• Athletics
2021’s First Track and Field Meet: Making Strides

Ashley Cohen ‘22

Masks on and legs firing, Lawrenceville’s track and field team raced, relayed, and long-jumped into their first interscholastic competition against the Hill School on April 8. Big Red Sports Network reporter Ashley Cohen ’22 caught up with coaches Erik Chaput and Jeff Streeter to recap the meet.

Ashley Cohen: What went well for girls’ track and field at the first meet of the season?
Erik Chaput: It had been well over a year since we were able to compete against rival Hill School. Thankfully, that came to end [on April 8] as Big Red welcomed Hill to the Eglin Track on a gorgeous afternoon for an exciting dual meet that came down to the wire. Though Big Red came up a little short in the overall team scoring (74-66) in the end, the future of the program was on display for the Big Red faithful watching the live stream.

This is the youngest squad the team has had in the last decade and a talented group of Second Formers made their presence known from the beginning to the end of the meet. Keira Lehmann ’24 took home the gold in the 1600m and Cindy Shum ’24 had a strong showing in the event. Anna O'Keefe ’24 picked up big points for the team in the throwing events.

Third Former Naakwama Ankrah led off the 4x100m relay team. Veterans Marcia Ojo ‘21 (co-captain) and Kiera Duffy ‘22 went 1-2 in the 400m. Duffy recently set the girls’ outdoor track record in the mile (5:05). The 4x100m relay team of Ankrah, Emmy Apfel ‘22, Bella Ricardo ‘21, and Laila Ritter ‘22 (co-captain) posted a solid 52.3 time - one of the fastest early season times for the team in recent years. Ritter and Duffy teamed up with Noelle Rustico ‘21 and Audrey Bing ‘23 to win the 4x400m relay at the end of the meet.

Ashley Cohen: What were some highlights for boys’ track and field at the first meet of the season?
Jeffrey Streeter: Manoc Joa-Griffith ’22 led the boys track team to victory over the Hill School with a thrilling come-from-behind anchor leg in the 4x400 relay. The stands at Keuffel were full of Lawrentians eating their dinners al fresco, and they rose to their feet with a roar as Manoc took the lead down the back stretch.

Other outstanding performances included: Ronnie Scott ’21 earning the victory in the high jump with a leap of six feet; Bob Fish ’21 jumping well over 20 feet in the long jump; Ben Polaski ‘21 winning the pole vault; Samir Khare ’21 taking first in the discus; Connor King ’22 winning the high hurdles; Bryan Fan ’22 leading a first-through-fourth place sweep in the 800; Sean Scarpa ‘23 taking the 3200; and Manoc crossing the line first again, with an excellent time of 52.08 in the open 400. 

AC: How did the meet go for the newcomers who may have missed last spring’s season?
JS: Some outstanding performances from newcomers to the team point to a future just as bright at the present. Daniel Cummings ’22 put together an incredible day, anchoring the 4x100 relay, jumping nearly 20 feet in the long jump, and running mid-23 in the 200. Michael Sotirescu ’22 caught his coaches off guard when he launched the javelin 125 feet. Stanley Hir ’24 placed second in the 400 hurdles, and then came back to take part in Lawrenceville's sweep of the 800. It was a beautiful day for the first outdoor track meet at Lawrenceville in nearly two years, and the boys did well to beat a talented Hill squad 81-64.

AC: What went especially well today after such a long time without interscholastic competition, and what do the team’s successes mean for future meets? 
JS: That [the success, particularly in the 4x400 relay] also relates to what the boys did well, which was to just get out there and compete. It had been a long time since they'd had the chance, and our skills were a bit rusty in spots, but the effort was outstanding across the board. Special commendation there to Stanley Hir ‘24. Running the 400 meter hurdles (probably the hardest event on the track) for the very first time, a mistake was made and there was an extra hurdle in his lane. Stanley wasn't phased, just cleared the extra hurdle and still finished second in the varsity race.

In terms of going forward, we're excited because a lot of new guys did great things in events they've only just begun to learn. Cole Shannon ‘23, for example, had practiced high jump exactly once before competing today. He cleared 5'8" just by running at the bar and hurling himself over it. Can't wait to see what he can do when we've had the chance to practice a bit of technique. And there are a dozen or so other new guys who similarly did great things with very little preparation.

Girls’ varsity track meet photos

Boys’ varsity track meet photos

boy jumping over hurdle

For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.