Batman, Spider-Man, Superman. Three comic book heroes of mythical proportions who try to promote good in the world.
Eloy Almonte, Randol Almonte, Fernando Almonte. Three Lodi brothers who wear the costume tops of their favorite superheroes to motivate themselves, and their track and field teammates, to run, leap, throw and soar skyward for better times and distances.
The skilled family trio combined to run a school-record 2:58.8 to win the Division C-D gold medal in the 3-x-400 intermediate hurdles at last Saturday’s Jack Yockers Bergen County Relays at River Dell High School. They helped the Rams finish second to Hasbrouck Heights in the C team standings.
As Batman, the caped crusader of Gotham City, Eloy considers the thought process all-important in his approach to hurdles and the other events in which he competes such as the discus.
“It’s always important for me to find that mental edge and angle that I can use to further our team and individual event goals,” said Eloy, a senior and fraternal twin of Fernando. “Intellect is very important in addition to physical prowess and like Batman I try to stay one step ahead in the thinking part of the game.”
Spider-Man’s talent of scaling tall buildings is a perfect fit for the quick, athletic Randol.
“I love the ‘spider-sense’ part of him, he can really react quickly to anything that disrupts his surroundings and make a knowledgeable choice to do the right thing,” said Randol, 17, a junior and the youngest of the brothers.
“I like to use techniques where I can sort of just suspend in the air and turn on a dime, just like your friendly neighborhood and crime-fighting Spider-Man. The agility, reflexes and stamina are all-important ingredients, too.”
Fernando is the Man of Steel because he can do many things well. He is the defending North 1, Group 2 state champion in the 200 and 400 and was first-team All-North Jersey in the 110 high hurdles last spring – winning the Bergen Meet of Champions in the event.
“It’s important to be able to contribute to the team effort from several different angles,” said Fernando, who throws the javelin and also can be explosive in the 100.
“My girlfriend [Kristen DiRenzo, a Lodi thrower and hurdler] helped come up with the idea for the outfits. I think they sincerely fit each of our personalities to a T.”
Fernando plans to attend Lebanon Valley College in the fall to play strong safety and return punts and kickoffs on the football team. Eloy will attend the same school to compete in track and field.
Randol is considering whether to follow his brothers to the Annville, Pa., school in the fall of 2014.
“What they are really showing all of us, especially the younger athletes, is that you can be anyone you want to be and achieve those ambitions if you put in the work and pay the price,” said Matt Leto, a sophomore thrower for the Rams. “You can dream big dreams and they may well come true.”