Patriots dominate District track meet

Mularz, Goode are MVPs

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Freehold Township has become accustomed to being the top boys track and field team in the Shore.

PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Freehold Township's Marcus Goode competes in the long jump during the Freehold Regional High School District Track and Field Championship at Howell High School on May Goode went on to set the meet record in the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, 81/2 inches. Below: Goode's teammate Tyler McKinnon competes in the long jump. PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Freehold Township’s Marcus Goode competes in the long jump during the Freehold Regional High School District Track and Field Championship at Howell High School on May Goode went on to set the meet record in the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, 81/2 inches. Below: Goode’s teammate Tyler McKinnon competes in the long jump. “I don’t think anyone expected this,” said the Pats’ star hurdler,DanMularz. “We kind of know we have a bull’s-eye on our back.”

The Pats managed to enhance their ranking Thursday when they piled up 189 points on the way to capturing the Freehold Regional District Track and Field Meet Championship at Howell High School. The Pats scored at least a point in all 16 events. Runner-upColtsNeckwas at 100 points and third-placeManalapan, 86.

Marcus Goode, who was the meet’s Most Valuable Player in the field while Mularz was the track MVP, pointed out that the Pats are much more than their two standouts.

“Everyone else does it – it’s a team effort,” he said.

That was evident in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and the long jump, where Mularz and Goode led one-twothree finishes that produced 48 points.

Goode was especially busy on the day, winning the triple jump in a meet record 43-8½ inches and the long jump (21-6¼ inches) as well as taking second in the 100 and fifth in the 200 dashes. His triple jump topped the previous meet record of 42-9½ inches set in 2006 by Freehold Borough’s Justin Frick (now a 7-foot-high jumper at Princeton University).

Goode, the Shore Conference record holder in the triple jump, said he was on schedule to do some long jumps later in the season.

“Doing all these events helps,” he pointed out. “I’m happy where I’m at. I’m jumping a little mediocre right now, but doing all these events takes a lot out of me. I’ll do better when I’m just focusing on the triple jump.”

Mularz won the 400 intermediate hurdles, the 110 hurdles and anchored the Pats 4×400-meter relay team to its win (3:25.6). He won the 400 hurdles in 55.3 and turned in a season’s best 14.4 in the 110s.

Mularz, who ran a 55.9 at the Penn Relays, said he thought the intermediates were his best event. But his smooth 14.4 in the 110s has him thinking again.

“I don’t know anymore after today,” he said. “Each has a different challenge. In the 400, it’s the last straight that’s a killer. It’s all technique in the 110s.”

Ryan Spadolawas the other Patriotwinner, taking the 400 by awidemargin in 50.6.

Spadola and Mularz teamed up with Bobby Searby and Matt Intile to win the relay that was just 0.5 off Howell’s 2006 meet record, 3:25.1.

In the field, Max Lit won the javelin (168-9) and Corey Csakai was first in the high jump (5-10).

Csakai scored a number of points for the Pats, taking second to Goode in the long jump and third in the triple jump.

Thursday’s win was especially sweet for seniors likeMularz, Goode and Csakai, who won the District championship as freshmen and will conclude their careers winning for the second time.

Marlboro sprinter E.J. Tucker said that his coach, Allie Kalakuto, told him that the District meet would be a chance for him “to make a name for himself.” The junior speedster did that by winning the 100 and 200 dashes.

“It’s great to win a big meet,” he said.

Tucker, who posted an 11.0 in the century and a personal best 22.4 in the 200, has been slowed this spring by shin splints. There’s little he can do for it, he said, save “run through the pain.”

TheMustang won the 100 with room to spare but needed his second gear to run down Freehold Township’s Ryan Spadola in the 200, winning by 0.01.

“The 200 is my better race,” said Tucker. “I’m late out of the blocks and always behind at 50 meters in the 100.

“I’ve got a second gear in the 200,” he added.

He didn’t have to worry about his slow start in the 100 on Thursday and his second gear was the difference in the 200.

Manalapan’s Robby Andrews collected a pair of wins, as he made both victories look easy.

Fresh off his second place in the mile run at the Penn Relays, Andrews won the 800 almost effortlessly. He turned it on in the second lap, quickly dropping everyone. He made his 1:59.5 look leisurely.

In the 3,200, Andrews stayed in the pack for the first 1,600 and then picked it up for the second half. Running negative splits, he posted a 10:00.1.

For speed work, Andrews came back and helped the Braves take second in the 4×400 relay.

Colts Neck’s Mark Leininger and teammate Mike O’Dowd went one-two in the 1,600. Leininger won his first District track title in 4:27.7, pulling freshman O’Dowd (4:28.8) under 4:30 for the first time.

Marlboro throws won the discus and shot put. Jake McLeod whirled the disc 121-2 while Williams Eastman took the shot put at 45-11.

Freehold Borough’s Scott Harman won the pole vault at 13-6. He was 2½ inches above everyone else.

Next up for the area track and field athletes is the Monmouth County Championships, which starts today at Neptune High School and continues on Saturday. Everyone will have their eyes on the Patriots as they go for their first county team championship.