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New Jersey State Group Championships

Egg Harbor Township & South Plainfield

May  29 -30, 2009

NJ State Group Championships
Champions and highlights

Steimle breaks state record in javelin (209-5), Caruso, Thompson, Tansey, Vena, DuBois, Burke and Englese sparkle 

May 29, 2009 - Kevin Steimle of Mahwah got the state record he had been chasing all season in the javelin and Vicky Caruso of Wallkill Valley continued her remarkable comeback by scoring a victory on the first day of the NJSIAA/Star-Ledger group championships yesterday at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield.

Steimle’s day did not start off as if it would be anything special, but it sure ended that way when the Mawah senior came up with a mammoth launch of 209-5 on his first attempt in the Group 2 final to break the meet and state records.

Steimle’s record toss of 209-5 is No. 9 in the nation this season and broke the meet and state records with the new javelin (it has been used since 2003). The former state mark of 206-11 was set in 2005 by Erik Heymann of Westwood.

``All season I’ve been thinking about 207 and getting that record,’’ the Lehigh-bound Steimle said. ``And when I let it go I knew it was out there. It just kept going and going. It was an incredible feeling when they paused and then said 209-5.’’

Steimle, who came into the meet as the state’s leader this season with the 200-6 he threw at last Tuesday’s Bergen County Meet of Champions, was struggling to find his technique in the trials as he had a 179-4, a foul and a 179-0.

But in the warmups before the final, that all changed.

``I threw a warmup 190, so I knew I was ready for something pretty big,’’ Steimle said.

Caruso, a senior, thought there was a chance she might not run again after rupturing an Achilles tendon and breaking her collarbone while running in the 100 dash at the North Jersey, Section 1 meet in Mahwah last May.

But she worked through a long and difficult rehabilitation and returned to the track this year and was understandably excited after winning the Group 2 100 in 12.32. She also finished second in the 400 in 56.18.

Caruso won the 200 and 400 at the state Group 2 meet as sophomore.

``There was a time when I first got hurt that I wondered if I could make it back,’’ said Caruso, who had to hustle after the meet to get to her prom. ``But I worked hard to prove people wrong.’’

Caruso did not get a good start in the 100.

``I was behind right away, but I told myself I had to catch up and that I just had to win,’’ Caruso said. ``I can’t tell you the feeling I had crossing the line and being a state champion again. It was an incredible moment for me.’’

There were a number of other remarkable performances turned in.

The Cranford girls' program, which had not had a state champion since 1999, earned two titles.

Junior Kelly Burke won the pole vault when she cleared 12-0 to break her own Union County record and defeat Nicole Pompei of Hanover Park, the 2008 Meet of Champions winner, on misses. Then, sophomore Natalie Englese used a big burst at the 200 mark to break away from Caruso and the rest of the 400 field to win in a personal-best 56.18.

Englese was expecting a duel to the finish with Caruso.

``There were a bunch of us{} together at 200 and then I really tried to start kicking hard and then at 300 there was no one there anymore,’’ Englese said. ``I’m kind of shocked by how the race went, but I’m obviously very happy.’’

Englese will be running the 200 and 4x400 today as she and Burke try to lead Cranford to its first state team title.

In the girls' Group 3 1,600, Lanie Thompson of  Voorhees passed Ajee’ Wilson of Neptune with 60 meters left to win her third straight group title in the event with a meet-record 4:50.40. Wilson was second in 4:52.03, just off the state freshman record (4:51.4 by Southern’s Jill Smith in 2006) as six girls broke 4:59.

Wilson grabbed the lead with 300 to go and Thompson went right with her.

``She made a gutsy move and I stayed right with her and waited as long as I could before going by her,’’ Thompson said. ``I’m glad I’m graduating this year so I don’t have to race her anymore. You don’t see talented freshman like that very often.’’

Thompson, the M of C winner in the 3,200 last year, is skipping that race in hopes of running a fast 800 today.

In the Group 3 boys’ 1,600, Liam Tansey of Morris Hills in Rockaway ripped a 58.1 last 400 to run away with the four-lap race in 4:14.66 and a record eight runners dropped below 4:20.

Nick Vena of Morristown, known for his shot put dominace (he owns the state record of 72-2½), is now a major threat to win the discus at the M of C as well after he unloaded a 180-11 on his final attempt to take the Group 3 title. Vena defeated the state season leader, Matt Huckabee of Timber Creek, second with a 161-10. Huckabee won the Penn Relays title with a 182-11.

``This opens up lots of options,’’ said Vena, whose previous best was 173-0. ``Since I only work on the discus once a week, there’s room for lots of improvement.’’

Azudei DuBois of Irvington came with the most clutch performance of her career when the senior soared a personal-best 18-0 on her final attempt to win the Group 3 long jump.

DuBois, in fourth place before her last attempt, is just the second girl from Irvington to win a state title. Tosca Blandford won the Group 4 100 hurdles in 1982.

``To win a state title on my last try is pretty awesome,’’ DuBois said. ``My coach told me not to look down at the board and just get up and that’s what I did. Then when I heard them say 18-0, I just screamed as loud as I could. This is something I’ll never forget.’’


Team Champs:
  • Non Public A - Don Bosco boys win while IHA girls and Paramus Catholic tie
  • Non Public  B- Pingry boys and Our Lady of Mercy girls triumph  
  • Group 1 - Glassboro boys win first title since since 1967. Dayton girls win first ever 
  • Group 2 - Haddonfield  boys take first title since 1987. Camden girls win.
  • Group 3 - Seneca girls edge Neptune , 54 1/2 to 54, for first girls title. Timber Creek boys repeat.  
  • Group 4 - Plainfield boys wins first title since 1980. Southern girls make it 3 straight
Non Public Boys Highlights
  • .Clayton Parros of Seton Halll Prep pockets four golds in the A Division. He won 400 in meet record 46.99, and took gold in the 100 in 10.86 (10.63 in trials), the 200 (21.52) and anchors winning 4x400 with a 46.8 split
  • Mike Mazzaccaro of CBA runs 9:14.74 to edge Leighton Spencer of  Don Bosco (9:15.73) in 3,200
  • Pat Schellberg of Delbarton (4:15.45) nips D.J. Thornton of Union Catholic (4:16.61) in the 1,600
  • Kevin Byrne of Red Bank Catholic runs 1:55.62 to win 800
  • Jonathan Grancas of Delbarton wins javeilin with a 183-4
  • Chris DiLorenzo of Seton Hall Prep wins third straight shot put with a 58-1 1/2
  • Dan Schucinsky wins 1,600 (4:24.01) and 800 (1:56.13) and Carlton Bowers sweeps the hurdles for Pingry in the B Division
Non Public Girls Highlights
  • Myasia Jacobs of Paramus Catholic captures the 100 (11.99),  the 200 (25.27), gets third in 400 and runs on winning 4x400.
  • Sarah Pagano of IHA wins 1,600 and 3,200
  • Rae Corbo of Paramus Catholic takes first in the TJ (35.-7 1/2), is third in LJ and second in the 400
  • Emily Carrollo of Pope John stikes gold in the 400 (55.94) and the 800 (2:14.46)
  • Victoria Imbesi wins the B Division javellin (143-9) and the discus (132-6) for Our Lady of Mercy
  • Dominique Booker of Montclair Immaculate takes B Division 100 in 12.11 (12.03 in trials) and the 200 in 24.78.
  • Shannon Sullivan of IHA wins A Division javelin with a 133-11    
Group 1 Boys Highlights
  • Ryan Chance of Glassboro soars meet record 47-11 to win triple jump
  • Dave Oster of Verona closes in 60.9 to win his second straight 1,600 in 4:17.99 and adds 3,200 title in personal best 9:20.42 
  • Ali Ejaz (55.73) and Derick Palmer (55.76) go 1-2 for Glassboro in 400 IH
  • State 100 dash leader James Brown of Glassboro wins the dash (10.66)
  • Kaleb Zuidema of Midland Park throws 181-8 to win the javelin
  • Tomasz Dlugozima of Wallington is the discus winner (157-0)
  • Keith Griffith of Florence takes first in the 4000 (48.31)
  • Rontik Sadler of  Dunellen wins 200 (22.16)  
Group 1 Girls Highlights
  • Alexa Williams of Dayton wins HJ (5-1)
  • Beira Thomas takes first in the LJ (16-3)
  • Michelle Favre of Saddle Brook is the PV winner (11-6)
  • Rachel Greenberg of Pitman wins the 1,600 (5:14.94).
  • Shona Petruski of Haddon Heights runs 57.44 to win the 400.
  • Marielena Rivera of Lindenwold strikes gold in the 400 hurdles (1:03.51).
  • Lavon Childress of Paulsboro (40-4) is the shot put champion.
  • Helaina Adams of Haddon Heigghts wins the 100 (12.47).
Group 2 Boys Highlights
  • Kevin Steimle of Mahwah throws a state record and US #9 209-5 with the new javelin, which has been used in NJ since 2003.
  • Mamadou Niang of West Essex, who returned to action just two weeks ago after a stress fracture in his back sidelined him for three weeks, goes wire to wire to win the 800 in 1:53.34.
  • Jr. Colin Baker runs huge personal best of 4:15.07 and leads a 1-2-3 finish for Haddonfield in the 1,600. Jr. Jon Vitez is second in 4:15.92 and soph. Ben Potts is third for Haddonfield in 4:17.58 
  • Jon Vitez of Haddonfield wins 3,200 in 9:23.22.
  • Mark Filandro of Indian Hills runs 54.22 to finish first in the 400 IH
  • Ben Raskin of Summit, the runner-up in North Jersey, Section 2, uses late surge to rally for the 400 win in 48.74.
  • Mark Jones of Summit clears personal best 6-9 to win the HJ
  • Kurt Jones of Manchester uses late surge to win 110 hurdles in 14.21
  • Miles Shuler Foster of Long Branch scores a win in the 100 (10.77)
  • Wayne Walls of Camden (44-8 1/2) wins TJ
  • Kevin Hebron of Middle Township is the discus chamapion (159-7)
  • Samard Walker of Lincoln unloads a 56-6 1/2 to win shot put
Group 2 Girls Highlights
  • Marielle Hall of  Haddonfield broke meet records in the 1,600 with a 4:52.99 and the 800 in 2:09.89.
  • Vicky Caruso of Wallkill Valley, a year after suffering an a ruptured Achilles tendon and a broken collar bone wins the 100 (12.32), the 200 in a meet record  24.36. and takes second in the 400.  
  • Kelly Burke of Cranford breaks her own Union County record by clearing 12-0 as she defeats 2008 M of C winner Nicole Pompei of Hanover Park on misses in the pole vault. Burke also won the TJ on her final attempt with a 38-6.
  • Natalie Englese of Cranford runs a personal best 56.18 to win the 400
  • Emily Vargas of Johnson soars 17-10 3/4 to win LJ
  • Melissa Bellin of Rumson win 400 IH in 1:01.55.
  • Emily Vargas of Johnson soars 17-10 3/4 to finish first in the LJ
  • Brigita Roemer of Ewing makes 5-6 win win HJ
  • Gabi Whalen of Lower Cape May takes first in shot put (38-8 1/2)
Group 3 Boys Highlights

  • Nick Vena of Morristown puts the shot 69 feet or better on all six attempts, highlighted by a meet record 71-3 1/2. Vena also won the discus with a personal best 180-11 
  • Jim Rosa of West Windsor North closes with a 4:23.3 final 1,600 on his way to a meet record and state sophomore record 9:02.38.
  • Liam Tansey runs meet record (1:52.06 ) and Lucas Clyne (1:52.54 ) as Morris Hills goes 1-2 in the 800 as eight runners break 1:57 and 16 go under 1:59.  Tansey also won the 1,600 on Friday in 4:14.66.
  • Chris Whyte of Rahway wins 400 IH in 53.54 and anchors winning 4x00 (3:19.36) with a 48.2
  • Liam Tansey of Morris Hills, running 58.6 for the final 400, takes control at the bell and wins 1,600 easily in 4:14.66, leading eight runners under 4:20. Tyler Corkedale of West Windsor North is second in 4:16.28
  • Josh Evans of Irvington runs state season best 14.05 to win the 110 hurdles, edging Pierre Darisme of Rahway (NJ #2 14.07).
  • Rahway's Troy Eastman broke school record for the second straight week by winning the javelin (184-11)
  • Corey Caidenhead of Bergenfield runs 48.14 to score the win in the 400.
  • Eric Smith of Timber Creek wins the TJ (46-5)
  • Michael Peavy of Neptune is the 100 dash winner (10.83)
  • Mike Maira of Seneca clears 14-6 to capture the pole vault

Group 3 Girls Highlights
  • Michelle Brown splits 53.4 to chase down two teams and rally Seneca to second place in the 4x400 to give her team a 1/2 point win over Neptune. Brown also won 400 (54.87) and the 200 (24.17) and was second in the 100 (12.19)
  • Ajee' Wilson of Neptune avenges her 1,600 loss to Lanie Thompson of  Voorhees by winning the 800 in a freshman state and Monmouth County record 2:09.66, and splits 55.4 on winning 4x400 (3:55.40).. Thompson is second in 800 in 2:10.14.   
  • Christina Epps of Morristown breaks meet record and her own Morris County mark in the TJ with a 39-9
  • Chelsea Ley of Kingsway breaks meet mark in rhe 3,200 with a 10:28.42.
  • Lanie Thompson of Voorhees runs 65. 8 last 400 and passes Ajee'  Wilson of Neptune with 60 meters left to win her third straight 1,600 in a meet record 4:50.40. Wilson is second in 4:52.03, just off the state freshman record of 4:51.4 (Jill Smith of Southern in 2006) as six girls crack 5:00.
  • Azudei DuBois of Irvington leaps 18-0 on final attempt to win the long jump
  • Mary Bohi of Seneca win the 400 IH in 1:01.49 
  • Michelle Brown of Seneca repeats as 400 champion in 54.87.
  • Lisa Stuto of Brick wins the shot (41-3 3/4)
  • Audrey Wilson of Deptford takes the 100 in 12.04.
  • Emily Kianka of Hopewell Valley, the indoor M of C HJ winner, cleared 5-6 for the win
Group 4 Boys Highlights
  • Tim Carey of  Washington runs US #2 52.10 to win 400 IH
  • Robby Andrews of Manalapan skips 1,600, wins 800 in 1:52.39 over Xavier Fraction of  Washington (1:53.77).
  • Fraction wins 1,600 in 4:16.72
  • Rolston Braithwaite of Trenton goes 49-1 1/4 to win TJ
  • Isaiah Gill of Plainfield  wins 400 in 47.49, is second in 200 (21.36) and splits 46.7 on third-place 4x400.
  • Tejay Johnson of Egg Harbor wins 100 (10.92), 200 (21.30) and runs on winning 4x400 (3:17.79)
  • Jorge Merino of Old Bridge takes gold in shot (57-3 1/2) and discsus (166-4)
  • Glenn Scheideler of Randolph clears 6-10 to win HJ
  • Jeremy Elkaim of Livingston runs 9:16.58 to win the 3,200
Group 4 Girls Highlights
  • Ugonna Ndu of Union lowers her US #1 time in the 400 hurdles to 59.36 and wins the 100 hurdles in 14.31.
  • Jill Smith of Southern wins the 1,600 in Friday (4:55), then after winning  800 on Saturday in 2:08.68, she collapses after three laps with a cramp in the 3,200 and fails to finish. But she returns to run a leg on runner-up 4x400 (3:51.56)
  • Nijgia Snapp of oakcrest wins 400 (54.3( and is second in the 800 (2:10.57)
  • Shannon Watt of Jackson unloads nJ #1 45-5 1/2 in shot put and wins discus (126-1)
  • Fiona Paladino of Montgomerey wins HJ on misses at 5-8
  • Katie Kellner of West Windsor North leads four under 11 minutes with winning time of 10:45.79 in the 3,200
  • Columbia takes 4x400 in 3:49.65


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