• Dan Russoman

Hudak wins gold at County Meet


Hammonton’s Austin Hudak won the javelin title at the Atlantic County Championships last week. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

BUENA—Austin Hudak had one goal entering last week’s Atlantic County Track and Field Championships.


“I wanted to throw 160 feet,” Hudak said.


A junior thrower, Hudak achieved his goal, topping the 160-feet mark as he won the javelin, helping Hammonton High School’s boys track and field team place fourth overall at the meet, held at Buena Regional High School.


Hammonton’s girls also placed fourth at the meet.


Four boys and two girls earned individual medals at the meet, led by Austin Hudak, who won the boys javelin.


Hudak fouled on his first attempt, and came a foot short of his goal two throws later before launching a 160-foot, 8-inch throw that gave him the gold medal.


“It feels good. I wanted 160 [feet] and I got it. Coach [Tony DeRosa] told me to just concentrate and focus on getting off the best throw I could. It’s great to win,” Hudak said.


Hudak’s teammate, Michael Dogostino, was third in the javelin with a throw of 154 feet.


Connor Wright collected a pair of medals for the Blue Devils, taking second place in the triple jump and third in the long jump.


In the triple jump, Wright had a leap of 41-feet, 5.25-inches to earn a silver medal, and his mark of 21-feet, 2.75-inches won bronze in the long jump. In addition to the two medals, Wright also helped his team with a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 11.23 seconds.


The top six performers in each event earn points for their teams, and Matt Littlefield scored for the Blue Devils in a pair of races.


Littlefield was third in the 400-meter hurdles, posting a time of 1:02.06. He later placed sixth in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing the race in 18.33 seconds.


Also taking home bronze medals for Hammonton was 4x800 relay team of Aiden Ellis, Fernando Flores, J.D. Shinske and Brandon Martinez, who posted a time of 8:59.41.


Earning sixth-place points for Hammonton were Dom DeRose, who finished the 400-meter dash in 53.08 seconds, and Ethan Dustman, who cleared 8-feet in the pole vault.


For the girls, Emma Peretti and Emily Dustman each won silver medals to help Hammonton place fourth overall.


Peretti was second in the discus with a throw of 120-feet, five inches. She also finished fourth in the shot put with a mark of 34-feet, 3-inches.


Dustman won a pair of silver medals, placing second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.36 seconds, the second-best time in Hammonton history, and also in the long jump with a leap of 16-feet, 3-inches.


Emma Amilcare was fifth in the long jump at 15-feet, 4.25-inches.


Placing fourth for Hammonton in the 100-meter hurdles was Carrigan Genovese, who had a time of 16.37 seconds.


Two Blue Devils relay teams earned fourth-place points. Abigail Smith, Kylie Pfluger, Angelina Cortellessa and Julianna Ruhf finished the 4x800 relay in 11:19.56, while the team of Amilcare, Mackenzie Haldeman, Genovese and Dustman was fourth in the 4x100 with a time of 51.90 seconds.


Pfluger was fifth in the 3,200-meter run, finishing with a time of 13:14.19.


This week, Hammonton’s track teams will compete in the South Jersey Group 3 sectionals at Delsea Regional High School on June 5 and 6.