HomeNews TranscriptNews Transcript SportsBrannan finishes 6th, runs 3K personal best at Penn Relays

Brannan finishes 6th, runs 3K personal best at Penn Relays

By Tim Morris

Jordan Brannan found plenty to be satisfied about with his sixth-place finish in the Boys High School 3,000-Meter Run at the Penn Relays.

The Colts Neck High School junior ran a personal best of 8:26.57, which made his the second fastest in Freehold Regional High School District history and fastest in the state this season. He also won the replay of the NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions (MOC) 3,200, finishing ahead of all his rivals again, which he said validated his indoor state title.

“It went extremely well,” Brannan said of his race. “I felt it was an honest pace from the start.”

What Brannan took away from the race was that he knows he can handle a hot pace (4:29 opening mile) and still have enough in reserve to make surges during the second half of the race.

Eric Van Der Els from McMahon High School in Connecticut won the race in 8:20.11.

This was Brannan’s first experience running at the Penn Relays at Philadelphia’s historic Franklin Field, and he described it as “aweseome.”

Freehold Township High School’s Ciara Roche knows what its like to run at Franklin Field, having finished fourth in the High School Girls Mile Run in 2015 and running on the Patriots’ 4×800-meter relay team that made it to the Championship of America final.

Roche finished seventh this year in a loaded field that saw 10 break five minutes. Roche’s mark of 4:58.07 was more than a second faster than she ran last year.

Among New Jersey runners, Roche was second to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s Christine Rancan, who was fifth in 4:56.21.

Rancan and Roche went first and second at the indoor MOC 1,600 this past winter.

Sammy Watson from Rush-Henrietta High School in New York won the fast mile in 4:49.56.

Marlboro High School’s teams ran the fastest 4×400 relays at the Penn Relays.

The boys team of Kwaku Amponsah, Julien Hill, Eddie McBurnie and C.J. Maree clocked 3:29.15 in finishing second in their heat. The girls team of Danielle Spano, Anna Paziewska, Labeeqa Khizir and Brianna Mullan ran 4:14.50 in finishing seventh in their heat.

The Penn Relays were held April 28-30, with the girls high school events on the first day and the boys events taking place the following day.

Georgian Court High School Challenge

Georgian Court University in Lakewood held the Georgian Court High School Challenge, where several district athletes left their mark April 23.

Howell High School’s Rachel Kern produced one of the farthest javelin throws in the state this spring, winning the event with a mark of 136-10.

Niamh Hayes won the girls 1,600 in 5:08.95, and Jadamar Covington took the high jump at 5-0 via the fewest-jumps tiebreaker.

Kern’s throwing teammate, Stephanie Bock, continued her fine start to the season, throwing 40-10 for third place and 127-2 in the discus, which was good for second.

Evan Hodousek took second in the boys pole vault, clearing the same height (12-6) as winner Douglas Young from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. Young won via fewer misses.

His teammate David Roszkowski was second in the discus (122-3).

From Marlboro, sprinter Danielle Spano won the 200-meter dash, clocking a quick early-season time of 25.90.

Spano gained a second victory anchoring the Mustangs’ 4×100  team to a victory in 50.12. Alicia Zhou, Labeeqa Khizir and Lauren Newman ran the first three legs for the Mustangs.

Maree won the boys 800 meters in a personal best of 1:57.73. He led from start to finish in an impressive effort for April.

Colts Neck Relays

Also on April 23, Colts Neck held its annual Colts Neck Relays.

Topping the Cougars’ winning teams was the Distance Medley Relay squad consisting of Anthony Russo, Bryan Chehanske, Gavin McDonnell and Brannan, who ran 4:23.9 in the anchor 1,600. The Cougars ran a strong time of 10:33.67.

Brannan and Russo came back and joined Brad D’Antuono and Liam Hoagland to win the 4×800 in 8:26.79.

Ryan Tompkins (6-4) and Pat Boehn (5-10) teamed up to win the high jump relay and set a school record with their combined 12-2.

Colts Neck’s girls were not about to be overshadowed and won a pair of relays. They gave Colts Neck a sweep of the Distance Medley Relays, as Colleen Megerle, Sarah Elice, Kayleigh Hoagland and Raeann Giannattasio won in 12:48.12.

Hoagland, Elice, Giannattasio and Julia Saffaye won the Sprint Medley in 4:18.9.

The relay season still has one big event: the Monmouth County Relays May 5 at Long Branch High School.

The Holmdel Twilight Series continues at the high school May 6 with the Night of 3200s and a Swedish Relay.

The Long Branch Invitational May 7 at the high school will be the final tune-up before the Monmouth County Championships May 11 and 13 at Holmdel.

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