Sussex County athletes excel in moving on to Group 2 championships – New Jersey Herald

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Sussex County athletes excel in moving on to Group 2 championships – New Jersey Herald

WAYNE — Anthony Dvorsky got the baton in the North 1, Group 2 sectional championship 4x800 relay about 50 meters behind the River Dell anchor. But the

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WAYNE — Anthony Dvorsky got the baton in the North 1, Group 2 sectional championship 4×800 relay about 50 meters behind the River Dell anchor. But the Newton senior wasn’t thinking about whether he had a chance to make up the ground that separated the Braves from first place at the meet at Wayne Hills.

“I just locked in on him,’’ said Dvorsky. “I knew we were the No. 1 seed, and I wanted us to live up to that.’’

Dvorsky took off, running the first 800 split in 58.59 seconds for his first lap, only making up about 10 meters of the margin, but gaining confidence with every step.

“I knew I had a lot of room to make up, and when we came through the line to start the second (and last) lap I could see him slowing down,’’ said Dvorsky, who redoubled his efforts to make up ground.

The margin grew even shorter and with 100 meters to go, the goal came into view.

“When we got to the final 100 meters, I just kicked as hard as I could and beat him out,’’ said Dvorsky, who run his fastest 800 time ever (2:01.31) by more than three seconds to secure the win in 8:24.50.

The time also left Newton in position to medal at Friday’s Group 2 and 4 meet at Franklin H.S. and perhaps earn a bid to the Meet of Champions on June 19.

“It was amazing,’’ said Dvorsky, who hopes to run at New Jersey Institute of Technology in the fall. “The greatest rush I ever had was when I finished the race.

But Dvorsky wasn’t done. Twelve hours after winning the last race on the rain-delayed program, he was back at the first race of the Saturday program, his favorite, the 3,200 meters.

“Maybe I got five hours of sleep, my legs were sore because I wasn’t used to running as fast as I did in the 800, but this (the 3,200) is my event,’’ said Dvorsky, who had finished fifth in the 1,600 earlier Friday.

It wasn’t easy.

River Dell freshman Alex Saldana and Glen Rock junior Aidan Carroll pushed Dvorsky through the first 2,000 meters, but Dvorsky was able to get separation from Carroll on the sixth lap. But Saldana hung tough until 200 to go, when Dvorsky made his move.

“He gave me a run for my money,’’ said a happy Dvorsky, after pulling away to win by 10 meters in 9:56.82. “I was happy to come through today.’’

Walker’s clutch jump delivers gold

Sussex Tech’s Angel Walker came through late Friday as well.

The senior was sitting in third place with just two jumps to go, having jumped 41-3, nearly two feet behind Hawthorne’s Michael Palmer and Pascack Hills’ Sam Zayer, and more than a foot short of the Sussex Tech school record of 42-5 — Walker’s career goal.

Walker bounded down the runway with a good feeling.

“I felt fast running through before I even finished the jump,’’ he said. “Then when I landed I had that kind of feeling when you look back in the pit and wow it’s a lot more distance there than it normally is.’’

He was right. The tape measure read 44 feet, ½ inch, a school record and, more importantly, long enough to pass both Palmer and Zayer, who couldn’t duplicate the effort on their final two tries. Walker had a gold medal, a school record and the No. 4 seed in the Group 2 championships.

Ruvo’s basketball lessons translate to a winning jump

Leia Ruvo calls herself a basketball player.

And she’s a pretty good one, averaging about 10 points for her High Point team. And Ruvo brings a lot from basketball to track.

“The lessons it teaches about teamwork, reliability and letting your teammates support you and making sure you support them, that’s all part of it,’’ says Ruvo.

But Leia Ruvo is also a jumper — one of the best in the state — and the lessons she’s learned in basketball have helped her to a sectional triple jump title in track and spots in three events at the Group 2 meet.

“My favorite jump is the triple jump,’’ said Ruvo who set a personal best of 35-1¼ in winning the event. “I like how it’s hard and fast but that I’m in control of every phase.’’

But Ruvo also loves the high jump.

“It feels like there’s nothing holding you down.’’

Ruvo tied her personal best at 5-2 in the high jump but seemed to take as much joy in the third-place finish of teammate Mikayla Chiariello in the small event as Chiariello also jumped a personal best at 5 feet.

“She’s one of my best friends and I’m very proud of her,’’ said Ruvo. “When she cleared 5 feet today, she turned to me and said, ‘beat me,’ and she was happy when I did.’’

Seems like those basketball lessons have helped make Ruvo a pretty good jumper too.

Mercer says goodbye to Jersey with big win

Christopher Mercer gave himself a going away present in one of his final races, before he and his family relocate to Tennessee.

The 400 intermediate hurdler from Sussex Tech added a state sectional title to his Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex crown, handily beating the field with a personal best of 57.2 seconds.

“I expected to win,’’ Mercer said. “I didn’t have any doubt I would because why have any doubt if you think you can do something.’’

That positive attitude helped Mercer during a two-and-a-half hour weather delay, just before his race was scheduled to go off.

“I had something to eat (a ham and cheese sandwich) and relaxed a little,’’ said Mercer, who will study engineering at East Tennessee State next year. “We have groups next week, and we’ll see what happens. I just have to keep running faster.’’

Sussex County boys advancing to the group 2 state meet at Franklin included:

High Point: Logan Yanoff (6th, discus); William Condit (4th, javelin).

Jefferson: Dylan Stefans (5th, 800); Robert Lipchus-Wong, Jefferson (4th, shot; 2nd, discus).

Lenape Valley: Evan O’Connell (5th, 200).

Newton: Matt Freund (4th, 1,600); Sebastian Montalvo (5th, 3,200).

Sussex Tech: Walker (5th, long jump); 4-x-400 relay (5th).

Vernon: Zack Mountain (5th, 400); 4-x-400 relay (6th); 4-x-800 relay (5th).

Girls moving on:

High Point: Meredith Yaskovic (5th, 100; 4th, 200; 3rd, 400 hurdles); Rachel Mason (3rd, pole vault); 4-x-400 relay (6th).

Jefferson: Corinne Renshaw (4th, 800); 4-x-800 relay (4th).

Lenape Valley: Cassis Yappen (5th, 400 hurdles); Sophia Lombardo (4th, shot; 4th, discus).

Newton: Madison Latimer (2nd, 100; 2nd, 200; 1st, 400); Morgan Medunick (3rd, 100 hurdles); Dana Catalano (4th, javelin); 4-x-100 relay (4th); 4-x-400 relay (1st).

Sussex Tech: Molly Latincsics (6th, 1,600; 5th, 3,200); Cassie Hamilton (6th, high jump); Tia Croom (6th, long jump).

Vernon: Maggie Previglian (5th, high jump).

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