The Stuart indoor track team won the NJISAA Prep Championships for the second year in a row on Saturday, February 2 at Lawrenceville Prep. It was a total team effort as 10 different athletes scored, and the team scored in all but two events.
The scoring of over 100 points started with the sprint and hurdle group. Juniors Alex Ottomanelli and Heather Kwafo and freshman Cara Carr had personal records in the hurdle final for a combined 14 points. In her first year on the track team, junior Emerlee Simons joined Heather, Alex and senior captain Priscilla Francois in the 55m for a total of 18 points. Emerlee and Alex came back soon after to take first and second in the 400m, with Emerlee breaking the school record set by Carys Johnson in 2008. Freshman Trinity Broughton also won her heat in the 400m by a wide margin. Fellow freshman Jaelyn Bennett scored in the 800m with a personal best, and Melanie Burgess had a season best in the same event.
The 200m event gave Stuart its most points with Emerlee and Heather going first and second and Alex winning her heat. The 4x400 relay team of Alex, Cara, Trinity and Emerlee took first and was just shy of the school record. The young Stuart high jumpers Audrey Blandford and Misha Meyer had clutch jumps at 4'6" and took second and third place respectively. Junior Taj'hanna Tyson scored in the shot put as fellow junior Sarah Girgis had a season best.
While all of the results mentioned above are the reason Stuart won by a good margin, this meet will be remembered for what captain Priscilla Francois agreed to do to try to help her team. Priscilla was dealing with a slight injury and an illness that kept her home for a week, yet she agreed to try an event she had never done before. While some athletes might feel like this could make them look bad, her attitude was what we all try to teach our athletes: Don't worry what others think. You have nothing to lose if you try. In the end, Priscilla became the 2019 state indoor shot put champion. There are many lessons that Priscilla taught all of us today, and it was not about winning. Thank you Pris. You're a leader by words and action. Thank you to the coaches and to the families for all of their support. Click here for photos.