This is already looking like an amazing season for Mount Saint Joseph’s Varsity and Junior Varsity Track teams. Before the first meet at Maryvale, head coach Luke Spurrier asked the team to guess what rank they thought the Baltimore Sun gave Mount Saint Joseph in the ranking of the top-ten track teams. The team was shocked when Coach told them that they weren’t listed in the poll at all. He quickly reassured the team that despite what anyone says, we have a good team. He emphasized that if the team wins a championship, preseason polls won’t matter because we’ll have proven that we are the best.
All the pent up frustration, emotion, and passion has driven the Gaels to three straight wins on the teams in the first three meets. The Gaels dominated the Loyola Relays and took home the first place trophy, despite the cold and inclement weather. The distance medley relay team of Hunter Petrik, Justin Russel, Alex Whittaker, and Carter Williams broke an all-time school record with a total time of 10 minutes and 53 seconds! They are just 17 seconds away from qualifying for the Penn Relays.
The Gaels went on the road and dominated Calvert Hall on both the Varsity and Junior Varsity squads. The Varsity won a lopsided 113-33 victory over the Cardinals. The JV score was 91-54. Manny Patterson broke a 35-year-old school record as he cruised to victory in the 100 meters. His time of 10.2 seconds was truly an unbelievable feat. Justin Russell was able to maintain focus, despite losing his shoe, to win the Varsity 1600 meter race! The lost shoe didn’t seem to bother him much at all as he led the race from start to finish and finished six seconds within the next runner. Calvin Parker was able to win the 400 meters. The team of Juan Mendoza, Okena Obi, Jaden Blue, and Manny Patterson were able to win the 4×100 meter relay.
Both teams also won the second meet against Archbishop Curley. Varsity edged the Friars 88-48 as JV outed Curley 80-47. It looked as if it could be a rainy, stormy meet during warm ups. When the meet started, conditions were fairly clear. However, the rain would eventually come, pouring down as conditions turned dismal. The Gaels wouldn’t let the cold and rain get to them as they won multiple events. The 4×800 meter relay team of Calvin Parker, Michael Lochary, Joe Ruf, and Chantley Levi started off the meet strong as they came from behind to win the race. Sadly, the 4×200 meter relay team would be disqualified because of a botched hand-off. JV runner Joey Zitowski looked strong as he won the 1600 meter race. Alex Whittaker had an impressive win in the 3200 meter race, as he won it with a time of 10 minutes flat.
So the team seems very amped up and strong so far. They have proven that hard work, dedication, and effort payoff as they’ve dominated all their competition so far this season. Next up, the team has the Woodward Relay meet. This is a great opportunity where the distance medley relay team can work on their goal to go to the Penn Relays. It’s also an opportunity for the 4x800m, 4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m relay teams to put forth a great effort, continue to progress, and strive to win. The Gaels will also be running a 4x1600m team that will have a strong chance for victory
Mount Saint Joseph already has a 4×400 meter relay team registered to go to the Penn Relays. The pool of athletes who could run are Jaden Blue, Calvin Parker, Justin Russell, Quinton Coe, Josh Vaughn, and Michael Lochary. This is the second year in a row the team will send a 4x400m relay team to Penn, and they hope they can improve upon their finish of third out of 12 teams.
Some other notable upcoming meets are a duel meet versus rival Gilman on April 23rd, a dual meet against Loyola on April 27th, Penn Relays on the weekend of April 29-30, and the MIAA Championships on May 11th and May 14th.
The flame that started back in the championship cross country season has not died as the Gaels have performed outstandingly ever since. The disappointment of not being able to compete for the triple crown (winning an MIAA championship in Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track) will continue to fuel the Gaels as they press on this season. So come out and support the Gaels for the rest of the time left this season as they continue to strive for their ultimate goal… an MIAA championship!