New Jersey Week by Ed Grant

May 26, 2004

800m takes center stage - Mike Carmody's 1:51.21 is part of a big triple - Janine Davis 2:10.1 and Renee Tomlin 2:10.96 lead girls

63 DyeStat Elite performances in sections

The 800M run, which has been the focus of much attention in New Jersey this spring, continued to hold center stage last weekend as the state meet got under way with sectional meets at eight sites.

Mike Carmody of Berkeley Heights, who won the 800 at the Nike Invitational in Landover, Md., in March, set the pace for the boys as he ran away with the North Jersey Section 2 meet at Whippany Park in 1:51.21. This came after Mike had won the 400 and 1600 the day before in 48.03 and an eased-up 4:22.08. And he finished off his weekend with a second in the 200 in 22.72 from a standing start.

Greg Gomez of Franklin, who took the National title in New York in March, was apprised of Mike's time before his race at South Plainffield, but settled for a 1:56.02 victory which followed a 48.77 400 victory the day before. Greg also anchored a 3:25.57 relay win and, in what was probably his final fling in the event, placed third in the pole vault at 12-6.

The state's third best 800 man indoors, Bryan Scotland of St. Benedict's, is not part of the state meet, but had a 1:55.5 race in placing second to teammate Andre Fearon at Sunday's New Jersey Catholic Track Conference championships at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, This came after a 4:21.9 1600 win which saw him run the final lap in 61 seconds. While his rivals go into the state group meet at Egg Harbor Twp this weekend, Bryan will run on Memorial Day in the Easterns at Mt. St. Michael's in preparation for his trip two weeks later to the Nationals at Raleigh.

Second fastest in the 16 sectional races was Ian Waterhouse of Rancocas Valley who won the Central Jersey Group IV race at Hillsboro in a meet record 1:53.2 to go along with a 4:19.3 victory in the 1600. Jim Wyner of Mainland ran 1:54.86 in the South Jersey Group IV race at Egg Harbor.

On the girls' side, the fastest in the state sectional was a 2:10.96 by Renee Tomlin of Ocean City in the South Jersey Group III meet at Buena High School. Renee, who only took up the event this spring, thus ran the fastest 800 for a sophomore since Joetta Clark was dominating the event for Columbia High School a quarter of a cenetury ago. But her time was bettered the next day at the NJCTC meet when Janine Davis of Queen of Peace ran 2:10.1. The two should eventually meet in the all-group championships on June 2 at South Plainfield. Also in that race will be Lauren Lewis of Southern Ocean Regional, who won the South Jersey Gr. IV race in 2:12.2.

Despite the torrid, humid weather. there was also a lot of good running at the longer distances. State cross-country champ Mohamed Khadraoui of Paterson Kennedy doubled the 1600 and 3200 in the North Jersey Section 1 meet at Wayne Hills in 4:15.2 and 9:24.7, but Greg Hughes of Mainland topped that with a 4:14.7/9:12.36 double at Egg Harbor.

Brittany Sedberry of Ocean City, the girls' cross-country champ and Footlocker finalist, had a 4:58.03/11:14.27 double at Egg Harbor. one of four sophomores to double distance races, the others being Jenn Ennis of Roxbury in the North Jersey Section 1 Gr. IV 1600 and 3200 at Wayne Hills, Lauren Gregory of Morris Knolls in the Gr. III 800 and 1600 at the same site and Brittnee Bynoe of Willingboro, who not only won the 800 and 1600 in the Central Jersey Gr. III meet at Monmouth Regional at 2:15.51 and 5:04.51, but added the 400H for good measure in 1:04.10. (Her mother and coach, Tosca Blanford Bynoe, was a champion 100M hurdler in high school.).

The state's top all-around stars each won four events. Reuben McCoy of Winslow Twp took the 200 in 21.53, the 400 in 47.38, the HH in 14.09 and the 400H in 52.24 as his team defeated Vineland in the day's top team duel to take South Jersey Group IV honors at Egg Harbor. Kyle Calvo led Somerville to the Central Jersey Gr. II title at Monmouth as he won the 200 in 22.44, the HJ at 6-8, the LJ at 22-4 1/2 and the HH in 14.22.

The one girl who might have matched them, Consandria Walker of Hackensack, unfortunately was on the sidelines after suffering a severe leg injury at the Bergen County group meet. Krystal Cantey of Winslow Twp did get four gold medals, but won just three individual events in leading her school to a Group IV sweep as she took the 200 in 25.06, the 400 in 56.16 and the 400H in 1:02.49. Her fourth came as anchor of a winning relay teamm.

Essence Carson of Paterson Eastside, an all-state basketball star who only took up the sport seriously this spring, tripled in the North Jersey Group IV meet at 55.6 in the 400, 5-4 in the HJ and 17-1 in the LJ, passing up a possible win in the 800 to anchor her relay team. Alaina Alfano of Hanover Park scored 38 of a possible 40 points in leading her team to the North jersey Section 2 Gr. II title at Whippany Park and Deserea Byrd of Highland had 32 as her team ran away with the South Jersey Gr. III title at Buena.

But perhaps the gamest effort of the day came from Rebecca Baskinger of Butler, an outstanding sprinter, hurdler and jumper who has been unable to practice regularly this year because of "Compartment Syndrome." in the North Jersey Section 2 Gr. I meet at Indian Hills HS in Oakland, she won the 100H in 15.2, set a meet record of 5-6 1/4 in the HJ, finished third in the LJ at 17-1 1/4 and third in the TJ at 35-10 1/2 to score 30 of her team's 67 points which fell just three short of victory.

If there was a new star to come out of the weekend, it was probably Daquan Brown of Paterson Kennedy, a sophomore who won the North Jersey Section 1 Gr. IVB 400 in a meet record 47.7, placed third in the 200 in 22.0 and had a 46.6 in anchoring his school to a 3:20.3 victory in the 1600-meter relay.

And the upset of the weekend was undoubtedly in the Central Jersey Group III pole vault where Adam Sarafian of Ocean Twp, who recently set a state PV record of 17-4 1/2, lost on misses to John Calvo of Lawrence (no relation to the Somerville star). The field events were rather quiet otherwise, the most notable marks being a 178-5 discus throw by Josh Larkins of Toms River North in the South Jersey Gr. IV meet and, in Monday's Bergen County Meet of Champions at Hackensack, a 155-8 JT for Daina Pucurs of Demarest.

The state group meet this weekend will have the Gr. II, III and IV schools at Egg Harbor and the Gr. I schools with the two Paraochial divisions at Notre Dame. The team favorites for the boys are Winslow in Gr. IV, Camden in Gr. III (with Phillipsburg as a distinct threat), Somerville in Gr. II, Westwood in Gr. I, Christian Brothers in Parochial A (with Seton Hall and Pope John not far behind) and Gloucester Catholic in Parochial B. For the girls, it's Winslow again in Gr. IV, Franklin in Gr. III, Bridgeton (which lost its sectional meet to Haddonfield) in Gr. II, Paulsboro in Gr. I, NJCTC winner Msgr. Donovan in Parochial A and Pingry in Parochial B.

Ed Grant


DyeStat New Jersey


is published by
John Dye

Baltimore MD