The Ocean City High School boys indoor track and field team captured the South Jersey Group III title for the first time since 2011 on Saturday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

The Red Raiders placed first among 16 teams with 40 points. Hammonton finished second (37) and Mainland Regional third (35).

The Group II and III boys and girls meets were held. Pleasantville, Cedar Creek, Ocean City, Hammonton, Mainland and Bridgeton had individual winners, too.

Groups I and IV were held the previous weekend, and the Non-Public state meets will be this weekend.

Ocean City senior Kevin King won the boys 55-meter hurdles in 8.07 seconds. Jaden Tocci-Rodgers placed second in the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), and Luke Kramer finished third in both the 800 run (2 minutes, 4.35 seconds) and the 1,600 run (4:31.37).

The Red Raiders’ Louis Conte, Tyler Greene, Gavyn Fox and Kramer placed third in the 400 relay in 3:38.08.

Ocean City coach Matt Purdue said that was the final event of the meet, and it sealed their overall victory.

“It was a close meet, and the crowd knew it was coming down to the last relay,” Purdue said. “You really can’t ask for a better environment and a more exciting finish to a meet than that. The guys really came together and, when not competing, cheered on their teammates.”

The top six individuals in each event earned medals and qualified for this weekend’s state championships meet. Many other local athletes also won individual titles Saturday.

Hammonton senior Robert Gardner won the pole vault with a personal best and program -record of 13-0. Mainland junior Kevin Antczak won the 3,200 (9:49.38), and Bridgeton senior Taz’Mire Burton won the 400 (51.76).

The Blue Devils’ Caleb Nartey placed second in the 55 dash (6.70). Andrew Montemurro finished third in the 55 hurdles (8.38), and Luke McBrearty finished third in the pole vault (11-06).

Billy Galletta placed fourth in the high jump (5-08), and Nate Karl was fifth in the shot put (46-00).

Hammonton’s second-place finish in team scoring was the highest in program history.

“It was a great day,” Hammonton coach Jeff Dey said. “Going into the meet, we knew there was a chance to be in the top three, but it would definitely be a close meet going all the way to the end. All the guys put their best effort out there to help the team. I’m really impressed with all the guys. It was exciting to see them all come together.”

In addition to winning the 3,200, Mainland’s Antczak also placed second in the 1,600 with a personal-best 4:29.21. Teammate Devin Anderson finished second in the 400 with a personal-best 52.10 and third in the 55 (6.74).

Mainland boys and girls coach Mike Colombo and some of his athletes were sick last week but still finished third in the boys division.

“It was awesome,” Colombo said. “I’m beyond proud of them. I didn’t know what to expect, but we had a little talk on the bus, and they did exactly what I wanted. They competed and ran hard.”

Ocean City sophomore Alexa Palmieri won the girls 1,600 (5:15.80) and 3,200 (11:24.20). Mainland’s Sophia Crozier-Carole won the girls pole vault with a personal-best of 9-09.

The Red Raiders’ Casey McLees (11:55.84) and Brooke Farr (12:04.04) finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 3,200.

Purdue is both the boys and girls indoor track coach and the boys coach in the spring.

“It was great to see all our 3,200 runners medal,” he said. “It was really a great team effort on both sides (boys and girls).”

In Group II, Cedar Creek junior Malachi Melton won the boys 55 (6.49), and Pleasantville senior Gabriel Moronta won the 800 in (2:00.79) and was third in the 400 dash (51.07).

Moronta, Benjamin Clark, Quentin Bundy and Kinderson Cajuste won the 4x400 relay (3:26.82) for the Greyhounds.

Pinelands Regional’s Jonathan Marker placed second in the shot put, and Absegami’s Oratile Moeng was second in the 800 run.

Local results

Boys Group II

Team scores: 4. Pleasantville 36; 5. Cedar Creek 16; Pinelands Regional 12; 9. Barnegat 6; 10. Oakcrest 1.

55: 1. Malachi Melton, CC, 6.49; 4. Aidan Tai, B, 6.82; 400: 3. Gabriel Moronta, P, 51.07; 6. Quentin Bundy, P, 51.94; 800: 1. Moronta, P, 2:00.79; 4. Bundy, P, 2:03.20; 1,600: 4. Jensen Nunez, P, 4:31.17; 6. Mike Liberty, O, 4:33.26; 55 hurdles: 3. Richard McQueen, CC, 7.96; 4x400: 1. P 3:26.82; 5. B 3:36.88; High jump: 4. Andre Simmons, PR, 5-06; Shot put: 2 Jonathan Marker, PR, 49-07; 6. Carey DeJean, P, 42-07.

Girls Group II

Team scores: 6. Pinelands Regional 14; 8. Barnegat 9; Lower Cape May Regional 4; 12. Oakcrest 1; 12. Cedar Creek 1.

55: 3. Kayla Carter, B, 7.60; 6. Jillian Jankowski, B, 7.72; 1,600: 6. Lillian Sarno, B, 5:37.05; 55 hurdles: 5. Rachel Papernik, PR, 9.79; 4x400: 6. CC 4:29.21; High jump: 4. Ava Pierce, LCM, 4-10; 5. Teresa Jaeckel, PR, 4-08; Pole vault: 6. Grace Rowley, O, 7-00; Shot put: 3. Elizabeth Marker, PR, 35-09.50; 4. Bianca Trice, PR, 32-03.50; 6. Quamora Proctor, B, 31-06.

Boys Group III

Team scores: 1. Ocean City 40; 2. Hammonton 37; Mainland Regional 35; 7. Absegami 21; 9. Bridgeton 16; 14. Lacey Township 4.

55: 2. Caleb Nartey, H, 6.70; 3. Devin Anderson, MR, 6.74; 4. Shamar Love, B, 6.75; 6. Jaden Stanley, A, 6.79; 400: 1. Taz’Mire Burton, B, 51.76; 2. Devin Anderson, MR, 52.10; 5. Keishaun Joga, A, 52.70; 6. Billy Galletta, H, 53.53; 800: 2. Oratile Moeng, A, 2:02.67; 3. Luke Kramer, OC, 2:04.35; 4. Alex Lytle, LT, 2:04.37; 5. Joga, A, 2:04.49; 1,600: 2. Kevin Antczak, MR, 4:39.21; 3. Kramer, OC, 4:31.37; 3,200: 1. Antczak, MR, 9:49.38; 4. Anthony Conte, OC, 9:5546; 55 hurdles: 1. Kevin King, OC, 8.07; 3. Andrew Montemurro, H, 8.38; 6. Kijani, MR, 8.70; 4x400: 2. A, 3:35.35; 3. OC, 3:38.08; 5. B, 3:39.77; High jump: Jaden Tocci-Rodgers, OC, 5-10; 4. Galletta, H, 5-08; 5. Evans, MR, 5-08; Pole vault: 1. Robert Gardner, H, 13-00; 3. Luke McBrearty, H, 11-06; Shot put: 5. Nate Karl, H, 46-00.

Girls Group III

Team scores: 5. Ocean City 28.2; 9. Lacey Township 16; 10. Mainland Regional 12.5; 12. Absegami 7; 14. Bridgeton 4; 16. Hammonton 1.

800: 5. Madeline Corbett, MR, 2:27.40; 1,600: 1. Alexa Palmieri, OC, 5:15.80; 3,200: 1. Palmieri, OC, 11:24.20; 3. Casey McLees, OC, 11:45.84; 5. Brooke Farr, OC, 12:04.04; 6. Abigail Smith, H, 12:39.07; 55 hurdles: 4. Diamond McLaughlin, A, 9.26; High jump: 2. Morgan Vicidomini, LT, 5-00; Pole vault: 1. Sophia Crozier-Carole, MR. 9-09; 5. Cassidy Verderber, A, 8-00; Shot put: 2. Madison Horahan, LT, 35-03.35; 4. Kadishka Perdomo, B, 33-09.50; 6. Janelle Pierre, A, 32-03.25.

Can't get enough High School sports? Get the latest scores, game highlights and analysis delivered to your inbox each week!

Contact: 609-272-7210 PMulranen@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMulranen

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments