The 2020 ECADA Indoor Track & Field Champion Mounties pose with their first ECADA first place trophy in 22 years.

by Andrew Garda

The Montclair High School indoor track and field teams swept the team rankings at the Essex County Track and Field Individual Championships, held on Staten Island on Feb. 19, 2020.

For the Mountie boys, this was the first time since Jan. 31, 1998 that they had taken the title. While the boys were notching their first title in 22 years, the girls were finishing a season sweep of Essex County Meets with wins in the conference, county relays and now the county individual title. This only the second time in the programs history they have achieved that distinction. It was also the second year in a row they took the county individual title.

“The entire night was a dog fight between [Montclair], Irvington, St. Benedicts and Seton Hall Prep,” coach Daryl Washington wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “But in the end the Mountie boys came out on top out-scoring IrvingtonĀ  by fifteen [points] and St. Benedict’s/Seton Hall Prep by twenty.”

Washington was impressed with the efforts of both teams both Wednesday night and throughout the season, but he and the team remain focused for the sectional championships on Saturday, Feb. 22, and hopefully the Meet of Champions on March 8.

Among the champions for the girls were Stephanie Webb in the 200 meter dash, Rukiya Holland-Thomas in the 400m,Ā  Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel in both the 800m and 1600m, Lola Scarpone in the 3200m and the girls 4×400 relay team of Ella McAdams, Webb, Kiya Lawson, Rukiya Holland-Thomas.

The 2020 ECADA Indoor Track & Field Champion girls pose after successfully defending their 2019 title.

Other key finishes were by Lawson (2nd in the 200m and 4th in the 400m), McAdams (2nd in the 800M), Violet Ross (3rd in the 1600m), Meghan O’Brien (4th in the 1600m, 3rd in the 3200m), Ta’drea Price (4th, shotput), and Diamond Clark (5th, shotput).

For the boys, Jessie Legister led the way in the 400m, while Oscar Counsell won the 800m and 1600m. Aidan Ward took first in the 3200m and the boys 4×400 relay team of Truman Williams, Nathan Bryan, Nathan Collins, Legister took first in their race.

Other key finishes included Williams (5th in the 55m and 6th in the 200m), Bryan (7th in the 200m), Lucas Dia (4th in the 3200m) and Jacob Schmeltz (5th in the 3200m).

“Both teams left every ounce of their beings on the track and will be gearing up for the first round of NJSIAA State competition this Saturday,” Washington wrote.