DOVER — They may have been in Dover, but Padua and Salesianum claimed Dover High School as their own on May 20-21. The Pandas and Sals repeated as DIAA Division I spring track and field state champions, each with a dominating performance that left no doubt about the outcome.
The Pandas won 12 of 18 events and scored well when they didn’t win. That was good enough for 211.5 points, the most in meet history, girls or boys. Smyrna was second with 93. It was the biggest margin of victory in event history. It was the Pandas’ 10th straight championship; the first two came as members of Division II. Overall, Padua has won 22 spring track titles.
Pandas sophomore Juliana Balon was outstanding. She won three sprint events: the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dash. The Pandas’ Katie Dorsey won both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and Padua collected a bunch of points in both events. Kylie McCarthy was fourth and Kelsey Wolff fifth in the 1,600, and McCarthy (second) and Geneva Laur (fourth) were top finishers in the 3,200.
In the other run, the 800, Padua did not win, but Elena Bocchetti, Dorsey and Mary Flanagan placed second, third and fourth, respectively.
Another Pandas sophomore, Sophia Curtis, came through in the hurdles. She won both the 100-meter and 300-meter events.
In the relays, the quartet of Sophia Holgado, Dorsey, Emily Haney and Flanagan won the 4×400 by 20 seconds over the nearest competitor. The foursome of Claire Merchant, Julia Querey, Flanagan and Holgado captured the 4×800, and they defeated the runner-up by almost 37 seconds.
The Pandas were just as successful in the field events. Elce Baker won the pole vault. Balon added another title in the long jump, and Curtis did as well in the triple jump. Mekiyah Earnest finished second in the triple jump, and Alexa Frick was second in the shot put.
Salesianum put on a dominating performance as well in taking home the boys’ Division I championship. The Sals won five events and used their incredible depth to pull away from the competition.
Sallies finished with 170 points, with Smyrna coming in second with 72. It was the Sals’ third straight spring track title and 19th overall.
Among the individual running events, the 3,200-meter run produced the Sals’ lone gold medal. Ryan Banko won that event. His teammate, Matt Miller, finished third. Salesianum also got top three finishes in those events from Jasyn Truitt, second in the 200-meter dash, and Jake Portale, fourth in the 400-meter dash.
In the relays, the team of Amari Mathis, Vinny DelliCompagni, Truitt and Bishop Lane won the 4×100. Mathis, Truitt, and DelliCompagni were anchored by Michael Portale as they won the 4×200. The school took third in the 4×400 (Lane, Truitt, Colin McGhee and Matthew Filliben) and the 4×800 (John Barbato, Colin Small, Michael Toy and Filliben).
Matt Klous won the pole vault. His winning height of 14-01.50 was more than two feet better than the runner up. Lane took third in the event. Chris Gulotti was the winner of the shot put, with teammate Jason Dzik right behind him. Gulotti also placed third in the discus. Micah Wing was second in both the high jump and triple jump, and Adam Argo was third in the triple jump.
All photos by Mike Lang.