By THOMAS LAWLESS
The Wizard Indoor Track and Field team did not disappoint during their Division Championship meet at West Point last Saturday. Overall, the boy’s team placed second to Warwick Valley, scoring 133 points. Likewise, the girls’ team grabbed the division victory, once again, scoring an outstanding 160 points to edge off the Warwick Valley girls. This is the girls’ third consecutive year taking home the division title. Although the boys’ team finished in a respectable second, there were two runners that shined individually.
|THOMAS LAWLESS FOR WIZARD WEEKLY|
Senior captain of the team, Paul Catalano, and junior, Josh Mallard, were both triple winners on the boys side, each contributing 30 points to the overall team total. Both boys recently broke the school record together in the distance medley relay running a time of 10:27.60. At the division meet, Paul Catalano ran the 600m, running a personal record of 1:24.7. Impressively, this time is .5 seconds away from the Washingtonville school record for that event. After being asked how it feels knowing he’s that close to breaking yet another school record Paul acknowledged, “It makes me very determined. Since this is my last year as a Wizard, I want to go out with a bang and do the best I can to become a great athlete.” Aside from the 600m, Paul also ran in the 1000m run, winning in a time of 2:38.8. This time was no personal record for Catalano, but it did give the Wizards 10 points to add to their team score. To finish off his night, Catalano ran a splendid leg in the 4x800m relay, running a split time of 2:01 that would assist the Wizards in getting the first place win over Warwick Valley in that event.
In addition to winning, Paul enjoys the satisfaction he gains from the leadership role of captain. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to lead my younger teammates to a path where they can succeed but also get better by working hard and not giving up,” Catalano asserted. Two of Paul’s major goals for the rest of the indoor season are to make the state meet in the 1000m as well as the 4x800m relay.
Josh Mallard also ran a fantastic meet. Starting off his night by winning the 300m dash in 37.55 was just the beginning. Josh went on to become division champion in the long jump, jumping a personal record of 19’ 3.5” (a PR by ½ a foot). After being asked what keeps him motivated to become so successful he replied, “It’s knowing that I’m so close to certain records, and I won’t let up until I break them… I also have a dedication to my teammates and love having them at my side so we can succeed as a unit.”
To finish his night off on an even better note, Josh ran the 4x200m relay, running a split time of 23.5, coming out with the win for the Wizards once again. “It feels awesome,” says Mallard, after being asked how it feels to be contributing so much to the team as an underclassmen. “I was always told that I had talent, but every now and then I surprise myself. I come from a family of speedsters,” he joked. Two of Josh’s goals for track are to hopefully set a new school record in the 200m by the end of the year, and to break the 300m school record by the end of his senior year. Both Paul Catalano and Josh Mallard were two of the boys who competed and shined tremendously. Leading the girls team to a first place finish were Brianna Lawless and Megan Geary.
Senior and captain, Brianna Lawless, followed by junior, Megan Geary, both led the girls team to a phenomenal first place win. After asking Brianna how it felt being a captain for a second year, she replied, “It feels great getting a second opportunity to lead and motivate these girls, as well as winning yet another division championship. Aside from winning, it’s always a good feeling having someone there by your side at practice, making you feel welcomed and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be that person.”
Brianna Lawless opened her night by finishing second in the 600m run, running a time of 1:47.9. Lawless’ personal record in this event is 1:40.8, nearly 2 seconds shy of the current school record. Followed by that, Lawless ran the 300m dash, running a time of 44.7, placing second once again. To top off her night, Lawless finally came home with the win, running a 63.4 split in the 4x400m relay. Some of Lawless’ goals for her last indoor season as a Wizard are to make the state meet for the 300m, as well as either the 4x200m or 4x400m relay.
Megan Geary’s performance was one to talk about as well. Megan ran the challenging race of the 55m high hurdles in a time of 9.69, finishing second, and finishing 5th in the 55 dash, running a time of 8.15. Geary scored a good amount of points to help the Wizards catch up to the Warwick Valley girls. Being an underclassmen like Josh, Megan mentioned how, “Being an underclassmen is pretty cool. Although, I have never used my age as an excuse; I just always ran the best I could, and tried to reach the next level. Having girls to look up to definitely helps; they're the ones who keep me going,” she stated.
To conclude her night, Geary ran a split time of 28.5 in the 4x200m relay. This impressive time would go on to win the relay division title and secure the overall girls’ division team championship victory. Geary mentioned how her main goal of this indoor season is to “finish the season.” She went on to say, “Last year I was unable to finish because of an injury.” Besides that, Geary would like to PR in the 55HH with a time of 9.1, place in the county and section meets, and possibly have the opportunity to run at the state meet.
Paul, Josh, Brianna, and Megan will all run in the OCIAA Championship meet this Friday, hoping to do more great things for the Wizards. All four of them give a big thank you to their coach, Mike White, for motivating them to do their best and helping them achieve. They all contributed immensely to the track and field program and will do their part in helping the Wizards success continue.