Irvington HS boys’ track and field team finishes great turnaround season

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IRVINGTON, NJ – The Irvington High School boys’ track and field team, under head coach Marvin Hawkins, enjoyed a bounce-back season.

After going 2-7 last year, the Blue Knights finished with an impressive 7-1 dual-meet record.

The signature victories were against West Side, 79-50; East Side, 103-18; North 13th St. Tech, 103-26; Nutley, 72-64; and Barringer, 90-43.

The Blue Knights also took first place at the Jimmy Smalls Invitational in Hillside.

The main athletes who contributed to the team were Da’John Graves, James Ely, Michael Veltz, Justin Torain, and Desmond Marfo.

Graves, a senior, was the team’s Most Valuable Athlete. He won the 110-meter high hurdles at both the Super Essex Conference-American Division Championships at Schools Stadium in Newark and at the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state Championships at Madison HS.

At the Group 3 state Championships held at Northern Burlington County Regional HS in Columbus on June 3, Graves false-started in the 110 hurdles because the starter held the runners too long, and as a result, he failed to advance, said Hawkins. Graves was ranked No. 2 in Group 3.

Ely, a senior, had a personal dual meet record of 7-1 in the high jump and triple jump. He took 12th in the triple jump at 42 feet-5 inches at the Group 3 state meet.

Veltz, a junior, was a standout runner in the 400-meter dash. He took second at the conference meet with a personal-best time of 50.3 and took 17th at the Group 3 state meet in 51.21.

Torain, a senior, excelled in the shot put and discus and had a personal dual record of 6-2.

Marfo, a sophomore, had many good performances in the 1,600-meter run and 3,200-meter run, giving the team balance, said Hawkins.