Monmouth County Championships Kick off at 5pm - Here is a Look at What Could Happen

TOMS RIVER – The big headline for this year’s Monmouth County Championship meet is the rematch between Freehold Twp and CBA.  Last year’s edition Freehold Twp dominated the entire meet finishing with 72 points topping Matawan and CBA who had 57 and 47 points respectively.  In the last two indoor seasons the Freehold Twp and CBA teams have gone head to head 3 times, Two times at the Monmouth County Relays, and last year Monmouth County Relay Championships.   Last year they split the two meets team titles’ and this year Freehold Twp narrowly beat CBA in the Monmouth County Championships on the legs of Eric Dynarski’s monster comeback in the Distance Medley relay.  So is this CBA’s time for revenge?  Guess you’ll have to read the rest of the preview…

55m – The two current top times in Monmouth County are 6.67 by Bennett Jackson, the football standout from Raritan high school and 6.76 by Karon Hair from Long Branch high school.  It’s hard to believe that these are the two fastest times of the season, which leads me to believe that A, either the top sprinter has been running relays all season or B, it’s just a down year because Monmouth County for quite a few years now has had at least one runner under 6.60 seconds.  We’ll see come Friday night.  Prediction – If he gets a good start this one is Bennett Jackson’s in 6.58

400m – This race will most likely open the meet and will get the meet started with a very exciting race.  There are about 6 guys who have a shot to win this race.  Hopefully if seeds are done right all 6 are in the top heat.  Two things will make or break the race for someone.  The winner is going to need to get out in front at 200m and coming around the final turn for the last 50m they are going to need that next gear to hang on win.  Prediction – Anthony Menza (Manalapan) 52.14

800m – Randy Spadola (Freehold Twp) and Kingsley Prophete (Manalapan) are the only two runners to break 2:00.00 in an open 800m this year.  There are another four runners that have gone under 2:01.00 to make this race interesting.  After watching the closing kick of Prophete at the Monmouth County Relays I would venture to guess if he’s close in the end he’ll be the one to beat.  Prediction – Kingsley Prophete 1:58.24

1600m – This one is Colin Richmond’s (St. Rose) to lose.  This race will be without Mike Mazzaccaro (CBA) who has been sidelined all season long, and Kevin Byrne (RBC) who ran last night at the “Thursday Night at the Races” in NYC.  Otherwise nobody else in the count has the strength to say with Richmond.  Prediction – Colin Richmond 4:22.34

3200m – Mike O'Dowd will be coming into this one fresh and I'm assuming that Colin Richmond will try to double so he will have his hands full.  O'dowd hasn't run an open a 3200m yet but you better believe he's ready to run.  If Richmond wants a chance at doubling he'll need to stay very close to O'dowd.  If O'dowd gets to far away it could be over quick.  Prediction - Mike O'dowd 9:30.00

55HH – This race is Dajan Mindingall’s race for the taking.  All he needs to do is run a normal race and he’s got this race in the bag.  Now with that said the 55m high hurdles are anything but easy, so Mindingall better not get lazy if he wants to win.  Mindingall has run 7.55 this year next best time in the county is Raritan’s Bennett Jackson with a 7.72.  In high hurdle times, that’s not even close.  Prediction – Dajan Mindingall wins this one easy in 7.49

4x400m – This race is sure to decide the team champion.  Freehold Twp and CBA will be battling all night and it’s no surprise that these two teams have the two fastest times on the year.  Freehold Twp has run 3:31.53 at Merli and CBA has run 3:31.95 at the State Relays this past weekend.  Freehold’s 3:31.53 came when they had their #2 400m runner Kwame Manful who will not be running as he took an unfortunate fall at the Monmouth County relays putting him on the sidelines for a month or so.  Slight edge goes to CBA on this one.  Not to be left out is Matawan who has run 3:33.12 at the Monmouth County Relays and could slip in between CBA and Freehold or even top both of them.  Prediction – CBA 3:30.79

High Jump – Much like Ocean County, the high jump is weak this year.  Sorry high jumpers, nothing against your event, but the Shore Conference hasn’t had a consistency in this event in forever.  There are 4 jumpers that have cleared 6-2 and another 5 who have cleared 6-0. Compared to the rest of NJ the Shore area is way down the list in the high jump  Prediction – Someone will clear 6-2 and win it on misses

Pole VaultWill most definitely come down to two jumpers,  Dylan Spadaccini (Matawan) and Shane Carney (Raritan).  Both have been over 12-6 this season with Spadaccini jumping 13-2 at Merli.  The Pole Vault is one of those tricky inconsistent events and anything can happen on any day.  Prediction – Both jumpers have jumped 12-6 consistently this season so it may very well come down to misses.  Carney gets the small upset with a jump of 13-0

Shot Put – Easiest prediction of the night.  Andrew Rohan (CBA) wins.  Period.

55m – This one will be an exciting sprint to the finish.  With 10 runners separated by just .19 and the top 4 separated by .04 it is almost guaranteed to come down to a photo finish.  Samantha Mantz (Middletown North) has the top time coming in with a 7.68 run at Merli in fact the top 3 times in the county were all out of Merli.  Prediction – Some girl from Monmouth county wins in 7.57ac

400m – This two lap race has two clear front runners,  Rhianna Zalewski (Colts Neck) and Lindsey Bellaran (RBC).  Both have been under 1:01.00 and are the only two.  Zalewski has a slightly faster time with a 1:00.33 to 1:00.47.  Look for these two to come flying around the final turn heading for the finish.  A dark horse in this race is Ajee Wilson Neptune.  It’s hard telling what she’ll run but is capable of winning any race from 400m – 1600m and with as many races as she runs for Neptune she may try to quadruple in the 400m (or 1600m), 800m and 4x400m.  Prediction – First runner to get under 1:00.00 in Monmouth county this year, Rhianna Zalewski for the win in 59.88

800m – Ajee Wilson (Neptune) has split 2:16 a couple of times this season and is clearly the favorite.  Wilson likes to push the early pace hard and go out in 63 or better to lose the rest of the field.  If Wilson is in this one, no doubt she wins.  Prediction – Ajee Wilson 2:15.80

1600m – If Ajee is in this race and Molly McNamera (RBC) is to this one could be memorable.  Two of the best milers in the Shore could both drop under 5:00.  Both Wilson and McNamera tried qualifying for the Millrose Games but came up just short.  McNamera has run 5:04.80 and Wilson has run 5:09.35 over the full distance.  Prediction – Molly McNamera in a close finish 4:59.78

3200m –If Michelle Capozzi (RBC) is running she wins, no question about it.  No other 3200m runner in the county has the chance to be within 50m of Capozzi.  Prediction – Michelle Capozzi 11:03.00

55HH – Three hurdles stand out from the rest of the county, Meghan McMullin (RBC), Kelly Berg (Freehold Twp) and Kelsey Zimmer (Howell).  These runners will most certainly finish 1-2-3, it’s just a matter of what order.  Prediction – Kelly Berg in a lean at the line 9.02

4x400m – Freehold Twp definitely has the edge here already running 4:07.80 to Neptune’s 4:10.83 but never county out Ajee Wilson on the anchor, she has the determination to run down anyone.  Prediction – Freehold Twp will be to far out in front for Wilson to catch.  Winning time 4:06.10

High Jump – One of the better high jumpers in the state Maggie Gilbertson (Howell) has a slight advantage over the rest of the competition.  Tiffany Agalaba (Colts Neck) and Alexis Bulvanhoski (Howell) will give Gilbertson the most trouble.  Prediction – Maggie Gilbertson 5-4

Pole Vault – The only jumper to clear 11-0, Stephanie Skove (Monmouth Regional) has an edge over the rest of the county.  Kellie Bresz (Howell) is the only other jumper to clear 10-0 and she has jumped 10-6 at the Colts Neck Invitational.  Bresz is likely the only jumper to take away victory from Skove.  Prediction – Stephanie Skove 11-0

Shot Put – There are really only three throwers that have a chance at claiming top Shot Putter in Monmouth County.  Timerah Jackson (Manalapan), the only thrower over 34-0 has a season best of 34-5.25 her closest competitor is Alexandria Donahue (St. Rose) who has tossed the shot put 33-11 this season.  Prediction – Timerah Jackson in a new personal best 34-9