Seniors Lead Way for Barnegat Boys, Southern Regional Girls in Group Indoor Track Championships

By DAVID BIGGY | Feb 22, 2017

During the NSJIAA Group Indoor Track Championships, the only two local squads to score points were led by their seniors. While the Barnegat boys squad scored 9.5 points to place 12th in Group II, the Southern Regional girls mustered 5 points to finish 23rd in a very deep and difficult Group IV.

For the Bengals, senior Gunnar Pearson was the big scorer on Feb. 18, when he placed second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.56, just .70 behind winner Corey McGhie of Rahway. Barnegat’s additional 1.5 points were scored by junior Nick Kovaly, who tied for fifth in the high jump by clearing the bar at 6 feet, alongside South Plainfield’s Mike DeAngelis.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 17, Southern was led by seniors Justine Hosszu and Sabrina Woodlee. Hosszu, who has been clearing the 40-foot mark with regularity the past several weeks, fired the shot put 40 feet, 11¼ inches to place fourth in Group IV, while Woodlee managed to grab a sixth-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:19.44.

Pearson, Kovaly, Hosszu and Woodlee each will represent their schools at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions Feb. 25 and 26 at the Bennett Center in Toms River. Joining Hosszu and Woodlee will be Morgan Koeppen, who tied for eighth in the Group IV pole vault and received a wild-card bid for the MOC.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Shannon Lytle, Caitlin Hambor, Koeppen and Woodlee, which also placed eighth during the group meet, also received a wild-card offer to compete in the big meet. And competing in one of two “showcase” events, the Southern girls will have one of the 24 teams entered in the 4x800-meter relay. —D.B.

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