||For nearly 20 years, there has been an outdoor track and field independent school state championship meet, an event that has grown from a modest eight-team meet in 2001 to the 18-school event it currently is. While the majority of the teams that compete in the outdoor season also have an indoor track team, there had never been an indoor PAISAA championship meet.
With enough interest from within the organization, the Pennsylvania Independent School Athletic Association (PAISAA) created an indoor track and field championship meet for the 2018-2019 season. The inaugural meet was held on Saturday, January 26 at Mercersburg Academy’s Hale Field House.
It was a banner day for The Hill boys’ team, which returned to Pottstown as PAISAA champions having doubled the point total of runner-up Germantown Academy. Hill won six of 13 events and had at least one athlete score in every event, with multiple athletes scoring in eight events.
Individually, Bennett Booth-Genthe ’19 set a new school record in the 400-meter dash, clocking a time of 50.49 seconds to break the previous record of 50.99 set by Baird Stuart ’07 in 2007.
Booth-Genthe’s record-setting run was just one of several outstanding performances that allowed the team to build an insurmountable overall team score of 147 points. The trio of Alberto Fernandez ’19, Eric Galante ’20, and Johnny Creciun ’20 combined to score 38 points in the 55 and 200 meter-dashes, finishing 1-3-4 in the 55 and 2-3-4 in the 200. Tim Youndt ’19 was a double-event winner, placing first in the 55-meter high hurdles and the triple jump, as well as placing second in the long jump. Additional first place finishes were recorded by Hale Lombard ’19 in the high jump and by the 4x400-meter relay team. Galante placed third in both horizontal jumps to finish the day by scoring points in all four events in which he competed.
The Hill girls’ team finished in fourth place with 68 points. Germantown Academy won the girls’ competition with 142 points.
Susanna Soderman ’21 was the girls’ lone event winner on the day, placing first in the triple jump with a leap of 34’1.5”. The triple jump was one of four events in which Soderman placed in the meet, as she also scored points in the 55-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the long jump. Sydney Floyd ’21 and Mofe Akinyanmi ’21 also scored in multiple events, with Floyd placing in the 55 and 200-meter dashes and Akinyanmi scoring in the high and triple jumps.
The teams return home one final time this year, a non-scoring quad meet with Perkiomen, Villa Maria, and Westtown on February 9, before concluding the season with the MAPL Championship meet on February 16.