SPRINGFIELD, NJ — This preview is part of a series that was slated to run and highlight members of the Spring sports teams at Jonathan Dayton High School. Without sports of any kind in the picture this spring, TAPinto Springfield will still be running the previews as a way to highlight the key performers who had their upcoming seasons stolen by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The defending Union County Valley Division Champions have an exciting season ahead of them. The team is motivated to not only repeat as the UCC Valley Division Champs, but also bring home Dayton’s first sectional title in 10 years. They have been using this time to continuously build overall body strength, endurance, mileage base, and prepare for the hopeful restart of their season.
The Bulldogs are led by captains Catriona Corbett, Cymantha Blackmon, Abbey Hochreiner, and Eliana McNamee.
Corbett and Hochreiner made headlines last year going 1 and 2 in the UC Conference Championship in both the 1600 and 3200. Hochreiner followed it up with a fantastic win in the 800 meters. They qualified for the State Group 1 Championships in the 4 x 800, as well as individually in the 800, 1600, and/or 3200.
Blackmon is a double Conference Champion in the discus and shotput, as well as State Sectional Shot-Put Champ, solidifying herself as one of the best throwers in the state. She has moved to the 100-meter dash running impressive times. McNamee shows capabilities of a state level competitor in each of her events (400, 800 and Triple Jump).
This indoor season McNamee raced 800 meters for the first time, winning the State Sectional Championship in an impressive 2:34. Side by side with Abbey, they threaten to go first and second in Conference Championships and State Sectional meet.
Seniors Kyla Greene and Lily Dvorchik add depth in the sprints and distance. Greene is a repeat five event Group 1 qualifier and a Conference Champion. Dvorchik adds to the impressive 800 squad, with personal best times in the 2:30s. She seeks her first individual championship, and is a multi-time Group 1 qualifier in the 4 x 800. Along with Hochreiner and McNamee she is looking to be part of a girls 800 sweep.
Significant underclassmen development across all events has made Dayton a real threat. The jump squad is led by Junior Olivia Vendes (HJ and TJ), and has major contributions from Juniors Chelsea Catullo (HJ) and Maiya (HJ), as well newcomer Sophia Mirto. Sophomore Sofia Salcfas has become one of our team leaders, and leads a very new, but equally impressive hurdle squad with sprinters Mirielle Joseph, Navea Fish, Ayana Alles, alongside distance runner turned 400 hurdler Junior Emily Kessel. Ayana and fellow classmate Adriana Pinto, along with sophomore Kaya Waltzer, show tremendous promise in the 800 meters. Junior Maiya Barnhardt adds depth threatening to go sub 60 seconds in the 400-meter dash.
Throws this season are led by newly crowned indoor Group 1 North 2 Sectional Shot-Put Champion Cylia Blackmon and multiple event Group 1 qualifier Junior Laila Davis. Both are medal earners in Conference Championships as well.
Contributions are also expected from Juniors Elsie Cohen (Discus), Bellamy Eckhardt and Kaila Kane (Javelin), as well as newcomer Sophomore Elizabeth Miller (Javelin).
The distance squad is showing the largest depth in years with Junior Shannon Kennedy, and newcomers Claudia Reines and Adriana Nguyen coming off of successful XC seasons. Returning seniors include Alexandra Dabrowski in the Javelin and High Jump, Charlize Lugo in the 800 and 1600, Samantha Potito in the sprints, Michelle Bellino in the throws, and Maggie Barrasso in the Pole Vault.