Veteran St. Dominic Academy track and field coach John Nagel doesn’t usually like to have his distance runners compete in three events in the same meet, but he made an exception to the rule with talented sophomore Camille Bertholon at the Hudson County Track Coaches Association championships last week.
“I’m not a big fan of doing that triple,” Nagel said after Bertholon competed in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs at the county championships at the Jersey City Armory. “But there was a bit of a break in between the races and as things were unfolding, we needed some points.”
Bertholon delivered, winning both the 1,600 and 3,200 and finishing second in the 800, helping the Blue Devils win the HCTCA indoor title for the 10th time in the last 11 years.
Bertholon won the 1,600 in 5:42.67, captured the 3,200 in 12:11.87 and was second in the 800, crossing the line in 2:29.84.
“She’s very good,” Nagel said. “She’s very durable and did very well.”
SDA defeated Bayonne in second with North Bergen finishing third.
Bertholon’s victories in the distance races were the Blue Devils’ only gold medal performances, still they managed to win the meet handily.
“We scored in every event and had 15 different kids score,” Nagel said.
Jessie Martinez was second in the 55-meter hurdles and third in the 400-meter run. Freshman Aliya Perry was fourth in the 400 and ran on the 4-x400-meter relay team that took second. Ayanna Patterson was second in the shot put. It was a solid team effort all around by the Blue Devils, who have a very young team, featuring a ton of freshmen and sophomores.
“We were pleased,” Nagel said. “I don’t think you can ever get to be too young in this sport.”
Carolina Herrera of North Bergen collected two gold medals in the 55-meter dash and 400-meter run.
The Memorial boys, led by a standout performance from senior Jhonathan Matamoros, managed to capture the team title in impressive fashion over St. Peter’s Prep, winning by more than 30 points.
Matamoros won the 800-meter run in 1:58.85 and the 1,600-meter run in 4:32.99.
“Matamoros was awesome,” said Memorial head track coach Julio Lopez. “He won the county meet on Friday and came back to finish second in the half , win the mile [1,600] and run the anchor leg on our [4x400] relay team that won at the state sectionals on Sunday [at the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River]. That’s quite a performance with not much rest. He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever met. A lot of people couldn’t believe that kind of performance.”
Matamoros, who is getting some looks from schools such as Tennessee, Texas and American University, has qualified in three events for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions next weekend.
Kelvin Almonte set a new county record in the 55-meet hurdles, winning in 7.92 seconds. Almonte, a junior, also won a gold at the state sectionals and finished fourth overall in Group IV, also punching his ticket to the M of C. Onassi Cuevas ran the ninth fastest time among Group IV runners, so he will also go to the M of C.
Harold Barrio won the gold medal in the shot put at the county championships with a throw of 46-7.
“He had a bad shoulder from football,” Lopez said of Barrio. “He wasn’t allowed to throw, so he didn’t have much training. It’s been very frustrating. We haven’t had any place to practice because of the snow. We knew we had a good chance to win the county meet.”
Eight Memorial runners will head to the Meet of Champions, quite an achievement…
The Hudson County basketball tournament continues this weekend with the quarterfinals, with the semifinals and finals being held at Union City High School, instead of St. Peter’s University.
Tournament chairman Rich Hansen, the athletic director at St. Peter’s Prep and the president of the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic League, justified the decision to hold the county tourney semis and finals at Union City.
“The dates weren’t available at St. Peter’s University this year,” Hansen said. “The Union City Board of Education graciously donated their facility. I don’t feel bad at all about playing in a virtually brand new facility. We planned this pretty well and the dates have to work. It didn’t work this year. At the end of this tournament, we can call St. Peter’s again and see if it works. I think it’s great for the kids and for everyone to play at St. Peter’s, but the dates didn’t work this year.”
It’s just a shame that many of the county tournament finals throughout the state are held at college facilities, whether it’s a county college or a university. Hudson County has three college facilities and the county tourney final is at a high school…
It was a little troubling to hear that two local high school basketball coaches instructed their teams to press and trap on defense while holding 30-plus point leads in the fourth quarter of recent Hudson County Tournament games. Coaches have to learn to take the foot off the gas and show a little class and grace in victory, not embarrass the opposition…
North Bergen senior wrestler Anthony Giraldo recently became the all-time leader in victories in Hudson County history, surpassing David Cordoba of Kearny. Defending state champion Giraldo, who has a stellar 33-0 record heading into this weekend’s NJSIAA District 16 tourney, has now won more than 140 matches in his brilliant career. North Bergen will once again host the state district tourney…
When New Jersey City University head basketball coach Marc Brown earned the 100th win of his coaching career last week, it led to an interesting feat.
Brown joined his legendary father Charlie as one of only three father/son combinations in NCAA Division III history to ever reach 100 wins at the same school. The only other father/son coaching combinations to reach 100 wins are Page and Charlie Moir of Roanoke and Brian and Don Lane of Transylvania.
Of course, Charlie Brown, a member of the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame, is the all-time leader in coaching wins at NJCU with 483. Credit to NJCU sports information director Ira Thor for researching that father/son statistic…
Snyder grad and former Felician College standout Anthony Green is now playing professional basketball with the Staten Island Vipers of the American Basketball Association….
Former Hoboken assistant baseball coach Bruce Radigan rolled a perfect game of 300 last week. Way to go, Bruce…
The Zenith Velocity Athletic Track Club has some great athletes training at the Jersey City Armory, including former Hudson Reporter Male Athlete of the Year Jose Veras. Donald Sanford and Lalonde Gordon are two other members of the club posting some of the fastest indoor track times in the country on the male circuit…
Hudson Reporter Boys’ H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. St. Anthony (16-4). 2. Hudson Catholic (18-3). 3. St. Peter’s Prep (20-3). 4. Marist (13-8). 5. Bayonne (14-7)…
Hudson Reporter Girls’ H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. Lincoln (20-2). 2. Bayonne (19-3). 3. Secaucus (16-5). 4. North Bergen (18-4). 5. Marist (17-7)…--Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.