The Mount Saint Joseph Gaels are looking to bring the trophy back home the spring. Under new head coach Kyle Reagan, the Gaels competed very well this past indoor season, finishing second place behind Gilman. Throughout the season, many challenges were faced, but they always found a way. Saint Joe also brought eight athletes to compete at the Armory in New York City this past winter. Many athletes step up when needed and it will only carry on to the outdoor season.
In the sprints and jumps, senior Juan Mendoza led the charge. His consistent performances through his dashes and jumps was key to the Gaels’ hard fought battle during championships. He will be a key asset this spring if the Gaels want a shot at bringing the title back home this May.
For the hurdles, the junior combo of Kahri Barfield and Mekhi Nixon took over the MIAA. Barfield took first place and Nixon took third at indoor championships. This dynamic duo brought home a load of points at championships, and hope to repeat what they did during indoor this spring.
The distance crew for Saint Joe is looking solid. Many of the distance runners had a short indoor season due to the long cross country season they had, but made the most of it. The 4X800 team broke the indoor school record this year and looks to do the same for outdoor. For the 3200, the group is led by senior Ryan Hockstra, followed by juniors Gabe Antone and David Trider. In the 1600 and 800, Andrew Brinker will compete in his fourth season of outdoor track looking to do some damage. Last but not least, there is Joey Zietowski who ran some quick times during the indoor season in the 800 will be leading the mid distance group.
Saint Joe’s ole reliable this year has been senior Hunter Petrik who ran everything from the 400 to the 3200. The senior broke the 800 meter indoor record for the school. He also anchored the 4X800 team that broke the school record. To go on top of this, he also lowered the 3200 meter record which he already owned. Petrik was striving for the 1600 meter record, but ran the full mile (1609 meters) at New Balance Nationals at the Armory in New York. Hunter ran a wicked fast time of 4:21 for the mile at nationals and represented Saint Joe well. Petrik announced in late February his acceptance to the United States Naval Academy, where he will further his education and running career.
The Gaels have a lot of talent and assets from indoor that will aid them this season. The seniors with experience hopefully can pave the way for the younger generation. The athletes mentioned in this article are only a part of the team effort that comes together during every meet. All in all, if the Gaels want to bring that trophy home it will have to be a team effort on both days of championships later this spring in May.