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Jesuit wins Sheaner Relays

Sports Editor

Photography: Travis Mathews

RAIN-SOAKED: Jesuit’s Andrew Faso overcame the inclement weather conditions to capture second place Saturday in the long jump at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays.

The weather conditions Saturday put a damper on the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays in more ways than one.

The rainy conditions not only prevented participation in the preliminary events, but it also deprived the eventual winner, Jesuit, from showing the rest of the competition that it could defeat them in a full-scale meet.

“It’s a litte bit bittersweet, because we wanted to say this was the best Jesuit team ever,” fifth-year Jesuit head coach Ross Oliver said.

The Rangers scored a total of 154 points at the meet, in which all the races were run as finals. Lancaster was second with 86 points, and Forney finished third with 59 points.

Another local school, W.T. White, finished seventh with 46 points.

Jesuit has not won the event since it became the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays in 1975, according to former Jesuit track coach Herb Sheaner, after who the event is named.

A year ago, Oliver said, Jesuit finished third, adding that the team has improved steadily in the relays during his tenure.

This year Oliver said he was looking forward to competing against teams such as Lancaster, Greenville and Denton Ryan, all of which he considered to be Jesuit’s toughest competition.

However, the weather conditions early Saturday prevented any hopes of having having a complete event.

That might leave doubt in some people’s minds as to whether Jesuit could have beaten the competition in a full-scale affair.

Many of the top competitors at the event had left by the afternoon, when the running finals took place.

“We would not have scored (as many) points in good weather, but I think we would have won,” Oliver said.

“We won the meet, but there are those who will say could we have won it in good weather. My answer is yes, but will we ever know? No.”

The Rangers had sixfirst-place finishes, including wins in the 1,600-meter relay and the distance medley relay.

Individual winners were Matt O’Shea in the discus, Tony Corona in the 800 meters, Michael Schlund in the 400 meters and Tom Colven in the 1600 meters. Oliver is especially proud of his mile relay team, which consists of Corona, Jose Pietri, The relay team has finished second only once this season, Oliver said. It also ran a 3:17.0 at the Lobo Relays in Longview, where it faced Class 5A competition, he said.

“To my knowledge nobody in the state has run faster than a 3:19,” Oliver said.

Oliver said that Corona and Altaffer have been the “cornerstones” of the program.

Corona won the 800 with a time of 1:59.43. and Altaffer finished second in 2:08.47. Teammate Brian Case was third with a time of 2:11.65.

“They are the hardest workers and have the best work ethic,” Oliver said of Corona and Altaffer. “When the race is on, we can count on them.”

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