NJSIAA Sectionals Roundup

Southern Regional Gymnasts Place Third in South Jersey as Freshman Qualifies for State Finals

By DAVID BIGGY | Nov 08, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy file photo Barnegat's Kylie Picaro

An awesome season for the Southern Regional gymnastics team wrapped up in a fantastic way on Nov. 4. Coach Judy Miller’s crew not only scored 100 or more points for the 14th consecutive time since opening with a 100-77.5 victory over Central back in mid-September, the Rams also placed third in the NJSIAA South Jersey Championships.

Behind only Jackson Memorial (107.5) and Brick Memorial (106.42) – the two teams that accounted for Southern’s only losses during an 11-2 regular season – the Rams scored a 103.6, edging Donovan Catholic (103.57) for the third spot, one of the highest finishes in program history.

Leading the charge for the Rams was freshman Maria Mezzo, who tallied an all-around score of 35.4 to place fourth overall and qualify the state individual championship meet. Mezzo finished fourth on the vault with a 9.35 and third on the floor exercise with a 9.4.

Meanwhile, Barnegat senior Kylie Picaro competed as an individual in the sectional meet and, after registering an all-around score of 35.15, will join Mezzo in the state finals. Picaro’s highest score of 9.35, good enough for fourth, occurred during the floor exercise.

Qualifying by either being among the top five of their section or scoring 36 or higher during any of the five sectional competitions, a total of 40 gymnasts will compete for the state individual title at Montgomery High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, beginning at 9:15 a.m.

Southern Regional Runners
Finish High at Sectionals

Both the Southern Regional boys and girls cross-country teams delivered big efforts on Nov. 4 as they each finished third overall in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV sectional championships. The boys finished with 111 points, behind team champ Kingsway (26) and runner-up Cherokee (64). The girls finished with 135 points, behind Kingsway (42) and Shawnee (49).

Leading the way for the boys was senior Evan Adanatzian, who finished fifth overall with a time of 16:07. Behind Adanatzian were seniors Connor McBride in 14th with a time of 16:27 and Paul Keyes in 15th at 16:28. Freshman Jackson Braddock took the 30th position with a time of 16:52, and junior Trevor Middleton finished the Rams’ big effort in 47th at 17:12.

Leading the charge for the girls were senior Taylor Mulch (19:27) and junior Gianna Citarella (19:28), who finished 14th and 15th, while sophomores Emily Furlong and Jaelyn D’Amelio finished in the 31st and 32nd spots each with a time of 20:04. Sophomore Alexa Mulch rounded out the Rams’ top five in 43rd with a time of 20:17.

By finishing among the top five in their sectional meets, both squads are scheduled to compete in the Group IV Championships on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Holmdel Park.

In the South Jersey Group II girls meet, the only two among the top 25 were Barnegat freshman Aerienna Godwin, who placed 15th with a time of 22:09, and Pinelands sophomore Jolie Zaccaria, who finished two places behind in 17th at 22:18 and led the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish as a team. Freshman Samaria Elbadri placed 27th in 23:53, followed by sophomore Emily English in 32nd at 24:21, freshman Morgan Ross in 48th at 26;13 and sophomore Gabbi Robinson in 57th at 28:48.

Volleyball Squads
Get Bounced Out

After capturing the Shore Conference Tournament for the first time in program history, the Pinelands Regional girls volleyball program scored a pair of victories in the NJSIAA Group II tournament before running into the best team it faced this season, River Dell (21-1), on Nov. 4. The Golden Hawks ended the Wildcats’ season at 26-4 with a 25-15, 25-10 win. Senior Jessie Rising managed 13 assists, while senior Carly Jannsch tallied 17 digs and five kills. Kayla Thornton and Cierra Seals also had five kills apiece.

Two days earlier, seventh-seeded Pinelands knocked off 10th-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven, 25-15, 25-14, as Rising delivered 22 assists and Jannsch whacked 12 kills and recorded 13 digs, while Thornton hammered 11 kills and registered 10 digs. In the Wildcats’ 25-14, 25-11 win over Pleasantville in the opening round, Thornton had seven kills and six digs, Jannsch had six kills and 11 digs, and Rising gave out 11 assists.

On Nov. 2, seventh-seeded Southern Regional has its season ended at 25-7 after being upset by 23rd-seeded Clifton, 19-25, 25-15, 25-27, in the Group IV second round. Kari Klimek had 10 kills for the Rams, while Jess Sprankle managed 22 digs, Lauren Cruse added eight kills, and Cali Modri scored on four blocks. In Southern’s 25-11, 25-12 opening-round victory over Columbia, Stephanie Soares led the way with 21 assists, five digs and four aces, while Cruse and Klimek each delivered seven kills, and Kaitlyn Ward and Sprankle each scored on a pair of aces.


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