Brendan O’Malley earns 4 medals in final Baldwin Invitational

Friday, May 10, 2019 | 8:10 PM

Brendan O’Malley’s focus at the 46th annual Baldwin Invitational on May 3 centered around achieving a memorable performance.

Mission accomplished.

Not only was it unforgettable for the Baldwin senior, it was spectacular.

O’Malley earned four medals, taking first in the 400-meter dash (49.61 seconds) and long jump (23 feet, 6 1⁄2 inches), placing third in the 200 (22.33) and running a leg on the Highlanders’ 400 relay.

“The invitational went really well,” O’Malley said. “I’ve been lacking any real competition all year, and I wanted to be ready for this meet. Being my last home meet, it was special. I wanted to go out and win, PR (personal record), and just do something that would be fitting for my last meet at home. I kind of surprised myself by doing so well, but I would have it no other way.”

O’Malley was joined in the 400 relay by juniors Nasser Penn, Jarren Kelly and Angelo Priore. The Highlanders placed third in 43.68.

A four-year letterman, O’Malley has reeled in 10 medals in his career at the Baldwin Invitational. He plans to attend Duquesne and compete with the track and field team.

His twin brother, Bailey, a three-year letterman, was a double medalist. He repeated as the boys shot put titlist with a toss of 54-1112, and was eighth in the discus (137-10).

One other medalist for Baldwin’s boys team was senior John Ziegler, who took third in the 800 (1:59.22).

For the girls team, junior Mia Fischetti placed seventh in the pole vault (9-3), and the 3,200 relay team finished fifth (9:50.47).

Wagner a double medalist

Thomas Jefferson’s girls team finished with four medalists at Baldwin, led by junior sprinter Molly Wagner.

Wagner captured fifth place in the 200 (26.36) and seventh in the 100 (12.94). Lydia Shaw, also a junior, finished sixth in the 1,600 (5:27.67).

Two senior members of the boys team, Zach Wagner and Jordan Phiri, also were medalists. Wagner finished fourth in the 200 (22,61), and Phiri placed seventh in the 400 (51.51).

“There was a lot of heavy competition in the 100 and 200, which we have come to expect at the Baldwin Invitational,” said Bill Paull, who coaches at TJ along with Kevin Gennaula. “Molly and Zach have both been battling injuries but had strong performances. We are looking to get them fully recovered over the next few weeks in preparation for WPIALs.”

TJ senior Raelin Krueger took fourth in the javelin (124-8), and senior Adara Getsy was seventh in the 300 hurdles (48.39).

“I was really impressed with Raelin’s performance,” Gennaula said. “She has been working hard on her discus and javelin with our throwing coach, Tom Damiani, and the javelin was her best event (at the invitational). She has improved each week and is seeing the distances going up, hitting her PR at Baldwin.”

Paull took time to address the accomplishments of Getsy and Krueger at the 46th annual invite.

“Adara had an amazing performance in the 300 hurdles,” Paull said. “She is a natural hurdler, and I only wish I had her one more season. She drops time in the 300s weekly, and I believe on any given day she could hit a state qualifying time. Adara will be one to keep an eye on at WPIALs this year.

“Raelin is more focused than I’ve ever seen her in the throwing events. Her coaches, Tom Damiani and Keven Gennaula, told me all season that it’s just a matter of time before she pops a big throw, and at Baldwin was that time. We are very proud of her hard work and dedication over the past four years. It is all coming together for her at the right time.”

Paull also is looking for Phiri to make a late-season impact for the Jaguars.

“Jordan has become much more consistent in the 400 with his times ranging from 51 to 52,” Paull said. “It was obvious he seemed to have some trouble finishing the race (at Baldwin), so if we can keep him healthy the remainder of the season, he should also be able to throw down a personal-best at WPIALs.”

Brentwood 1,600 relay sparkles

The highlight of the meet for Brentwood was the second-place showing by the boys 1,600 relay with a time of 3:29.86. The team consisted of juniors A.J. McPherson, Ian Thomas, Eddie Gomez and John Milcic.

“They knew in February what they wanted to accomplish,” coach Mike Cramer said. “They’re all intense competitors, and they approach every practice and every meet with that goal in mind, and that drives them.

“They understood from the beginning that their long-term goal required several short-term goals, and the work that was required along the way. They’ve met the short-term goals. Finishing second at Baldwin was evidence that their hard work is paying off.”

Milcic also placed third in the 300 hurdles in 40.7.

“John runs with the reckless abandon and aggression you need in the hurdles,” Cramer said. “He has really committed to conditioning his body to run the 300s, and it has shown.”

For the Brentwood girls, senior Quintasia Streeter was a double medalist, placing third in the high jump (5-3) and eighth in the triple jump (34-5).

“Quintasia is finally putting it all together,” Cramer said. “She could definitely jump at the next level if she wanted to. I’ve talked to a few college coaches about her ability and how she’s just scratching the surface.

“Last year, she barely cleared 4-10 in the high jump, and now she’s at 5-3. She went up almost 2 feet in the triple, as well.”

Rebecca Dirling, a senior, was sixth in the javelin (116-02) for the Spartans.

“Rebecca was an inch or two out of the top 5 at WPIALs last year,” Cramer said, “and it has really motivated her as this year winds down.”

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