WEST WINDSOR: South girls roll to county track crown

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
The West Windsor-Plainsboro High South girls showed just how dominating they can be on the track as they ran away with the team title at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday.
The Pirates finished first with 127 points to easily outdistance second place Lawrence, which finished with 84 points. Princeton was fourth, WW-P North was 13th and Stuart Country Day finished 16th.
The Pirates won six events, as Kathryn Schoenauer led the way with three individual wins. The senior won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.77, won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:04.63, and won the long jump at 17-feet, ½-inch. Senior Christina Rancan won the 1,600 meters in 5:05.42, won the 800 meters in 2:16.01, and was second in the 3,200 meters. The Pirates also won the 4×800.
“We headed into the meet a little worried,” WW-P South coach Todd Smith said. “Christina had sprained an ankle in gym class and that had us worried. And a couple days before the meet Kathryn was sick. So things looked a little grim heading into the competition on Saturday.
“Fortunately for us we have a lot of depth on the track and a lot of girls stepped up and came through. It didn’t go exactly as planned. A couple girls got injured during the meet. But it still ended with a positive result.”
The Pirates placed in the top six in multiple events. Edwina Gulama was second in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200 meters. Vivian Liao finished fourth in the 100 hurdles. Haley Rich was fifth in the 1,600 and Kelsey Kobus was sixth in the 1,600. Kavya Tummalapalli was third in the 800 meters. Tia Saade was sixth in the 800 meters. Alyssen Rivers was fourth in the javelin. Bernadette Cao was second in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. Maddie Strouse was sixth in the long jump.
The Pirates were second in both the 4×100 and the 4×400 relays.
“We lost Bernadette to a twisted ankle in the finals of the hurdles,” Smith said. “She was able to muscle out second in the long jump. But after that we didn’t want her ankle to get worse and we didn’t push it did. She did one triple jump and that was good enough for fifth place.
“Haley ran a great time in the mile and just cramped up after her race and we were not able to bring her back in the 800. I was really happy because we didn’t put any of our ‘big guns’ in the 4×8 and were still able to win it with three freshmen and a sophomore. We have to check the time but we think it is a meet record.”
For the Princeton girls, Jackie Patterson won the 400 meters in 57.37.The Little Tigers also won the 4×400 in 4:00.99 and were second in the 4×800.Lou Mialhe was third in the 1,600 and third in the 400-meter hurdles. Chloe Taylor was fifth in the 3,200. Jordan Vine was fifth in the 400. Noa Levy was sixth in the high jump.
“Jackie Patterson was the highlight of the day,” Princeton associate head coach Ben Samara said. “I have been doing this a long time and never saw a kick like that. She was in third place with 10 meters to go. I have watched the video 2,000 times and still cant figure out how she won the race. She was way aback and turned on the jets at 200 meters. At 100 she was still fourth and with a huge lean wins it. She has so much heart. I have never seen a kid that wants it as much as she wants it. She has that killer instinct.”
For WW-P North, Easter Rucci was second in the javelin and Saraeliza Moreno was sixth in the javelin. Katrina Beske was sixth in the pole vault.
On the boys side, Trenton scored 124 points to capture the boys title. Princeton was second with 78 points, while WW-P South finished third and WW-P North was fourth.
For Princeton, Alex Roth won the 3,200 meters in 9:34.09 and was third in the 1,600 meters Paul Brennan won the discus with a 148-foot, 8-inch effort and was second in the shot put. Theodore Tel won the long jump with a 21-3½ effort.
Nick Birnie was second in the pole vault. Will Hare was third in the 3,200. Cy Watsky was third in the 800 meters and Princeton was second in the 4×800.
“We were thrilled with it,” Samara said of the meet. “It was a really good meet. Second place for the guys was amazing. They really came out and did what they were expected to do. It was nice to see Theo Tel get a long jump title under his belt, He has worked so hard. He deserved to go out with a title. There always seemed to be that one guy right ahead of him. He was the only guy over 21 feet in the meet.
“Alex went out and tried to keep pace with (Tim) Bason in the mile and really did a good job of then ran out of gas a little at the end. He still had a big PR and showed a lot of guts in the race. And then he came back and won the two mile.”
The Little Tigers also had a great effort out of Brennan with a first and a second.
“He is a freshman and went 159 in a dual meet the Tuesday before and then came out and won a county title,” Samara said. “He is going to have a big future. He’s focused and a super hard worker. That whole family of brothers are hard workers. I remember Tim, who is at Dartmouth now, working hard and Paul is just like him. He has the competitive drive to be as good.”
For WW-P North, Kacper Rzempoluch won the pole vault at 13-feet, 6-inches.Miles Fye-moore of WW-P North was second in the 200 meters and fourth in the 100 meters. Matthew Santamaria was sixth in the 3,200 meters. CJ Markisz was third in the 400-meter hurdles. John Owens was second in the triple jump, third in the 400 meters and fifth in the long jump. Ted Yasson was sixth in the javelin. Jahvon Jackson was fifth in the shot put.
The Knights were second in the 4×100, fourth in the 4×400, and sixth in the 4×800
Bason of WW-P South won the 1,600 meters in 4:12.82 and was second in the 800 meters The Pirates also won the 4×400 with Bason, Gerard Grace, Xavier Smith and Dymtro Tymoyeyev. Xavier Smith of WW-P South was second in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 400-meter hurdles. Brendan O’Shea was sixth in the discus. A’Nan Bridgett was second in the long jump and fifth in the high jump. Jack Shirin was fourth in the pole vault. Jake Probasco was third in the shot put. South was third in the 4×800.
“Timmy’s mile was awesome,” Smith said. “He had that planned how he would run and went out and executed. We were happy with the boys with third place.” 