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71st Eastern States Championships

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - The Armory, NY NY

DyeStat onsite with John Nepolitan

DMRs, 4x200s lead usual flood of top marks

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Live results at ny.milesplit.com

Acceptance List

Meet records


Nepo Action Album
lap by lap on those terrific relays

FULL RESULTS - Highlights - Opportunity Knocks, Teams Take Advantage - John Nepolitan Story

Lillian Greibesland and Brian Leung anchor respective winning DMR teams to victory. Photo by The Track Junkie

Top Highlights (10 new US#1s-3s) - NJ Msg Board Thread - NY Msg Board Thread
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro South rolls to US#1 10:18.76 boys DMR, with Brian Leung anchoring in 4:14.2 for 1600. Warwick Valley NY 2nd in 10:20.58. Also, 4:11.5 anchor for Brandon Jarrett or 3rd-place St. Benedict's 10:21.04, and 4:14.9 for Half Hollow Hills West NY's Kyle Merber (5th, 10:26.52).
  • In a razor close boys 4x200, it was Union Catholic NJ nipping Trenton Central NJ, with both teams clocking US#1 1:28.35 times.
  • Westfield NJ sr Adam Bergo gets a monster 4" PR with US#2 7-00 HJ clearance, winning great battle with Irvington sr Ameer Wright 6-10.
  • Oak Knoll NJ's Katie McCafferty comes back from the NJ MOC and rolls a US#2 10:32.73 2M by herself
  • Warwick Valley NY US#2 11:49.59 DMR (#12 all-time, but not Warwick school record). Southern Regional's Jillian Smith brings it from way back into 2nd (11:58.50) with 4:46.8 anchor. 5 teams under 12:03.
  • Morristown soph Nick Vena tops Scotch Plains-Fanwood sr Mike Alleman in the shot again, 63-02.50 to 62-07.
  • Eastern NJ soph English Gardner, after off day at NJ MOC, blazes US#2 6.92 55 dash.
  • Ramapo jr Mike Abelard rips a US#2 21.50 200 (best on regulation track) to turn back US#4 21.63 of St. Benedict's Brian Bucknor.
  • Immaculate Conception soph Dominque Booker blazes to a 24.21 200, US#3 and the fastest not aided by altitude or an oversized track, and .17 ahead of Zoey Russell's fine 24.38.
More Highlights
  • Carmel NY sr Kristin Reese continues fine season with her US#4 2:11.37 win over North Shore soph Brianna Welch 2:12.12 and Tappan Zee sr Emma MIller-Bedell 2:12.33
  • Camden NJ takes a fast, close girls 4x200 with US#4 1:41.19 leading 4 under 1:42.
  • Jersey champ and Oakcrest jr Nijgia Snapp improves to US#4 54.91 to win a fast, deep 400 (11 under 58, and with Elizabeth Mott 2nd 55.26 and Amber Allen 3rd 55.32)
  • Woodrow Wilson NJ sr Samantha Sharper ties the US#4 mark with her winning 8.01 55H
  • Trenton Central sr Devon Hill has a great hurdles series, hitting =US#6 7.34 in both 1st round and finals
  • Seton Hall jr Clayton Parros US#6 48.26 400 (best non-altitude, regulation track) as 3 beat 49.00 and 8 under 50.20.
  • US#6 9:11.94 4x800 for Lenape NJ girls, with defending champ Pope John XXIII NJ 9:19.88.
  • Colonie NY sr Steve Crouse improves slightly on his US#7 TJ mark, winning in 48-09.25
  • Toms River North sr Maureen Laffan wins a battle of NJ shot rivals, beating Brick Township sr DeAnne Hahn, 44-10.50 - 43-00.75.
  • Millville NJ US#8 3:54.82 4x400

Opportunity Knocks; Teams Take Advantage for Penn Relays Qualifiers, Fast Times

Story by John Nepolitan

In the years before the creation of national indoor meets, the Eastern State Championships would draw teams from Virginia to New England and all over the Northeast to assemble to crown champions. Recent editions of the Easterns have turned into more of a dual between athletes from New York and New Jersey with a few from bordering states sprinkled in. With New York and New Jersey each competing in a different schedule of events at their state championships, the Easterns allows an opportunity for a mix of events for athletes from each state to do events that they rarely get to do in prime shape, with the end result being an assault on the national list. Mix into this a chance for teams to obtain qualifying marks for the Penn Relays, and a night of high quality track and field is the final product.

Distance Medley Relays – An event that is only contested at a few select meets, the DMR is always a highlight of the Easterns. For many teams this is the last chance to obtain that much-sought-after Penn Relays time, or a time that will get them into the indoor nationals.

The boys quickly got the frenzy of fast times rolling as national leader Warwick (NY)and #2 Franklin(NJ) were ready to slug it out against teams that had blue chip anchor legs – but would they have enough to keep the big studs close? Through most of the first three legs, Warwick held the lead and was only passed in the few meters before the final hand off. A small 3-team group formed at the front in the final leg, while back in the pack US 3200-meter leader Brian Leung, 2-time Footlocker finalist Brandon Jarrett, and Millrose HS mile champ Kyle Merber were starting with deficits.

While the leaders were moving, Leung was picking off other anchors, working his way up to the front. With 2 laps to go, he grabbed the race lead. Jarrett was moving fastest of all, and was closing in on the leaders as well. Merber had locked up with Jarrett, and was moving through the field as well, but a too-fast opening 400 of 57 was soon to take its toll.

At the front, Leung tried a long kick, only to be passed at the bell by Warwick’s Brad Ackerman. Leung did not panic and struck back heading down the back straight and pulled away for the win. Ackerman held off the fast-closing Jarrett for 2nd. For his effort, Jarrett split 4:11.5 while Merber held on for a 4:14.9 split to bring his team to 5th.

Splits for West Windsor Plainsboro –South
Same Macaluso 3:12.9
Jeff Reiman 52.9
Kieth Griffin 1:58.5
Brian Leung 4:14.5

The girls race saw Warwick take the lead on the 400 leg and pull away to a 9-second win. While Warwick was running away with the race, Millrose mile champion Jillian Smith (Southern Regional) got the baton buried in the pack, but went out and attacked her leg, passing everyone else in the field ahead of her except Warwick on her way to a 4:46.8 split.

4 x 200 – The 4 x 200 is not part of the state schedule in New Jersey, so when schools from the Garden State get the chance to run it at the end-of-the-year championship meets, like the Easterns and Nationals, many times they quickly move up the national list.

In the boys’ trial heats, Trenton Central and Union Catholic went head-to-head, with Trenton Central just holding on for the heat win in a swift 1:28.73 – 1:29.14 clocking. With Trenton Central in the favorable lane 5 in the final, the south Jersey school jumped out to the lead with Union Catholic right behind.

As Devon Hill took the stick for Trenton on the anchor leg, it looked like a re-run of the trials, but this time Union Catholic’s Garrett Ellis was not just running to qualify. Swinging wide off the last turn, Ellis pulled up to the shoulder of Hill and dipped right at the line. By the naked eye, it was too close to call. When the final results appeared on the scoreboard, Union Catholic and Trenton Central were each given the same time of 1:28.35, with Union Catholic getting the nod for the win.

The girls was just as exciting as Camden NJ grabbed the lead at the first handoff and held onto it right through the tape in 1:41.19. It was not a comfortable win, however, as 3 other teams came in under 1:42.

Boys 200 – Just like the 4 x 200 is not part of the New Jersey state order of events, the 200 is not an event run in New York. As a result, New Yorkers get fewer chances to make their mark in this event indoors. Mike Abelard (Ramapo, NY) made the most of his limited chance. In the 1st heat he ran a blistering 21.85 to earn him the friendly lane 5 in the final. From the gun in the final, Abelard was running like a man on a mission, powering all the way around the fast Armory track. He crossed the line in a swift 21.50 #2 in the country.

4 x 800 – Another Easterns event that has Penn Relay qualifying implications is the 4 x 800. With New Jersey schools not having the opportunity to run this relay at the state meet, the Easterns for many is the sole chance to dip under the qualifying time for the spring mega relay meet. Coming into the meet, Hillsborough had run a time that would put them on the bubble many years for Penn, while Don Bosco Prep needed a big performance if it once again was going to grab one of the few available Penn qualifying slots. Both teams found themselves in the unseeded heat, then proceeded to go out and push each other to the top two times of the night. Hillsborough took the win in 8:00.42 with Bosco close behind in 8:03.37, both under the time expected to make Penn.

Boys Shot – Just 4 days ago, Nic Vena(Morristown, NJ) unloaded a 66’ ¾” toss to win the New Jersey State Meet of Champs to outdistance rival Mike Alleman(Sctoch Plains – Fanwood). When the two squared off again at the Easterns, the places would be the same, but Vena would “only” throw 63’ 2-1/2” with Alleman also over 60 with a 62’ 7” toss. For the rest of the year, these two will continue to square off and draw fans down to the circle to see the 12 pound ball fly.

Boys High Jump – Adam Bergo (Westfield, NJ) had struggled to jump 6’ 8” to win the New Jersey State Meet of Champs last weekend and there was no real indication that he would up his personal best by 4”. But he did just that, and cleared the magical 7’ barrier to beat Ameer Johnson (Irvington, NJ), who also added 4” to his best to get 2nd with a jump of 6’10”.

Girls 2-mile – While the Armory was still buzzing from an exciting boys 4 x 200 final, the girls 2-mile took to the track. Passing through the mile in 5:30, Katie McCafferty(Oak Knoll, NJ) may have been in the lead, but the time looked like it would be nothing special. Then the senior started to press the pace. Covering her last mile in 5:11, McCafferty would run alone over the last 8 laps to cross the line in a swift US#2 10:32.73

Girls 800 – One of the truly stacked fields of the evening was the girls 800. It brought together Millrose mile 3rd-placer Kristin Reese (Carmel NY), 3-time Footlocker finalist Shelby Greany(Suffern, NY), US #11 Brianna Welch (North Shore, NY), and Emma Miller – Bedell(Tappan Zee, NY) who had placed 2nd at the 2007 NSIC. Past 400 and 600, Welch had the lead with the other three New Yorkers right behind. Down the back straight for the final time, Reese attacked with Miller-Bedell following. Reese appeared to struggle over the last few meters, but had more than enough room to hold off Welch and Miller-Bedell for the win.

Girls sprints – English Gardner(Eastern, NJ) did not run the NJ Meet of Champs this past weekend, and in her absence, Dominique Booker(Immaculate Conception, NJ) took the championship. But at the Easterns it was all Gardner, as she grabbed the lead out of the blocks and blazed a US #2 time of 6.92, with Booker 2nd in 6.99. Booker was not done for the night, though, as she rode the gentle lane 5 to the 200 meter championship in 24.21, US#3 and the fastest not aided by altitude or an oversized track.

400 – Stepping to the line in the seeded heat of the girls 400 was New Jersey champ Nijgia Snapp(Oakcrest, NJ), early season national leader Elizabeth Mott (New Rochelle, NY) and long sprint find of the indoor season Charlene Lipsey(Hempstead, NY), all ready to square off. At the break, Lipsey, running out of lane 1, was battling Mott for the lead. Mott would lose that battle, but came back to take command 50 meters later. She looked like a winner until Snapp attacked off the last turn and pulled ahead for the win, crossing the line 54.91. Eleven girls beat 58 seconds overall.

The boys race saw Clayton Parros(Seton Hall, NJ) get his 2nd major title in 4 days, adding the Easterns title to his New Jersey State crown. Parros, in just his 1st season of indoor racing, led wire-to-wire and crossed in 48.26, the best non-altitude, regulation track performance of 2008. Pushing Parros all the way to the line was Garrett Ellis(Union Catholic), who could not pull off the same move he did to win the 4 x 200 earlier in the evening.


Event - boys - girls
55 hurdle trials - 4:30 - 4:40pm
55 hurdle semis - 4:50 - 5:00
55 dash trials - 5:10 - 5:15
55 dash semis - 5:20 - 5:25

200 trials - 5:30 - 5:45

Distance Medley - 6:00 - 6:15

55 hurdle final - 6:35 - 6:30
55 dash final - 6:40 - 6:45

Opening Ceremonies 6:50

4X200 trials - 6:55 - 7:05

4X800 - 7:15 - 7:35
4X200 final - 7:55 - 8:00
2 mile run - 8:05 - 8:25
200 dash - final - 8:40 - 8:45
800 run - final - 8:50 - 9:00
400 dash - final - 9:10 - 9:20
1 mile run - 9:30 - 9:40
4X400 relay - 9:50 - 10:00

Event - boys - girls
High Jump - 7:00 (2 pits) - 7:00
Pole Vault (After Girls) 4:30
Shot Put - 7:00 - 5:00
Triple Jump - 7:00 - 5:00
Long Jump - 5:00 - 7:00

The meet may run up to 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

55 dash & hurdle athletes must be checked in by 4:00 ! ! !
All others check in at least 1 hour (60min) prior to event.

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