St. Joe’s track looking to defend Monsignor Martin title
The St. Joe’s track and field team will open league competition Thursday, looking to begin a journey toward a second consecutive Monsignor Martin Title. The team will take on St. Mary’s and Bishop Timon at Depew High School at 5 p.m.
However, the non-league season began April 8 at the Woodward Relays in Washington, D.C. The discus relay team of Brian Murphy, Will Gross and Tyler Doty had the Marauders’ best showing of the day, finishing in third place. The 4x1600-meter team of Turner Dirrigl, Jordan Obrochta, Jacob Brill and Kyle Hall finished in sixth place with a combined time of 19:22.80.
The meet opened what looks to be potentially another strong St. Joe’s track season. The distance team is led by Brill and Hall in the 1600-meter run and Dirrigl and Obrochta in the 3200. All four are among the top in their respective events in Monsignor Martin.
“We graduated several All Catholic Champions, but many younger guys have really stepped up,” distance coach Matt Hellerer said. “They are hungry and serious about reaching their goals. It is an amazing group of athletes. I look forward to seeing them every day. They have been planning and setting goals since last May. They have been preparing daily, persisting through challenging workouts and lousy weather. I rarely hear a complaint. I fully expect them to perform on race day.”
The mid-distance runners are led by senior Ryan Chmiel, who has committed to run cross country at St. Bonaventure University. Sophomores Will Ostrowski and Sam Isingoma will also be major contributors.
“Senior Ryan Chmiel is poised and ready to break 2 minutes in the 800 and 50 seconds in the 400,” Coach Matthew Dow said. “Sophomore Will Ostrowski is coming off of a fall cross country season and a winter basketball season and he is as strong as a bull. He is right on Ryan’s heels every day in practice, and nothing he does will surprise me. Sophomore Sam Isingoma is a truly gifted middle distance runner. He is focused, energetic and charismatic. He loves to run hard. He loves to race. He pushes everyone on the team to work harder.”
“These guys are a cohesive and enthusiastic group of athletes,” Coach Izeal Bullock said. “They love the weight room. They love to work. They love to compete. They are led by senior Brian Murphy who is a spectacular role model for the younger guys. Brian is throwing well and is shooting to throw over 50 feet in the shot. Sophomores Will Gross and Tyler Doty are coming off a very successful indoor season. Both should be out over 125 feet in the disc.”
Senior Joshua Thermidor and Junior Robert Russell are among the team’s top jumpers.
“Senior Joshua Thermidor and Junior Robert Russell have great skills and they are diligent in their training,” Bullock said. “We are going to have some fun in the jumps. Junior Jack Ohle is new to the sport but he is developing rapidly and will score for us.”
The Marauders have a strong group of sprinters, including hockey stars Seth Glanowski and Trevor Conschafter among others.
“Senior sprinters Seth Glanowski and Trevor Conschafter both helped St. Joe’s win the New York State Catholic High School Federation Hockey Championship and they have transitioned well to the track,” Bullock said. “They know how to train. They are serious athletes. They know how to win. Malyk Fred, Jalen Howard and Dalas Jackson are freshmen but they are ambitious, talented and disciplined. They train as hard as any upperclassman on the team. They will be integral members of the 2017 Marauder track team.”
The future of the program appears to be in good hands, as St. Joe’s has a strong pipeline of dedicated runners.
“We have a big squad of young runners,” JV Coach Chris Mekelburg said. “They have a lot to learn. They have a lot of work to do, but they do want it. They are led by sophomores Joe Ferrantini and Jacob Leon and freshmen Ian Klenk and Alex Sinatra. They are working very hard. They will be very competitive on the JV level, and I am confident that they will develop into successful varsity runners.”