New Jersey



by Ed Grant


Perfect weather greeted the New Jersey sectional CC championships
today at four sites around the state. And, for the most part, the athletes
took advanatage of it, particularly in the stronger Central and South Jersey
meets. A somewhat muddy course and lack of spikes slowed races in North
Jersey Section 2 at Warinanco Park, while North Jersey Section 1 at Garret
Mountain, West Paterson, suffered more from lact of talent than from course
conditions, but produced a couple of fast outings, one from the "stealth"
candidate for the all-group title, Mohamed Khadraoui of Paterson Kennedy,
who has yet to run a major race on any other course this season.

As usual, the top five teams and top 10 indidviduals in each race qualify
for next Saturday's Group championships at Holmdel.
There were no sectionals for the two Parochial divisions today, but
two meets, the New Jersey Catholic Track Conferenece championships at
Warinanco Park and the South Jersey meet at Delsea---site of the SJ
sectionals---had between them just about every team that will run at Holmdel
next Saturday.)

The Trotter twins of Red Bank had their fifth virtual tie of the
season as they finish far ahead of the field in the Gr. III girls race at
Holmdel with their best time of the season, 18:16, Katy getting the victory
nod. They have yet to go all-out in any of their NJ races and it was, in a
way, a pity that they did not do so today, for who knows what the weather
will bring the next two weeks. But, of course, their real target is the
Footlocker regional meet at Van Cortlandt Park Nov. 30.

On the boys' side, the top race came in the South Jersey Gr. IV
event at Delsea. This is the latest in a series of course used in this
section and there is no real way yet of comparing times there with those at
the other three more stable regional sites. But, as usual, the flat SJ
course produced the fastest times of the day, the fastest of which was the
15:18 posted in this one by Peter Hess of Toms River North as he defeated
Keith Krieger of Cherokee by 20 yards.

Chris Platt of Haddonfield, silver medalist in last year's AG race,
won the Gr. II race at Delsea in 15:24, while John Richardson of Ocean City
finished 30 yards ahead of Greg Hughes of Mainland and Eddie Baynes of Toms
River South in 15:39. All six of these SJ runners are hot candidates for
all-state honors this year.

Toms River North had the top team performance at Delsea with a 16:09
average in an easy, repeat Gr. IV win over Cherokee. Mainland, ranked No. 1
in the tate before this weekend, average 16:18 in III and Haddonfield,
reversing an early-season loss to Cinnaminson, averaged 16:23 in repeating
in Gr. II

But the day's top team effort was probably by Hunterdon central in a
runaway win in the Central Jersey Gr. IV race, This team had lost several
times to Old Bridge this season because its back two runners could not keep
up with a strong front trio, This was dramatically reversed in a race which
saw Chris Pannone and Jon Fox go 1-2 for the Red Raiders with the next three
finishing in a row from 6th through 8th, all under 17:00 for a 16:38
average. Pannone and Fox also had the fastest times of the four CJ races at
16:15 and 16:19.

There were two big upsets there with Bernards defeating defending
state Gr. I champ Shorem 41-46, and Middletown South reversing several
earlier losses to Red Bank in Gr. III, 65-76. The other individual highlight
was a 16:28 win in gr. II by soph Thomas Walsh of winning Matawan.

Morris and Union Counties split team honors at Warinanco, with
Morristown taking Gr. IV and Hanover Park Gr. II for the former and Cranford
Gr. III and New Providence Gr. I for the latter. But none of these teams
figures in the race for group honors and Cranford is the only one with a
reasonable chance to qualify for the AG meet.

Jeremy Zagorski of Parsippany Hills, a sub-4:15 miler, but an
indifferent CC runner, came out of a season-long shell and produced the
fastest time of the day with a 65-yard win over Ed Clinton of Cranford in
the Gr. III race. Shawn Shokry of Hanover Park was the only other runner to
break 17:00 on a course which mearures 3.2M,

The Gr. IV race at Garret Mountain was the 4th major contest between
Khadraoui and Paul Kornaszewski of Clifton and had the same result as all
the others with the Morrocan-born Kennedy star winning by 15 yards in 15:52.
12 seconds short of his best time there this season. Ridgewood won the Gr.
IV title easily with a 16:44 average.

A big feature of the day for the girls was the success of the
freshman class. Every venue produced at least one yearling winner and the
South Jersey meet was dominated by them. The only disappointment was the
failure of Mercer County champ Carolyn Calhoun of Ewing to finish her race
in CJ..

And the day also produced a new frosh star in Cape May County champ
Brittany Sedberry of Ocean City who upset Brittnee Bynoe of Willingboro
(also a frosh) and Meghan Hughes of Moorestown (a sub-11:00 two-miler on the
track) to win the Gr. III race in 19:06. Also winning at Delsea were Jenna
Clausen of Jackson in Gr. IV at 18:55 and Vanessa Wright of Haddonfield in
Gr. II at 19:45.

The SJ meet also had the top team battle of the day with Toms River
East edging Shawnee in Gr. IV, 46-53, with a 19:31 average, which compares
more than favorably with the 20:25 registered by No. 1 ranked Hopewell
Valley in taking CJ II at Holmdel, 22-39, from Voorhees.

The other frosh winners around the state were Kellee Hand of Howell
in the CJ IV race in 19:56, Jenn Ennis of Roxbury in NJ 2 Gr. IV in 19:49
and Amy Van Alstine of Midland Park (kid sister of sidelined 2001 AG champ
Lindsay) in NJ 1 Gr. I in 20:40.

Jesse Mizzone, the indoor National 5K champion, had the top time at
Garret Mountainas she won the Gr. III race for the third year in a row in
19:14. Her string was topped by Allison Krayl of Pt. Pleasant Beach who won
SJ Gr. I for the fourth time in 20:06.

The day's most dramatic effort came from Morristown's Katie
Floersheimer, whose seventh place finish enabled Morristown to defeat
Westfield, 47-55, for the CJ 2 Gr. IV title. A year ago, at this time, Katie
was wearing a neck brace and undergoing rehabilitation for a near-fatal
summer surfing accident. She has contributed this year to a succesful season
which has seen the Colonials also win their conference title and finish 2nd
in their county race, plus some invitational victories.

Another, less dramatic comeback at Warinanco saw Ashley Wolf of
Montville win the Gr. III title in the day's best time of 19:43. She had
come into the season with a summer basketball leg inuury and was out of
action for a while, before returning last week to place 2nd in her county
race. But Montville lost to county rival Morris Knolls, which jumped into
the Gr. III title picture with its 34-41 victory, Its main competition will
be Moorestown, which topped Ocean City easily, 33-68. with a 19:50 average
compared to Knolls' 20:43 on the longer, more difficult Warinanco course.

Unlike its boys team, defending champ Shore Regional confirmed its
favored status in gr. I with a 20-68 rout of Bernards in CJ, led by Julie
Ullmeyer who confirmed her return to her freshman form with a 20:25 victory.

Julie, daughter of sub-4:10 miler Mel (who is also her HS coach),
was not the only second generation runner to star yesterday, Both winners in
the NJCTC meet at Warinanco have athletic traditions in their families.

Justin Scheid of Pope John, whose dad Larry starred at American
University, too the boys; event by 35 yards from Will Melofchik of Christian
Brothers in 16:18 and Bridget Skeuse of Immaculata, who comes from a
multi-talented Bayonne family that goes back several generations, defeated
frosh Jen Croghan of Lacordaire---another frosh star---in the girls event in
19:25. Both winning times were much faster than anything recorded in the
state sectionals there arlier in the day.

Christian Brothers won the boys; title for the 21st year in a row,
but showes a little weakness in the 5th position which could hurt in the AG
race. Red Bank Catholic, the founding school of girls' HS track in NJ< took
the girls' event in a mild upset.

Paul VI swept honors in the SJ Parochial race, Andrew Vernon leading
the boys to an easy win in 16:13 at Delsea and Erin Sigwart the girls to a
32-42 win over Bishop Eustace in 19:38.

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