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Gray Bees Finish Behind Lawrenceville at State Preps

INDOOR TRACK & FIELD

UDII Byron Simmons took second in the 400m with a time of 51.56 seconds.

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UDII Byron Simmons took second in the 400m with a time of 51.56 seconds.

Othman Muhammad, Assistant Sports Editor

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After losing the Essex County Title, the track team, hoping to become State Prep champions, went toe-to-toe against 27 prep schools Feb. 6. But because of a Gray Bee disqualification in the 800 meter run, the team took second behind Lawrenceville.

Senior Stephen Valvano, senior Scott Bamberg and UDII Adrian Ceballo led the race of their lives, each placing in the 800m run. Stephen took first with a 2:01; Scott finished one second behind him, and Adrian took fourth, running a personal best of 2:03. The three would have accumulated 22 points, but controversy marred the results.

Lawrenceville’s coach questioned the officials, because he believed that Scott cut off his runner at the finish line; the officials disqualified Scott. Instead of earning 22 points, which would have put Benedict’s down by one point, the team earned 16 points.

Despite getting disqualified, Scott, the team captain, was happy with the the team’s performance.

“We went there to perform and we performed,” he said. “Certain pieces didn’t fall where they needed to fall, but next time the race won’t be a close race.”

In the boys 1600m run, spectators caught a glimpse of the past. Senior Edwin Rutto returned from a stress fracture and proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with. He cruised his way to a 4:25 1600m, leading the runner-up by seven seconds.

UDII high jumper Mac-Gregore Jeune matched his personal best ,6’00, to win.

Sprint Coach Sharon Allen said the team’s loss at State Preps was bittersweet but came with a lesson.

“It taught our guys that you cannot just win at the tape; you must win decisively,” she said. “You can leave no room for judgement calls. Obliterate your opponent wire-to-wire.”

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Gray Bees Finish Behind Lawrenceville at State Preps