BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - Andrea Olsen received the baton at the Jim Camburn Memorial Relays on Saturday exactly where she wanted it - behind the leaders.
The senior anchored the Buena Regional High School girls track and team to come-from-behind wins in the 4x200- and 4x400-meter relays. The victories propelled the Chiefs to the Varsity I track title.
"I feel like I don't run as well if I'm in front," Olsen said. "I like having the person in front of me to run after. I just love that. It pushes me."
The performance of the Buena girls highlighted an outstanding day by local athletes on the first weekend of the spring track and field season.
Boys and girls teams competed for track and field titles in two enrollment groups at Buena Regional. The Egg Harbor Township boys won the Varsity II track title. Meet officials dealt with computer issues, so the field team champions could not be determined.
Camburn was a Buena educator and a longtime South Jersey track official and meet director.
"The one thing I like about this meet is that we have so many JV events," Buena coach Stephanie Winkler said. "It makes the whole team come together because it's the only relay meet everyone is at. You have your entire team cheering for you instead of just varsity."
Olsen received the baton in third place in the 4x200. She ran a sub-25 second leg to give Buena the victory.
But her best effort came in the 4x400 where she received the baton in third place well behind the leaders.
Olsen ran a 58.4 anchor leg. She sprinted down the stretch and out leaned the Pleasantville anchor at the finish line. Buena won in 4 minutes, 11.07 seconds, while Pleasantville finished in 4:11.1.
"I was just thinking I need to pull this out," Olsen said. "I just gave it my all."
Olsen also ran on Buena's winning shuttle hurdle and intermediate hurdle relay teams.
Teams used Saturday's meet to gauge where they stand for the rest of the season. Olsen came away with plenty of confidence.
"I have a lot to look forward to," she said. "I'm excited. This is good motivation."
Olsen wasn't Buena's only standout. Casey Sturts ran on the winning 4x200, 4x400 and shuttle hurdles teams.
The Chiefs competed without standout Emely Ramirez, who missed the meet with a hamstring injury. But Buena also got key efforts from Kali Kerr and Aly Dickson to overcome the injury.
The Egg Harbor Township boys brought high hopes into the spring season after winning a state title indoors.
The Eagles met expectations Saturday.
EHT won the Varsity II track title. The Eagles foursome of Calvin Rice, Michel Ashworth, Steve Morgan, Curtis Fitzpatrick ran 44.58 to win the 4x100. Fitzpatrick ran a 10.6 100 split and a 22.0 split for EHT's 4x200 team, which finished second. EHT twin brothers Andrew and Nathaniel Henry combined to win the intermediate hurdles.
But one of EHT's most impressive efforts came in the field where James Plummer and Kofi Yamoah combined to win the shot put and discus.
Plummer threw a personal best 181 feet, 11 inches in the discus. His previous best was 175-1.
"I worked on discus after indoor season with my coaches and got some technical stuff down," Plummer said. "It's exciting for me and my team to come out here and set a tone for the rest of the season. We looked pretty good."
Twins Isaac and Jacob Clark emerged as two of the nation's top scholastic middle distance runners in the winter.
The brothers appear primed for a big spring season with the way they ran Saturday.
The Clarks led the Greyhounds to wins the Varsity I 4x800, distance medley and 4x400 relays.
Pleasantville won the 4x800 in 8:09.38. Isaac ran a 1:56 leg, while Jacob ran 1:58.
The Greyhounds plan to run the 4x800 at the Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia on April 25-26.
"They looked good (Saturday)," Pleasantville coach Alan Laws said of the 4x800 team. "But our goal is the Penn Relays and we have some work to do."
Contact Michael McGarry:
JIM CAMBURN RELAYS
at Buena Regional
List of local athletes who finished first. Note: Meet officials had computer troubles. Not all events and names were available.
Shuttle hurdles – Buena Regional (Tiffany Brown, Aly Dickson, Casey Sturts and Andrea Olsen) 1:11.59
4x100 – Bridgeton (Jaquesha Holmes, Jonee Childers, Durejah Rainner, Jovan Childers) 51.48
4x200 – Buena Regional (Aly Dickson, Kali Kerr, Casey Sturts, Andrea Olsen) 1:50.82
4x400 – Buena Regional (Kali Kerr, Aly Dickson, Casey Sturts, Andrea Olsen) 4:11.07
Intermediate hurdles – Buena Regional (Andrea Olsen, 1:07.51; Gina Testa, 1:16.47) 2:23.98
Sprint medley – Buena Regional (Melinda Mangiaracina, Courtney Curcio, Emily Leyrer, Lisa Testa) 4:38.07
Shot put – Bridgeton (Kamyra Segers, 33-1.5; Samone Jones, 31-11) 65-0.5
Pole vault – Buena Regional (Aly Dickson 8-0; Lisa Testa 7-6) 15-6
Javelin – Millville (Ashli Weems, 107-9; Gabrielle Crawford, 104-8) 212-5
Pole Vault – Millville (Kaitlyn Dermen, 9-6; Haleigh Sockwell, 7-6) 17-0
Shuttle hurdles – Buena Regional (Names not available) 1:07.91
4x100 – St. Joseph (Caleb Williams, Rocco Ordille, Jordan Davis, final name not available) 45.09
4x200 – Holy Spirit (Rahim Smith, Billy Peyton, Taalib Gerald, A.J. Dawson) 1:34.10
4x400 – Pleasantville (Nicolas McBean, Jacob Clark, Dagoberto Arias, Isaac Clark) 3:29.47
4x800 – Pleasantville (Dagoberto Arias, Isaac Clark, Radcliffe Narinensingh, Jacob Clark) 8:09.38
Distance medley – Pleasantville (Dagoberto Arias, Nicolas McBean, Isaac Clark and Jacob Clark) 10:39
Discus – Buena Regional (Mike Busby, 142-11; and Darryl Guilford; 113-07) 256-6
Long jump – Buena Regional (Ethin Harris, 19-2.5; Rayshwn Scott, 19-0) 38-2.5
Shuttle hurdles – Oakcrest (Daniel Jefferson, Shane Bush, John Bernard and Chase Toliver) 1:03.35
440 hurdles – Oakcrest (Shane Bush, 58.52 and Ishmael Muhammad 59.37)
Intermediate hurdles – Egg Harbor Township (Andrew Henry, 59.37; Nathaniel Henry, 59.73) 1:59.10
4x100 – Egg Harbor Township (Calvin Rice, Michel Ashworth, Steve Morgan, Curtis Fitzpatrick) 44.58
4x200 – Vineland (Chris Atoki, Christian Castro, Lamar Finney, Leaquan James) 1:31.62
4x400 – Vineland (Lamar Finney, Christian Castro, Chris Atoki, Leaquan James) 3:28.1
Distance medley – Absegami (Bobby MaGuire, Terrell Jackson, Carlos Galeano, Salman Khlaid) 11:14.96
Javelin – Hammonton (Gary Scola; 169-7) and Patrick Vaccarella; 154-5) – 324-0
Long jump – Egg Harbor Township (Steven Morgan, 19-1; Elijah Lewis, 18-9) 37-10
Discus – Egg Harbor Township (James Plummer, 181-11; Kofi Yamoah, 128-8) 310-7