NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School Raiders boys ‘ and girls’ track and field teams wrapped up their Saturday Relay season with a strong showing at the Paul H. Beck Memorial Relays held on the spacious campus of Millburn HIgh School on Saturday, April 29. Competing in very warm and humid conditions, reminiscent of last year’s state sectional meet or the Group 3 meet in 2001, the Raiders found a way to make the warm weather work to their advantage. Despite competing short-handed due to another field trip, the Raiders relay teams turned in seasonal bests in eight different events on the track, while the field eventers also turned in a bevy of seasonal best performances. All in all, the Raiders came away from the meet with seven relay medals, some pretty solid “track tan” lines and positive momentum heading into May and championship meet time.
In the varsity events, the girls’ team did the bulk of the medalling. On the track, the girls’ 4-x-1,600-meter relay team was able to grab the 6th place team medal. Ellie McCreesh led off with a 5:35 leg that set the stage for the girls to medal. Paula Echeverria, Amanda Zheng and Katelyn Gil carried the baton the rest of the way and finished in 24:29.62. Later in the meet, the girls distance medley relay squad of Jaela Small, Katelyn Gil, Amanda Zheng and Ellie MCCreesh, got another solid 1,600 leg from McCreesh, who clocked a 5:34 split that keyed the Raiders 5th place finish. The 4-x-100-meter team of Hanna Simcsuk, Alyssa Bovasso-Pignataro, Ashley Palmer and Kristi Ellison finished in a seasonal best time of 57.37. The 4-x-200-meter team of Danielle Lohf, Shannon Granelli, Kate Contini and Ashley Palmer clocked a seasonal best time of 1:59.40. In the field events the Raiders continued to see success as the long jump relay team of Jaela Small (15 feet, 7.5 inches) and Hanna Simcsuk (15 feet, 1.5 inches) combined to take 4th place overall at 30-9. The girls pole vault team of Julia Yang (8 feet) and Rebecca Burrow(6 feet) combined to grab the 5th place medal. In the throws, the girls Frosh/Soph Discus Relay team of Lara Carnovale (50 feet, 3 inches) and Trisha Advaney (56 feet, 3 inches) were able to grab the 5th place medal in that event. Senior Samia Sabeil recorded a big personal record of 30 feet, 1 inch in the shot put and fellow senior Olivia DeFluri (27 feet, 6.5 inches) threw well, however just missed medalling.
The boys’ team turned in some of their fastest times as well. The lone track medal for the boys was scored in the Frosh/Soph Sprint Medley race. Chris Mulligan, Brian Grodzki, Chris Rodriguez and Nick Duca combined to win the race in 3:59.53. Freshman Nick Duca ran a monster 800 anchor leg in 2:04.7 and that saw him pass four teams on the final 200 meters of the race. The 4-x-100 team of Anthony Gizzo, Anthony DePersio, Anthony Gola and the only kid not named Anthony, Nick Mainiero, clocked a seasonal-best 47.79. The same quartet came back later in the meet and clocked the fastest 4-x-200 time of the year for the Raiders at 1:39.01. Nick Mainiero came back in the long jump relay and was able to stretch the tape out to a personal record 17 feet, 10.5 inches, his relay partner Nieven Urbano also had a personal best at 17 feet, 3 inches, however they finished out of medal contention. The boys’ javelin team of John MacAloon (132-10) and Joe Sasso (118-10) had a solid day and missed the medals podium by a mere 14 inches. In the Frosh/Soph shot put event it was Christian Torres (33-2) teaming up with Miguel Lopez (32-10) to claim the bronze medal in the event.
Next up for the Raiders will be the Essex County Relays Championships on Friday May 5 at Livingston HS. The meet starts at 3:30 p.m.
Photos by Steve Ellmore.
Photos: Paul H. Beck Memorial Relays.