Coach Les Petty of the Oakcrest High School boys track and field team got a surprise when he visited the scorer's table to see if the Falcons won the field championship at the Jim Camburn Memorial Relays on Saturday.
Oakcrest not only won the field championship but also the track title.
"I was like, 'Wow! Really?'" Petty said. "I almost didn't believe them at first."
Petty has good reason to be surprised.
The Falcons dropped the baton during the 4x100-meter relay and were disqualified. They also were disqualified in the shuttle hurdles because a runner fell. Oakcrest outscored Egg Harbor Township 40-39 to win the large-schools track championship.
The relays at Buena Regional mark the start of the outdoor track and field major meet season. The event is named after the late Camburn, a longtime track and field coach, official and Buena Regional teacher. Saturday's meet was held in windy conditions that hampered performances, especially in the field events.
Teams competed in two divisions. The large-school division consisted of schools in the Group III and IV and Non-Public A enrollment groups, while the small-school group featured Group I and II and Non-Public B teams.
In addition to the Oakcrest boys, the Millville girls won the large-school track and field titles.
Ishmael Muhammad led Oakcrest to its win. He and Alex Arrington combined to win the 2x400 hurdles in 1 minute, 58.64 seconds. Muhammad ran the day's fastest split of 57.6.
The Falcons' sprint medley team of Luke Coffey, Kevin Stokes, Alex Botbyl and Muhammad (1:59 800 leg) won in 3:42.23. Oakcrest clinched the track title when Muhammad (51 in the 400 leg) anchored the Falcons to a second-place finish in the 4x400 relay.
Oakcrest won two events in the field. Stokes and Jordan Ingram combined to win the triple jump with a distance of 75 feet, 11 inches. Ray Rodriguez and Vince Giordano won the pole vault with a combined height of 21-6.
"This win gives us a better idea of where we are," Petty said. "We have some work to do. We made some mistakes. We probably didn't deserve to win with the mistakes we made. We feel like we kind of got away with one. We have to evaluate where we need to get better and keep working hard."
In the girls competition, Millville won three events.
Kaitlyn Dermen and Cierra Saldano won the pole vault with a combined height of 20-6.
McKenzie Springsteadah anchored the Thunderbolts to victory in the sprint medley and distance medley. Dermen, Lamera Rhett, Bakirah Bethune and Springsteadah won the sprint medley in 4:29.22.
Satara Scafe, Bryanna Blount, Alyssa Simpkins and Springsteadah ran 13:52.32 to win the distance medley.
Millville won despite not having one of Cumberland County's top distance runners, Victoria Thaler, who tore knee ligaments in November.
"The girls are coming together," coach Raffael Craig said. "The girls have rallied to pick up where Thaler would have been."
O.C. in Virginia
The Ocean City girls distance runners turned in an impressive performance at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va.
The Red Raiders' distance medley team won Friday. Epiphany Grisbaum, Cierra Granger, Rachel Stremme and Bridget Flynn ran it in 12:26.10 - a standout time so early in the season. Grafton of Virginia finished second in 12:59.25.
Grisbaum ran a 3:47 opening 1,200 leg, while Flynn ran a 5:15 1,600-anchor leg. Granger ran the 400 in 1:01 and Stremme the 800 in 2:21.
The Red Raiders then finished second in the 4x800 race Saturday.Stremme (2:17), Grisbaum (2:24), Meredith Steele (2:27) and Flynn (2:15) finished in 9:25.98. Kellam, of Virginia, won in 9:24.24.
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