Monica del Prado
Monica Blanco del Prado ’90, who with her husband Ricardo operates a small collections agency in Guadalajara, Mexico, is Washington College’s first International Correspondent. In this role, the former international studies major will help Washington College connect with our amazing alumni living around the world so that they can be well represented in Class Notes.
“Washington College is more than a school to me, it is a wonderful place that has given me lifelong friends and become part of who I am,” says Monica. “It gave me so much that serving as International Correspondent is the least that I can do in return. Thanks for giving me the chance to do it; I hope I do a good job, I will try to do my best that is for sure.”
Monica was most recently back on campus in 2009 when the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame honored her for her role in elevating the women’s tennis program into national prominence. For two years, Monica and her partner Tracy Peel were the best doubles team in Washington College history and one of the best tandems in the nation. Monica earned All-America honors and national rankings of seventh and eighth, respectively, in her two years of play. She is the sole two-time All-American in the history of the women’s tennis program.
Monica and her husband have two teenaged daughters: Paola, 18, and Monica, 14. Ricardo works for West Company, a service company for American businesses such as Caesar’s Palace and AT&T.
Hall Of Fame Citation
In 1988 Monica Blanco became the first woman to be part of the famed “Mexican tennis connection.” Coach Holly Bramble, with help from men’s player Claudio Gonzalez, convinced Monica to leave her homeland and transfer to “the college on the Chester.” Monica followed her fellow compatriots, Enrique Leal, Alejandro Hernandez and Gonzalez. All three eventually became All-Americans, so she had big shoes to fill.
It is rare when someone can accomplish so much, both scholastically and athletically, in such a short time, but Monica Blanco did just that at Washington College. The poor economic conditions in her native Mexico necessitated that Monica earn her undergraduate degree in two years. She worked as many as five jobs while maintaining a 3.0 GPA. If she had used all four years of her eligibility, one can only wonder what she could have accomplished.
When Monica came to Chestertown in the fall of ‘88, Coach Bramble immediately inserted her in the lineup at number one singles. With the arrival of Tracy Peel for the upcoming spring semester, Monica moved to the number two position. The one-two punch of Blanco and Peel proved to be a formidable combination. The two would become the best doubles team in Washington College history and one of the best tandems in the nation. They were also Washington College’s first female All-Americans.
During those two years they qualified for the NCAA’s each year, reached the quarterfinals of the national tournament twice and compiled a spectacular 33-9 record. By virtue of these results Monica earned All-America honors and national rankings of seventh and eighth, respectively. She is the sole two-time All-American in the program’s history.
Monica was also an accomplished singles player. Twice she won the Catholic University Fall Tennis Classic, was a quarterfinalist at the Middle Atlantic Conference championships and reached the round of 16 at the prestigious Eastern Regional Small College Championships. Recognizing her many contributions to her team, her teammates voted her as the team’s most valuable player in her final season.
Following graduation she returned to Guadalajara and married Ricardo Iturbide Linares. They have two daughters, Monica Alejandra and Paola Maria. Currently she works in her area’s public school system introducing English language classes to elementary-age students, a role she previously helped implement in Kent County to children of Hispanic immigrants.
Washington College considers it an honor and privilege to induct Monica Blanco del Prado in the Washington College Athletic Hall of Fame on this tenth day of October, 2009.