Winter Track Team Hands the Relay Baton Forward

By Grace Kenney, Layout Editor

The winter track team, coached by Tony Avallone and Maria Crowley, is off to an exciting start, with veterans and newcomers composing the team in its fourth indoor season.  The snow and freezing temperatures have not stopped the team from training, and with practices beginning in mid-November, the season is well underway.

The Monarchs made a strong impression when they traveled to the Toms River Bubble to compete in the Egg Club Invitational on Dec. 22.  Seniors Cate Toomey, Lexi Salerno and Gina Rienzo along with sophomore Caroline Meany earned first place in the varsity distance medley relay, just missing the school record with a time of 13:28.47.

The Monarchs then traveled to the New York Armory on Dec. 28 to compete in the prestigious NJCTC Relays.  The varsity 4×400 relay of junior Hannah Reynolds, Salerno, Toomey, and Rienzo placed fifth with a time of 4:21.60, and the 4×800 of sophomores Olivia Almeida, Logan Dziadzio and Meany, and freshman Ally Lawson took sixth place with a time of 10:54.30.  

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The 4×200 meter relay team of Olivia D., Ryen M., Hannah R., and Gabriella S. earned silver medals at the NJSAA Non-Public B Group Championships on Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of Maria Crowley)

Returning to the Toms River Bubble on Jan. 7, the team competed in the Monmouth County Relays where sophomore Ryen Miller joined Reynolds, Rienzo and Salerno to crush the school record by 12 seconds in the sprint medley relay in a time of 4:33.68.

Less than a week later, the team was back at the Bubble on Jan. 12 for the Monmouth County Championships to compete in an array of events, including the 400m, 1600m, and 3200m. Salerno, who competed in the 800, placed 6th overall in the county, earning a medal and setting a new school record of 2.26.61.

The runners collected more hardware at the NJSIAA Non-Public B Group Championships on Jan. 19, where they took fourth place overall.  The 4×800 relay (Rienzo, Almeida, sophomore Morgan Feiler and senior Anna Barnett) and the 4×200 relay (senior Olivia DeNicola, Miller, Reynolds and freshman Gabriella Sorrentino) both brought home the silver while the distance medley relay of Toomey, Rienzo, Salerno and Meany took fourth.

“The season is going very well. School records have been shattered, and the best is yet to come,” Avallone said.

Captains Reynolds and Salerno are also excited to see the team’s success grow. “There is so much talent on the team, and it is so exciting to watch everyone compete, whether it be a freshman running her first race ever or a senior breaking her own PR,” said Reynolds.

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