RV runs on track

RV runners, jumpers, throwers, and hurdlers finally get to stretch their legs after a long winter.

Jya Marshall, Assistant Sports Editor

Returning back from their abnormal winter track season, runners, jumpers, throwers and hurdlers are finally making their way back onto the track; eager to have a true spring track season. As this year remains some of the athletes’ first spring track experience (due to the cancellation of last season), the team is fresh and prepared for some hard work and dedication.

Considering that spring track is an outdoor sport, the team and coaching staff were excited to be able to keep all athletes, something they were not able to do for winter track. 

After losing last spring and a chance to send the seniors out the way they deserved, head coach Eric Warren, known on the track as “Coach E” to his team, is thrilled to finally have a season this year and grateful to be back on the track. 

“This team is my extended family, and getting an opportunity to coach and lead these young ladies and men this year…is going to be amazing,” he said.

Additionally, Warren is looking forward to accomplishing something unprecedented here at RV— to win back-to-back State Championships.

“I honestly believe that we were robbed of that opportunity last spring, as that team was better than the team we had the year before that won the first state title. The team we have this year is also very good with strong leadership,” said Warren.

Warren points to the leadership from the veteran competitors, including senior Sheriyah Nutt, senior Abigail Boggs, senior Alyssa Leak and junior Sanai Jenkins. When asked what they looked forward to most this season, the girls collectively stated that they hoped for a season composed of fun memories and victories.

“I am looking forward to having a team that gets along, cheers for each other and overall creates a great team atmosphere and environment on the track,” said Boggs.  

Senior captain Alyssa Leak is very enthusiastic about this year and hopes that both teams recognize the importance of hard work and the difficulty in this sport and that even in times of failure, to “never think of it as a loss, but as an important lesson to grow and thrive from.”

On the boys’ team, the captains, senior Isaiah Arzu, senior Gabriel Wilson, Senior Jalen Blango and junior Andre Faigal, hope to grow together, form a brotherhood, break school records and set new ones.

Because he didn’t get to run last year, Arzu wants to quickly get back on track so other teams know that “we are not here to play games.”

We are not here to play games

— senior Isaiah Arzu

“We want to win it all and we will do whatever it takes to do it,” he said. “We are here to break records and remind everyone that the Rancocas Valley Red Devils are back and better than ever.” 

Senior captain Gabe Wilson is excited to see how far the team has come since freshman year and to “see all these new aces step up to the plate.” As a captain this season, Wilson wants to “ensure everyone gets to have a full season and that every athlete feels like a valued member of the team.”

Junior captain Andre Faigal states he is eager to “see the team evolve over the course of the season.” Also, since many athletes haven’t had a spring season at all, Faigal is excited to see how the boys’ team can fill the shoes of the previous seniors.

Head coach of the boys’ track team, Jeff Dzuranin, also shared his passion for this year’s season. “I am incredibly excited for the 2021 Spring Track Season. The cancellation of the season last year was devastating and made us all appreciate what we do have even more,” he said.

Coach Dzuranin also mentioned how there are high expectations for the Boys Track & Field team this season. “Although we lost some high point scorers to graduation, there is a strong nucleus of returning athletes who are looking to create their own legacy of success in the RV Track & Field program.”

As practices and two meets have been checked off for this season so far, newcomers like freshman Savanna Riddick are truly enjoying their first spring track seasons. Riddick believes she is developing new techniques and skills on how to run every day.

“I have met new people which I think is fun since I haven’t been able to meet a lot of people due to the pandemic,” she said.

For many, the track feels like home. All coaches and athletes are confident that if they continue to attack each practice and competition with a championship mindset and work ethic to match, they will arguably be the best team in all of New Jersey, and not just Group 4.