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Region 1 - Northeast
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New Jersey Report - by Ed Grant
Jan 13, 2005

Group 2 and 3 Relays test dedicated fans with 12-hour feast.
Group 1 and 4 get their shot Saturday.

Janine Davis' 54.92-25.04 double sets her up
for MAC matchup vs Devon WIlliams 1/16 in NY.

If nothing else, the New Jersey Group II and III championships this Sunday must hold the record for the earliest state meet in the nation this winter.

It's actually a double header this weekend with the Group I and IV relays set for Saturday at Princeton's Jadwin Gym, the only venue in our state capable of holding the meet. And it will be a long session both days, if last Sunday's Group II and III relays is any indication; competiton that day lasted an even 12 hours.

The results of that meet were pretty much as expected. Willingboro swept the Gr. III titles , though not without a struggle on the boys' side before overcoming a stubborn Phillipsburg team. the two Camden schools took care of Gr. II, though Wilson had to share the girls' title with Hopewell Valley.

As usual the top individual performances were more a matter of quantity than quality, Willingboro's girls were led by Brittnee Bynoe, anchored a win in the shuttle hurdles and a second in the sprint medley and also ran on the winning 1600R. Her hurdling is something new, but not surprising since her mother and team coach Tosca Blanford Bynoe, was one of the state's best in that event a generation ago.

Natalie Mapp was on four scoring teams for Hopewell Valley, running key 400 legs for the sprint medley and 1600R, whose victory produced the tie with Wilson. The Howard-bound senior also was on a second-place 800R and a third-place distance medley. Emily Sherrard anchored the two meley teams and ran third on the 1600.

Camden got yeoman service from Carl Smith and Devon Burroughs who, between them, contributed seven of the 16 legs on the four scoring teams. Willingboro's big man was Delbert Johnson who spread his talents between the sprint relays and the high jump.

The top individual effort of the day came from Anthony Abitante of Berkeley Heights in the Gr. II meet when he cleared 15-1 1/2 in the pole vault, second best in the nation at that time. He also helped his team score in the 800R and the shuttle hurdles.

The top individual relay perfomances came in the girls' medleys which produced three records, Roxbury got a Penn qualifier when it won the Gr. III distance medley in 12:26.71. Mcgr. Donovan took down the Gr. II record for that event in 12:37.17. And the big efforts by Mapp and Sherrard brought Hopewell Valley a 4:14.56 mark in the Gr. II sprint medley. Franklin ran faster in Gr. III at 4:12.23, but fell short of a mark set in 1986 by Shabazz.

The favorites in Saturday's relay action this weekend are Christian Brothers in Gr. IV boys and Columbia in Gr. IV girls, Metuchen and Shore in Gr. I boys and Bishop Eustace in Gr. I girls.. Seton Hall Prep, which could have the Gr. IV boys' title for the asking, will as usual skip this meet and compete instead in the Stanner Games at the New York Armory.

The Hispanic Games at that site last Saturday produced several interesting marks, most notably the 4:14.31 mile win by Bryan Scotland of St. Benedict's which was, for an hour, the top time in the nation. It was run with negative splits, 2:08/2:06, with the final 400 done in 59 seconds. This should give Bryan his coveted place in the Millrose Mile on Feb. 4.

Two of the state's top 800 runners ran 3-4 in that event, Rob Novak of Bordentown finishing in 1:56.80 and Pete Glackin of Christian Brothers in 1:57.0. Both will be anchoring sprint medley teams on Saturday at Jadwin, Novak in Gr. I and Glackin as part of CBA's team effort in Gr. IV. Jamar Byrd of Vineland also had a big day with a nation-leading 23-9 1/2 in the LJ and a 6.52 for 2nd in the 55M. And Bryan McCombs of Old Bridge took the 200M in 21.92.

On the girls' side, Janine Davis of Queen of Peace continued her hot streak with a 54.92 win in the 400 and a 25.04 for 2nd in the 200. Janine will be back at the Armory twice this weekend, in the Stanner Games on Saturday and in a MAC meet on Sunday where she hopes to finally match strides with Devon Williams, the Towson Catholic star who again was barred from the Hispanic meet.

The weekend action also saw Dan Oquendo of Hackensack take the national lead with his 7.62 win at the Dartmouth Relays.
Conference action began with the annual tripleheader at Drew University, lasting from sunset to sundet Friday and Saturday. Marcel Van Eeden of Mendham feaured action there when he set records in the 300M and 600M at the Iron Hills meet on Friday night, running 36,10 and 1:22.77. Seton Hall had a big win in the Iron division, Morris Hills ran away with the Hills. In the girls' Columbia began what could be an all-winning campaign in the Iron division with Mendham taking the Hills.

Racquel Vassell of East Orange and Celeste Holder of Parsippany were the individuals star for the girls. Vassell tripled in Iron with a 7.43 in the 55, a 42.41 in the 300 and an 8.57 in the 55H. Holder took the Hills 55 in 7.65 after a MR 7.53 in her heat, the 300 in 42.69 and the 600 in a record 1:42.79. Jenn Ennis of Roxbury posted a pair of Iron distance records at 5:05.77 and 11:19.14.

Van Eeden came back to Drew on Wednesday for the Cliff Back Invitational and lowered his arena 600M record to 1:22.23, only intensifying the call for a future meeting with Shaquan Brown of Paterson Kennedy at the New York Armory. He also had his first try at 1K and coasted to a 2:45.39 win.

Brown was also active that night at the Ridgewood I meet at Rothman Center in Hackensack, winning the 200M in 23.6. He will be at Jadwin Saturday with a 1600R team that might give South Jersey powers Winslow Twp and Vineland some competition.

In that same meet, Trier Young of Neptune had a triple in girls' action with hand-times of 7.3 in the 55M, 27.1 in the 200M and 8.4 in the 55H.



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