by Tom Utescher
A rousing performance by the 4 x 800 meter relay team highlighted Mount St. Joseph Academy’s appearance at 2012 Track and Field Championships for the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies. The Magic ended up fifth in the team standings, with 54 points.
MSJ juniors Adrienne Cellucci, Patricia Hoffman, and Meredith Reiche ran the first three legs of the relay and sophomore Alyssa Kist closed out the race with a winning time of nine minutes, 41.71 seconds, just ahead of traditional league power St. Basil’s (9:42.96).
Cellucci and Hoffman also saw action in the 4 x 400, combining with senior number three Brooke Sabia and sophomore anchor Sarah Lynch to produce a third-place performance in 4:04.88.
Individually, Lynch won the high jump (5’0”) and was runner-up in the 300 intermediate hurdles (47.50 seconds). The Magic got a one-two finish in the high jump thanks to junior Katie Gross (4’10”), while Hoffman placed second in the 1600 meters with a time of 5:18.67.
On the lacrosse pitch, the Mount closed out the regular season with a 17-7 non-league victory over West Chester’s Bayard Rustin High School before moving on to the District 1 tournament. In the 32-team field for Districts, number 21 Mount St. Joe found themselves matched up with none other than their old league nemesis, 12th-seeded Merion Mercy Academy. The Magic battled to a halftime tie but eventually fell to the Golden Bears for the third time this season, 13-11.
Against Rustin, the Mount built up a 10-3 lead in the first period and then cruised to victory as sophomore Natalie Bohner banged in four goals. The winners got two goals apiece from five juniors: Emilee Ehret (four assists), Olivia Gannon (three assists), Dominique Nyzio (four draw controls), Marley Breslin, and Meg McCabe.
Another 11th-grader, goalie Alex Lista, had nine saves in the game, and she had the same number of stops against Merion last Tuesday in the opening round of the District 1 tourney. Here, there were scoring hat tricks for Ehret (eight draws), Gannon, and Nyzio, and La Salle-bound senior Burke Brabson scored twice and led the team in ground balls, with five. The first half ended in a 6-6 standoff, but Merion took control with a 4-0 surge to start the second period.
In regular Catholic Academies play, Merion was the undefeated league champion while the Mount and Villa Maria split their home-away series and tied for runner-up. The Magic and the Hurricanes each ended up 9-3 in the AACA, playing every team twice except for St. Basil. Mount St. Joe, in its first season under head coach Jen Duckenfield, finished with a 13-6 overall record that included a seven-game win streak in April.