EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Stefan Morton put in all the sweat and hard work for the last four years – and Saturday it paid off with a major dividend.
The Emerson senior earned the gold medal in the Group 1 3,200-meter run with a 9:52.45 clocking at the group state track and field championships at Egg Harbor Township’s Silver Eagle Stadium.
“I finished sixth in this event last year and I knew I could improve pretty markedly,” said Morton, who is headed to Marist next season to run distance events. “It’s a very positive feeling, I didn’t run the 1,600 Friday night and only was one of the legs in the 4-x-800 relay. That was important in saving my energy for the two-mile [3,200].”
Emerson coach Mark Ledgerwood was certainly impressed by Morton’s supreme effort.
“Stefan puts a great deal of time into this sport, and his endurance is pretty amazing,” Ledgerwood said. “He ran the way he could because his conditioning and workouts were so solid all year long, he did whatever he needed to do and worked tirelessly in practice.”
Another top North Jersey performance was delivered by Leonia senior Garrett Pynn, who was second in the Group 1 shot put (56-5) behind Paulsboro’s Shamsiddin Little (58-0). Pynn’s throw set a personal record and also erased Mike Moat’s school record of 55-4 1/4 set in 1977.
“I really am proud of what I accomplished, it’s good to be able to advance to the Meet of Champions and know that you did your best,” Pynn said. “The approach was good and so was the technique. I got a lot of help from our throwing coach [Jon Kalnas] and everything just fell perfectly into place on that throw. It kind of had wings.”
Another individual standout was Midland Park’s Seth Zuidema, who unleashed a 183-3 throw to earn the silver behind gold medalist Curtis Thompson of Florence (186-1) in the Group 1 javelin. Also in that event Hasbrouck Heights teammates Anthony Seidel (180-11) and Darren Iurato (169-10) were third and fourth, respectively.
Queen of Peace junior Michael Akanbi took second in the Non-Public B 110 high hurdles with a 16.42.
Akanbi’s teammate, junior Kevin Momnohin from Orange, took silver in the Non-Public B 200-meter dash in 22.63.
Fair Lawn’s George Alexandris claimed bronze in the Group 4 long jump with a leap of 22-11.
In the Group 4 800, Ridgewood’s Storm Dublirer took the bronze in 1:55.19.
Andrew Fiedler, a senior from Eastern Christian, was second in the Non-Public B javelin in 153-8. Fiedler also had a silver in the pole vault with an 11-6.
Hasbrouck Heights’ Roland Gamez took the bronze in the Group 1 110-meter high hurdles in 14.66.
In team competition, Hasbrouck Heights placed second in Group 1 with 87 points behind Penns Grove (112).Ridgewood also took second in Group 4 with 94 1/2 points behind South Brunswick (129). Eastern Christian was third in Non-Public B with 46 points behind St. Joseph of Print | E-mail
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Eastern Christian’s Cleveland McDaniel was well-prepared for his mission Friday: Do what it takes to earn a gold medal.
The senior came up with a big-time performance, winning the high jump in Non-Public B at the boys track and field group state championships at Egg Harbor Township’s Silver Eagle Stadium.
“I just wanted to get my technique and my approach down right and everything clicked,” McDaniel said. “I was pretty happy that I hung tough and everything worked out for me.”
McDaniel’s nifty 6-4 leap outdistanced Chance Patterson of Trenton Catholic and Ben Mitchell of St. Joseph of Hammonton, who placed second and third with leaps of 6-2.
“I knew this was a difficult assignment and I had to be at my best to have a chance,” McDaniel said. “I’m satisfied that all the practices and workouts and conditioning have paid off. It’s a good feeling.”
Queen of Peace’s Kevin Momnohin took the top slot in the Non-Public B 400 hurdles in 57.02 with Mitchell finishing second in 57.98.
“I had a time of about 54 seconds at the Bergen County Meet of Champions [Wednesday night at Hackensack], but I was disqualified because they said I did not clear the second hurdle correctly,” said Momnohin, a junior from Orange. “That would have been my best time ever and I could have won the gold at that meet. But I’ll settle for what I did today and see what happens at the State Meet of Champions [Wednesday at South Plainfield].”
Momnohin also took fifth in the Non-Public B 400-meter dash in 52.02 with Miles Pease of St. Joseph of Hammonton winning in 49.99. Momnohin’s brother, Keith, was fourth in the Non-Public B triple jump in 40-8 3/4. Patterson placed first in 43-1 1/2.
Kennedy’s Robert Laing put in a solid effort in the Group 4 400 hurdles and earned the silver in 53.96 with Lenape Regional’s Michael Williams winning the gold in 53.60.
Cresskill junior Peter Chamalian took the bronze in the Group 1 triple jump at 46-10.
Fair Lawn’s George Alexandris took fourth in the Group 4 400 hurdles in 55.09.
Garrett Finn, a junior from Dwight-Englewood, was fourth in the Non-Public B 100-meter dash in 11.36. St. Joseph’s of Hammonton’s Rocco Ordille tied a meet record in claiming the event in 11.00.
Dwight-Englewood’s 4-x-800 foursome of junior Marc Rosenberg and sophomores David Lysenko, Yu Omiya and Ryan Semsel was third in the Non-Public B 4-x-800 relay in 8:29.90.