April 1, 2010

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Mount track getting up to speed

Track and field is proving to be a popular pastime at Mount St. Joseph Academy this spring, with almost 70 athletes signing up to compete under the guidance of head coach Karen Orr, assistant coach Kitty McClernand, and throwers’ coach Mike Sweeney.

With this strong turnout, the Magic should have the team depth to move up within the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies, where they placed fifth in the championship meet last year.

The quad-captains for the 2010 squad are discus, javelin, and shot put ace Caroline Sweeney (Coach Sweeney’s daughter), hurdler Alex Fylypovych, middle distance and relay performer Meghan McGovern, and sprinter/hurdler Lexie Pravdiuk.

Caroline Sweeney, a multiple school record-holder who’ll continue her career at Kutztown University, has an 11th-grade sibling, Moira, on the team with her, and that’s just scratching the surface of the Magic’s expansive “sister act.”

There are three pairs of twins, sophomores Laura and Yasmin Mahoudian and Allie and Brooke Sabia (the latter are Norwood Fontbonne Academy grads), and freshmen Kathryn and Patricia Hoffman. In addition to the Sweeneys, there are three other sets of sisters of different ages. Casey Corcoran, Katie Pugh, and Steph Rivero are juniors, and their siblings, Brigid Corcoran, Lauren Pugh, and Diana Rivero are all freshmen.

Coach Orr was pleased with both young and old when the Magic performed at St. Basil Academy last Saturday in the annual Brother Jerome Benway Invitational.

“The freshmen and the sophomores ran very well, and the juniors and seniors held their own,” she observed. “It’s still early, and this meet always gives us an opportunity to experiment a bit and see who fits where in the overall picture. I also try to use it for conditioning work in a competitive setting; just about everybody was entered in more than one event.”

The Mount had a member of each class on its 4 x 800 relay; senior Katie Gallagher, junior McKenna Kardish, sophomore Danielle Leporace, and  freshman Patricia Hoffman. Participants in the 4 x 200 included one of the captains, McGovern, along with tenth-graders Katelyn Atcavage and Jules Kittka and freshman Kate Gross. The latter three are jumpers, as well.

Another captain, Pravdiuk, will do some sprinting and will race in the hurdling events along with junior Morgan McCafferty and sophomore Shannon O’Leary. Sprints and sprint relays are also the province of sophomore speedsters Jordyn Jackson and Brittany McDermott.

Although one of the Magic’s most experienced distance runners is currently on the injured list, a number of freshman are veterans of the 2009 cross country season, including the Hoffmans, Meredith Reiche, Adrienne Cellucci, and Norwood grad Ann Burgoyne.

In addition to Sweeney père and his talented daughters, the discus/jav/shot contingent includes sophomores Brielle Harvey, Geneva Russell, and Connie Russin. Even Gallagher, the diminutive senior, will try giving these implements the old heave-ho during the 2010 campaign.



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