While the focus was certainly on the three local competitors who participated in the shot put event at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions last Thursday in South Plainfield, it would be so totally wrong to overlook the efforts of some other Hudson County track and field athletes who served the area well with their performances at the M of C.
First and foremost are the achievements of sensational Snyder sophomore Zamir Thomas, who capped his year to remember with some great performances down the stretch.
Two weeks ago, Thomas won three gold medals at the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 2 meet in Parsippany, winning the 100-meter dash in 11.14, the 200-meter dash in 22.57 and the 400-meter run in 49.01. That’s no easy task, winning three gold medals at a state sectional track meet.
A week later, Thomas earned three medals again, this time at the overall Group II championships at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield.
Thomas was third in the 200-meter dash (22.10), and fourth in both the 100 (11.02) and 400 (49.07), to earn berths in the M of C in three events.
Sure enough, Thomas competed in all three events at the state elite meet, finishing seventh overall in the 200 (again running 22.10), 14th in the 100 and 20th in the 400. Unlike the other two meets, where the events were spread out over two days, Thomas ran all three events on the same night.
Needless to say, this is a young man whose star is definitely on the rise. There hasn’t been a sophomore in recent years to achieve what Thomas did this season. Maybe North Bergen’s Kevin Thompson was close about six years ago, but not like what Thomas attained in his sophomore year. The sky’s the limit for Thomas and he will be clearly the Hudson County track athlete to watch in 2010 and beyond.
While Thomas’ star continued to shine, another local product who is just a freshman, also had a remarkable season.
St. Peter’s Prep’s fabulous freshman Najee Glass capped his amazing season by finishing third overall in the 400-meter run at the M of C. Glass finished in 48.57, behind Seton Hall Prep’s brilliant sprinter Clayton Parros.
It might take forever to check the Hudson County track and field record books to find a freshman who did better at the Meet of Champions than young Najee. He also has a brilliant future ahead of him.
Marauder sophomore Sheldon Royster also had a solid campaign, capped by an appearance at the M of C. Royster won the 100-meter dash gold medal at the Catholic Track Conference meet in Lawrenceville two weeks ago, was second at the NJSIAA Non-Public A sectionals (to Parros) in the 100 and was third in the 200, earning the right to compete in two events at the M of C. What an incredible future does the Prep track program have in the coming years, with kids like Glass, Royster and Savon Huggins (also a sophomore) competing.
The Marauders’ mile relay team of Huggins, Glass, James Murduca and Corey Davis – the same relay team that won their heat at the Penn Relays in April – finished 10th overall at the M of C in the relay.
Needless to say, it was a fine showing for the local athletes all around at the Meet of Champions last week. --Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.