STVM girls track wins state title, continues unbeaten streak
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The 2012 St. Vincent-St. Mary High School’s girls track team recorded its fifth-straight season with an undefeated record in dual meets and also earned a state title.
“We won the districts, we won the regionals and we won the states,” said head coach Dan Lancianese. “I could tell going into the postseason that the girls were really prepared. One reason I felt confident was because I had virtually every department covered with somebody who had the potential of qualifying for Columbus.”
According to the coach, one example was senior thrower Megan Tomei.
“She came in second in the shot put and fifth in the discus in the state championships,” he said. “She was just phenomenal.”
In addition, Lancianese said, the team was “very lucky” to have a skilled high jumper in sophomore Marie Hammer.
“That was another department that saved the day for me,” Lancianese said. “Marie qualified for the regionals and also placed in the regionals. She set a school record at 5-feet-2-inches. She also was a 100-meter hurdler and she just missed the state in that event — she was a regional finalist.”
In addition to Tomei, Lancianese said, the team’s “other key senior” this season was Tessa Weigand.
“She was so versatile — she could do every event you could think of,” he stated. “She set the record in the regionals in the 800 meters at a 2:12 clip. She was a diamond in the rough. She was phenomenal. She anchored the 4x400 team, which just missed the state record by 2 seconds.”
Overall, the coach said, this year’s team featured 70 athletes, and he called them a “young bunch.”
The team’s juniors were led by Marissa Rossetti, Chelsea Laury and Kyla Crater.
“Marissa played a major role for me in the long distance races. She qualified for the state in the 2 mile. She also was a part of the state-champion 4x800 team,” Lancianese said. “Chelsea was a sprinter for us who concentrated on the 200, the 400 and the relays. She was a premier runner there for me. And Kyla was a short sprinter — a 100-meter, 200-meter sprinter.”
In addition, the coach said, freshman Imani Davis was a key contributor for the team.
“She’s one of those thoroughbred racehorses for you,” he said. “She was somebody that could go anywhere from 100 up to 400, and she’s still at the infantile stages. She’s got a very strong high school career ahead of her.”
And the “unsung hero” of this year’s team, Lancianese said, was sophomore Julia Mendiola.
“She was a dynamo and crucial to our success this year in both the 4x800 and the 4x400,” he said. “She just comes on with such fierce intensity when she runs.”
Lancianese said his team is well-equipped to remain strong next season.
“The girls team is simply not going to miss a beat,” he said. “We lose a few seniors, but I’m very interested to see what happens. So many of the athletes are coming back, and they’re so young. There are also some new names coming in that I know are also very strong. The potential is very strong.”
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