St. John’s Slips Past EHS in Final Event

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FORT WORTH

All the pieces fell exactly in place. Houston St. John’s nipped Bellaire Episcopal for first place in the 4×400 relay and captured the girl’s SPC track and field title by a single point.</p> <p>The Mavericks set a school record in the event, clocking a 3:59.15 and totaled 126.50 points. The Lady Knights followed closely behind at 3:59.67 and came up just short at 125.50.</p> <p>“It was just an incredible meet,” SJS head coach Richie Mercado said. “We knew everyone had to give everything they had for us to maximize our points, and they did.”</p> <p>St. John’s opened a 30-meter lead in the 4×400 after three laps. However Episcopal’s anchor runner, Taylor Buckner, passed Anne Johnson with about 150 meters remaining. But Johnson managed to stay at Buckner’s heels and regained the lead, just before crossing the finish line, to pick up the win.</p> <p>“Taylor poured her heart into that final lap,” Mercado said. “Anne showed great fortitude to stay with her and come back.”</p> <p>A freshman also contributed greatly to the Mavericks winning effort. Jacqueline Modesett took third place in the 100-meter hurdles (15.18), won the 300-meter event (45.44) and ran the opening leg on the 4×400. Modesett also claimed a surprise gold medal in the high jump with a leap of 4-11.</p> <p>“Jaci hadn’t been able to jump this spring because of a knee problem,” Mercado explained. “But we tried a couple of jumps on Monday before the meet, and her knee felt fine. It was really windy on the day of the meet, and it gave a lot of the jumpers trouble.”</p> <p>A 1-2 finish in the 1,600-meter run provided some badly needed points. Meredith Gamble garnered the gold at 5:15.45, while Johnson claimed the silver at 5:16.19.</p> <p>“Meredith did a tremendous job of pacing Anne,” Mercado said. “Those were points I really didn’t expect.”</p> <p>The surprise victory maintained St. John’s spirits during a long return journey to Houston. Near Centerville, on I-45, the team bus experienced a cooling leak, requiring three hours to repair. But the boy’s and girl’s track teams simply broke out the snacks and drinks and celebrated at the rest stop just off the interstate.</p> <p>“A lot of parents stopped by on their way back,” Mercado said. “But most of the team wanted to stay together and talk about the meet.”</p> <p>In boy’s action, Dallas St. Mark’s won its seventh straight SPC track meet. The Lions totaled 124 points in their winning effort, while Tulsa Holland Hall finished second at 104.</p>