The SCH and Notre Dame 4 x 400 relay teams were close at the end of the third leg, then anchor Allie Kitchell (second from right) took the baton from Nilah Jordan and the Blue Devils went on to win by six seconds. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

After winning handily in its first Inter-Ac League dual meet two weeks ago, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy rose to a 2-0 mark last Tuesday following a closer clash with visiting Academy of Notre Dame, always a solid franchise in the league.

The SCH girls program is now being headed by former assistant Maurice Broadwater, who at one time was head coach at Roman Catholic High School and has extensive experience in club track coaching. His daughter, star sprinter and hurdler Brooklynn Broadwater, graduated from SCH last spring and is now running in the SEC for the University of Tennessee.

Since Inter-Ac dual meet results don’t figure into the final league standings (that’s decided strictly at the championships), SCH has been scoring these contests down to sixth place to provide an indication of team depth. The tally against Notre Dame, 215-191, reflected the fact that in most events, victories by one team were counterbalanced by other high placings by the rival school.

There was only one sweep of the top three places, and that was by the Blue Devils in the high jump. On the other hand, SCH didn’t collect any points at all in the 3200, deciding not to enter anyone against the sole contestant from Notre Dame, Liv Mayhall. The Irish sophomore persevered on her own on the first 80-degree day of the year.

SCH’s Bee Adams clears a hurdle on the way to her win in the 300-meter intermediates. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

The positive outcome overall for the hosts was largely due to a strong showing in the field events, where Springside Chestnut Hill placed first in all five disciplines. On the track, the Devils won the 400 and 800 meter races, the 300 intermediate hurdles, and both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. The visiting Irish triumphed in the 100 high hurdles as well as in the two shortest footraces (the 100 and 200) and the two longest (the 1600 and 3200).

Blue Devils junior Allie Kitchell won the 400 meters and the shot put, then anchored the winning 4 x 400 relay team at the end of the meet. Sophomore Bee Adams placed first in the intermediate hurdles and the long jump and finished second in the high hurdles, while her classmate Nayah Moore won the high jump and the triple jump.

Libby Jefferson, a member of the very small senior contingent on the team, took top honors in the pole vault, was runner-up in the high jump and triple jump, and ran the third leg in the victorious 4 x 100 relay. Junior Haley Unthank looked strong in her win at 800 meters, and she led off the 4 x 400 later on.

Among SCH’s promising group of freshmen was Luna Moskal, who was runner-up in the 100 and 200-meter sprints and also ran with the 4 x 100 “B” team that finished just four-tenths of a second behind the winning group for the Blue Devils.

The first place quartet in the 4 x 100, timed in 54.4 seconds, consisted of juniors Allie Moore and Alexa Walls, Jefferson, and Nayah Moore. Moskal led off for the second SCH group and was followed in the order by Tiara Jenkins, Destiny Weal, and Nilah Jordan. All are freshmen except Weal, a sophomore.

After the first three laps of the 4 x 400, SCH (Unthank/Adams/Jordan) made the final exchange only a step or two ahead of Notre Dame (Tina D’Anjolell/Meghan Mitchell/Jess Schneider). On the anchor leg, SCH’s Kitchell separated from Vicky Carlini of the Irish, powering a Blue Devil victory in 4:12.5, while Notre Dame was runner-up in 4:18.3.

For Notre Dame, junior Alex Ciampi rang up points with wins in the 200 meters and the high hurdles and a second-place showing in the intermediate hurdles. The winner in the 100 was fellow AND 11th-grader Anjolell, who is primarily a field hockey player and has verballed to the University of Michigan.

Schneider, a sophomore, won for the Irish in the 1600 and was third in the intermediate hurdles. Heaving the shot just one inch shy of Kitchell’s winning mark for SCH was Notre Dame senior Kara Celano, a graduate of Norwood Fontbonne Academy.