Sports Roundup

Southern Regional Girls Indoor Track Team Swipes Ocean County Relays Crown

By DAVID BIGGY | Jan 10, 2018
Courtesy of: Jason Church The Southern Regional girls indoor track team scored 53 points en route to the Ocean County Relays championship on Jan. 3.

Ocean County is littered with solid girls track and field squads, and Southern Regional is right up there among the best. In fact, the Rams put together a big team effort in the first meet of the new year, the Ocean County Relays, on Jan. 3 and captured the title.

“I told the team that if we scored in every event, the win would take care of itself,” said head coach Jason Church, whose crew finished atop the standings with 53 points, 14 ahead of second-place Toms River South and 17 ahead of Toms River North. Jackson Liberty was fourth with 31. “That’s exactly what our girls did. Nothing spectacular, but no mistakes and a textbook team win.”

Fueled by veterans Taylor Mulch and Morgan Koeppen and a whole bunch of younger athletes – several of whom scored in multiple events – the Rams scored first- or second-place points in five of the nine events. In the 4x800-meter relay, Karagan Bulger, Gianna Citarella, Katelyn Brischler and Mulch ran to a top time of 10:06.80, while the distance-medley crew of Citarella, Bella Hanvey, Emily Furlong and Mulch ran to a first-place time of 13:30.90.

In the pole vault relay, Koeppen, the senior, led the way by clearing 9 feet, while freshman Maria Mezzo, coming off a stellar gymnastics season, cleared 8 feet to help the duo place second. Mezzo also assisted in the 4x400-meter relay alongside Caitlin Hambor, Brischler and Bulger, as the foursome ran to a second-place time of 4:28.39. In the sprint medley, Hailey Butth, Natalie Brummer, Hambor and Bulger raced to a second-place time of 4:37.18.

In the shuttle hurdles relay, Mezzo, Koeppen, Erin Rowland and Hayley Houck placed third in 35.81 seconds, while Ali English and Gianna Crawford each cleared 4 feet, 4 inches to place fifth in the high jump relay. The shot put team of Lauren Bakker and Devin Scully combined for a sixth-place distance of 55 feet, 6 inches, and Hanvey, Mezzo, Rowland and Hambor ran to a combined time of 1:55.46 to grab sixth in the 4x200-meter relay.

Southern Boys Bowlers
Swipe One

After last week’s blizzard postponed the Southern Regional bowling teams’ contests against Brick Memorial, the Rams managed to get in their set versus the Mustangs before the freezing rain iced the roads on Jan. 8. The boys team even swiped one of the three games, just missing on a second win. Instead, Southern fell short, 2-1, and remains in fifth place in the Shore Conference South B division at 11-19.

Following a 1,050-933 loss in the first game, Southern rebounded with a 1,034-1,001 victory in the next, as Robert Petrozzino led the charge with a 246, followed by Steve Martin’s 224 and Jack Hudson’s 203. Tom McCann led the way in the third game with a 237, and Petrozzino (204), Hudson (203) and Martin (202) again rolled the ball well, but the Mustangs got by the Rams, 1,045-1,026.

Hudson finished with a 636 series, while McCann fired a 622, Martin ended with a 609 and Petrozzino finished with a solid 600 at the front of the lineup.

Unfortunately, the Southern girls also took on Brick Memorial, the top team in the division and a perennial state power, and went home empty following a 3-0 loss. Also in fifth place at 8-22, the team was led by Keara Cousins, who fired games of 169, 159 and 182 to finish with a 510 series. Mackenzie Olson tossed a 151 and 203 during the last two games to end up with a 471 series. Skylar Calnan added top games of 159 and 150 during the second and third games, and Kat Camoosa added a 157 in the third game.

On Jan. 2, the Barnegat boys squad scored a 902-871 victory in the first game against South B-leading Manchester, but the Hawks knocked off the Bengals with victories in the next two games. Barnegat sits in fourth with a 10.5-10.5 record. David MacGillivray, who leads the division with a 218.48 average, fired games of 235 and 278 to lead the way in the first two games and ended with a 682 series. Matt Kulpa added a high game of 219 to help the Bengals grab the first game.

Pinelands Wrestlers Rebound
To Start New Year

After getting trounced in its first match of the season last month, the Pinelands Regional wrestling team started off the new year with two of three victories during a quad on Jan. 6, knocking off Shore Conference Class B South rivals Donovan Catholic, 40-33, and Central Regional, 42-39, following a blowout loss to Pope John.

While the contest against the Griffins had its positive moments, the victory over the Golden Eagles was the thriller, as the Wildcats erased a 27-6 deficit after the first six bouts and scored the win with a last-bout victory by Damien Price, who pinned in 58 seconds to win at 106 pounds.

With Travis Brown, who pinned in 49 seconds to win at 126 pounds, the only victor through six bouts, the Wildcats (2-2) began their comeback when senior Brennan Richardson pinned in 30 seconds at 152. Jacob Mena won the 160-pound clash by injury default, before Chris Milano pinned in 2:32 at 182, John Morrin pinned in 42 seconds at 195, and 220-pounder Avery Maski won by forfeit to give Pinelands the lead, 36-33, heading into the final two bouts. A pin at heavyweight put the Wildcats behind by three going into the last bout, when Price came through with his big win.

Meanwhile, the next day, the Barnegat wrestling team took on non-conference foe New Milford and ended a four-match losing skid with a 56-18 victory. With the match tied at 6-6, senior Sean Foley got the Bengals moving in a winning direction with a 9-3 decision at 120 pounds, which was followed by Michael DiPianta’s pin in 5:48 at 126 pounds. After Barnegat gave up a pair of pins to fall behind, 18-15, the Bengals won the last eight bouts to secure the team victory. The stretch was highlighted by pins from Stephen Jennings at 170, Juan Abraham at 195 and Griffin Jackstadt at 220, as well as two major decisions from Nick Paccione (152) and Rashidi Alleyne (160).

— David Biggy

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