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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Relay record falls at states

Courtesy photo Hammonton’s 4x400 relay team, Aaron Lasasso, Aaron Mull, C.J. Handy and Dom DeRose broke the school indoor record at the Group 3 state championships last weekend.

TOMS RIVER—Although he didn’t bring home a state title in the 400-meter dash, Hammonton High School senior Domenic DeRose had an unforgettable day at the Bennett Center, where he also helped the Blue Devils 4x400 relay team set a new school record.

DeRose opened the day with the 400-meter dash, and as he headed down the stretch, a runner from Northern Highlands reached out and tugged on DeRose’s shirt, trying to slow him down.

Hammonton coach Jeff Dey appealed successfully, and DeRose was allowed to run the race a second time, with just one other runner competing.

“It was definitely a day to remember. I went into the meet very confident in my training and how I was going to perform. I went out hard and was on pace to run my best indoor 400 meter time until a kid from Northern Highlands grabbed me and pulled me back so he could get the win. [It was] such a disappointment in sportsmanship and I have never seen anything like that in all four years of running,” DeRose said.

DeRose was rattled by the foul, but after a pep talk from Dey, he was able to run the event again about a half hour after the first race.

“Me and Coach Dey had a private conversation and after some tears and great mentoring, I was ready to go back on the track for the second time. I came out strong, but after running already and only being up against one other person, my performance wasn’t my best,” DeRose said.

DeRose posted a time of 53.23 seconds, good for 15th place.

Later in the day, he helped Hammonton’s 4x400-meter relay team set a new school indoor record, as Aaron Mull, Aaron Lasasso and C.J. Handy joined DeRose to finish with a time of 3:36.44, more than three second better than their previous record.

“Later, I had to move on from the open 400 and focus on leading my 4x400 team to a victory.

We ran our best time of the season and won our heat. We came from last to first and we dominated our race. I’m very proud of how our team handled this situation,” DeRose said.

Last weekend’s state finals wrapped up DeRose’s indoor career at Hammonton, and while the senior came away without a medal, he gained some valuable lessons.

“Things don’t always go as planned, but my coaches prepare me for anything, Winning the 4x400 proves that we have more in the tank and that we will leave it all out on the track,” DeRose said.

Also last weekend, Kaylie Ranere competed in the girls 1,600-meter run, placing 17th with a time of 5:43.56.

Earlier in the week, Ranere set the school record in the 1,000-meter run at a South Jersey Track Coaches Association meet, finishing with a time of 3:21.96 and taking first place in the event. Teammate Natalie Clauhs was second in 3:33.31.

DeRose broke the school record in the 300-meter dash, the highlight of a meet that saw more than 20 Hammonton athletes turn in season-best performances.

DeRose ran the 300 in 37.40 seconds, while Handy finished in 38.69 and Mull posted a mark of 39.32. Also running for Hammonton were Berto Barber (40.68), Josiah Miller (41.11), Fernando Flores (41.12) and Nate Goblirsch (42.73).

In the 55-meter dash, Mull was fifth in 6.84 seconds. Handy finished in 6.92 for eighth place and Dom Alber was 10th in 6.93. Lasasso (7.05), Javon Lawton (7.08), Miller (7.22), Barber (7.23) and Justin Harms (7.54) also competed.

Lucas Iuliucci was seventh in the 600-meter run (1:34.81), while DeRose finished in 1:35.55 and Jacob Scarpato had a time of 1:43.60. D.J. Vinciguerra finished in 1:56.40.

Several Blue Devils ran the 1,000-meters. Jesus Flores placed seventh in 3:01.59 and Matt Martino was eighth with a time of 3:02.86. Sean Fudala finished in 3:04.04 for ninth place.

Also running for the Blue Devils were Tristan Sabol (3:05.77), Andrew Hoover (3:14.73), Scarpato (3:16.14), Jefferey Sole (3:19.74) and Jeremiah Bautista Galvez (3:19.79).

Iuliucci was third in the pole vault, clearing 9-feet, and Anthony Liakhnovich placed second in shot put with a throw of 45-feet, 5.25-inches. Christian Medina was third (45-feet, 1-inch) and Elijah Church finished seventh (41-feet, 4-inches). Gabriel Ramirez was ninth with a throw of 39-feet, 3.5-inches.


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