Toms River, NJ…The College of New Jersey swept to its 11th consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Conference as the Lions captured the men’s competition with 157 points and won the women’s meet with 184 points.
TCNJ’s men and women have won every indoor championship since the conference began conducting the meet in 1998. The meet featured a conference record 376 student-athletes in competition from nine different NJAC institutions.
With their 157 points, TCNJ’s men finished 31 points ahead of second-place Ramapo (126), followed by New Jersey City (80), Montclair State (77), Rutgers-Camden (41), Rowan (28), Kean (17) and an eighth-place tie between Richard Stockton and Rutgers-Newark, with 16 points apiece.
TCNJ’s women outdistanced Richard Stockton (108), while New Jersey City finished third (90), followed by Ramapo (61), Montclair State (59), Kean (15), Rutgers-Newark (14), Rowan (9) and Rutgers-Camden (7).
TCNJ’s duo of junior Stephanie Herrick (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) and senior Brian Donatelli (Whitehouse Station, NJ/Hunterdon Central) were named the Gerrity Award winners as the Most Outstanding Female and Male Athletes respectively. Herrick won both the mile run (5:00.87) with an NJAC record and an NCAA provisional qualifying time and the 800 meters (2:23.34). Donatelli won the weight throw (16.14) and was second in the shot put (15.63).
The Lions will be right back in action on Friday, February 29 participating in the New York University Invitational held at the 168th Street Armory in New York City.
Junior Chris Guerriero (Saddle Brook, NJ/Saddle Brook) won the 5,000 meters with an ECAC qualifying time of 15:19.19 and was second in the 3,000 with another ECAC mark of 8:45.10.
In addition to Guerriero taking second in the 3,000, the Lions also claimed the next three spots with junior Kyle Alpaugh (Clinton, NJ/Voorhees) taking third (8:58.92), TJ Bocchino (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) fourth (9:06.04) and Brandon Rodkewitz (Wharton, NJ/Morris Hills) fifth (9:08.97).
In the mile, the Lions earned a one-two finish as freshman Dennie Waite (Little Silver, NJ/Red Bank Regional) posted a winning time of 4:19.57 and senior Brian Kopnicki (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) was second in 4:21.67. Both of those times met ECAC qualifying standards.
TCNJ had another strong showing in the 800 meters as junior Pasquale DiGioacchino (Bernardsville, NJ/Bernards) won the race in 1:58.60 with teammate Josh Krowicki (Hilltop, NJ/Triton) placing third (2:01.08) and DeShard Stevens (Jersey City, NJ/James T. Ferris) finishing fifth (2:01.80).
The Lions also won the 4x400 relay as the team of Woodrow Prevard (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Twp.), Stevens, Kyle Gilroy (Oak Ridge, NJ/West Milford Twp.) and DiGioacchino combined for an ECAC worthy time of 3:26.0.
TCNJ added second-place finishes in both the 4x800 and the distance medley relay.
The Lions gained valuable team points from a several other second-place finishers. Junior Anthony Arnold (Brielle, NJ/St. Rose) was second in the 5,000 (15:45.19) and junior Rob McGowan (Monroe Twp., NJ/Monroe Twp.) took second in the 400 meters (50.74), while meeting and ECAC mark. In the pole vault, freshman Tim Blashford (Wyckoff, NJ/Ramapo) cleared the bar at 4.10 meters to add another second for TCNJ.
Senior Andy Lim (Lodi, NJ/Leonia) contributed with a fourth-place finish in the long jump (6.58 meters), while Gilroy was fifth in both the 55 hurdles (7.91 seconds) and the 400 meters (51.48).
Herrick anchored two of TCNJ’s top events winning both the 800 and the mile as the Lions placed four runners in the top five in each race. In the mile, TCNJ swept the top four spots with junior Martine McGrath (West Long Branch, NJ/Shore Regional) finishing in second with a NCAA provisional time of 5:02.93, with senior Heather Garleb (Howell, NJ/Howell) taking third (5:29.81) and Julie Ullmeyer (West Long Branch, NJ/Shore Regional) in fourth (5:29.82).
Following Herrick across the finish line in the 800 for the Lions were freshman Meryl Wimberly (Farmingdale, NJ/Colts Neck) in second place (2:23.47), sophomore Jianna Spadaccini (Butler, NJ/Butler) in third (2:25.02) and Rochelle Prevard (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Twp.) in fifth (2:25.66).
Junior Kristen Tricocci (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) placed in a pair of events winning the long jump with an ECAC worthy leap of 5.26 meters. She also placed third in the 200 meters with another ECAC mark of 26.93 seconds.
The Lions dominated the relay events placing first in all three. The team of Wimberly, Prevard, Spadaccini and Meghan Miller (Sayreville, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial) won the 4x400 in 4:06.04, while McGrath, Ullmeyer, Kirsten Gerbehy (Califon, NJ/Voorhees) and Justine Carnevale (Oceanport, NJ/Shore Regional) won the 4x800 in 10:05.24, with both times meeting ECAC standards. TCNJ completed the sweep of the three relays winning the DMR as Carnevale, Jennifer Caratola (Brigantine, NJ/Atlantic City), Carolyn Gray (Barnegat, NJ/Southern Regional) and Michelle Wallace (Emerson, NJ/Emerson) combined for a clocking of 13:28.72.
The Lions took second and third place in the 3,000 meters with Wallace finishing second (11:01.07) and Megan Donovan (East Brunswick, NJ/East Brunswick) third (11:21.59), while junior Nicole Ullmeyer (West Long Branch, NJ/Shore Regional) was second in the 5,000 with an ECAC qualifying time of 18:41.75.
Senior Jessica Bonelli (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) picked up a second-place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 1:00.86, while teammate Alexandra Tomaselli (Hillsdale, NJ/Pascack Valley) claimed fourth (1:02.33).
In the 55-meter high hurdles, the Lions had a pair of runners place in the top five as Miller was second (8.86) and sophomore Priscilla Senyah (Sayreville, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial) was fourth (8.92).
In the shot put, freshman Cristina D’Amato (Madison, NJ/Madison) had a strong performance placing third with a toss of 11.18 meters and freshman Sarah Wehrhan (Dodge City, KS/The Peddie School) was one place behind in fourth with a throw of 11.13 meters.