STATEN ISLAND, NY — A talented group of seniors on the Livingston High School (LHS) boys track and field team ended the invitational portion of their season in one of the most competitive meets of the year at the Morris County Coaches Invitational, where the relay squad emerged with a new record.
According to head coach Nancy Petryna, the track at the Ocean Breeze facility in Staten Island is known as one of the fastest in the country with its banked turns and Fully Automatic Timing. The Lancers in attendance, many of whom competed in their final meet of the season, faced athletes from nearly 50 other schools from all over the state.
The track served as the final backdrop for the 4x200 meter squad of LHS seniors Jamar Vincent (“The Starter”), Johnathan King (“King of the Handoffs”), Jackson Petryna (“Mr. Reliable”) and Christopher Werner (“The Anchor”) to have one more shot to better the indoor school record in the 4x200 meter relay that they had broken twice throughout the season.
According to their coach, the athletes paced quietly before taking the track. Vincent exploded at the sound of the gun with a textbook baton exchange to King, who maintained the strong lead in the heat. Petryna then took over, running his last indoor race of the year, and Werner powered through to cross the finish line with every ounce of his energy.
With all four athletes running their personal best performances, the squad delivered a time of 1:34.86, besting the previous record by almost a full second and placing sixth in a competitive field.
Senior Brian Leechow led a second 4x200 meter relay team for the Lancers with his personal best 200-meter leg of the season. Also running were Damon Persaud, Ryan Lee and Joesh Sivi.
Sophomore Tafari Attoh led a group of younger sprinters in the 200-and 400-meter races, signaling that the future of Lancer racing is bright, according to their coach. Attoh finished the 400-meter dash in 52.84, just shy of the indoor school record. Junior Ryan Lee ran his season’s best at 58.40, as did Jacob Radin (59.84).
Attoh then ran the 200 meters at an impressive 23.71, placing 13th in a field of 90 runners overall. Not far behind was sophomore Jacob Kogut at 24.2, a season’s best performance by the sprinter. Also running were sophomore Siraj Akmal (26.23) and freshman Quinn Devlin (26.81).
Junior Sean Miller led the distance runners with his personal best performance in the 800-meter race. Miller changed his race tactics and sprinted hard from start to finish. His determination paid off with his time of 2:05.63. Miller placed 11th in a field of 80 runners. Ryan Montagna also competed (2:40.03).
The Invitational featured a Mile Run, with Adam Dzieszko crossing the line ahead of all the Lancers at 5:06.43. Freshman Daniel Silva, who has worked tirelessly all season, ran 5:28.41. Senior Jonathan Ackerman finished at 5:28.78.
The 55-meter sprint saw the largest field of the day with nearly 100 boys competing in multiple heats in the shortest of races. Vincent was the fastest Lancer with his time of 7.00 and was followed by Kogut (7.09), Akmal (7.29) and Joesh Sivi (7.34).
Lancers co-captain Philippe Jallow competed in both the High Jump and Shot Put. He was over the bar in the high jump at 5’6”. In the Shot, he threw 38-4”. David Samaan threw his personal best of 29-5” for the season.