2005 - '06 Winter Track News


Winter Track Teams Debut at Indian Hills Invitational

New york, ny (Dec. 16, 2005) � The Pope John Winter Track teams opened their seasons at the Indian Hills Invitational at the Armory Track and Field Center on Friday night.  Running without several cross-country runners (back in training after a long fall racing season), the teams use this first meet as an opportunity for the returnees to shake off some rust and to introduce the new athletes to track & field competition.  This opener also allows the coaching staff to evaluate the fitness level of the student-athletes.  Based on the early returns, that level is exactly where it should be.

The Girls� team was able to break a school record, tie three others, and establish six new class records.  Leading the way was Kim Bannat (�06) who broke Sam Spence�s (�04) 2003 school Triple Jump record with a leap of 32-1.  In addition, Kim and Liz Lemasters (�06) tied the school record in the High Jump with identical jumps of 4-8.  These marks tied Liz�s record set last season.  Not to be outdone by the high jumpers, Amy Sapol (�07) tied the school record in the other vertical jump, the Pole Vault, with a leap of 6-6.  This tied Kaley Guthrie�s (�04) mark from 2002.  The lone track record tied was the 200m record by freshman Emily Carrollo (�09).  Emily blazed to a time of 26.6 to tie the record set by Katie Bieganousky (�04) in 2003.  These marks established new class records as well.  Also setting two class records was Sarah Bieganousky (�09).  Sarah established new marks in the freshman 400m with a time of 62.0 and the freshman Triple Jump with a distance of 31-0.25.  Several other athletes performed well and won events including Alex Bush (�07) in the 800m run.

The Boys� team got in on the action as well, tying one school record and establishing four new class records.  The top event on the day was the Pole Vault as Dan Allen (�06) tied the school record with a height of 12-6.  His mark ties him with Mike Mazur (�05) and Eric Speck (�88) for Vault supremacy.  Dan also long jumped 20-8 and ran 6.6 in the 55m to win those events.  Also in the Vault, James Nolan (�07) established a new junior class record of 12-0.  This marked a personal best for James and went with his nice marks of 5-8 in the High Jump and 39-8.75 in the triple jump.  Rounding out the class records was Ricky Lencsak (�09) in his first ever track meet.  Ricky set freshman class records in both the 55 High Hurdles and the Triple Jump with marks of 11.3 and 31-2 respectively.  Other notable performances included Ryan Norris (�07) running 8.9 in the HH, Pat Rosendale (�06) running 24.7 in the 200m and Courtney Morris (�06) jumping 17-11 and 37-11 in the LJ and TJ respectively.

The teams will not return to action until the new year when they attend the East Stroudsburg Invitational on January 6th and the NJCTC Winter Relays in January 9th.

Pope John Results


School Records Fall in First Action of the New Year

Dan Allen Shatters 1988 Pole Vault Record


WARWICK, NY; EAST STROUDSBURG, PA; ARMORY, NYC (January 3 - 7, 2006) - Dan Allen ('06) has been literally on the rise since last season when he tied Eric Speck's 1988 pole vault record of 12-6.  Say goodbye to that record as Allen shattered it with a vault of 14-0 at the Warwick Vaulters Invitational.  Dan gives credit for his rapid rise to former Warwick Valley coach, Tim St. Lawrence, who has been privately coaching Dan, and fellow PJ vaulter James Nolan ('05), who has been getting training from "Coach Saint" as well.  "Saint really knows his stuff, being a vaulter when he competed, and he's really helped me with my technique at the top of the pole.  He told me it's time to move to a longer pole, so I'm going to go higher".


The good news continued at the East Stroudsburg University Open Meet at on Friday night, January 6th.  Emily Carrollo ('09) and fellow freshman Sarah Bieganousky ('09) set frosh records.  Carrollo's records came in the 55m (7.5) and the long jump (14-5.5), while Sarah B. set the frosh mark in the high jump with a leap of 4-4.  The upperclassmen were not to be outdone with Kim Bannat ('06) setting a new school indoor record and taking first place in the high jump (5-0); Lauren Bariexca ('07) winning the 800m run (2:27.2); and Briana Perez ('06) placing third in the shot put with a new senior class record and indoor PR of 35-2.5.


Finally, Anthony LaMastro ('06) just missed qualifying for the Millrose Games by placing eighth in the Invitational Mile at the Hispanic Games held at the Armory Track & Field Center on Saturday morning, January 7th.  His very respectable time of 4:20.4 was just not fast enough in this elite field of runners.  Fellow miler, Tom Roy ('07) ran well in the open mile (4:32.8), and Jeremy Scheid ('07) ran the two-mile in 9:41.0).


The varsity team returns to the Armory on Monday evening, January 10th for the NJCTC Relays.


Pope John Results



NJCTC Relays Produce Numerous School and Class Records

Girls Win Six Events


ARMORY T&F CENTER, NYC (January 9, 2005) - The Pope John Girls were the class of the 49th New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Winter Relays by winning six of the fifteen events contested - the Varsity Shot , High Jump, and Sprint Medley along with the Frosh/Soph 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m and Shot competitions.  The girls also established three new school records.  Although the boys were not as successful as the girls, they did win two events - the Varsity Distance Medley and the Long Jump.


The first two events of the evening, the Varsity Boys DMR and the Varsity Girls 55m Shuttle Hurdles, were a portent of great things to come.  Anthony LaMastro ('06) took the early lead and never relinquished it as he coasted to a 3:07.8 split on the 1200m leg.  He handed off to Matt Pezzulo ('07) who took the baton with a large lead.  His 55.0 split on the 400m leg maintained the lead for Jeremy Scheid ('07) who split 2:05.1 on the 800m leg.  Finally, Tom Roy ('07) ran the 1600m anchor leg to bring home the win in 10:41.3.  Meanwhile, the Girls' Shuttle hurdle team of Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), Noelle Marra ('06), Emily Smith ('07), and Sarah Bieganousky ('09) finished second in the competition, but still managed to break the school record in the event with a time of 36.1.


Lauren Bariexca Liz LeMasters Kim Bannat


Noelle (28.6) and Carolyn (27.5) got their names in the record book a second time as part of the 4 x 200 relay.  Joined by Tara Downing ('07) (27.7) and Emily Carollo ('09) (25.8), the girls ran the fastest time in PJ history, 1:49.6.  Carollo's time also established a new PJ individual indoor mark in the 200m.  Downing, Carollo, and Sarah Bieganousky then matched Noelle and Carolyn by running on their second school record relay when they teamed with Lauren Bariexca ('07) to win the Sprint Medley Relay in 4:19.5.  In the SMR, Downing and Sarah B. opened the race with blistering 200m legs in the identical time of 27.4.  Carollo then took the baton and set her second individual indoor mark of the evening by splitting 59.2 on the 400m leg.  Bariexca then got the baton and left no doubt that the girls were going after the record by running a 2:25.5 800m anchor leg, delivering the third school record performance of the meet.


Other girls' winning performances included Briana Perez ('06) and Erin Conway ('06) in the varsity shot put relay (64-9); Deanna Jimenez ('08) and Sylvia Okoye ('09) in the Frosh/Soph shot put (50-6); Kim Bannat ('06) and Liz LeMasters ('06) in the varsity high jump relay (9-8); Freshmen Ciara Vanness, Jenny Heigis, Sarah Cariati, and Kasey Homa in the Frosh/Soph 4 x 800m relay; and Sarah Bieganousky, Carollo, Homa, and Caitlin Lees ('08) in the Frosh/Soph 4 x 400m.  The boys' other winning performance came in the varsity long jump relay where Dan Allen ('06) and Courtney Morris ('06) teamed for the win.


Most of the team returns to the Armory on Saturday, January 14th for the Molloy-Stamer relays.  Action commences at 9:30 AM.


Pope John Results



Teams Finally "Compete" in 2006 - An. LaMastro Runs US#1 Time in 1000m

Corcoran Pleased With Performance at Stanner Games as Numerous Records Fall


ARMORY T&F CENTER, NYC (January 14, 2006) - The Lions' Boys and Girls teams were two of 137 teams that participated in the Molloy-Stanner Games at the Armory Track and Field Center today, and despite a fourteen hour meet and a difficult drive home the success of the meet will long outlive those minor inconveniences.  "For the first time this season the team really competed", said Coach Brian Corcoran, "and the new record book clearly demonstrates the great effort put in by all of our athletes".


The lead story has to be the US#1 time set by Anthony LaMastro ('06) in the 1000m run.  Anthony's 2:30.1 is also a new PJ record bettering his own time of 2:38.1 set in 2005.  LaMastro wasn't done for the day, however.  He also set a new PJ standard in the 600m run, finishing in 1:23.1 to surpass the 2004 record of 1:27.9 formerly held by Mike Carhart ('04) who now competes for the Seton Hall University Pirates.  Not to be outdone by LaMastro's efforts, Lauren Bariexca ('07) had her own record-setting day, establishing new marks in the same 600m and 1000m events.  Bariexca's time of 1:41.6 in the 600 eclipsed the 1:44.4 time set by Katie Bieganousky ('04) in 2003.  "Katie B" is the older sister of siblings Carolyn and Sarah, current members of the girls team, and is a current member of the UConn Huskies track and field squad.  In the 1000m, Lauren's time of 3:04.8 erased the time of 3:10.4 established by Sarah Abbott ('05) last year.  Sarah currently competes for Lebanon Valley College.  Lastly, Dan Allen ('06) qualified for the nationals with a vault of 13' 10" in the pole vault.  The effort earned him a fourth place finish.


Anthony LaMastro Lauren Bariexca

Several class records fell in addition to the school records mentioned above:

Name New Record/Event Former Record-Holder Time/Distance/Year
Tara Downing ('07) Junior Class  - 7.4    55m Sam Spence ('04) 7.4    2003
Rachel Posthumus ('06)* Senior Class - 1:41.7    600m Christine DeVasto ('04) 1:45.1    2004
Carolyn Bieganousky ('07) Junior Class - 9.3    55m HH Amy Goralczyk ('01) 9.2    2001
Tom Roy ('07)* Junior Class - 2:36.5   1000m Anthony LaMastro ('06) 2:38.5    2005
Frank Belardo ('09) Freshman Class - 1:37.4    600m Mark Peterson ('05) 1:37.5    2001
Jason Frandi ('09) Freshman Class - 33-7    TJ Richard Lenczak ('09) 31-2    2006

* also broke old school record

Finally, the girls 4 x 200 relay team of Tara Downing, Rachel Posthumus, Carolyn Bieganousky, and Emily Carrollo ('09) set a new school record in a time of 1:47.2.  The national qualifying time of 1:46.5 is certainly within the grasp of this group, and prepares the girls for the state relays championships next weekend.

Pope John Results

Stanner Games Complete Results

PJ Records


Throwers and Jumpers Center of Attention at Garfield Invite

GARFIELD HS, NJ (January 16, 2006) - When you go to the indoor meets at Garfield HS, don't expect to see sprinters, hurdlers, or milers - don't even expect to see a track - because Garfield is all about shot putters and high jumpers.  In the main gym, three shot circles provide non-stop throwing for varsity, novice, and frosh hurlers.  In the auxiliary gym, the girls high jump at one end while the boys are jumping at the other.  All told, approximately 300 to 400 athletes are crammed into the facility and they are there for two reasons - to throw far and jump high.  The eighteen Lions at tonight's meet got in on the fun, coming through with eleven PRs and some very competitive performances.

The highlight of the meet for the Lions was the girls varsity competition, where Briana Perez ('06) and Erin Conway ('06) both came through with their longest throws of the indoor season.  Briana's throw of 36-3.5 was good enough to win second place and is only 2.5 inches short of qualifying for nationals.  The throw also represents Briana's indoor PR and supplants her own indoor senior class record.  Erin's throw of 32-6.25 was her overall PR and garnered her fourth place honors.  The other varsity throwers, Patricia Higgins ('06) and Hayley Lencsak ('06) also had their longest throws of their indoor seasons, 26-5.5 and 25-4 respectively.  The novice and freshman girls throwers all came through with PR throws.  Kim Trumpore ('08) finally broke the 20 foot mark with a toss of 21-4 from the novice circle, while fellow novice,  Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), a multi-eventer who is just beginning to learn how to throw, chucked the shot 18-11.  Freshman Sylvia Okoye ('09), one of a gaggle of promising newcomers, had a toss of 25-0.25, while April Conway ('09) had a chuck of 19-5.

On the boys' side, varsity throwers Kevin Flannery ('07) had a PR toss of 36-8, and Anthony Higgins ('08) PRed with 30-9 effort.  Tim Lynott ('06) was disappointed with his throw of 39-4.75, but he is resolved that he will correct the flaws in this technique.  Coach Morro believes that a breakthrough throw for Tim is due to come any day.  Novice thrower, Mike Lamm ('06) had a PR at 24-6, while freshmen Clayton Trainor ('09) PRed with a toss of 22-4.5.  Finally Tom Golsch ('09), a green freshman, tossed the shot 18-1.5.

Overall, the boys and girls jumpers were a bit disappointed with their performances, with the exception of the novice jumpers.  Carolyn Bieganousky ('07) with a jump of 4-4, and her sister Sarah ('09), with a jump of 4-2 are just beginning to learn the event.  Ricky Lencsak ('09) jumped 5-0.  Varsity jumper Courtney Morris ('09) (NH) and Liz LeMasters ('09) (4-6) will attend to making technical corrections.

The complete squads return to action on Sunday, January 22, for the NJSIAA Group 2 Relays Championship at Princeton University.

Pope John Results


Girls Finish Second at NJSIAA Relays Championship

Amass Highest Point Total In School History - Fall Two Points Short to Hopewell Valley


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY (January 22, 2006) - The Pope John girls made a valiant attempt to dethrone defending champion Hopewell Valley, but came up two points short while amassing 52 points to Hopewell's 54.  The 52 point total is the largest number of points ever earned by a PJ team at the state relays championship, and would have been enough to win the championship during the last five years.  In the process, the girls won three events, the shuttle hurdles, Sprint Medley Relay, and 4 x 400m relay; placed second in two events, the shot put relay and the 4 x 200m relay; and placed third in the 4 x 800m relay.


Noelle Marra Tom Roy Lauren Bariexca Emily Carrollo


Senior Noelle Marra ran legs on both the winning Shuttle Hurdles and SMR teams, while freshman Emily Carrollo ran on both the winning SMR and the second place 4 x 200 team.  Another SMR member, junior Lauren Bariexca, also ran a leg on the third place 4 x 800m relay.  The Shuttle Hurdles and SMR teams set school records in those events, while Bariexca broke her own junior class record in the 800m.


On the boys side, the team placed eleventh.  Tom Roy ('07) had a great day running outstanding times as the opening leg on both the second place DMR and fifth place 4 x 800m relay.


Pope John Results


Complete Results


Youngsters Shine at NJ Frosh/Novice Meet

ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER, NYC (January 24, 2006) - During the course of the season it is often difficult to find opportunities for the young athletes to compete at a very high level.  The NJ Frosh/Novice Meet is one of those opportunities, and the young Lions acquitted themselves well in their first major competition of the indoor season.

The highlight of the meet was junior Amy Sapol's winning and school record setting pole vault of 7-6.  Coming into the meet Amy had tied the previous school record of 6-6, set by Kaley Guthrie ('04) in 2003,  on several occasions - but it was not until tonight that she could claim the record outright.  Having a breakthrough is always a thrill, but doing it at the Armory is even more special.  Amy is on the way up both literally and figuratively.

Freshman Emily Carrollo continued her outstanding track campaign with wins in the Frosh 55 and 200, and a third place finish in the Frosh long jump.  Her time of 7.3 in the 55m dash is also a new school record.  Emily now holds three indoor school records outright (55m, 200m, 400m) and is part of the record-holding 4 x 200m relay team.

Jenny Heigis ('09) broke her sister Lara's freshman class record in the 1600m run on her way to winning that event in a time of 5:39.2.  Fellow frosh Ciara Van Ness and Sarah Cariati placed second and third behind Jenny.  Ciara and Sarah also placed in the 800m run, finishing in second and fourth place respectively.

Amy Sapol Ryan Ehrhardt Emily Carrollo

In other girls' action, Caitlyn Lees ('08) had a PR in the novice 55m dash; Kasey Homa ('09) placed second in the frosh 400m; and Sylvia Okoye ('09) took a fourth place medal with a throw of 25-11.5 in the frosh shot put.  Sophomore Deanna Jimenez PRed with a throw of 26-0 in the novice division of the shot put.

On the boys side, Ryan Ehrhardt won the freshman 800, followed closely by classmates Frank Belardo and Kevin McCormick who finished second and third to complete the sweep.  Ehrhardt and Belardo later teamed up with Jason Frandi and J.P. Cox to place third in the frosh 4 x 400m relay.

In the novice 800m run, Matt Pezzulo ('07), Tim Burns ('07), and Rob Lennon ('07) all placed in that event, while in the novice 1600m run, sophomores Jon Juleus and Nick Beese both finished in the top five of that race.

The throwers and high jumpers return to action on Thursday at the Garfield Invite #3, which could prove to be a preview of the Group 2 girls shot put championship with PJ's Briana Perez ('06) matching up with of Indian Hills Tanya Elshahawi, while the full varsity squad takes on the rest of the Group 2 state teams in the Indoor Championships at Princeton on Sunday, January 29, 8:30 AM.

Pope John Results

Complete Results


Perez Sets Class Record and Takes First Place at Garfield 2


GARFIELD HS (January 27, 2006) - Briana Perez set the senior class record of 36-5.5 while on the way to winning the girls varsity shot put competition at Garfield HS tonight.  This is another step forward for Perez who is in the midst of her most successful indoor campaign, setting her up as one of the favorites to win the NJSIAA Group 2 State Championships this coming Sunday.  "Briana has made a commitment to the sport that is apparent by her intensity in the circle and by her devotion and hard work at every practice and in the weight room", said Coach Tom Morro.  "She is on track to become one of the greatest girl throwers in PJ history."


Briana Perez


Meanwhile, the young throwers have been improving at a fast pace.  Four freshman and one sophomore set PRs.  Nick Marino (24-11), Tom Golsch (24-5), Clayton Trainor (21-0.5), and April Conway (19-6.5) were the freshmen record setters.  Sophomore Deanna Jimenez (26-2.5) broke her personal record for the second meet in a row.


For the high jumpers, Kim Bannat ('06) cleared a height of 4-10, and Courtney Morris ('06) jumped 5-2.


The full varsity squad takes on the rest of the Group 2 state teams in the Indoor Championships at Princeton on Sunday, January 29, 8:30 AM.


Pope John Results



LaMastro and Bariexca Newest PJ Champions

Boys Finish Third - Girls Fifth at NJSIAA Group 2 Indoor Championships


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY (January 29, 2006) - Anthony LaMastro ('06) defended his championships in both the 800m and 1600m runs, and Lauren Bariexca ('07) was victorious in the Girls 1600 to become the newest PJ indoor champions.  "Anthony ran great tactical races as he used his speed to out-kick the opposition in both races", said Coach Brian Corcoran.  LaMastro's times of 1:58.99 in the 800, and 4:20.92 in the 1600 were not personal records, but they were all that was needed to win, and at championship meets all that matters is the win.  And winning is what Anthony does - the two wins today mark his 8th and 9th major individual championship to go along with membership on five relay champions.  Fellow 1600m runner, Tom Roy ('07) finished sixth in the race to take the last placement in a time of 4:30.42.


Anthony LaMastro Lauren Bariexca

Emily Carollo (far right) finishes the 200m dash

Compliments of Daily Record


Not to be outdone by LaMastro's incredible performances, Lauren Bariexca became the first PJ girl to win an NJSIAA indoor championship with her victory in the 1600m run.  "Lauren just ran a brilliant race", said Coach Corcoran, "she was very patient and let the race come to her.  When she was ready to take the pace she went out and dropped the field."  Bariexca's time of 5:13.91 establishes a new Pope John record, erasing the previous mark of 5:17.2 held by classmate Lara Heigis ('07).  To go along with her 1600 championship, Lauren also placed third in the the 800m with a time of 2:23.55.  Fellow junior, Alex Bush, placed ninth in the race with a time of 2:26.25, demonstrating that she's ready for a breakthrough race in the very near future.


There were other notable performances including Briana Perez ('06) placing fifth in the shot put with a throw of 35-3.75.  Her throwing partner, Erin Conway ('06), finished ninth in the event with a toss of 33-5.25, a PR by over eleven inches.  In the high jump, senior Kim Bannat placed sixth with a leap of 5-0.  Her classmate, Liz LeMasters placed seventh with a PR jump of 4-10.  Freshman Emily Carollo continued her fine debut season with a fourth place showing in the 400m, running a time of 60.66.  She also finished seventh in the 200m dash in a time of 27.02.  Jeremy Scheid ('07) placed fourth in the 3200m run with a time of 9:47.25, while Tara Downing ('07) finished seventh in the 55m dash in 7.79.  Finally, Rachel Posthumus ('06) finished tenth in the 400m in a time of 62.70.  Carollo and Posthumus will also compete with Alex Bush and Carolyn Bieganousky ('07) in the 4 x 400m relay.


The Freshmen and Sophomores return to action on Sunday, February 5, 10:00 AM in the NJCTC Frosh/Soph Championships at the Jersey City Armory, while the Varsity will next compete at the Varsity Classic on Monday, February 6th, 5:00 PM at the Armory Track & Field Center in NYC.


Pope John Results


Boys Complete Results


Girls Complete Results


Daily Record Article


Star-Ledger Article



Freshman Triumphant at NJCTC Frosh/Soph Championships


JERSEY CITY ARMORY (February 5, 2006) - It was a great day to be a freshman - especially if you were wearing Pope John Blue and White.  With the Frosh girls scoring an unbelievable 119 points and the boys scoring 50, the youngsters put on a dominant display against  the rest of the NJCTC.  The girls in particular were awesome.  Every freshman girl scored, a first in PJ track history, and there were multiple winners and multiple placers.  The boys, though not as overpowering, displayed tremendous guts and tenacity as they clawed their way to the team championship.  The Sophomore girls and boys likewise competed hard, with a third place and sixth place team finish to show for their efforts.


Standing (L to R) Kasey Homa, Ciara Van Ness, Sarah Cariati, Jason Frandi, Ryan Ehrhardt, Clayton Trainor, Jenny Heigis, Matt Bourlier, Frank Belardo, Tom Golsch, Nick Marino, J.P. Cox.

Kneeling (L to R) Tim Paziora, Chris Gaus, Rickey Lencsak

Sitting (L to R) Sarah Bieganousky, Emily Corollo, Lauren Hurley


With all of the freshman girls scoring points, every team member deserves accolades.  Accordingly, all of the girls and boys are listed in the following table starting with the multiple event winners, then multiple event placers, followed by the remainder of the freshman girls.


Name Event(s) and Place
Frosh Girls
Emily Corrollo 55m (1st); 300m (1st); 4 x 400 (1st)*
Jenny Heigis 1600m (1st); 3200m (1st)
Sara Bieganousky 600m (1st); 55m HH (3rd); HJ (5th)
Sarah Cariati 1000m (2nd); 3200m (4th); 4 x 400 (1st)*
Kasey Homa 600m (3rd); 4 x 400 (1st)*
Lauren Hurley 55m (3rd); 4 x 400m (1st)*
Ciara Van Ness 1600m (2nd); 3200m (2nd)
Sylvia Okoye Shot Put (2nd)
April Conway Shot Put (4th)
Soph Girls
Casey Keller 1600m (1st); 3200m (1st)
Deanna Jimenez Shot Put (1st)
Frosh Boys
Ryan Ehrhardt 1000m (2nd); 600m (4th); 4 x 400 (3rd)
Tim Paziora 3200m (1st); 1600m (2nd)
Frank Belardo 600m (5th); 4 x 400 (3rd)
Jason Frandi 300m (6th); 4 x 400 (3rd)
Ricky Lencsak High Jump (5th)
J.P. Cox 4 x 400m (3rd)
Soph Boys
Jon Juleus 1600m (2nd); 3200m (2nd)
Nick Beese 1600m (4th); 3200m (4th)



Pope John Results


Complete Results


LaMastro Runs U.S. #1 800m; Girls DMR U.S. # 11 at Varsity Classic

ARMORY T & F CENTER, NYC (February 6, 2006) - Senior Anthony LaMastro has accomplished something no other Pope John track athlete has ever done - holding the number one time in the nation in two events.  On January 14th at the Armory in the Molloy-Stanner Games, Anthony ran 2:30.1 in the 1000m event establishing his first U.S. #1 time.  Tonight, in one of the most exciting races that any PJ coach has ever witnessed, LaMastro got his second national premiere mark going 1:54.1 in the Varsity Classic 800m, besting fellow NJ runners Mike Pachella of Wallkill Valley and Craig Forys of Colts Neck.  The fact that LaMastro won the race is not surprising.  The fact that he ran the 800 less then thirty minutes after splitting 3:06.5 for the 1200m leg of the Boys distance medley relay is simply astounding.  Obviously, LaMastro's fitness level is outstanding.

Anthony LaMastro Alex Bush

The other nationally ranked performance of the meet belongs to the girls DMR team.  The relay started off very well with Lauren Bariexca ('07) going 3:43.2 on the 1200m leg.   Her baton pass to Rachel Posthumus ('06) was flawless, allowing "Giggles" to get out clean.  She ran her 400m leg in 60.1.  The 800m leg turned out to be outstanding as Alex Bush ('07) ran a sizzling 2:21.2, establishing a new PJ school record in that event.  This was a huge breakout race for Alex, who has been on the cusp of record-breaking performances during the past few meets.  She has to feel good as she approaches her goal of running 2:20.0 before she gets into the spring season.  The final 1600m leg was run by Lara Heigis ('07) in 5:15.2, an indoor PR for this elite runner, who was running her first race in close to two months after sitting out to rest for the first few weeks of the indoor season.  The DMR team's combined time of 12:20.0 was good enough to be the eleventh fastest time in the nation and to establish a new PJ record in that event.

Rachel Posthumus Katherine Ozmeral

The last notable performance of the evening was turned in by Katherine Ozmeral ('07) who set a new junior class record in the triple jump with a leap of 29-1.  This is a portent of great things to come as this was "Oz's" first triple jump competition.

The varsity team will next compete at the NJCTC Varsity Championships on Friday, February 10, 4:30 PM at the Jersey City Armory.

Pope John Results

Complete Results


Girls Dominate NJCTC Championships - Score 117 Points in Decisive Fashion

Boys Score 20.33 Points to Finish Eighth


    JERSEY CITY ARMORY (February 10, 2006) - In the most dominant display by any team in NJCTC history, the Pope John girls dismantled the rest of the NJ Catholic Track Conference on their way to scoring a meet record 117 team points.  Along the way new school records were set in the 55m dash (Tara Downing '07, 7.2); 300m dash (Emily Carollo '09, 41.7); 1000m run (Lauren Bariexca '07, 3:01.9); 55m High Hurdles (Carolyn Bieganousky '07, 8.7); and the High Jump (Kim Bannat '06, 5-2).  Senior class records in the 55m High Hurdles were set by Noelle Marra '06 (9.1), and in the 300m dash by Rachel Posthumus '06 (43.0).


Front Row (L to R) - Liz LeMasters, Alessandra LaMastro, Liz So, Rachel Posthumus, Noelle Marra, Brynn Merritt, Ciara Van Ness, Briana Perez, Haley Lencsak.

Second Row (Crouching or Kneeling) - Caitlyn Lees, Kasey Homa, Lauren Hurley, Emily Carollo, Kelsey Murphy, Lauren Bariexca, Erin Conway, Patricia Higgins.

Third Row (Standing) - Jenny Heigis, Sarah Bieganousky, Tara Downing, Carolyn Bieganousky, Caitlin Meehan, Lara Heigis, Amy Sapol, Alex Bush, Casey Keller, Katherine Ozmeral, Jennifer Dean, Sarah Cariati

    In order to score 117 points, there had to be many placements.  The table below summarizes them.

Name Event (Placement and Time/Distance in Parentheses)
Kim Bannat HJ (1st - 5'2")
Lauren Bariexca 1000m (1st - 3:01.90); 4 x 400 (1st - 1:02.0, 4:07.6)
Carolyn Bieganousky 55m HH (4th - 8.80)
Sarah Bieganousky 600m (5th - 1:44.80); 4 x 400 (1st - 1:01.1, 4:07.6)
Alex Bush 600m (3rd - 1:44.10); 4 x 800 (1st - 2:35.1, 10:23.20)
Sarah Cariati 4 x 400 F/S (2nd - 1:06.6, 4:29.50)
Emily Carollo 300m (1st - 41.80); 55m (3rd - 7.30)
Erin Conway Shot Put (4th - 32' 11.5")
Tara Downing 55m (2nd - 7.20); 4 x 400 (1st - 1:02.4, 4:07.6)
Jenny Heigis 3200m (3rd - 12:30.00; 4 x 800 (1st - 2:35.6, 10:23.20)
Lauren Hurley 4 x 400 F/S (2nd - 1:08.1, 4:29.50)
Casey Keller 3200m (2nd - 12:27.80; 4 x 800 (1st - 2:35.1, 10:23.20)
Caitlin Lees 4 x 400 F/S (2nd - 1:09.3, 4:29.50)
Brynn Merritt 1600m (2nd - 5:32.10)
Kelsey Murphy 4 x 800 (1st - 2:37.4, 10:23.20)
Briana Perez Shot Put (3rd - 36' 1.25")
Rachel Posthumus 300m (3rd - 43.10); 600m (4th - 1:44.30); 4 x 400 (1st - 1:02.1, 4:07.6)
Ciara Vanness 4 x 400 F/S (2nd - 1:05.5, 4:29.50)

    Although the boys were somewhat disappointed by their eighth place finish, they had some outstanding performances:

Name Event (Placement and Time/Distance in Parentheses)
Dan Allen 55m (2nd - 6.40); 300m (4th - 36.70)
Frank Belardo 4 x 400 F/S (1st - 56.9, 3:53.50)
Josh D'Anna 4 x 800 (4th - 2:19.0, 8:48.50)
Ryan Ehrhardt 4 x 800 (4th - 2:10.5, 8:48.50); 4 x 400 F/S (1st - 51.0, 3:53.50)
Jason Frandi 4 x 400 F/S (1st - 58.5, 3:53.50)
Jon Juleus 4 x 800 (4th - 2:11.5, 8:48.50)
Robert Lennon 4 x 800 (4th - 2:07.5, 8:48.50)
Kevin McCormick 4 x 400 F/S (1st - 1:01., 3:53.50)
Tom Roy 1000m (3rd - 2:38.60)

    The NJSIAA Meet of Champions will be the next stop for the Lions that qualified to compete in those games.  They are Anthony LaMastro '06, Group 2 800 and 1600 meter two-time champion, who will probably compete in just the 1600m event; Lauren Bariexca '07, Group 2 1600 meter champion; Jeremy Scheid '07, in the 3200m event; Briana Perez '06 in the Shot Put; Tom Roy '07 in the 1600m run; and Emily Carollo '09 in the 400m event.  The girls 4 x 400 relay team The MOC will be held at Princeton University, Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2:00 PM.

Pope John Results

Girls Complete Results

Boys Complete Results


Successful Weekend at Hall of Fame Classic and Meet of Champions

National Qualifiers and School Records Abound


ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER and PRINCETON UNIVERSITY (February 18 & 19, 2006) - The very busy track week continued this past weekend as the Lions traveled first to NYC on Saturday the 18th for the Coca-Cola Hall of Fame Classic at the Armory, followed the next day by the NJSIAA Star-Ledger Indoor Meet of Champions at Princeton University.  Both meets had their share of highlights, with several outstanding performances by both the boys and girls.


    With the Meet of Champions being rescheduled from the previous Sunday because of the blizzard, Coach Corcoran thought long and hard about which of the MOC qualifiers would participate in the Hall of Fame Classic.  Ultimately he left the decision to the individual athletes, all of whom decided that skipping that meet was out of the question - they had to compete to secure national qualifying times for the relay teams.  Great decision!  Four relays qualified for the nationals, the boys 4 x 800 along with the girls 4 x 200, 4 x 400, and 4 x 800.  Juniors Tom Roy, Jeremy Scheid, and Matt Pezzulo joined with senior Anthony LaMastro to run a PJ record 7:58.6, while the girls set new PJ records in their three relays.


Brynn Merritt leads the Girls' 4 x 800 Rachel Posthumus and Sarah Bieganousky execute the hand-off in the 4 x 400


    Tara Downing ('07), Rachel Posthumus ('06), Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), and Emily Carrollo ('09) ran a sizzling 1:45.4 to get the girls their first national qualifying time and school record in the 4 x 200 relay.  Carrollo, Posthumus, and Carolyn Bieganousky then teamed up with Carolyn's little sister, Sarah Bieganousky ('09) in the 4 x 400.  Their time of 4:00.8, aside from setting a school record, demonstrates that the first sub-4 minute girls 4 x 4 is in the offing.  What a tremendous accomplishment that would be for the sprinters - one that Coach Corcoran is confident will happen at the Easterns on February 28th.  But, as many people often say, "Pope John is a distance school", and the girls 4 x 800 relay was out to prove that statement correct.  Lauren Bariexca ('07), Brynn Merritt ('06), Alex Bush ('07), and Lara Heigis ('07) completed the 3200 meters in 9:28.6 to be on their way to the National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC) in March.  To put the accomplishments of this year's girls' team in perspective, every relay record has been broken, set, then re-set this indoor season, with the exception of the 4 x 1 mile relay, a distance that the team has not run this winter.


Jeremy Scheid runs his 800 leg at the Hall of Fame Classic on Saturday Anthony LaMastro in the Meet of Champions 1600m on Sunday


    Individual athletes also set new PJ records.  Emily Carrollo broke her own 200m school record running a time of 25.4; Lauren Bariexca lowered her school record time in the 800m to 2:18.1; Katherine Ozmeral set a junior class record in the triple jump with a leap of 30-2; and Jason Frandi established a new freshman class record in the TJ with a jump of 34-0.


    The NJ Meet of Champions, always controversial for many reasons (see Ed Grant's article on that subject), was held at 8:00 AM on the morning following the Hall of Fame meet, far from ideal conditions for determining state champions.  Nonetheless, the Lions acquitted themselves well.  Anthony LaMastro finished second in the 1600m event in a time of 4:23.4, to attain the first PJ placement of the day.  The other placement belonged to the girls' 4 x 400 relay team.  On the slow Princeton track, Emily Carollo, Alex Bush, Carolyn Bieganousky, and Rachel Posthumus finished in sixth place in a time of 4:06.5.


    Both teams will return to action on February 28th at the Eastern States Championships on the fast Armory T & F Center track.


Pope John Results


Hall of Fame Classic Top 6 Results


Hall of Fame Classic Extra Results


NJ Meet of Champions Boys Results


NJ Meet of Champions Girls Results



Notable Performances Highlight Successful Eastern States

Briana Perez,  Alex Bush, and Lara Heigis Put-Up Record Setting Numbers


ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER, NYC (February 28, 2006) - It was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and the party atmosphere was palpably in the air at the Armory tonight, sans masks and costumes.  The Eastern States Championships is, after all, a venerable meet - dating back to the early 1930s, and for about two decades, serving as the de facto indoor national championships.  No wonder then that the athletes and coaches love to participate in this last qualifying meet prior to the National Scholastic Indoor Championships.


The first field event of the evening was the girls shot put competition.  This year PJ had two outstanding individuals representing the Lions in an incredibly deep field that included six of the eight 40' throwers in the tri-state area.  Both Erin Conway ('06) and Briana Perez ('06) were experiencing solid indoor seasons, and this meet would give them an additional opportunity to throw far on their way into the spring season.  Erin was the first to throw and she had a very respectable three throw series out of the first flight.  Her throw of 32-11, though not her PR, was good enough to take second place in the flight.  Briana was in the second flight, and though no words were outwardly spoken, Briana and the coaches knew that this night was important for her.  Perez had been stuck on her season high throw of 36-5.5 for close to six weeks, and in the most recent meets her results were deteriorating.  Forget all about that!  In what was without doubt her premiere performance of the indoor season, Briana just attacked the pit and the competition - putting three quality throws culminating in her flight winning, PR, and senior class record throw of 37-0.  The throw was also good enough for 10th place overall in the competition.  And truth be told, everyone in the arena knew that she has more in the tank now that the 37' psychological barrier has been knocked down.  What a great way to set-up nationals!


Alex Bush is cheered on by Lauren Bariesxca during the Girls DMR Briana Perez Lara Heigis


A second outstanding performance came in the girls Distance Medley Relay.  Placing sixth in a school record time of 12:17.1, Lauren Bariexca ('07), Noelle Marra ('06), Alex Bush ('07), and Lara Heigis ('07), assured themselves of a top seed at the Nationals.  Alex's split of 2:17.9 on her 800m leg set a new school record and put Alex back on the list as the school record holder.  It seems that Alex and Lauren are destined to be swapping this record for the foreseeable future as both girls have consistently lowered their times.  Alex has also distinguished herself as a top middle distance runner who has now proven that she can compete with the elite 800 runners.  In the same race, Lara Heigis lowered her 1600m school record to 5:13.3, and is starting to demonstrate that she is rounding back into shape after a brief recovery period.


Meanwhile, Sarah Bieganousky ('09) continues to re-write the freshman class record book.  She now adds the 800m freshman record (2:23.7) to her frosh records in the 600m, triple jump and high jump.  She is also a member of two school record relay teams in the 4 x 400 and shuttle hurdles.  Along with her classmate, Emily Carollo ('09), they now share between them class records in an astounding 17 of the 21 indoor events.  Carollo holds the frosh records in the 55m, 200m, 300, 400m, long jump, and is part of the school record holding 4 x 200, 4 x 400, and sprint medley relay teams.


Pope John Results


Boys Complete Results


Girls Complete Results


Eastern States Photo Gallery



NSIC Preview: Lions Poised For Placements


POPE JOHN HS, SPARTA, NJ (March 4, 2006) - With the National Scholastic Indoor Championships less then a week away, it's time to assess the Lions' chances for placements at this most prestigious of meets.  The good news is that based on the latest Dyestat Elite Performances list, our boys and girls are in great shape to earn a top six placement and All-American honors.


Beginning with the boys, the Distance Medley Relay team of Tom Roy ('07) on the 1200m leg, Dan Allen ('06) on the 400m leg, Matt Pezzulo ('07) on the 800m leg, and Anthony LaMastro ('06) on the anchor 1600m leg, are currently ranked tenth (10th) in the nation with a time of 10:28.0 recorded last week at the Eastern States Championships.  Current U.S. #6, Chaminade of NY, has a time of 10:22.1.  The 4 x 800 team of Roy, LaMastro, Pezzulo, and Clay Smith ('07) has the U.S. #12 time of 7:58.82, 5.1 seconds behind U.S. #6 North Penn. 


Individually, senior Captain Anthony LaMastro is ranked #25 in the 600m; #5 in the 1000m; and #4 in the 800m.  At the NSIC he will run both the DMR and 4 x 800 relays, along with an individual event yet to be determined.  Dan Allen will also compete as an individual in the pole vault and Jeremy Scheid ('07) will be running in the 5000m event.



On the girls side, the DMR team of Lauren Bariexca ('07) 1200m, Rachel Posthumus ('06) 400m, Alex Bush ('07) 800m, and Lara Heigis ('07) hold the U.S. #11 time of 12:17.02 also recorded at the Eastern States Championships.  The current U.S. #6 time of 12:04.75 is held by Bay Shore of NY.  The 4 x 800 team of Bariexca, Bush, Heigis and Brynn Merritt ('06) currently are U.S. #19 with a time of 9:28.85., but with Heigis and Merritt just rounding back into shape after a respite to recover from injury, it isn't impossible for the team to achieve and surpass the 9:19.26 time held by Ward-Melville of Long Island, NY.


In addition, the girls 4 x 400 team of Posthumus, Emily Carrollo ('09), Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), and sister Sarah Bieganousky ('09) hold the U.S. #39 time of 4:00.08; while the 4 x 200 team of Posthumus, Carrollo, C. Bieganousky, and Tara Downing ('07) are currently ranked at U.S. #45 with a time of 1:45.4.  The Bieganousky sisters will also be competing in the shuttle hurdles with teammates Noelle Marra ('06), and Emily Smith ('07), and Carolyn will be running either a 200m or 400m leg in the Sprint Medley Relay with Downing, Carrollo, and Merritt.  Finally, the distance runners, Casey Keller ('08), Jenny Heigis ('09), Kelsey Murphy ('07), and Liz So ('06) will compete in the 4 x 1 mile relay.


Individually, Briana Perez ('06) will compete in the shot put event.  She has had her best throws of the season recently, and with her competitiveness, a placement is not out of the question.  Kim Bannat ('06) will also attempt to make some noise in the high jump competition.


NSIC Schedule



NSIC Day One a Qualified Success


ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER, NYC (March 10, 2006) - The Pope John boys and girls eagerly anticipated the National Scholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships, and when the meet arrived today, excitement was at an all time high.  An honest evaluation of the day as a whole would be that the team learned a little about itself, and experienced qualified success.  Though no PJ All-Americans were crowned today, several athletes  and relay teams had outstanding performances.


The first relay of the day was the Girls 55m Shuttle Hurdles.  Before even stepping onto the track, the team of Noelle Marra ('06), Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), Emily Smith ('07), and Sarah Bieganousky ('09) made PJ history as the first Shuttle Hurdles team to even qualify for this national event.  Their performance did not disappoint, and was a portent of great things to come from our hurdlers.  Their 11th place finish in a  time of 36.96 was a tremendous accomplishment.  Kudos to all of the girls, especially to the Bieganousky sisters who both set records.  Carolyn broke her own school record running the 55 HH in 8.5, while Sarah established a new freshman class record with a time of 8.9 seconds.


"Lil B" (Sarah) and sister "Biggie" (Carolyn) Emily Smith attacks the next hurdle
Lil B brings it home The numbers tell the story


In the shot put circle, Briana Perez ('06) also had the day of her throwing life, putting the shot 11.48 meters, 37-7.75 feet, to place twenty-first in this field loaded with outstanding throwers.  Briana's throw was her PR, extends her senior class record, and keeps her on track to achieve her goals of throwing 40 feet outdoors and qualifying for the outdoor nationals.


Both the Boys and Girls Distance Medley Relays were tremendous races.  Unfortunately, both teams just missed All-American honors - the boys just one place out in seventh (10:22.94), while the girls placed eighth in a new PJ record of 12:09.25.  Both of these races featured performances by seniors that are noteworthy, to say the least.  First, Anthony LaMastro ('06), split 4:12.6 on the anchor 1600m leg to take the boys team from 13th position to seventh.  LaMastro's split establishes a new school record in the boys 1600m. Clay Smith ('07) also ran a nice 800m leg, setting a new PR of 2:03.2.


Equally impressive was the 400m leg run by Rachel Posthumus ('06) for the girls DMR.  After receiving the baton from Lauren Bariexca ('07) who ran a 3:41.3 opening 1200m leg, "Gig's" split of 59.7 pulled the girls from seventh position into fith place.   Alex Bush ('07) followed with a split of 2:20.9 on the 800 leg, maintaining fifth position.  From there Lara Heigis ('07) ran a gutsy 1600m anchor, splitting in a new PJ record time of 5:07.3.


Another school record was set in the Girls Sprint Medley Relay, where Tara Downing ('07) led off and ran a junior class record time of 26.3 for her 200 leg, Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), Emily Carrollo ('09), and Brynn Merritt ('06) combined to run 4:16.99, good enough for 16th place in a race that featured four of the five fastest times ever run in the nation in this event.  The highlight of this race again belonged to the senior member of the team.  Running the anchor 800m leg with the lead, Brynn Merritt held off at least six serious challenges in the first 400 meters, then simply gapped the field to finish ahead by ten meters to win their section.


The championships continue tomorrow with Lions, Dan Allen ('06) competing in the pole vault trials and the Girls competing in the 4 x 1 mile relay.


Complete Day One Results



NSIC Day Two in the Books


ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER, NYC (March 11, 2006) - Saturday at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships was a light day for the Lions with entries in only two events - the Boys Pole Vault Trials and the Girls 4 x 1 mile relay.


Unfortunately, Dan Allen ('06) did not make a height in the pole vault and accordingly will not compete in the pole vault finals tomorrow.  Fortunately, the news was better for the Girls 4 x 1 mile relay team of Casey Keller ('08), Jenny Heigis ('09), Kelsey Murphy ('07), and Liz So ('06).  The team placed a respectable fourteenth in a field of twenty-nine teams, running a  time of 22:28.34.  Similarly, the Girls 4 x 200m team of Tara Downing ('07), Carolyn Bieganousky ('07), Emily Carollo ('09), and Rachel Posthumus ('06) placed twenty-fifth in a time of 1:46.64.


Tomorrow will be a different story.  The Lions will be competing in a myriad of events during the day, featuring Anthony LaMastro ('06) in the 800m run.  Currently, Anthony holds the #4 time in the country in this event, and he is on a collision course with Mike Pachella of Wallkill Valley, current U.S. #1.  On thing will be for sure, the race will be fast.


Complete Day Two Results



Girls 4 x 800 and LaMastro Garner All-American Honors to Highlight NSIC Day Three


ARMORY TRACK & FIELD CENTER, NYC (March 12, 2006) - Displaying incredible guts and tenacity, the Girls 4 x 800m relay team finished fourth at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships today, earning Lauren Bariexca ('06), Brynn Merritt ('06), Alex Bush ('07), and Lara Heigis ('07) All-American honors.  These four young ladies have become the first female All-Americans in Pope John history in any sport.  Anthony LaMastro ('06) joined the girls as an All-American when he finished sixth in the one mile run, marking the third year in a row that he has garnered All-American honors.


Alex Bush, Lauren Bariexca, Brynn Merritt, and Lara Heigis celebrating their All-American honors. Anthony LaMastro (far right) receives his medal and All-American honors at the NSIC


    LaMastro also competed in the 800m run and just missed earning his second All-American designation in that event, finishing seventh in 1:55.48.   Bariexca also ran in the girls 800m, finishing thirtieth in 2:19.99.  This was following her opening leg in the 4 x 800 where she ran a school record 2:17.1.  It must be noted that Lauren's record marks the fifth time this season that the 800m record was broken.  At various times during the season the record was held by Bariexca, Alex Bush, and Lara Heigis, each of whom has run in the 2:17s.  Also in the 4 x 800m race, Heigis broke her own 1600m school record by running 5:07.3 on the anchor leg.


    All told this was the most successful indoor season for any PJ team.  More records were broken, established, then re-broken, than any other time in school history.


Complete Day Three Results


NSIC Photo Gallery