Trojan duo qualifies for Meet of Champions

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

EDISON — The Bishop Ahr High School girls track team was to be represented by two of its finest, seniors Carolyn Lipovsky and Brittni Smallwood, at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions yesterday at South Plainfield High School.

For Smallwood and Lipovsky, it marked their second trip to the state’s biggest meet in as many years.

Smallwood qualified for this week’s final meet with a third-place finish in the 200 at the NJSIAA Track and Field Group I Parochial A Championships in Lawrence and a second-place finish in the 100.

In the running of the 100 on Friday, Smallwood finished in 12.68 behind Janine Davis of Queen of Peace who finished in 12.31. Her time of 26.68 in the 200 on Saturday was third best in an event that was also won by Davis. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Smallwood even qualified.

"She [Brittni] was having problems with her knee," Bishop Ahr head coach Yancy Munoz said. "It was questionable if she would compete, but she did it. She wore a knee brace in the preliminaries. It didn’t feel comfortable, and she took it off for the 100 and placed second."

Smallwood won the 100 this year at the Greater Middlesex Conference Championships and also competes as a long jumper for the team. The senior class president and a member of Bishop Ahr’s Oratory Club, Smallwood is off to Penn State next year.

"Brittni always had older runners on the team that pushed her," Munoz said. "Being the senior sprinter this year, she became the role model and encouraged the younger girls. She is a very spiritual person and she knows that she’s been given a gift. She always works hard to run her best."

Lipovsky also qualified for the Meet of Champions in two events. On Saturday, she finished second in the 800 behind Queen of Peace’s Davis. Davis finished in 2:13.71 and Lipovsky crossed the finish line in 2:18.43. On the previous day her fifth-place finish in the 1,600 at 5:15.27 already secured her a trip to South Plainfield.

"Carolyn is an elite runner," Munoz said. "She practices for success and she enjoys what she does, and in my experience you don’t get too many that enjoy it."

Munoz, whose experience spans 19 years, said that Lipovsky has earned a place among the school’s finest runners of all time.

"Carolyn has provided a lot of firsts for us at Bishop Ahr," Munoz said. "I think it will be a long time before I have another girl like her. All the girls look up to her, and it was no surprise that she was named the school’s Scholar Athlete."

Lipovsky is the first Trojan to qualify for the Meet of Champions all three seasons within a school year. In the fall, she became the first Trojan to appear in the cross-country Meet of Champions in several years and finished second.

At this year’s GMC Track and Field Championships, she won the 800 for the second straight year. Next year she will run for the track and field team at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.

"It is very exciting to have Carolyn and Brittni end their careers at the biggest meet in the state," Munoz said. "It is certainly going to be competitive, and they will work to run personal bests. They will do their best as they always do."