Record-setting winter for Blue Devils
HAMMONTON—Record-setting performances, overall team success and an unusual finish highlighted a successful 2022-23 season for Hammonton High School’s boys indoor track and field team this winter as the Blue Devils continued to develop into one of the area’s top programs.
Many Hammonton athletes broke records during the season, and several others were able to record personal-best marks in their respective events.
“As a coaching staff, we were very pleased with how the guys performed this season. I don’t think anyone expected to see that many records fall, but we have a lot of dedicated athletes who always work hard and push themselves and each other to do better every day,” Hammonton coach Jeff Dey said.
One of Hammonton’s top performers this season was senior Dom DeRose, who set records in the 300 and 400-meter dashes, earning a trip to the state championships where he ran a race that was memorable for more than its result.
Approaching the finish line in a 400-meter heat, another runner tugged on the back of DeRose’s shirt, resulting in a foul and giving DeRose the opportunity to run the race again.
While not finishing among the top runners in the event, the experience gave DeRose a somewhat special memory and inspired him to lead Hammonton’s 4x400 relay team to a school-record performance later at the state finals.
“Dom [DeRose] had to overcome a lot. It was a tough way to end his high school 400-meter career, but after collecting himself, he was able to help out 4x400 team set a record,” Dey said.
Joining DeRose on the record-breaking team were Aaron Mull, Aaron Lasasso and C.J. Handy, who each enjoyed strong seasons for the Blue Devils in both relay and individual events during the season.
Other sprinters who ran well for Hammonton included Dom Alber, Berto Barber, Javon Lawton and Josiah Miller.
Senior Fernando Flores was one of the Blue Devils’ top middle distance runners, setting a school record and leading a strong group that also featured Lucas Iuliucci.
Hammonton’s distance runners also set personal-best marks during the season. Setting the pace for that group were Jesus Flores, Sean Fudala, Matt Martino and D.J. Vinciguerra.
Ethan Dustman enjoyed a strong season in pole vault, and throwers Anthony Liakhnovich, Christian Medina and Elijah Church also performed well during the winter season.
Versatile athletes Jayden Smith and Rolison Turpin added depth in many events for an unselfish Blue Devils team.
“One thing that always stands out about our team is the willingness of our athletes to do whatever the team needs them to do. They’re always eager to try a new event or join a relay team. Anything they can do to make themselves and the team better,” Dey said.
Hammonton hopes that its indoor success this winter will carry over to what it expects to be a strong season outside this spring.
“That’s what we’re looking for. We’ve continued to get better the last few indoor seasons and we’re hoping we can see more of our athletes earn spots at the state championships this spring,” Dey said.
Workouts for the spring 2023 season begin on March 16 and the Blue Devils first meet is slated for April 4 at 4 p.m.