It was a good year to be a Bulldog, especially for the Bellomo brothers. Between the two Jersey Shore Area High School seniors/fraternal twins, four school records were broken, a state championship won, and many personal records were set.
Nick Bellomo, along with teammates Peyton Whitman, Elijah Jordan, and Brodie Herr, set the school record for the 4×100-meter relay. A record formerly held by Nick’s uncle, Jacob Leone, and his teammates. Nick Bellomo was also on the relay team, along with Nathan Horn, Raidan Francis, and Peyton Welshans, that set the JSASD school record for the 4×400 meter relay.
Not to be outdone, his brother, Peter, one of the top overall throwers in the district, won the District 4 finals in the javelin by a whopping 19 feet with a throw of 193’10”. At that time, Peter Bellomo was ranked 4th in the country with a throw of 208’2” that he did at the PHAC meet prior to the district championship. That throw also happened to be a school record in the New Javelin.
For those that didn’t know, javelin records are broken up between New and Old. In the mid-1980s, javelin throws were nearing 300 feet at elite levels. Literally putting stadium crowds at risk for injury. So, in 1986 the men’s javelin was redesigned so that the center of gravity was moved forward by 4 centimeters. This may not sound like much, but it effectively made the nose of the javelin dip, thereby shortening throws by approximately 10 percent and saving lives. Typically, records set with the old-javelin design are longer and stand the test of time. Going into the PIAA Class AAA state meet, however, Bellomo had other ideas. “I feel good,” Peter said. “I want to throw 214.” And that is just what he did. Two throws later, Bellomo hit 214’3”, setting another school record, beating both old and new and winning him state gold. It also should be noted that he beat out the #1 ranked javelin thrower in the country to win that medal! Also worthy of mention is the fact that Jersey Shore had not had a champion in track and field since 1971 when Joe Ferrer won in the javelin. A record now held by Bellomo.
“This season, we had a lot of great athletes, especially on the boys’ team. A lot of them were seniors. The Bellomo twins were the #1- and #2-point scorers of the team. In fact, at a lot of the bigger invitationals, they were responsible for 2/3 of the team points. It just goes to show you that their great work ethic paid off. With them getting up early before school to lift and working hard. It was evident in their athleticism and success,” said Bob Fox, head JSASD track and field coach. The two brothers certainly did work hard. So much so that their weight room lifts more closely resembled those of Division 1 football players. Their 5 a.m. sessions enabled Peter Bellomo to squat in the mid-500s and bench press in the high 300s at a bodyweight of 200 pounds. Nick, at 170 pounds, was a phenom with a bench press in the 300s and still was able to run fast sprints and middle distance, 110-meter hurdles, long jump, and pole vault. All things that would normally be specialized events, Nick Bellomo can do in a single meet and do well. A college coach once commented on Nick Bellomo’s exceptional kinesthetic awareness, his ability to know where his body is in space. “Sure, Pete is great, but I’m excited about Nick because any kid that can do all that and still teach himself to get upside down will go far.”
The brothers followed in the footsteps of their three older sisters, Olivia, Victoria, and Gabrielle, all of whom were throwers for Jersey Shore. Victoria achieved the title of Land Meister in her junior year of high school while on a student exchange in Perna, Germany. As a member of a club team, Victoria was ranked 3rd in discus in all of Saxony at the time. Gabrielle is currently throwing shot, disc, and hammer for Misericordia University. Nick and Peter plan on attending Lock Haven University and will be members of the LHU Track and Field Team. Nick plans on majoring in Psychology, and Peter will study Physical Education.
Montoursville was also blessed with hardware this year, taking gold in the PIAA Class AA 4×400 meter relay. Teammates Mason Winslow (senior), Josiah Schans (senior), Sean Frey (sophomore), and Quinn Winslow (freshman) won with a combined time of 3:28.81. “We had a lot of talent this year and trained hard,” said Coach Aaron Runkle. Josiah, a talented 110 and 300-meter hurdler, discussed winning states with his coach at the beginning of the season. “Josiah told me he wanted to win states,” said Runkle. “We had the team to do it. Our seniors would come out with fast (split) times, and Sean got into lifting and had a lot of growth. Quinn has the potential to be at least as good as his brother, maybe better, if he keeps working hard.”
“I didn’t really have a sense that we would be as good as we were. I thought we’d be good but not that good,” said Ed Winslow, father of Mason and Quinn. “Mason was excited about running track because, before COVID, he wasn’t able to do too much due to an ankle injury. Quinn was also excited. They both caught the track ‘bug.’” Mr. Winslow went on to say he saw the potential for greatness, especially in the younger members of the relay team, but that he thought it was down the road a bit. “Quinn had some good times going in, but I didn’t expect this kind of performance. They worked hard in the off-season, though. Mason hit the weight room and ran, which not everyone does. It was the same with Josiah and Sean. Quinn didn’t do as much formal training in the off-season, but he plays soccer year-round and is in good shape.” Winslow went on to discuss the strategy going into the District 4 Class AA Championships. “Mason intentionally sat out of the 200 and 800 at districts. We wanted to save him for the 400 and the 4×400 relay, so he’d be fresh at states.” Mason Winslow went on to win both events at the district championships.
The future is bright for these young athletes. “Quinn and Sean are excited about next season,” said Ed Winslow. “We’ve got some good eighth graders coming up, and our 1st alternate from this season was also very good.”
Seniors Mason Winslow and Josiah Schans are both interested in continuing their track careers at the collegiate level. Mason plans on attending Susquehanna University, where he will be on the team. Josiah, who also took 5th in the 300-meter hurdles and 8th in the 110-meter hurdles at the PIAA Class AA State Championships, is interested in joining a team but is still undecided on a school.
When asked if he knew he had a championship team at the beginning of the season, Coach Runkle responded, “I would say that when January hit is when I knew. With the large number of athletes that wanted to run indoors and train in the off-season, sometimes in the rain and snow. I knew that if we put in the work, we would win states and win 4×400 gold. I had a talk with them and told them that, and they believed me, and in the end, we came home with the gold.”