Dana Ridley finished sixth in the 55 meters at Sunday’s Central Jersey Group III meet, and was one of seven Nottingham boys to advance in individual events to next weekend’s state meet (Photo by Wes “The Media Mogul” Kirkpatrick).
By Rich Fisher
Feb. 10: The march to the indoor Meet of Champions got underway today, and all three Hamilton Township boys track & field teams have members who successfully took the first step, as do the Hamilton West girls.
Highlighted by first-place finishes from Nottingham’s Louis Akpadago and Alix Oge and Steinert’s Terris Burton, 13 male athletes had top-six finishes in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III meet at the Bennett Center in Toms River; and will advance to the Group III state meet this Friday and Saturday. .
Nottingham advanced seven, Hamilton four and Steinert two, with the Northstars taking second in the team standings to West Windsor-Plainsboro North, Hamilton finished sixth and Steinert eight out of 15 teams.
The Hamilton girls also had a strong showing, as five athletes are moving on.
Nottingham had its usual strong showing in the sprints and hurdles, as Akpadago won the 55 meters in 6.42 while Dana Ridley finished sixth (6.68) in the same event. Oge continued his stellar winter, winning the 55 hurdles in 7.59, while freshman Shamali Whittle was second (7.62) and Kernley Charles took sixth (8.27).
The 4×400 relay team (runners were not available) took second in 3:34.72, just edged out by Woodbridge (3:34.28). Geordany Alexis grabbed fourth in the shot with a throw of 42-8 and Cory Louis-Jean was sixth in the pole vault (9-0)
After finishing second in the 400 meters at last year’s sectionals, Burton grabbed the gold this year with a run of 51.32. The Spartans’ Matt Coulanges fourth in the high jump (6-0). The 2nd-through-4th place jumpers all had the same mark and the finish came down to fewer jumps.
Hamilton’s Javon Porter and Brandon Muri finished 2-4 in the 55 meters as Porter ran a 6.45 and Muir a 6.64. Coupled with Nottingham, that gave the township four of the top six finishers in the 55. Valentin Augustin was fourth in the 55 hurdles (8.00), and Krishi Jadoo was fifth in the pole vault (9-0), beating out Jean-Louis on fewer attempts.
The Hornet girls took third and fifth in the shot put as Gloria Owusu threw 33-4.25 and Tajanae Wrenn tossed one 33-3.5. Mary Ruble took fifth in the pole vault (8-6), while sixth-place finishes came from Malama Toure in the high jump (4-8) and Isabella Brewer in the 400 (1:02.72).