The Nottingham track & field team gather around their plaque after winning the boys Mercer County Track & Field championship at Steinert May 11. The Stars collected four gold medals en route to victory (Photo courtesy of Curtis Whittle).
May 14: Indoors or out, it’s safe to say who rules Mercer County when it comes to boys track & field.
The Nottingham High boys team claimed the Mercer County Championship meet at Steinert on Saturday, May 11, by amassing 88 points. The Northstars edged West Windsor-Plainsboro North by four, giving them a spring MCT title to go along with their winter crown.
Short-handed Hamilton West finished fourth with 68-1/2 points, while Steinert was eighth with 29. The three schools totaled 8 gold medals between the boys and girls teams. Hamilton had a nice showing in the girls meet, finishing fourth with 55 points.
“We won the county championship in what I think is the best county for track and field in New Jersey,” Nottingham coach Jon “Big Dawg” Adams said. “There was outstanding competition between us, Hamilton West, Steinert, West Windsor North and Princeton.”
The Stars grabbed four gold medals, as Louie Akpadago ran the fastest time in the state in 10.68 to win the 100; freshman Shamali Whittle won the 200 bye edging teammate Dana Ridley in a time of 21.75; Alix Oge claimed the 110 high hurdles in 14.31 and – proving the Stars are not just sprinters – senior Dylan John took the javelin with a throw of 158-7.
And while the gold medals were nice, Nottingham was going to need more than that to win the title, and they got it from a variety of guys.
Taking second was Ridley (200), Whittle (110 hurdles) and the 4×100 team (Akpadago, Javon Jenkins, Judeson Mirac and Ridley).
“We had hoped to lower our state best time in the 4×100 relay but we had two injuries so we decided to rest two of our top guys during that one,” Adams said.
Finishing fourth were Geordany Alexis (shot), Kemoy Pink (pole vault), Ridley (100) and the 4×400 relay team of Erik Patrone, Emilio Selesnick, Ridley and Jalen Corbin.
Zion Bethea took fifth in the javelin, while claiming sixth were Cory Jean-Louis (pole vault), Akpadago (200), Whittle (400 hurdles), Javon Jenkins (100) and the 4×800 team of Patrone, Wildjeff Fileus, Christopher Negron and Jahmere Fulmore.
“Mercer has some outstanding runners, jumpers and throwers and we feel very good about our young team for the future; we only graduate two that are scorers,” Adams said. “We now turn our attention to Central Jersey Group Three and a chance to compete against the shore kids as well as many of our county’s finest.”
The Northstar girls had for place winners, as Bailey Kiernan took third in the triple jump, Brianna Radke was fifth in the long jump, Alicia Martin finished sixth in discus and Isabelle Miranda was sixth in the 100 hurdles.
Hamilton’s boys had hopes of pushing Nottingham for the title but with its top thrower out injured and several other athletes unable to attend, “it was just a bad day to win counties,” according to coach Danielle Grady.
But the boys and girls both had some highlights. Richmond Shasha (45-4-3/4) and DeAngelo Hill finished 1-2 in the triple jump while Ahmad White was fourth.
Javon Porter took second in the 100 and qualified for nationals with a personal best time of 10.75. That puts Porter in three relays and an individual event at nationals. The senior also has a shot at nationals in the 200, where he finished third at MCTs.
Other second-place finishers were Ahmad White (long jump) and Tobias Prall (javelin), while finishing third were Valentin Augustin (400 hurdles) and Shasha (long jump),
Taking fifth were White (high jump) and the 4×100 team of Kevin Boswell, Bryon Hearst, Porter and Brandon Muir. Augustin set a PR of 14.92 finishing sixth in the 100 hurdles.
For the girls, Rider-bound Isjae Wright won the triple jump and qualified for nationals with a mark of 38-5. The throws team took two silver medals behind Tajanae Wrenn (discus) and Amanda Harding in (javelin).
The 4×100 team of Badeen Abdel-Gleil, Isabella Brewer, Mikayla Hall and Wright finished third, as did Toure Malama (high jump) and Wright (long jump). Mary Ruble took fourth in the pole vault, while Isabella Brewer was fifth in the 200.
“Individually, we had some great performances,” Grady said.
Steinert also had some big efforts, most notably by Terris Burton. The senior won the 400 intermediate hurdles gold medal in a time of 54.56, while teaming with Rohan Ming, Myles Pulley and Robert Huege to take the 4×400 title in 3:23.98.
In the throws, Savion Cooper took second in the boys shot, while Emily “The Diz Kid” Diszler was third in the discus and fourth in the shot for the girls. Myles Pulley took sixth in the boys 400.