by JASMINE ELSHAMY Photo & Video Editor
The winter track season is coming to a close now with the boys’ and girls’ teams having attended the State Sectional Track Meet in Toms River, New Jersey on February 12.
Ms. Traci Rickert, a chemistry teacher at the high school, coaches the boys team, and the following boys made it to the State Sectional meet: freshman Evan Pron; sophomore Charlie Meisner; juniors Ryan Jendras, Sam Lee, Kishen Patel, Matt Sze, and Chris Wong; and seniors Ian Haney, Kyle Kaplan, Kelechi Madu, Josh Mason, Dmitri Mendis, Ahmed Othman, and Kshitij Saste.
“There were solid performances by freshman Evan Peron, junior Ryan Jendras, and seniors Josh Mason, Kyle Kaplan, Ahmed Othman, Kshitij Saste, and Ian Haney,” says coach Rickert. “Ahmed held for his school in the 800 meter, placing in the top ten in his events.”
The runners had some great performances, but unfortunately, due to the intense competition, they will not be moving on.
As for the girls team, coached by science teacher Mr. Christian Jessop, the following girls made it to the State Sectional Track meet: freshmen Abby Cicorcia, Onyai Glover, Allie Hommer, Kelly Kimbo, and Amanda Koluda; sophomores Brianna Mantz, Leah Persing, and Michayla Weitman; juniors Haley Amplo, Alexis Caccio, Becky Polinskiy, and Kealy Walters; and seniors Sydney Green, Beth Hager, Emily Ho, Kerry McCabe, Amanda Salvadore, and Kirstin Sebastian.
“The season was a very successful season. We had many girls break their PR several times throughout the season. This is always an important aspect. It shows that the girls are improving and progressing throughout the season. We also saw a strong group of freshman girls have a great first season. Several went on to earn Varsity letters,” says coach Jessop.
The second round of states will then have all of the Group 4 competitors in New Jersey that made the top 6 in sectionals. None of the girls made the top 6 from Monroe. In shot put, Onyai Glover got 7th and Sydney Green got 10th. Several girls made personal records:
Onyai Glover – Shot Put – 30 feet 3 inches
Sydney Green – Shot Put – 29 feet 4 3/4 inches
Allie Hommer – 400 m – 65.83 seconds
Leah Persing – 1600 m – 5:56.97
Michayla Weitman- 55 Hurdles – 9.75 seconds
Becky Polinskiy – 55 Hurdles – 10.0 seconds
Alexis Caccio – 55 Hurdles – 10.79 seconds
“Even though I didn’t make it to State Sectionals, I’m still really happy for how I’ve been doing lately. My running has improved, and I got back in shape from taking a break back in the fall. I’m excited for the spring, so I can really showcase my improvement,” says sophomore Alyssa Smisko.
This season has been a time of improvement and revamping for the athletes, especially the seniors because most of them will continue to run for spring track and it will be their last season. For the girls, many broke their personal records.
“Winter season is the season we use to prepare for spring track. Even though there were strong performances, I’m happier with the work ethic and personal improvement I’ve seen with all the runners in prep for next season,” says coach Rickert.
There are many seniors on both teams, and they have come a long way, track being a key in making a change and helping them prepare for what is ahead.
“They are a very strong senior class with a lot of talent and great work ethics. All of them had good performances this season, which makes me excited about next season for the spring,” says coach Rickert.
For any newcomers to track for the spring season, some advice from coach Rickert is to understand the mental aspect of track.
“Even though track is measured by individuals, it’s also nice to see the encouragement for fellow team mates to improve,” she says.