ELIZABETH–The Benedictine Academy Varsity Track Team has made immense strides this season, breaking some state records and winning competitions. Led by Coach Eddie Greene, the team won its first girls title at the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Championships, held at the Jersey City Armory on Feb. 7.
The trio of Natalie McAlister, Kiana Winston, and Iana Amsterdam helped power the Benedictine Academy team to that conference title. McAlister, a sophomore, led in the 55-meter hurdles with a winning time of 8:42. Winston and Amsterdam, both freshmen, placed second and third respectively. Benedictine topped runner-up Notre Dame, 55-44, with Winston winning the 300 in 42:38 and Amsterdam running 7:45 in the 55 dash.
Additionally, while competing in the Metropolitan Invitational in NYC on February 3, the Benedictine Academy Girls 800 Meter Relay Team qualified for the National Scholastic Championship High School Nationals when they placed second to Suffern High School. The BA Team consisted of Amsterdam, McAlister, Winston and senior Amanda Boykins. The team ran the second fastest time in the state and the fifteenth fastest time in the country. Amsterdam won the Girls Triple Jump and McAlister won the Girls 55 Meter Hurdles.
The girls also broke two state track records while winning two competitions on Jan. 18 at the NJSIAA Relay Championships held in Toms River. The academy’s 800 Meter Relay Team, led by Boykins, McCalister, Winston and Amsterdam, won that event and broke the former state record time of 1:50.31 with an impressive 1:49.40 showing. On the same day, the Shuttle Hurdles Team led by junior Janell Fontaine, McCalister, Winston and Amsterdam, won their competition and broke the former state record of 34.53, replacing it with the new Benedictine Academy record of 32.64. Benedictine Academy also finished in third place in the Team High Jump and fifth place in the 1000 Meter Relay at the State Relays. Benedictine Academy finished in fourth place overall at that event, nearly capturing the girls title in the Non-Public B State Relays held in Toms River.
On Jan. 9, the academy team placed second overall in the Union County Relay Championships. In that event, the team was led by a first place finish in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay, thanks to team members Fontaine, Winston, Amsterdam, and sophomore Sabratina Rojas. There were also second place finishes in the 800 Meter Relay and the 1600 Meter Relay. The team got a great effort when seniors LaShae Lopez, Shantia Cobb, and Jennifer Lynch took 4th place in the Shot Put Relay.
Pictured with trophies won at recent track events are: Standing- (l-r): Amanda Boykins of Irvington; Natalie McAlister of Bloomfield; and Janell Fontaine of Plainfield. Kneeling (l-r): Iana Amsterdam of Elizabeth and Kiana Winston of Roselle. Photo courtesy of Benedictine Academy
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