Track and field gets a head start with 50th Maverick Relays


Richie Mercado

From left: Freshman Douglas Parsley, senior Jayan Hanson, sophomore Sam Faraguna, and freshman Colton Morgan participated in the Maverick Relays.

Andrew Duong, Staff Writer

Track and field kicked off their season with the 50th Maverick Relays March 3-4. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams placed second in the meet with the help of returning athletes and freshmen.

The school has been hosting the relays every year since 1967. They were previously known as the Rebel Relays before the school changed its mascot 14 years ago. Since 2013, Coach Richie Mercado has commemorated past St. John’s “legends” who have contributed to the relays as either star athletes or dedicated volunteers.

Some of the legends include current record holders along with St. John’s faculty and staff, such as Head of Middle School Phillip Cannon and math teacher Bobbie Oldfield, who has helped set up the field and time races for years.

“It’s been fun getting a lot of other people from different years show up because it was the 50th anniversary,” Mercado said.

Wes Reed, the cross country and track coach from 1980-1985, watched this year’s relays. Last season, track and cross country won SPC for the first time since Reed left St. John’s.

“Reed coming up and telling us that we need to break the 4×400 record this year was such a cool experience,” junior Will Marx said. “The record has stood for so long.”

On the girls’ team, sophomore Mycah Clay placed second in the 100 meter dash with 12.62 seconds. Senior Isabelle Paine placed first in the 300 meter hurdles with 46.37 seconds, and senior Peyton Brown placed first in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:01.74 minutes. Senior Katie Hasley also improved her school record in discus.

“It was nice to perform well in front of people that have done so well in the past here,” Marx said.


Richie Mercado
From left: seniors Katie Hasley and Jarell Simms both improved their personal records at the relays.

Some key contributors on the boys’ team were Marx, junior Ian Thakur, and sophomores Genson Hooper Price and Collin Fullen. Fullen won the 4×100 relay with a time of 42.84 seconds, and Marx won the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.22 seconds. This year was Fullen’s first time running the relay with this group, but he was satisfied with the results.  

“The results were definitely unexpected for me because I was the only new person on the 4×100 team,” Fullen said. “I was unsure of how I would do and I was so scared I’d be a burden. I’m glad it turned out the way it did and I hope my teammates were happy too.” 

Many athletes earned a spot in SPC after the relays. Marx, Fullen, Thakur and Hooper Price qualified with their 4×100 and other individual performances. Sophomore August Windham, freshman Will Leger and four juniors will join seniors Jayan Hanson and Jarrell Sims at SPC.

Along with Clay, Paine, Brown and Hasley, seniors Katherine Smith and Courtney Jacobs will compete in SPC. Underclassmen finished strong with Mira Thakur, Ana Maria Rodriguez (both freshman) and sophomore Ciela Stark earning SPC spots. Five junior girls also qualified.

Both teams will compete in the Kinkaid Falcon Relays on Thursday, March 9.