The Montclair Kimberley girls track and field team brought home a title while the boys upgraded to what might be a big 2024.
The Cougars girls squad made it back-to-back Prep B meet champions while finishing second in the Non-Public B state championship team standings despite some bumps along the road.
“This is all with untimely and unfortunate injuries to some of our major contributors,” said MKA track and field head coach Timothy White.
On the boys track and field side, a young Montclair Kimberley team made strides this season with the hopes of bringing home hardware in 2024.
“The boys team continued to improve every meet,” said White. “We have several underclassmen who look to be threats in Essex County and beyond for years to come.”
The best result for both teams came at the Prep B championships on May 22 at Newark Academy where the girls took the top spot with 106 points, three more than Villa Walsh. The boys finished a distant second to Newark Academy.
“The girls dominated, and the boys had a lot of breakout performances,” said White.
Individually, freshman Mila Huang and junior Kitty Williams led the girls postseason honors with Non-Public second team honors in the pole vault and javelin respectively while junior Kellen Ievers was part of the Non-Public third team in the shot put. On the boys side sophomore Kalvin Thomas was named to the All Non-Public third team in the triple jump.
Huang grabbed the Non-Public B title in the pole vault with a vault of 9-feet-6. “Mila deserves all the success and accolades she has earned,” added White. “She puts a lot on her plate both athletically and academically and does everything with impressive grace and positivity.”
Williams took the javelin title at the Non-Public B meet with a throw of 104-feet-3 inches while also coming in third in the discus at the same meet with a throw of 102 feet.
“I think Kitty Williams deserved to be first team,” pointed out White. “She had the best throw of all Non-Public athletes, just not in that one meet. She had a historical season for us and has solidified herself as one of the best throwers in the state.”
In levers, she just barely missed out winning the Non-Public B shot put title as she progressed in her junior season. Ievers threw the shot with a distance of 36-feet-2.25, only behind DePaul’s Oluwatamilore Adedeji (36-feet-2.50).
“Kellen has been working hard at every practice for the last two seasons,” said White. “Her best throw has nearly doubled compared to her first ever meet. It is great to see somebody welcome every practice and meet as a learning experience. She has earned every bit of success she’s had.”
Thomas showed his numbers weren’t a fluke as a freshman and took the Non-Public B triple jump title by almost one foot with a leap of 44-feet-5.50 in the event. The sophomore also came in third in the 100-meter run and fourth in the long jump at the Non-Public B meet. He also took first place in the 100 meters, 200 meters and triple jump at the Prep B championships.
“Kalvin pretty much maintained what he did in the triple jump compared to his freshman year, with more consistency at 42 feet and above,” said White. “He took a big jump forward in the long jump this season. He also improved on his 100 and 200 times. We’re hoping to teach him how to hurdle as well.”
While not receiving Non-Public honors, both seniors, Aidan Szilagyi and Amari Urquhart had impressive performances in the distance and javelin events respectively this season on the boys side.
Szilagyi came in sixth at the Non-Public B meet with a time of 10:33.27. The senior also won the Super Essex Conference Colonial 3,200 with a time of 10:27.14.
“We were extremely happy Aidan decided to do indoor and outdoor,” White said about Szilagyi. “He’s consistently been our best cross-country runner over the last two years, and it was great to see him have some awesome performances on the track too.”
Urquhart took the SEC Colonial title in the javelin with a toss of 124-feet-2, almost 11 feet better than another MKA senior, Colin Larish (113-feet-6). “This was Amari’s first season on the team,” said White. “He had a great year. We wish we were able to work with him sooner.”
Two other track athletes who will make an even bigger splash next season on the boys side are junior Osias Williams and freshman Samuel Akaho. Both finished one-two in the SEC Colonial meet in the 110-meter hurdles with Williams coming out on top at 16.98 while Akaho was second (17.59). “Osias has a lot of speed and potential,” said White about Williams.
Another track and field athlete put it together near the end of the season in junior Maggie Horn who took the Non-Public B state title in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:03.30.
“Maggie ran a remarkable race to win the 1600,” the MKA head coach said. “She had a strategy and executed it to perfection. She’s been working incredibly hard, so it was great to see all of that hard work pay off with an unforgettable race.”