Former NJ HS Stars Shine at College Conf. Championships

Several former N.J. high school track stars made their impact felt at conference championship meets this past weekend.

Let's start out at the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championship, which was held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. 


In the women's competition, Nicole Macco (Matawan)  won the pole vault (13-1 3/4) to help lead UPenn to its first outdoor title since 1998. UPenn outscored runner-up and four-time defending champion Harvard, 177-114. Also for UPenn, Tia Livingston (Union Catholic) finished eighth in both the 400 hurdles and 100 hurdles.

The Princeton men completed the Ivy League Triple Crown by winning the outdoor title to go along with the XC and and indoor titles the Tigers won. Charlie Volker, who won the 100 at the Meet of Champions for Rumson in 2015, ran on Princeton's winning 4x100 that ran 40.32 and was seventh in the 100 dash in 10.72 (10.69 in the trials). Former Millburn High teammates Matt Grossman and Robert Stone made their presence felt in the distance races for Princeton. Stone was seventh in the 10,000 in 30:29.83 and 19th in the 5,000 in 14:47.64. Grossman placed 11th in the 5,000 in 14:32.76.   


Like they did so many times at teammates at River Dell, UPenn sophomores William Daly and Colin Daly went 1-2 in the 3,000 steeplechase at the Ivy League meet as Will won in 9:00.84 and Colin was second in 9:01.24. Also for the UPenn men, Anthony Okolo (Union) won the 400 hurdles in 51.79.

Marvin Morgan (Neptune) placed second in the 100 (10.56) was was fifth in the 200 in 21.72 (21.60 in the trials). Aaron Groff (Cherry Hill East) was fifth in the 10,000 in 30:26.45, and 20th in the 5,000 in 14:48.60. 

In other Ivy results, Princeton's Jackie Berardo (Hunterdon Central) was third in the womens 800 (2:08.54), and Dartmouth's Dana Klein (Gill St. Bernard's) was 11th in the 5,000 in 16:59.06, 


Some of New Jersey's finest were all over the results at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships at Rider in Lawrenceville where Monmouth swept the men's and women's team titles for the fifth straight year. Monmouth head coach Joe Compagni was named the MAAC Men's and Women's Coach of the Year for the fifth straight year. 

On the men's side for Monmouth, Ibrahim Massey, a 2016 graduate of Haddon Heights, was named the Most Outstanding Track Performer of Meet. Tim Jacoutot (2017 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy) was named The MAAC Track Rookie of the Week, Chris Marco (2014 graduate of Toms River South), Dylan Capwell (Hopatcong), Greg Stickle (Randolph) all had huge performances.  

Massey won the 100 in 10.74 and the 200 in 21.73, and combined with NJ 's Tim VanCauwenberge (West Orange), Jacoutot, Miguerson Joseph (Elizabeth) to win the 4x100 in 41.70. Joseph also placed second in the 100 in 10.85.

Jacoutot (52.71) and Stickle (52.91) went 1-2 in the 400 hurdles and shares the baton with 
Frank Conforti (Colts Neckand Malcolm Chavis (Roxbury) on the winning 4x400 (3:14.19). 

Marco won the 1500 in 3:48.03 and was third in the 800 (1:51.07). 
Capwell won the 800 in 1:50.90 and was fourth in the 1,500 (3:49.37). Capwell, Marco, Bryan Cabral (Linden) and Nick McFarland (Hillsborough) were all ran on the winning 4x800 that ran 7:37.53, No. 47 in the NCAA rankings this season.

Matt Isaacson (Matawan) won the pole vault with a clearance of 14-11.

Also at the MAAC meet, Manhattan's Ryan Addlesberger (Cinnaminson) won the shot put at the MAAC Championships with a throw of 56-3 3/4.

For the Monmouth women,  Ashley McKinnon (Newark Tech) had a great meet, Danielle Steff (Rancocas Valley) was named Women's Field Event Rookie of the Week, Chandi Piiru (Union Catholic) won the 400 in 56.39, and Kyra Velock (Mountain Lakes) earned Co-Rookie of the Meet honors after placing third in the 1,500 (4:28.48) and fourth in the 800 (2:12.18). Piiru and Velock also ran on the winning 4x800

Steff won the javelin with a PR of 160-7, and Casey Sturtz (Buena) captured the pole vault for Monmouth with a clearance of 11-11 3/4.

McKinnon won the triple jump with a 40-9 3/4 and ran on the meet record breaking 4x100 (46.53), which included Iyanna Jenkins (Linden) and Viviane Orleans (Dayton). Orleans also placed fourth in the 100 hurdles.

Rider's Sara Gardner (Delaware Valley) smashed the MAAC meet record and reset her own school record by winning the women's 100 hurdles 13.41.

Rider's Ashley Berry (Franklin) won the women's discus for the third straight year, and teammate Asia Young (Holy Spirit) repeated as long jump champion. 

Christin Patrick (Seton Hall Prep) put an exclamation point on his final MAAC Championship appearance with a pair of medals. He came in second in the high jump with a leap of 2.05m and he brought home a gold medal in the 110 hurdles with a first-place time of 14.76.

A pair of Broncs also earned silver medals in the triple jump and the 400. Senior Michael Horn (St. Joseph Met.) came in second in the triple jump at 14.77m and junior Russell Malko (Hunterdon Central) landed in second-place in the 400 with an IC4A-qualifying time of 48.93.


At the Patriot League Championships at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., 
Colleen Buckley (Immaculate Heart) and Kaitlin Salisbury (Hawthorne) turned in sensational performances to lead Bucknell to a runner-up finish behind Navy.

Buckley won the 5,000 (17:02.66) ad the 10,000 (35:56.91). Salisbury reset her own school record in the 100 with an 11.84 in the trials (she was fourth in the 100 final in 11.91),  placed second in the TJ with a PR of 39-10 1/2, and was second in the LJ with a school record 19-9 1/2, 3/4 of inch better than her previous record, which she set at the 2017 Maroon and Gold Invitational.

Twins Alex Dessoye and Robert Dessoye (Egg Harbor) and Steven Rizio (Montville) ran on Bucknell's winning 4x400 (3:12.47). Alex Dessoye was also 5th in the 400 in 48.63 and Alex and Robert were on the third-place 4x800 that ran 7:38.80.  The Bucknell men placed third in the team standings behind first-place Navy and runner-up Army.

Lafayette's David McGriff (Hunterdon Central) won the hammer (199-2) and the discus (175-2) at the Patriot meet, and was fifth in the shot put (51-9 1/4). 


At the Atlantic 10 Championships at George Mason in Fairfax, Va., Brooke Fazio (Ridge), Marisa Ruskan (Bridgewater-Raritan) and Maria Acosta (Paramus Catholic) ran on the winning 4x800. Ruskan also ran a season best 4:25.09 to place second in the 1500, and Red Bank Catholic grad Eryn Mills (a PR of 10:30.23) placed fourth in the 3,000 steeplechase.


At the NJAC Champoionships at the College of New Jersey in Ewing,  Rowan swept the team titles.

Aaniyah Robinson (Passaic Tech) had a great sprint triple and Aspen McMillan (South Brunswick) had a great performances to help spark Rowan to the women's title.
Robinson won the 100 12.06 and the 200 in 25.12, both huge personal bests, and anchored the winning 4x100 that went 47.58 is No. 11 in NCAA Division 3 this year. McMillan finished first in the 100 hurdles in 14.42, and ran on the winning 4x100. The Rowan women outscored Stockton, 242.83-213.50.

For the Rowan men, it was 
a four-peat as the Profs captured their fourth straight NJAC outdoor title, 277-135 over Stockton.

The Profs were led by two titles each by Julian Pratt (Camden), Shai Mumford (West Deptford), and Jeffrey Tucker (Eastern). Pratt captured the 100 meter dash title and ran a leg of the winning 4x100 relay. The Profs' 4x100 clocked a 41.57, nearly two seconds ahead of the field. Mumford earned conference gold in the 200 (21.74) and also ran a leg of the 4x100; the relay also included Kyle Limbaga (Audubon) and Steven Jones (Kingsway).

Tucker captured two conference titles in the jumps, with a 7.20 meter long jump and a 2.10 meter high jump.

Other Prof individual titles include Francis Terry (Sterling) in the 400 (48.54);  and Anthony Salemo (Ramsey) won the 400 hurdles (52.34). Three distance Profs earned titles, including Dan Henry (Clearview) with a 5000 meter time of 15:06.92, Alec Trapani (South Brunswick) with a 33:45.11 finish in the 10K, and Nick Nocco (Southern) with a winning 3000 meter steeplechase time of 9:38.65.

Terry also ran a leg of the Profs' winning 4x400; he combined with Jamil Jackson (Highland), Justin Bishop (Mainland), and Hunter Barbieri (Egg Harbor) for a time of 3:17.23.

Ramapo sensation
Jeremy Hernandez (Clifton) added two more titles to his resume, including the 800 (1:51.57) and 1500 (3:52.32).

Ramapo senioe Amber Edwards (Sayreville) set a new NJAC Championship Meet Record in the triple jump with a winning mark of 12.46 meters!

Two Stockton athletes earned conference titles Freshmen Steven Jernee (Ocean City) picked up a win in the javelin (60.72 meters), and Keith Holland (Central Regional) won the pole vault by clearing 15-0 for the first time in his career.

Emily Higbee (Holy Spirit) led the Stockton women's squad at the NJAC met with three victories and one second-place finish. Higbee won the shot put (13.00m), discus (38.64m) and hammer throw (43.52m) while also finishing second in the javelin (38.00m). Higbee won the NJAC outdoor title in the hammer throw for the third straight year and shot put for the second season in a row.

Edward Dennerlein of Rutgers-Newark (Chatham) won the  men's NJAC shot put with a throw of 15.62 meters.

The College of New Jersey women had several great performances at the NJAC meet. 

Erin Holzbaur (Robbinsville) won the 3000 steeplechase as she topped the field with a time of 11:19.61, and she brought in another honor in the 5k, as she topped the field with a time of 18:00.36.

Jenna Ellenbacher (Cranford) was the champion in the 400 meter hurdles as she topped the competition with a time of 1:02.75. Another individual title came from Katie LaCapria (Middlesex) as she won the 800 in 2:17.67, and Emma Bean (Mainland) won the 10k with a time of 40:04.95.


Here is something huge that slipped through the cracks last week-Stanford's Olivia Baker, a senior from Columbia High School, split 2:00.90 to bring her team across first in an NCAA #3 all-time 3:41.59 in the SMR at the National Relay Championships. Apologies to the "Baconator" for missing that last week.

Colordao's Andrew Ghizzone, who won the Meet of Champions pole vault as a senior at Union Catholic in 2014, placed second in the decathlon at the PAC-12 Championships this past weekend at Stanford.

Ghizzone has cleared 16-1 ¾ in the pole vault this season, and racked up 7083 points in the decathlon at the Bryan Clay Invit., which is No. 39 in the NCAA decathlon rankings.

Brenna Smith of Liberty University (Haddon Township) won the javelin with a PR, school record, meet record, and facility record 161-7, No. 36 in the NCAA rankings this season, at the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C.

Georgia's Justes Nance (Blair) ran a PR of 20.94 to place second in the 200 at the Torrin Lawrence Invit. in Athens, Ga.

Alex Leto of Maryland (Old Bridge) has been named Maryland's 2018 Men's Big Ten Medal of Honor award winner. The Big Ten Medal of Honor is the conference's most exclusive award and was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence.  Leto ran a PR of 21.73 in the 200  this past weekend at the Kehoe Twilight Meet to finish third. Leto has posted 15 first place finishes over his four-year Terrapin career.

Briana Roberts of UMBC, a 2016 graduate of Pennsauken, had a great meet at the American East Championships. She ran on the winning 4x800 that ran 9:02, finished seventh in the 800 in 2:16. ? (a PR of 2:13.11 in the trials.