By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published June 20, 2013
ATLANTA—Catholic high schools in the Atlanta Archdiocese, both archdiocesan and independent schools, captured 12 team state championships this spring in golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Here is a school-by-school breakdown:
Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville
The girls track and field team captured first place with 68.50 points in the Class A state finals. It is the Lady Bobcats’ third state championship in the past seven years. The 4×100 relay team of Teona Myles, Morgan McClure, Anike Thomas and Leah Banks and the 4×400 relay team of Landy Thomas, Pauline Cobb, McClure and Banks were crowned state champs. The 4×400 team broke a school record with a time of 4:02. Individually, Banks was the state champion in the 200m dash and state runner-up in the 100m dash, finishing just .19 seconds behind Southwest Atlanta Christian’s Marquita Daniels. Banks was also the state runner-up in the long jump with a jump of 16 feet, 3 inches. McClure was the state runner-up in the 400 and 800 meters. Anike Thomas finished fourth in the high jump. The Atlanta Track Club’s 2013 Atlanta Metro Coach of the Year, Mark Tolcher, is the head track and field coach for the girls and boys teams.
Monsignor Donovan High School, Athens
Michael Williams was hired as the head tennis coach in 2009. That season the first-time coach helped lead the girls team to a region championship and a state runner-up in the Georgia Independent School Association. This year the team captured its first Class AA state championship in school history. Katie Scherer also won an individual state championship as the number one singles player. According to Williams, Scherer played over 20 matches this season, and of those matches she played 230 games. Of the 230 games, she won 208, which gives her a 90.4 winning percentage. The girls team finished the season with an overall record of 11-2. They were also undefeated in region play (7-0).
St. Pius X High School, Atlanta
The boys track and field team captured the Class AAA state championship. It’s the team’s first state title since 2006 and the second in school history. Individual titles were also earned in field and track events. Fred Dorsey placed first in the triple jump. With throws of 175 and 54 feet, Daniel Haugh finished first in the discus throw and shot put, respectively. Austin Sprague finished first in the 1600m run with a time of 4:19.88. Several events later Sprague also secured first place in the 3200m run with a time of 9:24.57. Calvin Tirrell finished second in the 1600m run and fourth in the 800m run. Joe Beach finished fourth in the 300m hurdles. The 4×400 relay team of Cooper Metzler, Beach, Dorsey and Tirrell also took fourth place.
The boys and girls soccer teams won state championships. The boys defeated Woodward Academy, College Park, 2-0. It marked the team’s 16th shutout of the 2013 season. The boys did not give up a goal during the four postseason matches leading up to the title game. It’s the third state championship in the past four years for the boys team, which finished the season 19-0-2. The girls team defeated Catholic archrival Blessed Trinity High School 1-0 to earn its fourth state championship since 2009. The girls averaged five goals per match in the postseason and concluded the season with a record of 19-1-3. The wins mark the third time since 2009 that both the boys and girls have won a state soccer championship in the same year.
Marist School, Atlanta
In Class AAAA the girls track and field team took first place with 57.50 points at the state meet. Sophomore Morgan Ilse won individual state championships in the 1600m and 3200m runs. Sophomore Caitlin Faust finished fourth in the 800m run. Junior Bailey Weiland captured a state championship in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet, 6 inches. Sophomore Anne Marie Simoneaux tied for fourth place in the pole vault, reaching a height of 8 feet, 6 inches. The Marist 4×400 relay team of Gabby Bowen, Zuri Davis, Faust and Tamira Gitonga garnered a fifth-place finish in the state meet’s final event, but the four points they earned in the race were enough to push the entire team over the top. Marist edged out defending champion Shaw High School by 7.50 points for its first state championship in track and field in school history.
The boys track and field team also captured its first state championship. Junior Daniel Navarro took the state championship in the 1600m and 3200m runs with times of 4:23.10 and 9:21.70, respectively. Junior Michael Thurston finished the 1600m run in third place with a time of 4:25.26. Senior Jack Leahey had a fourth-place finish in the 3200m run. Freshman Frank Pittman finished third in the 800m run, while junior Nolan Daniels held down fourth place in the 400m dash. Kenneth Brinson won the state championship in the discus with a throw of 179 feet. David Gilstrap finished fourth in the 110m hurdles.
According to Georgia High School Association records, Marist is the first school to win state championships in boys and girls cross country and boys and girls track and field in the same year.
The girls tennis team defeated LaGrange High School 3-0 to win its first state championship since 2009 and the 22nd state title in school history. Kelsey Williams, the number one singles player, defeated Caroline Johnson 6-2, 6-3, and the number two singles player Marielle Williams defeated Katie Graham 6-0, 6-0. The number two doubles team of Anna Swensen and Leigh Peters defeated Julia Shirley and Euna Oh 6-1, 6-4. The tennis team completed the season with 20-1 record.
The girls soccer team captured its first state championship in four years with a 5-0 victory over Columbus High School at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, May 17. Senior Caroline Strom got Marist on the board first with an assist from Meredith Selvey. With an assist by Clara Gastaldi, freshman forward Katie MacGinnitie scored the team’s second goal to give Marist a 2-0 first-half lead. In the second half MacGinnitie scored again, and additional goals came from Emily Gale and Selvey. The team ended the season with a record of 22-0-1.
The boys golf team shot a state record 279 to capture its second consecutive state championship. Four of the team members had season best scores.
“I am not surprised at all with the individual performances because they are all great high school golfers, but for all six team members to turn in those kind of numbers on the same day is unheard of,” said head coach Jeff Decker. “I was very pleased with the way the kids worked on their game during the four-week window between region and state. They were disappointed with a 309 score at the region, but they certainly took care of that by shaving off 30 strokes at the state.”
Freshman Will Chandler was low medalist as he shot a 66. Jack Larkin, Sean Murphy, Will Duma and Joe Quirk all shot runner-up 71s and Mitchell Yates also turned in a 73.
Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell
In defeating Woodward Academy, College Park, 3-0, the girls tennis team captured its fifth consecutive Class AAA state championship. It’s also the team’s sixth title in the last seven seasons. The 2013 team compiled a 23-0 record. The team’s number one singles player Kourtney Keegan also went the entire season without dropping a match. In the state finals Keegan won her match 6-0, 6-1. The number one doubles team of Sarah Baker and Megan Foye won their match 6-1, 6-1, and the team of Elizabeth Milano and Kelly Higgins won theirs 6-3, 6-1.
The boys tennis team defeated Catholic archrival St. Pius X High School 3-1 to capture its first state championship since 2010 and its first since competing in Class AAA. St. Pius X defeated Blessed Trinity less than a month before in the region championship. The team’s number one singles players, Matt Marin and Matt Ghering, won their matches 6-3, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-0, respectively. The team finished the season with a record of 17-8.
Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell
The girls track and field team finished second behind Cedar Grove High School, but they had some individual Class AAA state winners. The girls 4×100 relay team of Jackie Kinney, Libby Tillman, Megan Miller and Zion Lewis came in first place. Anna Gandolfo finished first in the 1600m run with a time of 5:10.59. Gandolfo also finished second in the 3200m run, and her teammate Natalie Kile came in third place. The 4×400 team of Shannon Innis, Gandolfo, Bailey Willett and Madeleine Iassogna came in second place. Willett finished second in the 800m run, and Lewis finished second in the 200m dash. Innis also finished third in the 400m dash and the 300m hurdles.
Monsignor Donovan High School, Athens
The girls soccer team enjoyed its best season ever under first-year head coach Christian Allen. The 13-3 (9-0 at home) Lady Rams won their first GISA Class AA region title and also won three home playoff games before falling to First Presbyterian Christian Academy, Hinesville, in the state finals. Monsignor Donovan had never hosted or won a state playoff game before this season. Senior captain Julie Barton broke the school’s team single season scoring record (34) with 36 goals. The team also scored a school single season record 98 goals. Barton was also named to the Class AA all-state first team along with sophomores Hailey Nixon and Laura Vicente and freshman Elizabeth Allen.
Others state runners-up: Blessed Trinity High School, girls soccer; Blessed Trinity High School, boys golf; Marist School, baseball; Monsignor Donovan High School, boys tennis; and St. Pius X High School, boys tennis.