Trotters lead RBR to Group III state title Bucs set three school records

Staff Writer

By tim morris

Trotters lead RBR
to Group III state title
Bucs set three
school records

There seems little, if anything, that Amanda and Katy Trotter can’t do on the track.

The twins combined for three state championships on Sunday, leading Red Bank Regional’s girls to the State Group III championship at Princeton University.

Amanda Trotter swept the 1,600 (5:18.97) and 3,200 (11:30.0), while Katy captured the 800 (2:17.58). Katy’s second place behind Amanda in the 1,600 (5:19.2) gave the Bucs a huge lift, ringing up 18 critical points.

Even with the Trotters’ heroics, the Bucs needed a big effort in the final race of the day, the 4×400, to hold off Woodrow Wilson for the championship, and that meant Katy and Amanda, shortly after completing their one-two in the 1,600, would have to step out of their distance running mode and become sprinters in the toughest of all sprints — the 400 meters.

"I told them that we had to take at least fourth place to win, and a fifth at the least to tie," said Bucs Head Coach Corey Radcliffe. "This was one of the first times that I have put pressure on them this year. I wanted to see how they would react."

They reacted just fine, as did Christine Hurley and Katie Kingsbery, the other members of the Bucs’ quartet that stepped it up big time, finishing third in a school record 4:07.76 and clinching the Group III state title over Wilson, 48-42.

"I was shocked when I saw the time they ran," noted Radcliffe, who now has a pretty good relay team on his hands. "Christine Hurley has been amazing for us the last couple of weeks. She put us in good position in fourth place after her lead-off leg. After that, we kept closing the gap. Katie Kingsbery ran our fastest split, 61.1."

Katy Trotter ran the anchor for the Bucs, who, if they were to train for it and take the 4×400 relay seriously, could be a threat to break 4:00.

"With any championship team, you have one or two outstanding athletes who can take over a meet," Radcliffe pointed out. "But you do need the support athletes to win."

And the Bucs had plenty of support. Older sister Sarah Trotter ran her fastest time of the year in the 3,200 (11:45.98), and finished fifth in the race that younger sister Amanda won.

Katie Kingsbery was fifth in the 800 (2:25.03), which also went to Amanda.

Amanda Trotter’s 2:17.58 set a new school record and established her as one of the state’s very best.

"Katy has been a little overlooked," noted Radcliffe. "It’s her first year of indoor track and she’s only lost once, and that was at the Seton Hall Invitational where 2:12 was the winning time.

"At the state championships she ran a nice tactical race," he added.

Elizabeth Russell did not place in the high jump (she tied for eighth place at 4-10), but did earn a "wild card" entry to this Sunday’s Meet of Champions (MOC) at Princeton where she will join teammates Amanda, Katy and Sarah Trotter, Katie Kingsbery and Christine Hurley.

Katy Trotter had the fastest qualifying time of all the group meets and is a major contender to capture the indoor title. Amanda Trotter will go head-to-head with the state’s best, Haddonfield Memorial’s Erin Donohue, in the 1,600 for the first time this winter. (Donohue is running the high school mile at tonight’s Millrose Games, and whether she runs the 1,600-3,200 double, or just one of those races, depends on what happens at Millrose.)

On the boys’ side of the action, Red Bank again had a good showing. The Bucs will be sending three boys to the MOC after RBR took fourth place in Group III with 14 points.

Jordan MacNeill produced a Buc indoor record for the 400 with a sizzling 50.85 in his qualifying round.

He came back with a 50.97 in the final and placed fourth.

"I think Jordan’s school record 400 helped spark everyone," Radcliffe remarked.

Jon Crook ran an aggressive race from start to finish in the 800 and was second in 2:03.03.

Greg Langley was the third MOC qualifier after his fifth place in the 3,200 (10:00.23).

Red Bank Catholic had a pair of state champions, both of them high jumpers.

Amy Krilla captured the Group II girls’ high jump, beating Monsignor Donovan’s Kristen Ralph on fewer misses after both cleared 5-2.

The Caseys’ Rob Baroska won the boys’ high jump when he was the only jumper over the bar at 6-4.

RBC’s girls were second to Voorhees (33-1/3-23) in the team competition.

Suraya Kornegay lost a close race to Bridgeton’s Shameka Speed in the 400 (1:01.47-1:01.66) for the Caseys, while Jillian Danback was fifth in the 55-meter hurdles (9.29).

The Caseys’ distance stars Julia Barker (11:51.4) and Mary McCudden (11:51.44) were fifth and sixth in the 3,200 meters.

The Casey boys scored 18 points and placed fourth behind champion Bridgeton. RBC’s other points came from sprinter James Strada, who was second in the 55-meter dash (6.7).

Rumson-Fair Haven’s Christy Planer began her season late and then only ran in relays.

She made her individual debut a strong one, running second in the Group I 1,600-meters behind the state’s best distance runner, Erin Donohue (5:11.42).

Planer ran a solid 5:23.64 which will put her in the seeded section of the 1,600 on Sunday.

RFH’s Joe Clabby also extended his season to include the MOC following his third place in the boys’ 3,200 (9:59.32).

Sunday’s MOC will not conclude the indoor season for Shore area athletes because the Shore Conference Championships are set for Friday, Feb. 9 at Red Bank Regional High School.