Great Scott wins at MCT

North senior goes out in style with 3200 crown

By: Justin Feil
   Brian Scott saved his best for his last Mercer County Track and Field Championship. The West Windsor-Plainsboro High North senior, who was second at the county cross country meet, went out a winner in what also turned out to be his last high school race. He wasn’t alone. A lot of seniors made this county meet their best.
   But Scott, who won’t compete in the Central Jersey Group IV meet this Saturday due to a conflict, was the only Packet-area athlete to actually win an event at Mercer Counties when his 9:57.3 was good enough to win the 3200. It was the first-ever county title for a WW-P North track and field athlete.
   "I thought I had a pretty good chance," said Scott, who will run for Haverford College next fall. "I thought if I went in and ran the race I could and was supposed to, I had a good chance."
   Scott waited until midway through the eight laps to make his move, a break that gave him just enough to hold off Derek Jablonski of Hopewell, who finished a half-second behind.
   "I went out with the competition," Scott said. "At the mile or five laps, I kind of took off and I put about 50 yards between me and the second-place finisher. Within the last lap, he made up almost all of that. He caught up within a step. I could hear the people cheering that he was coming."
   But Scott held Jablonski off for the win and the 10 team points to pace the Knights, who also had a sixth-place from freshman Adrian McCullem in the 200, to the top finish of any Packet-area boys’ team at Mercer Counties, ninth overall. WW-P South was 10th, Hun was 12th and Princeton was 13th.
   WW-PN also had the top finish of any Packet-area girls’ team, sixth overall, as it used a combination of solid performances to score in six different events. Hun was eighth overall, Princeton was 13th, WW-P South was 14th and Stuart, which did not have anyone in the top six in any event, 15th.
   "We had a dozen personal bests," said Knight head girls’ coach Paul Glass. "Some put them in position to get places, others were from kids you don’t see as much, so it was nice."
   Astrid Pilgrim enjoyed her final Mercer Counties for the Knights. The senior scored in the 200, the high jump and the 4×400 relay team along with Jessica Boston, Vanessa Gibens, Gretchen Kieling.
   "We tried to put together a pretty good relay team," Glass said. "We took Astrid out of the 100 because we thought she’d have a better chance to do better in the relay. They ran a school record (4:15.4) by more than five seconds.
   "Astrid’s one of the only seniors we lose, but we lose a lot with her. In dual meets, she scored 184½ points. The next person had 154."
   Gibens, a junior, ran personal bests to finish second in the 3200 and sixth in the 1600 along with her leg of the mile relay. Kieling, a sophomore, was fifth in the open 400.
   Hun’s Jamie Greubel, a senior bound for Cornell, was fourth in the 100 hurdles, fifth in the discus and combined with Mariel Fink, Tiffany Carter and Monica Hammond to finish second in the 4×400 relay.
   "It was just the second time they’ve been beaten this year," said Hun head coach Grattan Baldwin. "All year, I knew I had five girls who could put in a very nice 400. My biggest problem is who do I leave out? They’re all good.
   "It was the best (relay time) of the year. The girls had the school record when they ran at Penn Relays, and that was when Kelly Brennan ran for Tiffany. They lowered it again. The girls were gearing up for the 4×400 and were really excited for it."
   For Princeton, a junior, Dilshanie Perera earned the only team points from an individual event when she finished third in the 3200. Princeton was also fifth in the 4×400 relay. WW-P South freshman Lisa Miller served notice that she’ll be someone to contend with in coming years as she was fifth in the 800 and third in the 1600.
   "It was excellent," said Pirate head girls’ coach Wendy Gottshall, whose freshman-oriented team is looking forward to Friday’s freshman/sophomore meet. "She broke the school record for the mile (5:18.7), held by Neta Ezar. It was incredible. And she did her best time in the 800.
   "It’s amazing how well the freshmen are doing for us. We’re all freshmen. There were a couple really good performances. Next year, we’ll definitely be better."
   The South boys also hope to improve on their finish next season. They’ll have to replace Ian Macqueen, the Princeton University-bound senior who was fifth in the high jump. But the Pirates will return Mark Barbaglia, a sophomore who finished a team-best second in the discus.
   North Carolina-Chapel Hill bound Brian Cahill won all six points for the Hun boys’ team with his third-place finish in the 1600 in 4:31.7.
   "That was his best this season," Baldwin said. "He ran a smart race. He let the leaders go out, but he didn’t lose contact with them. He was in the appropriate middle ground. Then he started collecting kids until he was third. It looked like he was going to get the second-place guy on the last lap, but he just held him off. He ran a smart race, which he tends to do."
   Princeton won its two points when its 4×400 relay finished fifth on a day when veteran athletes seemed to save their best for their last county meet.