DOVER — In 2007, the Saint Mark’s boys spring track and field team finished second to Salesianum in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I state championship meet by eight points. That was the closest the Spartans ever got to winning a title, although they did finish second in 2018.
The Spartans will be hanging a banner in the gymnasium, however, after breaking through on May 20-21 at Dover High School. With temperatures in the mid-90s on both days, Saint Mark’s picked up a few individual wins and high finishes in the field events and steadily gathered points during to other events to capture their first spring track and field championship. It was part of a very successful weekend for the school, as the girls’ team rallied in the final relay to tie Tatnall for a piece of first place. It was a repeat championship for the girls.
The Spartans had two individual winners on the day, both in field events. Max DiOssi continued a strong season with a victory in the shot put, but he wasn’t the only Spartan to score. Teammate Vaughn Highland came in second, and Luke Watson was seventh. In the long jump, Jabri White struck gold.
The Spartans added points in a bunch of events to hold off second-place A.I. duPont and Tatnall, who finished second and third. Saint Mark’s ended up with 95 points, while the Tigers had 88, and Tatnall was third with 78.
Spartans coach Mike DiGennaro said the depth of the throwing program would be the key.
“Our throwers dominated all season, so we relied heavily on those points to give us a lead,” he said. “The key was to find a way to 90 points because we figured that was what it was going to take to win. We clawed and fought in the events where A.I. and Tatnall were strong, and we picked up what we needed to get over 90.”
Other top-three finishes for the Spartans belonged to Casey Winnington, third in the 3,200, and Logan Klein, second in the discus. Winnington scored in two other events. Bryce Tucci scored in four individual events, and Chad Dohl scored in three. Saint Mark’s was third in both the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×800 relays.
DiGennaro praised his runners, who “bought in on the idea that they could win, and we picked up 18 much-needed points in (the relays).”
Bringing the first state championship in the sport to Pike Creek is an incredible feeling, DiGennaro said, and the athletes deserve all the credit. They had discussed during the season what it would mean to win for the school community.
“They believed in themselves from the first day of spring practice until the final event on the track. I give them credit for delivering when it mattered the most,” said DiGennaro, who also mentioned the work of his coaching staff as a key.
The following athletes from other Catholic schools posted top-three finishes: Quasim Benson, St. Elizabeth, third in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes; Jack Maister, Archmere, third in the long jump; and Andre Green, St. Elizabeth, third in the shot put.
All photos courtesy of Saint Mark’s High School except where noted.