Local athletes shine in the state Meet of Champions


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Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

The region’s top athletes showcased their talents on June 9 when the at the NJSIAA Track and Field Meet of Champions was staged at Northern Burlington Regional High School ib Columbus.

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Drew Maher of Shore Regional High School delivered a championship performance in his final meet of his scholastic career.

Maher won the boys’ 1,600-meter run when he crossed first in a time of 4:08.80. He edged Tim McInerney of Christian Brothers Academy, who was the runner-up with a time of 4:10.37.

“To go out on my senior year. My last day racing in New Jersey, and win at the Meet of Champions,” Maher said. “It’s incredible.”

Maher also finished fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.79.

Besides McInerney, Christian Brothers Academy other fine performances from Andrew Canale, who finished second in the 400 meters with a time of 48.07, and Dan Mead, who finished fifth in the shot put with a distance of 60-02.50.

Other finishers for CBA were Troy Hill, who came in 10th in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:23.04, and Liam O’Hara, who placed 16th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.42.

Three local athletes also competed in the 400 hurdles.

Ramy Berberena from North Brunswick High School placed sixth with a time of 54.31, Joe DeVito of Jackson Liberty High School came in 17th in 55.42 and Felix Lawrence of Freehold Township High School ended in 22nd with a time of 55.95.

One of the top individual performers of the day was Nadale Buntin of John P. Stevens High School.

He finished second in the triple jump in  47-7, placed third in the 200-meter dash with a clocking of 21.62 and finished fifth in the long jump in 23-4.25.

Other notable efforts were delivered by Allentown High School’s Liam Murphy, who finished seventh in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:17.10, Old Bridge High School’s Corey Durden, who came in eighth in the shot put with a 57-1.50, and Matt Degnan of Freehold High School, who placed eighth in the javelin with a distance of 179-8.

Also, Jackson Liberty’s 4X800 relay team placed ninth in 7.59.63 and East Brunswick High School’s Jake Stock finished 12th in the pole vault in 13-6.


The East Brunswick 4X100 relay team completed a solid season with a fourth-place finish with a clocking of 47.79.

One of the runners on the relay team, Shanelle Colmon, a senior,  also placed eighth in the 200 dash with a time  of 24.71.

Dierdre Otoo, a junior, and Victoria Constantin, a senior, explained how the relay team at East Brunswick emerged into a contender for a state title.

“We only had one new girl this year,” Otoo said. “So, we tinkered with the lineup to figure out where the best place to put everyone was. We found out that Victoria ran best at anchor. So, once we made that change, we were good to go.”

“Yeah, we wanted to change it up,” Constantin said. “We knew we had a lot more in us. The changed worked out well. I’m very proud of this team now.”

South Brunswick High School athletes also shined in the Meet of Champions.

South Brunswick’s 4X800 relay team placed fifth with a time of 9:20.32, while the 4X400 relay team team came in eighth place with a time of 3:55.58.

In the 800 run, Essence Baker ended in 12th with a time of 2:12.21 and Sabrina Ray finished 12th in the pole vault when she recorded 11-00.

Kassidy Mulryne from Allentown came through with a hat trick when she placed in three events.

She finished fourth in two events when she registered a 5-8 in the high jump and a 19-2.5 in the long jump. She placed sixth in the triple jump with a 38-4.

Three local runners delivered fine efforts in the 1,600-meter run.

In that race, Madison Brand of Middletown High School South was clocked in a time of 5:01.80 to place fifth, while  Angela Cao of J.P. Stevens came in sixth with a time of 5:01.94 and Allentown’s Devon Hoernlein finished seventh in 5:02.34.

Jasmine Vannote of Sayreville War Memorial High School produced one of the best efforts of the day when she placed third in the shot put with a distance of 4302.25.

Also coming through with solid performances were Cynthia Boryeskne of Edison High School, who finished sixth in the 800 run in 2:14.60, and Red Bank Catholic High School’s Tara Zeni, who finished seventh in the long jump when she registered an 18-8.

In the 3,200, Middletown South’s Kathleen Shay produced a time of 11:04.6 to place 10th and Colts Neck High School’s Delia Russo finished 24th in 11:59.27.

In the 4X800 relay, Rumson-Fair Haven High School finished seventh with a time of 9:22.09 and Red Bank Catholic followed two slots back in ninth with a 9:25.73. Also in that race, Metuchen High School finished 15th in 9:37.84 and Colts Neck High School ended in 19th with a time of 9:49.61.



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