2001-11-03 / Sports

St. Thomas More Captures Championships

By Joe Dombrowski

St. Thomas More Captures
By Joe Dombrowski

In 1994, the St Thomas More Cross Country program was re-instituted running only six athletes. The program continued to grow year by year and in 1997 it won its first Diocesan team title. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 STM won two of the eight available team championships each year and in 2000 Matt Basmagy and Emma Devlin won its first two individual Diocesan Championships. This year our 30 boys and 24 girls hoped to continue this trend and win at least two Diocesan Team Championships. But…

The Bantam girls, led by Emma Devlin eighth straight CYO win, easily defeated Our Lady of Lourdes 26 – 58 (lowest tally of your top 5 runners wins in cross country races). Emma’s time of 4:20 over the approximately 2/3 of a mile course breaks her own STM record. Kara Egan (4:34) finished second and our other scorers were: Louise Duffy (4:53 6th), Sarah McCarthy (4:54 7th) and Dana Distabile (4:59 10th). (1+2+6+7+10 = 26). Molly Tacopina (5:03 13th), Alex Plaia (5:39 26th), Linda Maloney (5:59 36th), Becky McCarthy (6:01 38th) and Kaila Pfister (6:03 39th) all won gold team medals for STM.

The Bantam boys won a tighter race 79 – 92 over second place St Clement Pope, led by Daniel Lee’s 4:06 winning performance over the same bantam course. Shawn Egan (4:17) finished fourth; followed by Steven Henderson (4:43 17th); Connor Hubbard (4:46 21st); Mark Caputo (4:52 26th); Liam Anderson (4:53 27th), Patrick Egan (5:01 31st); Nolan Mahoney (5:46 44th); Sean Strongreen (6:05 48Th) and Ryan McKinney (6:13 52nd).

Our Lady of Lourdes top Junior runner Taquan Daniels has not lost a CYO race in years, and is a nationally ranked runner. He was expected to lead OLL to another Junior Boys Diocesan Championship – but in a stunning upset STM defeated OLL 41-42. Dylan Dombrowski finally defeats his OLL rival winning the individual championship in a time of 5:09 over the 7/8-mile course. Kevin D’Emic’s (5:12) unexpected third place finish over the second OLL runner saves STM another point. Burke Doran ran a personal best (5:25) to finish fifth. Hard running by TJ Petronis (5:46 14th), Dylan Anderson (5:50 18th) and Joe Drennan (7:17) secured STM its first ever Boys Junior title.

The Novice girls brought home a third place team trophy scoring 86 points and finishing behind St Mathius (36 points) and OLL (58). Katie Henderson led STM with a 3:48 fourth place finish over the half-mile course. Cindy Henderson (4:06 14th), Erin Tacopina (4:14 17th), Brianne Kelly (4:17 20th), Brittany Schafer (4:36 31st), Kristin Corral (4:55 42nd) and Julie Maloney (4:56 43rd) all won team bronze medals.

Some of the Novice boys had a soccer conflict, two boys ran up a division to strengthen the Bantam boys team and these seven ran novice: Steven Peithman (4:19), Patrick Cusack (4:20), Conor Strongreen (4:27), Brian Leary (4:28), Steven Taikina (4:34), Patrick Mahoney (4:54) and Christian Conlon (5:16). A banner season for St Thomas More Cross Country: Three Diocesan Team Champions, Three Sectional Team Champions, Three Individual Diocesan Champions, Seven Individual race winners, three new STM records, sixty-nine race medals won, forty-seven gold team medals and twenty-four bronze team medals won. I would like to thank our coordinators, parents and supporters for making this a most successful season.

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