In March, as the sweaty, exhausted track and field athletes gathered around performance Coach Mike Cahill after finishing their morning workout, he began with the normal reminder to eat a healthy breakfast, advertising the bargain on the eight ounce milks. Unsurprisingly, he moved on to the familiar and frequently repeated reminder that the team needs to peak at the District Championships and use preceding meets and workouts to build up to that competition. His advice became the mantra of the track and field team as they capitalized on the invitational meets beginning in February. Looking toward the District 9-6A Championships, the Jesuit Ranger Track and Field team sought to heighten their mid-season form through the Arlington Bowie Relays and the Jesuit Sheaner Relays in March.
On March 11, the varsity and junior varsity track and field teams traveled to Arlington, TX to compete in the Arlington Bowie Volunteer Relays. Due to concerns about afternoon rain, the running events were pushed to start early; nonetheless, the team succeeded with notable finishes across a variety of events.
In the hurdle events, Will Naquin ’17 performed outstandingly, earning the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles and placing fourth in the 300m hurdles. Anchoring the mid-distance athletes, Travis Whisler ’19 placed third in the 800m run with a time of 2:05.18, adding to the Ranger medal count. The team also performed well in the field events, complementing the runners’ success. Wyatt Hummel ’19 placed fifth in discus while Remi Beaudoin ’19 and Bass Stewart ’17 took home gold and silver, respectively, in pole vault. In the jumping pit, T Buell ’18 rounded out Jesuit’s performance with a third place finish in the triple jump.
Noting that room for improvement still remained after the meet, Matthew Cornwall ’18 stated, “It was good to see the high level of competition around us and then know what we had to do to get to that point,” echoing Coach Cahill’s reminder to keep looking forward. Through the Volunteer Relays, the Jesuit Track & Field team was able to improve while looking toward the Sheaner Relays and ultimately District.
After strong performance at the Volunteer Relays, the Track and Field team prepared to compete in the 53rd Jesuit Sheaner Relays. A two day meet, the Sheaner Relays began on Friday March 24 as over 130 teams from across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas descended upon Postell Stadium to compete in one of the top athletic events in the nation.
On the first day, Connor O’Neill ’17 started the meet off strong by breaking his own record mark in the 3200m run with a time of 9:11.04, securing a bronze medal. The next day, the Ranger Track and Field team secured some notable performances among the incredibly elite competition, as O’Neill complemented his two-mile run with a seventh place finish in the one-mile run.
In the field events, pole vaulter Collin Lark ’19 cleared 14 feet in order to earn a fifth place finish. Leading the solid effort from the Ranger throwers, Vance Holub ’17 shot fell just short of a bronze metal, the thrower captain finishing fourth with an outstanding throw of 51 feet and 2 inches. In both running and field events, Jesuit was able to capture noteworthy performances even among the elite athletes that competed in the meet.
The Sheaner Relays saw 278 national elite performances as well as seven top-ranked times across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. This concentration of top talent allowed for the Jesuit athletes to test themselves against the most elite competitors in the region. Reflecting on the elite competition at the Sheaner, Andrew Isbell ’18 relished being able to run against them: “Having the opportunity to run against the best in the state, if not the country, is a once in a lifetime chance. This being my second year to run in the Sheaner, I was happy with my performances on the day and was able to hold my own.” The Sheaner Relays was a definitive success for the Jesuit coaches and staff, who directed an incredibly efficient and elite meet, as well as for the athletes, who improved their skill against top competitors.
Overall, the Jesuit Track and Field Team capitalized on the Volunteer and Sheaner Relays by improving mid-season in preparation for the District Championships.