Talented Senior Group Paces St. John's Track
Eagles set their sights on another successful campaign despite an opening loss to B.C. High.
After a season-opening 48-47 loss to B.C. High on Dec. 11 in a meet decided on the final relay, the St. John's Prep indoor track team will require a bit of help if it is to retain its Catholic Conference championship this winter.
"They are often one of the top teams in the state, so that was a very difficult meet for both teams after only two weeks of practice. The loss hasn't dampened our enthusiasm any. We expect this will be a good year and that we will be in contention at the bigger meets at the end of the season," said coach Ray Carey, now in his 34th year as the Eagles' head coach and 100th season overall when you add in his duties in cross-country and spring track.
In addition to winning the league title last season, St. John's also won the league meet and was a Top Five finisher at the State Meet. Carey's optimism this winter seems well-founded as the Eagles welcome back a number of seasoned senior performers who form the core of the team.
Senior Mike Galasso excels at 600 meters as well as the 4x400 relay. He won the 600 against B.C. High while Jon Touchette, another senior, placed second. Senior Taewook Ha missed the meet due to an ankle injury but is the top hurdler in the Prep program and was the league outdoor champion in the high hurdles last spring.
Senior Sean Enos is the school indoor record-holder in the shot put with a throw of 54 feet six inches and won the event against B.C. High.
"He's only 180 pounds but he's a rotary thrower who is quite the technician and very dedicated," said Carey.
The Eagles' distance crew of seniors Ben Halpin, a returning All-Scholastic, Jaret Harrigan and Patrick Murphy ranks among the state's deepest units. All three compete in the 1,000 meters, mile and two-mile. Halpin claimed the two-mile against B.C. High with a terrific early-season time of 9:55.
Seniors Brandon West and Nick Pesaturo and junior Bryan Browne lead the sprinters while junior Mike Hayes has emerged as the top high jumper and adds depth in the hurdles. Against B.C. High, Pesaturo won the 55-meter dash in a personal best time of 6.97 seconds and Hayes placed second in the high jump.
"We have solid people up and down the lineup in every event. We need a little improvement among the sprinters' times to compete with the very best but, overall, we're very solid. We just need to stay healthy," said Carey. "Last week we were outside every day practicing in 30-degree temperatures. Since we don't have a fieldhouse, it takes us a little longer to get going, but I also think dealing with the elements outside makes us stronger in the long run."
St. John's took part in the Winter Fest, a non-scoring event, this past Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. The Eagles take on St. John's of Shrewsbury at Reggie Lewis today at 4:30 p.m.