The Tangerine’s Co-Athletes of the Year: Mackenzie Mix and Georgie Santullo


Matthew Breault

Mackenzie Mix and Georgie Santullo have been named the Tangerine’s Co-Athletes of the Year.

Matthew Breault and Emily Joss

Both Editor-in-Chief Matthew Breault and Sports Editor Emily Joss came together to decide who would be named The Tangerine’s Co-Athletes of the Year.

Utica University Athletics made huge strides throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, with many teams having historical seasons, and a number of individual athletes putting up remarkable statistics. Throughout the year and as of April 28, the Pioneers have had roughly 82 athletes make All-Conference teams, eight receive All-Region accolades and seven athletes were marked as All-Americans, still with some of the spring sports’ awards yet to be decided. 

Within the Pioneer community, two athletes stand out among the rest, which is why The Tangerine has decided to name two athletes as its Athlete(s) of the Year. Mackenzie Mix, a dual-athlete of field hockey and women’s track and field and women’s ice hockey star Georgie Santullo have been named The Tangerine’s second annual Co-Athletes of the Year.

Mix, who is a local product of Camden, New York and Camden High School broke multiple school records, including the Indoor 300m, 400m, 4x200m and 4x400m, as well as the Outdoor 100m, 200m and 400m. If the record hasn’t been broken yet by Mix, and she has competed in the event, she is within the top 10 all-time.

 “It’s a very surreal feeling to look back on the records I have broken,” Mix said. “Going into my freshman year of college, I was just expecting to improve my personal record times from last year. I never really thought about the school records until I broke the first one (indoor 400m). After that, it only motivated me to train and work even harder to see if I could break more.”

Although Mix is in her freshman season, the pressure of competition never gets to her. She handles it with grace and always lets her hard work do the talking. 

“Mackenzie combines outstanding work ethic with a love of competition and she is willing to do the hard work to prepare for competition, and when the gun goes off, she has great competitive fire,” Assistant Track and Field Coach John Hartpence said. “The thing that makes her the most special is that when we get to the biggest meets, she performs her best.” 

This is evident, as some of Mix’s many records were earned at both the Empire 8 Indoor Championships, when she secured the conference title for the 200m, and the Empire 8 Outdoor Championships, where she secured the conference title for the 100m, 200m and 400m, while breaking the eight-year old 400m record by over a second (56.76). 

Santullo, who recently completed her senior season for Utica’s women’s ice hockey, left herself in the Pioneer record books within the top 10 of every major category of career and single season records. 

In her latest season, she played her way to having the most points (55), points per game (2.12), goals (29) and goals per game (1.12) in a single season than any other Pioneer before her. She concluded her season ranked second in the nation with her 1.12 goals per game, and third in the nation with her 2.12 points per game (2.12) and nine power play goals. 

Santullo said without her close-knit group of friends and family, her accomplishments this season would be null. 

“I owe all my personal accomplishments to the hard work and dedication by my team and without our overall success together, being an All-American wouldn’t have been possible,” Santullo said. “My friends have been amazing supporters throughout my time here at Utica and I owe all my success to my parents and their support throughout the years. From the time I stepped on skates, they provided me every opportunity they could.”

Like Santullo, Mix recognized that much of her success can be attributed to her coaches and teammates.

“The coaches and my teammates are very motivating,” Mix said. “The coaches set goals for me that I feel are realistic and achievable. They do a good job at pushing me to conquer them. My teammates are very supportive, we are a close-knit team and we have a lot of fun together.” 

For their successes, the two athletes have combined for six conference Athlete of the Week honors, with Mix earning three Empire 8 Athlete of the Week awards and Santullo with three UCHC Athlete of the Week honors. 

Mix was named to the E8 Indoor All-Conference team and will likely be named to the E8 Outdoor All-Conference team as well, as she won the 2022 Empire 8 Women’s Outdoor Championship Track Athlete of the Meet, while sweeping the short distance sprinting events.

Santullo collected conference honors, UCHC Player of the Year, and was named as a first-time All-American. 

The hardwork and dedication of these two athletes is unmatched and began years before they ever became Pioneers. 

In a conversation with Mix’s high school coach Steven Campbell, he praised the way her dedication to improve never ceased. 

“Mackenzie was one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of our school and she currently holds five school records,” Campbell said. “Mackenzie was always very focused even at a young age, hardworking and willing to do anything for the good of the team. We are so proud of what she is doing at the collegiate level but not surprised given her work ethic.”

Similar comments were made by Bob MacCurtain, who coached Santullo during her high school career at Woburn High in Massachusetts. 

“I would have to kick her off the ice after practice because the Zamboni was trying to make the sheet for the next group,” MacCurtain said. “She was always trying to get in one more shot, one more touch of the puck. Georgie was consistent, every day you got her best effort. There weren’t any off days.” 

Mix looks forward to representing Utica University at the NCAA Nationals during her career as a Pioneer. It appears that this opportunity is closer than she expected, as Mix is currently ranked 18th in the nation in the 400m, and 49th in the nation in the 100m. 

Mix is still currently in her outdoor season, after winning three events at the Empire 8 Outdoor Championships. Mix still has two chances to qualify for NCAA Nationals, as there is a meet in Nazareth on Sunday, May 15, and NCAA Regionals will be held at Moravian University on May 18 and 19. 

Santullo’s season has concluded, however, her career hasn’t yet, as she has recently chosen to continue her education at Utica and pursue her master’s degree in Social Work, while getting back on the ice with the team one last time. 

With more seasons ahead for each of them, Mix and Santullo still have much unfinished business in their respective Utica Pioneers uniforms.