by ANDREW GARDA
This season has been very successful for Montclair High School’s track and field team, and the last two weekends brought more of the same.
First, the Mounties performed very well at the Essex County Relay Championships on Saturday, May 15. They then followed it up with a great performance at the Super Essex County Championships for the American and Liberty Divisions, held Friday, May 21.
“We haven’t even peaked yet,” head coach Daryl Washington said. “There are still things to improve.”
At the Relays, the boys team finished third overall, while the girls team finished second behind West Orange.
First-place finishers for the boys were the team of Truman Williams, Reuven Frye, Michael Robinson and Jessie Legister in the 4×200 meter race, and the team of Williams, Frye, Legister and Oscar Counsell in the sprint medley.
For the girls, the relay team of Stephanie Webb, Ella McAdams, Anna Glorie and Kiya Lawson took first in the 4x100m and 4x200m races.
McAdams, Webb, Lawson and Krisantha Spencer took first place in the 4x400m.
McAdams, Webb, Violet Ross and Madeline Duncan grabbed first in the distance medley relay.
MHS also had several performances that were ranked in the top 10 in the state and one in the top 10 nationally. The boys sprint medley team was ranked No. 3 in New Jersey and No. 10 in the United States, while the boys 4x200m was ranked No. 4 in New Jersey. For the girls, the 4x100m and 4x200m teams each ranked No. 5 in the state, and the girls 4x400m was ranked No. 8 in the state.
The SEC Championships were even more successful for Montclair, as the girls took first place as a team in the American with a score of 152, a one-point victory over West Orange. The boys landed in second in the American with a score of 85, just in front of West Orange and behind Seton Hall Prep.
Webb and Lawson took first and second in the girls 100m dash with times of 12.58 and 12.74 respectively. The two finished the same way in the 200m dash. McAdams took second and Lawson third in the 400m finals, while Spencer and McAdams took second and third in the 800m.
Ross finished second in the 1600m while McAdams landed in fourth. Ross then took the top spot in the 3200m, with Duncan taking second.
Sophomore Teah Glorie finished third in the 100m hurdles with a time of 19:28, a big improvement over her 19:75 in the preliminaries, where she finished fourth.
“Coach [Michael] Korningey and I talked to her after the preliminaries, to work out the timing between hurdles,” Washington said. When it comes to running hurdles, the coach said that getting the pacing right between the hurdles is the difference between a good time and a great time. Once Glorie nailed that, her time improved.
“It also helped that she was with the top runners,” he said, pointing out that running with the best competition pushes athletes beyond what they think they are capable of.
Later, the 4×400 relay team of McAdams, Webb, Lawson and Spencer took first, finishing with a time of 4:03.73, nearly nine seconds faster than the next-fastest finisher.
The girls excelled in field events as well, with Elizabeth Fitzgerald taking third in the long jump and Ava Summers finishing fifth.
Fitzgerald finished second in the triple jump and third in the long jump. MHS also got some tremendous effort from freshmen like Grace Gibson and Giselle Frazier, who landed in fourth and sixth place, with senior Chanel Armand in between in seventh, throwing the discus. Armand also finished fourth in the javelin.
Fitzgerald finished first in the pole vault with a jump of 11-07. She was the only competitor.
In discus, Gibson and Frazier stepped up again, taking fourth and sixth place respectively. Armand finished seventh.
Crystal Clark took fourth in the shot put.
For the boys, Williams took first in the 100m dash and second in the 200m dash. Legister grabbed first in both the 200m and 400m dashes. Counsell finished first in the 1600m and second in the 800m. The boys 4×400 team of Williams, Frye, Robinson and Legister won the event with a time of 3:23.99.
For the field team, David Thom-Rogers finished third in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump.
Richard Fortune took second in the shot put.
Next up for the Mounties is the Essex County Championships on Friday, May 28, in Newark, and then the NJSIAA Sectionals North 1 Groups 1 and 4 await them in Clifton on June 4.