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Rob Potter | Democrat

Monticello’s Dave Wilbur, left, reaches back to receive the baton from teammate Matthew Rodriguez during the 3,200-meter relay at Wednesday’s meet. Monticello won the event in a time of 8:33.8.

Panthers win first division track and field title in 24 years

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — May 7, 2010 — Going into Wednesday’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III track and field meet, the host Monticello Panthers knew they had a chance to make history.
A win over the Goshen Gladiators would give Monticello its first boys’ track and field division championship since 1986. That spring, Monticello earned the title in what was then known as the Orange County League (OCL).
The Panthers made the most of their opportunity. The team of Matthew Rodriguez, Thomas Gonzalez, Dominic Martinez and Dave Wilbur ran to an 8 minute, 33.8 second win in the first event of the meet, the 3,200-meter relay. Monticello carried the momentum from that opening victory throughout the afternoon on its way to a 121-20 win over Goshen at Ed Kennedy Field.
With the win, the Panthers captured the Div. III championship with a perfect 4-0 record. Monticello also defeated Chapel Field, 127-14, in a non-league meet to improve its overall record to 5-0.
In the other non-league meet, Goshen defeated Chapel Field, 84-48.
Leading the Panthers to the win were Gonzalez, Wilbur and Shane Jackson. In addition to being a member of the first-place 3,200 relay team, Gonzalez combined with Martinez, Rodriguez and Onique Taylor to win the 1,600 relay in 3:42.3. Gonzalez also won the 1,600 in 4:48.2.
Wilbur won the 3,200 in 11:26.1 and the 400 intermediate hurdles in 62.0 seconds.
Jackson won the 100-meter dash (10.8 seconds), 200 (22.3 seconds) and long jump (18 feet, 10 inches). Jackson also joined Austin Colon, Mistah Alli and Taylor to win the 400 relay in 54.3 seconds.
Naturally, Monticello Coach Joe Seidl, Assistant Coach Matt Buddenhagen and the team members were extremely happy following the meet.
“I think the common theme this season was the leadership and focus provided by our older guys like Dave [Wilbur] and Tom [Gonzalez],” Seidl said. “About 70 percent of our team members are ninth- and 10th-graders.”
As far as strategy for the meet, Seidl noted that the relay victories were key.
“I made our relay teams as strong as possible, because I knew that Goshen had very good relay teams,” he said.
That move certainly paid off for the Panthers.
“I am very proud of these guys,” Seidl said of his athletes. “They are a great group of kids. They are very enthusiastic.”
Winning the Div. III championship became a realistic goal for the Panthers after they defeated Cornwall last month.
“Winning [the division title] has been all we have been focused on since the Cornwall meet,” said Wilbur, who is one of the Panthers’ senior captains. “Winning the 3,200 relay to start today was huge. We won that event and then just kept rolling from there.”
Wilbur then paused for a few seconds to collect his thoughts.
“I still can’t believe it, I am in shock,” he commented. “We went from non-contenders to division champions. That feels really good.”
The top finishers in each event were as follows:
3,200M Relay: 1. Monticello (Thomas Gonzalez, Dominic Martinez, Matthew Rodriguez, Dave Wilbur), 8:33.8. 100M High Hurdles: 1. Birdsall (Goshen) 17.2 seconds; 2. Daniel Braunstein (M) 18.4; 3. Angel Ferrer (M) 18.5. 100M: 1. Shane Jackson (M) 10.8 seconds; 2. Dlugolecki (G) 11.5; 3. Rossi (Chapel Field) 11.8. 1,600M: 1. Thomas Gonzalez (M) 4:48.2; 2. Dave Wilbur (M) 4:50.5; 3. Simonson (G) 4:52.7. 400M: 1. Matthew Rodriguez (M) 54.3 seconds; 2. Onique Taylor (M) 54.9; 3. Buono (G) 55.6. 400M Relay: 1. Monticello (Shane Jackson, Austin Colon, Mistah Alli, Onique Taylor) 47.1 seconds. Pole Vault: 1. Kevin O’Rourke (M) 10-6; 2. Dominic Martinez (M) 10-0; 3. Daniel Braunstein (M) 9-6. 200M: 1. Shane Jackson (M) 22.3 seconds; 2. Onique Taylor (M) 23.8; 3. Dlugolecki (G) 24.3. Long Jump: 1. Shane Jackson (M) 18-10; 2. Angel Ferrer (M) 17-7 1/4; 3. Mistah Alli (M) 17-7. High Jump: 1. Rachain Wilson (M) 5-4; 2. Austin Colon (M) 5-2; 3. Antwon Vasquez (M) 4-8. Triple Jump: 1. Mistah Alli (M) 35-6; 2. Jose Cruz (M) 34-8; 3. Hoetzler (CF) 34-0. 3200M: 1. Dave Wilbur (M) 11:26.1; 2. Donovan (G) 12:22.5; 3. Bryden Fraser (M) 13;18.3. 800M: 1. Thomas Gonzalez (M) 2:09.3; 2. Dominic Martinez (M) 2:10.8; 3. McWatt (G) 2:11.3; Shot Put: 1. Tyler Soloman (M) 40-2; 2. Brandon Corley (M) 39-8, 3. Jean-Jacques (CF) 37-6. 400M Intermediate Hurdles: 1. Dave Wilbur (M) 62.0 seconds; 2. Florkowski (G) 64.3; 3. Angel Ferrer (M) 68.8. Discus: 1. Brandon Corley (M) 106-1; 2. Jean-Jacques (CF) 100-1; 3. Heotzler (CF) 96-10. 1600M Relay: 1. Monticello (Thomas Gonzalez, Dominic Martinez, Matthew Rodriguez, Onique Taylor) 3:42.3.
Monticello Lady Panthers win twice on Wednesday afternoon
In addition to the boys’ meets, the Monticello Lady Panthers also hosted the Goshen Lady Gladiators and Chapel Field Lady Lions on Wednesday afternoon at Ed Kennedy Field.
The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Gladiators, 79-61, in their OCIAA Div. III meet. In a non-league meet, the Lady Panthers topped the Lady Lions, 98-29.
In the other non-league meet, the Lady Gladiators stopped the Lady Lions, 101-26.
Rebecca Concors, Kenisha Haynes, Kayla Martin, Valentina Rraci and Tania Walker all recorded individual wins for the Lady Panthers. Concors won the 400 hurdles in 78.4 seconds, while Haynes took first place in the triple jump (29-3 3/4) and Martin won the shot put (27-7).
Rraci prevailed in the discus (89-6) and Walker won the 200 (27.7 seconds) and the 400 (65.8 seconds).
In addition, the Lady Panthers prevailed in two of the three relay events. The team of Kristen Harrington, Haynes, Walker and Alexis Watkins placed first in the 1,600 relay in 4:49.0. The foursome of Harrington, Concors, Watkins and Ana Loor won the 3,200 in a time of 11:00.3.

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