SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Both the boys AND the girls swept the conference championships at the final day of competition This was the boys' first conference title since 1992, and girls' first since 2016.
The boys' team competes in the Valley Division of the Union County Conference. The other schols in the division are Brearley, Roselle Park, Plainfield, Oratory Prep, and Roselle Catholic. The final scores for the championship are listed below
1. Dayton - 175
2. Brearley - 90
3. Roselle Park - 85
4. Oratory Prep - 67
5. Roselle Catholic - 22
6. Plainfield - 22
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After the first day, the Jonathan Dayton Boys team had a decent lead. But the squad pulled away as the competition wore on. In terms of individual accomplishments, the boys' team had plenty to be excited about.
- Junior Joani Lico won the Discus (successfully defending his title from last year) and the shot put earning 20 points
- Senior Captain Adam Cohen won the mile in 4:43 and two mile in 10:14 earning 20 points
- Junior CJ Stavick won the 400 meter hurdles, finished third in the high jump, fourth in the long jump, and second in the 110M High Hurdles to earn 28 points for the team
- Junior James Mooney finished in first place in the Long Jump
"The score of 175 points is also a school record for most amount of points scored in this meet," Boys' head track coach Matt Vandeursen said. "This was really a terrific effort by our program...The coaches and I are extremely proud of all the kids hard work. They truly make it fun to come to practice every day."
"It is even more special to share the accomplishment with the girls' team," he added. "This was a great weekend for our program as we continue making great steps forward."
For the girls, the county competition was just as successful. The girls compete in the Valley Division of the Union County Conference. In their conference, the other teams are Hillside, Linden, Roselle – Abraham Clark, Brearley, Roselle Park, Plainfield, Oratory Prep, and Roselle Catholic.
For the girls, it was slow sledding at first, as the team started the day losing 65 – 57. However, the squad was able to turn it around, and ended the day winning by 50 points. Final scores are listed below:
1. Dayton – 160
2. Plainfield – 110
3. Hillside – 109
4. Roselle – Abraham Clark – 36
5. Linden – 35
6. Brearley – 15
7. Roselle Park – 8
"After the first day being down by eight to a powerful school, we doubled down on our efforts to not just win each event that we could, but fight for every point and get multiple scorers," girls' track coach Bryan Balletto said. "A great contribution to our overall team score was that we had seven individual Conference Champions, two event sweeps, and multiple events where people scored in 2nd and 3rd place. For the first time in years we scored in every event we entered. In a meet like this, every point counts.
Individual highlights for the girls team are as follows:
- Senior Captain Caitlynn McTernan defended her Javelin and High Jump Conference titles. This was the third year in a row that she won the Conference High Jump. She also placed second in the Triple Jump and third in the 400 Intermediate Hurdles.
- Sophomore Abbey Hochreiner is now a three-event Conference Champ, winning the girl’s 800, 1600, and 3200 meter races. Her performance in the 800 was 2:28, one of the best in our section leading into state sectionals in a couple of weeks.
- A standout highlight was the distance team of Hochreiner, Captain Junior Catriona Corbett, Sophomore Emily Kessel, and Sophomore Lily Dvorchik earning a massive 62 points for Dayton. Hochreiner, Corbett, and Kessel placed first, second, and third, sweeping both the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races. In the 800 Hochreiner and Dvorchik placed first and fouth.
- Senior Destini Stewart scored in three events. What made it even more special was how she did it. She competed in the Triple Jump, 100 High Hurdles, and High Jump. Due to the schedule change, all three events occurred simultaneously. Stewart was able to place sixth in the High Hurdles, third in the Triple Jump, and tied for fourth in the high jump with teammate Alexandra Monguso, scoring 10 points for the team.
- The score of 160 points while not a school record, came very close to it.
"The girls had to fight for every point against every team," Balletto said. "When they looked up, we found out that we had surpassed our point goals and opened up a 50 point gap on second place. We are very grateful for their effort, and the team enthusiasm is unparelled compared to previous years programs. This is a very special group."
The track teams will have the Union County Championships this next week on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the NJSIAA North II Group I State Sectional Championships on Memorial Day Weekend.