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Mount Mercy Academy track team to continue to leap forward

Apr 8, 2024 | Sports Scene

There will be no standing pat after last year’s impressive season for the Mount Mercy Academy Track team. After experiencing its best season in years, this year’s track squad is returning all of its members from last season and has reloaded with some talented freshmen and seniors that are new to the team.

Coach Brian Ferris, an experienced track and basketball coach, returns to the helm for his second year. Last year the team sent five athletes to the state meet and this year the expectations are even higher for these five athletes. Junior Isabelle Reaska (West Seneca) is expected to lead the team in the shot put and discus. Sophomore Olivia Gorczyca (Lake View), last year’s Most Valuable Runner, returns as a top 400-meter runner and triple jumper. Classmate Taylor Ferris (Hamburg), the Most Valuable Field Athlete from 2023, will again be a top triple and long jumper. Sophomore Bella Lippert (Orchard Park) returns in the 200-meter run and long jump. Brynn Leonard (Buffalo), also a sophomore, returns as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team, along with Gorczyca, Ferris, and Lippert.

New team members that have shown a great deal of promise are seniors Rosie Bandura (West Seneca) and Katie Regan (East Aurora) and freshman Lauren Seifert (Orchard Park). Bandura is expected to compete in the distance runs and Regan in the middle distance runs. Seifert, an All-Catholic in cross country, will compete in the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter runs.

“I believe we will be a much more balanced team this year, with nearly 40 runners and our entire team back from last year,” Ferris commented. “We hope to continue to excel in the jumps, 400m, 4×400, and throws as we are returning all of the members of the team that made the state meet last season.”

The team has nearly doubled in size this year with 40 girls on the roster. Ferris hopes that the team will be able to get contribution across all four of the disciplines this season; distance, sprints, Jumps and throws. He believes that scoring points in the 100- and 200-meter runs will be key.

Although some of the larger schools have consistently been tops in track, Ferris believes with his returning team members, along with the talented newcomers, Mount Mercy can close the gap with these schools.

The Magic opens its season on April 17 with a meet at St. Francis High School at 4 p.m.

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