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Sean Kildare starts St. John the Baptist distance medley relay squad off on its blazing victory

Members of the Marine Corps take part in

Members of the Marine Corps take part in a ceremony during the 15th annual Marine Corps Holiday Classic at The Armory Track on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic. Credit: Steven Ryan

The tweet said it all.

"#time to start the season," read the St. John the Baptist track Twitter account shortly after dinner hour Sunday night.

The date had been circled on the calendar for weeks. St. John would begin its winter campaign in earnest at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic, held Monday at the Armory in Manhattan.

The Cougars wanted to announce themselves as distance medley relay contenders. It was not only a day fit for a beginning, it was a day ripe for a statement.

And what a statement it was. Sean Kildare, Connor Hatton, Aaron Zigrosser and Rory Hannigan won the invitational DMR in 10 minutes, 37.96 seconds. The time is currently the fastest in New York and the second fastest in the country, according to

Kildare led off and ran a 3:18 1,200-meter leg. Hatton then ran the 400 leg in 51.2 seconds. Zigrosser ran a 1:59 800 third leg and Hannigan closed out the race with a 4:27 mile, coach David Wood said.

"It's scary," Wood said with a smile. "Today was the first day I promised them they'd feel good and then to come out and watch them do it was extremely satisfying. They were patient. We've been working on relaxing in the beginning of our races and negative splitting."

The St. John girls DMR unit took second in their race. Erin Endres, Gillian Cutolo, Emily Fiorillo and Kate McCormack finished second in 12:38.91.

The CHSAA was well represented in the early-season litmus test. Holy Trinity's Shaka Shomari won the 55 meters in 6.51 seconds. He ran a 6.46 at the NSCHSAA Christmas Classic at St. Anthony's on Dec. 20. Since that time, the senior said he's already seeing a difference in his sprints.

"I've progressed mentally," he said. "I know that I can go out and run lower times. I make sure that I stay in that state of mind. It doesn't psych me out knowing that I have guys standing next to me that are as fast as me. I just stay in my head, stay in my lane, and run my own race."

Longwood's Crystal Henderson won the triple jump, going 38 feet, 9 1/2 inches.

Sachem North's Elise Ramirez won the 800 in 2:24.26. Kellenberg's Jazmine Fray took second in the invitational 800 in 2:15.31.

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