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Vikings’ girls capture sectional indoor track championship

By Warren Rappleyea

It was a strong week for South Brunswick High School indoor track and field as the girls team won the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV meet and the Vikings’ boys came in second.

South Brunswick’s girls won three events and had 12 athletes contribute to the scoring as the Lady Vikings piled up 74 points — a meet record — to easily best second-place Franklin High School, which finished with 47.5 points.

Desirae Osley ran a time of 58.71 to win the 400-meter race — her second indoor title — and anchored the 4×400 relay team that crossed the line first in 4:07.93. Brianna Araque, Latisha Witherspoon and Chloe Hypolite are the other members, and they gave South Brunswick its first indoor sectional championship in that event. Osley also scored points with a fourth-place finish in the 55-meter race.

In the pole vault it came down to a jump-off between two Lady Vikings, Daniella Izzo and Maggie Kaplan. Izzo edged her teammate by jumping 9-9 to take first-place honors. Essence Baker won a pair of medals, taking third in the 800-meter race and finishing fourth at 400 meters.

“It was an excellent team effort. It’s always important to have a lot of athletes pick up points,” said coach Stefan Moorhead, who also coaches South Brunswick’s boys team. “You want to win events, but every point counts and depth is really the key to winning.”

Nicole Fenske was third at 3,200 meters, running 11:34.73 to post the fourth fastest time in team history. Miranda Irizarry took third place in the shot put and Courteney Campbell was third in the high jump. Other medal winners included Chantel Osley and Ominay Robertson, who finished fifth in the 800 and 55 hurdles, respectively.

North Brunswick Township High School’s Shelby Francis finished second in the 55 hurdles.

The boys team, meanwhile, compiled 40.5 points to take second place behind Old Bridge High School’s 60points, thanks in part to strong performances in the pole vault and shot put. Nic Botett won the shot put with a thrilling showing that took him from third place to first to win with a total distance of 57-7 to set a meet record. Ajay Sindhu took fourth place and Sayvon Jarrett was sixth for the Vikings.

Issa Feknaus brought home the gold medal with a personal best 12-6 in the pole vault. Martin James was fourth and Spencer Roe finished in sixth place.

Feknaus went on to add a second-place showing in the high jump, clearing 6-2. On the track, Ryan Budhu placed fifth in the 1600-meter race and Jared Fisher took fifth at 800 meters to round out the scoring for South Brunswick.

Basketball

On the hardwood, South Brunswick’s boys basketball team bounced back from just its third loss of the season to best Newark Collegiate Academy, 69-46, Feb. 13, when Eric Savage canned four 3-pointers on the way to a 41-point might. Michael Ugarte added 12 points in the victory, enabling the Vikings to head into the upcoming Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament on a high note. South Brunswick is 17-3, with its two other losses coming against Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen.

The Vikings were coming off an 81-68 loss to East Brunswick High School Feb. 11, despite 26 points from Savage and 16 points from Ugarte. A 25-13 run in the third quarter gave the Bears an 18-point lead and proved to be too much for South Brunswick to overcome in the final quarter.

Earlier in the week, the Vikings downed Central Jersey College Prep Charter School, 72-19, with Savage again leading the way, this time with 18 points. Isaiah Franklin added 11 points and Ugarte had 10 points.

South Brunswick’s girls basketball team has won seven games in a row as it prepares for the GMC Tournament. The Lady Vikings (15-5) downed Spotswood High School, 41-24, Feb. 13, as Amber Brown tallied 19 points and Natalia Louhisdon connected for 14 points.

Brown put up 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 50-42 win over East Brunswick Feb. 11. South Brunswick jumped out to a 15-7 lead in the first quarter and never really looked back. Louhisdon added 12 points in the win.

Gillian Chambres led the way Feb. 8 with 14 points in a 59-38 victory against Lawrence High School. Louhisdon and Brown added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

North Brunswick’s girls are 6-15 following a 26-13 loss to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North Feb. 11 in a defensive battle. Alex Walker topped the Raiders with six points. On Feb. 9, North Brunswick fell to Sayreville War Memorial High School, 50-34. Kayle Scher scored eight points to lead the Raiders, while Walker added six points and Samantha Mehalick hauled in 10 rebounds.

The Raiders’ boys team fell to 5-15 after a 69-44 loss to Lincoln High School Feb. 11. Pranay Bhandare scored 15 points and Francis Omowole added 13 points for North Brunswick. Omowole also posted 16 points in a 74-62 loss to Old Bridge Feb. 9, as Bhandare and Eric Reardon contributed 17 and 14 points, respectively.

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