St. John the Baptist Does it Again

By Christopher Hunt
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NEW YORK – St. John the Baptist’s Anne Carey looked like she shouldn’t have had anything left. The pace was supposed to drain her. She already had a race in her legs. Collen Schmidt of Holy Trinity refused to let up, no matter which way Carey decided to go with the pace.

But Schmidt tried to take over Carey found another burst, a push that would finally have Schmidt back off so that the sophomore could claim victory in the 1,500 meters at the CHSAA Championship at Ichan Stadium on Randalls Island. Carey won in 10:16.56 after winning the 3,000 earlier in 10:16.56.

“I knew I had to keep the pace hard,” Carey said. “I knew she would be just a step behind.”

Carey’s race personified the way St. John the Baptist largely outlasted the league to win the CHSAA outdoor championship for the first time in school history with 56 points. St. Anthony’s finished second with 44.5 and Bishop Ford third with 32. Despite a lack of field event contenders, SJB managed to score in 10 of 12 track events, including 10 big points in the 3,000 since junior Krystal Foster finished third in 10:43.86.

“I just try to leave all out on the track,” Carey said, which is what her team did.

Sophomore Victoria Lundin also won the 200 in 25.47 in much the same way Carey won, showing her strength on the last straightaway. Lundin pulled even with the field off the curve and pulled away over the last 75 meters.

“This is just amazing,” Lundin said. “It’s a really incredible feeling to be able to help my team and to qualify for the state meet.”

Courtney Siemer placed second in the long and triple jump. She cleared 17 feet, 6.75 inches in the long jump and 36-1.5.  Plus, SJB scored in all three relays. They finished third in the 4x100 in 50.53, second in the 4x400 in 3:55.68 and second in the 4x800 in 9:35.82. St. John the Baptist swallowed the field with depth more without the high-profile athletes that color the meet, much like they did win the won the title indoors as well.

“It means even more because indoors we felt like we were built to win that meet,” St. John the Baptist coach Dorsey Spencer said. “We were supposed to win that meet. This has more events and adds more throws. We knew we were going to have to do close to our best. Everyone was going to have to be their best or close to it for us to win.”

St. Anthony’s managed to keep the meet close even without its star freshman, Olicia Williams, or Shannon Murphy, one of its top middle distance runners.

Without Williams, who was in California for a graduation, in the 800, it opened the door for a free run for Catherine McAuley’s Phyllis Francis. But Bishop Ford’s Shanique DaSilva wouldn’t make it that easy. DaSilva stayed on Francis’s shoulder throughout the race and took a shot to sprint by with 250 left. They rode each other’s shoulders on the final bend before Francis pulled away to win in 2:12.17. DaSilva, a sophomore, finished second in 2:13.65.

The 800 was also missing DaSilva’s teammate Malekah Holland. She opted to run the 400 instead and produced an outstanding performance, taking her half-mile strength to the home stretch of the 400 to win in 55.52, the third-fastest time in the state this season.

“I expected to do the 800 but I’ve been running a lot more 400’s this season and my coaches thought I should run the 400,” Holland said. “I was pretty nervous. I was confident going into this meet too. I’ve seen a lot of those girls run 56 and I was running 56 too but I knew I could run 55 and I was ready for this.”

Ford junior Corrine Williams won her first 100 of the season, finishing in 12.22, a personal best to qualify for her first outdoor state meet. Williams, who’s been more of a 200-meter runner, popped out the start and never felt pressure through the race.

“I felt like I couldn’t slow down,” she said.

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