Bishop Ahr girls take sixth at GMC meet

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

PHOTOS BY MIGUEL JUAREZ staff Above, the pack begins to spread out during the third lap of a 1,600-meter heat race during Saturday’s GMC championships at South Plainfield High School. At left, an Edison athlete attempts to clear the bar during the high jump competition.PHOTOS BY MIGUEL JUAREZ staff Above, the pack begins to spread out during the third lap of a 1,600-meter heat race during Saturday’s GMC championships at South Plainfield High School. At left, an Edison athlete attempts to clear the bar during the high jump competition.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD — The Bishop Ahr High School girls track team finished sixth in the Greater Middlesex Conference Track and Field Championships at Frank Jost Field on Saturday.

Among the 17 schools competing for the team championship, Piscataway led all teams with 93 points, followed by Old Bridge with 78 and South Brunswick with 53.

The Bishop Ahr Trojans scored 25 on the day, thanks to a pair of first-place finishes by seniors Brittni Smallwood and Carolyn Lipovsky.

Lipovsky defended her title as GMC champion in the 800. Winning for the second straight year, Lipovsky even set a new meet record in a time of 2:16.19. The LaSalle University bound runner also ran to a fifth-place finish in the 1,600 in a time of 5:36.02.

"I was glad she took top six in the 1,600," Bishop Ahr head coach Yancy Munoz said. "She is a very hard worker who is determined to succeed. Nothing will stop her from reaching her goals, and she gave her all in the 800."

Unfortunately for Munoz, an ankle injury forced her away from the sidelines, and she had to keep in touch with assistant coaches and her girls via cell phone for updates.

"I feel like I’m always calling somebody," Munoz said. "The boys’ coach, Mike Wofthal, is with the team and my assistants are there, and I even call the kids. I told them this is the one time my girls are allowed to have cell phones during competitions."

It was by phone that Munoz learned Smallwood took top honors in the 100. Smallwood ran to a 12.43 to beat out East Brunswick’s Brittany Hohn.

"Brittany is another hard worker that has not accomplished what she is fully capable of doing," Munoz said. "She gives the team a lot of enthusiasm, and I will definitely miss her spirit and talent. She has so much spirit that I hope she leaves some of that behind."

Smallwood is deciding between Rutgers and Penn State, and is not sure whether track is in her future.

The future of Bishop Ahr track is likely to be led by sophomore Jessica Heimall. Heimall took fifth in the javelin with a 101-2. At the Holmdel Relays earlier this year, Heimall threw 112.

"Jessica is young and she has a lot to learn," Munoz said. "She is dedicated and looks for perfection."

Heimall also plays soccer and basketball for the Trojans.

Lipovsky is off to LaSalle to become a member of the track team. She has been a member of the varsity track team for four years and she is a three-season runner. She is also this year’s scholar athlete at Bishop Ahr.

"Carolyn is a low-key young lady that loves to run," Munoz said. "I wish sometimes that all of my girls would be as hard working as Carolyn. Sometimes I wish Carolyn would speak up and become more of a vocal leader."

Lipovsky will certainly be looked upon to lead the team in its dual meet with North Brunswick and South Plainfield May 26. May 28 and May 29 marks the NJSIAA Parochial A South Championship at Notre Dame High School and the team is slated to compete in the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Championship May 23 also at Notre Dame.

"To get ready for the states, we will stick with what we’re doing," Munoz said. "We will do some distance and speed work, and really try to relax. The team has been a little tense without me."

Notes. The Edison girls track and field team also had a strong showing on Saturday as they took seventh overall at the GMC championships.

The Eagle effort was led by Ogogho Aifuwa, who took second in the 800 (2:18.71), which was won by Lipovsky, and fourth in the 1,600 (5:31.02), which was won by Metuchen’s Sarah Root (5:19.88). Edison also got a pair of fourth-place finishes from Cassandra Gibbs in the 800 (2:24.22) and Breona Pirrone, who tied for fourth in the pole vault by clearing 7-0.

Edison also got fifth-place finishes in the 400 hurdles, where Eron Aifuwa clocked a time of 1:11.0, and the shot put, where Jen Favale threw for 32-1.5.

J.P. Stevens girls were ninth in the team standings with 17 points and were led by Katherine Rhuno’s third in the javelin (107-10), and Lindsay James’ fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.61), third in the triple jump (32-7 3/4) and sixth in the long jump (15-8 1/2). Ayana Way also had a solid meet for the Hawks, taking second in the triple jump (33 1/4), fourth in the high jump (5-2) and fifth in the long jump (16-4 1/4).

Metuchen took 10th in the team standings with 16 points, and was led by Kristen Edwards’ fourth-place finish in the long jump (16-10 1/4), and Diana Marsh’s fourth in the javelin (101-5). Metuchen was also third in the 4×400 relay, and got sixth-place finishes from Lauren Pisco in the triple jump (31-2) and Cara O’Neill in the 800 (2:224.60).

On the boys side of the action, the Metuchen boys were the top-scoring local team with 22 points, and were led by Caley Kovach Orr’s second-place in the pole vault (11-6) and Shawn Murtagh’s second in the javelin (161-6). Metuchen also took fourth in the 4×400 relay (3:30.25).

St. Joseph was eighth in the team scoring with 20 points, led by Obinna Emenike’s win in the high jump, were he cleared 6-2 and won on fewer misses. Among the other key contributors for the Falcons were Jonathon Salamon (second in the 800 — 1:56.60), and Chris Avallon (fifth in the 1,600 — 4:31.54).

J.P. Stevens was 11th in team scoring, led by Brian Sutherland’s second-place finish in the 400 hurdles (56.10) and Alex Lehrer’s third-place finish in the 110 hurdles (15.38). Among the other point-scorers for Stevens were Ron Fialk (sixth in the 800 — 2:00.77) and Nickson Mattis (sixth in the javelin — 152-1).

Old Bridge was the boys team winner with 81 points, followed by Piscataway (69) and East Brunswick (58).

— Doug McKenzie contributed to this story