Padua Academy retained its hold on indoor track in Delaware, winning its ninth consecutive state championship on March 3 at Dover High School.
The indoor championship meet is normally held in Prince Georges County, Md., but with that unavailable because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association opted for a “polar bear” meet held outdoors at Dover. After enduring a shortened season with events held in the cold, the athletes were rewarded with a cloudless day with temperatures approaching 60 degrees. The Pandas certainly took advantage.
They were dominant in the sprints and distance races, as well as in the field events. All told, Padua won 10 of the 15 events and scored in all of them. They finished with 178.5 points, comfortably ahead of the runner-up, Ursuline. The Raiders had two event winners themselves and an overall strong afternoon. Saint Mark’s came in seventh, and Archmere was ninth of the 18 schools that earned points.
The Pandas took home the first-place trophy for the ninth consecutive year. It was their 17th championship. Ursuline had its best showing since 1997, when they finished in second behind William Penn.
Jia Anderson won two events for the Pandas, the 55-meter dash and the 55-meter hurdles. Juliana Balon took second in the 55-meter dash and won the 200-meter dash. The Pandas also had winners in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs. Those were Grace Zamrowski and Mary Katherine Dorsey, respectively. Judith McLaughlin came in second in the 800-meter run, and Nora Higley took third in the 1,600. Dorsey was third in the 3,200.
In the relays, the winning 4×200 team consisted of Sophia Curtis, Julia Querey, Sophia Holgado and Alessandra DeAscanis. The 4×800 quartet, also a first-place finisher, included Kelsey Wolff, Natalie Spadaccini, McLaughlin and Zamrowski. The team of Balon, Holgado, McLaughlin and Zamrowski took second in the 4×400.
Mackenzie Sobczyk was the state champion in the high jump, and she was not alone. Erin Kelleher took the pole vault, and Anastasia Watson won the shot put. Mekiyah Earnest was the runner-up in the triple jump.
Ursuline had a fine day as well. Alaina McGonigle won the 400-meter dash, and she was part of the winning 4×400-meter relay. She anchored the group that also included Loghan Dougherty, Jane Burns and Ragan Odle.
Anna Pryor came in second in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200, and Raiders Dougherty and Ava Lindia took third and fourth place, respectively, in the 800-meter run. The 4×800 team of Ava Lindia, Isabella Lindia, Dougherty and McGonigle was second, and the 4×200 group of Samiah Sudler-Brooks, Maria Kennedy, Kaitlin Burns and Margaret Lober was fourth.
In the field events, Gabriella Paolella was second in the shot put, and Sophie Maguire was second in the pole vault. Natalie Whalen took third in the high jump.
Saint Mark’s standout Tiffany Herrera was the state champion in the 3,200-meter run, followed by her sister, Stephanie. Sarah Hessler took third in the shot put.
Archmere received a third place finish from the 4×200-meter relay team of Clara Korley, Gabby Henry, Jules Witherell and Simi Edeki, and Maddie Priest was fourth in the 1,600.
Salesianum used its depth and strength in the distance events to hold off second-place Smyrna by a score of 117.5-86. The Sals successfully defended their 2020 title and captured their 12th overall indoor crown.
The Sals had state champions in three events. Ryan Banko was responsible for two of those, as he won the 1,600 and 3,200. The other winner was the 4×200 team of Amari Mathis, Michael Portale, Jasyn Truitt and Bishop Lane.
Portale was the runner-up in the 200-meter dash, and he anchored the 4×400 relay team that also came in second. The other members of that group were Luke Riley, Matt Greenley and Lane. The other second-place finishers were Matthew Klous in the pole vault and the team of Matthew Filliben, Michael Toy, Colin Small and Riley in the 4×800.
Riley was third in the 800-meter run, and Portale was third in the long jump.
Saint Mark’s placed 10th in the boys’ meet. The Spartans got fourth-place finishes from Jack Vito in the 1,600 and Casey Winnington in the 3,200.