Old Bridge captures Group IV track championship

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By Warren Rappleyea

Old Bridge High School’s boys track and field team edged East Orange Campus High School by just two points June 3 to win the NJSIAA Group IV championship at Egg Harbor Township High School.

The Knights, led by junior Rey Rivera, won two events and placed second in two others and ended up with 50 total points to win the meet. Rivera was outstanding throughout despite missing the bulk of the spring campaign with an injury.

The junior continued his dominance at 800 meters, which he won at the indoor Meet of Champions (MOC) as well as the spring MOC a year ago. Rivera crossed the line first in Egg Harbor Township with a time of 1:50.76. He then combined with Gerard D’Ambrosio, Scott Belton and Arthur Dzieniszewski to win the 4×800 relay in 7:45.21.

Rivera also helped the 4×400 relay team, which also included Ken Brakoh, Mike Delvecchio and Chris Gilbert, to a second-place finish (3:18.99).

Old Bridge received a stellar meet and important points from Brandon Davis, who finished second in the shot put (56-11) and fourth in both the javelin (171-9) and the discus (164-5). Dominic Walton was third in the shot put (55-5¼) and 11th in the discus (147).

The meet was also the last for Old Bridge assistant coach Rich Gebaurer, who is retiring. Gebaurer, who led the cross-country team to a group championship of its own in the fall, has been both a head and assistant coach at Old Bridge for more than 30 years.

For neighboring Sayreville War Memorial High School, Benjamin Aidoo stood out. He finished third in the 110 hurdles (14.25) and fifth in the 100 dash (10.95).

The top six finishers in each event moved on to the MOC, which was set for June 8. Other strong showings by Old Bridge athletes included Christian Wiedman taking 10th place in the 400 hurdles (55.72), D’Ambrosio finishing 11th at 3,200 (9:41.92), Brakoh taking 13th at 400 (49.60) and Anthony Ragussa finishing 18th in the javelin (144-4).

Old Bridge’s strong performance in the Group IV meet comes after a third-place showing in the Central Jersey, Group IV meet at Hillsborough High School, where the Knights finished behind Franklin High School and South Brunswick High School, which bested the Knights to win the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) championships in mid-May.

Rivera won the 800 in 1:52.9 and was a member of the 4×800 team that brought home a gold medal (7:50.89), as well as the second-place 4×400 team (3:18.71). Davis took second place in both the discus (165-10) and the shot put (54-7½) and finished third in the javelin (162-9), while Walton took fourth in the discus (157-4) and sixth in the shot put (50-3½). D’Ambrosio was fourth at 3,200 (9:36.54), Wiedman took fourth in the 400 hurdles (56.62) and Ragussa finished fourth in the javelin (161-6).