Rebels’ Edwards shines as Cougars win District title

Two meet records for Boro’s Frick

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Staff Writer

It was a finale worthy of a champion.Howell’s Ben Edwards made his finale appearance on his home track at Howell High School a memorable one earning Track Most Valuable Player honors at the Freehold Regional District Track and Field Championships.

“It was a great day from start to finish,” he said. “Today was my last race at home.”

Edwards won the 400-intermediate hurdles (55.2) and the 110 hurdles (14.4) and anchored the Rebels to victory in the 14×400 relay in a meet record 3:25.1 Thursday.

The only thing missing was the team title, which went to a balanced Colts Neck team with 125 points. Manalapan was second with 115.5 and Howell, third with 114.

Howell rode its sprinters and hurdlers – Edwards, Mike Newman, David Hayes, Jason Leacock and Matt Borzomati – to a ton of points on the track. Manalapan countered with its field events powered by multi-event star Adam Hegel and Mike Goldwasser, sprinters Cordell High and Alex Baker, and distance runners Rob Andrews and Joe Kreppien.

But Colts Neck dominated the distances with Craig Forys (1,600), Brenden Krewer (800) and Shane Hart (3,200) all picking up wins. Mike Moore, one of the surprises of the spring, took the 100 and was second in the 200. In the field, John Krewer (shot put, discus) and Kevin Kelly (javelin) provided the difference as they picked up wins for the Cougars in the field.

With just one event remaining, the pole vault, only three points separated Colts Neck and Howell. The Rebels picked up no points and Devin Moore clinched it for the Cougars finishing second. Manalapan moved up to second place scoring 12 points.

Colts Neck has become a true powerhouse with its ability to score points anywhere. Gone are the days when they were a distance running power alone. This was the Cougars’ first District title and with so many underclassmen, there’s likely more to come.

Edwards continued his mastery in the hurdles. Last month he had the distinction of being the first Rebel to qualify for the Penn Relays individuals finishing 12th.

“I had a bad start at Penn, but it was a great experience,” he said.

Thursday’s meet also continued his trend of lowering his personal best in the intermediates.

“My times are getting better race by race,” he said.

During the relay season Howell and Freehold Township developed a spirited rivalry that was good for both teams.

“We’re very competitive,” said Edwards, who will be hurdling for the New Jersey Institute of Technology next year, of the rivalry. “We just keep fighting for everything. It pushes us all to do better.”

The rivalry was on full display Thursday as Edwards topped the Pats’ Paul Proctor in the intermediates and nipped Sean Coyne in the 110’s.

Howell’s 4×400 relay team, which set a new indoor District standard during the winter, closed the track portion of the meet with a sizzling meet record 3:25.1. Hayes, Newman and Leacock had the Rebels in the lead heading to the anchor leg, and Edwards finished the record off. The Rebels topped the mark set by Freehold Township in 2001 of 3:26.9.

Speaking of meet records, Freehold Township’s Justin Frick put his name in

the book twice and was the Field MVP of the meet. He equaled the high jump record of 6-8 set by Manalapan’s Rashid Ramiz back in 1979. He set the record in the triple jump, traveling 42-9 1/2, beating Howell’s Mike Rupp, who set the record of 40-5 last year.

Frick, who is headed for Princeton University, also competed in the long jump and the 110 hurdles where he was sixth in 16.0.

“My goals were to get to the hurdles final, finish in the top three in the triple jump, top by best long jump and win the high jump,” he said.

He got more than expected, winning the triple jump in a meet record.

“It was awesome,” he said. “I didn’t jump 40 until this year and had done 41-1.”

Frick said the technique of the triple jump is similar to what he does in the high jump, which makes it helpful. The high jump was Frick’s last event of the day and he still managed to match his season’s best of 6-8.

“I was really close to 6-10 on my second jump,” he remarked. “I’ll get it soon.”

Hegel, who is the District’s best all-around track athlete, put his name in the record book as well. The Braves senior, who is headed for Temple, won the long jump in a meet record 21-10, just edging his multi-event rival, Evan Stivala of Colts Neck, who did 21-5. Both topped the old mark of 21-4 1/2 by Evan’s older brother Craig, who did 21-4 1/2 in 2002.

Hegel was third in the high jump (5-10) and triple jump (41-7) and second in the 200 meters (22.7).

Stivala didn’t pick up an individual win, but picked up critical points for the Cougars with a second place in the high jump (5-10) to go along with his second in the long jump.

John Krewer has emerged as the top thrower in the District, and he backed it up Thursday, winning the shot put (48-4 1/2) and discus (130-9). Kelly repeated as the District javelin champion with a 172-3 that topped the competition by almost 30 feet.

Andrew Price (fourth in the javelin), Kevin Hanvey (sixth in the shot put) and Andrey Fleysham (fifth in the shot put) gave Colts Neck important place points in the field.

Colts Neck’s domination in the distance events was not unexpected, but the fact that the Cougars had three different runners says a whole lot about their depth. They have more than just Forys, who jogged his way to a 4:36.3 win in the 1,600.

Brenden Krewer won one of the highlight races of the meet when he held off a fast closing Rob Andrews of Colts Neck at the line, 2:01.9-2:02.4. Krewer won from the front and had just enough left at the end to nip Andrews, who is a freshman.

Hart polished off Colts Neck’s sweep of the distance races, winning the 3,200 in 10:16.9.

Kevin O’Dowd (1,600), Andrew Sobieski (400) and Jason Weiner (3,200) earned points for Colts Neck on the track.

Moore lowered his school record to 10.7 in winning the century. The senior credited a renewed commitment to track and field with his emergence this spring.

“I’ve did a lot of hard work in the offseason,” he said. “In the winter, I trained specifically for track.

“Our coaches have basically gotten me to relax and run smoother,” he added. “I always had speed but my form was bad, I was running too tight.”

An 11.1 in a dual meet against Matawan, Moore said, was his wake-up call, signaling to him that he can run fast.

Freehold Township’s Sean Coyne, who lost his 110 highs District title to Edwards, was able to strike gold in the 200, cranking out a 22.6

The Rebel’s Newman won the 400 in 51.6 and Freehold Township’s Steve Pugliese won the pole vault at 12-6.

Next up for the area athletes will be the Monmouth County Championships today and Saturday at Neptune High School.