24 AQUINAS LANDMARK | WINTER 2024 Alumni News 2023 INDUCTEES STEPHEN D. ESLER ’99 Athletics When Stephen Esler came to Aquinas in the fall of 1995 from Sacred Heart Elementary School, he had no idea that the relationships he was about to create over the next four years would have the biggest impact on his life. The Aquinas standard of excellence raised the level of expectations he had for himself, while the life skills and knowledge helped to raise his level of confidence to chase dreams he once thought were unattainable. The dream chasing for Steve began, appropriately, as a member of the Aquinas indoor and outdoor track and field teams. When it was all said and done, he graduated as one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in school history. Steve set school records for both indoor and outdoor track and field in the high jump and pentathlon, while winning sectional titles in the indoor and outdoor season in both of those events. In 1998, he was crowned the Outdoor State Champion in the high jump, when he set the school record of 6’7”, a record that still stands today. In 1999, he returned to the Outdoor State Championships and finished second in the pentathlon. Steve continued his track and field career and success at the University at Buffalo where he received two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Biomechanics. Throughout his collegiate career, he set school records in the indoor high jump, indoor pentathlon, indoor heptathlon, outdoor high jump and outdoor decathlon. He was a Mid-American Conference Champion in the outdoor decathlon and indoor heptathlon. He also qualified for the NCAA Championships in the outdoor decathlon, and placed 7th at the USATF Combined Events Qualifier. In 2003, Steve was recognized as the University at Buffalo’s Male Athlete of the Year. From 2004-2016, Steve stayed on at the University at Buffalo as a coach for the Bulls’ track and field team. His athletes set 15 UB school records, won ten individual MAC Championships qualified for 15 NCAA Championships, five USA Junior National Championships, and four Canadian National Championships. In 2016, he also had the honor of coaching Team USA’s men’s decathletes at the Pan American Combined Events Cup. KEITH A. MANSCUK ’04 Athletics When Keith Manscuk took the Aquinas placement exam as an 8th grader ready to leave his local public school, he had aspirations of donning a sweater for the Li’l Irish hockey team. Five years later, he graduated as the most prolific goal scorers in school history … just not on the ice. Once he arrived at Aquinas, Keith decided to focus his time and energy on the soccer field, and the result was one of the most successful careers in Aquinas soccer history. He was a huge part of an unprecedented run by Coach Joe LaPietra’s teams, as the Li’l Irish won three sectional titles from 2001-2003, and capped off the 2003 season with a NYSPHAA Championship. Keith’s three-year varsity career was extremely impressive, but the 2003 season, his senior year, was truly something special. In helping Aquinas win its second-ever state championship in boys’ soccer, he set the school record for goals in a season with 38, and points in a season with 90. He was named All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year, and first team All-State, as well as being named to the All-American team. To add to the storybook season, he was also able to share the success with his brother and teammate, Kyle ’07. Keith completed his soccer career at Aquinas with the most career goals scored in school history (79) and most career points (202). He was inducted into the Section V Boys Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014. Success on the pitch continued for Keith in college at SUNY Oneonta. In 2006, he set the school record for most goals in a season with 30, most assists in a season with 16, and most points in a season with 76. His offensive onslaught led him to be named First Team All-Region, and Second Team All-American. He was also SUNY Oneonta’s Men’s Athlete of the Year 2006-2007. Today, Keith is a Finance Manager, FP&A, with AngioDynamics, Inc. He credits Aquinas with providing the foundation in ethics and morals, among other things, that have helped him excel in his profession.