NEWARK, NJ — The Livingston High School (LHS) boys track and field team broke yet another LHS record and also crowned three Super Essex Conference (SEC) champions after placing third overall with 73.33 points in the SEC American Division Championships held at Newark Schools Stadium.
Seven teams competed for the title of the toughest division in the conference, with Livingston producing champions in the 1600 meter, 800m and Discus events. The Lancers also set a new school record in the 100m dash as well as a new freshman record in the Long Jump.
The boys handling the throwing events for the Lancers produced the first of the three SEC champions on the day. Phillipe Jallow threw 107 feet, one inch (107’01”) for ninth place, while Nick Boffa threw about 8’ farther than he had ever before with 140'5” to capture the title and 10 team points.
Boffa returned with Joe Cullen and John Rosero to compete in the Javelin throw, where Cullen earned second place with 145'07” and Boffa earned third with 144'07”. The trio earned 14 more points for the team when Rosero came in ninth place with a throw of 121'07”.
Meanwhile, freshman Quinn Devlin got out 36'-04” for 13th in the Triple Jump. At the High Jump, Jallow cleard 5'02” for ninth place, and Victor Lopez Simpson and Devlin competed in the event as well.
As the track action got under way, Lopez Simpson was at his best in the 400m intermediate hurdles (IH), crossing the line in 58.76 for fifth place and two points for the team. John King was close behind with a nice race in 60.51 for eighth and was joined by Evan Tomasco with a 69.68 finish.
Tafari Attoh, Jamar Vincent and Colin Burdette gave it their best in the 100m, which provided some real excitement. Vincent (11.63; 10th) and Burdette (11.96; 16th) watched with the rest of the Lancers as Attoh qualified for the finals with his 11.19 clocking. This was just off the LHS record in the event.
In a blazing finals heat, Attoh was just .08 seconds from the win, earning second place in the pursuit of the gold and breaking the Lancers All-Time record at this distance with an 11.06 clocking. He also earned eight more points for the team as the points were adding up.
The excitement continued on the track as LHS put Philmon Mehari, Jon Chen and Jon Ackerman on the line for the 1600m race.
Mehari stayed with the front of the pack as it went out with a slow opening 800m of about 2:19. Noting this, Mehair surged to the front to grab the lead and force the pace. He closed with a 2:08 second 800 to cross the line at 4:27.68 and claim the title for 10 team points.
Chen (5:01.69) and Ackerman (5:16.48) also did well on the day.
The Lancers earned another 10.33 points on the Pole Vault runway, where Siraj Akmal cleared 11' for third place, Jallow cleared 10' for fourth and Rosero got over 9' to tie for sixth.
The Long Jump also saw three Lancers in action with Chris Werner leading the way, jumping 19'-07.5” for eighth place. Vincent (19'-3”: 10th) and Devlin (18'10”: 11th) also jumped well.
In the 400m race, Werner (52.80:7th), Krish Malhotra (55.52;14th) and Jelvin Thomas (57.09;16th) gave it their all for LHS.
Lopez Simpson (17.61:10th) and Tomasco (20.49:14th) were back hurdling again for LHS in the 110 m HH event.
Following the clearing of the hurdles, the half milers lined up on the track for a packed two-lap race—causing Mehari, Sean Miller and Colin Miller to test their speed against the SEC’s best runners.
The Lancers cheered loudly as Mehari surged with about 200m left and opened a gap with the rest of the field. He held on for his second champion title of the day with a time of 2:00.93, almost a full second ahead of second place.
Sean also finished hard and set a personal best time of 2:02.86 for sixth place. Colin, a freshman, came in 15th at 2:14.15 and gained valuable experience. The half milers had added 11 more team points.
Attoh gave another fine performance in the 200m, finishing in fifth for two points at 22.72. Vincent came in eighth at 23.02.
Toeing the line for the grueling eight-lap 3200m race was Adam Dzieszko, who clocked a 11:06 for 12th place
Finally, King, Werner, Vincent and Attoh took on the divisions’ best in the 4x400 relay and clocked 3:32.48 for third place (six points).
When the dust settled and points from the 16 events were tallied, the boys squad had scored 73.33 points for third place—the Lancers’ highest total since 2014. With 139 points overall, East Orange took home the title.
Pictured above at the SEC Championship meet are:
Kneeling (L-R) Sean Miller, Jackson Petryna, John King, Quinn Devlin, Tafari Attoh and Jonathan Ackerman.
Standing (L-R) Krish Malhotra, Evan Tomasco, Colin Burdette, Victor Lopez Simpson, Jonathan Chen, Philmon Mehari, Colin Miller, Phillipe Jallow, Chris Werner, Jamar Vincent, Joe Cullen, Siraj Akmal, Jacob Kogut, Nick Boffa and John Rosero