BERNARDS TWP.—As Leon Bunion was accepting hug after hug, the Rahway High School track coach playfully grabbed his waist area, saying “my back.” It is hard work, after all, celebrating and giving high fives.
The North II Group III NJSIAA boys sectional came down to the final 4×400 relay. Rahway’s squad took third, giving them six team points which was enough to outright take first. The Indians edged second-place Chatham 69-63 in the 19-team meet Saturday at Ridge High School.
“It’s very nerve racking, but we’ve been here before,” said Bunion, noting the recent string of the school’s wins include a Central II title in 2012 and North II Group III championships in 2009 and 2011. “This will just add to the legacy that is Rahway track and field. We believe that we are always supposed to be contenders. And when the opportunity comes, we have to capitalize on it. And these guys got out there today and they capitalized on this opportunity. We had a couple bumps in the road along the way. They came with heart. They came ready and got the job done.”
Jordan West highlighted Rahway’s achievements. The junior had dominant first place wins in the discus and shot put, and took third in the javelin over the two-day meet. Saturday, he won the discus with a 176-04. South Plainfield’s Nam Le took second with a 129-04. West was then done for the day and became a fan watching his teammates.
“It was a sweet team victory,” he said. “We’ve been working hard all year. Winter, we fell short. But the spring, we really came out and did our jobs.”
All three relays scored points. The 4×100 relay team placed second (Lenworth Wilson, Nasir Velez, Tyler Denman and Marvin Polynice); the 4×800 team got fourth (Corey McGhie, Chistopher Dias, Joseph Pierre and Odrigue Joseph); and the 4×400 team took third to clinch the outright win, consisting of (Velez, Wilson, McGhie and Raul Torres).
After the final race ended, the team celebrated on the football field. Later on then, they took a victory lap with the winning trophy and posed for several pictures.
“We’re used to the pressure,” Wilson said. “We can run well under pressure. We did it multiple times. … I knew my boys could do it. And we came out with a win.”