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Saint Mark’s girls win first state outdoor track and field championship since 1992

The girls track and field team from Saint Mark's High School shows off its state championship trophy May 22 at Dover High School. The Spartans had three event winners during the two-day meet. Photo courtesy of Saint Mark's High School

Saint Mark’s High School captured its fourth state championship in girls outdoor track and field, but its first since 1992, at the DIAA meet May 21-22 at Dover High School. The Spartans won three individual events as part of a strong overall team effort to outpoint second-place Ursuline, 157-105.

The Spartans, to no one’s surprise, excelled at the distance events. Junior Tiffany Herrera continued an outstanding year with a first-place finish in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. Her twin sister, Stephanie, placed second in the 1,600. Tiffany Herrera also came in second in the 800-meter run, and her teammate, Natalie Donaldson, was third. Stephanie Herrera was fourth in the 800.

Danni McGonigle, a sophomore for the Spartans, also had a busy two days. She came in third in the 200-meter dash, and she had a big day in the field events. McGonigle won the triple jump, and she was third in both the high jump and pole vault.

Other Spartans who had top-three finishes included the 4X400-meter relay team; Ellie Brown, who was the runner-up in the pole vault; Isabella McKenna, the second-place finisher in the long jump and the triple jump; and Sarah Hessler, who was second in the discus.

Ursuline had a strong performance to take silver. They were led in the field events by sophomore Gabriella Paolella, a double winner. Paolella captured both the shot put and discus. Five of the top six spots in the discus went to students at Catholic high schools. The other victory in a field event for the Raiders went to junior Sophie Maguire, who took the pole vault.

On the track, the Raiders excelled in the relays. The Raiders won the 4×100, the 4X400, and the 4×800.

Emily Rzucidlo came in third in the 400-meter dash, and Anna Pryor was third in the 3,200-meter run.

Archmere had an individual winner in freshman Jane Willin. She took gold in the high jump. The Auks also placed in the top three in the 300-meter hurdles, with Roisin Liew taking third, and in the 4×100-meter relay (third) and the 4×200-meter relay (second). Archmere finished in fifth place in Division II out of 22 teams.

Padua continued its mastery of Division I, winning its seventh consecutive title, along with the two prior to that while a member of Division II. The Pandas scored 186 points, 86.5 more than runner up Smyrna.

Senior Erin Kelleher broke her own state record in the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 2 inches, which was two inches higher than she had done at the New Castle County championship meet a week before.

Judy McLaughlin won the 800, while teammate Mary Katherine Dorsey was a double winner in the 1,600 and 3,200. The Pandas also had great success in the relays, winning three: the 4×100, 4×400, and 4×800. They were third in the 4×200.

Two other Pandas won gold medals. They were Jia Anderson in the 100-meter hurdles and Anastasia Watson in the discus. Watson also took third in the shot put. Other top-three finishers for Padua included Juliana Balon, second in the 200-meter run and third in the long jump; Grace Zamroswki, second in the 400; Dorsey, third in the 800; Geneva Laur, third in the 3,200; Sophia Curtis, second in the 300-meter hurdles; and Mekiyah Earnest, third in the triple jump.