By Matt Shatkus
PHILADELPHIA – Morris Hills finished off the 115th edition of the Penn Relays by smashing the New Jersey record previously held by Colts Neck (7:39.54), They crossed the line in 7:31.60 in 2nd, just behind New National Record holders Albemarle (7:30.67). Leading off for Morris Hills was Vinny Chiusano (1:55.2), right on his heels was Albemarle's Garrett Bradley. Chuisano passed the stick to Lucas Clyne (1:52.1) who had not run with the team during the prelim round. Clyne then passed the baton to Sean Pohorence (1:53.5), who then handed off to anchor Liam Tansey (1:50.6) Tansey got the baton with a slight lead over Albemarle. Sprinting (or atleast it seemed that way) were both Tansey and Albemarle's anchor Anthony Kostelac (1:49.3). Kostelac stalked Tansey for 750m before making a push around Tansey on the final turn. The two sprinted home with Kostelac edging Tansey, the two finished the final 200m in under 25 seconds.
Other highlights from the weekend include: Columbia and Hunterdon Central both making the 4x800m finals. Both ran well in the final on Friday, Columbia took 5th in 9:16.00 and Hunterdon Central was 8th in 9:22.56. There was some Alumni action on Thursday night in the College Women's 3000m Championship. Southern Regional alum, Danielle Tauro, now with the Maze and Blue of Michigan U, enjoyed a slow pace for very much most of the race. Tauro used her blistering kick past a pack of 3 to win in 9:33.18 a PR for her. One HUGE highlight from Friday was Nick Vena, who seems to have no limit. Every time he steps into the circle the crowd knows a bomb is coming. Well on Friday he launched just that, a bomb. Launching the shot 72-2.5", crushing the NJ state record as well as the Penn Relays meet record
Thursday night Southern Regional looked for some redemption after a dissapointing 4th place finish in the DMR in 2008. They faired better than last year by finishing 2nd 11:58.74, however after a steller indoor campaign that was capped by winning the Nike Indoor Nationals, losing this one will not sit well with the squad from Manahawkin. Southern had the same lineup as at NIN. Chelsea Cox led off, but appeared tired and could only manage a 3:43.4 and from there on they had some catching up to do, those of you that remember 2008 remember what's about to happen. Next, on the 400m leg was Michelle Simmons ran a strong an ok 61.3 then passed the baton to stud junior Erin Horleman (pictured at the left), after a fantastic leg at the indoor nationals, Horleman handed off the baton to Jill Smith running 2:20.2, Then it was all up to Smith. In 2008, to the crowd it seemed as though Smith was out of it. Had it been a longer race, it was pretty apparent she would have caught the three others that finished ahead of her. Smith anchored that race in 4:42, this year she was going to need the same thing. However Smith wasn't 100% so no one was sure what she could do. Smith battled around 3 laps picking runners off left and right. She managed to make it all the way to 2nd, but Tatnall (DE) anchor leg Juliett Bottorf (4:59.3) was just out of reach. Tatnall crossed the line with a total time of 11:49.37 and Southern was 11:58.74.
One of the big stories before the relays, was how low could West-Windsor Plainsboro North go? Not whether they would win or not, just how fast they would run. To the crowds surprise WWPN had another team closer to them than anyone had tought. Upper Dublin (PA) was up for the challenge of slaying the sophomore laden team. The two were hand and hand the entire way with almost identical splits. So going into the 1600m Jim Rosa, and Mike Palmisano would decide whose going home with the hardware. Both burned around 3 laps and headed into the 4th. Coming around the last turn, Palmisano blasted around Rosa and he had no answer. Palmisano pulled away in the last 40m to win the Distance Medley Championship of America.
(pictured at the left is senior 800m runner Tyler Corkedale of West-Windsor Plainsboro North who split 1:55.2). WWPN finished in 10:11.28. You can bet we'l see them pitted against Upper Dublin atleast one more time this year, mostlikely coming in June at the NIke Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, NC