Impressive Opening Marks, CBA's Penn Relays Throws Qualifier

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This opening day meet hosted by Christian Brothers Academy was loaded with talent and provided some promising early-April performances across the javelin, shot put, and discus events.

Many athletes met qualifying standards for the Penn Relays Carnival Presented by Toyota set to kick off on April 27th.

Not only that but it was the first meet hosted at the brand new CBA track and field facilities which features a field event specific infield, eight lane track, and wind direction options for many events on the track and in the field.

MORE: Watch Every Throw From This Meet

We'll start with the boys discus which saw Fabian Gonzalez of Southern Regional hit an early season US No. 12 mark of 183-5, not very far off his PR of 189-9 from last spring. He also placed second in the shot put before this with a mark of 56-6.5.

Seven athletes went over 150 feet in the discus at this event and Malicah Etienne of Cinnaminson was second with a breakthrough PR of 174-5, his previous best a 158-1 from 2022. Etienne also finished third in the shot put measured at 55-05.75.

Fabian Gonzalez, Malicah Etienne, Devon Brooks, and Joshua Huisman all met the Penn Relays qualifying standard of 160-9. 

We move along to the boys shot put winner Josh Huisman of St. Rose who threw an outdoor best of 61-05, US No. 14, on his final attempt to increase his lead the field. The star junior is fresh off his dominant indoor season where he won the NJSIAA Meet of Champions with a 62-0.75 this past March.

Huisman doubled back to place fourth in the discus throwing a person best distance of 162-05.

Huisman, Gonzalez, and Etienne met the Penn Relays shot put qualifying standard of 55-4.

The boys javelin was won by Manchester Township junior Vander McFarland who threw a 175-02 on his first attempt. He then hit another 170+ performance on his fourth throw marked at 173-4 earning him the top two throws of the meet.

McFarland cracked into the top 50 nationally with his winning mark. The next best finisher was Matthew David Sheehan of Middletown North who brought in a mark of 169-08 on his second attempt.

After placing second in the girls shot put at 33-04.75, Colts Neck HS senior Catherine Vota led the girls discus with a winning mark of 123-5 surpassing the Penn Relays qualifying standard of 123-0.

This is a promising early April distance, coming within five feet of her personal best mark of 128-0 which won her the 2022 Shore Conference title in late May.

The winner of the girls shot put was Somerville junior Emily Kolodziej who threw a 34-3.25, only her second season in the sport and a strong opener. She doubled back for ninth in the discus throwing 93-7.

Westwood HS saw a 1-2 finish in the girls javelin led by junior Natalya Vega who battled through the windy conditions to throw a big PR of  110-10 to open 2023.

Two freshmen had second place finishes. Brook-lynn Roberts of Winslow Township opened up her high school career throwing 114-07 to win the discus. Clarissa Guerrero of Westwood was second behind her teammate Vega in the javelin hitting 97-04.