It is rare for a school to have one elite talent, but to have 3 as currently exists at Mount De Sales Academy with the Whittaker sisters Isabella and Juliette as well as senior Samantha Facius is simply a school that is blessed which Coach Weber and the Mount De Sales squad certainly is with this group.
From 400 to 3200 meters, these girls have incredible range to be successful and among the state's best in virtually all of the meets.
The retired swimmer (gave up the sport for running full-time) Isabella Whittaker is more of the sprinter of the group with PR's of 39.36 in the 300, 56.17 in the 400, and 1:15.91 in the 500. It was only natural that she became a dedicated track runner as both her parents competed collegiately at the University of Georgetown as dad Paul Whittaker ran 1:47 for 800 meters for the Hoyas and helps coaching the boys team at Mount St. Joseph's.
Meanwhile, the University of Maryland signee Samantha Facius is more geared towards the longer distances having lifetime bests of 4:58 in the 1600 and 11:03 in the 3200. Facius has been one of the state's top distance runners since emerging as a freshmen star several years ago, but after training solo for most of the time over her first three years has two great training partners now for her final year of high school track.
The one that has the best blend of both speed and endurance happens to be the freshmen Juliette Whittaker who split sub 2:10 on the sprint medley relay 800 meter relay leg indoors and won the IAAM Championships as well as Maryland/DC Private Schools Championships this past fall in cross country.
In their workout on an extremely windy Monday in preparation to their next two meets with the Scorpion Classic on Thursday and Penn Relays distance medley relay next weekend, the trio started off by running 1200 meters in 4:25 as a tempo warm-up then followed that by running 3 400's dropping down from 72 to 70 to 65 seconds. The workout finished sharpening up the speed with the Whittaker sisters clocking a pair of sub 30 second 200 meter repeats, while Facius was just off those times.
Their distance medley relay just ran a US #4 time of 11:55 in rainy conditions this past Friday at the Jim Vollmer Invitational. With an anchor leg in Juliette Whittaker, who ran a state best and US #3 time of 4:48.12 at the Pikesville Track Classic on April 6th and having two strong legs in a sub 5 miler in Facius as the 1200 meter leg and her sister Isabella running the 800 leg as she recently moved up to the distance and finished runner-up at Pikesville in a 2:15 debut, Mount De Sales certainly has the squad to challenge for the win at Penn Relays and New Balance Nationals in the event.
Guiding these girls is a wise and long-time coach in Steve Weber as Mount De Sales, who preaches not over training the girls and embraces feedback from as witnessed during the workout when making necessary time adjustments due to the windy conditions at Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore, Maryland. The all-girls school at Mount De Sales Academy does not have their own track, so they have to travel each day to their brother school and begin practice everyday approximately around 4 PM when the Mount St. Joseph's boys wrap up their practice.