Knights repeat as Central Jersey Group IV champions


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By Warren Rappleyea

Old Bridge High School’s indoor track and field team turned in a solid performance to win the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship Feb. 12 at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex in Toms River.

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The Knights easily bested Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) rival South Brunswick High School, which took second place, 60-40.5. The victory gives Old Bridge its second sectional title in as many years.

Rey Rivera had a dominant meet for the Knights. The junior set a pair of meet records in winning the 800- and 1,600-meter races. Rivera came from behind to cross the line in 4:19.64 and edge Justin Cornetta of Hunterdon Central Regional High School by nearly two seconds to win the 1,600-meter event. Rivera also played a key role in the fall when Old Bridge won the Group IV cross-country title. He also won the 800-meter crown at the Meet of Champions last spring.

In the 800, Rivera’s time of 1:54.98 — the second fastest time in state sectional history — bested Trenton Central High School’s Deng Mu by more than two seconds.

“Rey had an outstanding meet,” Old Bridge coach Jack Campbell said. “He’s been getting better and better all season. But it was a good team effort as well. A lot of our guys made important contributions.”

Rivera also combined with Gerard D’Ambrosio, Scott Belton and Sean Hobson to win the distance medley in 10:27.61 — the third fastest time in the country this winter, according to Campbell. Finally, Rivera teamed with Mike Del Vecchio, Chris Rampino, and Kenny Brakoh to win the sprint medley relay.

D’Ambrosio took second place at 3,200 meters and was also a member of the 4×800 foursome that took second place. Old Bridge also won the 4×400 relay, as Del Vecchio, Rampino, Brakoh and Chris Gilbert combined for a time of 3:26.66.

The Knights also scored in the shot put. Brandon Davis was second with a 57-2 mark, and Dominic Walton was right behind in third place at 55-8½.

Earlier in the season, Old Bridge also edged South Brunswick to win the Group IV Relays for the second successive year after finishing second by just two points to the Vikings in the GMC meet.

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