Matawan grad Hurtault serves as Dominica’s Olympic flag bearer

I t’s the thrill of a lifetime to compete in the Olympics. Matawan Regional High School graduate Erison Hurtault was already a veteran Olympian prior to the London Games.

Hurtault, a 400-meter sprinter in track and field, competed in Beijing in 2008 for Caribbean island Dominica because that’s where his parents are from.

This year’s Olympics in London took on added meaning for Hurtault because he was the flag bearer for Dominica at the Opening Ceremonies on July 27.

Hurtault, who now lives in New York City and is a member of the Central Park Track Club, will begin his 2012 Olympics on Aug. 4, which is Day 2 of the track and field competition. That’s when the first round of the 400 meters will be held. The 27-year-old has competed for Dominica at both the World Indoor and Outdoor championships. This winter, he reached the semifinals round in the 400 meters at the World Indoor meet in Istanbul, Turkey. His lifetime best for the 400 is 45.40.

After starring at Matawan, Hurtault went on to have a historic career at Columbia University, where he won eight Ivy League titles at 400 meters. He never lost a 400- meter race at the Heptagonal (Ivy League) championships, winning four indoor and four outdoor titles. He was twice an All- American for the Lions and he was a member of the Lions’ 4×800-meter relay team that captured the Penn Relays Championship of America title.