Meet of Champions Showcases Prep Track Successes

Alex Puhak, Staff Writer

The Meet Of Champions (MOC) is the most prestigious track meet in New Jersey. It is not a meet which a school can win, but rather a showcase of the best runners in the state. The athletes come from every group of schools in the state: four Groups for public schools and two for non-public schools. To qualify for the MOC, an athlete has to finish top 6 in an event at his or her school’s Group meet or through a Wild Card.

Saint Peter’s Prep had another great showing this year at the MOC. 11 athletes went to the meet in Toms River, NJ. In fact, Prep finished with the most medals of any team at the meet. Starting off on February 23rd, seniors Adonis McGee and Ayir Asante competed in the long jump, McGee finishing 5th and Asante 6th. McGee broke his own school record, and Asante recorded the 3rd best jump in school history.

The next day, sophomore Edwin Klanke ran 4:17.32 in the 1600, finishing 4th in the meet. That time breaks the old school record of 4:18.94, set by Patrick Mellea, ‘04. McGee came back for the high jump and placed fourth with a 6-4 leap. Senior Richie Luzzi Liggins placed 2nd in the 200m with a time of 22.11, the highest individual finish for Prep since Najee Glass, ‘12. The 4×800 team of Paul Ames (1:59.5), Rodolfo Sanchez (2:01.6), Chris Brooks (2:00.6), and Klanke (1:59.5) picked up Prep’s final medal, finishing in a time of 8:01.54, good for 3rd place. In the 400m, senior Gus Nations IV (51.92) finished 19th and junior Luqman Gbadamassi (52.12) finished 25th. RJ Oben finished in 11th place in the shot put with a throw of 49-6.75. The 4×400 team of Luzzi-Liggins (51.1), Nations IV (53.1), Joey Morrone (51.9), and Gbadamassi (52.0) ran an overall time of 3:28.68, finishing in 9th place.

Prep’s next meet will be New Balance Nationals. The meet will be held at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York, NY, from March 8th to the 10th.