Frattura, Vannatta win gold again

SPARTA. Isabella Frattura of Sparta High School and Nick Vannatta of Pope John XXIII Regional High School win javelin events at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.

Sparta /
| 17 Jun 2024 | 07:10

Isabella Frattura of Sparta High School and Nick Vannatta of Pope John XXIII Regional High School reigned supreme at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Meet of Champions.

Both athletes earned gold medals in the javelin event last week to lead their respective schools at the final outdoor track and field event in the state Wednesday, June 12 at Pennsauken High School.

Frattura, a junior, won the girls javelin with a throw of 139-3 while Vannatta, a senior, earned the boys javelin title with an effort of 201-11.

Frattura missed matching her personal best by eight inches. She threw 139-11 at the Penn Relays.

A year ago, she reached the M of C as a sophomore and placed sixth in the state in the javelin.

“It was definitely a very special day for me,” said Frattura. “Last year, I wasn’t expecting to win, but this season I really prepared mentally and believed that I could win it all.

“To be able to bring a state title home to Sparta means a lot. But I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, coaches, teammates and my faith.”

The M of C wasn’t Frattura’s last event, however, as she qualified for New Balance Outdoor Nationals on Sunday, June 16. She reached the finals, where she placed eighth overall with a throw of 131-9 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“It wasn’t my best but it leaves me hungry for more next year,” she said after the event Sunday.

Frattura’s teammate Le-Shem Little also qualified for the M of C and placed 13th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.15. Malachi James of Burlington City won the event in 21.08.

3rd time a charm

For Vannatta, the M of C was just his third event throwing the javelin in competition.

Vannatta, who played football in the fall and baseball in the spring, was recovering from a broken toe when he chose to come out for track and field.

He first competed in the javelin event at the Sussex County Invitational, where he won the title with a throw of 164-0. He then won gold at the NJSIAA Non-Public A championships with an effort of 191-7 to qualify for the M of C.

Vannatta also qualified for the New Balance Nationals on June 16 and placed 46th with an effort of 160-01.

His teammate junior Jordan Perez placed 25th at the M of C, throwing for a distance of 150-5.

Other Pope John participants at the M of C were Ryan Hoo, who placed 13th in the pole vault with an effort of 13-0; Julia Ireland, who was 17th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:17.94; and Katelyn Nolan, who was 20th in the 3,200-meter run in 11:15.72.