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Howell’s Kern wins javelin at Meet of Champions

Eric Sucar
Howell’s Niamh Hayes sprints towards the finish line of the Monmouth County Cross Country Championships held at Holmdel Park in Holmdel on October 18.

Howell High School senior Rachel Kern made up falling short by a few inches when she claimed the championship in the javelin throw at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions (MOC).

Kern captured the MOC championship with a throw of 145-4 June 10 at Northern Burlington County Regional High School in Columbus.

Oakcrest High School sophomore Brielle Smith placed second to Kern with throw of 141-2.

“It is an awesome way to end [my] senior year. Since last year I came to the Meet of Champions and I lost by like 3 inches, so it is a big comeback for me,” Kern said.

At the 2016 MOC, Kern finished second with a throw of 134-7. Cherokee High School senior Kaela Schrier won the title last spring with a throw of 134-10.

After winning big at this year’s meet, she plans to continue her athletic career next year in college.

“I plan on going to Wake Forest next year, so I am excited to compete at that higher level,” Kern said.

Kern joined Howell’s track and field team in the middle of her sophomore year. Before becoming a champion in javelin, she played shortstop for the school’s softball team.

“The whole experience with javelin has been great for me. It is something I did not expect to do and I did not expect to do so well in it either,” Kern said.

Kern’s teammate, senior Niamh Hayes, finished third in the girls’ 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:51:83. Sophomore Alex Westley of Warren Hills Regional High School won the title in the 3,200 with a time of 10:35:41.

In 2016, Hayes placed fifth in the 3,200 when she ran 10:37.72 at the MOC. Southern Regional High School senior Kaitlyn Mooney won the 2016 MOC title in the 3,200 with her finish in 10:28.25.

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