Winter track teams repeat success at sectionals after upset loss at counties

Even before the upcoming spring track season, the PHS winter track team has put lots of talent on display. Despite tough competition from Trenton High School during the Mercer County Tournament, the boys team triumphed at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Sectional Tournament. Co-captains and coaches alike have been pushing hard to secure rankings for PHS.

photo by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Anya/" title="View all of this person's work">"Anya</a></span>

photo by Anya Sachdev

The boys team suffered a huge upset in the Mercer County Tournament to the Trenton Tornadoes with a final score of 64–54. Despite this loss, the team lived up to the success of last year’s sectional tournament and came home with the championship title. Co-Captain Alexander Roth ’17 placed second in the 1600-meter race with a time of 4 minutes 22.56 seconds; Will Hare ’18 followed closely, finishing five seconds later with a time of 4 minutes 27.46 seconds. Yet the biggest success for the PHS boys at sectionals came during the 3200-meter race. Roth took first place, Hare took second, and Alex Ackerman ’18 took third. Other achievements by the Princeton boys team at sectionals included Paul Brennan ’19 in fifth place for the 12-pound shot put and Simon Schenk ’20 in second place for the pole vault.

The girls team also had their share of accomplishments at sectionals. The relay team consisting of Caren Ju ’18, Mariana Lopez-Ona ’19, Jackie Patterson ’18, and Colleen Linko ’20 took first place in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4 minutes 7.27 seconds. Patterson also secured fifth place for PHS in the 400-meter with a time of exactly 1 minute.

photo by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Anya/" title="View all of this person's work">"Anya</a></span>

photo by Anya Sachdev

Throughout the season, both the boys and girls teams have been plagued with different issues varying from sickness to injury. Co-Captains Annie Walker ’17 and Cy Watsky ’17 have had their leadership roles hindered occasionally by injuries.

“I’ve been a little bit sick and a little bit injured, but I recovered  and raced in counties, and I got fourth in the 800 meter,” Walker said.

Watsky, who ran mid-distance races at counties, also had to overcome similar obstacles this season.

“I had a bunch of injury and form issues … and Smirk’s always been there to support me,” Watsky said.

After sectionals, PHS is expected to continue their success in the postseason.

“Going into [the postseason], I think there’s a lot more expectation of success, considering the success we had last year … that expectation gets us a little more excited,” Watsky said.

The team was able to conclude sectionals on a high note with a boys team title and other achievements by the girls team. The captains also stress how teammates and coaches are there every step of the way to support and push each other towards more postseason success.

“The [coaches and] teammates are always there every race [and] every workout, so having that as a support system is absolutely unbelievable,” Walker said.

“We’re looking forward to really showing what we have … once we get to other championship meets,” Watsky said.

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