By Diana Bilotta, Sports Editor
Throughout the spring season, the track & field team has been breaking school records, winning events at varsity competitions and paving a successful path for years to come. This dedicated team of 19 students, eight sophomores and 11 freshmen, wasted no time putting Trinity Hall in the spotlight of the track and field scene.
“I felt we put together a team of committed girls who were willing to work hard,” assistant coach Maria Crowley said. “We have a lot of girls who are ranked top 20 in major events, so we are very proud.”
After a successful regular season, the Monarchs headed into post-season competition with confidence despite being the new kids on the block. The team competed in the Non-Public B Sectionals meet on May 22 in Egg Harbor Township, where five runners advanced to the Non-Public B Groups meet. Freshman Gina Rienzo qualified for Groups due to her fourth place finish in the 400 meter dash, while the relay team of freshman Cate Toomey and sophomores Caroline Gmelich, Pallavi Kawatra and Isabelle Pabon won the 4×800 relay to advance to Groups and earn the school’s first State Sectionals title.
“At sectionals, I was honestly beyond nervous. The competition looked tough, but we kept our heads high. When we were on the track, everything changed,” said Kawatra, who ran the anchor leg. “The girls ran to their fullest ability, and I got the baton in first. It was such an amazing race, and we were so proud.”
“Our win at sectionals was a total group effort. Everyone had fun and put their best race on the line,” Gmelich said. “I had high hopes of winning but that was just a goal in the back of my mind. We didn’t want to get too cocky but we were confident in our abilities. We all had fun and didn’t feel any pressure.”
The 4×800 relay runners returned to Egg Harbor Township High School on May 30 to compete in the Non-Public B Groups competition, where their second place finish earned them a ticket to the NJ Meet of Champions on June 3 at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield. The young relay team improved 1.5 seconds from their seed time to finish 35th out of 38 teams with a time of 10:13.88.
“I thought we would’ve placed better, but it was still a great opportunity and it was a lot of fun,” Toomey said.
Crowley and head coach Tony Avalone are pleased with this season’s success but, like any successful coach, they are already looking ahead. “As for next year, our goal is always improvement, commitments to practice, and being ready to run,” Crowley said.