But count on Ulmer, in his 22d year as head coach, to organize the zoo into a team that could contend with McDevitt. Ryan surprised McDevitt by winning the league indoor meet.
SPRINTS. The Raiders have a strong 800 relay team, composed of juniors Tim Carney and T. J. Tirendi, and seniors Mike Mundy and Mike Petrakis. Mundy is a returning veteran, Tirendi is a distance runner from the cross-country team with good speed, and Petrakis, an all-Catholic soccer player, will be splitting his time this spring with the baseball team. Ken Gabor, a senior on the team for the first time, adds depth.
DISTANCES. This is Ryan's strength with senior Shawn Schneider, the league's cross-country champ and winner of the mile and 1,000 in the indoor championships. Schneider easily won the 1,600 at Saturday's Pennsylvania Track Classic at Villanova, clocking 4:26.1. Junior Matt McCloskey ran 4:57 in the 1,600 a year ago, but has improved dramatically, clocking 4:31 in getting second in the indoor mile and adding a second in the two-mile (10:00). Add Tirendi and junior Jamie Neenhold, who has done 2:04 in the 800 and 4:41 in the 1,600 indoors, and you've got the state's fastest distance-medley (10:43.8) and two-mile relay (8:09.2) teams during the recent indoor season.
HURDLES. John Spadafore, third in the indoor Catholic highs, will join the team after playing in the city all-star football game next week, and Gabor will get some hurdles work.
FIELD EVENTS. Senior Steve Trombetta has a career-best of 6-6 in the high jump, is the reigning league indoor champ with a 6-4 leap and did 6-4 again in the rain Saturday. Trombetta also is learning the triple jump, where he will join junior Tim Malpezzi and senior John Paone, the top student in his class. Junior Steve McEachern, in his second year, improved his career-best by almost three feet in the shot put with a second-place throw indoors of 48-6 1/2, and junior Joe Fox has done 43-3. Three Ryan pole vaulters have cleared at least 11 feet, and all are juniors - Chris Sullivan, Rob Reynolds and Steve Doyle, a transfer from North Catholic.
"When I was (running) at Dougherty five years ago," said second-year coach Greg Green, "we had over 80 people on the team, and more than half were football players. Now, we have 60 out, 35 are sophomores and less than a third play football. If I could just get some more football players out and score 50 points in the field events . . . "
Green's rookie season resulted in a fifth place in the league indoor championships and fifth place outdoors. Dougherty improved to third indoors this winter and may be poised to do better outdoors.
SPRINTS. Sophomore Bobby Baker ran well in club meets last summer and placed third in the Catholic indoor 55-meter dash, but Green is searching for several speedy football players to provide some depth. One possibility is junior Eldon Niblet, who will be part of the 400 relay team.
DISTANCES. This is one of the Cardinals' strengths, as senior co-captains Bill Fonticoba and Mike Wissman lead the pack, closely followed by junior Dan Wardell. Fonticoba and Wardell ran 2:01 splits for 800 meters in Saturday's Pennsylvania Track Classic at Villanova, and Wissman added a 2:03, giving Green the basis for a solid 3,200 relay team.
HURDLES. Ray Trajano should be one of the league's best hurdlers on the heels of a junior year in which he posted 57.5 in the intermediates and an indoor season that included a 7.6 first-place over 55 meters in the league finals. Senior Eric Adams, who missed last year with an injury, ran 58.0 as a sophomore. Senior Isaac Carmichael will run the highs, and Wardell may double here after running the 800.
FIELD EVENTS. After the distance races, the jumping events are Dougherty's next strongest area. Senior Carl Davis has triple-jumped 44-4 and long-jumped 20-8, Carmichael came on strong in the indoor season with 43-2 and 19-11 1/2 marks, and Baker did 20-2 indoors. In the high jump, Carmichael did 5-8 indoors and 6-foot-6 sophomore Harry Moore has cleared 5-0 with no approach, but is just learning the event. Sam Alexander, playing in next week's city all-star football game, is a raw shot-putter with plenty of potential, but the javelin and discus prospects appear very weak.
Third-year coach Fran Earley was a middle-distance runner in his high school days, and Judge's young team, a year away from being a possible title contender, is built on strength in the distance races. There are about 30 people on the varsity squad, but only six are seniors.
SPRINTS. Junior John Plitsky is the best of a group Earley calls "probably the best sprint team I've had in my three years here." Plitsky ran 300 yards indoors in 34.6 for seventh place in a loaded field in the Catholic League meet. Sophomore Pat Boyle, junior Tom Garlick and senior Frank Gubler round out the group. Garlick is involved in the city all-star football game, however, and won't be available until next week.
DISTANCES. Seniors Umberto Coelho and Dave Harvey earned all-Catholic status during the cross-country season, and that pair is backed up by four solid middle-distance runners - seniors Chris Donovan and Nelson Diaz, and juniors Sean Clemens and Rich Wiley. In addition, three of the league's best freshmen prospects are Judge distance runners: Kevin Schultz, who ran 2:07 indoors in the 800; Mike Gorman, who was second in the league freshman cross- country race, and Ross Reinhold.
HURDLES. Sophomore Tim Collins is coming off a season that included a gold medal in the 110 highs at the league's freshman meet, but Collins also is involved in the junior-varsity baseball program and will be available on a limited basis.
FIELD EVENTS. Plitsky has done 20 feet in the long jump and 41 feet in the triple jump, and senior Ken Housman, in just his second year of high jumping, is shooting for the school record of 6-2 after doing 5-10 indoors. Juniors Chris Hickey and Rob Conroy have pole-vaulted 10 feet with little experience, junior Dave Stauffenburg is the top shot-putter with a 44-foot toss to his credit, and sophomore Scott Waltman has great potential in the shot, but has yet to be a regular at practices.
Like Father Judge, North is a team dominated by underclassmen. The Falcons were fifth in last spring's league meet (third among Northern Division schools) and placed third of 17 teams in last fall's cross-country championships.
SPRINTS. One of North's two best individual talents is junior Keith Pompey. Coach Chuck Sayer predicted that Pompey, second in the 300 in the league indoor meet, will be one of a half-dozen Catholic League runners under 50 seconds in the 400 this spring. The rest of the Falcons' all-junior 1,600 relay will be Joe Larwa, James Matthews and Ed Kosmalski.
DISTANCES. Senior John Osborn is the other individual standout. Osborn was third in the league cross-country meet and fourth in the indoor two-mile in a race he led with 800 meters to go. Steve Jones has run 1,600 in 4:39 and, Larwa ran a 2:03 800 leg on the indoor distance-medley quartet.
HURDLES. Matthews is the team's best intermediate hurdler, but there is little depth in these events.
FIELD EVENTS. The team's other seniors are in the weights, where Tony Rispo got ninth in the indoor shot put at 42-11 and Frank Toner is set for the discus. Sophomore Greg Malzone will provide support for Rispo in the shot, and Soung Young Kim is the best pole-vaulter with a 10-6 best. Sayer has two of the league's best freshman prospects in the jumps, where Andy Canales did 37-10 the first time he tried to triple jump and Steve Crumety long-jumped 19-10 in an eighth-grade CYO meet.