St. X, Male claim team track and field titles

St. X, Male claim team track and field titles


St. X, Male claim team track and field titles


Stephanie Dierig, the first female head coach of a varsity team in the long and illustrious history of St. Xavier High School, liked what she saw when her Tigers outpointed Male 174 to 132 Saturday to win the team championship in the boys Class 3-A, Region Three track and field meet at St. X.

St. X., as usual, dominated the distance races with William Mulloy, Matthew Thomas, Andrew Garvey, and the Tigers’ 3,200-meter relay team — anchored by Eli George — all winning. Male had a triple winner in Devin Gentry, who won the 100, long jump and triple jump, but was edged in the final strides in the 200 meters. Gentry scored 38 points.

Mulloy raised some eyebrows when he won the 800 in 1:56.44, finishing ahead of Manual’s Darius Payne, who was a close secondat 1:57.78.

“We were anxious to see what (Mulloy) would do because he hadn’t run the open 800 since last year,” Dierig said of Mulloy, who usually runs the 1,600.

Male, led by Taliyah Townsend winning the 100 and 200, and placing second to Butler’s Alexis Gibbons in the 400, won the girls team title for the seventh consecutive year. The Lady Bulldogs compiled 148 points, with Central nudging Manual 95-93 for second place.

Male always has speed, but coach Sheree Beaumont was tickled that Kristin Lacy won the shot put. “That was a surprise,” Beaumont said. ”She peaked at the right time.”

The first two finishers in each regional event automatically qualify for the 3-A State Meet on Saturday, May 23, at the University of Kentucky. Others may receive at-large berths based on their times or distances compared with others around the state.

BOYS – Both St. X. and Male won eight events. Jaylon Hibbs swept the 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles for the Tigers with clockings of 15.19 and 41.7 seconds, respectively.

In only his second year of running, St. X.’s Thomas led all the way in winning the 1,600 meters in 4:24.23.

“I played baseball my whole life, but I didn’t make the team as a freshman here (at St. X.),” Thomas said. “So I turned to running, but I was a sprinter at first. Then, someone mentioned that they thought I’d be a good distance runner.”

In the 3,200, Garvey got bumped on the first turn of the eight-lap race, then took the lead for good after the second turn and breezed home in 9:58.54. Garvey wasn’t looking to run his fastest time.

“Today, I was just running to win and qualify for State,” he said. “This will be my first time to run at State.”

St. X.’s George passed Male’s anchorman down the stretch to allow the Tigers to nudge Male by less than two seconds in the 3,200 relay. St. X was timed in 8:13.77, Male in 8:15.73.

Male’s Gentry nearly had four wins, but teammate Corrion Green (a senior) overtook Gentry (a junior) in the final strides to win the 200 in 22.27. Gentry ran 22.35.

“We battle each other all the time in practice,” Green said. “We get the best of each other and make each other better.”

GIRLS – In a battle between talented freshmen, Alena Sapienza-Wright of Manual outran Kaitlyn Lacy of Male to win the 1,600 in 5:11.50. Lacy was timed in 5:14.85.

“I just led in the last 600 (meters),” Sapienza-Wright said. “It was me and her the while time pushing each other. I pretty much stuck to my plan – that was hanging with Lacy with the goal to win.”

Male won five events, including the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, which Tashyonna Bethel anchored.

Butler’s Gibbons, a junior, won the long jump at 18 feet, 3 1/2 inches, just off her best ever of 18-10. She ran second to Central sophomore Rhyann Bush in the 100 hurdles in 15.95 and won the 400 in 57.95. However, as the favorite in the 300 hurdles, she faded to fourth behind Central’s Alexis Boyd (the winner) in 52.05.

“Was I disappointed?” said Gibbons, who had 32 of Butler’s 53 points. “Yes and no. That was my first time running the 400 and 300 hurdles in the same day. I learned something, though. I’ll do better next time.”

More USA TODAY High School Sports