TOMS RIVER NJ - The Bernards High Boys Indoor Track team traveled to "The Bubble" in Toms River on Saturday for the NJSIAA North II, Group 2 Sectional Championships. Several Mounties came home with hardware and with their tickets punched to the Group 2 State Championships.
Senior hurdler Sean Sullivan advanced to the state championships in two events. He placed fourth in his trademark event - the 55 meter hurdles - with a time of 8.23 seconds in the finals. Sullivan also anchored the 1600 meter relay team, which placed fifth in the section with a time of 3:42.14, just a couple of strides behind rival Parsippany High School.
The vaunted Bernards distance team lived up to its reputation on Saturday. In the 1600 meter run, the team took three of the top four spots. Sophomore sensation Stuart Gruters won the gold at 4:30.27. Team co-captain Richard Gruters finished on Stuart's heels at 4:32.35 for the silver. The big surprise of the event came from Junior Connor Roehr, who posted a personal record of 4:34.76 for fourth.
Distance runners never seem to be satisfied, and the Bernards boys are no exception. The hard-working crew wasn't satisfied with dominating the 1600. The Gruters brothers returned to the track for the 3200 meter run. Big brother Richard won the sectional title with a time of 10:04.16, finishing less than a second ahead of his younger brother Stuart, who finished at 10:04.84.
Bernards didn't only score points on the track. One of the Mounties field athletes advanced to the Group 2 state championship. Junior high jumper Connor Tamke cleared the bar at 5'8" to tie for second.
The Mounties finished third as a team. The individual qualifiers will compete in the Group 2 championships on February 20 in Toms River.