Track & Field is a Growing at Chatham High; Turnout for Spring is Large

Chatham senior shot putter Ed Dennerlein Credits: Glenn Clark
Track coaches Patrick Barry and Julie Guerriero brave the March winds during Cougar Field practice Credits: TAP Chatham
Senior distance runner Laura Walsh Credits: TAP Chatham
Junior Erin Tencic will be out to improve her 2:19 time in the 800 Credits: TAP Chatham
Senior Will Mitchell leads a strong contingent of distance runners Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - There were so many new faces at Cougar Field this week that Chatham boys track & field coach Patrick Barry hadn't yet matched them all to their names.

Same with girls coach Julie Guerriero. That isn't surprising since there are 127 boys and 95 girls who have come out for the team.

"We have more than we've ever had for male and female combined," Barry said. "Our success has a lot to do with it, but it's been growing every year as the school grows. So, there is a lot of factors. We have a lot of newcomers on both sides."

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For the boys, the record-breaking 4x400 team of Nick Ferrone, Steve Bondurich, Kevin Gesell and Harris Eisenhardt are intact from the winter season. Jaylen Haye is the regular alternate on that team.

Ferrone, a junior, will also run the 100 and 200 and the compete in the long jump for the Cougars.

Senior shot putter Ed Dennerlein leads the field events for the Chatham boys.

"We have a lot of throwers to back him up," Barry said

Senior Chris DeSante is part of the field depth, which could include junior newcomer Alex Wilson, who is a wrestler during the winter. 

The Chatham boys feature a strong distance group with Will Mitchell, Grant Hauck, Liam Hynes, Paul Mortensen and Colin Logsdon.

Others to watch include junior hurdler Jason Alexis, who also competes in the long jumper; hurdlers Justin Corbitt and Phil Heller; long jumper and high jumper Dylan Ott, and sophomore high jumper Filip Bahunik.

On the girls side, high hurdlers Simone Kirton, Rashida Haye, Sarah Prill and Phoebe Nichols figure to form a formidable 4x100 shuttle hurdles relay team. Prill also is slotted in as a sprinter and long jumper.

Seniors Laura Walsh and Jianna Caronan anchor the distance races and field events, respectively, for Chatham. Coach Guerriero expects a promising spring for junior Erin Tencic, who has clocked 2:19 in the 800.

Also returning to track for the spring are members of Chatham's swimming state championship team Amy Duren and Abbie Bigham.

There are a slew of newcomers from the sophomore class, including sprinter Katie Helman and middle-distances runners Nicole Smizaski and Chloe Tempest.

Seniors athletes Emily Walczyk and Olivia Diaz-Saavedra are among the newcomers to track this spring. Walczyk, who played varsity soccer and basketball, will run and throw. Diaz-Saavedra, who played varsity volleyball and basketball, is expected enter the jumping events.


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