Barnegat Leader

Barnegat Track and Field Laden With Talented Upperclassmen

Spring Sports Preview
Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Senior Nico Adorno is Barnegat’s premier sprinter and should be a contender for several events at this spring’s NJSIAA sectional and group meets.

When the track and field season culminates with the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on June 9, the Barnegat boys and girls teams expect to represented. At least that’s the feeling following last season.

“We’re a proven program now,” said boys coach Joe Doviak. “We finish at or near the top in B South, and have had athletes competing at the championship level in a variety of events, both individually and relays, for years. We expect to do that again this season.”

Of course, with the boys, the first athlete who should come to mind is their star sprinter, senior Nico Adorno, who last week signed with the University of Rhode Island. Adorno has been a standout in all the sprint events during both the indoor and outdoor seasons since his sophomore year, and he’s now the leader of the team.

But the sprinting crew isn’t all about Adorno. Junior Dewight Smith-Fernandez and sophomores Ralph Cruz and Justin Gomez combine with Adorno to make up one of the better sprint teams in the Shore Conference as well as South Jersey, and there’s a great chance they will end up back in the Meet of Champions. Senior Elijah Chesney and junior Aidan Tai also add depth.

Beyond the sprinters, the Bengals have depth in a few more spots, particularly with the jumping and throwing crews. Among the athletes expected to contribute big efforts this spring are seniors Nick Kovaly, Juan Abraham and Levin Musawa; juniors Sean Morris and Brian Ewan; and sophomore Devyn DeFilipo. Senior Joe Herod will be one of the team’s primary hurdlers and a thrower. Junior Gareth Aguilar will be one of the Bengals’ distance guys.

Adding to the depth will be many prominent newcomers to the team, including seniors Brandon Andrews (throws) and Abdoulaye Diagne (throws/jumps); juniors Naim Ahmar Dakno (throws), Eugene Fleming (hurdles), Anthony Grimes (throws) and Colby Pearson (distance/jumps); and sophomores Ryan Fisher (sprints), Logan Germano (distance), Joshua Hutton (distance), Griffin Jackstadt (throws) and Sean Toner (sprints). Freshmen Davon Archer, Robert Armstrong, Laurence Davis, Peter Dizon, Valentino Iorio and Gavin Wheeler expect to contribute in a variety of ways.

“We’re excited about this season,” Doviak said. “We’re young in some areas, but experienced and very talented in others. Our strengths are the sprints and relays, triple and high jumps, and javelin.”

Girls coach Rebecca Kane is equally excited about her squad, and it should be a viable team within the Shore Conference Class B South division this spring. Heading into the week, the Bengals have started off 2-1.

“We’re extremely excited to see the drive, willingness and effort these girls have demonstrated during the first few weeks,” Kane said. “We have a very strong seniors class, and they’re ready to use their expertise and talent to leave their final mark on the Barnegat program. This group has a lot of heart.”

The heart of the Barnegat crew certainly is in its seniors, led by Ginalee Erskine, Sara Wells and Kylie Picaro. Wells and Erskine are the big throwers of the bunch, both climbing to new heights during last year’s outdoor season, and Wells, particularly, really turning it up during this past indoor season. Picaro is one of the better jumpers in the county.

Haley Soccodato (distance), Lindsay Shugar (distance), Rebekah Santos (sprints) and Kalyn Kellner (sprints) are the other seniors who have returned for their final seasons and should be solid contributors. Adding some more pop to the Bengals’ lineup are juniors Sydney Boyer (hurdles/jumps/throws), Sam Soccodato, Reannah Cooper (sprints), Haley Kozemko (distance/hurdles) and Neena Singh (sprints/jumps); and sophomores Kayla Carter (sprints), Isabella Concepcion (distance) and Zaniyah Harris (throws).

This season’s newcomers include sophomore Quamora Proctor (throws) and freshmen Jillian Jankowski (sprints/jumps), Gabriela Kovaly (distance), Jadelyn Rodriguez (distance/hurdles), Sydney Dizon (jumps/hurdles) and Kyzmerah Joshua (sprints/jumps).

In a 78-53 loss to Pinelands on April 14, Carter swiped first in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Erskine grabbed first in the discus and Jankowski took the top spot in the long jump. Boyer and Cooper were second and third, respectively, in the 100-meter hurdles, and Harris took second in both the shot put and discus. Erskine also was second in the javelin and high jump, and Singh was second in the triple jump.

David Biggy

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