Former Southern Runner Danielle Tauro, Coach Brian Zatorski Enter Shore Hall of Fame

Jun 27, 2018
Photo by: Supplied photo Danielle Tauro wins at the Millrose Games.

After spending four years of developing and executing race plans together, former Southern Regional High School running star Danielle Tauro-Barnes and former girls cross-country and track and field coach Brian Zatorski recently had the opportunity to do one more thing together: They were inducted into the Shore Conference Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a huge honor,” said Barnes, currently attending graduate school at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. “Many of my idols, whom I looked up to in high school, belong to this small group of accomplished student-athletes.”

Of course, in high school Barnes went by her birth name Tauro and is one the most decorated distance runners in Southern history. After becoming the second freshman to win the 1,600-meter run at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in 2004, she went on to win the event three more times to become only one of two female runners in state history to do so.

Along the way, Tauro twice won the mile at the Millrose Games, captured the mile title at the Penn Relays as a junior in 2006, and later that year set the New Jersey record of 4:39.25 while competing in the mile at the New Balance Nationals. She then followed up that effort by winning the 1,500-meter race at the U.S. Junior Nationals and competed for the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Beijing, China, where she placed fifth.

Tauro also was a great relay runner, anchoring Southern’s distance medley to four first-place finishes at the National Championships – twice each during the indoor and outdoor meets – and a Penn Relays championship in 2007. As a cross-country runner, Tauro won the NJSIAA Meet of Champions during her last two seasons at Southern.

Following her amazing career at Southern, she went on to the University of Michigan, where she was a three-time All-American and four-time Big Ten champion.

“I’m so proud to say that I competed in the Shore Conference because of how competitive and deep it has always been, year after year. It truly prepared me for state- and national-level races,” Barnes said. “I’m grateful for the support of the Shore Track Coaches Association and all it continues to do to make the Shore Conference one of the premier track and field conferences in the country.”

Following standout track and field careers at Middletown North and Moravian College, Zatorski first took an assistant coaching role at North before coming to Southern in 1997, when he took the reins of the girls cross-country and track and field programs, and subsequently built them into state powers.

During his 18-year career as head coach of the Rams – spanning 54 seasons – his teams snagged 34 Ocean County titles, 19 Shore Conference crowns, 17 Class A South titles, 13 South Jersey Group IV track and field championships, nine Group IV titles, five national crowns (three in the distance medley and two in the 4x800-meter relay), and a Penn Relays championship. He also coached 31 individual national champions and 81 All-Americans, led by national champs Tauro and former Southern and Michigan teammate Jillian Smith-Wasilewski.

Zatorski ended his career to take an administrative role at Southern in 2016, finishing with dual-meet records of 86-23 in cross-country and 107-8 in track and field. Zatorski was the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Northeast Regional Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 2009.

With their induction, Barnes and Zatorski joined former boys cross-country and track and field coach Charlie Speck, whose teaching and coaching careers spanned 31 years, as Southern’s trio of Hall of Fame representatives, for now. Speck was inducted last year.

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

Former Southern coach Brian Zatorski coached girls cross-country and track and field for 18 years. (Photo by: David Biggy)
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