BY ANDREW GARDA
The Montclair High School track and field team may not have had the numbers other schools at the 2021 NJSIAA Groups 2 and 4 Championships, but any Mountie will tell you it’s quality, not quantity, that gets the job done.
So despite having just 15 athletes in total — six on the boys side and nine on the girls side — while most teams had 20 on each side, the Mounties still put up a great performance. Out of 37 teams, the MHS girls finished in 8th place overall in Group 4, while the boys finished in 9th.
Individually, the Mounties did even better.
Six of the girls and five of the boys either were automatic qualifiers or wild card qualifiers for the Meet of Champions.
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There are three automatic bids per group, per event, but only nine wild cards per event, which went to the top nine finishers between both groups at each site.
The championships at Franklin High School, where MHS competed, had nine wild card berths to hand out for the Meet of Champions. Which means that the Mounties who won wild cards were among the nine best athletes in their event in both their own Group 4 as well as Group 2.
For the girls, wild cards went to Stephanie Webb in the 100m and 200m dashes, Lawson in the 200m, Elizabeth Fitzgerald in the pole vault, the 4×100 team of Webb, Lawson, Ella McAdams and Anna Glorie, and the 4×400 unit of McAdams, Webb, Lawson and Krisantha Spencer.
For the boys, Legister and Williams both received wild cards for the 200m, while Oscar Counsell was handed cards for both the 800m and 1600m. The 4×400 group of Williams, Legister, Frye, Lawton Haynes also earned a card.
The Meet of Champions will take place on Saturday, June 19 at Frank Joel Field in South Plainfield.
The Montclair Kimberley Academy Cougars girls track and field team won the program’s first-ever NJSIAA state championship when they captured the NJSIAA Non-Public B title on June 12 at Neptune High School.
They secured the trophy with a come-from-behind win in the day’s last race, the 4×400 relay.
Meanwhile, junior Isiah Udofia completed one of the greatest individual performances in MKA track and field history that same weekend.
Udofia won the 100m, 200m and triple jump to take individual Non-Public B state champion honors in each event. His time of 10.92 in the 100m, 22.26 in the 200m and distance of 44 feet 6.5 inches in the triple jump all set MKA school records.
During the NJSIAA Groups Non-Public A & B Championship, held on June 11 and June 12 at Neptune High School, Maggie Horn won the 800m, with Sarah Hobbs coming in second.
Kelsey Freeman placed second in the 100m hurdles, then finished third in the 400m hurdles, just behind Horn, who came in second.
The 4×400 relay team took first in its event as well.
Hobbs also took third in the triple jump.
For the boys, Udofia took first in the 100m and 200m dash, third in the high jump and first in the triple jump. Osias Williams placed second in the 100m hurdles.
All of those athletes earned spots in this weekend’s Meet of Champions.