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Crusader track team mentality motors Apollos

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit sophomore Julian Body beat Sunset senior A.J. Smith in the 110 hurdles on April 16 to help the Crusaders handily beat the Apollos at home.

In a sport that gravitates in the direction of the individual superstar — the solo athlete who can do ungodly things on the oval or sand pit — the Jesuit boys’ track squad instead campaigns for a shared cause.

The sprinters, throwers, jumpers, middle and long distance runners compete in different events, but they all fight for the name on the front of the jersey. They believe there’s more weight in team victories and championships than in who has the best individual marks in Metro.

With this communal mentality, the Crusaders have clobbered each of their first five Metro opponents, including Sunset, 107-38, on Wednesday, April 16. And, competitors from each arena, whether it’s running or throwing, don’t see the rampage ceasing any time soon.

“I want to return with another state title,” said senior long distance runner Michael Godbout. “I want to help the team as much as a I can.”

“It’s all about the team effort and scoring as many points as possible,” said junior sprinter Chase Morrison. “Coach (Tom Rothenberger) just tells us to get points any way we can, whether it’s getting third, second or first. Every point counts toward winning the meet.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit's Tanner Tropio and Joey Alfieri were neck-and-neck at the tape in the 100-meter dash until Tropio pulled ahead with five meters to go for the win.

Running tally

Jesuit won every track event except the 4x400 relay against the Apollos and had at least one competitor place in the top-two of each event sans the pole vault, where Sunset’s Kyle Coleman and Kyle Williams went one-two.

“No matter who wins, we’re a family that pushes each other,” said sophomore sprinter Tanner Tropio. “It’s all about the family and the team. It’s not about us. We really drive and push for our team. It’s all about the scoreboard at the end of the day.”

Tropio, Morrison and Joey Alfieri did all they could to help the Crusaders cruise against Sunset, sweeping the 100-meter dash with Tropio (11.54) nudging the on-rushing Alfieri (11.56) at the tape. Tropio said he started the race well and really focused on the “drive phase” of his heat, but credited Alfieri for beating him out of the blocks and getting the early lead.

“Personally, that wasn’t my best race,” said Tropio. “I feel like Joey ran a better race than I did. He got out fast. What we do as a group is a testament to our coaches and their efforts to keeping us in shape. They really push us to work our best and stay on top of that.”

The trio of football players, who helped Jesuit reach the 6A state championship game last December, said the venom between themselves is non-existent. Each wants to improve as an individual to ensure Jesuit gets it done together as a team.

“It’s a lot more mental,” said Tropio. “On the football field, it’s a lot more intimidating. But here, you really have to stay in the zone. You can’t really pay attention to a lot of the outside things.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit's Michael Godbout, Sam Remington and Sahil Doshi finished first, second and third in the 1,500.

From the gun

Godbout said he and his fellow Crusader long distance runners wanted to pile the points on Sunset early to guarantee the team win. Jesuit’s trio of seniors: Godbout (3:59), Sahil Doshi (4:03) and Sam Remington (4:06) swept the 1,500, and each set personal records in doing so to help the Crusaders get on top.

“I took it from the gun and just wanted to help my team get a fast time,” said Godbout. “It’s always nice to get a win, especially when you go one, two, three — like we did. We all know what to do. We all work off of each other and get the job done.”

Godbout got ahead of Doshi and Remington at the very beginning, separating himself from the competitive pack of pacers that included Grant Bingham and Mark Sussman — Sunset’s duo of cross country stars — and stayed in control for the duration of the race.

“Sometimes people kind of dilly dally at the start and don’t get out well,” said Godbout. “Taking it from the gun makes everyone run an honest race. We knew Sunset had some fast guys, so we wanted to break them early and get a good pace going.”

The senior’s under-four-minute finish had Godbout encouraged about his season’s prospects both individually and as a team. Placing as high as possible as an individual at the district and state meet would be great, Godbout said, primarily because it could help the Jesuit boys’ win back-to-back state championships.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit's Carlos Coleman won the 400 against Sunset on April 16.

Jesuit sophomore Julian Body — who actually has the fastest 100-meter dash time in the district — beat Sunset’s A.J. Smith in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles.

Senior Henry Mondeaux took first in the shot put (52-06) and second in the discus (134-02), behind teammate Nate Alvey. Zachary Grubb threw the javelin 165-10 for first place. Carlos Coleman cleared six feet in the high jump to take top honors, and sophomore Kasin Pendergrass Anderson leapt 44-00 in the triple jump. Sunset’s Joe Riedl won the long jump (21-07). The Apollos’ 4x400 relay of Hunter Kellerman, Armin Ghorashian, Ryan Hutchins and Noah Swigart won the final event of the day with a 3:31.88 finish.



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