PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — Padua and Salesianum kept the banners coming to their respective gymnasiums, winning the DIAA girls and boys indoor track state championships Feb. 19 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. It was the 10th straight title for the Pandas, while the Sals repeated for the third straight season.
The meet was back indoors after being held outside last year at Dover High School when no facilities were available because of the pandemic. The location does not seem to matter to Padua, which captured its 17th indoor title. The Pandas held off a spirited effort by Saint Mark’s, who finished second for the first time since 1993. Tatnall finished third.
The Pandas took first place in seven events, with sophomore Juliana Balon leading the way. She won three individual events, beginning with the long jump. She showed her talent in the track events as well as the field, also capturing the 55-meter and the 200-meter dashes.
The Pandas also got victories from freshman Elce Walsh in the pole vault, sophomore Sophia Curtis in the 55-meter hurdles, and in the 4×800 and 4×400 relays. The 4×800 team included Elena Bocchetti, Julia Querey, Claire Taggart and Katie Dorsey. The members of the 4×800 team were Amanda DeFrehn, Helena Howard, Bella Smookler and Patricia Locke.
Dorsey took second in the 1,600-meter run, and sophomore Mary Flanagan was second in the 800-meter run. Sophomore Sophia Holgado was third in the 400-meter run and second in the 3,200. The Pandas were third in the 4×200, and Maggie Morris placed third in shot put.
It was also a very good day for Saint Mark’s. Senior Sarah Hessler opened the day with a victory in the shot put, and junior Danni McGonigle added gold in the triple jump. Senior Tiffany Herrera led a strong effort in the distance runs, winning both the 1,600 and the 3,200. Runners from Catholic schools took eight of the top 10 spots in the 1,600 and seven of the top 10 in the 3,200.
McGonigle added a second-place finish in the long jump and was third in the 55-meter hurdles. Senior Stephanie Herrera was third in the 1,600, and freshman Alexis Donovan took third in the 200-meter run. Senior Isabella McKenna was third in the triple jump. In the relays, the Spartans were second in the 4×200.
Other top-three finishes for Catholic school athletes included Gabriella Paolella, an Ursuline junior, who was second in the shot put; Archmere sophomore Jane Willin, third in the high jump; Ursuline senior Sophie Maguire, second in the pole vault; and Ursuline, second in the 4×400.
In the boys’ meet, Salesianum won for the fourth time in the past five seasons and the 13th time overall. The Sals have been the champions or runners up every year since 2015.
Junior Matt Klous took the gold in the pole vault. His height of 13 feet was two and a half feet better than the runner up. Senior Michael Portale captured the 200-meter dash. The Sals also won the 4×200, which included Bishop Lane, Jasyn Truitt, Vinny DelliCompagni and Michael Portale. They also won the 4×400, which featured Braeden Korb, Lane, Matthew Filliben and Portale.
The Sals scored top-three finishes in the shot put, with senior Jason Dzik coming in second and classmate Chris Gulotti third. Senior Adam Argo was third in the triple jump. Junior Matt Miller was the runner up in the 1,600. Truitt, a sophomore, finished behind Portale in the 200-meter dash. And senior Ryan Banko was second in the 3,200.
Saint Mark’s had an individual winner in senior Max DiOssi, who took the shot put.
The Sals easily outdistanced Cape Henlopen for the crown, with Dover coming in third.