Saturday, February 4, while most Lawrentians were boarding trains to New York or catching up with their parents, members of the Boys’ Varsity Track team were tirelessly working to protect their perfect record that seems to go back to even before Ed Robbins H’68 began his time at this school. For the first time in a number of seasons, the perennial powerhouses Lawrenceville and the Council Rock North and South High Schools agreed to compete against each other. Each of these schools boasts very strong track programs, and this year proved to be no different. Big Red was simply too strong for either school, dominating all aspects of the competition.
Lawrenceville defeated North by a score of 76-37 and routed South 90-23. Commanding performances by Stanford recruit Charlie Kerr ’12 and Hugh McColl ’12, each winning two events, propelled Big Red to victory. Kerr came first in the 55 meter high hurdles and in the 55 meter dash, an event which Lawrenceville dominated by taking 4 of the top 5 places. McColl won the 400 and 200 meter races.
While sprints are the team’s forte, Lawrenceville’s long distance runners were central to the victory. Duke Ferguson ’12, Evan Barnswell ’12, and team captain Nyall Islam ’12 led the team’s strong finishes in the 1600 and 3200 meter races. They added to Big Red’s already significant point total and helped solidify the victory.
In field events, Joe Paek ’12 and Chris Cook ’13 were the team’s top performers. The sure-legged Paek cleared 6’ 2” in the high jump, providing much needed points at a time where the meet was still up for grabs. Cook continued his very strong junior season with a 51’ shot put throw, besting competitors from Council Rock North and South.
Big Red carried this momentum into both the NJISAA and MAPL Championships, earning first place in both events. The NJISAA provided Lawrenceville with the opportunity to prove its dominance to teams from all over the state. Lawrenceville capitalized on this chance, and at least one member placed in all events except for the 3200. Katakyie Ofori-Atta ’12, Alec Waugh ’14, and McColl all had particularly strong performances for Big Red, which helped secure victory. Ofori-Atta had a first and second place finish that afternoon. Waugh had a first and third place performance and was part of a 4X400 relay team that finished second. McColl earned the team another second and third place finish, and was part of the same 4X400 relay team. Lawrenceville’s depth allowed the team to have multiple athletes place in various events, which was critical in Big Red’s close victory over a very competitive St. Benedict’s Prep team.