CALDWELL – The Mount Saint Dominic Academy track team is aiming to accomplish both personal and team goals this spring.
“We are hoping to get each athlete to hit their own personal goals for the season and hopefully that will result in us finishing at or near the top of the Super Essex Conference Colonial Division again this year,” said Rich O’Connor, who begins his third year as head coach and his fifth year with the program.
Last year, the Lions finished in second place in the Super Essex Conference Colonial Division Championships.
They were led by then-seniors Holly Ruvo, Maddie Huelbig and Katie Onello as well as returning team members Julia Acevedo and Anya Michalewski. All five athletes earned all-conference honors.
“Holly Ruvo and Maddie Huelbig were two athletes who graduated last year who are now competing at the college level at Gettysburg and Franklin and Marshall, respectively,” O’Connor said. “We also lost Katie Onello to graduation. She was the conference champion in the 1600m and 3200m last year.”
O’Connor said that despite the graduation of Ruvo, Huelbig and Onello, there are many returning athletes who performed well last season.
“We return a very accomplished group of athletes, many of which scored points for us at the conference championships last year,” he said.
“Julia Acevedo placed second in both the long jump and the 400m hurdles at the conference championships last spring. Julia comes into the season as the top returner in the long jump with a PR of 15-8.5.
“Anya Michalewski (200m/400m), Bridget Murphy (800m), Molly Burke (discus), Sam Diaz (discus and shot put), and Jackie MacStudy (high jump) all scored at the conference championships last spring and return for us this spring.”
A number of other team members are expected to lead the squad this year.
“Grace Mittenzwei and Alyssa Mastando are two more athletes who we expect to lead us this season,” O’Connor said.
“Grace joined us last year for her first season of track and picked up javelin very quickly. She is a great leader and has a tremendous work ethic.
“Alyssa was a key member of our 4x100m relay last year and has big goals this spring. She is an extremely hard worker, and we have high expectations for her this spring.”
O’Connor continued, “Senior Emily Sartori, junior Aly Greenberg, junior Nicole Kahn, sophomore Carol Aguirre and sophomore Alison Arcoleo are also returners that we think are ready to have an impressive spring.”
O’Connor expects a couple of newcomers to make an impact.