual Thanksgiving Day game against cross-town rival Bristol Eastern.
“We’re ready,” Rosa said. “It’s the family of the team. Knowing that you are surrounding yourself with the same people, those who love the same thing.”
Rosa, who also plays basketball for the Rams as a power forward, plans on college for the 2019-2020 school year. That includes studying accounting with the hopes of playing football.
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.