“Most of our recent meets have been relay meets where we have gotten to see our team really start to grow,” said head coach Richard O’Connor. “Recently, we've had strong performances at the Essex County Relay Championships and the Non-Public A State Relay Championships.”
The Mount's 4x800m relay team of Carol Aguirre, Maria Holevas, Sydney Anish and Ava LaBruno ran a season-best time of 10:33.11 to finish third at the Essex County Relay Championships, held Sunday, Jan. 12 at Ocean Breeze in Staten Island, N.Y.
“Our 4x200m relay of Alexa Raphael, Gianna Mangili, Amanda Galasso and Alison Arcoleo finished seventh at counties and sixth at the Non-Public A State Relay meet (Monday, Jan. 20 at the Bennett Center in Toms River) with a season-best time of 1:53.48,” O’Connor said. “Our sprint medley relay of Alexa Raphael, Gianna Mangili, Anya Michalewski and Maria Holevas finished sixth at the Essex County Relay meet in a season-best time of 4:39.72.”
Also at the Essex County Relay Championships, the distance medley relay team of LaBruno, Juliana Herbst, Holevas and Carina Navas placed seventh in 14:52.66.
At the Non-Public A State Relay Championships, the 4x400m relay team of Acevedo, Anish, Navas and Michalewski placed seventh in 4:43.55.
The 4x800 relay team of Herbst, Michela Peluso, Holevas and Olivia LaBruno placed seventh in 11:01.83.
The 1600m sprint medley relay team of Aguirre, Mangili, Raphael and Galasso placed eighth in 4:41.19. And the distance medley team of Aguirre, Anish, Ava LaBruno and Navas placed sixth in 14:27.18.
O’Connor said many athletes have come up to the varsity team this winter.
“Recently, we have seen a lot of underclassmen make the jump to varsity and perform well,” he said. “Freshmen Amanda Galasso, Maria Holevas, Ava LaBruno, Olivia LaBruno and Michela Peluso have all moved up to varsity during the winter and helped contribute to our team success.”
Veteran athletes also are having strong performances.
“We’ve also gotten some outstanding performances from our returners like Alexa Raphael, Gianna Mangili, Carol Aguirre, Sydney Anish, Anya Michalewski and Julia Acevedo,” O’Connor said. “With only a few meets left on our schedule before states, we feel like we are really starting to hit some solid marks on the track and have a lot to look forward to as we close out the season.”
The Lions were set to compete at the Ocean Breeze Invitational on Sunday, Jan. 27. They are scheduled to compete at the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Individual Championships on Sunday, Feb. 2 at Ocean Breeze and the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Winter Frosh Soph Championships on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Bennett Center.
The Essex County Championships will be Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Ocean Breeze. And the NJSIAA Non-Public Championships are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 29.
CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy basketball team has been playing competitively for the past few weeks.
The Lions (4-7) had a three-game winning streak that began Friday, Jan. 3 with a victory over Millburn, 43-29. They came from behind for the next victory over Newark Collegiate, 55-35, on Thursday, Jan. 9.
“Newark Collegiate came out with a lot of confidence and jumped out to a 14-12 first-quarter lead,” said head coach Dave Mead. “We proceeded to outscore them, 29-7, over the next two quarters to open up our lead. Jade Larkin led Mount with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Juliet Howell added 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Amanda Micciche scored 10 points, while Bianca Coltenback was a ‘stat sheet stuffer’ with eight points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks.”
The Lions next defeated Shabazz on Saturday, Jan. 11. “We defeated Shabazz High School on a Saturday afternoon and evened our record to 4-4 with a 47-27 victory,” Mead said. “Bianca Coltenback led all scorers with 16 points, and Alexa Murphy and Amanda Micciche each scored 10 points.”
The Mount then had a few losses to tough competitors. The team lost to Livingston, 45-39, on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
“We lost a hard-fought game to Livingston,” Mead said. “Juliet Howell led all scorers with 17 points, while Amanda Micciche scored 10 points.”
The Lions lost a close game to Caldwell, 58-54, in overtime Thursday, Jan. 16. Howell had a team-high 15 points, while Murphy and Coltenback each scored 10 points.
The team’s most recent game was a 55-42 loss to Nutley on Friday, Jan. 17.
“We dropped our third game of the week to a very strong Nutley team,” the coach said. “Amanda Micciche scored 15 points, and Jade Larkin scored 13 points.”
The seeding meeting for the Essex County Tournament will take place Monday, Jan. 27, with preliminary round matchups beginning Thursday, Jan. 30.
The Lions are 4-3 in the Super Essex Conference.
They opened the season with a victory over conference rival Montclair, 51-13, on Dec. 20. They then lost four straight to out-of-conference rivals, including a heart-breaker against DePaul, 46-45, on Dec. 23 and a 55-26 loss to Pope John on Dec. 26. They also lost to St. Elizabeth, 62-52, on Dec. 27 and to Montclair Immaculate, 70-43, on Dec. 29 in the Mount St. Dominic Holiday Basketball Festival.
“Our Christmas tournament always has the toughest competition,” Mead had said. “Pope John, St. Elizabeth Academy, Montclair Immaculate, Hudson Catholic and Rutgers Prep were all coming off 20-win seasons.”
The Lions were set to play Cedar Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 21. They are scheduled to play Montclair on Thursday, Jan. 23 and Millburn on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy indoor track team started its season on a positive note.
The team competed in the Essex County Season Opener on Friday, Dec. 20 and the Super Essex Conference Liberty Division Championships on Monday, Dec. 23.
At the SEC Championships, junior Alexa Raphael '21 set a school record while capturing first place as she ran 7.51 in the 55m dash. Sophomore Gianna Mangili '22 placed third with a personal-record 7.71.
Raphael took third in the 200m dash (27.32), while Mangili took sixth (28.01). In the 800m, junior Carol Aguirre '21 took fourth with a personal-record 2:39, and senior Sydney Anish '20 took seventh in a personal-record 2:45.
Sophomore Carina Navas '22 took fourth in the 1600m in a personal-record 6:07.
In the novice sprint medley and novice distance medley, freshmen Maria Holevas '23, Amanda Galasso '23, Ava LaBruno '23 and Olivia LaBruno '23 placed first and set the meet record in both events.
“Our team had some really strong performances last winter,” said Richard O’Connor, who is in his fourth year as head coach and sixth year at the Mount. “We had multiple athletes qualify for Eastern States Championships and had an athlete qualify for the state Meet of Champions.
“We lost quite a few seniors from our distance group but return all of our sprinters from last year. We also had a very strong cross country season this fall and have many of those athletes competing with us this winter.”
O’Connor expects Raphael and senior Julia Acevedo '20 to lead the team this year.
“Alexa Raphael is our top returner from last year,” he said. “She is our school record holder in the 55m dash, 55m hurdles and 200m dash. Last year, she qualified for the New Jersey state Meet of Champions in the 55m hurdles and is one of the top returners in the Liberty Division Conference and Non-Public B across all of her events.
“Julia Acevedo has proven to be one of the best long jumpers in the county over the past few years. Last year, she qualified for the Eastern States Championships in the long jump and also contributes to many of our relays during the winter.”
A handful of other returning runners are expected to contribute.
“We have a really deep team this year and expect returners like seniors Anya Michalewski '20 and Sydney Anish, juniors Carol Aguirre and Alison Arcoleo '21, and sophomore Carina Navas to lead our team this year through their performances on the track.”
A number of newcomers have joined the team.
“We have a tremendous group of new athletes this winter that we are really excited about,” O’Connor said. “Gianna Mangili is starting her first winter track season after a great spring track season as a freshman last year. She qualified for the Non-Public A State Championships in the 100m dash and should be one of the top sprinters in Non-Public B this winter.
“We have a number of freshmen who have a ton of potential and that we are excited to see race early this winter including Maria Holevas, Amanda Galasso, Ava LaBruno, Olivia LaBruno and Michela Peluso '23. They are a confident bunch who seem to have great chemistry. We have some great upperclassmen leaders, so they are in good hands.”
The team hopes to accomplish a lot this season.
“We hope to place in the top five as a team at the Non-Public B State Relay Championships and the Non-Public B State Group Championships,” O’Connor said. “We also hope to send as many athletes as possible to the Eastern States Championships and the New Jersey state Meet of Champions. For our group of young freshmen, we hope that they will find a love for the sport and realize the significant potential they have as a group and as individuals for the future.”