History of Our Track League
The League started out in 1972 with four teams (St. Rose, St. Luke, Holy Saviour, and St. John) and was originally called the Bob Richards Track League , named for the track athlete who was on the Wheaties box at the time. Kathy Lange was the first Commissioner and held the position for 15 years until 1987.
Sacred Heart joined the League in 1976, and then St. Lawrence in 1983, giving the League a total of six teams which competed at the championship meet. At one time during the 1970’s, the League also included Lawnside grade school and Elizabeth Haddon School (Haddonfield). As the League grew, our name changed to the Colonial Catholic Track League and ultimately to the Catholic Track League , as we are now known.
In 1988, under Commissioner Phil Mesisca, the League expanded, adding six new teams: St. Mary, Assumption, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. Cecilia. With the League then totaling twelve teams, two divisions were created. The positions of Assistant Commissioner, Secretary, and Treasurer were also added.
Sue Stashis was Commissioner in 1989 and Carole Fesi took over as Commissioner in 1990. Christ the King was accepted into the league in 1990. In 1991, St. Francis de Sales joined the League, giving us a total of fourteen teams.
In 1991 and again in 1992, the championship meet was held at two different sites.
With the Addition of St. June and St. Teresa in 1993, the League totaled sixteen teams. In 1994, St. Joan of Arc dropped out of the League. With the addition of St. Agnes in 1996, we were back up to sixteen teams. However, 1997, we lost St. Cecilia and in 1998, St. Francis de Sales and Sacred Heart/Annunciation dropped out of the League. In 2000, we added Holy Rosary to the League and in 2002 we added St. Stephen, giving the League a total of fifteen teams. In 2005, we lost St. Jude and Holy Rosary. In 2006, St. Peter Celestine joined the league and last year, St. Francis DeSales also joined, bringing our total number of teams to fifteen.
During the 2008 school year, some of our league schools were merged:
St. John & Holy Saviour, became Good Shepherd
Our Lady of Grace, St. Luke & St. Lawrence became John Paul II
St. Peter Celestine & Queen of Heaven became Resurrection
St. Francis & Annunciation became Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Because of this, the League is now comprised of just two divisions. Up until this year, the League had three championship meets on the same day starting in 1993.
For the fourteenth year, we will be having a Meet of Champions , fielding the best two finishers from each division competing in each event. This meet will be held on Tuesday, May 19 th at Paul VI High School.
Since 1992, we‘ve had boys’ and girls’ teams compete at the Penn Relays in the Camden Diocese CYO 4 X 100 meter relay. This year, the boys’ and girls’ teams from St. Rose both won 1 st place. For the boys, John Paul II finished 2 nd , Good Shepherd got 3 rd place and St. Teresa captured 5 th place. The Christ the King girls team finished 2 nd , with Our Lady of Mount Carmel getting 3 rd, and Good Shepherd capturing 4 th .
Each year the Catholic Track League conducts and Officiating Clinic in an effort to educate the coaches on various Track and Field rules. Approximately 50 coaches and their assistants attended this year’s clinic.
Additionally, the Catholic Track League holds a Coaches Clinic to educate and certify the coaches on the physical, psychological, and legal aspects of coaching youth sports. Our guest speaker is Dr. Kathleen D. Baumgardner, Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician.
This year, we held the 3 rd Annual Catholic Track League Relays Meet which was held on May 1 st at Paul VI High School. Teams competed in the 4 X 100, 4 X 400, Sprint Medley, Mixed 4 X 800 relays, the Long Jump, and Shot Put.
The philosophy that the League was founded on, and is still based on, centers on child development and participation of as many children as possible.