Hopewell Valley Wins 9th Consecutive Relay Title, Meet Records Highlight Day 1

TOMS RIVER - Hopewell Valley came into Friday night as the reigning 8 time (consecutive) State Group Relays champion and they weren't going to let a little adversity end that streak.  The 2009 edition of the Hopewell Valley team doesn't have that overpowering team as you've seen in the past.  Rather this year, a well balanced squad that can score points in many different events.  Hopewell Valley only won 1 event in the Group III relays, the High Jump relay with New Jersey leading Emily Kianka (PR of 5-9.5).  Hopewell Valley still scored a whopping 43 points, there was a tie for 2nd place between Seneca and Kingsway both with 29 points.  So the depth of Hopewell Valley is clear.  Hopewell Valley was led by Senior Julie Jablonski (pictured above) who scored in three events (Distance Medley, 4x800m and Sprint Medley.

Other highlights include of NJ#1 4x55m Shuttle Hurdle relay for Winslow Twp finising in 33.06,  Another victory for Winslow came in the 4x200m when their anchor Steyce McNeil stunned the crowd when she ran down Jackson's Tylia Gillion on the anchor.  All-American Chelsea Ley (Kingsway) led her squad to two victories in the Distance portion of the meet (Distance Medley and 4x800m).  The girls 4x400m was a good end to a long meet.  Michelle Brown of Seneca got the baton on the anchor leg and ran down the entire field to claim victory.  Brown split mid 57.

On the boys side, Morristown edged out Jackson Memorial and Hopewell Valley scoring 34 points to their 29.5 and 24 points respectively.  Morristown was led by senior Hamer Farag who led his squad to victory anchoring the 4x800m in a new Meet Record with a time of 8:05.26 and then at the close of the meet he then ran on the 4x400m relay that ook 3rd place from the "unseeded" heat.  Nick Vena and partner Paul Caravaglia scored 10 points by crushing the 2nd place team by 15+ feet.  Other boys highlights include Eric Cottrell of Toms River South who jumped 14-0 in the pole vault, the only jumper to clear 13-0