Sophomores Ready to Make Their Mark at MOCs

Let's take a look at the future of New Jersey track and field and highlight some sophomores that could earn solid finishes or even wins in their events this weekend. 

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Sophomores to Keep an Eye on at MOCs

Lauren Princz of Egg Harbor Twp

This Egg Harbor Twp sprints star as a legitimate shot at winning two Meet of Champions titles. She is one of the top seeds in the 55 meter dash and 200 meter dash showcase. She won the 200m last spring at MOCs and was second in both events during the 2018 indoor championship. Currently NJ#1 in the 55m at 7.12 and NJ#6 over 200m running 24.86. 

Jade Pope of Pennsauken

This sophomore ranks NJ#7 on the season thanks to her huge indoor PR of 57.46 to win her Sectional on February 9th. She enters Groups as the third seed and is coming off winning the Group 3 Championship last weekend. She was fourth overall last spring at MOCs running 55.65. She also advanced in the high jump clearing 5-02 at Group 3 for third. 

Bryanna Wilson of Howell

Howell's shot put star ranks second in the state thanks to her mark of 42-07 that won Shore Conference Championships back in January, she also held the state lead earlier in the season for a time. She's won 12 meets this indoor and is on an 11 meet win streak including the Group 4 State title last weekend. 

Rachel Lavigne of Toms River East

While she has yet to do so this season Lavigne has gone over 40 feet in the shot put, she threw 40-02.5 last year at groups  and won her second straight Group 3 state title this past weekend. She has a season best of 39-06 and could step up to the occasion to hit a PR this weekend. 

James Bivins of Donocan Catholic

Bivins had a big run this past week at Easterns and now sits tied for NJ#5 at 6.46. He's coming off a Non-Public A state title at Groups and while Mario Heslop is a clear favorite for the win in the event Bivins could snag a podium and invaluable experience. He also advanced in the high jump at 5-10. 

Nicholas Medeiros of Old Bridge

Currently ranked NJ#12 with his big PR of 1:57.93 for a second place finish at Group 4 Championships. Medeiros is coming out of groups as the fifth seed in the 800m. He's only raced individually three times this season, second at Group 4, second at Central Group 4, and first at the Bill Reid Memorial Invitational so who knows if he could dropped even more time off that performance to make noise in an event that is really anybody's to take. 

Morgan Lyons of Ridge

Currently NJ#8 in the 800m with a time of 2:17.54 from her Skyland Conference victory in January she is the fourth seed entering MOCs from Groups. Undefeated in her three performances at the distance this season she won the Group 4 state title last weekend, she also advanced in the 400m dash where she finished third. Expect her to play a role in the 4x800m showcase at the end of the meet. 

Julianne Kopec of Red Bank Catholic

Ranked NJ#12 in the 800m this season at 2:18.02 Kopec is the fifth seed coming into MOCs, she was second to Union Catholic's Leena Morant in the Non-Public A state championship. She's also a Monmouth and Shore Conference Champion in the event. 

Alexa Palmieri of Ocean City

NJ#15 in the 3200m at 11:09.51 Palmieri is the 10th seed out of Group Champs weekend. She won her South Group 3 Sectional before finishing fourth in Group 3 last weekend. 

Tyler Konopka of Toms River South

This soph has thrown over 50 feet six times this winter, won his sectional and was third in Group 3 last weekend. He enters the meet as the seventh seed at 52-05.75. 

Jailya Ash of Eastern Regional

Ash is ranked NJ#3 on the season in the 55m dash with an 7.13 from Easterns. She was second at Sectionals, followed that up with a fourth place finish at Group 4, and then blasted the 7.13 for second at Eastern States Championships on Tuesday! So we may not have seen her ceiling just yet.

With defending champ Grace O'Shea not competing in the 55m hurdles we could possibly see this soph with the upset win there as well. She is NJ#5 in the hurdles running 8.10. 

Carly Tarentino of AL Johnson

Tied for NJ#5 this season at 5-06 with five other girls this AL Johnson star won the Group 1 state title last weekend with that height. She is currently undefeated in the event this season having won five straight meets.  

Edwin Klanke of St. Peter's Prep

Klanke is currently the 14th seed in the 1600m entering MOCs with a 4:22.62. He finished second at Non-Public A State Championships with that performance. He'll likely have a role in the 4x800m Showcase at the end of the meet as well, St. Peter's Prep is ranked US#6 on the season with their 7:54 at the Millrose Games.