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Winter Teams, Athletes, and Coach Earn League Titles

It may have been cold outside, but the girls indoor track and basketball teams were hot this winter sports season earning IAAM A Conference championship titles.

Girls Basketball Wins Title After Undefeated Season
From their first league game in December to the final buzzer in the IAAM championship game on Sunday, February 18 at Stevenson University, the girls varsity basketball team has kept fans on the edge of their seats. The team, under the direction of Coach Brad Rees, went undefeated in league play and clinched their third consecutive championship title in the 54-53 win over St. Francis.

Following the game, Co-Athletic Director Mickey Deegan described the excitement: "In a battle par excellence, McDonogh girls won their third title in a row over a great opponent today. The Eagles had the early lead but only had a 7-point edge at halftime. The Panthers were hot in the third quarter hitting 3s from the downtown area and capturing the lead. Both teams traded points back and forth in the 4th and the Eagles held on to a 54-53 victory to take the bowl home again!"  

An article (A one-point margin launches the McDonogh Eagles over St. Frances, 54-53, for another "A" Conference Title) on the IAAM website put it this way, "After blowing a 15-point advantage, the Eagles stayed resolute in the final minutes to claim their sixth A championship overall. The Owings Mills school also became the second team to win three straight league titles."

Sophomore Autumn Fleary, who added five steals, four rebounds, and three assists in the final game said, "The big thing with us is trust and we have to rely on each other even through the ups and downs. We started off really hot and momentum shifted and we had to adjust…the tough games are always back and forth, but we find a way.”

In sharing the news of the win with the McDonogh community, Deegen congratulated the team on their effort and resilience and thanked Rees and his coaching staff for a perfect league season (18-0!) She added, "Way to SOAR, Eagles!"

Girls Track Team Takes 12th Title
The IAAM indoor track championship meet on Friday, January 26 was one for the record books. Not only did McDonogh’s team clinch its 12th overall A conference title, but they did so by winning 11 of 15 events and earning 196 points, well ahead of the closest competitor, Archbishop Spalding. According to Coach Phil Turner, the key to the Eagles’ success is a great staff who have fun coaching and provide an outlet for athletes’ talent.

Here are the highlights, as reported by the IAAM:

  • The 4x800-meter relay team of McKenzie Brown ‘25, Mary Gorsky ‘24, Olivia Vassar ‘27, and Zewdi Tesfayohannes ‘25 started things off with a win.
  • Elise Cooper ‘25 quickly followed by defending her 55-meter dash crown with a record run of 6.92 seconds. Backing the junior up were her sister Ella ‘24, third; and Kit Laake ‘26, seventh.
  • Le’la Greene ‘24 took a third straight 55 hurdles crown while Morgan Heard ‘25 and Kelsey Coley ‘25 were second and fourth.
  • The night’s second conference record fell to the 4x200 relay of Elise, Ella, and third sibling Elena Cooper ‘25, plus Grace Richardson ‘27 with a 1:42.65 clocking.
  • In a shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Elena over the final meters of the 500, Elise picked up her third gold medal. Her fourth gold medal of the night came in the 300 dash as Ella took third and Greene fifth.
  • Gorsky returned to the track and secured a second consecutive 1600 win as Olivia Vassar placed eighth. She followed that with a fifth place in the 800 as teammate Brown earned second behind Spalding’s event winner.
  • Gorsky won the 3200 as Chrissy Vourlos ‘26 was eighth.
  • McDonogh added a pair of field event records as Julia Norris ‘25 tossed a new mark of 39 feet, 8.75 inches in the shot put and Caroline Birdsall ‘25 equaled the pole vault standard at 11 feet, 6 inches.
  • Topping off the scoring in the night’s final event, the 4x400 relay, Brown, Laake, Greene, and Coley ran 4:10.15 from the first (slower seeded) heat to best Mount de Sales and the rest of the field.

All-Conference Titles
Congratulations to the following student-athletes who were recognized by their leagues

Basketball: Jeff Exinor '25 and Rob Fields '25
Indoor Track: Brandon Finney '25
Squash: John Rockefeller '26
Swimming: Caiden Bowers '24, Mark Cherches '25, Langston Duncan '25, Alexander North '24, and Connor Tiffin '24
Wrestling: Noah Onkst '24

Basketball: Autumn Fleary '26, Ava McKennie '24, and Kennedy Umeh '24
Squash: Clara Dawn '24 and Eliza Schuster '25
Swimming: Jenna Cowley '25, Mary Marquez '24, Sammy Randell '25, and Grace Scharper '25
IAAM Coach of the Year: Brad Rees (basketball)