Colts Neck Relays feature top scholastic talent

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Saturday’s Colts Neck Relays will be a delight for high school track and field fans.

They will be treated to performances by some of the finest individuals and teams in the country.

Starting with host Colts Neck High School, which sports national champions Craig Forys and Ashley Higginson, as well as the Cougar girls 4×1-mile national champion relay team, this meet is a Who’s Who of scholastic track and field.

Monmouth Regional’s Charles Cox (the state and Eastern States 400-meter champion) and his twin brother, Chris Cox, bring the state championship 4×400 relay to the meet. The Golden Falcons team earned All-American honors with a sixth place at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC) in New York City. Their 3:20.14 was ninth best in the country this year. Kelly Fisher and Joe Ortiz ran the first two legs of the relay.

Jackson’s boys Eastern States 4×800 championship team is running, as is St. Benedict’s Prep’s 4×200 relay team which was sixth at the nationals (1:29.73).

Colts Neck’s girls ran the second-fastest time in the state in the 4×800 (9:25.58) and finished seventh at the NSIC. Lenape, with a 9:26.67 that got it a seventh place at the Nike Indoor Nationals, will certainly challenge the hosts. Red Bank Catholic (9:37.79) and Freehold Township (9:42.82) ran the eighth and 12th-fastest time in New Jersey during the indoor season.

South Brunswick ran the third-fastest time in the state in the Sprint Medley Relay (4:10.51) indoors. Colts Neck (4:12.9) and Freehold Township (4:18.10) can challenge South Brunswick. Three of the six fastest indoor 4×200 teams – Jackson (1:45.48), Lenape (1:46.32) and South Brunswick (1:47.5) – are set to battle.

Colts Neck’s 4×1,600 relay team is in its own league. Higginson anchored 4×1-mile team that included Ali Flott, Allison Linnell and Kristen O’Dowd to the national title in New York.

The Distance Medley Relay (DMR) for the boys and girls will be a highlight of the meet. Henderson, Pa., (10:16.57), which won the national championship at the Nike Indoor Nationals, will take on St. Benedict’s Prep (10:18.34) and Colts Neck (10:18.56), who were third and fourth at the NSIC.

In addition, Jackson (10:20.4), Ridgewood (10:26.97), Red Bank Regional (10:31.67) and Christian Brothers Academy (10:34.6) ran the fourth-, sixth-, eighth- and 10th-fastest times in the state during the winter.

In this one, all eyes will be on the opening 1,200-meter leg, which could be historic. No one has ever broke 3:00 for that distance in the DMR in New Jersey, and with Forys running this leg for the Cougars everyone will be checking their watches.

Colts Neck girls are the team to beat in the DMR field, which includes six of the 12 fastest teams in the state. The Cougar girls had the sixth-fastest time in the country and second best in the state (12:01.40). Red Bank Catholic (12:27.91) and Jackson (12:39.07) were the seventh and ninth fastest in the state under cover.

Some of the individuals to look for among the boys are Red Bank’s Dennie Waite, the state indoor 1,600-meter champion, who will make the Bucs competitive in the distance relays; Manalapan’s Mike Goldwasser, the state indoor pole vault champion; St. Benedict’s Prep’s Brandon Jarrett, the state Prep School 1,600 champion; Indian Hills’ Max Bruno, the national junior 1,000-meter record holder; and from out of state, Unionville, Pa.,’s Paul Springer, the Pennsylvania State champion in the mile with a 4:12.61 to his credit. He’ll be running the 1,200 leg of his school’s DMR.

The top girls include Freehold Township’s Allyson Moskal, the Eastern States’ one-mile champion; Jackson’s Amanda Marino, the Eastern States’ two-mile champion;Colts Neck’s Meryl Wimberly, 59.10 400 runner and 2:16.0 in the 800; and Howell’s Lindsey Lambert (3,200) and Anna DiPaola (shot put).

With the Penn Relays (April 26-28) on the horizon, teams will be looking to use the Cougar Relays as an opportunity to get a Penn qualifying time.

The first event on the track goes off at 8:30 a.m. with the first field events at 9 a.m. The Boys Distance Medley is scheduled for 10:55, followed at 11:25 with the Girls’ DMR. The 4×400 relays will close the meet with the boys at 3 p.m. and the girls at 3:30.