EGG HARBOR, NJ – For most members of Jonathan Dayton’s boys track team, the Group 1 State Championships in Egg Harbor this weekend was the end of the season and according to Coach Matt VanDeursen most of the athletes closed out their season with some terrific performances.
The coach felt the top performance at the meet came from senior captain Justin Ehly. He was the only person on the team to place in the top six, and he earned the right to compete in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions next weekend. Justin finished fifth in the long jump with a personal best 21 feet 0.75 inches.
About Justin the coach said, “I'd like to add how proud the coaches and I are of Justin. Justin gave his best everyday over the past four years, and to accomplish what he has is pretty remarkable. He has set a great example for our mostly young team by being a selfless and committed student-athlete."
He added that many other boys performed well. They included the boys 4x400 of Mark Gragg, Fabian Mestanza, Jovanni Salcfas, and Justin Ehly, which finished with a season best 3 minute 32.72 seconds and finished tenth overall; and the boys 4x800 meter relay finished 14th overall.
Coach Van Duersen said, “Freshman Jovanni Salcfas finished 16th overall in the 400 Meter Dash. With his time of 53.09, Jovanni ties the fastest 400 for any freshman in school history and is currently the #2 freshman in all of Group 1. Jovanni has a lot of potential in the sport, not just because he's extremely talented, but he's very coachable and is willing to do what's best for the team. He encourages others around him, and his enthusiasm is contagious.”
His final comments about the team were “As the season wrapped up for most of our kids, the coaches and I agree that this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons we've had the privilege of being a part of. We are equally excited for the future of the program with so many young kids returning. We have a great group of talented and coachable young athletes that we feel are really going to benefit the program for years to come.”
One indicator for the future is four freshmen records were set or tied this year and there are:
- 400 Meter Intermediate Hurdles, Jovanni Salcfas 1:01.30, former record 1:03.20 from 2014
400 Meter Dash,
- Jovanni Salcfas 53.09 ties the former record from 1971.
- 4x100 Meter Relay, CJ Stavick, Charles Egeonu, Patrick Machado, Jovanni Salcfas 47.15, former record 49.81 from 2014.
- 4x400 Meter Relay, James Mooney, Patrick Machado, CJ Stavick, Jovanni Salcfas 3:46.25, former record 3:50 from 2014 (the record before that was 3:54 from 1970).