MHS runner Stefan Urquidi hands off the relay baton to Grant Burroughs during an indoor relay race earlier this season.
courtesy of Kelly Ferguson/MHS Track & Field

by Andrew Garda

garda@MontclairLocal.news

The Montclair High School indoor track and field teams have been very good during this winter’s indoor season, racking up a lot of medals as they work their way toward the spring season of track and field.

The two biggest events for the Mounties in 2018 thus far were the Essex County Indoor Relays on Jan. 3 and the Stanner Games this past weekend.

The Mountie girls had an outstanding showing in the relays, tying Columbia with 40 points to share second place. They were only 8 points behind West Orange, which took first. Among the highlights of the day were the girls victory in the 4×800-meter and distance relays as well as third place finishes in the 1600 sprint medley and the 4×51.5-meter shuttle hurdle.

The 4×800 team was composed of Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel, Elizabeth Cummings, Matilda Ferguson and Meghan Hessler. The same group with Claire Ellis replacing Ferguson ran the 1600.

The girls also dominated in the shot put, led as always by Shelby Bigsby’s first place finish. Bigsby, who verbally committed to the University of Albany just before Christmas, set the SEC Conference Championship record with the 44”03 throw, which gave her first place.

The boys struggled a bit during the competition, ending up ninth.

They did finish fourth in the distance medley with a time of 11:15.62. The group of Oliver Stordahl, Sebastian and Stefan Urquidi, and Aiden Ward all ran well during cross-country season, so their success at the relays should be no surprise.

Reshawn Richards finished fifth in the shot put, and the team finished fourth overall in the event.

Along with the present, the future looks bright as well. Both the boys and girls freshman teams competed at the event and performed well.

The Mounties would have some strong showings in the Stanner Games as well.

Nyjah Young-Bey finished sixth in the first heat of the 55-meter, then fourth in heat number three. Young-Bey also placed sixth in the 300-meter. Meghan Hessler would finish eighth in the 1600-meter and Lalia Webb took sixth in the shot put.

For the boys, Truman Williams took second in the 55 meter and the team also placed third in the Sprint Medley Relay.

The team now heads to compete in the State Relays this Thursday and Friday before setting their sights on the County Championships on Monday, Jan. 22, at Ocean Breeze.

Coach Sophia Kenny is excited by the team’s progress and thinks their prospects are good heading into the next two meets.

“We’re hoping to make some noise and do well at the County and State levels,” she said via email.