BY AVERY PERSON
The boys track team gave outstanding performances in the Penn Relays, the Red Division meet, and the GMC tournament. They will look to repeat their excel again in Central Jersey State Sectional Championships starting this afternoon.
At the GMC’s Tournament on May 24-25, Owen Zapanta, Samar Raju, Deandre Lewis, and Nikolai James placed first in the 4×400 relay. “I personally think we could have performed better. That day, we actually ran our slowest time we have this season,” said Zapanta. “I was recovering from a very recent fever. We all still ran our hardest possible and I’m still happy with the outcome.”
The GMC Tournament includes teams from every district in the county. Old Bridge did an outstanding job in the 4×400 and 800m. “I think they did well,” said coach Scott Beverly. Thomas Blach also finished first in the 800 meters.
The team kicked off the competition season by competing in the Penn Relays in late April. Athletes from all over the country attend Penn Relays to showcase their talent. “It was a good experience going out to Penn relays. We represented well. It was our first time going as a program in a couple of years,” said James.
The tournament brought out the best out of these amazing athletes. “I was super excited knowing that Penn Relays is one of the biggest meets in the country. Running in that atmosphere just makes you run fast,” explained Blach.
Raju, Zapanta, Blach and James won their heat against teams from New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Delaware in the 4×400 with a time of 3:22.04. “I think we all raced well and had a good outing in our heat,” said James.
At the Penn Relays a team from Jamaica that came from overseas to showcase their talent. “It was a surreal experience- being surrounded by pros and other high-level athletes in the same facility was absolutely class,” said Samar Raju.
In mid-May, Eddie Essumang and Owen Zapanta took 4th and 5th place in the High Jump at the Red Division Meet with jumps of 5-10 and 5-8. “Eddie and Owen have been working hard to improve their technique in the High Jump since the winter season, and it is certainly starting to pay off with some great results. Any time that an athlete places at a championship meet, it is very impressive, and I was very happy with the result,” said Beverly.
In the Red Division Meet Thomas Blach won the 800m and Kieran Donnelly won the 3200m, “I felt like I accomplished something big on my first 3200m of the outdoor season. In the winter season, I advanced to the Meet of Champions, and I want to make that the same goal because I want to make this my best outdoor season yet,” said Donnelly.
The throwers also had a good day at the Red Division Meet with Christopher Scalafani earning 3rd in the javelin and Luke Maisonet taking 3rd in the shot put. Dominic Wong achieved a personal record in the pole vault with an 11-0 jump that put him in 3rd place.
Nikolai James took 3rd in the 400m, and Riley Appleton took 3rd in the 1600m. Riley Appleton did great after coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a month. “My form was a little off, so I got tendinitis in my knee, and I was out for about a month,” said Appleton.
This afternoon, the boys will visit Howell to compete in the Central Jersey State Sectional Championships.
Posted on 6/3/22
Photos by Lors Photography