BY MATTHEW MANGAM
The boys winter track team started its season on the right foot by placing third at the Demarest Invitational meet on December 18. Head Coach Scott Beverly stated that he wants the team to consistently improve and get as many players as possible to advance to the New Jersey Meet of Champions later in the season in early March.
Senior and sprinter Samar Raju placed second in the 600-meter dash and feels he could have been a lot smoother and more relaxed in the middle 200. “I need to improve my form, turnover, and my core strength before my next race,” said Raju. “It was positive that I didn’t die out and still finished second, running a decent time in my first race back in an event that I hadn’t run before.”
Senior and distance runner Thomas Blach finished second by 0.1 of a second in the 1000-meter race. Blach said some positives were that he felt good and strong and came very close to winning the race. “I need to have a better strategy from the beginning and focus on my speed leading up to the meet,” said Blach. “I was originally upset knowing that I only lost by 0.1 of a second and feeling that I could have done better, but I was happy knowing that it was only my first race of the season.”
Sprinter and senior Nikolai James placed second in the 300-meter dash and thinks he could have done better overall. “I need to improve my warmup and be more focused for the next meet,” said James. “I think the positive thing is that I was still able to get second despite the poor performance.”
Three other Knights also placed high on Saturday. Sprinter and junior Owen Zapanta finished in sixth place in the high jump. Senior and thrower Quentin Young placed fifth in the shot put. Sprinter and senior Dominick Wong finished in sixth place in the pole vault.
Raju thinks the team performed solidly on Saturday but said that there is still room for improvement. Blach agreed, stating that the team performed well for the first meet and that it felt fun to be racing again.
The Knights’ next meet is on December 27 at the Egg Club Invitational in Toms River.
Photos by Matthew Tiplady