Cade Antonucci photos

Holy Spirit High School javelin thrower Cade Antonucci is the The Press Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Thursday June 16, 2016. (Michael Ein/Staff Photographer)

Michael Ein / Staff Photographer

Holy Spirit High School’s Cade Antonucci and the Egg Harbor Township boys 4x800-meter relay team each outdid nearly all the competition at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

At the scholastic track and field nationals on the campus of North Carolina A&T, Antonucci finished second in the boys javelin Saturday.

Competing in a field of 23 of the country’s best competitors, Antonucci had a best throw of 217 feet, 9 inches. Liam Christensen, of South Carolina, won with a throw of 228-0.

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EHT’s quartet of twins Robert and Alex Dessoye, Aidin Hendriks and Eric Barnes was second in the 4x800 on Saturday in a school- and South Jersey-record 7 minutes, 40.43. It was also the eighth-fastest time in history by a New Jersey high school team. The field consisted of 37 teams. The Eagles lost only to Cow Harbor Track Club, of Northport, New York, which won in 7:37.42.

The top six finishers in each event became scholastic All-Americans.

“Their time was seven seconds faster than the old school record (7:47.13 as the fastest American team at the Penn Relays on April 29), so it was really neat to watch,” said Ryan Smith, Egg Harbor Township’s boys track and field coach. “It was a great performance. They cemented themselves as some of the best in school history.”

“They were disqualified in the South Jersey Meet, so they couldn’t compete in states or the Meet of Champions. This really proves they belong, and that’s awesome.”

On Sunday, the EHT 4x400 relay team team finished fourth unofficially among 38 teams but was disqualified when a runner was called for stepping over the line before getting the baton.

Antonucci’s top javelin throw of 217-9 came on his final attempt.

“It feels awesome. To go down there and finish second in the nation is a great feeling,” said Antonucci, an 18-year-old Mays Landing resident. “The last throw felt great.

“It helped that I was there last year (and finished eighth). It was the type of experience that you have to get used to. I was a lot more confident this year and mentally better competitively. It was a great experience to have so much competition all at the same meet.”

Antonucci was in fourth place after three preliminary throws with a distance of 205. His second-to-last attempt was a 214-11, which put him in second place.

Mainland Regional’s Alyssa Aldridge finished seventh among 11 runners in the girls mile in 5:02.16. She was 18th among 23 runners in the 2-mile race in 11:01.96.

Oakcrest’s Brielle Smith finished 20th in the girls javelin with a throw of 122-11, and Hammonton’s Alexa Gardner was 21st with a 122-9.

Vineland’s Najeaya Singleton finished 24th in the girls discus with a best throw of 132-4. Singleton was also 26th in the girls shot put with a top distance of 42-8.75.

Carly Jannsch of Pinelands Regional placed 27th in the girls javelin with a toss of 101-8. The EHT boys sprint medley team of Hunter Barbieri, Devon Covington, Mike Nielsen and Justin Winkler placed 36th in 3:38.99.

EHT’s Mya Pomatto was 28th in the girls emerging elite javelin (100-4).

EHT’s Tyler Anzisi finished 19th in the boys emerging elite discus (149-11).

Mainland Regional’s Claire Pedrick was 25th in the girls freshman 400 meters (58.82).




I’ve been at The Press since January of 1983. I cover all sports in general, but mostly lifeguard racing, and high school field hockey, football, swimming, basketball, crew, baseball and softball.

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