The first meet of the Saint Ignatius sprint and field event squads was Saturday, February 13, at Youngstown State University. The sprinters are mostly younger runners this year, as there were only two seniors to run this weekend.
In the 60 meter dash, Senior Eric Shyne and Sophomore Nick Hille finished nearly neck and neck although in different heats with 7.54 and 7.63, respectively. Out of ten heats and 62 athletes, Eric finished 28th and Nick in 29th.
In the 400 meter dash, Senior Jack McCarthy ran a blazing indoor personal best of 50.95 for second place in the finals. This race sets McCarthy up for 15th place in the state.
Two Wildcat teams ran the 4x200 meter relay. The A team finished ninth in 1:37.89, represented by Nick Hille, Junior Frankie Pike, Eric Shyne, and Sophomore Aidan Morrison. The B team finished 11th in 1:38.8, with Sophomore Pierce Spencer and juniors Ryan Kennedy, Joe Norris, and Edwin Abiakl, representing the football 4x200 and running strong underclassmen.
Nick Velotta finished 15th in the shot put, throwing a personal best 43' 4.5". A great toss after sitting at Youngstown State for a long, lonely three hours. Velotta is the only throwing Senior for the Cats this year.
Overall a solid first indoor meet for the sprints and field team. The team now has times to build on. Led by Coach Wolf and Coach Krainz, the boys will only gain more confidence and drop faster times. Next Saturday at Youngstown State, we'll see them for a final attempt to qualify for the State Championship meet.
Saturday night's meet at Youngstown State University was the first meet of the year for the distance crew, coming off just six weeks of practice and very limited speedwork. The times ran Saturday served as starting points for the indoor and outdoor season, with about three months left until the end of outdoor. With Youngstown State grouping sprints together in the morning and distance in the afternoon, men's distance events came as the night's last events.
The 4x800 meter relay took off at a very late 5:30 PM. Michael Mayer, Ben Showman, Peter Fitzpatrick, and Joseph Maloney ran this event, hoping to qualify for the Spire's indoor state championship in early March. The top 24 in each event qualified in the state, and the 24th time in Division 1 was 8:59 going into the meet. The 4x8 Cats crushed it, running 8:25 as a team, now suitable for ninth in the state. Michael Mayer led off with a brilliant 2:05.8, Peter Fitzpatrick and Ben Showman followed with stable times of 2:06.4 and 2:08.7, respectively. Joseph Maloney then anchored for the Cats in a team-best 2:04.5, finishing second in the race as a team and best from Ohio. Joseph's splits of 64.0 and 60.5 had him as the only man on the team to split negatively. The winner of the 4x8 consisted of four sub 2:00 runners from Pennsylvania working together to set a US #1 in 7:50 for a 35-second win.
Next for the distance Cats was the 1600 meters, and the Cats ran together in heat number two. Aidan Monroe won the heat in a personal best 4:34.43, currently 27th in the state. Aidan had a phenomenal finish: after leading the entire race, Aidan relinquished the lead with 400 meters. With a half lap left of the 300-meter track, Aidan was 10 meters back in second place! Coming into the straightaway, Aidan reached another gear and made up the gap of about five meters over the last 70. Connor McAndrew finished seventh in the heat in 4:41.07, a personal best! Sean Ward also ran a massive personal best in 4:53.40, and Owen Rodstrom finished in 5:24.11 (you guessed it, even a personal best)!
In the 800 meters, Caleb DelaCruz, Aidan Reily, and Conor McGuire represented the Cats. Caleb ran 2:21.57, Aidan Ran 2:17.06, and Conor ran 2:15.42. All three ran impressive marks to start the indoor season!
The last event was the 3200-meter run, starting at 6:40 PM. Matt Kelly, Sean Uhran, and Christian Wolke, in Christian's Youngstown State Debut, all ran very well. Matt and Sean came through the one mile as co-leaders in 4:48, respectively (tying their personal best for 1600). Matt finished fifth after an exciting sprint-off in 9:45.75, a 28 second personal best, and 17th in the state. Sean finished 8th in 9:56.48, a 17 second personal best. Christian finished 15th in 10:43, also a personal best and a strong showing.
The Youngstown State Meet was a success for the Distance Cats. Runners of all grades and distances set a time to look back on in May and think, "Wow, I was really slow." The Cats will be back in action next weekend at Youngstown State University.