Former athletes, coaches named to MCC’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame

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Dave Meads
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Robert Edmonds
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Jill Romanovsky
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John Sacchi
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Robert Zifchak
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Dave Meads
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Robert Edmonds
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Jill Romanovsky
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John Sacchi
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Robert Zifchak

EDISON – The Middlesex County College (MCC) Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced the names of the inaugural class of the Blue Colt Athletic Hall of Fame.

The first class will consist of Robert Edmonds (track and field), Dave Meads (baseball), Jill Romanovsky (softball), John Sacchi (wrestling coach) and Robert Zifchak (athletic administrator).

“We are really excited to announce the first class of inductees to the MCC Hall of Fame,” said Middlesex Athletic Director Derrick Johnson in a press release. “We have such a rich history of athletics and this recognition really is long overdue.”

Johnson said, “The inductees include some of the school’s finest athletes from the earliest days of Blue Colt Athletics, and recognizes those who were instrumental in getting our programs off the ground.”

“I could not have hoped for a more deserving group of inductees for our first Hall of Fame class,” he said.

Edmonds, of Metuchen, hailed from Woodbridge and attended MCC from 1974-76. He was a standout on the men’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams. During his freshman year at MCC he claimed the Region Championship as a pole vaulter. The next year, he repeated his claim as regional champion in the pole vault and competed in the National Championship.

Edmonds still holds the pole vaulting record at MCC after 43 years of competition. He also qualified for Nationals in the high jump, recording a 6-foot jump while standing 5 feet 6 inches tall. He placed eighth out of 16 jumpers nationally. While at MCC, Edmonds also excelled in the long jump and 4-by-110 meter hurdle events, according to the release.

Meads, a native of Monroe, was a left-handed pitcher while at MCC and became the first player in MCC athletic history to rise to the ranks of major league baseball. Meads, a Monroe High School graduate, was drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 1984 Major League Baseball January draft. The southpaw harbored a dream to pitch in the big leagues and on April 13, 1987, he appeared in his first game with the Astros. Meads won two-thirds of his major league games, recording an 8-4 overall pitching record. He now lives in California, according to the release.

Romanovsky, a former John P. Stevens High School student athlete from Edison, participated in the 1996 and 1997 seasons for Blue Colts Softball, and she was among the most dominant in Region XIX during her time at MCC.

Romanovsky set MCC’s career records for strikeouts in a season with 256, respectively, along with records in single season (22), career wins (42), single season earned run average (1.61) and career earned run average (2.05) during her time as a student athlete.

Romanovsky was named an NJCAA All-American, as well as Region XIX Player of the Year, leading the team to the Region XIX postseason in both of her seasons. She now lives in Ocean County, according to the release.

Sacchi, of Edison, served as the head wrestling coach at MCC for more than 23 seasons. While at MCC, he totaled a 280-59-4 record, including three undefeated seasons. With that record he became the second all-time winningest two-year college coach in the nation.

Sacchi’s wrestling campaigns produced 39 junior college All-Americans and five national champions. His teams won 38 tournament championships, placed second 24 times, and captured 160 individual championships. With Sacchi, MCC wrestling found a home in the top 20 polls 17 times and placed fourth in 1973, 1983 and 1986, according to the release.

Zifchak, of Edison, most notably known for his commitment and dedication to MCC athletics for 34 years, was a long-time administrator and coach. Zifchak is considered as one of the trail blazers of two-year college athletics.

Zifchak began his career at MCC in 1968 as an adjunct faculty member and athletic director. Upon arrival he completed the installation of several women’s sports into the athletic arsenal, which pre-dated the Title IX of Education Amendments in 1972. During his tenure he accumulated over 60 team championships for several sports, according to the release.

The Middlesex County College Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for the role sports play in contributing to the student-athlete college experience. The Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, and community leaders who have brought fame or honor to the Middlesex County College through their involvement in athletics, according to the release.

The inaugural class members will be inducted at the MCC Hall of Fame Ceremony on April 23, 2020, at West Hall on the campus of Middlesex County College in Edison.

For more information regarding the Blue Colt Athletic Hall of Fame, visit the MCC website or contact the athletic office at 732-906-2558.