CALDWELL – Many members of the Mount Saint Dominic Academy winter track team experienced stellar seasons and sophomore Alexa Raphael, who led the team, made school history.
“Alexa had one of the best seasons in Mount track-and-field history,” said head coach Rich O’Connor. “She broke her own school record in the 55m dash running 7.52 and broke the school record in the 55m hurdles running 8.79.
“She now holds school records in the 55m, 55m hurdles and 200m. She qualified for the Eastern States Championships in the 55m dash and the 55m hurdles and competed at the New Jersey State Meet of Champions in the 55m hurdles.”
Raphael ran a time of 9.09 in the 55m hurdles at the Meet of Champions, held Feb. 23-24 at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
She qualified for the Meet of Champions by finishing in sixth place with a time of 8.86 at the Non-Public A Group Championships, held Feb. 15-16 at the Bennett Center.
“We found out about a week before the Non-Public Championships that we were one of five teams that were moved from B up to A,” O’Connor said. “It was quite a shock for our athletes, but they handled it really well, competing against some of the best competition our state has to offer.”
Raphael ran a time of 7.52 for ninth place and the school record in the 55m dash.
Sophomore Alison Arcoleo ran a personal-best time of 7.95, and junior Anya Michalewski ran 8.04 in the 55m dash.
In the 400m, Michalewski ran a personal-best 65.92, junior Julia Acevedo ran 68.83 and senior Emily Sartori finished in 69.95.
In the 800m, senior Bridget Murphy ran a personal-best 2:38.87, while sophomore Carol Aguirre ran a personal-best 2:43.01.
The team also competed at the Eastern States Championships on Feb. 19 at the New York City Armory.
Raphael, who ran 7.61 in the 55m dash and 8.93 in the 55m hurdles, and Julia Acevedo qualified for this meet.
“Julia Acevedo competed in the long jump, finishing with an indoor best of 15-4.5,” O’Connor said.
He pointed out that the team was young.
“We were a very young team this season with only two seniors on our roster, Bridget Murphy and Emily Sartori,” he said. “Both are four-year varsity athletes and did a tremendous job leading our young team this season.
“Bridget Murphy had a great senior season, setting personal bests in the 300m, 400m, 600m and 800m, including an indoor personal best of 2:40 in the 800m at the Non-Public A Championships.”
Michalewski and Acevedo also set several personal-best times.
“They set personal bests across the board this winter,” O’Connor said. “Anya had personal bests at 55m, 200m, 400m and the long jump this season, while Julia had personal bests in the 55m, 200m, 300m, 400m and long jump.”
Sophomores Carol Aguirre and Alison Arcoleo also had great seasons, he said.
“Carol set personal bests at 400m, 600m, 800m and 1600m this winter, while Alison set personal bests at 55m, 200m and the long jump,” he said.