BLOOMFIELD, NJ--The Bloomfield High winter track team is beginning to gain momentum, as the Bengals head into the second half of the season.
Head coach Terry Iavarone reported a large turnout of student-athletes, who are competing in the running and field events.
"This year, over 100 (boys and girls) came out for the team," said Iavarone. "After having two excellent seasons (in 2018 and 2019), I'm optimistic that will continue this year. With records, division, and sectional titles attained over the last couple of seasons, this year’s contingency is determined to maintain that tradition. There is plenty to be excited about for the following two months."
Iavarone's coaching staff features Anna-Marie Natale, Pierpaulo Mancarella, and William Houser.
The boys team is led by state sectional place-winner and senior captain Rendell Amilcar, who will focus on the sprints, along with senior captain Luca Ponticello (distance), seniors Blaine Sharpe (sprints), Jordan Mosley (sprints) Michael Bsales (throws), and juniors Quaid Mullane (distance) and Kwesi Wilson (throws) rounding out the place-setting returnees.
The girls are paced by senior captains Alexis Taylor (throws) and Amanda Giunta (distance), alongside Alanna Espinal (sprints), Angelina Ramos (sprints), Sindy Casimir (distance), Keziah Anderson (hurdles/sprints), Lizbeth Morocho (distance), Sarai Suriel (sprints), and Tenessia Morrison (throws) as the top senior returnees.
"Our girls team has a lot of young talent," said Iavarone. "There are 40 returning sophomores and juniors ready to make waves in Essex County and around the state. Although senior Alexis Taylor is the only sectional-place winner returning, this year’s current edition has eyes set on putting a handful of athletes through the state sectionals."
The pole vault group of juniors Tashane Orsmby and Makenzie Robinson have already set the school record and are looking to place in the counties and sectionals, next month. Iavarone also noted that the 4x800 school record is also in sight, with Karina Silva (freshman), Ava Sayers (sophomore),Casimir and Morocho just a few seconds away.
The Bengals opened the 2019-2020 season on December 20, at the Essex County Track Coaches Association Season Opener Invitational at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in State Island. Taylor was the only place-winner that meet, taking sixth in the shot put.
At the Super Essex Conference indoor championships, on Dec. 23, the Bengals found more success. In the American Division. Taylor finished second in the shot put, Robinson took second in the pole vault while Ormsby finished third.. Anderson finished sixth in the 55 meter hurdles and Amilcar was fifth in the 400 meters, for the BHS boys only medal.
Over the Christmas holidays, the Bengals participated at the SJTCA Winter Meet #3 at the John Bennett Indoor Sports Center in Toms River.
"The meet saw several Bloomfield athletes place," said Iavarone. "Individually Orsmby tied the winter school-record in the pole vault (7-0) and took third. Robinson, who now shares the record, finished sixth. The 4x51-meter hurdle relay team of Anderson and Espinal and sophomores Taylor McCloud and Kayla Silva, finished third. The 4x200 of Espinal, Silva, Nisha Doshi, and Britannie Hawthorne took sixth.
For the boys, Wilson placed second in the shot put while the 4x400 of Gabriel Acosta, Amilcar, Mosley, and Sharpe were third and the 4x800 of Ponticello, Mullane, and sophomores Justin Synnott and Robert Wolf took sixth place.
On January 10, the Bengals traveled to the Rothman Center at Fairleigh Dickinson University to compete in the Paul Schwartz Invitational.
Amilcar took home the only gold for the Bengals, winning the 300 meters in 37.3. He also anchored the 4x400 relay to a silver medal alongside Acosta, Mosley, and Sharpe. Acosta placed fifth in the 55-meter hurdles, the 4x800 team was fourth and Mullane took sixth in the 800 meters.
McCloud placed fourth in the 55-meter hurdles, the 4x800 team took second, Silva placed fifth in the open 800, and the 4x400 team took fourth place.
At the Essex County Relay championships, the girls captured a pair of bronze medals in the shot put (Morrison and Taylor) and the 51.5x4 shuttle hurdles (Anderson, McCloud, Silva, and Ahtaiziah Cobb).
The Bengals are back in action on Jan. 17, at the Ed Church Invitational, in Hackensack. On Jan. 19, it's off to the Bennett Center, in Toms River for the Group 4 relays, starting at 10 a.m., and on Jan. 20, the Garfield Shot Put Invitational will be held at Garfield High School.