Delsea’s state track championship this weekend was definitely a true track and FIELD championship.
The Crusaders won the state Group 2 title by one point, thanks to a phenomenal performance from their field team.
Delsea scored 42 of its 56 points in the field on the way to an intense one-point win over a very talented Haddonfield team at Central Regional. Delsea finished with a 56-55 win.
It was a fascinating team battle, since Delsea and Haddonfield are so strong in different areas. In fact, there was only one event where they both scored.
Delsea’s only medalists on the track were senior Colin Kane, who placed fourth in the 3,200 with a six-second PR of 9:26.96, and the 400-meter relay team — senior Aidan Borguet, juniors Damir Lomax and Shaikyi Hannah and senior Jimmy Vargo — which won in 42.23, fourth-fastest from all the state meets.
Everything else? Jumpers and throwers.
As always, Delsea piled up huge points in the pole vault, where juniors Nico and Marco Morales and senior Ryan Jillard went 2-3-4 for 18 points. The Morales twins each cleared 15-0 and Jillard got over the bar at 14-0.
Junior Jake Nwosu won the discus with a 160-2 throw, Lomax took second in the long jump at 22-9 1/2 and senior Kevin Gilliano was third in the shot put with a 50-3 3/4 throw.
Nwosu is on quite a run, with wins in the Gloucester County and Tri-County meets along with sectionals and now states. This is a kid who was eighth at Woodbury and fifth in the South Jersey Invitational before something clicked in mid-May. His 173-3 at sectionals is No. 6 in the state.
For Lomax, that 22-9 1/2 jump represented a massive PR. This is an athlete who just started long jumping this winter and didn’t even break 20 feet until two months ago.
But he’s increased his PR in every major championship meet — 20-10 1/4 at counties, 21-1 at conference, 21-5 at sectionals and another 16 1/2 inches for 22-9 1/2 and second place at states. When you look at a one-point team title, you look at a guy who wouldn’t have even placed if he just jumped at his PR. That’s how you win a championship.
And then there’s Gilliano, who was the fifth seed and placed third. The difference between fifth and third is four points, and Delsea won by one.
The title was Delsea’s second overall and second in a row. They’re only the second Gloucester County school to win a state title in consecutive years since 1980. Woodbury won Group 1 in 2010 and 2011.