Montclair Girls, Seton Hall Prep Capture Essex County Titles


Seton Hall Prep, led by triple-winner Ryan Matulonis, continued its undefeated season by rolling to its third straight title, and Montclair regained the girls title at the Essex County Championships on Friday at Schools Stadium in Newark.

With their victories, Seton Hall Prep and Montclair completed the triple crown for the season, which consists of winning the county relay title, the American Division Championship in the Super Essex Conference, and the county T&F title.


The UPenn-bound Matulonis was simply spectacular for Seton Hall Prep, who outscored runner-up Livingston, 129-59

Matulonis won the 400 hurdles (54.09) and the 400 (48.76)  on Thursday, and on Friday he started off his day by finished first in the 110 hurdles in 14.83). His quest for the rare quad (4 wins) came up a little short when he finished third in the 800 (1:58.18). That gave Matulonis a personal total of 36 points, which would have placed him fifth in the final team standings by himself among the 21 teams that scored. 

While Matulonis was the individual star of the meet, Seton Hall Prep received strong big performances from several athletes.  

Stephen Niamke had a huge day meet in the field, racking up 26 points by winning both the high jump (6-0) and triple jump (42-11.50) and placing third in the long jump (21-5). In the throws Tyler Dunn captured the shot put with a big PR of 52-4.50, and Brandon Dunn finished first in the discus with a big PR of 152-2!     

On the track, Nicholas DeVita won the 800 for The Prep in 1:57.56, and Xavier Donaldson finished first in the 100 in 10.92. 

Seton Hall Prep was so dominate that they were able to win by 70 points without using Donaldson more than once and without running the 4x400. Donaldson, the winner of the 400 at the Indoor Meet of Champions in March, would have been favored to win the 200 and 400. He ran a 200 instead on Friday at the Track Night NYC Meet. Seton Hall's 4x400, the fastest in the state at 3:16.06, also would have a bene a lock to win.      


The Montclair girls, second last year to Livingston, won its second title in three years by outscoring runner-up Columbia, 76-65.

The balanced attack by the Mounties was led by juniors Leannah Jordan, Avery McAdams, and Ashley Noel.

Jordan won the 400 in 59.95 and ran on the winning 4x400 that clocked a 4:02.13. McAdams placed second in the 3,200 (11:57.26) and was third in the 1,600 (5:20.08). In the field, Noel soared to a PR of 36-11.25 to win the triple jump.


It didn't look like there was any way that Mae Dowling was going to win the girls 800 on Friday.

With 100 meters to go the junior at Columbia was way back as freshman Gwendolyn Neale of Verona seemed to be pulling away for the victory. But with about 50 meters to go, Dowling slammed on the gas and unleashed a wicked kick and was able to catch Neal right at the line to score the dramatic victory. It was so close that Dowling and Neal were both timed in 2:22.50. The victory in the 800 came the day after Dowling won the 1600 in 5:15.08.       

Look out for Dowling! She is one of those gifted runners who is blessed with tremendous leg speed, which makes her a threat to win every time she toes the line.       


Every year there a new young stars who emerge all across the state.

Corbin Raston is one of them!

The freshman at West Orange has quickly made a name for herself this season.

After winning the 100 and 200 at the Super Essex Conference Championships last week, Raston completed that same sprint double at the county meet, blazing her way to victories with times of 12.51 and 25.66. Raston's 12.51 is a PR and is the third fastest time in the state for a freshman, and the 25.62 she ran at the SEC Championships is No. 5 in the state among freshmen.


Zhamir Rowan of Columbia soared to a huge PR of 22-5 to smash the school record and win the boys long jump. Rowan, a junior who also placed 5th in the high jump, shattered his PR by nearly a foot. His previous best was 21.5.50 at the SEC Championships. Look out for Rowan- 23 feet could be next!!!