May 21, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard sweeps Catholic League C-D track titles a second straight year

Livonia — Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard continued its dominance in the Catholic League C-D Division track and field championships Wednesday at Livonia Ladywood, sweeping the boys and girls titles for the second consecutive year.

In the girls competition, Gabriel Richard won five events to claim its 10th straight title with 179 points. Royal Oak Shrine came in second with 146 points, followed by Waterford Lakes in third with 58, Riverview Gabriel Richard (42) and Allen Park Cabrini (29).

Senior Kora Dreffs placed first in the shot put for the fourth straight year and won the discus for the third time, freshman Mary Benz won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:03.79 and sophomore Grace Glagola won the 800 in 2:59.80 for Gabriel Richard, which also won the 1,600 relay.

Shrine won nine total events but couldn’t overcome Gabriel Richard’s team effort. Gabriel Richard continuously racked up points, having at least two girls finish in the top six of every event except for the 100-meter dash.

“I told the girls, it’s like championship boxing. Shrine is going to land some punches and we’re going to land some punches,” fourth-year Gabriel Richard coach John Urbanic said. “We just need to keep taking swings and good things will happen.

“The streak means a heck of a lot. We circle this date at the beginning of the year. A lot of our preparation is for regionals and today.”

Juniors N’Tia Jones and Irene Peaslee each won two events for Shrine. Jones finished first in the 100 and 200 and Peaslee bested teammate Clare Romano to win both the high jump and 100 hurdles.

Waterford Lakes sophomore Tessa Fornari set a new C-D Division record in the 1600 with a time of 5:25.02, shattering the time of 5:28 set by Lisa Einheuser of Oakland Christian in 1980. Tornari also won the 3200 by more than a minute.

Not to be outdone by the girls, Gabriel Richard’s boys team took home its fifth title in six years with 114 points.

Allen Park Cabrini finished a close second with 106 points, while Detroit Loyola placed third with 93, Riverview Gabriel Richard fourth (59) and Waterford Lakes fifth (47).

Junior Colin McNally was able to dig down deep and win the 1,600 and 3,200 to help lead Gabriel Richard.

“I was really nervous after the 4x800,” McNally said. “I was really tired but I just tried to get my power together and get myself mentally psyched. I needed to get in the zone and I did it.”

Gabriel Richard also won the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays and finished second in the 3,200 relay.

In individual performances, Loyola’s Hunter Harris and Corey Hewitt each finished atop the podium in multiple events. Harris, a freshman, won the 200 in 23.7 seconds and the 400 in 52.98. Hewitt, a junior, placed first in the 110 hurdles (16.23) and 300 hurdles (43.36).

James Hawkins is a freelance writer

Alex Costley crosses the finish line to win the 4x400 with his teammates from Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. / Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News