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Coach Kyle Prepares for Final Track Meet

By Joe Mertens '15, 06/03/22, 12:00PM EDT


After 50 years as a Track and Field coach at Saint Ignatius, Chuck Kyle '69 heads into his final track meet this weekend.

OHIO CITY, Oh - A chapter for the Track and Field program will close this weekend in Columbus as head coach Chuck Kyle '69 heads into the final meet of his legendary coaching career. Coach Kyle has 50 years of coaching experience and took over as head coach for the program before the 1974 season. The Wildcats will compete at the State Meet this weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to wrap up the season and have peaked at the right time.

"I want to block it out about it being the last meet," says Kyle. "In fairness to these kids, it's their State Meet. It'll hit me on the drive home from Columbus, but right now, it's about the kids having experience running against some of the best competition."

It was a slow start to the 2022 season for the Track and Field Cats, as their first victory wouldn't come until April 29 at the Titan Relays at Berea Midpark High School. Since that race, the Cats have been on a tear, placing first at the Euclid Relays and claiming a District and Regional Title. Saint Ignatius qualified John Corrigan, Sean Uhran, Damon Frabotta, Ben Showman, Samurai Chung and Max Muresan for the State Meet.

A program-record was broken in the Regional Meet in Findlay as Frabotta broke the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles with a time of 37.84. This was the first time a record has been broken on the Track and Field team since the 2017 season. "Let's give accolades to Damon Frabotta, who wins the 110h, sets the school record in 300 Intermediate Hurdles and leads off in the 4x400m," explains Kyle. "So much credit goes to Damon; hurdles are a four-year process. I gave him a hurdle to take home and he exploded this season."

"Walking down the Hall of Fame hallway, you see all the records and it's always been a dream of mine to get on the boards," says Frabotta. "Coming into this year, I never thought it would be a possibility; it was nice to achieve that and be a part of history at Saint Ignatius."

The motto of this year's Track and Field Cats has been a progression. The relay teams were relatively young this season, with the graduation of Jack McCarthy '21, Peter Fitzpatrick '21, Aidan Monroe '21 and Joe Maloney '21. The 4x400m team of Frabotta, Showman, Chung and Muresan is one of the best in the state. At Regionals, they ran a season-best 3:18.83. The 4x800m team of Showman, Paliga, Sean Uhran and John Corrigan have made noise in the state. At the Regional Meet, they ran a season-best and a stadium best at 7:56.48.  

"The 4x400m was ranked in the top three all year and there is an exciting competition in that event," explains Kyle. "The 4x800m team was pretty young but has developed nicely and won the Regional event."

Thank You Coach Kyle

Paliga will be continuing his academic and track and field career at Xavier University and is a key piece in the 4x800m team. "At the start of the season, there were many holes to fill," says Paliga. "I couldn't be more proud of this team; everyone works their tail off."

As the Wildcats head into the State Meet, this will be the final track and field meet for a few seniors, including Sean Uhran. "Many emotions are heading into this meet," Uhran says. "Many of my friends are running in college, but I'm not, so this will be my last meet. I am excited, but it is bittersweet."

There is a sense of focus among the Wildcats, which was evident throughout the week of practice. "It's business-oriented," Kyle explains. "Realizing there is not anymore you can do when it comes to training. We have been sharpening our techniques, but we feel good heading into the State Meet."

"This year, we have something to prove," says Paliga. "We did that at Districts and Regionals and we look to do that again at the State Meet."

The Division I State Meet will begin on Friday, June 3 and continue through Saturday, June 4, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Coach Kyle looks to finish his coaching tenure on a high note as he takes one of the largest qualifying track and field teams in recent years.

Gratitude from the Coaching Staff