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New Jersey Report - by Ed Grant
Jan 19, 2005

Janine Davis and Bryan Scotland unveil two stunning performances @ the NY Armory - Davis named USATF athlete of the week for NR 1:29.27 600m.

While the overwhelming majority of New Jersey athletes were busy this past weekend with two variations of the state championships at Princeton's Jadwin Gym, Janine Davis of Queen of Peace and Bryan Scotland of St. Benedict's stole the show with two stunning performances apiece at the New York Armory.

Davis earned USTAF "Athlete of the Week" honors as she set a national record of 1:29.27 for the 600M on Sunday in a Metropolitan Athletics Congress meet after taking the national lead in the 1K the day before with a 2:48.69 in the Stanner Games.

Scotland packed all of his action into the Stanner meet, winning the 1K in 2:27.91, also a national leader, and placing second to Lionel Williams of St. Peter's, Staten Island, in the 600M in 1:20.84. He just missed the state records in both races.

Davis chose the Stanner meet over Saturday's Group I state relay championships at Jadwin because her team does not have the personnel that could have mounted a serious challenge to winning Bishop Eustace. It will be a different story in the group championship meet on Feb. 20 where Janine could win four events as she did last outdoors season in the Parochial A championships. Just to make that win more likely, her younger sister Sophia returned to action Friday night at the Paul Schwartz Invitational at Fairleigh Dickinson's Rothman Center with a 43.2 win in the 300M.

Scotland is not eligible for the state meet because St. Benedict's is only an "affiliate" member but he would almost certainly be a sure double winner there as he leads the nation in the 800M and ranks second in the mile.

Another school which passed up the state relays was Seton Hall which took the 3200-meter relay at the Stanner Games in 8:03.98. The Pony Pirates, who would have been a serious challenger to champion Christian Brothers in the Gr. IV relays, haven't run that meet in years; their entry at the Stanner meet was confined to the one event as they too prepared for the Essex County Relays on Sunday.

The New Jersey entry at this Saturday's New Balance meet should be a heavy one as the only championship action in the state this weekend is that Essex meet on Sunday and the Ocean and Monmouth County relay meets the day before at the Jersey City Armory.. Some schools will be going to the Yale Invitational, others may choose the Lavino Relays at Lawrenceville, the one site in the state where they can run with spikes.

With only flat rubber shoes at Princeton, the new track there proved no faster than its predecessor. The top performances came in the longer races. There was a hot 800M race on Sunday in Gr. II, which saw three boys go over the line together, all under 1:58.5. Junior Anthony LoMastro of Pope John completed a double in 1:58.20 with a rousing kick on the final lap, about 45-50 minutes after taking the 1600 in 4:21.26.

Both girls' 3200s on Sunday saw the winners make bold moves early in the race and hang on for victories. In Gr. III, it was Arianna McKinney of Highland in 11:11.44; in Gr. II, Ashley Higginson of Colts Neck in 11:09.97. Missing from the Gr. III race was two-time state cross-country champ Brittany Sedberry of Ocean City who has decided to low-key the indoor season.

As expected, with the addition of the 200-meter dash to the program (replacing the 1600-meter relay), sprint strength was all important in the group team races. Franklin took Gr. III, 48-34, over Lakewood with Symone O'Connor doubling the 200 and 400 and placing fourth in the 55 and teammate Toneisha Friday picking up three thirds in the same event for a grand totalof 44 points.

In Gr. II, La'Shonda Carter of Rahway put her team in second place all by herself with 30 points, including wins in the 55-meters and 200-meters and might have taken it all had not the 400 and high jump finished up almost together She got a second in the jump but managed only a fifth in the 400. So the title went toi Hopewell Valley which had Emily Sherrard scored 18 points in the distances and Natalie Mapp and Miriam Khan combined for 14 in the sprints.

Carl Smith of Camden did mke it a one-man show in the boys' Gr. II meet, outscoring second-place Camden all by himself, 28-26, with wins in the 200 and 400 and a second in the 55. Devon Burroughs added another four in the 400.

The Gr. III boys' meet became a neighborhood battle between Randolph and Morristown. Doug Cloninger gave Morristown an early lead with 14 sprint points, including a 6.66 55-meters, but Geoff McGrane led a late charge by the Rams, doubling the 1600 and 3200 to pull out a 30-24 victory.

Though he couldn't pull off a team win, Rob Novak of Bordentown was easily the star of the relay meet on Saturday, running legs of 1:56.4 and 4:23.0 in the two medleys and coming from well back to take the 1600-meter relay as well. Novak, who actually attends Westampton Tech, a school with no track team, thus accounted for all of his teams 28 points which left Bordentown tied with Metuchen after nine events, only to see Shore come from fourth place with a shot put win for a 32-28 victory.

Christian Brothers swept the two medleys and the 3200-meter relay by huge margins and added a few points in the 1600-meter relay and shuttle hurdles to hold off Winslow, 33-28, in the Gr. IV boys meet. The Colts got a boost when Paterson Kenedy came out of an unseeded heat to win the closing 1600-meter relay, anchored by Shaquan Brown.

Both girls' relay divisions were runaways. Bishop Eustace totally dominated Gr. I action, winning four of the nine events and placing second in two others. Junior Annie Taft anchored wins in the 800R and shuttle hurdles, led off the 1600-meter win and showed new talents in helping the 3200 team place third.

Defending Jacksoin took charge of the Gr. IV meet by winning the first two events, the shuttle hurdles and distance medley and went on from there to defeat Columbia and Piscataway, 42-26.

Anthony Abitante of Berkeley Heights featured field event action on the weekend with another 15-0 clearance as he won the Gr. II pole vault. He thus emulated his father, Joseph, who had been a Parochial A hurdlle champion in the late 1960s.



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