It’s been a meteoric rise for the Bogota boys track team. After several years spent struggling to compete in Bergen County, the Buccaneers have elevated themselves into one of the better small-school programs in North Jersey.
Second-year coach Steve Kordosky, along with a dedicated and dependable support staff, are helping turn 2013 into a special season for talented athletes such as seniors Jovanie Sotomayor and Gabe Frias, and juniors Johnathan Profitt, Luis Santos and Juan Castro.
The Bucs enjoyed a 6-2 dual-meet campaign, their first over-.500 mark in at least five seasons. They also should be a contender when the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC) Patriot Division championships are held at Overpeck County Park in Palisades Park on Tuesday.
“The attitude is upbeat and positive, and the importance of meeting standards and setting a structure with more consequences has helped us reach more of our goals,” Kordosky said. “We have been able to maintain our focus, setting a positive tone and, at the same time, dramatically increasing our overall team production.”
Bogota had one of its best showings in at least 10 years at the Jack Yockers Bergen County Relays, finishing second in D Division with 72 points. Park Ridge (100) placed first. Last Saturday, Bogota was fourth in Group 1 at the Twin Boro Relays in Ramsey behind Park Ridge, Midland Park and Verona.
“We’ve definitely meshed together more as a true team unit, and the overall spirit is a lot better than just a few years ago,” said Frias, a senior thrower. “It seems we’re not simply keying in on our own individual goals, the mood is more looking for your teammate to set a personal best or rapidly improve his time or distance, too.”
Besides Kordosky, new weights coach Kevin Bayani and volunteer assistants Pat Rockford in the distances and Dillon Rodgers in the weights have made major contributions.
Head girls coach Shannon Raftery and assistant Kristy Duchensky have added valuable input to the Bucs’ brain trust.
The girls team (2-3) also has experienced memorable success, led by senior Elizabeth O’Brien (distance/1,600 relay), sophomores Anais Fernandez and Kelliann Brown (400/jumps), freshman Jillian O’Brien (distances) and junior Kayla Dixon (sprints).
The Bucs boys and girls will be looking to score well at the Gene Littler Bergen County Championships at Old Tappan on May 17-18.
Sotomayor (800/1,600/ 3,200/4-x-400 relay), Castro (jum-ps/hurdles), Profitt (jum-ps/sprints) and Santos (jum-ps/sprints) are all an important part of the new team philosophy for the surging Bucs.
“This has been a special season, from the beginning of practice on Day One in March through the dual meets and now on to the league, county and state championship portion of the meet season,” Castro said. “Everybody here feels revitalized and re-energized. We’ve all come together, athletes and coaches, to try to write a new chapter in Bogota track and field history.”