Edited By Zack Martin '18
STA Baseball 2018 Season Summary
By Henry Large ‘18
Varsity baseball had a record year. Kicking off the season with a 2-1 victory over local powerhouse St. John's, the Bulldogs played great baseball throughout the whole season. After two grueling weeks in Florida, where the Bulldogs competed with nationally ranked teams, the team returned to D.C. for IAC play. The Bulldogs finished 2nd in the IAC in the regular season with a 7-3 record. James Howe '18 and Clark Klitenic '19 were both reliable starting pitchers.
The Bulldogs went full steam into the IAC tournament. In the championship series, the Bulldogs dropped game 1, but proceeded to smack Georgetown Prep 14-7 then 7-0 over the next two games. Dogpiling and raising the trophy on Prep's field was as sweet as ever. The Bulldogs finished the season with a crushing 5-4 loss to Wilson in 9 innings, but the Bulldogs held their heads high looking back over the highs of the season. Brandon Torng '20, Chase Danekker '19, Clark Klitenic '19, James Howe '18, and Austin Burgess '18 were named all-IAC, and Clark Klitenic was the unanimous IAC player of the year.
This season was also very special because it was Coach Baad's last one with the team. Coach Baad said this year's IAC championship, his 19th, was as great as any.
STA Lacrosse 2018 Season Summary
By Hugh Preas ‘18
The St. Albans lacrosse team had an overall good year this year. We set out with the main goal of winning an IAC championship, and while we fell short of this goal, we made a lot of progress toward that goal for the coming years. We finished with record of 9-11 despite a slow 1-6 start to the season. The season will be remembered for the several comeback wins the Bulldogs pulled off, most notably against Bishop O’Connell and St. Mary’s Ryken. But mainly, this season will be remembered for the huge 7-4 win against Landon, a feat not accomplished by a St. Albans lacrosse team since 2007 and only the third win against Landon in school history. Due to this huge win and another dominant win over St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, the Bulldogs received a home playoff berth for the second year in a row. All IAC selections for the Bulldogs this year included: Carter Tate ‘18, Hugh Preas ‘18, and Matthew Gunty ‘19.
While the season did not unfold as many would have hoped on the team, overall this year was great for the program and a huge leap forward from the program of years past. The departing seniors are confident in the team going forward and hope that they can continue the teams momentum towards finally winning an IAC title. In the lacrosse world, the St. Albans name does not hold very much notoriety; however, after this season, we hope that we have gained some notoriety as a team and have proven that we are, rightfully so, a great lacrosse program. I want to give a special thanks to our Assistant Coaches, Colin Heeter and Brent Hyken, for a great year this year. Finally, a thank you to our Head Coach, Rory Hyland, for a great two years both as a coach and friend. We wish all three of you the best in the coming years with whatever you may be doing.
STA Track and Field 2018 Season Summary
By Jack Tongour ‘19
This was no ordinary season for STA Track and Field. For the first time in fifty five years, St. Albans had the opportunity to host the IAC championships. Coming off of a very strong 2017 season which included a second place finish in the IAC (behind Bullis, a team with some of the fastest runners in the country) and a 3rd place finish at DC state championships (despite missing some team members), the team was optimistic for another strong showing in 2018.
STA T&F has always been known for its depth, but one area where STA was lacking (at least in comparison to an especially fast IAC field) was sprinting. New sprinters stepped up to replace the sprinting core the team had lost with the class of ‘17. Fortunately, the team received many high-potential freshmen. In fact, the team gained so many new members that Coach Findler decided to change the usual practice meeting place from the Little Field to the Amphitheater.
Other surprising developments came from the distance program. In the 1600m it was the young bucks, not the proven veterans, who led the way. Timmy Bitsberger and Jack Tongour were limited by health issues, so Jonathan Merrill, Henry McBride (4:43), and Damian Hackett (4:44—the fastest freshman time since record-holder Tai Dinger) all stepped up. In his first year running track, Merrill proved that this was his sport. He dropped to a 4:38 season best in the 1600m at the Draper Invitational and placed 6th at DCSAAs in the 3200m. Another twist was that Jack Kelly went full mid-distance, consistently producing 52-second splits in 4x400m relays and leading the team in the 800m. At IACs, Lincoln Cooper and Griffin Shapiro had breakout performances. Cooper’s final kick in the 800m earned him a 3rd place finish and Shapiro’s smart racing in the 3200m earned him a 5th place finish.
The flyin’ thighs of Joel DeClue and Julian Escoto dominated the hurdles this season.
The throwing program, led by senior “stumps” Richard Oh, William Busching, Jose Noble, J.P. Rodocanachi, and “The Ox,” remained extremely robust. Chris Tingle also impressed many with his team-best and modern freshman record of 40’ 7 in the shot put.
The highlights of the home-track 2018 IAC Championships were the first place finishes by Charlie Hansen in the pole vault and Kai Ahmadu in the triple jump which earned them both All-IAC honors. Ahmadu also placed 2nd in the high jump, 6th in the long jump, and 4th with the 4x400m team (also consisting of Jack Kelly, Nick Maguigad, and Lincoln Cooper that managed to beat Bullis’ squad). Kai Ahmadu led the entire team, not only with his impressive performances as a sprinter and a jumper, but also with his work ethic, his quiet confidence, and his dedication to his teammates.
I point out a handful of individuals in this summary, but this team prides itself on recognizing the success and improvement of every athlete. Many view Track as an individual sport, but I do not accept this belief. There is something gratifying about watching a teammate kick past a competitor on the final straightaway, successfully hand off a baton, or finish a race after he gave everything he had to give. When we run or jump or throw we are really only at our best when we do it for our teammates. 5th place in the IAC was not the finish we hoped for, but that does not mean May 12th was a bad day for St. Albans Track and Field. As a team, we did everything we could and we can be proud of the effort we gave in each and every event. In the end, our 83 points were only 3 shy of 4th place Episcopal and 6 points shy of 3rd place Georgetown Prep. Even though the DCSAA Championship Meet was “optional”, STA still managed to get 6th place out of 26 teams—a solid end to a hard-fought season.
STA Crew 2018 Season Summary
By Harry Grigorian ‘19
This crew season has had it all for the Bulldogs: half second thrilling wins, half second heartbreaking losses, and anything else one could imagine. The season started with a promising trip in Tampa, but a loss to Winter Park HS (Orlando) threw the lineup of the 1v into some turmoil. The 1v suffered some tough losses this Spring and the lineup was changed weekly, as we tried to find a group of 8 guys who moved well together. The 2v had a very solid year, culminating in claiming the city championship in a thrilling .5 second win against Gonzaga, a team which had beaten the STA 2v last year by upwards of 12 seconds (which is a mile in crew). This boat came in 4th at their final regatta, the Stotesbury Cup, a bitter-sweet finish as they had beaten 3rd place Lawrenceville (New Jersey) earlier that morning, and 1st place Gonzaga two weeks prior.
The 1v trained for an extra week to race at Scholastic Nationals in New Jersey, bringing crews from all across the nation to compete. We made it out of the first round, but were faced with a tough heat with Central Catholic (Pittsburgh), St. Joseph’s Prep (Philly), Chaminade (Long Island), St. Joseph’s Collegiate (Buffalo), and Loyola Academy (Chicago). Off the start, the Dogs had the lead and held it for about 1000m of the 1500m race. With the top 3 crews advancing, we were in a good spot. However, great sprints from Loyola, St. Joseph’s Prep, and Chaminade left the Bulldogs in a heart breaking 4th by less than a second, preventing us from advancing.
The team improved greatly by our final race, and we look forward to coming back much stronger next year.
STA Tennis 2018 Season Summary
By Yuki Kinoshita '18
The tennis team had a good season with a senior heavy team led by captains James Long, Christian Potter, Mark Parrino, Yuki Kinoshita, and Liam Krygier. The team went out to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual spring break trip and improved its chemistry and skill at the Westminster High school tennis courts. Despite the high hopes the team had in winning the IAC championship, the team placed 3rd in the IAC, losing two close matches against Georgetown Prep both 3-4. Though the year didn't go as well as the team had hoped and expected, I look forward to the team's success in the upcoming years