By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO For the second straight year, the Monticello boys’ track and field team has won the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III track and field championship.
And the team has once again done so while going undefeated in the division.
Monticello earned its second consecutive title by defeating John S. Burke Catholic High School, 124-16, on Wednesday afternoon at Ed Kennedy Field at Monticello High School.
The Panthers are 5-0 this season after defeating Chapel Field, Cornwall, Goshen and Burke.
In topping the Eagles, several Monticello team members recorded personal records in their first-place finishes.
They included: Austin Colon, high jump, 5 feet, 8 inches
Mistah Alli, triple jump, 40 feet, 8 inches
Todd Kolvenbach, 400 intermediate hurdles, 1:03.3
Matt Rodriguez, 400 meter dash, 51.7 seconds
Tino Taylor, 100 meter dash, 11.2 seconds
In addition, London Gantry achieved a PR with a mark of 39-10 in the triple jump. He placed second in that event. Steve Padin had a PR of 17.2 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles. He finished second in the event.
Monticello also finished first in all three relay events. In the 4X100, the team of Rachain Wilson, Mistah Alli, Austin Colon and Kevin O’Rourke prevailed in a time of 45.7 seconds. The team of Tino Taylor, Matt Rodriguez, Dom Martinez and Todd Kolvenbach won the 4X400 in 3:43.0. In the 4X800, the team of Joe Klein, Mike Dzurica, Harry Lin and Bryden Fraser won in a time of 10:12.7.
Other top three finishes by the Panthers included: Mike Rodgers (third in the 110 high hurdles in 17.6 seconds), Dom Martinez (second in the pole vault, 7-0), Mistah Alli (second in the 100 dash, 11.8 seconds), Tino Taylor (second in the 400 dash, 53.0), Talon Watson (third in the 400 dash in 57.5 seconds and third in the triple jump, 35-5), Steve Padin (second in the 400 intermediate hurdles, 1:03.9), Jose Cruz (third in the 400 intermediate hurdles, 1:08.6), C.J. Forrest (second in the 800, 2:32.2), Alex Rockiki (third in the 800, 2:35.3), Austin Colon (second in the 200 dash, 24.1, and second in the long jump, 18-5 1/2), Joe Klein (second in the 3200 in 11:44.7), Ian Kolaitis (third in the 3200 in 13:45.8), Rachain Wilson (third in the high jump, 5-4), Corey McCall (second in the discus, 88-9), Garrett LaPolt (third in the discus, 82-5 1/2, and third in the shot put, 36-9) and Steve Wilbur (second in the shot put, 39-4).
Burke’s Tomas Matias won the 110 high hurdles in 16.6 seconds. Teammate Jimmy Murray won the 3200 run in a time of 10:47.4.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Monticello Coach Joe Seidl, moments after having a large cooler of water dumped on him by the Monticello team members as part of the celebration for winning back to back division titles. “We have a lot of talented athletes here. They showed a lot of grit and determination.
Seidl noted that all of the Panthers are focused on the team and its goals.
“This is a good group of boys,” Seidl said.
Seidl noted that he and Assistant Coach Matt Buddenhagen have a great deal of respect for each other and work well together in guiding the team. Some members of the track team were members of the Panthers’ varsity football team this past autumn. The team, under the leadership of Buddenhagen, had a very successful season and reached the Section IX Class A semifinals.
“These kids have been working very hard,” said Buddenhagen, who noted that Seidl “is the driving force behind” the track and field team.
Seidl noted there is a correlation between football and track and field.
“The two sports compliment each other,” he said.