PORT JERVIS - “The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal, launch, get started, take action and move,” said legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach …
PORT JERVIS - “The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal, launch, get started, take action and move,” said legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden. The Wizard of Westwood knew whereof he spoke, mentoring his teams to an all-time high 11 national championships. The essence of Wooden’s mantra is clearly on the minds of Monticello track and field coaches Matt Buddenhagen and Rick Sternkopf as they regard their numbers and depth heading into the season that began with resounding boys and girls wins over the Port Jervis Raiders.
Port and Goshen have been Monticello’s toughest division rivals though now Beacon enters as a wild card. The Bulldogs are known for their athleticism, so that eventual clash with the defending division champion Panthers bears watching. Monticello athletes may not be familiar with the Wooden quote. Nevertheless, they began what they aspire to be a memorable season with a great start.
According to boys coach Buddenhagen, the Panthers enter this spring with impressive depth across the spectrum of events with a bevy of jumpers, sprinters, mid-distance runners, hurdlers and throwers. The boys team has a nexus of seniors as well as younger athletes to fill out the ranks. The leaders including the multi-talented Evan Waterton, the speedster Swasey twins, Jajuan and Jadon, as well as RJ Patrick, premiere jumper Jadden Bryant, hurdler Tahir Denton and others.
Waterton is the team’s most diverse and lethal weapon. In this meet he won all four of his events including the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200. The steeplechase, his best event will only be run at larger invitationals this spring. He is currently ranked first in the nation by dint of his time of 9:35.09 at the Cornwall Steeplechase last May.
The girls team is dense as well, led by iconic hurdler Taina DeJesus. Coming off a hip injury as well as a bout with Covid this past winter, DeJesus will vie for glory in both the 110 and 400 hurdles with an eye towards state competition, particularly in the latter event.
Tomorrow Monticello hosts a bevy of county teams in what figures to be an interesting preview of who to watch around the county. Tri-Valley is also very deep, particularly in distance running. Last week’s canceled meet between Tri-Valley and Sullivan West will feature the first clash between those Division rivals.
Look for the story, photos and analysis in the April 8 issue of the Sullivan County Democrat.
Meet results from Port Jervis:
Monticello 1-0; Port Jervis 0-1.
Monticello 103, Port Jervis 24
Boys: 4x800 relay: 1. Monticello: Frankie Giorgianni, Eduardo, Mario Rivas Ponce Will Burns (no time reporter); 110 HH: 1. Tahir Denton; 2. Quentin Liciaga; 3.Christian Corces. 100: 1. Ju’juan Suasey 11.4; 2. Jadon Suasey 11.4; 3. R.J Patrick 11.5. 1600: 1. Evan Waterton 4.55; 2. Frankie Giorgianni 5.14. 4x100: Jadon Suasey, Ju’juan Suasey, Ricky Gonzalez, R.J. Patrick 45.7. 400:1. Waterton 52.9; 2. Christian DeJesus 61.3. Gonzalez 64.5. 400 IH: 1. Denton 66.5; 2. Quenten Liciaga 67.9. 800: 1. Waterton 2:16; 3. Eduardo Salinas 2:30. Shot Put: 1. J. Corces 38-3; 3. Mohamed. Nada 36-0. Long Jump: 2. Jadden Bryant 14-3 ½. 200: 1. R.J. Patrick 23.7; 2. Ju’juan Suasey 24.0; 3. Jadon Suasey 24.2. Discus: 2. Jesse. Corces 108-0. 3200: 1. Waterton 9:43; 2. Giorgianni 12:10; 3. Burns 13:42. 4x400: 1. Jadon Suasey, Ju’juan Suasey, Gonzalez, Patrick 3:51.1. Triple Jump: 1. Bryant 34-9. High Jump: 2. Liciaga 5-8; 3. Bryant 5-6.
Monticello 1-0; Port Jervis 0-1
Monticello 86, Port Jervis 36
Girls: 4x800 1. Monticello (no time or participants reporterd. 2. 100 HH: 1. Taina DeJeus 19.3; 3. Campo 21.9. 100: 1. Meg Cruz 13.5; 2. Diya Patel 14.4; 3. Yami Escobar 14.5. 1500: 2. Patel 5:51. 3. Megan Bastone 6:52. 4x100: 1. Cruz, Chelsea Reynolds, Escobar, DeJesus 52.9. 400: 2. Reynolds 67.7; 3. J. Hughes 1:35. 800. 1. Hannah Titus 3:01; 2. Adisyn. Somers 3:22: 3. M. Bastone 3:23. Shot Put: 2. Ella Werbalowsky 22-10. Long Jump: 1.Zeniyah Golson. 13-2 ½; 2. Blayre. Carnell 11-1. Discus: 2. Juliannh Bilas. 16-12. 4x400: Patel, Reynolds, Cruz, Kalene Harris 4:42.1. High Jump: 1. Reynolds 3-9; 2. Patel 3-6.
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