Mount St. Joseph knew it would need a little luck and a whole lot of grit Friday to become MIAA indoor track meet champions.
In an effort for the ages, the Gaels won their first crown since 2017 at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” said Mount St. Joseph coach Kyle Reagan, who won his first MIAA championship meet title as a coach after winning four as a performer (graduated in 2000). “We were banged up here and there. They showed mental toughness.”
Down 30 points at the midway point to defending champ Calvert Hall, the Gaels battled back, tying the Cardinals with one event remaining: the 1,600-meter relay.
When senior and final leg Devin Underwood crossed the finish line first, an improbable celebration started for Mount St. Joseph, which edged out Calvert Hall in the final team standings, 137-135.
“I wanted to leave it all out on the track,” said Underwood, whose relay team set the championship meet record in 3 minutes, 28.01 seconds. “I gave it all I got in the final 200. The adrenaline helped get me through.”
Underwood (500) and Charlie Butler (3,200) were the only individual winners for Mount St. Joseph, which scored in all but one event. Avery Jones, who Reagan said had the flu, produced personal bests in the 55 and 300.
Junior shot putter Mason Williams, who didn’t score during the season, placed third Friday. C.J. Johnson placed (7th) for the Gaels in the 800, out of the slow heat.
The Gaels needed every contribution to stop Calvert Hall, which had claimed the previous three championship meet crowns.
“I thought we had a shot; though they (Calvert Hall) were the favorites. We knew we needed to have a good day,” said Reagan. “We couldn’t be average.”
The Gaels weren’t, producing two championship meet records (800 relay) and 14 personal records Friday, capped with the efforts of seniors Renaco Linberger, Pierce Schultze, Braedan Smith and Underwood in the 1,600 relay.
Smith overcame an 8-meter deficit in his final lap to set up Underwood’s closing 400 meters.
“I was a little pessimistic,” admitted Underwood about the early deficit. “After the 500, I saw we were inching closer. We might come back and win this thing.”
Calvert Hall received first-place efforts from Rico Cooper (55), Stephen Gonzalez (800) and Chase Dorsey (shot put). Gilman (79), Archbishop Spalding (54) and Loyola Blakefield (50) round out the top five in the team standings.
Spalding’s Max Moss captured individual titles in 300 and high jump. Cam Brown (high jump) and Nathaniel Frempong (triple jump) placed first for Gilman.
John Carroll’s Andrew Brown (1,600), Jack Wachter from Loyola (pole vault) and McDonogh’s Brandon Finney (55 hurdles) were the other individual winners. Loyola won the 3,200 relay.
McDonogh won the IAAM A championship for the first time since 2019. Sophomore Elise Cooper won 55, 300 and 500 events, and Mary Gorsky claimed the 1,600 and 3,200 titles.
Second-place Maryvale Prep, which had won five of the previous six titles, received first-place efforts from Abby Myers (shot put) and AJ Warren (high jump). Spalding’s Athena Stith won the long and triple jump.
St. Mary’s repeated as IAAM B champions. Grace Mitchell (500), Chloe McCarthy (3,200) and Kyra Obert (high jump) captured individual crowns for the Saints.