Metuchen keeps streak alive at 12 and counting

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

HILLSBOROUGH — The Metuchen High School boys track and field team won its 12th consecutive Central Jersey Group I sectional title at Hillsborough High School this weekend.

The Bulldogs dominated the competition, outdistancing second-place Bound Brook by 94 points. The team finished with 180 points and, although the Bulldogs are accustomed to winning at this stage of the NJSIAA Track and Field Championships, they did it with a new crop of athletes.

"What is pretty unique about this year’s win is the fact that last year’s team won with a score of 148 points, and 131 of those points graduated," Metuchen head coach Martin Holleran said. "It was a senior-driven team last year, with only three returning athletes who placed last year. To have a brand new team and to do it again is special."

With the win, the team will head to Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville to compete in the NJSIAA Group I finals. During its run of 12 consecutive section titles, Metuchen has taken the Group I title on five different occasions. The team’s last group title came in 2002. Competition is slated for Friday and Saturday.

The team advanced to the Group I finals behind an array of talented underclassmen who should continue the Bulldogs’ dominance in the sectional finals.

The first day of competition saw three Bulldogs crowned sectional champs. Junior Marcus Farris took top honors in the 100-meters in a time of 11.1. Sophomore Kyle Edmonds won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:00.9, and Greg Lewis cleared 12-foot-6 to win the pole vault competition.

Farris also finished second in the 400 on Friday behind Bound Brook’s Ryan Malloy. Malloy finished in 50.6, and Farris crossed the finish line in 51.1.

"Marcus is working hard," Holleran said. "He has been working to peak at this time of year, and it is good to see it all happen in two days."

On Saturday, Farris finished second in the 200, and teamed up with Jeff Ostermueller, Richard Rosenblum and Dan Ziznewski to win the 4×400 relay.

Edmonds placed third in the high hurdles on Saturday, finishing in 16.4.

Other Bulldog winners on Saturday were Shawn Murtagh in the high hurdles at 15.3 and Adam Crown in the 3,200 at 10:38.1.

Murtagh enjoyed an all-around solid weekend with a second-place finish in the 400 hurdles and a third-place in the javelin with a toss measuring 153-8.

For Crown, it was his biggest win at the high school level.

"Adam ran his best time ever," Holleran said. "It was his first major win as a runner and it is a good way for him to finish his high school career."

Relay man Ziznewski finished third in the 400, fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200.

"Dan is new to our team this year," Holleran said. "He is a good athlete and he is very competitive. He is starting to realize what he can do."

As his team prepares for its trip to Lawrenceville this week, Holleran isn’t about to change any routines at this stage of the season.

"We will do the things we always do to prepare for a meet," Holleran said. "We know the competition will be better, and it will be a meet in which some will be in it for the experience and some will medal, but most will be back next year."