Miluszewski wins state title in the javelin

By: Sean Moylan
   In his heart Don Hess, the Hightstown High girls’ varsity track and field coach, knew his junior star Tara Miluszewski was going to win the javelin event at Wednesday’s Meet of Champions at South Plainfield High School.
   He knew it, not because Miluszewski was "that" much better than everyone else, but because of her tremendous determination and heart.
   "Tara Miluszewski is our first state champ since Jackie Hudgins," said Hess with pure joy in his voice. "And by placing first in the javelin, she broke our school record for points by one point, with 251."
   Previously, Hayley Schneider had held the record at Hightstown with 250 points.
   Miluszewski, who was seeded 4th coming in, recorded a 134′ 2" throw to win the event. She beat Hanover Park’s Alex Kelly by a half a foot.
   "All of her throws were out there. But her first or second throw was the winner," said Hess, whose star was able to use wind conditions to her advantage.
   Hess credits Highstown assistant Shannon Smith for much of Miluszewski’s success this season. Smith worked tirelessly with the junior Meet of Champions champ to make her the best in the state. But, of course, Miluszewski had the talent to get it done.
   "It was really a tremendous achievement and a well-deserved award for a girl who is a hard worker. She’s done everything that we’ve asked of her," Hess said of Miluszewski.
   Meanwhile, Jessica Haughton, Hightstown’s senior star, who placed second in the high jump at the Group III State Meet with a 5′ 4" leap, did not clear the opening height of 5′ 2" at the Meet of Champions. But she was not alone as opening heights seem to get higher and higher each year.
   "I felt so bad for her because she just couldn’t get her steps down," said Hess. "But for Haughton to make the Meet of Champions six times — three times in indoors and three times in outdoors — is incredible. Jessica deserves an awful lot of credit. She’s had such a tremendous career at Hightstown."
   Haughton’s best jump this season was 5′ 5". She was one of the most consistently good jumpers in the state and one of the Rams’ primary point scorers the last four years.
   Miluszewski, on the other hand, is not done yet and will go to Nationals in a week to compete in the javelin. She has already recorded a school-record throw of 137 feet this year. But according to Hess, Miluszewski would love to hit the magic mark of 140 feet. And if anyone can do it, Miluszewski can.