The varsity swim team did a phenomenal job at the SPC Championship Meet at the Keller ISD Natatorium on Saturday, February 16. The Lions posted one of the best team performances in the history of our program. Each swimmer was determined to give their all and, as a result, the team finished the meet with 97.56% best times. St. Mark’s placed 3rd overall, only a few points behind the second-place team. The following swimmers earned All-SPC honors: the 200 Medley Relay (Mark Weisberg, Jack Palmer, Nicolas Gomez, and Daniel Wu) took 3rd place, Nicolas Gomez finished 3rd place in the 100 Fly, Ryan Park finished 3rd place 500 Free, the 200 Free Relay (Nicolas Gomez, Daniel Wu, David Li, and Robert Newman) placed 2nd, Jack Palmer took 2nd place 100 Breast (0.87 shy of the School Record), and the 400 Free Relay (Nicolas Gomez, Mark Weisberg, David Li, and Robert Newman) finished in 2nd place.
The varsity wrestling team competed at the SPC Wrestling Championship hosted by Fort Worth Country Day on Saturday, February 16. St. Mark’s placed 4th as a team, a one-place improvement from the 2018 tournament. Senior captain Colin Neuhoff (170lbs) won his weight class with a significant pin at the end of the second period of the Championship bout. He avenged a loss to the same wrestler who he had lost to during the Texas Prep State Tournament. This Championship win caps off a St. Mark’s wrestling career that has been riddled with injuries and this was the first full wrestling season Colin has completed in his four years as a wrestler in Upper School. Coach Arredondo stated, “We are so proud of the focus and effort he gave to the team and himself to overcome all obstacles.” Freshman Elijah Ellis (182lbs) was also crowned SPC Champion, and he too pinned his opponent. Elijah’s pin came with 1:10 minutes in the first period. Coach Arredondo said, “Elijah caps a strong run to the end of the season and displays great potential for next year’s campaign.” In total, all eleven St. Mark’s Wrestlers who competed placed at the SPC Tournament:
- 3rd at 113lbs – Freshman Zayn Bhimani
- 4th at 120lbs – Freshman Alex Nadalini
- 3rd at 126lbs – Freshman Jedidiah Kim
- 3rd at 132lbs – Freshman Sal Abbasi
- 3rd at 145lbs – Freshman Enoch Ellis
- 3rd at 152lbs – Sophomore Jackson Fair
- 3rd at 160lbs – Senior Chad Kim
- 1st at 170lbs – Senior Colin Neuhoff
- 1st at 182lbs – Freshman Elijah Ellis
- 4th at 220lbs – Senior Gabe Bankston
- 4th at 285lbs – Freshman Samuel Eluemunoh
As a team, the Lions earned 130 points, which was just one point behind the 3rd place finisher. This tournament was a great reflection of all the hard work and sacrifices the team has endured during this difficult year and shows great promise for our wrestling team’s future.
The varsity soccer team began the SPC Tournament at Oakridge facing John Cooper, the #4 seed from the South Zone who had defeated Cistercian the previous evening. St. Mark’s fell behind in the seventh minute after a defensive miscue gifted John Cooper the first goal of the match. The Lions demonstrated a great deal of skill and poise as they gradually took control of the match that drew level by the quarter-hour mark. Senior Lyle Ochs’ well-placed cross was deftly headed past the Dragon goalkeeper by his little brother, freshman Lars Ochs. The Lions looked prepared to take full control of the match when a speculative shot from distance by John Cooper on the half hour was misplayed into a goal. Once again, the Lions looked poised to equalize; however, this time, the Dragons were more resolute in their defense. Throughout the remainder of the match, St. Mark’s was given free reign of three-fourths of the field, having to suppress an occasional John Cooper attack. Despite several near chances and half chances, the Lions could not penetrate the defense of the Dragons, who would eventually finish in 2nd place after falling in overtime of the final. St. Mark’s returned to Oakridge the following morning with fifth place on the line against local rival ESD. The match did not disappoint as both the Lions and the Eagles chose to take the offensive from the opening whistle. Midway through the first half, junior William Holtby opened the scoring with an assist from sophomore Henry McElhaney. Within three minutes, sophomore Knobel Hunt added a goal with the assistance of McElhaney and junior Colin Campbell. The match was level at two when senior Jack Rocchio opportunistically converted senior Shane Ndeda’s throw-in into a goal at the stroke of halftime. The second half belonged to the Lions as the added three more goals and did not concede any. In the fifty-ninth minute, senior captain Seth Weprin scored with senior Blake Rogers and McElhaney earning assists. In the sixty-fourth minute, the combination of Weprin and Hunt set up their freshman teammate, Lars Ochs, with his second goal in as many matches. The final goal was appropriately scored by senior center back Blake Rogers when he was fed a perfectly weighted through ball from Holtby. It was Rogers’ first career goal as a member of the St. Mark’s varsity. On a very positive note, the match ended with all seven seniors who were able to play on the field together: Emmett Berger, William Haga, Shane Ndeda, Lyle Ochs, Jack Rocchio, Blake Rogers, and Seth Weprin. Senior Mateo Guevarra was on the sidelines due to injury. St. Mark’s finishes fifth in SPC play with a record of seven wins, one draw, and one loss, first in the North Zone on 19 points, and with an overall record of 15-2-5 (W-D-L).
The varsity basketball team took 3rd place at the SPC tournament this past weekend. Following an undefeated North Zone run, the Lions benefited from the first-round bye and took on Kinkaid in the second round of action at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth this past Friday morning. The Marksmen jumped out to a fast 10-5 lead, playing with a lot of emotion. The Falcons tied the game late in the first quarter, but the Lions answered when junior Andrew Laczkowski and freshman Noah Shelby each made a trio of threes to give the Lions a 43-28 advantage heading into the break. Lazckowski would finish the game with 22 to lead all scorers, and he added 6 steals. In the third round of action later that evening, St Mark's played Episcopal High School from Houston. Again, the Lions started quickly, leading by as many as 9 during the first half. Sophomore Harrison Ingram initiated much of the first half scoring en route to a 17 point, 9 rebound, 4 assist performance, and freshman Colin Smith, the Lions' leading scorer with 21 points in the game, got the crowd excited with a monstrous dunk off a slick assist from senior Austin Nadalini. However, the sharpshooting Lions only managed to convert on 3 of their 17 first half three-point attempts and trailed by two at halftime. With three minutes to go in the third, a couple of scoring streaks gave St Mark's a seven-point lead. But cold shooting set in once again, as the Knights finished the frame up 2 and slowed the game down in an effort to shorten the fourth quarter. A couple of tough defensive plays gave the Marksmen a chance to tie the game late, but they were unable to do so, resulting in a 60-65 loss. In the third-place game, St. Mark's matched up with Oakridge, a team they had beat 11 days prior. The Lions were clearly drained emotionally and physically from the night before and surrendered an early lead. However, senior Dylan Osimetha was determined to finish his career with an impact performance, and his 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists sparked the Lions. Junior Aaron Thorne came off the bench to knock down a clutch 3-pointer, and he was joined by classmates Camp Collins and Eddie Raj in bolstering a first-half effort that kept the Lions within striking distance despite the sluggish start. At halftime, senior Kyle Smith spoke some life into the squad, and his teammates responded marvelously, turning a 4-point halftime deficit into a double-digit lead at the end of the 3rd (thanks in part to a heroic buzzer-beating fade-away 3-pointer from right in front of the team bench from Harrison Ingram). A resilient Oakridge team refused to throw in the towel and made a run that ultimately sent the game to overtime. In the extra period, St. Mark's scored first and went on to finish their season with a 65-60 victory. The team finished the season with a 29-6 record. The win total was second-most in program history, which is even more astounding, considering that more than half of their matchups were against larger public schools, many of which have been among the most successful programs in Texas in recent years. The team will sorely miss its three graduating seniors: Austin Nadalini, Dylan Osimetha, & Kyle Smith.
The spring teams are now in full swing and several have their first games this week. The varsity lacrosse team kicks off the season against two teams from Austin, TX with home games on Friday and Saturday against St. Andrew’s (7:00 p.m. on Friday) and Westlake (3:00 p.m. on Saturday). The varsity baseball team is scheduled to host Shelton on Friday at 4:00 p.m. if the weather cooperates.
ALUMNI ATHLETE NEWS
Connor Mullen ’15, a member of the Colgate University Men’s Lacrosse team, was the starting goalie and recorded 11 saves for the Raiders as they defeated the #10 ranked Syracuse Orangemen in their season road opener. He followed that up with another road win and 10 saves as the Colgate Raiders defeated Binghamton. Connor has played every minute of action thus far this season for his team.