The Kingsway Boys Winter Track and Field team enjoyed great team success this year. They spent the duration of the season mixing it up with the top teams in South Jersey and New Jersey for team supremacy and showed that they belonged in the conversation as one of the top teams in New Jersey. As reported earlier in the year, they were able to win the New Jersey State Group 4 Relay Team championship, their fourth in program history.
While the team was able to coalesce into a well-rounded program that was able to rack up points in any team competition, they also made considerable noise at an individual and relay level. They were able to record some of the top times recorded in many events at all levels. Their exploits caught state, regional, and national attention.
At varying points in the season, the boys recorded top-30 national times in the 4×400. In the sprint medley, they had a top-20 time for much of the season. For much of the season, their distance medley time was one of the top 10 times in the US. Individually, senior Stone Caraccio put up some of the top times in the US in the 800 and mile.
However, there was one event where Kingsway really made its mark at all levels – the 4×800 relay.
Kingsway traditionally has been one of the best 4×800 programs in the country for the last decade. They have finished the year as the fastest team in South Jersey many times. They won the outdoor New Jersey Meet of Champions in the 4×800 in 2013. They have qualified for the National Championships seven of the last 10 years in the event.
This year, Kingsway took the next step in the 4×800. They started the year by winning the 4×800 at the Millrose Trials in a New Jersey and US #1 time of 7:55.30. This earned them one of the 10 national invitations to the prestigious Millrose Games. They then won the 4×800 (defeating Ridge High School which also was one of the top teams in the US), distance medley, and 4×400 titles at the New Jersey State Group 4 Championships; their 4×800 time broke the state meet record.
They were invited to the prestigious Dr. Sander Collegiate/Professional meet, where they ran another New Jersey and US #1 time of 7:52.76, even while running a substitute for one of their regular legs. However, the following week, Ridge and Phillips Andover Academy of New Hampshire ran faster times to push Kingsway down the national rankings.
This led to a huge showdown between Kingsway and Ridge at the New Jersey Meet of Champions. They dueled step for step for the duration of the race, until Stone Caraccio put the race away with one of the fastest 800 times run in the US this year. Kingsway won the state title in a time of 7:47.50, which broke the Meet of Champions meet record. It also gave them back the distinction as the fastest team in the US and was the third fastest time ever run by a team from South Jersey. They would enter the US National Championships the following week as the favorite to win the national title.
However, the National Championships were cancelled three days before it was scheduled to be run due to COVID-19. The race at the Meet of Champions proved to be the last race for Kingsway and meant that Kingsway would end the year as the fastest team in the US. Unfortunately, they would not get the chance to win the national title and set possible South Jersey and state records that they coveted. They, however, were named All-Americans based on their outstanding season.
Like many other things this school year, they can only speculate on what could have been.
By Christian Lynch