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Boys Track: EHT recovers from DQ to win SJ Group 4 team title

05/28/2017, 8:30pm EDT
By Joe Tansey, SJSD

The Eagles came back to beat RV in the team competition.

EGG HARBOR-- There was always going to be a loud roar rocking the final 100 meters during sectional weekend at Egg Harbor Township High School.

But the last stretch of the final race, the 4x400 relay, carried more importance to the host Eagles after the way a few events transpired the night before.

At the end of Friday night’s racing, the 4x800 team was disqualified, a major blow to the Eagles’ hopes in the team competition.

But the disqualification inspired and motivated the Eagles more than anything.

“The big motivator was getting disqualified in the 4x800,” Egg Harbor 4x400 anchor Alex Dessoye said. “I didn’t run it, but I usually do and I was mad. We had to have a lot of good results because that cost us 10 points and gave Rancocas Valley 10 points.”

The team race shifted back in Egg Harbor’s favor after Aidin Hendriks, Eric Barnes and Rob Dessoye went 2-3-4 in the 800 meters. Then the 4x100 relay team beat Trenton by one hundredth of a second.

Out in the field, the Eagles received solid performances and points from almost every event, leading to an eight-point advantage going into the 4x400.

“We wanted to make sure we were able to do well on the track and that’s really what won it,” Alex Dessoye said. “We had some good performances in the triple jump, (Alvin) Taliaferro did really well. We had some good performances overall .People really stepped up after yesterday.”

When Alex Dessoye took the baton for the anchor leg, he had a decent lead on RV and he didn’t let the Red Devils gain any ground on him.

On top of all the celebrating going on, the Eagles broke a school record in 3:16.24 to clinch the South Jersey Group 4 team title.

“It was great,” Alex Dessoye said. “I was looking at the clock when I was finishing so I knew we got the record. I knew it was a fast time. It just feels nice to run this fast. We didn’t think we were going to run 3:16, PR and break the record like that.”

The record was just another PR to close out the weekend that was carried with a ton of motivation from Friday night.

“I think it did (motivate us),” Alex Dessoye said. “We’ve always been rivals with (RV) and Trenton. Both of them together is just great competition. And all weekend we’ve been PRing and we’ve all been doing a lot better and I think that’s one of the reasons why.”

Although the season may be over for the 4x800 team, it will continue for most of the team next weekend on its home track for the Group 4 state meet.

“We have a lot of momentum individually and in the relay,” Alex Dessoye said. “We have a lot of motivation. We’re going to go into this week pretty excited, but bummed out about the 4x800, but I think winning the team title ... I think that’s better and we’re looking for a very good weekend next week. There’s going to be a lot of good competitors.”

Zyra Thomas, a six-time state champion, won another gold at the Woodbury Relays Saturday.
J'wan Steward
Lou Russo played football at Cherokee High School and La Salle University
The 2005-2006 team won program's first state title
Donte Jamison (left) with Braheem Whitfield primed to carry the golden baton
Jim Crawford was surrounded by former players and coaches at Coaches vs. Cancer Legends Dinner

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