At the Class M Outdoor Track and Field State Championship last Tuesday in New Britain, Mercy Track and Field put together one of its best state championship performances in school history.
Anchored by the efforts of Marie Kane ’24 and Julia Lelko ’25, the team scored 55 points to finish in second place.
It was the best finish for Mercy at a track and field state championship since the program won its lone state title in 2015. It was also the first outdoor track and field runner-up finish in program history.
Kane led the way with victories in the 100 meters and 200 meters, and a third place finish in the 400 meters. In the 200 meters, Kane, who now has three individual state titles, broke her own school record with a time of 25.38.
Lelko helped anchor the 4x800-meter relay to a victory and the 4x400-meter relay to second. In between, the relays, she finished third in the 800 meters.
The team of Kayla Johnson ’25, Tess Wasiolek ’24, Bea Perrault ’26 and Lelko ran 9:46.04 for one of the fastest times in program history (9:39.90 is the school record). The 4x400 relay team of Annaliese Rhoden ’23, Johnson, Wasiolek and Lelko just missed the 4x100-meter victory, finishing .48 behind Weston with a time of 4:10.51.
In the discus, Jasmine Mendez ’23 provided the surprise of the day, throwing a personal best throw of 95 feet, 1 inch to take seventh place overall. Mendez, who just started throwing this spring, was seeded 17th coming into the meet. Wasiolek also scored in the 800 meters.
For the team, the goal of a top two finish at the state meet, was put in place during the senior’s freshman season. And Tuesday’s runner-up finish served as a fitting farewell to the senior class, including captains Julia Nadolski ’23, Raya Morin ’23, Anna Simoniello ’23 and Rhoden. Four years ago, the seniors committed to this moment.
At the State Open on Monday, the team followed the runner-up finish with another great performance.
Behind two top six performances from Kane, the team had its best finish at the Open since 2017.
Kane qualified for the New England championships in both the 200 meters and the 400 meters. In the 200, she broke her own school record by nearly a half a second, running 24.89 for fifth place. In the 400, she was sixth, running 58.51. It is the first time a Mercy athlete has advanced to the New England Championships since Bridgid Selfors in 2017.
The championship started by the 4x800-meter relay team of Johnson, Wasiolek, Perrault and Lelko moving up from its seed and taking eighth place with a season’s best time of 9:44.36. The Open was capped off by a season’s best in the 4x400 relay. Rhoden, Johnson, Wasiolek and Lelko ran 4:08.94 to also move up from their seed time and finish 14th overall. The team placed 30th overall at the meet out of 60 teams.