Boys Varsity Track and Field
Game Summaries & Headlines.
HADDONFIELD — The home team reigned supreme on Thursday.
At the 27th Annual Haddonfield Invitational, the Bulldawgs’ boys’ team stole the spotlight. It took home five gold medals, the most of any team on the boys’ side, and provided a great tuneup for the final stretch of the season.
“The guys always get excited for this meet because it’s in front of their fans, their family and everyone from town comes in,” Haddonfield coach Brian Makinson said. “It means a lot to these guys to be the Haddonfield Invitational champion."
Of the five first-place finishes for the Bulldawgs, two belonged to the Outstanding Boys’ Track Athlete of the Meet Luke Colehower. The freshman grabbed gold in the 200-meter dash in a school-record time of 22.27 seconds. He also ran the first leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay and took bronze in the 100.
Makinson praised the work ethic of his young runner and spoke highly of the talent he possesses. But Colehower attributed all of his success to Makinson and his other coaches prepping him for meets the absolute best they can.
“It shows that we have some really well-rounded coaches in our program,” he said. “They help us become the best of the best. … They put all of their heart, guts, sweat, blood and everything they’ve got into helping this program become the best it can.”
Haddonfield took first and second place in the boys javelin — Jake Curran (163-07) and Albert Pera (157-07) — and took second and third place in the 1,600 as Colin Gallagher and Austin Stoner ran the race in 4:42.65 and 4:25.99, respectively.
The Bulldawgs also finished first and third in the boys’ ,3200, as well as third in the boys' 4x100 relay. Greg Pelose’s first-place time of 9:19.88 in the 3,200 was not only a personal record, but also one of fastest time in South Jersey this season, earning him the Leo Castle Outstanding Performer of the Meet award.
On the girls’ side, Sterling dominated much like it did at the Camden County Championships last Saturday. The Silver Knights broke three meet records at the Invitational and finished with six gold medals.
With sectionals kicking off next Friday, Sterling will likely be one of the favorites in South Group 2 thanks to its strong performances as of late.
“We’ve built a culture where the girls enjoy competing, enjoy being at practice with each other, and they push each other,” Sterling coach Jeff McIlvaine said. “They all want to do better. … As a coach, that makes it easy. I just continue to make sure that culture is upheld.”
Janell Rowe set the new mark in the triple jump by only a half of an inch at 36-feet, 8.5-inches and Aliya Harrison broke an 11-year-old 200-meter record with a time of 25.07. For their efforts, they were named the Outstanding Girls’ Field and Track Performers, respectively.
Jordan Wallace, who was awarded the Bill Vogel Outstanding Performer Trophy, also set a meet record in the discus with a throw of 131-4. McIlvaine called the senior a “truly gifted athlete” for her ability to excel not only in field events but in her main sport of basketball.
“It feels really special, especially because this is not my first sport. It’s something I do for fun,” she said. “Just to know that you’re that talented and out here breaking records in your second sport, it makes you feel really good about yourself.”
In the 1,600, Haddon Township swept both sides as Jake Dinnerman ran a 4:22.78 for boys while Annika Merkh ran a 5:09.77 for the girls. Not to be out done, Haddonfield swept the 800 Meter run with Derek Gess (1:58.29) and Kaitlyn Bonnet (2:19.32) grabbing gold.