The Seton Hall Prep and Newark Academy boys, and West Orange and Verona girls all captured titles, and Paula Marie Brown of West Side soared to a NJ#1 in the long jump at the Essex County Relays on Saturday at Schools Stadium in Newark.
On the boys side, Seton Hall Prep's balance and depth was simply too much for any team to handle as the Pirates ran away with the Large Schools title with 114 points, more than doubling up the runner-up score of 55 for East Orange.
Polizzi had the top throws of the meet and two huge PR's in both the shot put (50-11), and the discus (155-2) to lead the Pirates to victory in both events. He also had the second best mark in the javelin (139-9) to spark his team to a runner-up finish in that event. Watkins cleared a meet best 6-0 on the winning high jump team, and went 42-0.50 on the runner-up triple jump squad.
Seton Hall Prep also grabbed gold in the 4x100 (43.10), the 4x1,600 (19:00.85), received a meet best 58.88 in the 400 hurdles from Ryan Matulonis, and finished second in the 4x400, SMR, and 4x800.
Also stepping up big for Seton Hall Prep were seniors Ed Kelly and Kevin Harvey, and rising freshman star Jaylen McClain.
Kelly ran on the 4x100, split 1:58.8 on the 4x800, and 49.1 on the SMR. Harvey split 4 30.2 on the 4xmile, 2:04.3 on the 4x800, and 2:06 on the SMR. McClain anchored the 4x100, ran 22.9 on the SMR, and in his first 400 ever he dropped a 51.6. Look out for McClain!!! He has big star written all over him!
In the Small School Division, Newark Academy, which scored in 14 of the 16 events, emerged with a hard-fought victory over runner-up Caldwell, 86-78.
Junior Dominic Tasse had a great meet for Newark Academy. He had the best throw of the competition in the javelin with a 114-1 to lead his team to a runner-up finish, had a 31-4 throw for the fourth-place shot put team, and he ran on the fifth-place 4x100 relay team.
Newark Academy came up with four huge victories on its march to the title. The Minutemen swept the distance relays, winning the 4x800, 4x1600, and DMR, and also captured the team high jump.
In the girls competition, West Orange swept the throws and the jumps and scored in 14 of the 16 events on the way to a very impressive 108-80 victory over runner-up Montclair in the Large Schools Division, and Brown, a junior at West Side, took over the state lead in the long jump with a 19-1!
Celestin cleared a meet best 5-2 in the high jump, went 17-3 in the long jump, and threw a meet best 97-1 in the javelin. She also ran a leg in the runner-up shuttle hurdles. Prescott unloaded meet best 38-4 in the shot put, and 119-5 in the discus, and was also on the winning javelin team.
On the track, West Orange was second in the 4x100, 4x400, 400 hurdles, and the shuttles, third in the 4x800, 4x1,600, and SMR, and fifth in the DMR.
In the girls Small Schools competition, Verona put together a great all-round effort and received a huge day from its throwers en route to an 86-68 victory over runner-up Newark Academy.
Senior Isabella Freda led the way for Verona in the throws, leading the Hillbillies to a clean sweep. Freda unloaded throws of 30-9.50 in the shot, 73-1 in the discus, and 75-10 in the javelin. Her shot and discus marks were both personal bests.
Verona also picked up key runner-up finishes in the high jump, long jump, DMR, and 400 hurdles, and placed third in the 4x400, 4x800, 4x1600, and the SMR.
The Newark Academy girls received a very strong all-round performance from junior Selah Dungey. Dungey cleared a personal best and meet best 5-3 to lead her team to victory in the high jump, soared a meet best 15-8.50 on the winning long jump team, and ran on the runner-up 4x100, and third-place 4x200.