Defending IAAM indoor track and field team champion The Seton Keough High School, Baltimore, will join McDonogh School as heavy favorites this season after gutting out a close battle at Hagerstown Community College on Dec. 1.
The Gators opened the indoor track and field season by scoring 100.5 points to place second to McDonogh’s 103.75 as both teams jumped, threw and ran past the 14 schools who entered. Third-place Mount de Sales Academy, Catonsville, scored 46 points and was followed by Institute of Notre Dame, Baltimore, 27; Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn, 25; Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson, 22.75; Maryvale Preparatory School, Baltimore, 11; The John Carroll School, Bel Air, 10; and The Catholic High School of Baltimore with six points.
According to Gene Williams, IAAM’s track and field chairperson, Maryvale’s Lacey Shuman had the day’s top performance with a 5-foot-4 clearance in the high jump. That leap was two inches above the league championship record. The Lions dominated the vertical jump as Emma Rakosky (4-foot-10) took second and Ashley Faison (4-foot-8) was sixth.
Williams said that as the meet wore on, the battle heated up after four of 12 events were complete; Seton Keough trailed by nearly 50 points as the McDonogh Eagles won the first four races. But the Gators started to chip away at the lead by scoring important third- and fourth-place points in the 1,600-meter run behind Notre Dame Prep’s Erin Laschinger’s winning 5.28.3 effort.
“A one-two Seton Keough sweep in the shot put by Chelsea Tavik and Megan Voorhees, along with wins in the final four running events nearly resulted in the group meet title going to the Gators,” said Williams. Taking those events were Colleen Shea in the 800, Erin Brooks in the 300, Katie Sacker in the 3,200, and the Gators’ 4×400 relay team.
Mount de Sales was paced by Becky Boulay’s win in the 500, while Lindsay Pisanic took the pole vault.
“This was the best season-opening meet the league has had for depth and quality of performance,” said Williams. “Every year the teams get better and several teams are named among the among the Baltimore area’s top 10 high-school teams. “About 400 girls compete for their schools in a sport that takes hard work and effort on the part of the athletes and coaches,” he added. “The only downside for teams is that most have to travel at least an hour to get to the available indoor tracks.”