MHS track teams enjoying winter success

By: Sean Richards
   Taking part in the always ultra-competitive Greater Middlesex Conference Relays a week ago, the Monroe winter track team continued its solid early-season showing.
   When all was said and done at the Jersey City Armory, Monroe had three boys teams place in the meet. While the girls failed to repeat as the White Division champions this year, they also had a lot to feel good about as the Vikings prepared for the upcoming NJSIAA Group III and GMC championships in the next few weeks.
   Taking thirds for Monroe were the boys distance medley team as well as the high jump tandem of Mike Barszcz and Adan Farrah, who combined to clear 10-feet, 10 inches.
   On the distance medley team were Ryan Brown, Vic Amato, Zach Theinert and Scott Roman, who clocked an impressive time of 11 minutes, 19 seconds to grab the bronze medals.
   The last team to place on the boys side was the 4x400m team, which ran to a sixth-place showing with a time of 3:43, just a scant two seconds off the school record. Billy Phillips, Adan Farrah, Zach Theinert and Adam Modzelewski ran the legs on that relay team.
   Hoping to win another White Division Relay title, Monroe girls accumulated 12 points, four behind Sayreville’s 16. It was a bit of a disappointment, but there were some bright spots for the girls.
   The girls shot put team placed sixth when Megan Boyce and Christina Leili combined for a distance of 60-11. The 4×400 relay also finished in the sixth spot with a time of 4:32. Running that race were Damaris Segarra, freshman Ashley Hyman, Nicole Ragucci and Elizabeth Segarra.
   Without a doubt, the highlight of the meet was the county championship won by the girls distance medley relay team. The team of Damaris Segarra, Ragucci, Megan Allen and Elizabeth Segarra won the race with a time of 13:31. What’s more, they smashed a meet record in the process. According to the meet program, the old record was 13:37. Elizabeth Segarra ran the last leg and showed a great kick to pull away from defending champion Old Bridge.
   "I thought every member of the relay ran outstanding legs and kept us in the hunt," said girls coach Jim Cox. "It was a real team effort."
   Monroe then returned to action on Tuesday and both the boys and girls teams came away with wins in a dual meet with Edison. The boys won, 53-15, and the girls prevailed, 49-19.
   The star for the boys was Phillips. He won the 55 meter dash in 6.8 and the 200 in 23.9. He also was part of the winning 4×400 relay team. Other winners included Adam Modzelewski in the 400 (55.1), Joe Ferro in the 55 hurdles (9.6), Theinert in the 1600 (4:44); and Andrew Cocuzza in the Shot ( 37-7). The other three members of the 4X400m team were Brown, Theinert, and Roman.
   The girls were led by Ragucci, who has clearly recovered from injury and won the 55 (7.3) and the 200 (26.9), and was part of the 4×400 relay. Other winners were Rua Zhang in the hurdles (10.15), Elizabeth Segarra in the 1600 (5:44) and Leili in the shot ( 28-7). Other members of the 4×4 team were Elizabeth Segarra, Allie Push, and Stephanie Harris.
   "The season has gone very well so far," said Cox. " We need to have more vision while on the track and stay focused on what our goals are. There tends to be some letdown when things aren’t going our way. Now is when our season begins and we are looking forward to getting ready to make runs at the division championships, the GMC championships and the states."
   Monroe will host Spotswood and South Plainfield Saturday, then gear up for the NJSIAA Group III Relays at Princeton University’s Jadwin Gymnasium the following weekend.