Pope John girls track team wins H/W/S tournament

SPARTA. The Lions took the girls title with 99 points, 2.5 more than North Hunterdon in the 14-team field.

Sparta /
| 21 May 2023 | 09:37

The Pope John XXIII Regional High School girls outdoor track and field team won the annual Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Championships on Monday, May 15 at Vernon Township High School.

The Lions took the girls title with 99 points, 2.5 more than North Hunterdon in the 14-team field.

The Pope John boys placed fifth with 47 points among 17 competing schools. Hunterdon Central won the boys title with 102.5 points.

Leading the way for the girls were Krista Dengler, who won 400 meter hurdles and was second in the 100 meter hurdles, and Madison Griffin, who won the javelin with an effort of 125-09.00 and the discus event with a throw of 124-05.00.

Other top five finishers included Mackenzie Kaiser (fifth in 100), Tessa MacMullin (fifth in 200), Katy Miller (second in 400), Katelyn Nolan (second in 1600, third in 3200), Avery Griffin (fifth in triple jump), Gabrielle Labrada (third in discus, second in shot put), Hailey Clarke (fifth in javelin), Carly Sarisky (third in shot put), and the 4x400 meter relay team that finished second.

On the boys side, Pope John was paced by Sean Line, who won the discus with a throw of 141-03.00 and the shot put with an effort of 48-03.00. Tyler Houser took third in the shot put and fourth in the javelin. Jarrod Confrancesco was third in the discus as was the 4x400 meter relay team.

Other top five finishers included Joey Rozynski (fifth in 100), Joshua Watson (fifth in 400 hurdles) and Ryan Hoo (fifth in pole vault).

Here is how other Pope John sports teams fared last week:


The Pope John baseball team, seeded first and ranked No. 16 in the state, came up short in the H/W/S Tournament championship game, falling to Hunterdon Central, 12-5, on Wednesday, May 17 in Phillipsburg.

The title was the third straight for Hunterdon Central (12-9).

Pope John (15-7) which had won H/W/S titles in 2017 and 2019, was appearing in the final for the fourth straight season.

Mac Tufts was 2-for-4 with two RBI; Brandon Weir went 1-for-3 with two RBI; and Christopher Manco walked three times and scored a run to pace Pope John, which fell behind, 5-0, after three innings.

The Lions were seeded fifth for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Non-Public A tournament and were scheduled to host 12th-seeded Paramus Catholic in a first-round game on Tuesday, May 23.


Pope John (12-10) was seeded fourth for the NJSIAA, North Jersey, Non-Public A tournament and received a bye into the quarterfinal round.

The Lions were set to play host to fifth-seeded Pingry or 12th-seeded Holy Angels on Thursday, May 25.

Boys lacrosse

The Lions closed out the regular season with an 8-4 victory over West Morris on Saturday, May 20 in Sparta.

Pope John (13-3) trailed, 4-3, before outscoring its opponent, 5-0, in the final period.

Jack Sakowski (three goals, one assist), Lucas Biddiscombe (two goals), Eric Vargas (one goal, two assists), Ryan McCarthy (one goal), Johana Bars (one goal), Mickey Ramirez (five ground balls, won 12-of-15 face-offs) and Joseph Barnish (14 saves) contributed to the win.

Girls lacrosse

The Lions suffered a 15-5 setback at Mount Olive on Saturday, May 20.

Keira Donegan (two goals), Emily Dyer (one goal, two assists), Alyssa Trendafilov (one goal) and Leah Gerkhardt (one goal) paced Pope John (5-13).

Donegan, a sophomore, leads the team in scoring with 35 goals and six assists.