Over the past two years, Saint Stephen’s track and field has set a new standard for competitiveness, qualifying 18 student-athletes for the FHSAA state championship meet. In 2015, then-sophomore sprinter Jordon Murrell (pictured) and senior distance runner Andrew Zandemenego were the first two SSES boys to qualify for the state meet in an individual event in more than a decade. Murrell (200 meters) and junior Andrew Csubak (800 meters) kept that run alive in 2016, finishing seventh and sixth, respectively.
After fantastic performances at the regional meet in Clearwater, 10 Falcons – the most ever – advanced to the 2016 state championships. Leading the pack were regional champions Katie Siegel in the high jump and the boys 800-meter relay team of Csubak, Henry Howell, Hayes Chatham, and Dawson Hamilton.
All 10 Falcons who competed at the 2016 championships finished in the top eight of their event to medal. Siegel was fifth in the high jump and sixth in the triple jump; Letherio Jones, Fred Billy, Murrell, and Bobby Harrison placed fourth in the 4x100 relay; Jones, Demetrius Davis, Murrell, and Csubak were seventh in the 4x400 relay; Csubak, Chatham, Howell, and Luke Valadie placed eighth in the 4x800 relay.
Csubak’s efforts followed in the immediate footsteps of his older sister, Lauren, who currently runs on the cross country team at Saint Leo University and was the Falcons’ track team MVP in 2012, 2013, and 2014. She is the school record holder in the 800 meters, finishing fifth (2013) and seventh (2014) in two state championship appearances.
The team is coached by A.J. Brown, a former star hurdler and sprinter at Riverview High in Sarasota who played football and ran track at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. In 2017, Saint Stephen’s will once again host the Manatee County Track and Field meet and is a candidate to be the site of the District Championships.
Tennis is FHSAA sanctioned and is a spring season sport.