Howell High School’s girls track and field team started its season off positively enough by capturing its home event: the Rebel Relays.
The girls rolled up 90 points to easily top runner-up Jackson Liberty High School, which had 64 points, to win the Division 2 (Large School) championship April 2.
Howell relied on its balance to pick up the win, as the team scored just one win on the track and two in the field. However, getting points from its sprinters, hurdlers, throwers and jumper — in other words, scoring in all but a couple of relays — helped distance the Rebels from the field.
On the track, Howell captured the 1,600-meter Sprint Medley in 4:33.11 with the team of Erin Cannon, Niamh Hayes, Tyler Hayes and Jessica Moreland. Hayes, who is a distance runner, showed her versatility by helping the team out in a sprint event.
In the field, Stephanie Bock was the Rebels’ standout. She had the best throw of the discus competition (117-7) to lead Howell to the victory. Danielle Messina (77-3) and Hanna Rosenmertz (71-10) finished in the top 10 to seal the relay win.
In the shot put relay, Bock’s mark of 36-3 was second to Jackson Liberty’s Danielle Notarfrancesco (40-2¾). However, with Rosenmertz (32-10½) and Messina (32-2½) coming through with the fourth and seventh best throws, Howell won the relay easily.
Rachel Kern had the best throw of the javelin competition (115-8), helping the Rebels place third.
Distance state champion Ciara Roche anchored the Freehold Township High School girls to the Distance Medley Relay triumph in 12:59.15. Rose Barrett ran the opening 1,200 leg, followed by Juliana DiGiacomo (400) and Sydney O’Malley (800). Roche ran the 1,600 leg, as the Patriots held off runner-up Howell (13:10.72).
The Patriots also won the long jump relay behind Caroline Peola (15-10½), Giselle Maragoto (13-8¼) and Joyce Huang (13-3¼).
Kathleen Ciccarone led Freehold High School to the high jump relay championship. She finished second, clearing the bar at 4-10. Jennifer Witt and Nwaneka Chinedu each did 4-8, clinching the win for the Colonials.
Ciccarone was first overall in the triple jump (33-3½), as the Colonials took second.
On the boys side, Howell and Freehold Township claimed Division 2 relay victories.
The Rebels’ team of Bill Bajohr, Simas Glebavicius, Alex Behan and David Galarza took the 4×400 in 3:31.36.
The Patriots won the Distance Medley Relay in 11:01.84, anchored by Group IV 3,200 state champion Jake Konig. Nicholas Ackerman (1,200), Chris Cardace (400) and Mike Maltese (800) ran the first three legs, with Konig closing it with his 1,600 leg.
Howell girls win in Matawan
The Rebels’ girls made it two-for-two this relay season, winning Matawan Regional High School’s Husky Relays April 9. Howell rolled up 114 points to out-distance runner-up Monroe Township High School (79) by 35 points.
Bock was again the standout for Howell. She had the best throws in both the shot put (38-7½) and discus (118-0), helping the Rebels win both two-thrower relays.
Katie Wojiechowski clinched the shot put relay her throw of 32-0 that was fifth overall.
Messina’s mark of 83-1½ for sixth best in the discus wrapped up that relay for Howell.
Zoey Sloane (4-10) and Alexis Serido (4-4) teamed up to win the high jump relay for Howell.
On the track, Howell won the Distance Medley Relay (13:06.28) and the 4×400 (4:25.50).
Lindsey Marzo, Cannon, Deana Lucas and Hayes formed the Distance Medley Relay’s winning quartet. In the 4×400, the team was Alanna Baker, Megan Barreto, Lucas and Cannon.
Freehold Township’s girls won two relays: the Sprint Relay and the long jump.
Alexandra Stauffer, DiGiacomo, Caroline Feola and Roche won the Sprint Medley in 4:23.38, topping Howell (4:28.44).
Feola turned in the best long jump of the meet, 15-8¾. Combined with Hailey Tanner’s 13-9¾, it lifted the Patriots to victory.
Howell, Freehold Township and Manalapan High School had relay wins on the boys side.
Galarza, Glebavicius, Behan and Bajohr won the Sprint Medley for Howell (3:41.47).
The Rebels picked up a co-victory in the pole vault with Evan Hodousek (12-0) and Christopher Guidice (10-0) matching South Plainfield High School’s mark of 22-0 to share the title.
Freehold Township won two in the field. Kris Kulick (40½) and Christopher Nami (38-5½) won the triple jump, and Alexander Schlumpf (45-8¼) and Henry Bader (45-7) captured the shot put.
Kulick’s jump was second best of the competition and Schlumpf and Bader had the third and fourth best throws in the shot put.
Manalapan won the 4×1,600 with Andrew Comito, William Spector, Jared Skalski and Cooper Knorr in 19:10.30.
It’s the height of the relay season, with East Brunswick High School and Central Regional High School (Eagle Relays) hosting meets April 16. The Eagle Relays will give the track and field athletes their first look at the facilities that will host the NJSIAA Meet of Champions June 8.
Colts Neck High School is hosting its annual relays April 23, which could serve as the last chance for relay teams to run qualifying times for the Penn Relays.