2008 Spring Track News


Dual Meet Season Opens as Lions Maul Cats


HIGH POINT REGIONAL HS (April 3, 2008) - The Lions picked-up in 2008 where they left off in 2007, winning another SCIL dual meet.  The boys opened their season with a 115 - 24 victory, while the girls defeated the ladies of High Point, 93 - 47.  The boys win was truly a team victory as fifteen different Lions earned first place points.  The results were similar on the girls side where twelve different girls won their events.  For both squads there were multiple winners.  Senior Jeff Weiler took both short sprints, winning the 100m in 11.6 seconds and the 200m in 23.4.  Classmate, Chris Thomas, taking his fine indoor season into the open air, won both horizontal jumps.  His distances of 20.75 in the long jump and 44-9 in the triple jumps, were both decisive marks, giving Thomas both wins.  For the girls, senior Kim Brinkerhoff won both the 100 HH (17.7) and the high jump (4-8), while junior Sarah Bieganousky won the 400m (61.0) and the 400IH (67.0).


Chris Thomas Sarah Bieganousky and Kelsey Steele


Both teams return to action on Saturday, April 5, when the Lions travel to Monsignor Farrell HS in SI, NY for the Farrell Invitational.


Complete PJ Results


High Point Photo Gallery



Numerous Class Records and PRs Set at Farrell Invite


MSGR. FARRELL HS, STATEN ISLAND, NY (April 5, 2008) - The Lions boys and girls have only a few occasions during the spring season to run the steeplechase event, but on those occasions records are sure to fall.  That was the case today at the Msgr. Farrell HS Invitational in the beautiful Arthur Kill section of Staten Island.  Ciara Van Ness, A.J. Hanifin, and Jon Juleus all set new class records in the event.  Van Ness set a new junior class record in the 2000m steeple with a time of 7:59.7; Hanifin's time of 6:59.4 established a new sophomore class record in the same event; while senior Juleus set a new senior class record with a time of 10:25.2 in the 3000m version of the event.  Many personal records were set, but the most noteworthy were J.P. Corrigan's 40-5 toss in the shot put, and Cole Farrand's throw of 50-5.5 in the freshman (4kg) shot event.


Jon Juleus Ciara Van Ness


Complete PJ Results


Farrell Photo Gallery



Youngsters Lead Lions Over Kittatinny

Boys Win 99 - 41; Girls Win 104 - 36



POPE JOHN XXIII HS (April 7, 2008) - Everyone knows the signs of spring: the greening of the grass; the budding of the trees; and the emergence of young talent on the PJ track teams.  Well, spring is here, despite the temperatures, and the young talent has emerged.  Freshman Dylan Hurley became the first youngster to break into the scoring column with a win in the 200m (23.2) and a third place finish in the 400 IH (63.3).  Sophomore Jon Hilgart won the 100m dash in a time of 11.7, barely edging classmate Greg Moore, who also finished with the identical time.  Hilgart also picked up second place points in the 200.  Mike Spekhardt, also a sophomore, placed second in the 400m with a time of 54.3.  Spekhardt, along with classmate Sean McNamara, also picked up points on the winning 4 x 400 relay team, running the third and second legs respectively.  Finally, freshman Cole Farrand earned a spot on the varsity as a shot putter with his toss of 41-7 in the JV competition.


Ashton Weiler and Cat Carey Cole Farrand


On the girls side, freshman Kelsey Steele won the 400m, with classmate Amanda Banas taking third in the race.  Steele also took a second in the 400 IH running a time of 70.1, just behind junior Sarah Bieganousky who won the race with a respectable time of 67.7.  Sophomore Erin Smith took the win in the 100m with a time of 13.2, while classmates Cat Carey (12:33.2) took the top place in the 3200m run.  Fellow sophs, Alisha Lolk (17.6) and Jackie Olmstead (17.7) placed second and third in the 100 HH behind senior captain Kim Brinkerhoff who won in a time of 17.1.  "Brinks" also won the long jump (15-9.75) and placed third in the high jump (4-8) behind freshman Rachel Lees who won the event also with a leap of 4-8, but with fewer attempts.  Banas combined with sophomore Ashley Taylor and juniors Kasey Homa and Sarah Bieganousky to win the 4 x 400 relay for the Lions.

Complete PJ Results

Kittatinny Photo Gallery


Thomas Breaks County TJ Record in Win Over Spartans


SPARTA HS, SPARTA, NJ (April 10, 2008) - Senior Chris Thomas continued his assault on the record books when he leapt 45-10 on this way to winning the triple jump competition today in the Lions' dual meet against the Sparta Spartans.  Thomas helped lead the boys team to an 85 - 55 victory.  Thomas also won the high jump with a mark of 6-4 and the long jump with a leap of 19-5 later in the meet.  He was the only triple winner on the day.  Other highlights on the boys side include five PR performances by two freshman, two sophomores, and a senior.   Freshman Dylan Hurley, broke his own class record in the 400m run with a time of 51.6 on his way to winning the event.  Fellow Freshman Cole Farrand PRed in the shot put with a toss of 42-2 and also PRed in the discus with mark of 109-3.5.  Sophomores Jamaal Knight and James Oroho also had big days.  Knight PRed by over fifteen feet in the javelin with a throw of 160-8 to win the event and crush the sophomore class record by over nine feet; while Oroho had a PR throw of 111-10 to take a third place point in the discus.  Finally, senior Scott Varanelli had a big PR toss, throwing the javelin 154-11 to place third in that event.  Other notable PR performances included juniors JP Corrigan (42-0.5) and Ricky Okoye (44-4.25), both in the shot put.  Okoye won that event.


Casey Keller, Cat Carey, Jenny Heigis, and Abby Grieco Chris Thomas


The story was much the same for the girls as they easily defeated the Spartans, 89 - 50.  Junior Sylvia Okoye won two events.  Okoye took the shot put with an outdoor PR mark of 33-9.5, then followed that with a PR toss in the discus of 93-9. Sophomore Alisha Lolk won the 100 HH with a time of 17.4, while freshman Kelsey Steele won the 400 IH in 1:09.7 and placed second in the open 400 (1:05.3) behind junior Sarah Bieganousky's winning time of 59.7.  Fellow junior, Melissa Romero, won the javelin with a toss of 105-1.  With all of these great efforts, it is impossible to ignore the dominant performance of the distance girls.  The girls swept the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m races.  Juniors Sarah Cariati and Paige Boehmcke with sophomore Ashton Weiler crossed the line together in the 800m run.  Cariati was given the win in a time of 2:34.4.  In the 1600m, juniors Jenny Heigis, Boehmcke, and Ciara Van Ness also crossed the line together.  Heigis was awarded the win in a time of 5:49.6.  Finally, in the 3200m run, freshman Abby Grieco was escorted across the finish line by sophomore Cat Carey, Heigis, and senior captain, Casey Keller.  The win gave Grieco her first varsity win and first varsity points.


Both teams return to action on Monday at Wallkill Valley HS.


Complete PJ Results


Sparta Photo Gallery


Lions "Field and Track" Teams Overwhelm Rangers

Jumpers, Throwers, and Vaulters Rack Up Points


WALLKILL VALLEY HS, HAMBURG, NJ (April 14, 2008) - The Pope John "Field and Track" Team dominated the Wallkill Valley Rangers today, with the majority of the points coming from the field events - an unusual occurrence for the Lions during the past few years.  The boys scored a total of 115 points to the Rangers' 24, taking all of the field points save four.  The numbers were equally impressive on the girls side.  The Lady Lions scored a total of 111 points to Wallkill's 29, dropping only seven points in the field events.


The boys swept the shot put, javelin, pole vault, and high jump.  In the shot, freshman Cole Farrand won the event with a PR toss of 45-0.  He was closely followed by junior teammates Ricky Okoye (42-7.5), and J.P. Corrigan (40-4).  JV thrower, sophomore James Oroho, also had a big PR toss with a throw of 41-6.75.  Senior javelin thrower Scott Varanelli led the way for the Lions with a chuck of 146-3.  Jamaal Knight (141-10) and Clay Trainor (138-4) completed the dusting in that throwing event.  In the vault, Sean Reid led the way with a mark of 11-0; followed by Rob Henry and Greg Masters each clearing 9-6.  In the high jump, Chris Thomas took the honors with a leap of 6-3, while Okoye took some more second place points with a jump of 5-8.  Okoye capped the scoring for the day with his winning PR throw of 128-2 in the discus.  Oroho placed third in the event with a heave of 109-4.  In the long jump Thomas picked-up his second win with a leap of 21-6.25.  Second place went to senior Brian Grealy (18-6.5).  Grealy then proceeded to win the triple jump with a PR pounce of 38-2.5.  Rick Lencsak finished second in the triple (37-6), while senior Derek Grant PRed in both the long (14-10) and triple (35-1.5) jumps.


James Oroho Ashley Taylor


Though the field athletes deserved the acclaim today, the track runners certainly made a more than respectable showing.  Seniors Nick Beese and Jon Juleus led the sweep of the 3200 with a very relaxed run of 10:12.6, the fastest times in the SCIL this year.  Junior Kevin McCormick took the third place point with a time of 10:53.0.  Freshman Dylan Hurley was a double winner, taking the 100m (11.7) and the 200m (23.6) sprints.  In the latter event, sophomore Greg Moore ran a PR time of 23.7.  Seniors Doug Murphy and Josh D'Anna both PRed in their events.  Murphy won the 400 IH with a time of 62.4, while D'Anna won the open 400 in 53.9.  Sophomores Sean McNamara and  Mike Grinthal PRed in the intermediates with times of 64.7 and 71.4, respectively.  Finally, freshman Christian LaVorgna had a PR time of 19.1 seconds in the 110m high hurdles.


The girls' jumpers and vaulters swept two events.  The pole vault was won by sophomore Erin Smith who cleared 7-6 for the first time in her short vaulting career.  Senior Katrina DiIorio placed second with a vault of 7-0, and the sweep was completed by sophomore Alisha Lolk with a mark of 6-0.  In the high jump, freshman Rachel Lees won with a leap of 4-10, followed by sophomore Brianna Boulier, also clearing 4-10, followed by freshman Caitlin Lavorgna who achieved a height of 4-4.  In the throws, Sylvia Okoye won both the shot put (34-6) and the discus (91-11).  Her classmate, Mackenzie Miller, finished second in both events with marks of 30-6.5 and 86-11 respectively.  Fellow juniors, Melissa Romero and Kathleen Oroho placed first and second in that event with throws of 109-4 and 91-7.  Senior captain Kim Brinkerhoff won the long jump with a gambol of 14-7, and placed third in the triple jump (29-1).


Like the boys, the girls represented on the track, sweeping both hurdles events in the process.  In the 400 IH, junior Sarah Bieganousky finished first in a time of 1:05.7, followed by freshman Michelle (Chuckles) Litterio (1:15.0), and sophomore Maggie Cooney in third (1:21.4).  Chuckles and Cooney picked up their first varsity points in this race. In the 100m HH, captain Brinkerhoff placed in her third event of the day, winning in a time of 17.4.  Kim was followed by sophomores Alisha Lolk in second (17.9) and Jackie Olmstead in third (18.0).  Other winners on the track included junior Sarah Cariati in the 1600m run (5:40.6); sophomore Ashton Weiler in the 800m run (2:34.0); and junior Jenny Heigis in the 3200m run (11:46.9).  By no means was this the extent of outstanding performances - there were many PRs recorded today.  Erin Smith recorded her second PR of the day with a second place finish in the 100m dash (13.0), as did freshman Amanda Banas when she finished third in the same race (13.3).  Other PR performances include Katie Potter, Chrissy Wilson, and Ashley Taylor in the 800m run; Tori Lukacs in the 400m; Karolyn Nelson, Maria Corrall, and Caitlin Rafferty in the 200m.


The teams will compete again on Thursday against the Jefferson Falcons.  The home meet begins at 4:PM..


Complete PJ Results


Wallkill Valley Photo Gallery



Falcons Fall to the Lions

Girls Win 99-41; Boys Win 118.5 1\2 - 22 1/2


POPE JOHN HS (April 17, 2008) - A well-manned Jefferson Falcon team arrived at the Lions' Den today only to be sent home vanquished.  Meanwhile, the youngsters and new members of the Lions' boys and girls teams continued to prove themselves in competition.  Corey Figueroa is just that type of athlete.  Getting his first varsity win today in the high jump (5-4), Corey exemplifies the youngster who works hard and proves that it pays dividends.  In fact, two other track newcomers earned placements in the high jump.  Kyle Johnson placed second with a leap of 5-2, while Derek Grant cleared 5-0.  Johnson also won both hurdle events in PR times.  In the 110m High Hurdles Johnson finished in 16.5, while running 61.7 in the 400m Intermediate Hurdles.  For the girls, the outstanding performances by a newcomer belonged to freshman Amanda Banas.  Banas won the 400m run in a time of 63.7, a PR performance, and finished second in the 200m in a time of 28.1.


Christina Careaga Josh D'Anna


Other noteworthy performances on the boys side include Ryan Lacey's win in the 1600m run in a time of 5:08.5; Nick Ryan's win in the 3200m run in a time of 11:14.5; Luke LaChac's third place and PR (11:26.2) in the same event; Josh D'Anna's win in the 800 (2:05.3); Doug Murphy's PR in the 400 IH (62.2); Ricky Lencsak's PR in the 110 HH (16.8); and Jamaal Knight's win and sophomore record in the javelin (165-10).  This is the third time this season that Knight has set and reset the sophomore class record in that event.  On the girls side, Melissa Romero had a season best mark in the javelin (111-6); April Conway scored her first varsity point, taking third in the discus; and Tina Okoye also scored her first point by placing third in the shot put with a PR toss of 29-8.


The Lions will next compete in the Raider Relays at Hillsborough HS on Saturday, April 18.  Bus departure time is 6:30 AM.


Complete PJ Results


Photo Gallery



Placements and PRs Order of the Day at Raider Relays

Girls DMR Sets New Meet Record; Romero and Oroho Win Javelin Relay


HILLSBOROUGH HS, HILLSBOROUGH, NJ (April 19, 2008) - In 2006 the Lions made their first appearance in the Raider Relays.  It was the worst track day in this writer's memory.  Freezing cold temperatures,  blowing sideways rain and sleet, and slick red clay kept most teams away from the competition that day.  But true to form, the Lions ran in the first race of the day and stayed to compete in the last event of the day.  The distance medley relay (1200, 400, 800, 1600) was one of the last events held that day, and only one or two teams were on the track with the Lions.  Today was much different as ten other teams competed against the Lions girls for the DMR gold medal, but the result was the same as in 2006 and 2007 - the girls came away victorious, winning in a new meet record of 12:21.9, breaking the record set last year by the 2007 Lions.  Sarah Cariati got the team moving today with her very fast 1200m leg (3:46.6), essentially putting the race out of reach.  The girls were out to run a national qualifying time, however, and they did just that, besting the qualifying standard by over five seconds.  Sarah Bieganousky took the stick from Cariati for the 400m leg, and she flew around the track.  Her 57.9 split was her best relay leg of the season and set up Emily Carrollo for her 2:16.6 800m leg.  Carrollo used the lapped runners well, focusing on the runners ahead of her and chasing them down.  The anchor 1600m leg was run by Jenny Heigis, who ran very well, splitting in 5:20.6, just tenths of a second off her PR.


Staying with the girls, Melissa Romero (120-4) and Kathleen Oroho (83-11) combined to win the javelin relay.  Their combined total of 204-3 far outdistanced the other pairs.  Placements started with the first event of the day, the 4 x 1600, where Ashton Weiler, Cat Carey, Ciara Van Ness, and Casey Keller finished in fourth place in a time of 22:57.4. In the 800m SMR, Caitlyn Lees, Amanda Banas, Erin Smith, and Kelsey Steele, clocked in at 1:53.8, good enough for a silver medal.  Fourth place medals were won by Brianna Bourlier and Rachel Lees who both jumped 4-10 in the high jump; while the 4 x 200 Novice team of Caitlin Rafferty, Angela Poccia, Tori Lukacs, and Kelsey Katzgrau finished their race in 1:59.4, another fourth place finish.  In this race, both Poccia (28.8) and Lukacs (29.9) recorded new PRs.  In the shuttle hurdles relay, Kim Brinkerhoff, Pam Hitscherich, Alisha Lolk, and Jackie Olmstead posted a time of 1:10.3 to earn sixth place medals.  Olmstead's time of 17.3 was a new PR. In the triple jump relay Christina Careaga (31-6) and Caitlin Lavorgna (28-6) captured fourth place medals. The pole vaulters also had big days.  Katrina DiIorio established a new PR with a clearance of 7-6, while her relay partner, Erin Smith, tied her PR of 7-6.  Finally, Kelsey Steele PRed twice in the 400.  She ran 59.4 in the 1600m SMR, then came back with a time of 59.8 in the 800m medley. 


The boys efforts nearly duplicated the efforts of the girls. Like the girls, the boys 4 x 1600 team earned a placement in the first race of the day. Jeff Lacoste, AJ Hanifin, Tim Paziora, and Chris Gaus finished in sixth place with a time of 19:05.2. Lacoste (4:40.4) and Hanifin (4:40.6) set new PRs in the process. In the high jump, Chris Thomas (6-2) and Ricky Okoye (5-6) finished in second place. Corey Figueroa, Christian Lavorgna, Chris Patterson, and Mike Spekhardt placed third in the 4 x 200 Novice event with a time of 1:38.5; while Rick Lencsak, Kyle Johnson, Brian Grealy, and Greg Moore took the fourth place medals in the 4 x 110 High Hurdles (1:11.8). In the varsity 4 x 200, Dan McIntyre, Jon Hilgart, Moore, and Dylan Hurley finished in 1:33.4, fourth place in this event. Hilgart and Hurley both ran 23.0 legs to establish new PRs. Joe Benedetto ran a 56.8 400 leg in the 800m medley to set a new PR. Finally, the varsity DMR (1200, 400, 800, 1600) finished a close second in a time of 11:01.3. Jon Juleus, Sean McNamara, Doug Murphy, and Nick Beese were the members of this team. The highlight belonged to Beese, who ran the anchor 1600m leg in a PR time of 4:37.9.  Finally, Scott Varanelli had a huge PR in the javelin throw with a toss of 160-7, besting his previous best by over six feet.


Both teams return to SCIL action on Monday, April 21, versus perennial league rival Vernon.  The meet begins at 3:45 PM at Pope John.


Complete PJ Results



Vikings Vanquished in Lions' Den

Five Freshman Class Records Fall


POPE JOHN HS, SPARTA, NJ (April 21, 2008) - The Vernon Vikings came to the home track of the Lions missing twenty-four of their athletes who were absent due to spring break.  Despite being shorthanded the Vikings proved again that they are the most competitive team in the SCIL as they tried their best to end the Lions' four year SCIL dual meet win streak.  In the end they came up short, as the PJ Boys scored 110 point to Vernon's 30, while the PJ Girls outscored the Vikings 86 - 54.  In the process, the Pope John freshmen also proved that they could be one of the strongest track classes ever, as five different athletes set new freshman class records in their respective events.


On the boys side, Corey Figueroa set the frosh mark in the 400 IH when he posted a time of 62.2.  This time wiped out the two-week old record set by classmate Dylan Hurley.  Don't feel sorry for Hurley though, as he set a new freshman class record in the 400m run with a time of 51.4.  He came back later to run a 400m split of 50.7 in the 4 x 400 relay.  The next freshman record to fall belongs to Cole Farrand who now owns the discus mark after recording a throw of 117-5.  His mark was good enough for third place today, but Cole also won the shot put competition with a toss of 44-11.  Not content to admire the marks of their male classmates, the girls set two new class records of their own.  Rachel Lees cleared 5-0 in the high jump eclipsing the marks of two of the greatest jumpers in PJ history, Shannon Campbell '03, and Kim Bannat '06 who both cleared 4-10 in their freshman years.  The last freshman mark to fall was the Triple Jump record.  The new record holder is Caitlin Lavorgna who leaped 31-1 today.  Other freshmen established new personal records.  Amanda Banas PRed in the 400m run with a time of 63.4.  Michelle Litterio threw the javelin 73-1, ran 71.7 in the 400 IH and 18.8 in the 100 HH to PR in all three events, while classmate Kelsey Steele PRed in the 400 IH with a time of 66.6.  Meanwhile, three girls set new personal records in the 800m run.  Carly McGrink (2:57.3), Kim Trumpore (3:03.4), and Amanda Woods (3:01.2) all lowered their best time by several seconds.


Jamaal Knight Emily Carrollo


The older athletes also posted some outstanding performances as the final scores indicate.  Emily Carrollo was a multiple winner, taking the 200m and 400m events.  Sarah Bieganousky took first in the 400 IH with a junior class record time of 64.9, while Erin Smith tied her PR in the pole vault (7-6) for the third consecutive meet.  Stephanie Keller finished the 100m High Hurdles in a PR time of 19.5; Lauren Peach (6:14) and Chrissy Wilson (6:11) PRed in the 1600m run; and Tori Lukacs and Caitlin Rafferty PRed in the 200m dash.  Finally, Marissa Ranft leaped 13-11.25 to establish a new personal record in the long jump.


Several boys also got into the PR act.  In the shot put, J.P. Corrigan earned a third place point with a PR toss of 42-8.5, while Peter Pensec (37-6.5), Anthony Higgins (37-10.75), and Dillon White (32-4) also set new personal marks.  Staying with the throws, Jamaal Knight continues to improve his javelin performances with each meet.  Today his throw of 167-3 won the event and set a new PR.  JV thrower, M. McGuinness also PRed with a 109-3 toss.  In the jumps Ricky Okoye had a two PR day.  His jump of 20-2.75 in the long jump and his leap of 40-8 in the triple jump set new PRs and placed him solidly in the SCIL top three in both events.  Kyle Johnson PRed in the high jump with a 5-6 gambol and in the 400 IH with a time of 59.3.


Next on tap for some of the Lions is the 113th edition of the Penn Relays Carnival.  Senior Chris Thomas has qualified for the high jump as an individual, and several relays will be run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 24-26.  The Penn Relays is the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the United States.  This year over 22,000 entrants will perform over three days, about 11,000 of them being high school athletes.  The meet is held at historic Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


Complete PJ Results


Photo Gallery



Penn Relays Preview

Thomas and Girls' Relays Ready for the "Big Meet"


Chris Thomas received the last individual bid to compete in the Penn Relays high jump competition for high schoolers.  You can be certain that he will not waste the opportunity.  Having cleared 6-7 this year, Chris has been fine-tuning his technique in preparation for this meet and the championship season.  If you know Chris, he isn't short of swagger, and he will need all of that confidence when he competes at Penn.  Count on him to PR and, if all goes will, he has as good a chance as any to get a placement. Thomas will compete on Saturday.  The boys will also send a contingent to run the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.  Jeff Weiler, Jon Hilgart, Dan McIntyre, Jon Juleus, and Greg Moore will run on Friday.  Weiler, Hilgart, and McIntyre will run in both relays.  Moore will complete the 4 x 100 team while Juleus will run a leg in the 4 x 400.


The girls will be running three relays; the 4 x 100, 4 x 400, and 4 x 800.  The 4 x 100 will feature an "all class" team of Caitlyn Lees ('08), Kasey Homa ('09), Erin Smith ('10) and Amanda Banas ('11).  The girls will face the fastest teams in the United States, Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago, and the Virgin Islands.  Though not expected to finish in the top twelve, the girls will get valuable experience in preparation for the SCIL Relays.  A time in the vicinity of 52.0 is expected.  The 4 x 400 team of Kelsey Steele ('11), Ashley Taylor ('10), and juniors Sarah Bieganousky and Emily Carrollo is a nice combination of youngsters and upper classmen.  They are hoping to run under 3:55.  The 4 x 800 team is entirely composed of juniors.  Sarah Cariati, Jenny Heigis, along with Bieganousky and Carrollo, have very realistic hopes of getting into the Championship of America race on Saturday.  If they hit their target time of 9:10 in the qualifying race, they should be able to go faster and perhaps earn the coveted Championship of America "Wagon Wheel" plaque.


Check back here for updates, and for live results, go to the Penn Relays Online website.



Mixed Results For Girls on Day One at Penn Relays

Bieganousky Injured


FRANKLIN FIELD, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 24, 2008) - The Lions sent three relay teams to the 114th Penn Relays Carnival today, but the results were mixed.  Though none of the teams qualified for the Championship of America races on Saturday, the girls ran fast.


The first event of the day was the 4 x 800.  Hoping to run a time in the vicinity of 9:10.0, the team of Sarah Cariati, Sarah Bieganousky, Jenny Heigis, and Emily Carrollo finished fifth in their section in a time of 9:22.46.  Though they did not run as fast as hoped, the clocking is the fourth fastest All-Time in Pope John history.  The 4 x 100 crew of Caitlyn Lees ('08), Kasey Homa ('09), Erin Smith ('10) and Amanda Banas ('11), ran a time of 51.69, slightly faster than their target time of 52.0.  This performance also goes onto the list of Top Ten All-Time performances, ranking fifth in school history.


The 4 x 400 girls did not fare as well as their counterparts, recording a DNF (Did Not Finish).  Kelsey Steele led off the race running a PR 60.3 leg before handing off to Sarah Bieganousky.  Bieganousky received the stick without incident, and was running a great opening 100 meters when disaster struck.  Sarah clutched at her leg and went down to the track.  She was in obvious pain with what appeared to be a hamstring pull.  Trackside medical aid could not determine conclusively whether the hamstring was pulled or torn.  Check back tomorrow for further information on Bieganousky's status and for Day Two results.



Sophs and Senior Make Penn Relays Debut


FRANKLIN FIELD, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 25, 2008) - Day Two at Penn Relays is always scheduled for high school boys, so PJ's male 4 x 100 team had their opportunity to run this morning.  The results were very encouraging for a team comprised of three sophomores and a senior, none of whom had previous Penn Relays experience.  Sophs Jon Hilgart, Dan McIntyre, and Greg Moore with senior Jeff Weiler finished third in their heat and 83rd out of 240 teams overall with their time of 44.87.  The clocking placed these young men at # 5 All-Time on the PJ performance list, and is a portent of great things to come.  Weiler, along with classmates Jon Juleus and Josh D'Anna will compete with freshman Dylan Hurley in the 4 x 400 tomorrow morning at the same time that Chris Thomas will be competing in the high jump competition.


Returning to yesterday's disappointing news concerning Sarah Bieganousky, the situation does not appear to be any clearer today than yesterday.  Sarah either pulled or tore her hamstring and additional time will be needed to determine the extent of the injury. Come back tomorrow for additional information and for commentary on tomorrow's performances.



Penn Relays Day Three Results


FRANKLIN FIELD, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 26, 2008) - Seniors Jon Juleus, Josh D'Anna, and Jeff Weiler, with freshman Dylan Hurley finished fourth in their 4 x 400 heat.  In the process their time of 3:28.24 becomes number nine All-Time on the Pope John performance list.  The result was not as positive for high jumper Chris Thomas, who did not clear the opening height of 6-3.75.


The entire team returns to action on Monday, April 28 in dual meet action against the Newton Braves.  The meet starts at 3:45 PM at Newton HS.



Girls and Boys Defeat Braves - SCIL Streak Continues


NEWTON HS, NEWTON, NJ (April 29, 2008) - Three girls had multiple victories today to lead the Lions over the Braves by the score of 106.5 - 33.5.  Sophomore Erin Smith had three wins in the 100m dash, pole vault, and as part of the winning 4 x 400 relay team.  Erin PRed with a vault of 8-0, tying the sophomore class record previously shared by Kaley Guthrie '04 and Anne Lockwood '08.  She moves up in the SCIL Top Ten List to a tie for number three with three other vaulters.  Junior thrower Sylvia Okoye continued to excel in SCIL competition with wins in the discus (92-9) and the shot put (33-1.75).  Her performance in the discus led a sweep by the PJ throwers, with Chelsea Callahan (90-7) and Mackenzie Miller (86-6) picking up second and third place points, respectively.  Callahan also placed third in the shot put competition with a throw of 27-8.5.  Freshman Kelsey Steele was the final multiple winner for the PJ girls with wins in the 200m dash (27.6) and the 400m IH (68.7). 


Other notable performances by the girls included freshman Kelsey Katzgrau, who earned her first varsity points by running a 67.3 split on the second leg of the winning 4 x 400m relay team; classmate Rachel Lees, who won the high jump competition with a PR and freshman class tying effort of 5-0; and Christina Careaga, who recorded a winning mark of 32-6 in the triple jump, moving her to a tie for number two on the SCIL Top Ten List.  Caroline Kuras PRed in the 100m dash (13.3) moving her onto the Top Ten list, while Caitlin Rafferty (6-0) and Maggie Cooney (68.2) set new personal records in the pole vault and 400m respectively.


Jeff Weiler Rachel Lees


For the boys, who defeated the Braves by the score of 101-39, senior Jeff Weiler won both the 100m and 200m dashes.  Weiler's time in the 100 (11.2 PR) and the 200 (23.2) places him in a tie for the fastest time in the SCIL in the 100, and tied for second in the 200m.  Fellow senior, Chris Thomas, also won two events; the long jump (20-0.5) and the high jump (6-2).  Sophomore Sean Reid had a big day with a PR vault of 11-6 to win the pole vault competition.  His performance was also good enough to tie him with Dan Allen ('06) for the sophomore pole vault class record and to move him to number three on the SCIL Top Ten List.  Matt Hansen had a big PR in the 1600m run, knocking 16 seconds off his previous best in that event, while Eric Stenger also PRed in the same race.  In the javelin, Connor Parrott (110-8) and Mark McGuinness (112-3) also established new PRs.  Jon Hilgart recorded a new PR in the 100m dash with a time of 11.3, moving him to number two on the Top Ten list.  Freshmen D. Peer, S. Ozbek, and Christian LaVorgna also established new PRs. Peer's came in both the 100m (13.0) and 200m (27.5) dashes, as did Ozbek's in the same 200m section (27.6).  LaVorgna's PR came in the pole vault when he cleared 8-6.    Finally, Jeff LaCoste set a new PR in the 3200m run (10:44.7), as did Michael Spekhardt in the 400m run (53.7).


The Lions have a very short turnaround as they prepare for the arrival of the Hopatcong Chiefs on Thursday, May 1.  The meet is scheduled to start at 3:45 PM on the Lions' track.


Complete PJ Results


Newton Photo Gallery



Young Lions Run Chiefs Out of Town

Multiple First Time Winners and Point Scorers Highlight the Meet


POPE JOHN HS, SPARTA, NJ (May 1, 2008) - During the post-meet recap with the teams, Coach Corcoran, as usual, announced the event winners, first time point scorers, first time event winners, multiple winners, and PR performances.  Following most meets the list is manageable enough for this reporter to easily record the vital statistics.  Not so today.  After my second crippling writer's cramp, I wished that our fourth staff member would be a stenographer.  Without exaggeration, the number of athletes whose performances surpassed previous efforts was simply mind-boggling.  With that being said, I will do my best to reconstruct my notes and give each and every athlete their just due.


As teams, the boys defeated the Chiefs by a final score of 102 - 38; while the girls beat their female counterparts 126.5 - 13.5.


Beginning with the multiple winners, Sylvia Okoye solidified her overall team points lead with wins in the shot put (31-0) and the discus (91-10).  Sylvia's 69 points leads senior captain, Kim Brinkerhoff by 9.5 points.  The other multiple event winner was Christina Careaga who won both horizontal jumps; the long jump with a leap of 14-10, and the triple jump with a 31-6 hop.    As stated, there were numerous first time point scorers and PRs.  In no particular order, the following athletes had noteworthy performances: Katie Nelson PRed in both the 100m (15.6) and 200m dashes (32.6); Chelsea Callahan had her season PR in the shot put (30-4); Katie Potter PRed in the 800 (2:42.7) and scored her first points of the season; Ashley Taylor PRed and won the 200m dash (27.9); Marissa Galante won the 3200m run for her first varsity victory, coming back after a lengthy injury; Pam Hitscherich scored her first points of the season finishing third in the 100m HH (18.7); Erin Roy notched her first varsity win and PRed in the 800m run (2:35.7); Caitlin Rafferty PRed and placed third in the pole vault with a mark of 6-6; Angela Poccia racked up her first varsity points by finishing second in the 400m in a PR time of 67.4; Kelsey Katzgrau finished just behind Poccia to score another varsity point with a time of 68.1; Jackie Olmstead PRed and won her first varsity event in the process with a time of 17.7 in the 100m HH, due in large part to the vocal encouragement of her Mom; Natalia Ignaczak recorded two PRs  and two wins in the 400m IH (70.4) and the 400m (64.7) as she anchored the 4 x 400 relay team; Amanda Banas recorded her first varsity win in the 100m dash (13.7); Tori Lukacs earned her first varsity point by finishing third in the 100m (14.5); and Chrissy Wilson likewise earned her first varsity points by finishing second in the 3200m run in a PR time of 6:16.0).


On the boys side, seniors Jeff Weiler and Chris Thomas were double winners.  Weiler won the 100m dash (11.6) and the 200m dash (23.3), while Thomas took the first place points in the high jump (6-4) and the triple jump (43-8.25).  Dylan Hurley won the 400m, setting a new freshman record and PR in the event with a time of 51.2, then anchored the winning 4 x 400 team in 51.4.  Hurley's time is the fastest in the SCIL this season and ties him for number seven PJ All-Time with Connor Fox ('98).  Again, in no particular order, the following are the outstanding male performances: Brian Grealy PRed and broke twenty feet for the first time when he won the long jump competition (20-0.75); Michael Spekhardt placed second in the 400m to Hurley in a PR time of 53.4, then helped the winning 4 x 400 relay time with a third leg time of 53.6; Nick Beese showed his speed with a PR time of 56.8 on his 4 x 400 anchor leg.  Other PR performances included Tola Arole in the 100m dash (12.3); Eric Stenger in the 800m run (2:11.2); Kevin Goepp, also in the 800m run (2:38.8); Matt Hanson was the third PR performer in the 800 (2:40.4); Corey Figueroa had a PR leap in the long jump (18-10.5), while Sean McNamara ran two PR times in the 400 IH (59.8) and the the 400 (55.8) as the third leg on the 4 x 400 "B" team.  Connor Parrott registered a PR throw of 105.4 in the javelin; Joe Benedetto PRed in the 400 with a time of 56.8, while Chris Patterson PRed twice, in the 100m (12.3) and the 200m dashes (26.0).  Tom Wilson also PRed in the 1600m run with a time of 5:14.0.


With all of these excellent performances it is difficult to single out the most noteworthy of all, but today that honor belongs to junior javelin thrower Mike DeStefano.  "Mikey D", as he is affectionately called, is arguably the hardest working athlete on a team of hard workers.  He is not blessed with great physical gifts, yet he competes every day with the hope of becoming a fixture in the varsity line-up.  Today all of that hard work paid off when Mikey had a four foot PR throw of 124-0.  His elation following his throw was the inspirational moment of the meet.  With only fellow javelin throwers from both teams, the throws coaches, and the officials present, Mikey sprinted to Coach Dilworth and hugged him in gratitude and relief after accomplishing his feat.  Take it from this Coach, the moment captured everything that high school athletics is about - dedication, hard work, reward, and growth. Thanks for sharing this with all of this with us Mike!


The Lions return to action on Saturday evening at the Brian Ahern Classic at Warwick HS in Warwick, NY.  This is a top-notch invitational meet that always delivers fast times and great performances.  SCIL action continues on Monday with the final dual of the season at Lenape Valley HS, followed by the SCIL Relays at Vernon HS on Wednesday.


Complete PJ Results



Tons of Records Fall at Brian Ahern Invitational

Juleus and Smith Set School Records


WARWICK HS, WARWICK, NY (Saturday, May 3, 2008) - Pope John Track fans know to put the Brian Ahern invitational on the top of their list of must see meets.  Not only are the Purple Wave one of the top teams in NY state and the nation, but the Tim St. Lawrence track complex is arguably the fastest in the Northeast.  Put all that together with the quality of talent invited to these meets and you are bound to have fast times, higher heights, and longer distances.  In addition to PJ and Warwick Valley, the Syosset, NY HS girls team and the teams from Kings Park, NY HS also participated.  Overall, this meet served as a great warm-up for the SCIL Relays scheduled for this coming Wednesday at Vernon HS.  This year's performances lived up to the advanced hype as class and school records fell and numerous PRs were acheived.


Leading the list was Jon Juleus who set a new PJ record in the 2000m Steeplechase (6:25.4), and Erin Smith who tied the school record in the pole vault (8-6).  Class records were set by freshmen Cole Farrand in the discus (121-8); Corey Figueroa in the 400m IH (62.0); Dylan Hurley in the 400m dash (50.6); and Jeff Lacoste in the 1600m run (4:32.8).  Lacoste's time is especially notable insofar as the record he broke was owned by one of the greatest middle distance runners in PJ history, Anthony LaMastro '06, who is now running for the George Mason University Patriots.  Juniors Ciara Vanness  and Kevin McCormick also set class records in the 2K Steeplechase.  Ciera completed the course in  7:52.6, while McCormick posted a time of 6:53.4.


As stated above, numerous Personal Records were set at this meet.  All are included in the table below:



Name Event Time/Distance
S. Ozbek 200, 400 26.7; 60.9
Dylan Hurley 400 49.5 (First Sub-50)
Jeff Weiler 200 23.0
April Conway Discus 84-8
Kelsey Katzgrau 400 66.2
Lauren Peach 800 2:49.3
Carly McGrink 800 2:56.1
Kim Trumpore 800 2:59.9
Rebecca Costantini 1500 5:45.4
Nicole DiGiacinto 1500 5:49.8
Abby Grieco 1500 5:56.6
Mike Spekhardt 400 53.2
Chris LaVorgna 110m High Hurdles 18.8
Kevin McCormick 1600 4:43.5
Ben Woods  (1st tme under 5:00) 1600 4:58.5
Reid Thomas 1600 5:35.8
A.J. Hanifin 3200 10:19.4
Sean McNamara 400 54.2
Corey Figueroa 400 53.5
Tom Wilson 1600 & 400 5:12.1/59.4


Complete PJ Results

Boys Meet Results

Girls Meet Results



Lions Clobber Pats to Complete Fifth Undefeated Season


LENAPE VALLEY HS, STANHOPE, NJ  (May 5, 2008) - Both the boys and girls finished the SCIL Dual Meet season undefeated for the fifth consecutive year.  The Patriots of Lenape Valley were the latest victims to succumb to the Lions' juggernaut as the girls cruised to a 96 - 40 victory, only to be outdone by the boys who decimated their counterparts by the count of 129 - 11.  As with all dual meets, there were many noteworthy performances.


On the girls side, Sylvia Okoye continued her breakout season with two victories in the shot put (31-2.25) and the discus (95-11), the latter mark being a PR.  Erin Smith also was a double winner, taking the honors in the pole vault (8-6) and the 100m dash (13.1).  PRs abounded.  Pam Hitscherich ran of time of 18.6 in the 100m HH; Stephanie Keller PRed in the same event (18.8); Maggie Cooney had a double PR day, running 19.6 in the 100 HH and 75.3 in the 400 IH; Katie Potter recorded a time of 2:43.8 in the 800m run; thrower turned runner Kim Trumpore bested her time in the 800 with a 2:56.4; Amanda Banas rocketed to a 27.9 time in the 200m dash; Nicole DiGiacinto scored her first varsity points with a third place finish in the 1600m run (6:08.0); and Lauren Peach finished in 6:12.4 to record her best time in the same 1600m race.


For the boys, J.P. Corrigan notched his first varsity with with a toss of 41-4 in the shot put; while Clay Trainor did the same in the javelin competition with a throw of 129-9.  Continuing with the throws, Cole Farrand broke his own freshman class record in the discus with a 129-8 heave, taking the victory in that event in the process. Other first time winners included Corey Figueroa who finished the 400 IH in a time of 62.4; Reid Thomas who took the 800 meter race in 2:12.1; and Greg Moore won the 200m dash in 23.9.  Mike Spekhardt won the 400m run in 55.7.  Senior Trevor Warden registered his first varsity win by anchoring the 4 x 400 relay (60.1 split).


There were numerous athletes who scored their first varsity points and/or registered PR performances.  Matt McGuinness (119-6) and Mike DeStefano (119-5) both scored in the javelin; Sean McNamara scored in two events, the 400 IH (63.5) and as part of the winning 4 x 400m relay team (57.9 split); Tola Arole and Chris Patterson scored points in the 100m dash and 200m dash.  Freshmen Luke LaChac and Travis Lacey posted PR times in the 1600m run, 5:02.3 and 5:11.7 respectively.  Connor Parrott had a new PR mark in the javelin throw with a toss of 111-6, while Christian LaVorgna cleared 9-0 in the pole vault for a new PR mark.


Now the fun starts!  It's Championship Season!  The SCIL Relays are on Wednesday, 3:30 PM, Vernon HS.


Complete PJ Results



SCIL Relays: Boys Win 5th Straight; Girls Win 7th Straight


VERNON HS, VERNON, NJ (May 7, 2008) - PJ Boys 148, Vernon 70, High Point 51, Hopatcong 51, Jefferson 47.  PJ Girls 139, Sparta 78, Vernon 69, Kittatinny 63, High Point 60.  The scores should speak for themselves - the Lions dominated the rest of the SCIL.  The result: the Boys won their fifth straight SCIL Relays title and the Girls won their seventh straight.  Now the details.


Seniors: Doug Murphy, Josh D'Anna, Scott Varanelli, Jon Juleus, Chris Thomas, Jeff Weiler, Nick Beese, Brian Grealy, Rob Henry Seniors: Kim Trumpore, Casey Keller, Caitlyn Lees, Kim Brinkerhoff


There are seventeen events in the meet.  The PJ Boys won thirteen of those events, while the girls won eleven.  The following table summarizes the events and PJ placements.


Event Athletes Time / Distance Place
Javelin Jamaal Knight, Scott Varanelli Knight (149-8); Varanelli (157-1) 1st
High Jump Ricky Okoye, Chris Thomas Okoye (5-6); Thomas (6-4) 1st
Long Jump Brian Grealy, Chris Thomas Grealy (19-6); Thomas (20-9) 1st
Triple Jump Ricky Okoye, Chris Thomas Okoye (40-9); Thomas (44-4.5) 1st
4 x 100 Dan McIntyre, Jon Hilgart, Greg Moore, Jeff Weiler 44.5 1st
4 x 200 Dylan Hurley, Jon Hilgart, Greg Moore, Jeff Weiler 1:30.9 1st
4 x 400 Mike Spekhardt, Jeff Weiler, Jon Juleus, Dylan Hurley 3:26.7 1st
4 x 800 Ryan Ehrhardt, Chris Gaus, Josh D'Anna, Jon Juleus 8:34.0 1st
4 x 1600 A.J. Hanifin, Nick Beese, Kevin McCormick, Jeff Lacoste 19:15.6 1st
800 Medley (100, 100, 200, 400) Dan McIntyre, Jon Hilgart, Greg Moore, Dylan Hurley 1:36.5 1st
SMR (200, 200, 400, 800) Dan McIntyre, Mike Spekhardt, Josh D'Anna, Jon Juleus 3:44.0 1st
DMR (1200, 400, 800, 1600) Jeff Lacoste, Corey Figueroa, A.J. Hanifin, Nick Beese 11:11.9 1st
3 x 400 IH Kyle Johnson, Corey Figueroa, Doug Murphy 3:01.8 1st
Shot Put Cole Farrand, Ricky Okoye Okoye (42-11); Farrand (44-1.5) 2nd
Pole Vault Sean Reid, Greg Masters Reid (11-6), Masters (9-0) 3rd
Discus James Oroho, Cole Farrand Oroho (113-10); Farrand (110-5) 5th
Shuttle Hurdles Brian Grealy, Kyle Johnson, Rick Lencsak, Christian LaVorgna 1:12.0 5th
Discus Chelsea Callahan, Sylvia Okoye Callahan (82-1); Okoye (95-5) 1st
Javelin Kathleen Oroho, Melissa Romero Oroho (104-4); Romero (119-10) 1st
High Jump Brianna Boulier, Rachel Lees Boulier (4-10); Lees (5-0) 1st
800 Medley (100, 100, 200, 400) Caroline Kuras, Kasey Homa, Amanda Banas, Emily Carrollo 1:50.2 1st
4 x 200 Erin Smith, Ashley Taylor, Kelsey Steele, Emily Carrollo 1:44.4 1st
4 x 400 Amanda Banas, Paige Boehmcke, Ashley Steele, Emily Carrollo 4:01.1 1st
4 x 800 Ashton Weiler, Ciera Van Ness, Paige Boehmcke, Sarah Cariati 9:51.9 1st
4 x 1600 Casey Keller, Ciera Van Ness, Jenny Heigis, Sarah Cariati 22:51.7 1st
SMR (200, 200, 400, 800) Caroline Kuras, Ashley Taylor, Paige Boehmcke, Sarah Cariati 4:20.7 1st
DMR (1200, 400, 800, 1600) Ashton Weiler, Caitlin LaVorgna, Natalia Ignaczak, Jenny Heigis 13:09.7 1st
3 x 400 IH Natalia Ignaczak, Kelsey Steele, Michelle Litterio 3:34.7 1st
Shuttle Hurdles Jackie Olmstead, Alisha Lolk, Pam Hitscherich, Kim Brinkerhoff 1:10.9 2nd
4 x 100 Caroline Kuras, Kasey Homa, Amanda Banas, Erin Smith 51.9 2nd
Shot Put Tina Okoye, Sylvia Okoye T. Okoye (29-1.25); S. Okoye (31-4.25) 3rd
Triple Jump Caitlin LaVorgna, Christina Careaga LaVorgna (31-8.25), Careaga (31-6.25) 3rd
Long Jump Kim Brinkerhoff, Christina Careaga Brinkerhoff (15-0.25); Careaga (14-10.75) 6th
Pole Vault Erin Smith, Caitlin Rafferty Smith (8-6); Rafferty (NH)  

Among the many fine performances several stand out.  Corey Figueroa lowered his own freshman class record in the 400 IH to 60.1; Caitlin LaVorgna set a new freshman class record in the triple jump with her leap of 31-8.25; Rachel Lees tied her freshman class record in the high jump with her 5-0 gambol; Erin Smith tied her own PJ record in the pole vault clearing 8-6; and Dylan Hurley split 49.6 on his anchor leg of the 4 x 400 relay.

The championship season continues next week when the teams take part in the SCIL Festival on Wednesday and Thursday, May 14 and 15, at Wallkill Valley HS.

PJ Complete Results


SCIL Relays Photo Gallery



Teams End Day One of SCIL Festival With 75 Points Each


WALLKILL VALLEY HS, HAMBURG, NJ (May 14, 2008) - The Girls and Boys teams both finished the first day of the SCIL Festival with substantial leads over their nearest competitors, the Hopatcong Boys with 42 points and the High Point Girls with 32 team points.  By scoring 75 points on both sides of the gender divide, the Lions have set themselves up for a successful defense of their SCIL titles.  Overall team depth was the story of the day as both teams had multiple winners, placers, and point scorers in multiple events.  The girls recorded five first place performances in the seven events conducted on the first day of the championship, while the boys registered three wins.  Emily Carrollo and Chris Thomas took two events each.  Carrollo dominated the sprints with wins in the 100m (12.54) and 400m (57.15) dashes, the latter time being a new meet record, while Thomas equally dominated the jumps with wins in the long jump (21-6.5) and high jump.  His leap of 6-6 in the high ties the PJ school record set in 1990 by Brown University standout jumper Michael Lynch '90.  Three near misses at 6-8 indicate that Thomas is ready to take the PJ record outright, and to challenge the 1986 Sussex County record of 6-9 set by Steve Squier of Kittatinny.


Jon Juleus won the 1600m run as did his female counterpart, Sarah Cariati.  Both won easily, establishing early leads that were recognized as unassailable by the 800m mark.  The win was especially satisfying for Cariati who is often underrated by the local media.  Her crushing wire to wire performance (5:08.42) should put an end to future underestimation of her talent or competitiveness.  Meanwhile, Juleus, who was recognized as the prohibitive favorite, delivered as expected (4:32.54).  The most  noteworthy aspect of his performance today was how Jon coaxed his freshman teammate, Jeff Lacoste, to a second place finish in 4:34.84.  PRing in the same race was fourth place finisher, sophomore A.J. Hanifin (4:38.29).  In the girls 1600, junior Jenny Heigis competed well, finishing in third place (5:18.41), while senior Casey Keller took the final point available in the race by placing sixth in a time of 5:25.80.  Both Jenny and Casey had memorable stretch runs to secure their placements.


Freshman Kelsey Steele had a great day.  She opened the track events by winning the 400m IH in 1:07.71, becoming the third PJ intermediate hurdles champion in successive years.  Laura Loechner won the title two years ago, while Sarah Bieganousky won the event last year.  Sarah is currently recuperating from a hamstring pull suffered during the Penn Relays and is hoping to be ready to compete in the state championships.  None of this diminishes the outstanding performance by Steele.  As proof of that fact, Kelsey finished second in the 400m dash (60.91) to teammate Emily Carrollo.  Gold and silver on day one - not bad for an inexperienced freshman!  In the boys 400 IH, junior Kyle Johnson placed third in a time of 58.78, ahead of freshman teammate, Corey Figueroa, who placed sixth (60.81).  The boys open 400m dash had similar results with freshman Dylan Hurley finishing second (50.86) in the event, followed closely by sophomore running mate, Mike Spekhardt, who placed fourth in a time of 51.96).


The remaining winning performance of the day belonged to Melissa Romero, who won the javelin throw by a wide margin with a toss of 114-8.  Melissa came in as the favorite in the event, but unlike Juleus, she had to work to earn her championship today, facing a strong challenge from Kittatinny thrower, Erica Calellaz.  Also scoring for the Lions in the javelin was classmate Kathleen Oroho, who finished in fifth place with a chuck of 101-7.  On the boys side of the 100m dash, sophomore Jon Hilgart and senior Jeff Weiler went down to the wire with competitors from Jefferson, Sparta, and Vernon.  Hilgart took the silver medal in a time of 11.66, while Weiler took fourth in 11.68.  In the girls 100, aside from Carrollo's win, sophomore Erin Smith finished fourth with a time of 13.30.  Erin also tied for fifth in the pole vault (7-6) to earn additional points on the day.  Finally in the long jump, Ricky Okoye placed fifth behind Chris Thomas' win with a leap of 19-6, while on the girls side, junior Kasey Homa (15-2) and senior Kim Brinkerhoff (15-0.25) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, to close out the scoring.


The Festival continues tomorrow at Wallkill Valley with the field events scheduled to start at 3:30 PM, while track action commences at 4:00 PM.


SCIL Festival: Day 1 Results



Lions Girls and Boys Defend SCIL Championships - Boys Break Total Point Record


WALLKILL VALLEY HS, HAMBURG, NJ (May 15, 2008) - Following the first day performances at the 2008 version of the SCIL Festival there was little doubt that the Lions Girls and Boys would defend their SCIL Championship titles for the fourth year in a row.  The only real question was how many points the teams would score.  173 for the Boys, and 164.5 for the Girls is the answer; the boys total being the most points scored in the SCIL Festival by any Lions team.  Obviously, day two performances matched, and in some cases exceeded, day one efforts.  Quite honestly, the list of PR performances, wins, and placements is extraordinary - a tribute to the hard work of every athlete on the teams.  Now the details.


Emily Carrollo became the first female athlete to win four events at the SCIL Festival since another Emily from Pope John, Emily Bienko '96, won four at the 1995 Festival.  Showing tremendous range, Carrollo took the gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m races.  In 1995, Bienko won the 100 HH, Long Jump, High Jump, and Shot Put, also in her junior year.  Chris Thomas won both horizontal jumps; the long jump yesterday, and the triple jump today.  Chris' performance in the triple (46-0.5) broke his own Sussex County record.  Thomas' third victory was in the high jump yesterday.  Jon Juleus added another win with a victorty in the 800m run today to go along with his win in the 1600m yesterday.  Jon's time of 1:57.25 is the fastest is the SCIL this year.  He was closely pursued by Josh D'Anna who finished second in a PR time of 2:00.44, the second fastest time in the league this year. 


Emily Carrollo Wins the 200m Dash Post-race TV interview


Other outstanding performances occurred on the boys side.  Kevin McCormick recorded a 13 second PR in the 3200m run to win that event.  His time of 9:58.03 is the fastest time in the SCIL this year and, of course, earned him the gold medal today.  McCormick credited his victory to senior teammate Nick Beese. who took the pace most of the way allowing Kevin to sit on his shoulder.  Beese finished second in 9:59.28, with junior Chris Gaus taking fourth place in 10:09.89.


In the throws, J.P. Corrigan placed second in the shot put with a throw of 45-9, a PR of over three feet.  His throwing partner, Ricky Okoye, also PRed in the event with a toss of 45-6.5 to finish third.  Ricky then went on to PR in the discus with a heave of 137-0, the second longest throw in the league this year, earning him the silver in the event.  Discus mate, sophomore James Oroho, also PRed with a throw of 122-7, putting James just out of the money at eighth place, but earning him the right to high jump this weekend at the NJCTC Frosh-Soph Meet.  Continuing with the throws on the girls side, junior Chelsea Callahan registered a nine foot PR to win the discus with a throw of 99-8.  Classmates Sylvia Okoye and Mackenzie Miller finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively, to pick up valuable team points.  In the girls shot, Sylvia took the silver medal with a put of 33-1.5, while Callahan (31-4) and Sylvia's twin sister Tina Okoye (31-2) also PRed.  Callahan finished in seventh, just missing a sixth place point by one inch.


Dylan Hurley Jeff Lacoste


In the 100m high hurdles, senior Kim Brinkerhoff placed third in a time of 16.63, while teammates Sarah Cariati and Jenny Heigis placed second and third, respectively, in the 3200m run.  Freshman Rachel Lees placed third and sophomore Brianna Boulier tied for fifth in the high jump.  Both girls cleared 4-10, with placements determined by number of misses.  Junior Paige Boehmcke placed third in the 800m run with a time of 2:23.96, while freshman Amanda Banas (27.07) took fifth place in the 200m dash.  Junior Christina Careaga placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 32-11.5.  In the pole vault, sophomore Sean Reid placed fifth with a vault of 11-0, while senior Brian Grealy also took a fifth place in the triple jump with a gambol of 40-1.5.


Girls 4 x 400 Relay
Amanda Banas to Ashley Taylor Paige Boehmcke to Kelsey Steele Steele Finishs the Win


The last two events won by the Lions were the boys and girls 4 x 400m relays.  On the boys side, freshmen Corey Figueroa leading off, and Dylan Hurley anchoring, teamed with seniors Jeff Weiler and Jon Juleus to absolutely door the field, finishing with a time of 3:25.49.  The girls had to work harder for their win.  Freshman Amanda Banas, sophomore Ashley Taylor, junior Paige Boehmcke, and freshman Kelsey Steele ran shoulder to shoulder with the Kittatinny girls until Steele put the race away in the last 100m.  Kelsey's outstanding anchor leg split of 59.7 becomes even more remarkable when considering the tough back stretch headwind that she had to overcome.  The girls' time for the race was 4:07.73, edging the Cougars who finished in 4:08.97.


The varsity athletes will get a much deserved rest this weekend, but some will be competing at the prestigious East Coast Relays on Monday, May 19th at Morristown HS.  The younger athletes will be competing on Sunday at the NJCTC Frosh/Soph Meet, scheduled for Sunday, May 18 at St. John Vianney HS in Holmdel, NJ.  Bus departure time is 9:00 AM.  The same young athletes, joined by the JV upperclassmen, will have their final meet on Tuesday, May 20th at the SCIL Novice Meet scheduled for Wallkill Valley HS at 3:30 PM.


SCIL Festival Final Results


Complete PJ Results


Photo Gallery



Soph Girls Lead Way at NJCTC Frosh-Soph Championships


ST. JOHN VIANNEY HS, HOLMDEL, NJ (May 18, 2008) - Rarely do you have the opportunity to attend four track meets in a day, but that is exactly what you do when you attend the NJCTC Freshman-Sophomore Championships.  Each event is contested for frosh boys and girls and soph boys and girls, allowing the meet to be scored for each class and gender.  The Lions youngsters performed admirably with the soph girls winning, the frosh boys and girls placing second, and the soph boys finishing third.  As usual, there were outstanding efforts, multiple winners, and gutsy performances.


Sophomore Girls


The meet was won very easily by the girls today as the team score clearly indicates.  The Lady Lions scored 158.50 points with their nearest competitor, Notre Dame, scoring 84 points.  Erin Smith won two events; the 100m dash (12.90) and the pole vault (8-0).  She added a silver medal in the 200m dash finishing in 28.30.  Erin lost that race to teammate Ashley Taylor, who won the 200 in 27.80.  Taylor also won the open 400m race with a time of 62.00, and she ran the anchor leg of the winning 4 x 400 team, giving her three gold medals on the day.  Marissa Ranft joined Taylor on the medals stand in both the 400m and the 4 x 400 relay.  Marissa placed third in the 400, and ran the third leg of the winning 4 x 400 relay team.  Ranft completed her medal haul with a second place finish in the long jump (14-2.25).  Alisha Lolk won the 100m HH with a time of 17.30, narrowing beating teammates Jackie Olmstead (17.40) and Brianna Boulier, who placed fifth in 18.50.  Olmstead finished the day by leading off the winning 4 x 400 relay team, but "BB" was only warming up.  She tied for first in the soph High Jump with a leap of 4-8, and won the the triple jump outright with a flight of 31-8.75.  The mid-distance/distance girls also contributed to the scoring effort.  Ashton Weiler won the 800m run (2:28.50) by crushing the field.  She followed that up less than an hour later with a second place finish in the 1600m run (5:31.70).  Natalia Ignaczak started off the day with a second place finish in the 400 IH (1:10.30), then finished the proceedings by running a PR split of 62.4 in the 4 x 400 relay, taking the girls from sixth place to first place, a position that they would not relinquish.  Finally, Cat Carey fought gamely against her opponent from Monsignor Donovan in the 3200 meter run, but finished in second place (12:08.3).


Sophomore Boys


The Sophomore boys finished in third place with 75.5 points, behind winner St. Joseph Metuchen with 82 points and Christian Brothers Academy with 78 points.  Jon Hilgart placed second in the 100 and 200m dashes, with Greg Moore placing fifth and Dan McIntyre placing sixth; A.J. Hanifin won the 1600m race and placed second in the 3200; Sean Reid won the pole vault with a height of 11-6; James Oroho took second in the discus with a throw of 115-02 and fifth in the shot put with a toss of 36-10; Jamaal Knight placed second in the javelin throw with a 154-08 mark; Sean McNamara placed fifth in the 400 IH; and Mike Spekhardt placed sixth in the 400m to round out the individual scoring.  The 4 x 400 relay was won by the team of Dan McIntyre, Sean McNamara, Greg Moore, and Mike Spekhardt.


Freshman Girls


In another close finish, Msgr. Donovan's 76.33 points narrowly edged the frosh girls total of 71 points.  Michelle "Chuckles" Litterio started off the meet with a bang by winning the 400m IH in a time of 1:10.8.   Rachel Lees provided the only other individual win in the high jump when she posted a height of 5-0.  Other individual placements included Caitlin Rafferty who took second in the pole vault and sixth in the 100m dash; Caitlin LaVorgna took another silver medal in the triple jump; Kelsey Steele placed second in the 400m and fourth in the 200; Amanda Banas placed fifth in the 100m dash and sixth in the 200m; in the 3200m run, Nicole DiGiacinto placed fifth and Abby Grieco placed sixth; and finally, Chrissy Wilson placed sixth in the 800m run.  Despite some difficulty before the 4 x 400 relay, the team of Banas, Kelsey Katzgrau, LaVorgna, and Steele won the event in a time of 4:20.00.


Freshman Boys


The closest finish of the day was in the frosh boys competition, where CBA's 102 points just nosed out the Lions' 99.  There were some tremendous efforts by the freshmen boys, led by Jeff LaCoste's double win in the 1600m and 3200m runs, and Corey Figueroa's freshman record setting performance in the 400 IH.  Corey's time of 59.70 is his first sub-one minute circuit, and easily outpaced the other competitors.  Figueroa's second frosh record setting performance came in the long jump competition where his leap of 19-6.25 won the event.  In the throws, Cole Farrand won the shot put competition with a throw of 54-1.5 (4k shot), and placed third in the discus with a toss of 106-01.  Dylan Hurley tied his own freshman record and placed first in the 400m run (50.20), then followed that up with a second place finish in the 200m dash.  Christian LaVorgna placed in two events; the 110m high hurdles where he came in third, and the 400m IH where he finished sixth.  Completing the Lions sweep of the 4 x 400 relays, the frosh boys team of Reid Thomas, Travis Lacey, Figueroa, and Hurley took the last gold medal of the day.


Select members of the varsity team will compete in the East Coast Relays on Monday, May 19 at Morristown HS, while the youngsters return to action for their final meet of the season at the SCIL Novice Meet on Tuesday, May 20th at Walkill Valley HS.


Complete Results


PJ Results



East Coast Relays Recap


MORRISTOWN HS, MORRISTOWN, NJ (May 20, 2008) - With cold and chill more like April than May the prestigious East Coast Relays took place today.  Teams from New Jersey and New York sent their best athletes to show their stuff, test their meddle, and set new marks and times in preparation for the state and national meets.  The PJ Boys and Girls were no exception as they sent their top runners and throwers.  Both teams participated in the SMR (Sprint Medley Relay) and 4 x 1600 races.  Melissa Romero and Kathleen Oroho competed in the javelin relay, finishing ninth with a combined distance of 187-01, and the boys had a 4 x 200 team.




The girls ran the first race of the day, the SMR (200, 200, 400, 800).  Freshman Amanda Banas led off the race with a 27.1 split for her 200 leg.  She handed off to sophomore Erin Smith who was the first athlete to have to stand up to the fierce head wind blowing down the home stretch.  Her 27.3 split gave the stick to freshman Kelsey Steele in fourth place.  Steele ran a great split (60.6), considering the conditions, and maintained the team's fourth place position.  This run gave anchor Emily Carrollo an opportunity to pull off the win, and Emily made the most of it.  Her 800m split of 2:12.7 was the fastest of the meet and brought the girls the second place silver medal with an overall time of 4:07.84.  The boys SMR performed admirably as well.  Sophomore Jon Hilgart (22.9) led off and was one of the top three when he handed the stick to senior Jeff Weiler (23.3).  Weiler battled his 200 leg and handed off to freshman Dylan Hurley with team in fourth place.  From the exchange, senior Jon Juleus (157.7) raced to the third spot and worked to get into position to make a stretch run, but the combination of the talent of the opposing teams and the conditions got the best of him in the final 100 meters, relegating the team to a fifth place finish.  Later, in the 4 x 200, Hurley, Hilgart, and Weiler combined with sophomore Greg Moore to finish in 1:33.39.


In the 4 x 1600 races, the girls team of  Jenny Heigis, Sarah Cariati, Paige Boehmcke, and Ciara Van Ness, finished fifth with a time of 21:46.93. Cariati's split of 5:11.7 came on the second leg of the race.  The boys team as disqualified following the race, but the outstanding performances of Josh D'Anna, who led off the race, and Nick Beese, who ran the second leg, must be noted.  The third and anchor legs were run by Kevin McCormick and Chris Gaus, respectively.


Complete Boys Results


Complete Girls Results


PJ Results



Girls Win NJCTC Championship For Fourth Straight Year

Boys Finish a Disappointing Eighth


NOTRE DAME HS, LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (May 25, 2008) - From the opening event the Lions' girls made a very loud statement - "This is our title and we mean to keep it!".  The ladies lived up to their bravado by winning the NJCTC Varsity Championship for the fourth straight year, accumulating 110.5 points in the process. Monsignor Donovan was the second place team with 60.2 points.  Two freshmen and a sophomore were the first to step to the plate and they all hit home runs.  Freshman Kelsey Steele, sophomore Natalia Ignaczak, and freshman Michelle Litterio placed first, fourth and sixth to put 15 points in the Lions' column while setting PRs and class records in the process.  Steele's time of 1:05.88 was a PR and a new freshman class record, while Ignaczak's 1:09.28 was another PR and again gave notice of the incredible improvement made this year by this tennis player turned track athlete.  Kelsey and Natalia also turned in very good times in the 800m run, Steele running 2:26.57 in her first ever 800, and Natalia running 2:26.8 in her opening leg of the 4 x 800 relay, her second PR of the day.  These performances prove once again that every runner at PJ runs the 800.


Sophomore Erin Smith had another outstanding day, winning the pole vault with a mark of 8-6, tying the school record once again, while also placing fifth in the 100m dash (13.15) and tying for sixth in the 200m dash (13.22).  Junior Emily Carrollo lived up to her advance billing by winning the 400m in a time of 57.78 and placing second in the 200m dash in a junior class record time of 25.30.  Sophomore Ashley Taylor placed sixth in the 400 (1:01.39) and PRed in the process.  Freshman Amanda Banas also PRed in the event with a time of 1:01.85.  In the 1600m run, junior Jenny Heigis placed fourth in a PR time of 5:14.43 and senior Lauren Peach also PRed with a time of 6:08.70.  Junior Sarah Cariati notched another championship on her belt by winning the 800m run in a time of 2:17.99; while classmate Christina Careaga had a breakout win and PR performance in the triple jump with her leap of 33-9.  Other girls had significant placements: sophomore Jackie Olmstead placed fifth in the 100m High Hurdles (17.78); freshman Rachel Lees took the silver medal in the high jump when she cleared 4-10; and juniors Melissa Romero (116-8) and Kathleen Oroho (97-8) placed second and fifth, respectively, in the javelin.  The last individual to take a placement was junior Chelsea Callahan in the discus throw.  Chelsea's toss of 105-5 was close to a five foot PR and demonstrates her continued development following her SCIL championship in the event. 


To finish the day, the girls placed second in both relays.  In the 4 x 800, Natalia Ignaczak (2:26.8), Ciara Van Ness (2:32.6), Paige Boehmcke (2:26.6), and Sarah Cariati (2:21.9) finished in an overall time of 9:48.09.  In the 4 x 400, Ashley Taylor (1:02.9), Amanda Banas (1:03.8), Michelle Litterio (1:03.9), and Emily Carrollo (56.8) turned in a combined time of 4:07.37.


Unfortunately, the boys did not live up to their normal high standards when they finished eighth with total of 35 points.  Monsignor Donovan won the championship by scoring 78 points.  Nonetheless, several boys turned in outstanding performances.  Senior Nick Beese had two PRs, the first in the 1600m run (4:35.12), and the second coming in the second leg of the 4 x 800 relay (2:04.4).  Junior Kyle Johnson turned in a PR performance in the 400m IH (58.56), earning a sixth place point in the process, then PRed again when he ran the third leg of the 4 x 400 relay (52.9).  Freshman Jeff Lacoste finished the 3200m run in 10:04.48 to PR in that event.  Seniors Trevor Warden (5:07.09) and Tom Wilson (5:07.60) both PRed in the 1600m run, while junior Matt McGuinness recorded a PR mark in the javelin throw with a 120-11 toss.  Seniors Chris Thomas and Jon Juleus were multiple placers.  Thomas earned a bronze medal in the high jump (6-2) and a silver in the triple jump (45-0).  Juleus finished sixth in the 800m run (1:59.95), and his time of 2:04.5 anchored the second place 4 x 800m relay team.  Senior Scott Varanelli placed fourth in the javelin with a throw of 160-3.  Sophomore Greg Masters tied his PR in the pole vault (10-6).  Finally, the most outstanding individual performance of the day belonged to junior Ricky Okoye.  His throw of 148-4 in the discus is an eleven foot PR, junior class record and was good enough to earn the bronze medal in the event. 


The final points scored by the boys came in the 4 x 800 relay.  Ryan Ehrhardt (2:06.8), Nick Beese (2:04.4), Josh D'Anna (2:02.7), and Jon Juleus (2:04.5), finished second in an overall time of 8:18.52.


Both teams will travel to South Plainfield HS for the NJSIAA Non-Public A Group Championships on Friday, May 30 (4:00 PM) and Saturday, May 31 (10:00 AM).


PJ Results


Complete Girls Results


Complete Boys Results



Lions Lead All-SCIL Selections

Twelve Boys and Fourteen Girls Receive Post-Season Honors


May 23, 2008 - The SCIL Track and Field Coaches selected their 2008 All - SCIL team and the Lions were well represented.  Twenty-Six boys and girls were selected for the first of the announced post-season honors.


2008 All-SCIL Track & Field Team
Boys Girls
Nick Beese - PJ Amanda Banas - PJ
Josh D'Anna - PJ Sarah Bieganousky - PJ
Jon Hilgart - PJ Paige Boehmcke - PJ
Dylan Hurley - PJ Kim Brinkerhoff - PJ
Kyle Johnson - PJ Chelsea Callahan - PJ
Jon Juleus - PJ Sarah Cariati - PJ
Jeff Lacoste - PJ Emily Carrollo - PJ
Kevin McCormick - PJ Jenny Heigis - PJ
Ricky Okoye - PJ Rachel Lees - PJ
Mike Spekhardt - PJ Sylvia Okoye - PJ
Chris Thomas - PJ Melissa Romero - PJ
Jeff Weiler - PJ Erin Smith - PJ
Femi Adebola - High Point Kelsey Steele - PJ
Erik Brands - High Point Ashley Taylor - PJ
Chris Puskus - High Point Brittney Derin - High Point
Bobby Duncan - Hopatcong Madyson Martin - High Point
Talon Hogan - Hopatcong Ashley Sanborn - High Point
Tom Masterson - Hopatcong Brittany Vogel - High Point
Tossin Olugbenga - Hopatcong Erin Kearney - Jefferson
Bryce Whitenack - Hopatcong Catherine Waite - Jefferson
Jon Kaschak - Jefferson Erica Calella - Kittatinny
Ryan Peterson - Jefferson Marin Fuhrmann - Kittatinny
Cody Unger - Jefferson Chelsea Gummerson - Kittatinny
Dave Chernati - Newton Caitlin Hennessey - Kittatinny
Mike Galonski - Newton Kylie McGlew - Kittatinny
Tim Moore - Newton Harley Rolph - Kittatinny
Kevin Rheinheimer - Newton Amy Mattucci - Newton
Ed Andrews - Sparta Sarah Foster - Sparta
Victor Boonham - Sparta Christine Platania - Sparta
James Costello - Sparta Tara Ruddy - Sparta
Chris Sauer - Sparta Michelle Hemberger - Vernon
Ray Giangeruso - Vernon Megan Kelly - Vernon
Scott Lisa - Vernon Jessica Kleeschulte - Vernon
Kyle O'Loughlin - Vernon Katie Lisa - Vernon
Taylor Purdue - Vernon Abbi Turner - Vernon
Eric Rossi - Vernon Vicky Caruso - Wallkill Valley
Zach Santillo - Vernon Olivia Duhaime - Wallkill Valley
John Yaccarino - Vernon Allison Wacker - Wallkill Valley



Nike Outdoor Nationals Schedule for PJ Athletes

NORTH CAROLINA A & T UNIVERSITY, GREENSBORO, NC (Thursday - Saturday, 6/19 - 6/21/2008) - Seventeen PJ athletes have qualified and will compete in the Nike Outdoor Championships starting today.  The schedule for competition appears below.

Event & Time Athletes
Girls 5,000 Meter Run Jenny Heigis, Thursday, 8:00 PM
Girls Emerging Elite 4 x 800 Relay Paige Boehmcke, Ashton Weiler, Kelsey Steele, Amanda Banas, Sarah Cariati - Friday, 11:00 AM
Girls Sprint Medley Relay Amanda Banas, Erin Smith, Sarah Bieganousky, Emily Carrollo, Kelsey Steele - Friday, 5:05 PM
Boys Sprint Medley Relay Jon Hilgart, Jeff Weiler, Dylan Hurley, Jon Juleus, Greg Moore - Friday, 5:35 PM
Boys High Jump Chris Thomas - Friday, 6:30 PM
Girls Javelin Melissa Romero - Saturday, 10:00 AM
Girls 400 Meter Emily Carrollo - Saturday, 2:20 PM
Boys Freshman Mile Jeff LaCoste - Saturday, 3:40 PM
Girls Distance Medley Relay Jenny Heigis, Kelsey Steele, Emily Carrollo, Sarah Cariati, Sarah Bieganousky - Saturday,  7:10 PM


Girls SMR, DMR Earn All-American Honors - LaCoste Places Second in Frosh Mile - Girls 4 x 800 Second in Emerging Elite

NORTH CAROLINA A & T UNIVERSITY, GREENSBORO, NC (Thursday - Saturday, 6/19 - 6/21/2008) - The trip to the Nike Outdoor Nationals Meet this year resulted in seven athletes receiving All-American honors; a second place finish in the boys freshman mile; and another second place finish in the Girls 4 x 800m Emerging Elite race.  The first girls to receive the coveted All-American designation were the members of the Girls Sprint Medley Team. Running on Friday evening, Amanda Banas and Erin Smith ran excellent 200m legs.  Freshman Amanda and Sophomore Erin were making their first NON appearances, and their nervousness was palpable.  Banas' nerves must have been on razor edge following two false starts by the field, yet the tough freshman weathered the delays and delivered the baton to Smith in fine shape, running a split of 27.5.  For her part, Smith ran a full second better (26.5) on the second leg, moving the girls from seventh position to sixth position.  Continuing her comeback from a hamstring injury suffered at Penn Relays, junior Sarah Bieganousky ran a sparkling 58.8 split on the 400m leg to maintain the girls in sixth place.  Knowing that the top six placers receive All-American designation,  junior Emily Carrollo made certain that the Pope John girls would be in the medals.  Her 800m leg was a thing of beauty as she tirelessly ran down the runners in front to secure fourth place for the team.  Her split of 2:08.6 gave the team an overall time of 4:01.52.  For Banas and Smith, they became All-Americans for the first time; while Bieganousky earned her third and Carollo her fifth honor.


On Saturday, the third day of the meet, Bieganousky and Carrollo joined with fellow juniors Jenny Heigis and Sarah Cariati to place fifth in the Distance Medley Relay (12:01.22).  Following a 20th place finish in the 5000m run on Thursday which a new Sussex County record, Heigis ran a PR time of 3:48.3 in the opening 1200m leg, handing off the baton to Bieganousky in seventh place.  Sarah B then moved the girls to sixth running a 59.2 400m split, who in turn passed the stick Carrollo for the 800m leg.  Carrollo brought the girls to a tie for third place with LaSalle Academy running a split of 2:10.5.  From there on it was all Cariati on the 1600m leg.  She battled with the runners from the Burnt Hills TC and Lasalle Academy as they changed positions frequently during the first two laps, finally finishing in fifth place with a very respectable split of 5:03.1.  Bieganousky and Carrollo earned their fourth and sixth All-American honors, while Heigis earned her first and Cariati her fifth.


Front (L to R): Sarah Cariati, Emily Carrollo, Jenny Heigis, Sarah Bieganousky, Jeff Weiler, Jon Juleus, Melissa Romero, Erin Smith, Paige Boehmcke

Back (L to R): Jeff LaCoste, Dylan Hurley, Josh D'Anna, Greg Moore, Chris Thomas, Jon Hilgart, Ashton Weiler, Kelsey Steele, Amanda Banas

Girls 4 x 800 EE: Kelsey Steele, Ashton Weiler, Sarah Cariati, Paige Boehmcke Girls SMR: Amanda Banas, Emily Carrollo, Sarah Bieganousky, Erin Smith
Jeff LaCoste finishes the Freshman Mile.  (See scoreboard monitor also). Jeff LaCoste
Girls DMR: Sarah Cariati, Jenny Heigis, Sarah Bieganousky, Emily Carrollo


In the Emerging Elite Division (open only to non-seniors), junior Paige Boehmcke (2:23.2), sophomore Ashton Weiler (2:28.4), freshman Kelsey Steele (2:25.4), and junior Sarah Cariati (2:16.0) finished second in the 4 x 800m relay to open the meet on Friday.  The girls battled with Tewksbury TC for the entire race finishing just fractions of a second behind the eventual winners.  Tewksbury's time of 9:32.54 just edged out the Lions who finished in 9:33.10.  The last Lion to take a placement was freshman Jeff LaCoste who earned the silver in the freshman mile.  Running the second heat, LaCoste battled Jack Terwilliger of Biddeford, ME before winning his flight by a step in a PR time of 4:29.45.  The victor came from the third section, when Anthony Manfrin of Sleepy Hollow, IL, ran a meet record time of 4:23.27.


The Boys Sprint Medley team of Jon Hilgart, Jeff Weiler, Dylan Hurley, and John Juleus ran a great time of 3:32.7, but were disqualified when Hilgart and Weiler failed to pass the baton in the exchange zone.  All of the boys ran excellent times:  Hilgart (22.5) and Weiler (25.1) for the 200m legs; Hurley (50.1) as he continues to flirt with the sub-50 second barrier in the 400m leg; and Juleus (1:55.1) on the 800m leg.  Had the boys not been disqualified, they would have established a new Sussex County record.  In individual events, senior Chris Thomas cleared 6-3.25 to place twenty-second in the high jump, while junior Melissa Romero threw the javelin 109-11 to place twenty-third in that event.  For Weiler, Juleus, and Thomas their illustrious Pope John careers come to a close.  Weiler will be continuing his athletic career at Marshall University in West Virginia; Juleus at SUNY-Albany; and Thomas at the University of Vermont.


PJ Results