What a great weekend for the Berkeley Heights PAL Runners at the Jr. Olympics USATF Regional Championship in Rochester, New York. Great weather plus beautiful track site set for perfect conditions to compete over the Saturday June 8th and Sunday July 9th Track and Field Championships. Coach Steve SanAntonio said, “The WolfPacks brought their A-Game, their months of preparation was showcased this weekend”. “Our coaching staff is so proud of the runners new gained confidence and maturity developed over the course of the season, the sky is the limit for them, said Coach SanAntonio”.

Top 5 placers in each event qualify for the Nationals and get medals as well. Early Saturday morning, Elsa Spoor, started the field events in the girls 11-12 age-group high jump. She bounced back strong from a foot injury incurred earlier in the season and took gold with an impressive jump of 4 feet 11 inches, qualifying for the nationals.  

Kicking off the running events, Emma SanAntonio competed in the girls 11-12 age-group 3000 meters. She started with a conservative pace and worked her way up to 5th place, a new personal best by 2 seconds, qualifying for the nationals with a 5th place medal in a time of 12:43.64.

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Tom Hunt was very impressive in his first track season, capping it off with high placings at the regionals. Tom shook off the rust after a month of not competing and placed 3rd in the 3000 meter event. He came back the following day and ran a personal best by 3 seconds in the boys 11-12 age-group 1500 meter in 5:05 placing 3rd qualifying for the nationals and medaling for both events.

Joe Frank and Chris Marinko battled in the 3000 meter boys 13-14 age-group. It was a blistering pace from the get-go. Joe narrowly missed the cut-off by placing 6th, but manage to get a 21 second personal best with a time of 10:39.98. What’s extraordinary about Joe is that earlier this year, his personal best for the 1500 meter was 5:20, and now he runs faster than that in the 3000 meter in doubling the distance. This is Joe’s first track season and what a future he will have. Chris ran hard to try to stay with the leaders, but today was not his day and hung in for 9th place in a time of 11:26.88. He will now take the time to prepare for Cross Country and will lead the WolfPack’s as team Captain.

Louis Abbey competed in the boys 8 and under 1500 meter and also experiencing his first track season. As the gun went off, Louis went with the leaders, and they exchanged leads lap by lap. As the 3 lead runners headed for the finish line, it was a battle for first and a great sprint ensued, Louis got the silver medal and a new personal best by a second in a time of 5:54. An hour later, Louis competed again in the 800 meter topping of the day with a bronze medal qualifying in both events for the nationals.

In the boys 9-10 1500 meter, Andrew Burkitt, Will Frank and Nicholas Frank represented well. The battle was on from the start of the gun. Each lap was fast and furious with various runners changing leads. In the final home stretch, the pack sprinted and Andrew finished 4th 5:33.61 and Will, in a blink of an eye, placed 5th in 5:33.68 to take final qualifying spots for the nationals. Nicholas (8 years old) youngest in the group came in a strong 7th 5:47.7, his future looks bright as he will own this age-group next year.

Caroline Mondelli and Rachel Williams competed in the girls 15-16 1500 meter and 800 meter in their first Regional Championships. The gun went off and girls were flying, Caroline’ battled for a top spot and got her bronze medal 5:21.83. In hot pursuit, Rachel competed to hold on for a top spot and medaled with 5th place, a time of 5:28.57, almost matching her personal best time. An hour later, Caroline and Rachel competed in the girls 15-16 800 meter. A demanding pace from the gun, Caroline hung on and placed 4th medaling in 2:33.61 and right behind was Rachel in 5th place medaling in 2:35.25. This Fall, Caroline will be heading to Governor Livingston High School and Rachel will be heading Watchung Hill High School with new found confidence and help lead their track team to success.

Rounding out our runner’s, Kyle Tierney competed in the boys 15-16 1500 meter. It was a fast pace and there was no letting up. Kyle was challenging and looking to seal a spot, as he rounded the final curve, a runner shot past him and Kyle placed 6th, just missing out on a medal and nationals. Kyle did earn a new personal best by 8 seconds with a time of 4:38.20. Kyle has improved his personal best by nearly 50 seconds in this event this season. Kyle didn’t stop there; he took a shot at the boys 15-16 800 meter. He blasted out like a cannonball as the gun went off, his first 400 was fast, in 64 seconds, he tried to hold on, but the 1500 event took the sting out of his legs and held on for 7th 2:17.96 and a new personal best, just missing a spot again. Kyle can now take this experience as a steppingstone and help lead New Providence High School track and Cross Country to new success.

 The official results link: http://niagara.usatf.org/Events/LiveResults.aspx


 High Jump 11-12 Division Girls

  1 Spoor, Elsa               05 WolfPack Track Club      1.50m    4-11.00                

3000 Meter Run 11-12 Division Girls

  5 San Antonio, Emma         05 WolfPack Track Club   12:43.64                 

 3000 Meter Run 11-12 Division Boys

  3 Hunt, Thomas              06 WolfPack Track Club   11:18.38                 

3000 Meter Run 13-14 Division Boys

  6 Frank, Joseph             04 WolfPack Track Club   10:39.98                  

  9 Marinko, Christopher      04 WolfPack Track Club   11:26.88                

 SUNDAY July 9th

  1500 Meter Run 8 & Under Division Boys

   2 Abbey, Louis              09 WolfPack Track Club    5:54.27                 

 1500 Meter Run 9-10 Division Boys

   4 Burkitt, Andrew           07 WolfPack Track Club    5:33.61                

   5 Frank, William            07 WolfPack Track Club    5:33.68       

   7 Frank, Nicholas           08 WolfPack Track Club    5:47.70                  

1500 Meter Run 11-12 Division Boys

  3 Hunt, Thomas              06 WolfPack Track Club    5:05.00                 

1500 Meter Run 15-16 Division Girls

  3 Mondelli, Caroline        02 WolfPack Track Club    5:21.83                 

  5 Williams, Rachel          02 WolfPack Track Club    5:28.57                 

1500 Meter Run 15-16 Division Boys

  6 Tierney, Kyle             02 WolfPack Track Club    4:38.20                 

800 Meter Run 8 & Under Division Boys

  3 Abbey, Louis              09 WolfPack Track Club    3:03.68                      

800 Meter Run 15-16 Division Girls

  4 Mondelli, Caroline        02 WolfPack Track Club    2:33.61                 

  5 Williams, Rachel          02 WolfPack Track Club    2:35.25                 

800 Meter Run 15-16 Division Boys

  7 Tierney, Kyle             02 WolfPack Track Club    2:17.96                 

The WolfPack Track Club sponsored by the BH PAL is a USATF certified club that serves hundreds of youth runners throughout the year. For more information you can contact the club at www.wolfpacktc.org or contact Coach Steve SanAntonio atwolfpacktrackclub@gmail.com.