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Defending track champions fall short at Meet of Champions

Thomas Kalieta of Matawan Regional High School did not repeat as a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions (MOC) winner in the 400-meter run, but he was pleased with his effort.

Kalieta finished in 47.53 to place third in the 400 at the MOC, which was held at Northern Burlington County Regional High School in Columbus June 10.

“I am very happy. I ran a great race with very fast guys, and that is what I hoped for the whole season,” Kalieta said.

Kalieta won the 400 title as a junior at the 2016 MOC, where he finished with a time of 47.83.

Moorestown High School senior Brandon Outlaw won the 400 title this year with a time of 47.05. Outlaw finished in fourth last year behind Kalieta.

Kalieta plans to continue his athletic career next year and into the future. He plans to attend community college before he transfers to Monmouth University.

“I’ve talked a lot with Monmouth [University]. Both my parents are alumni, so I am very close with all the coaches, so I think that will be my stop after community college,” Kalieta said.

Kalieta was not the only local defending champion at this year’s MOC.

Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) senior Drake Anzano was not able to claim a third state championship in the 1,600. The two-time champion finished with a time of 4:27.32.

In comparison, when competing in last year’s 1,600, Anzano finished in 4:08.96 to become the back-to-back champion.

Ocean Township High School senior Elliot Gindi spoiled Anzano’s bid to win a third state title when he won with a time of 4:09.14, which was a personal best. Last year, Gindi came in second place with a time of 4:10.93.

Noah Yuro of CBA finished in 4:14.51 to place fifth in the 1,600. Despite finishing in fifth place, the time is a new personal best for the senior.

“I am pretty happy; it is a personal best. I mean you want to go in and win. I did not, but I am still happy,” Yuro said.

Yuro was happy with the results of his senior season.

“I was injured during cross-country, and I was able to come back and get fifth in the Meet of Champions,” Yuro said.

Yuro plans to attend Richmond University in the fall and will continue competing at the collegiate level. He will take the next two weeks off before he starts cross-country training.

Tim McInerney, a CBA sophomore, finished ninth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:17.71.

Junior Dan Mead of CBA finished in seventh in the boys’ shot put with a throw of 56-5½. Rahway High School senior Jordan West won the shot put title with a mark of 67-4¼.

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