Junior Tara Gallagher heads down the home straight to seal a Mount victory in the 4 x 800 relay at the Catholic Academies championships. In the background are senior teammate Courtney Higginson (left) and MSJ coach Kitty McClernand. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Junior Tara Gallagher heads down the home straight to seal a Mount victory in the 4 x 800 relay at the Catholic Academies championships. In the background are senior teammate Courtney Higginson (left) and MSJ coach Kitty McClernand. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Unexpectedly hosting the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies track and field championships last Wednesday, Mount St. Joseph Academy finished third at the league meet, posting 98 total points to come in behind champion Gwynedd Mercy (152 pts.) and runner-up Villa Joseph Marie (118). Fourth through seventh in the standings (Sacred Heart did not have an official team entered) were Nazareth Academy (72), St. Basil (62), Villa Maria (31), and Merion Mercy (17).

The final standings reflected a steady improvement in the Mount’s performance at the championships, following a fourth-place finish the year before and fifth place in 2012. In fact, in 2014 the Magic won all of its league dual meets, but the multi-team dynamic at the championships did not always work in the Magic’s favor.

Some members of the current senior class made a strong showing in individual events. Sarah Lynch won the 100 meter high hurdles in 15.87 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the runner-up, and also took first in the long jump, travelling 17’1” to best the second-place leaper by a foot-and-a-half.

Genny Hagedorn, also a senior but a first-year javelin thrower, sent the spear out to a mark of 90 feet on the nose to take the gold medal in that event. Junior Madeline Reiche secured first place in the high jump by bounding 5’0”, while Lynch came in second, ending up at the same height with more attempts.

On the track, a highlight for Mount St. Joe came early in the meet, in the first of the three relay races. Over the first three legs of the 4 x 800, senior Alyssa Kist, junior Aidan Moroz, and senior Annie McCabe had the Magic in second place, with Villa Joseph Marie some 25 meters ahead. On the anchor leg, junior Tara Gallagher roused the home crowd by tracking down the leader and passing her. She recorded a 2:22 split as the Mounties won in 9:43.25.

Mount St. Joe finished second behind Gwynedd in the 4 x 100 meter race, where a time of 51.50 was turned in by sophomore Lauren Ciasullo, junior Leah Carrares, and freshmen Siobhan McBride and Sarina Clary.

In addition to winning the high hurdles, Lynch helped the Magic to a two/three showing in the 300 meter intermediates, coming in a very close second to Gwynedd’s Mary Casey, 46.64 seconds to 46.83. In third was MSJ freshman Julie Hoover, in 48.58.

Sophomore Julianna Kardish placed fourth in the 3200 meter run, and in the long jump McBride was fourth and her older sister Colleen (a junior) came in fifth.