The Varsity Water Polo Team traveled to Austin for the 2015 State Championship held at the University of Texas Swim Center. As the Champions of the North Texas Region, the Lions were matched up against Alamo Heights HS in the first round. In a dominating performance, the Lions beat Alamo Heights by a score of 23-1. In the second round, the Lions faced Lamar HS. This rough game ended in a 20 to 2 victory for SM. In the semi-finals, the Lions defeated Jersey Village HS, 9 – 6. In the Championship Game the Lions defeated The Woodlands HS 6 – 5 to win back-to-back State Championships. This is our school’s 5th State Championship for Water Polo (Public and Private Schools play together). Tim Simenc ’15 was awarded State MVP and First Team All-State. Nathan Ondracek and Mason Smith were selected to the First Team All-State. George Lin ’15 was selected to the Honorable Mention All-State Team.
The St. Mark’s Varsity Tennis team entered the SPC Tournament as the #2 seed from the North Zone, having amassed an 8-1 record in counter matches. In the SPC tournament quarterfinals, the team faced a tough St. Stephen’s team. The Lions ended up sweeping the doubles matches and winning at #2 and #3 singles, defeating the Spartans 4-1. At #1 singles, junior Will Hardage battled well, but was defeated by a very talented opponent. In the semifinals, the Lions took on Kinkaid in a match that everyone knew would be a nail-biter. After nearly 3 hours of tennis, the Falcons defeated the Lions by a 3-2 score. Winning points for the Lions were freshmen Harris Wilson ’18 and David Bailey ’18 at #2 and #3 singles respectively. In defeat, the entire team showed great sportsmanship and competitive spirit, earning unsolicited praise from tournament officials, as well as from coaches and athletic directors of other SPC schools. The next day, the Lions bounced back and defeated St. John’s in the 3rd place match by a 3-2 score. Junior Will Garden filled in at #3 singles to earn the decisive victory, while the #1 doubles team of juniors Anvit Reddy and Albert Thieu and the #2 team of sophomores Gopal Raman and Frank Thomas, led the way with straight set wins.
The Varsity Baseball team qualified for the SPC tournament as the #1 seed in the SPC North Zone. In the opening round of play for the Lions at the SPC tournament, they faced a scrappy St. Stephens’ club. On the ropes in the first inning, St. Mark’s was aided by a tide-turning interference and ejection call on a double play ball on the infield. With the loss of their 3-hole hitter, St. Stephens was held at bay by junior Jackson Cole’s crafty pitching through six innings. The Lions’ aggressive, up tempo offense was highlighted by a timely two-run double by Corson Purnell ’15. Hunter Alexander ’16 and William Caldwell ’16 combined in relief to secure the victory. In a repeat of last year’s second round match, St. Mark’s squared off against a formidable Houston Christian squad. Searching for a way to rectify their previous tournament loss, the Lions managed to scratch a few runs early across the plate, taking it to their opponent. Rallying behind William Caldwell’s brilliant and determined pitching performance, the Lions minimized the potential devastating effects of a few defensive errors. Caldwell, who had been run over by Houston Christian’s 4-hole hitter (the player was ejected), picked himself up from the hard collision and courageously navigated the Lions to an emotional victory. In the final contest, the #1 North Zone seeded St. Mark’s met the #1 South Zone seed, Kinkaid. Capitalizing on a few Lions’ defensive miscues throughout the game, Kinkaid cashed in several runs to put the Lions’ in a hole. Battling through adversity and the opponents’ potent offense, Carrington Kyle pitched five competitive, gritty innings before turning the game over to Hunter Alexander in the sixth inning. Down 5-3 in the final inning, St. Mark’s fought bravely on every pitch and swing but ultimately came up short. Thus, the Lions earned a second place showing in SPC, and ended their remarkable year with a 10-5 record.
The Crew team qualified 2 boats for the Central District Championships in Oklahoma City this past weekend. The Varsity Quad of Luke Hudspeth ’15, Matt Woodberry ’15, Taylor Rohrich ’16, and Alden James ’16 won the bronze medal for their effort in the District Varsity race. The JV Quad of Ian Fitzgerald ’17, Cameron Bossalini ’17, Parker McWatters ’17, and Aiden Blinn ’17 also finished 3rd.
Track & Field
The Varsity Track & Field team finished third this year at the SPC Conference Meet which was a very good showing. Coach Turek estimated that we would score around 76 points and we finished with 81 points. The team had four athletes earn ALL-SPC Awards in four different events. The highlight of the meet for us was the 4 x 800 Relay which established a new school Record of 8:00.24 breaking the record we set just a year ago. We brought 21 athletes who competed with intensity and passion. Sixteen out of the 21 equaled or bettered their personal record while at the biggest meet of the year. There were 21 personal records in total. We had 4 athletes earn 7 ALL-SPC awards. We had one team break a School Record. We had 2 athletes make the SM Top 5 ALL-TIME list.
Nick Buckenham ’15 had a meet to remember. He finished 2nd in the 3200m with a PR of 9:37.80. He then led off the 4x800 Relay team that finished second and broke the school record. The next day he finished 5th in the 800m. Finally, just when one would think that he had nothing left in the tank, he finished 4th in the 1600m with a huge PR of 4:27.98. Nick finished with 21 points for the team.
All in all, a very good meet for the Lions.
ALUMNI ATHLETE NEWS
Ty Montgomery ’11 was drafted in the 3rd round (94th pick overall) of the 2015 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Ty recently graduated from Stanford this spring and reached All-American status in his junior season as a return specialist. See some of his highlights on this VIDEO.
Bear Goldstein ’13 was named 2nd team All-Ivy in his sophomore year as a defenseman for the Princeton Tigers Varsity Lacrosse team. Bear is the only current Princeton player who has started every game of his career. Read more about Bear HERE.
Taylor Jenkins ’03, an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks, helped lead the Atlanta Hawks to the best record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Hawks then beat the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs and are taking on Washington Wizards in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs.