Nutley HS track and field teams impress at SEC Championships

NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School boys and girls track and field teams gave great efforts at the Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division Championships May 11 at Schools Stadium in Newark.

The girls team finished in third place overall in the girls team standings. The boys finished in fourth place out of eight teams in the boys team standings.

For the girls, sophomore Anna Contini came into the SEC Championships knowing she was going to be very busy racing in four events and what turned out to be five races.  She more than rose to the occasion, coming home with two gold medals, two silver medals, three Personal Records and a part of the school 4×400 relay record.

Contini opened her day with a PR 13.02 in the 100-meter dash trials, then lowered it to 12.82 in the finals and claimed second place.  She then moved onto the 400 meters and powered her way to another PR 59.64 and another silver medal. In her third event, she claimed gold with a PR 26.66 in the 200-meter dash.  In the final track event of the day, she stuck gold again and helped break the Nutley school record in the 4×400 relay anchoring the team with a 60.5 split. She teamed with her older sister Kate(60.8), Mia Eltzholtz(64.9) and Ava Tucker(60.8) to cross the line in 4:07.33 to claim gold and the school record.

The Raiders scored in all areas on their way to a 95=point team showing.  In the sprints, the Raiders saw Kate Contini finish fifth in the 400 meters with a 1:01.25 PR, as well as Ava Tucker who scored with a sixth place finish in a 1:01.79 PR.  Kaitlyn Gavidia was a double medalist finishing fourth in the 400 hurdles with a 1:16.49 and then came back with a PR 18.35 to claim the sixth-place medal in the 100-meter hurdles.  Shannon Granelli raced to a PR 18.17 in the 100-meter hurdles to claim the fifth-place medal. Sabrina Kuo raced to a PR in the 100-meter hurdles with a 18.98 in the finals and just missed scoring.

The distance crew was lead by double medalists Tiffany Miruelo and Isabel Lopez. Miruelo raced to two PRs in the 1600 meters (5:38.27) to finish second, then came back and dropped a PR 2:37.84 in the 800 meters to finish fourth.  Lopez also dropped two PRs in her races and in the process claimed a pair of fourth-place finishes. She finished fifth in the 1600 with a 5:54.90 PR and then came back and ran a 12:52.76 in the 3200 meters. Isabel Bernardo clocked a 14:27.74 to claim the sixth-place medal in the 3200 meters.

In the jumps and vault, the Raiders saw sophomore Molly Herschell clear 6-feet-0 inches in the pole vault to claim the silver medal. Sarah Cortese cleared 4 feet-2 inches in the high jump to claim fifth place, while Abby Groeling, battling through injuries, also cleared 4-2 and claimed sixth.

In the throws the Raiders were lead by Danielle Lohf who uncorked a 109-1 throw to claim the title.  Rachel Caruso tossed the spear 87-2 to claim fourth, while Maia Marucci threw 84-6 for 5th. Emily McIntyre flipped the platter out to 87-1 to claim sixth place.

For the NHS boys, junior thrower Zach Mackiewicz laid claim to the SEC-Liberty Division shot put and discus titles. He was first up in the discus throw were he lead from the first round.  Going into finals, his top throw was 118 feet-10 inches and then in finals unloaded a near PR of 133-10 to cement his win. He then moved over to the shot put and unloaded a huge PR of 45-3 to claim his second win of the day and lead the Raiders to a 4th place team finish with 70.5 team points.

The Raiders scored heavy in the field events during the day.  Senior Dom Raffaelli finished tied for first in the pole vault with a 9-0 clearance.  Charlie Contini also scored in the pole vault clearing 8-0 and finished fifth. James Martzen scored a sixth-place finish with a PR toss of 37-4.5.  Sevy Villanueva tossed the spear out to a PR 138-6 to claim third place in the javelin. In the high jump the Raiders placed all three of their jumpers.  Matt Durham won the silver with a 5-8 clearance, while Maguire Branigan and Brandon Defluri both cleared 5-2 to finish fifth and sixth respectively.

On the track, the Raiders were lead by double medalist Nick Duca who scored in the 800 meters (2:04.64 for fourth place) and the 1600 (4:39.46 for third) for the Raiders.  Sean Bernardo crossed the line in second place in the 3200 meters with a big PR of 10:12.92. Brian McCormack also scored in the 3200 with a PR of 11:04.11 for sixth place.  In the 100 meters, senior Anthony Gola raced to a 11.55 to claim fifth place. The 4 x 400 relay team of Karam Youseff (57.6), Kyle Schoch (61.7), Anthony Depersio (56.2) and Nick Kirby (54.5) scored a sixth-place finish with an overall time of 3:50.57.