Mount track team cruises to a fourth championship

by Tom Utescher
Posted 5/17/24

Mount St. Joseph Academy last Tuesday won its fourth straight track and field championship in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies.

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Mount track team cruises to a fourth championship


Mount St. Joseph Academy last Tuesday won its fourth straight track and field championship in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies, and going by this year's margin of victory, the pattern is not likely to be broken anytime soon.

Last year the Magic won the AACA championship meet by 34 points over second-place Villa Maria Academy.

In the 2024 meet on the grounds of Gwynedd Mercy University, the Mount placed first in 10 of the 11 events on the track (including all three relays) and won four of the seven field events. The Magic piled up a team total of 231 points, while Villa Maria was second with 140 and Gwynedd Mercy Academy was third, with 76.

"All the girls really stepped up," said longtime coach Kitty McClernand.

The 2024 squad had a number of talented senior leaders, and even the new crop of freshmen made valuable contributions.

"We knew we had good freshman distance runners from cross country," McClernand noted, "but then this spring we got talented ninth-grade sprinters and hurdlers out, too."

In the sprints, senior Ella Vogel finished second by a fraction of a second in the 100-meter dash to a runner from Villa Joseph Marie, and then came back to beat the same rival to win the 200 (in 26.13 seconds). Her classmate Lilly Bradfield won the 400 meters (59.47), and a third senior, three-time cross country champion Ella Woehlcke, won in both the 800 (2:18.55) and 1600 (5:31.84) events.

Sophomore Sarah Hock, who transferred to the Mount from Gwynedd Mercy this year, won the 3200 in 12:11.64. The Mounties pulled off one-two-three sweeps in two of the distance events, with freshman Annie Seminack and sophomore Lydia Moy placing second and third in the 1600, and freshman Charli Schoen and Seminack finishing second and third in the 3200.

In the hurdling races, senior Constance Huber triumphed in the 100 meters (17.27 seconds), and freshman Jahtalia Miros won the 300 meters (48.43).

A time of 50.75 seconds secured Mount St. Joe's win in the 4 x 100-meter relay, thanks to sophomore Kristen Savage, freshmen Julia McGlynn and Cecelia Esbensen, and Vogel.

Vogel's sister Taylor, a freshman, ran in the victorious 4 x 400 (4:08.15), where she was preceded by freshman Caroline Dougherty and Bradfield and was followed by Woehlcke. In the Magic's winning 4 x 800, sophomores Jenna Miller and Allie Seweryn ran the first two legs, and Schoen and Hock finished up to turn in a time of 10:14.66.

In the throwing events, Mount St. Joe was missing one of its standouts, injured junior Marin Stensrud. Villa Maria captured first and second place in both the discus and the javelin, and the Hurricanes swept the top three spots in the high jump.

Mount sophomore Morgan Cross won the long jump (15'11.5") and triple jump (33'3.5"), and senior Saanai Jones took first in the shot put (35'0.5").

Junior Veronica Vacca, who recently won the Penn Relays pole vault competition for the third year in a row, soared higher than she did at Franklin Field to win the AACA's with a vault of 14 feet even.