So they’ve done it! Mount Saint Joseph has won their first MIAA championship in 12 years. MSJ has proved how good of a team they truly are, bouncing back after not being ranked in the top 10 Track and Field teams by the Baltimore Sun at the beginning of the season. The Gaels used their motivation from not being able to compete in the Indoor Track championship to fuel them throughout this entire season of Outdoor Track.
The Gaels went undefeated in all dual meets this season, which gave them the title of dual meet champions (regular season) before competing in this year’s championship. They started off with a bang by wining the Loyola Relays. They then went on to defeat Calvert Hall, Curley, Spalding, Gilman, Loyola, and McDonogh. The Gaels relied on their depth to score in multiple events and dominate their competition. In day one of the MIAA championships, MSJ had to overcome a very rainy afternoon. Conditions were much better for the Gaels on second day of championships as they were able to pull away for the title. The Gaels ended up winning six out of the eighteen male events. They went on to score 157 points, which was 23 points ahead of runner up Gilman. The JV track squad actually were runner ups to Calvert Hall, as the Gales were edged by one point (Calvert Hall 150, MSJ 149). Throughout the two days there were multiple stellar performances, PR’s (personal records), and new records for the MSJ Track and Field record books.
The team was led by senior Emmanuel “Manny” Patterson who won four gold medals. Patterson won the open 100 meter race with a time of 10.68 seconds, won the open 200 meters with a time of 21.89 seconds (the second fastest 200 meter time in MSJ track history), and anchored the gold medal winning 4×100 meter and 4×200 meter relay teams.
Patterson, along with Juan Mendoza, Jadan Blue, and Darren Dunmoodie have put together a dominant 4×100 meter relay team, registering the third fastest 4×100 meter time in MSJ history and winning most of their races. The same can be said about the 4×200 meter relay team. Runners Joseph Jones, Dunmoodie, Blue, and Patterson ran the 6th fastest 4×200 meter time in MSJ history and won the gold medal at championships.
Ikena Obi and Chris Haley also had stellar performances in the 4×100 meter and 4×200 meter races respectively and look to step up and continue excelling, especially with the departure of seniors Patterson and Blue next year.
Alex Whittaker got a silver medal as he broke the 3200 meter record by 6 seconds. His time of 9 minutes and 32 seconds is by far the best 3200m time in MSJ history, and with another year left for Alex, he can only look to improve upon this mark. Alex was within five seconds of the number 1 distance runner in the state, Dalton Hengst.
The 4×800 meter relay team was awarded a bronze medal as they finished third in their race. The team of Michael Lochary, Calvin Parker, Joe Ruf, and Justin Russell ran a time of 8 minutes and 14 seconds. This is the second fastest 4×800 meter time in MSJ history.
Jadan Blue got fifth place in the open 400 meters with an impressive time of 51.74 seconds. He also received a bronze medal in the long jump.
Whittaker and Russell placed fifth and eighth in the open 800 meters and placed fourth and fifth for the 1600 meters.
The Gaels also dominated the field events as Quinton Coe won the high jump and Christian Carter won shot put. Christian Heyward was second in the discus throw, and Darren Dunmoodie placed fifth in the triple jump.
Some impressive performances on the Junior Varsity side were Brendon Dawkins finishing third in the open 100 meters, while Ari Weems finished fifth. Luke Hansen got second in the 110 meter hurdles. Andrew Black placed fourth in the 300 meter hurdles. Andrew Brinker placed second, and received the silver medal, in the 1600 meters with his personal best of 4 minutes and 42 seconds. Garret Keidel placed sixth in that race. Sophomore standout Joey Zietowski ran great over the two-day event, placing third in the JV 800 meter race and again placing third in the JV 1600 meter race. Brinker also received a silver medal in the 3200 meters with a time of 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Gabe Antone placed fourth in that race with a time of 10 minutes and 39 seconds. The JV 4×400 meter relay team placed third with a time of 3 minutes and 46 seconds. The 4×800 relay team placed third. Killian Garvey finished third in the high jump. Nick Hershfeld placed third in the pole vault. Kendall Carter was second in the triple jump. Liam Fitzsimmons placed fourth in the open 800 meters with a time of 2 minutes and 7 seconds.
Although the Mount will be losing some very talented seniors, the team still has a lot of impressive underclassmen who will work hard to defend their MIAA title. Also, with the class of 2020 coming in, who knows how good of a team the Gaels can have next year.
The 2015-2016 season will go down as a running season for the ages, as MSJ won the Cross Country MIAA Championship, the Indoor Regular Season Championship, and the Outdoor Regular Season and MIAA Championship. Congratulations to all the runners who have made sacrifices and dedicated themselves to the sport of competitive running this year. Their efforts have definitely paid off.
Can the Gaels repeat all of this success next year? Stay tuned for next season to find out. But until then, the Gaels will have fun celebrating this hard-fought victory!