Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor Leader Spring Sports Previews

Seniors, Juniors Lead Pinelands Track and Field Season

Apr 05, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy Junior Elizabeth Makar not only is the Pinelands Regional girls track and field team's premier thrower, she's one of the best in South Jersey.

Throughout last spring, a number of juniors and sophomores started rising up within the Pinelands Regional girls track and field program to provide coach Matt Fuller with some depth in certain events. This season, following the graduation of several prominent athletes, the remaining core group is the focal point of the program.

“We’re looking to be competitive in our division, but we are going to be relying heavily on our seniors and juniors,” Fuller said. “We need some athletes to step up and have big seasons.”

First and foremost, the Wildcats will be expecting more excellence from junior thrower Elizabeth Makar, who last season rose to higher levels in the shot put and discus. After placing second in Ocean County, fourth in the Shore Conference, second in NJSIAA South Jersey Group II and ninth in state Group II, Makar followed up with a phenomenal indoor season this past winter. She also was sixth in the Ocean County discus, 13th in the conference and seventh in the section last spring.

Another junior Fuller expects to rack up big points is sprinter and jumper Sarah Keady, who last spring placed 11th in the county 400-meter dash before taking seventh in the conference. Senior Rachel Papernik also is expected to score big in the hurdles events. Last season, Papernik was 14th in the county 400-meter hurdles and 10th in the section. Senior Teresa Jaeckel, who was 10th and 11th in the 2018 county and sectional meets, respectively, will be the premier athlete in several jumping events.

Senior distance runner Jewel Szwed, senior throwers Jaycee DeMaria and Bianca Trice, senior hurdler and jumper Calyn Conway, sophomore distance runner Marlee Tharp and sophomore jumper and sprinter Sunni DiElmo are among those Fuller is hoping will rise to new heights this spring.

The rest of the squad includes junior Jolie Zaccaria; sophomores Olivia Anderson, Cassidy Derflinger, Samaria Elbadri, Hannah Olsen, Morgan Ross and Karissa Walling; and freshmen Angelina Papa, Madison Borbotko, Saige Pharo, Caitlin Rodriguez, Kayla Stallard, Nadya Sturies and Tori Trettin.

As for the boys team, the Wildcats are a youthful group with only eight seniors. Still, most of those upperclassmen have been with the program for several years and coach Don Angelini will be relying on their leadership and experience.

“Our numbers are very good, but we have a young team,” he said. “I’m hoping the seniors push the younger guys as we try to be a competitive team in the division.”

Without question, the Wildcats are led by their talented and experienced throwers, Jonathan Makar and Jacob Lucas. Last year, Makar placed sixth in the discus in Ocean County, 13th in the Shore Conference and seventh in South Jersey Group II, while taking sixth and seventh in the county and conference shot put, respectively. Lucas was 17th in the county shot put before finishing 14th in the sectional meet.

In addition to the senior throwers back in the lineup, Angelini is looking to a large group of returning athletes to score more points in a variety of events, starting with seniors Luke Mathis (middle distance), Patrick Princiotti (distance) and Joel Lucas (throws). The rest of that crew includes juniors Tim Zamora (sprints), Tyler Demmerle (hurdles/jumps), Zach Hoegler (throws) and Charles Blight (throws); and sophomores Dom Darcy (sprints/middle distance), Jacob Santillanes (distance) and Mart Villanueva (distance).

Several key newcomers may contribute points in the sprints, hurdles and jumps, including twin freshmen Andre and Isaiah Simmons, while junior Shane Heiselmeyer, sophomore Christopher Norris and freshmen Tyler Snyder and Anthony Winks will add more depth to the throwing crew. Freshman Darren Barreau also is a viable addition to the sprint team.

The rest of the squad includes seniors Adrian Garcia-Vargas and Joseph Horn; juniors Antony Aguilar, Ryan McGowan and Nolan Rollison; sophomores Adam McCloskey, Jack Roth and Christian Ware; and freshmen Nick Daleo, Sebastian Estremadoyro and Carmen Matarazzo.

— David Biggy



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