Manville High School Boys Track and Field Team Win Skyland Conference Mountain Division


Molly Weber

The Manville Mustangs track and field team competed at the Skyland Conference Championships at Hillsborough High School on May 23, 2023. Many runners, jumpers, and throwers from Manville had outstanding efforts however the results from the boys team were incredibly spectacular. The Mustangs blew up the competition scoring 196 points and winning the Skyland Conference Mountain Division by more than 67 points. 

When the Mustangs arrived at the meet, they already knew that they had a shot at winning the division. Lucas Velando (11) kicked off the amazing races from Manville by running the 400-meter hurdles, finishing with a personal best of 1:08.44 and placing fourth in the division. Naquavere Thomas (10), Isaiah Bennet (9), and Yavier Alvarez (12) ran the 100-meter dash next and put up some speedy times. Thomas ran a 13.13, Bennet ran a 12.37, and Alvarez ran a 12.12, which put Manville in a good spot at the beginning of the meet.

Next on the track was the 1600-meter run and Manville’s boys did exactly what they were supposed to, finishing first, second, and third in the division which won them 24 points. Gabe Zala (9) finished first with a time of 4:43.17 with Ron Gamarra (12) not far behind crossing the finish line in 4:58.23 and Evan Bias (9) finishing in 5:15.66.

After the 1600-meter run concluded, it was time for the 400-meter dash. Abdiel Alvarez (11) ran first with a time of 59.36, finishing sixth place in the division and earning a point for the team. Volker Tay (11) ran next and got a time of 56.73, finishing third in the division and getting six points. Yavier Alvarez ran next and got an official time of 53.26, earning him a first-place finish in the division and ten points.

Gabe Zala, Ron Gamarra, and Lucas Velando all competed next in the 800-meter run. Zala earned yet another first-place finish for the Mustangs in 2:09.62. Gamarra finished in 3rd with a time of 2:11.77 and Velando finished 4th in 2:17.72.

As the pressure built up for the title of the division, it was time for the 200-meter dash. Isaiah Bennet finished fifth in the division with a rapid time of 25.75. Yavier Alvarez competed in his third event of the evening and finished with a lightning-fast time of 24.12, making him second in the division.

The next event for the Mustangs was the 3200-meter run, where Manville once again ran Ron Gamarra and Evan Bias and finished first and second in the division. Bias ran 11:29.44 while Gamarra crossed the finish line after 11:14.78. 

After an incredibly long and successful day for the Manville Mustangs, it was finally time for the last event, the 4×400-meter relay. Isaiah Bennet ran first for Manville and finished in 58:50. He passed the baton to Gabe Zala who completed his lap in 57.94. After Zala, Abdiel Alvarez was up next who ran a 58.75 split and passed the baton to his brother, Yavi Alvarez, who completed the Mustang’s successful night in 1:00.62. The overall time for this brisk relay was 3:55.86 and second in the division. This meant that all of the hard work put in by the Manville Mustangs had paid off since they were the next Skyland Conference Mountain Division Champions! This was an extremely special occurrence as this was the first time that Manville would bring home a division title in 36 years. Everyone in Manville is super proud of this accomplishment and we wish the best of luck to the track team as they compete at state sectionals on June 2nd and June 3rd.