South Succeeds at MCT


Bobby Lussier, Staff Writer

It has been a long spring season for both the boys and girls track teams. After taking over the programs last year following the departure of longtime Coach Gomolka, Coach Bill Clifton has tried to instill a new type of team chemistry within the runners.  This season, Coach Clifton decided to merged practices between both the male and female the runners, and it has really instilled a new found sense of unity on the team. Sophomore distance runner Hunter Davey states that “even though the exact minutes and seconds are different, the goal is the same: improve, improve, improve.” With that mentality in mind, both teams have striven to push their fellow athletes, and the new paradigm has begun to pay dividend on the stat sheets.

At last weeks Monmouth County Tournament, which signals the beginning of the championship leg of the season, South’s athletes turned in several remarkable performances.  One which stands out above all the rest is Carissa Gray’s time of 64.73 seconds in the 400 meter hurdles, which was good enough for  her to earn county championship. The feat of county champion has not been accomplished by an Eagle in 10 years.

Another amazing Eagle performance was one by freshman Julia Valkos, in which she broke the school record for triple jump with a jump of 36 feet 3.5 inches. We are proud to say that a new distance will be posted on the girls’ track records plaque in our main hallway. Valkos’s efforts were also good enough for 4th place in the county, and with three years in her future, she has a lot of opportunity for success in events to come. Other impressive Eagle displays include a 3rd place finish by Brianna Haspel in the 800 meter for the girls, and a 4th place finish from Eli Smith in the 100 meter for the boys. The Eagles also brought home medals from Cassidy Weimer in the 1600 meter and the 4 by 400 meter relay team for the girls, and James Rimmele in the 3200 meter for the boys.

At this weekends Shore Conference Tournament, Senior Eli Smith broke the South school record fore the 200 meter race, and Junior Cassidy Weimer meddled in the 1600 meter.

With the sectional championships still to come, and the Meet of Champions, many of South’s outstanding athletes still have goals to accomplish. Says Senior Carissa Gray, “Winning the MCT was a huge step for me as we come into the final meets of the season.Placing second in the SCT just gave me more motivation to claim a sectional title and hopefully earn a spot in the Meet of Champions. “

Regardless of the outcomes in these final meets, it is safe to say that this years track teams have left an indelible mark upon the program, and that the future is sure to hold a tremendous amount of success for the Eagles.