Run Wave Run: Spring Track Midseason Report

Track Team Overcomes Covid Adversity


Pierce Munsey

Like all spring sports last year, Delbarton Track was put on pause after the outbreak of COVID-19. We started our preseason on March 9, and we were all looking forward to having a successful season. From the chilly New Jersey weather to the huffing and puffing of out-of-shape lungs, it felt like a typical preseason.

However, there was a special topic that dominated our water break conversations. I remember some of my friends talking about a new virus that was making its way from China to the United States; consequently, rumors started to swirl about whether we would go to school the next week. Little did we know that the virus would disrupt our entire season. After just four practices together, we got news that we would not be able to return to Delbarton for at least three weeks. However, we still did not know much about the severity of the virus, so we thought we would be back on the track in time for our larger competitions. Our coaches assigned us workouts to complete at home, so we continued to train by ourselves until May 6, 2020, which was the date we learned that we would not have a season. It was devastating news, especially for the Class of 2020, as they would never compete in the green and white ever again. Meanwhile, the Class of 2021 missed opportunities to showcase their skills to college coaches. All in all, the cancellation of the season was a huge setback to both the Delbarton Track program and the individual members of the team.

Fast forward to March 2021. Due to new regulations by the state, we were not allowed to have an in-person preseason this year. In fact, we were not allowed to practice at Delbarton until last month, so we only had a couple of weeks of in-person training before our first meet. Therefore, everybody had to hold themselves accountable in March. This was a challenge for a lot of us, as we had to rely on our self-discipline to get ourselves in shape for the season. However, everybody was up to the task. When we had our first in-person practice on April 5, it was clear that every person on the team followed through with their self-training. This aspect of our team is what I believe separates us from the rest of the teams in the state. Nobody wanted to let their brothers down, so everybody held themselves accountable and trained at maximum intensity day in and day out. 

Our first meet othis year came against Montville, and we lost by a narrow two points. However, there were many bright spots for our team, as we swept the 110-meter hurdles behind strong performances from Jarrett Spada, Ethan Cho, and Thomas Johnson. In addition, we swept the 800-meter event.

Then, our team headed over to Mendham for a tri-meet against the Minutemen the Chatham Cougars. We topped the Cougars by a score of 76-64, and we took down Mendham 98-42. Gabe Benz, Pat O’Callaghan, and Henry Nyre propelled our team by taking all 14 points in the Pole Vault. Benz also contributed toward Delbarton’s sweep in the Triple Jump with Jeff Cianfrocca and Dominic Pizzo rounding out the bunch. Cianfrocca then got second place in the Discus event, with Nigel McSween and Daniel Kraft also picking up points in that event. Jack Murphy also scored varsity points in multiple events.

Then, in the last dual meet of the season, our team came out strong against in-town rival Morristown, as we battled the rain and won by a decisive score of 113-27. This win helped keep our hopes alive for a regular-season division championship, but we unfortunately do not control our own destiny. Still, our team was clicking on all cylinders in Morristown, so we are primed to make a splash in our upcoming meets.

As of this writing, the track season has reached a midpoint, for we are currently transitioning from competing in dual meets and tri-meets to competing in state and county championships. Our team is improving every day, so we are optimistic that Delbarton will remain one of Morris County’s premier track teams for years to come.