Track & Field: Holmdel shines at the Monmouth County Championships

Joe Arena competes in the pole vault Credits: Steve Bassin
Chris Lawrence competes in the shot put Credits: Steve Bassin
Natalie Barbarino competes in the 800 meter run for Holmdel Credits: Steve Bassin
Gabriela Kelly competes in the long jump Credits: Steve Bassin

Holmdel, N.J. - Day two of the Monmouth County Track & Field Championships on Friday was a good day all around for the Holmdel High School boys and girls track & field teams. It featured the girls squad for Holmdel who took home two first place finishes, while the boys team took home gold in the 110 meter hurdles with a first place run by Matthew Sapienza.


The team of Sydney Goldson, Nicole Puiu, Jade Brand and Alexandra McCarthy led Holmdel to a place finish in the girls 4x100 relay with a time of 49.54 seconds. It was the second first place medal for Goldson on the day, after taking home gold in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.57 seconds. She took home second place in the girls 400 meter dash back on day one of the tournament on Wednesday.


“I told the girls before the race that this was the day for us to break 50 seconds and they were able to do that,” said Holmdel track & field coach Jonathan Cole. “I’m really proud of them. This was a race coming in that I knew we could do well in and I’m really happy with the results.”

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Holmdel girls 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams both placed fourth in the tournament for the Hornets.


On the boys side, the 4x100 team of Sapienza, Jason Zheng, Jordan Pisano and Eddie Granado took second place in the event for the Hornets with a time of 43.58 seconds. It was the first time the squad broke 43 seconds this season, said Cole.


The strength of the Holmdel track & field team is in the hurdles events, as Cole would say, and the Hornets showed that to be a truth strength in both the boys and girls races in the afternoon.


Building off his fourth place finish in the boys 400 meter hurdles on Wednesday, Sapienza placed first in the boys 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.89 seconds. His teammate    placed fourth in the event for the Hornets.


In the girls 110 meter hurdles, Margaret Wojie took home the bronze medal for Holmdel, while her teammate Brand placed eighth in the event. Wojie placed fourth in the girls 400 meter hurdles on Wednesday.


In the field events, Arianna Bartholomew’s personal best in the long jump of 16 feet and nine inches got her fifth place in the girls long jump competition for Holmdel.


Chris Lawrence competed well in very the tough boy shot put class for Holmdel in the tournament, placing sixth event with a throw of 49 feet and five inches. His 139.5 foot mark in the discus throw on Wednesday got him a fifth place finish in the event.  


Back on Wednesday, Derek Vander Woude placed third in the boys high jump for Holmdel with a jump of 6 feet and two inches.


Day one of the tournament also featured Mack Bryne running 11.05 seconds in the boys 100 meter dash that earned him third place for the Hornets.


“We had some great results in this meet on both the boys and girls side,” Cole said. “A lot of our kids stepped up and put out some great performances on the track and in the field. We had so many good things happen for our team in this meet and it shows the potential of higher success our kids can have moving forward.”


In overall team scores, the girls for Holmdel placed third, while the boys finished in fourth.


Holmdel will now gear up for the Shore Conference Tournament next week and for the NJSIAA Central, Group 2 tournament at the end of the month.


Cole believes both his boys and girls teams can do very well at each tournament.


“This meet was a big step for both our boys and girls teams and a big confidence booster for our athletes,” Cole said. “I think we can have a lot of good performances at sectionals.”


Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports


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