Track & Field - Varsity
Head Coach: David Thurchak
Assistant Coaches: Bill Shedd, Jean Dallenbach, Carlos Ferreyro, Wylie Saavedra, Mo Ortega-Rios
Track & Field Program Overview
The Track and Field season runs throughout the spring, concluding with The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state championship meet in early May. The team consists of student athletes who compete in over a dozen different individual events and various relays. The team competes in invitational and open meets that are either hosted by private and public school programs through the state of Texas in order to prepare of the TAPPS State Championship meet. The overall goal for each meet is to improve every individual athlete in their respective events, using the experience of competition to refine their technique and overall abilities. Our staff includes individuals with many years of experience in their respective events and specialties. Led by Dave Thurchak who comes to the program with over two decades of Head Coaching experience at the high school and college level, he has a history of moving athletes on to the next level of competition. The foundation of this program is the "The Stopwatch and the Measuring Tape doesn't Lie" meaning the athlete's performance always speaks for itself and stands alone as the mark of an individual's success. Personal records showing improvement are always regarded just as important as any other record. Members of the team are rewarded for their hard work and dedication in meets with medals and ribbons to those who place in top six in their events and relays scoring points for the team. Team awards are given to those teams who score the most collectively in their category of competition. We are now proud to proclaim our success as a team recognized frequently across the state with invitations to many different venues as well as our ablity to produce several individual state champions, post-season elite level meet qualifiers, and athletes moving on to collegiate competition. We continue to be excited about the future! Go Barons!
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|David Thurchak has nearly two decades of experience as a TAPPS Track & Field Head Coach and also has experience coaching varsity base level track & field for the US Air Force during the 1980's and 1990's. While serving as an active-duty member of the USAF he also competed in NCAA Division I and II meets in various events to include sprints, horizontal jumps, hurdles, throws, and relays. He finished his competitive career in 1994 on a high note as the USAT&F Dakota Region Champion in the Men's Open Long Jump and 110 High Hurdles. During his coaching tenure for TAPPS, his athletes have qualified to attend state championship meets in various events, resulting in several state champions, many more medalists, and even one state meet record holder. He also has alumni currently and previously competing in NCAA Track & Field programs at various levels. Coach Thurchak is a current Board Member and the Membership Committe Chairman of the Texas Track & Field Coaches Assocation which is the largest track & field affiliated coaches association in Texas. During the off-season he is involved in many summer track and field activities such as hosting an annual open meet series, conducting introduction to Track & Field Summer camps for youth and coaching athletes in his summer program. He's also a member of USA Track & Field.
Wiley Saavedra is from El Paso Texas and has been a member of the Track and field coaching staff since 2019; he competed 4 years at University of Incarnate Word in pole vaulting and placed top 8 in outdoor and indoor conference meets. He graduated from UIW in 2018 with a bachelor's in criminal justice. Coach Saavedra has been coaching since graduating high school; and continues his education as a coach by going to numerous pole-vaulting camps to learn more about the event. He was the first person at his high school to compete at the UIL state level, with a personal best height was 5.00m (16 ft 4in).
Aslyn Van Cleave
Aslyn Van Cleave arrives at Saint Mary's Hall with eight years of experience in the Personal Training and Coaching world. In her years as a personal trainer, Coach Van Cleave has acquired her Personal Training certification through NASM, has obtained certifications in CES (corrective fitness), PES (performance-enhancing), and Group fitness as well as being a certified Olympic Weightlifting coach. Coach Van Cleave has a diverse background in coaching with several years of experience in Roller Derby, Track and Field, Cross Country, Strength and Conditioning, as well as Olympic Weight Lifting. In her free time, she enjoys park skating, Weight Lifting, and Roller derby–it keeps her active and feeds her competitive spirit. Utilizing her diverse background, functional fitness, and periodization Coach Van Cleave challenges her clients and athletes to make them feel healthier, gain confidence, and smash their goals. She takes great pride in celebrating what bodies can do and works hard to make each athlete's fitness journey an enjoyable process.
Coach Carlos Ferreyro has a long history in TAPPS track and field as an athlete and coach. He started in middle school and continued through high school where he competed in nearly every event, excelling in the long, triple jump, and pole vault. He qualified for the TAPPS State Championship in pole vault three times and triple jump two times and medaled in both events at that level. In only a few seasons on the Saint Mary's Hall coaching staff, he has also coached several athletes to the TAPPS State Championship meet as well as many of them medaling in every one of the jumping events. Coach Ferreyro attended LeTourneau University in Longview Texas where he played college soccer.