St. Rita Track Team Rises to New Level with Coach Nealon

St. Rita's Doyle Stadium is practically synonymous with St. Rita Football, Lacrosse, Soccer and Rugby. The St. Rita Family also knows that it's also one of the best track venues in Chicago. The word is spreading.

Doyle Stadium, named after St. Rita benefactors William Doyle '41 and Larry Doyle '68, is completely refurbished with a new state-of-the-art turf playing surface to match the recently-resurfaced track, made possible by benefactor Mike Eckert '65.

This year, Doyle Stadium, with its superior facilities and seating capacity, has been chosen as the only southside location to host an IHSA Track Sectional meet in the last 30+ years. This year's Sectional meet will occur on Thursday, May 19--in conjunction with St. Rita Track Senior Day.

Photo credit: Patrick Lenehan

The St. Rita Track Team, led by first-year head coach Pierre Nealon, consists of 25 committed and dedicated student-athletes. They expect to take a sizeable group of Ritamen on the Mustang Bus to the state meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston next week on May 27.

Before taking over the reigns of the program, Coach Nealon (aka Coach P) served as an assistant coach for six years, and has seen the program go through many changes. The coaching staff is excited about the strong foundation and future of the program. They performed the necessary tasks to position St. Rita as an even more-attractive option for incoming freshmen interested in track.

St. Rita now hosts four grammar school meets per year, hosts track clinics and builds positive relationships with grade school coaches. The track team even appeared on ABC 7 Chicago's morning news program this season.

Jake Stefanski

The hard work and dedication is paying off. At the end of the indoor season, St. Rita had the #1-ranked freshman 400m runner--Oak Lawn resident, Jake Stefanski (Troy Middle School - Joliet). Also, Tyrique Thomas (CICS Wrightwood - St. Thomas More campus) recently signed a letter of intent to continue his academic and track career at the collegiate level at Columbia University Chicago.

In the City of Chicago and surrounding towns, when track and field comes up, St. Rita is consistently mentioned in the conversation as an up-and-coming program.

Tyrique Thomas with fellow Ritamen on signing day