At the start of the season, Mendham coach Dave Quinn always circles the same three meets: the Morris County Relays and Championships, and the NJSIAA sectional. Those are the three biggest challenges between the Minutemen and a successful season.
They achieved two of their three goals, but in very different ways. Mendham, the 2015 All Daily Record Boys Outdoor Track and Field Team of the Year, edged Randolph at the County Relays by 61/2 points, and dominated the competition to take home North 2 Group III for the fourth year in a row.
The Minutemen seniors ended their team season as champions again, having never lost the sectional meet. Mendham athletes scored in 13 of the 18 events, finishing with more than double the points of second-place Chatham.
They are believed to be one of just two Morris County boys teams to win four straight sectional titles.
“Going in knowing we were the favorite by so much, I felt a little more relaxed, that we could definitely do this,” Minutemen senior jumper Spenser Clouse said. “Winning sectionals by such a big margin was a great thing to do. Winning County Relays was more exciting, because we won by such a little margin.”
Mendham’s current success actually began building two years ago, when the current seniors were sophomores scoring points at the varsity level. There were 17 on the roster this year, 12 of whom made significant contributions.
Sprinter Christian Kildal-Brandt was a reliable anchor in the 100, 200 and 400. Despite an ankle injury, Paul Ehmann led the distance corps, along with Mitch Anderson. Clouse was one of the top jumpers in Morris County, drawing a particularly enthusiastic crowd when he attempted to clear 6-foot-8 at Morris County Relays.
But it was the hurdlers, a relatively young group, which particularly surprised and delighted Quinn. Mendham finished second in the intermediate hurdles at the Morris County Relays, moving up from its seed, and was also fourth in the shuttle hurdles. Juniors Julian Montilus and Peter Miu were second and fourth in the intermediate hurdles at sectionals. Montilus, Miu and sophomore Johann DeSilva were all in the top eight in the 110 hurdles as well.
“To be written down in history at Mendham, it just feels amazing to be part of that, part of that team,” Miu said. “Everyone on the team is so close together. We’re friends and we do it together, and love being with each other.”
The Minutemen also finished second to Randolph by eight points at the Morris County Championships, as both teams had what Quinn described as “an A-plus day.” The Rams and Mendham also went 1-2 at the NJAC Large-Schools meet.
Mendham even hosted an alumni night this spring, with more than 20 male and female athletes returning to the high school to play games — and run a 4×400 with Quinn.
“Wherever we were, whether it was at a meet or in practice, there were people who wanted you to do your best and would push you,” freshman Colin Hall said. “That helped me grow as a runner.”