Southern Girls Indoor Track Team Doing What It Always Does
The Southern Regional girls track program may have a new head coach, but the expectations haven’t changed.
“We have a large team with our usual expectations,” said Jason Church, who took over the track program, starting with the winter season, for former longtime coach Brian Zatorski, who last summer accepted an administrative position at Southern. “We will try to win every meet we think we have a chance to win.”
So far this season, the results haven’t changed, either. The Rams got off to a great start by winning the Demarest Invitational with 55.5 points on Dec. 16, then came right out of the holiday break with a first-place finish in the Ocean County Relays, scoring 66 points on Jan. 3.
Eight days later, the Rams topped the team standings again, as they tallied 103 points en route to the Ocean County championship at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
Junior Morgan Koeppen was the big scorer for the Rams, as she captured first in the pole vault with a height of 9 feet, 6 inches, grabbed third in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.14 seconds and snagged fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:03.01. Junior Taylor Mulch also tallied big points by winning the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:12.39 and placing second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:27.88.
Meanwhile, junior Shannon Lytle won the 400 in 1:00.69 and senior Sabrina Woodlee added first-place points by taking the top spot in the 800 with a time of 2:27.47. The Rams’ 4x400-meter relay squad also tasted victory, registering a time of 4:11.52.
Southern received top-three efforts from sophomore Gianna Citarella, who placed second in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:03.72; senior Danielle Sinko, who swiped third in the high jump with a height of 4 feet, 10 inches; and senior Justine Hosszu, who fired the shot put 38 feet to place third.
Additionally, the Rams received top-six performances from junior Erin Rowland (9.33 seconds) and senior Samantha Laubach (9.41), who placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 55 hurdles, while senior Bailey Gellis took fifth in the 55-meter dash in 7.73 seconds; junior Rachel Ornstein was fourth in the 800 with a time of 2:29.45 and snagged fifth in the high jump at 4 feet, 10 inches; and sophomore Devin Scully placed sixth in the shot put with a throw of 32 feet, 7¾ inches.
The Southern girls will attempt to keep their winning ways intact when they take on the NJSIAA Group IV Relays on Jan. 21, then try to repeat as Shore Conference champions on Jan. 27, before making an attempt to repeat as NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV champions on Feb. 3. The NJSIAA Group Championships are Feb. 17-18, and the Meet of Champions is slated for Feb. 25-26.
As for the Southern boys indoor track squad, it hasn’t had quite the success the girls have had so far this winter, but several Rams put forth some solid efforts at the Ocean County Championships. The Rams placed fourth overall with 24 points.
In the 800, senior Billy Kubarewicz finished fourth with a time of 2:06.14, while sophomore David Springstead grabbed sixth in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 6 inches, and the pole vaulting trio of junior Steve Santiago (12 feet), junior Mason Schnell (11 feet, 6 inches) and Springstead (10 feet) placed second, third and fifth, respectively. Also, in the shot put, sophomore Joe Miele fired the ball 46 feet to place fifth, and junior Brian Curley took sixth with a throw of 45 feet, 5 inches.
In the Ocean County Relays, the Southern boys finished fifth overall with 31 points, which included a second-place finish by the 4x800-meter relay (8:31.67) and a pair of fourth-place finishes by the 4x400 relay (3:44.78) and 4x55 shuttle hurdles relay (34.76 seconds).
— David Biggy