Aquinas Monarchs

Aquinas continued to be one of the strongest track teams in the state, winning the Lion Club Invite on April 6 at Wisner-Pilger.

Not only did the Monarchs finish first first in both the boys and girls team rankings, but it was a blowout by all standards of measurement.

The girls defeated second place Battle Creek 158-106 while the boys outscored second place Stanton 131-74. 

Aquinas boys found points early and often, starting with Matthew Duke winning the pole vault on a height of 12-6. 

Duke wasn't the only Monarch to strike gold in a field event. Eli Reiter jumped 39-11.5 in the triple jump to claim first. 

Nothing changed for the Aquinas boys once the track events began. They won the first event on the track, the 3200, and kept the momentum going from there.

Daniel Stara, Keegan Lavicky, Braden Smith and Payton Davis ran the 3200 meters in 8:41. 

Braden Smith also had success in the 800 winning with a 2:05.76. 

John Prochaska claimed a gold medal for the Monarchs winning the 300 hurdles with a mark of 43.45, Andy Lyons struck gold after winning the 200 in 23.09 and Payton Davis broke the five-minute mile for the victory in the 400. He ran a 4:57.3. 

The girls also brought home multiple gold medals. 

Gabrielle Oborny was the first to do so when she cleared 10 feet in the pole vault. 

"I am very happy for all three of our vaulters and especially Bridget (Sisco) and Gabrielle as it seems like they are just now hitting their stride after performing so well at State and sharing our school record," said head coach Tony Smith in comments sent to the Banner-Press.

Like their male counterparts, the girls also won the 3200 relay with a time of 10:25.30 behind a team of Allie Frasher, Emma Sellers, Vanessa Bohuslavsky and Jadyn Siroky. 

"We love the relays because it’s the one event that you aren’t just running for yourself, you are running for your team of four," Smith said."We have such great team chemistry and love for each other that it comes out in our relays where the girls refuse to let each other down."

A few races later, Ella Hilger won the 400 with a 1:00.05 followed later by a win in the 200 with a time of 27.27 seconds. 

The 3200 proved to be a great race for the Monarchs as Aquinas had three of the top-four finishers. Allie Frasher won with a 13:07.82. 

Frasher also won the 1600 with a 6:00.94. 

Larissa Sellers then continued her impressive run winning back-to-back races in the 100 hurdles and 100-meter dash. She ran the hurdles in 16.34 and the dash in 13.04. 

"Larissa has had such a great career so far at Aquinas, but what she has done as a leader for our team is what is so important," Smith said. "At the beginning of every meet, she runs the 100 hurdles and the 100 back-to-back and expects so much out of herself to set the tone for the rest of the girls. Her teammates see that and respond so well.

"Larissa has a ton of heart and grit which allows her to be so successful in those two races."

Siroky continued her success from earlier in the day winning the individual 800 with a time of 2:31.87. 

Relays continued to be a strong point for Aquinas. The Monarch won the 400 with a team of Dulcie Archuleta, Sierra Meysenburg, Hilger and Sellers. 

The team ran the 400 meters in 52.367. 

In the very next race, Aquinas' Hilger, Archuleta, Emma Sellers and Siroky won the 1600 relay on a finish of 4:20.08.

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net

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