Thursday night Ocean County schools brought their very best to the Bubble in Toms River, NJ to compete for Championship titles. The Southern Regional girls won their fifth straight indoor team title and a remarkable 10th in the past 12 years. For the Jackson Memorial boys this was their first win since 2016 and their sixth overall. We also had possible Meet of Champions showdowns matching up head to head.
Jackson Memorial's 64 point total saw two gold medal performances leading the way. Zachary Novak won the 400m dash early on running 50.76, his teammate Nicholas Mollica third at 51.67, and then the 4x400m squad followed that up with a time of 3:32.31 leading the field by a good two seconds.
Mollica also brought in eight more points finishing second in the 55m hurdles running 7.91. The 400m winner Novak ran fifth in the 55m dash at 6.83. Noah Coakley scored 10 points between two events running second in the 800m at 2:04.30 and fifth in the 1600m clocking 4:35.11.
Jackson also saw a strong pull from their field department, in the shot put Collin McCarthy placed second with a mark of 53-04. The high jump saw Tyron Blackwell clear 5-10 for third and Jake McKown 5-08 for fourth.
Also at the top of the team standings for the boys, Toms River North second scoring 50.5 and Southern Regional third with 38.
Southern Regional scored in nine of the ten events leading the girls meet with a whopping 83 points over second place Toms River North, 47, and Toms River South, 33.
Hailey Hochstrasser won gold in the 400m running 60.94 leading teammates Shannon Flaherty, third 1:01.23, and Karagan Bulger, fourth 1:01.25. Karagan Bulger came back to finish second in the 800m running 2:26.13 followed by Rachel Short and Shannon Flaherty in fourth and fifth. Rachel Short was third in the 1600m at 5:15.01.
Emily Furlong was third in the 3200m, 12:04.63 and fourth in the 1600m, 5:24.24, for a solid distance double. Maria Mezzo ran to third in the 55m hurdles clocked at 9.02. And lastly for the track events the 4x400m team brought home gold at 4:16.18.
In the field Maria Mezzo added to that solid hurdle performance clearing 10-06 in the vault for second. Kelly Enterline finished fourth in the shot put at 34-10.25 and Bailey Hradek finished third in the high jump clearing the 4-10 bar.
- A potential Meet of Champions showdown took place in the girls shot put with Elizabeth Makar of Pinelands Regional, throwing 44-06 US#9, taking the win over Bryanna Wilson of Donovan Catholic, 43-05! Three of the top ten girls in the state were there including third place Rachel Lavigne of Toms River East.
- Jada Ellis of Manchester Twp continued to shine running 7.37 to win finals, posted 7.35 in prelims.
- Lily Oliver of Toms River South won TWO gold medals winning the 800m at 2:24.85 and the 1600m at 5:11.75.
- Pt. Pleasant Boro's Sarah Kimak clocked 11:50.95 to win the 3200m.
- Brick Memorial's Noel Fullman and teammate Julia Truisi ran 1-2 in the 55m hurdles timed at 8.61 and 8.98.
- Kerry Perna of Pt. Pleasant Boro took home the high jump title at 5-02.
- Donovan Catholic's Alexa Moore vaulted 11-00 for the girls pole vault win.
- James Bivins of Donovan Catholic has shown to be one of the best in the state and won the 55m dash at 6.48.
- Jalen Ridgeway of Toms River North took home the county 800m at 2:02.44.
- Jackson Braddock of Southern Regional and Robert Hannon of Pt. Pleasant Beach both had great duels in the 1600m and 3200m. Braddock winning both events at 4:26.59 and 9:34.54 while Hannon clocked in at 4:27.98 and 9:36.46.
- Jared Harris of Central Regional ran 7.85 to win the 55m hurdles.
- Jackson Liberty's Cameron Wilson cleared a PR matching height of 6-00 to win the high jump.
- Toms River North saw Connor Bennett, 14-01, and Joseph Morales, 13-00, go first and second in the pole vault.
- Toms River South's star shot putter Tyler Konopka threw 54-06.5 for the win.