By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI Kenya’s Simon Wangui breaks the ribbon in 23:20, winning Saturday’s George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank. The weather was warm. The food was plentiful. The field was large. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” served as the starting song. And, yes, the Kenyans won again. Most importantly was that a good time was had by just about all at Saturday’s George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank. Throughout the route, which also runs through Little Silver and Fair Haven, local residents lined the streets to cheer the more than 3,200 runners on. Much of this area was hit hard by the Aug. 2 thunderstorms and although cleaned up, debris and branches were still evident. “This area suffered a lot of damage from the storm,” Race Director Bob Rosa said. “The unsung heroes of the 2002 race are the administrators and public works people of these three towns. They did a remarkable job of getting the course in shape. We couldn’t have the race without their support.” Residents were rewarded with a course-record performance by women’s winner Edna Kiplagat, who easily outdistanced the pack and crossed the finish line on Broad Street in 26:24. Catherine N’dereba, the 2000 winner, had previously held the women’s course record. Edna Kiplagat of Kenya is congratulated by Tom Resch after winning the women’s portion of Saturday’s George Sheehan Classic in a course record time of 26:24. Simon Wangui was the men’s winner with a time of 23:22, three seconds ahead of fellow Kenyan David Njuguna. Of the local runners, twins Katy and Amanda Trotter of Red Bank Regional High School both finished with times of 31:11 to finish 11th and 12th, respectively, as Katy crossed the line just slightly ahead of her sister, and Kathleen Clifton, the track coach at Middletown High School South ran the course in 32:49, good for 16th place. In all, 2,221 competitors finished the race, including me with an official time of 36:43, my best showing in years. That was (let me brag a bit) good for 317th place overall and 269th among the men, and 44th in my age group, which I won’t mention. The key to this showing was my getting three hours of sleep on a red-eye flight from San Diego to Newark the morning of the race. Red Bank’s Nat Glackin, a former standout at Christian Brothers Academy in Middletown, clocks his 19th-place finish. One of the best parts of the race for us recreational runners comes at the 2.25-mile mark, on the section of the course that takes competitors out and back along Harding Road. It’s also the 4-mile mark on the way back, allowing us to get a glimpse of the leaders as they head toward the dreaded Tower Hill and on to the finish line. The other best parts are, of course, crossing the finish line, and then heading for the mounds of food in Marine Park. It’s also great to see the army of smiling volunteers handling everything from registration, to working the course, to handing out T-shirts (and everything in between). Obviously, the race could not be held without them. Of the runners who started the race, more than 400 were walk-up registrations on Saturday morning. Another 350 signed up Friday evening. “We rely on post-registration, and we’ve done as much as 17 percent of the field that way,” Rosa said. “That’s one of the great things about the race: runners can decide to run the morning of the event.” Bob McCarren and his daughter Diane prepare for the start of Saturday’s Sheehan Classic, alongside David Lowell. This year, race organizers encouraged runners to register online, and from my own experience that seemed to go smoothly. All runners were issued chips to record their times from the moment they crossed the starting line to the finish line. In addition, race results are available online at sheehanclassic.org. Cynthia Polakivic shows the medal she received in to her 10-month-old son, Frank.
Few local baseball teams earn postseason nods BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Keyport’s Adam Nelson fires a pitch to the plate during a recent game with Shore Regional in West Long Branch. The Keyport High School baseball team remained in contention for an NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I playoff berth until a 4-2 loss to Middletown North eliminated them, but several young players have distinguished themselves, making for a bright future for the Red Raiders. Sophomore Kevin Boyce and freshmen Adam Nelson and Craig Yungcofski have all pitched well this season. Boyce and Nelson each have a pair of wins to their credit, and Yungcofski, pitching mostly in relief, also has a win. Keyport is 7-12 overall, and is coming off a stretch of eight games in 10 days. The Red Raiders have lost three straight and have two contests remaining. “We’d like to finish strong because we’ve been struggling a little bit after Middletown North eliminated us,” coach Bob Devlin said. Hitting has been a strong suit all season. Heading into the final two games, senior catcher Pat DeNardo and junior third baseman Nick Johnson are both flirting with .500 averages. Both have played well defensively, and DeNardo’s arm discourages opposition base runners. In addition, Jay Vitiello is now batting .470 and Kenny Yeglinski, a junior, is hitting .450. Vitiello has been a mainstay on the hill as well, compiling a 2-2 record. Devlin noted that sophomore shortstop Sean Malloy is having a solid campaign, and that several members of the district’s highly regarded eighth-grade team could possibly end up on the Red Raiders varsity next spring. “Our younger guys gained a lot of experience this year, and that will help them and the team in the future,” Devlin said. Diamond notes… Teams hoping to play well into the postseason can start to think about where to begin, as the deadlines for both the state tournament and the Shore Conference Tournament passed last weekend. Of the local baseball teams, only CBA, Matawan and Raritan are postseason-bound, as all of the remaining teams fell short of the .500 mark by Saturday’s deadline. It was a different story for local softball teams; five teams qualified for both the state and conference tourneys, led by St. John Vianney, who at 19-0 should be the top seed in both the Parochial A South tourney and the SCT. Middletown North (11-4) and Matawan (11-6) should also expect relatively high seeds in their respective tournaments after putting together solid regular seasons. Mater Dei got in via its 7-4 mark, while Keyport barreled its way into the postseason by winning four in a row, including its last eight at home. The Red Raiders have quietly put together a stellar season and have established themselves as the B Central division’s next-best team, behind Shore Regional and St. Rose. Keyport could be a team to watch in the upcoming state tournament, as they have been gathering steam over the last few weeks. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer Few local baseball teams earnpostseason nods
BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer Shore’s top basketball players top off tomorrow night BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer JEFF GRANIT staff CBA’s Derek Becker hopes to lead the Shore Conference North All-Stars to victory tomorrow night during the annual senior all-star game at FreeholdTownship. It turns out that Freehold Township’s marvelous quartet – Eddie Fischer, T.J. LaFalce, Marcus Roberson and Roger Wilmot – did not play their last home game after all. When the Pats beat Trenton Central in the Central Jersey Group III semifinals earlier this month, it was an emotional game for the seniors; it was the final home game of their careers. However, all four will be back on the Freehold Township hardwood tomorrow night as teammates again, playing for the North squad in the Shore Coaches Senior All-Star Game. This annual end-of-the-season game pits the best seniors from the North and South divisions in the Shore Conference against each other. In cases like the Patriots, it’s one last chance to play together; for others, it’s an opportunity to finally play on the same side as their rival, as in the case of St. John Vianney’s Alisa Apo, Rumson-Fair Haven’s Paige Armstrong and Red Bank Catholic’s Jenna Strich, whose teams battled for Shore Conference supremacy throughout the season. The evening will start with the girls game at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 8. The boys’ North team has not only the Patriot quartet that led Freehold Township to the Shore Conference Tournament championship and the top ranking in the Shore, but Red Bank Regional’s Kyle Fitzgerald, named by the Shore Coaches as the Player of the Year (he averaged a double-double for the Bucs, 19.5 points and 10.3 rebounds a game). Rounding out the squad are: Brandon Cohen, Monmouth Regional; Jason Goldheimer, Manalapan; Will Atkinson, Raritan; Derek Becker, Christian Brothers Academy; Mike Spinelli, St. John Vianney; Brian Baker, Colts Neck; Matt Holly, Middletown North; Gary Knoeppel, Shore Regional; Justin Schwartz, Christian Brothers Academy; Casey Peters, Red Bank Regional; Eric Johannesen, St. John Vianney; and Matt Kelly, Holmdel. Brian Golub, of Freehold Township, who was named Coach of the Year by the Shore coaches, heads the North’s coaching staff. Rich Sherman of Shore and T.O. Brunson of Monmouth Regional will join him on the bench. Lakewood’s retiring head coach John Richardson will get to draw up the X’s and O’s one more time as the legendary Piner player and coach tops the South coaching squad that includes John MacIntosh of Toms River South and Brick Township’s Joe Lewis. Eric Lenahan of Point Pleasant Beach, who led the conference in scoring (23.6), heads up the South squad. Joining him are: Paul Batrony, Monsignor Donovan; Brett Behrens, Southern Regional; Eric Franklin, Lakewood; Sean MacIntosh, Toms River South; Rob Urie, Toms River East ; Charles Kelly, Toms River North; Daykwayn Morris, Manchester; Colin Pryzbrylowski, Brick Memorial; John Romero, Asbury Park; Mike Gawronski, Brick Memorial; Sean Hughes, Point Pleasant Boro; Sean McAndrew, Lacey Township; F.J. Lucchetti, Brick Township; Corey Lee, Manasquan; and Anthony Ranaudo, St. Rose. Apo, who was the girls’ Player of the Year, Armstrong and Strich lead the North girls’ All-Star team. Their teammates are: Shareese Richardson, Neptune, Sabrina Kemp, Keyport; Caitlin Shaw, Monmouth Regional; Latasha Jackson, Neptune; Brittney Powell, Monmouth Regional; Avery Gardner, Long Branch; Alyssa Mayrose, Freehold Borough; Erin Donahue, Howell; Christina Longo, Middletown South; Cyialece Davis, Neptune; Shealynn Taggart, Middletown South; and Victoria Webber, Ocean Township. The North coaches are Tom Brennan, Middletown South; Joe Montano, Red Bank Catholic; and Audra Corson, Monmouth Regional. Jackson’s Justine Stevenson, who led the Shore in rebounding (12.7 a game) and averaged a double-double for the Jags (17 ppg), and Manchester’s Alexis Valmon, Ocean County’s top scorer (19 ppg), are the South leaders. Also named to the squad by the coaches are: Pauline Robinson, Point Pleasant Beach; Lori Lidlow, Toms River North; Kristen Haycook, Point Pleasant Boro; Lauren Crehan, St. Rose; Tamara Copes, Jackson; Krissi Wolf, Toms River East; Ryan McGrath, Manasquan; Cherrika Minnigan, Manchester; Olivia Tromm, Southern; Lesley Macchiaverna, Toms River East; Kiki Mayweather, Manchester; Amanda Altman, Toms River South; and Robin Meyers, Pinelands. Rachel Goodale of Jackson is joined on the coaching bench by Sweeney McKennan of Manchester and Sean Henry of Point Boro.
Jersey Blues win streak ends at 11 BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer The 2007 Brookdale Community College women’s softball season can be summed up as one of lost opportunities. Despite winning the Garden State Athletic Conference and earning the No. 1 seed for the Region XIX championship, the Blues were never very consistent when it came to hitting with runners in scoring position. They could score in bunches, or not at all, especially in low-scoring games when they couldn’t deliver the clutch hit. That inconsistency came back to bite them at the Region XIX Tournament (May 4-5) at Middlesex Community College. The Blues scored just one run in two games, and for the first time in 12 years are not going to the national championship. The Blues lost 3-1 to Sussex and 4-0 to Camden to be taken out of the double-elimination tournament early and see its 11-year run as the Region champion come to a close. “We just didn’t swing the bats well,” said head coach Bo Scannapieco, who was seeking his 13th overall Region title. “It was part of our problem all year. We didn’t get the big hit with runners on base in key situations. We were up and down there.” Pitching and defense, which had been areas of concern during the season, did not hurt the Blues, who finished the season at 34-13, in the tournament. Amy Bankos and Stephanie Reitzel both pitched outstanding games, and with any kind run support could have won easily their games. “It was very hard to explain,” Scannapieco said of his team’s offensive struggles. “We didn’t get the job done. You have to give credit to the other teams. They made the plays.” This was a young Brookdale team and that may also have caught up to them. “A lot of kids were inexperienced in big games,” said Scannapieco. “Midway through the second game, the kids were starting to press.” All streaks eventually come to an end, but that didn’t make it any easier for the Blues to accept that this was the year and team whose watch it ended on. “Solemn, silent, shock and disbelief it happened” was the mood of the players on the bus ride home, Scannapieco said. “We just got outplayed. “The effort was there – we just didn’t get the results,” he added. It was Gloucester, the team that has stood in Brookdale’s path so often during the streak, that won this year’s tournament and will represent the region at the national tournament in Rochester, Minn., tomorrow through Saturday. The biggest disappointment about the lost weekend in Middlesex for Scannapieco was the fact he won’t have his players with him at the national tournament when he is officially inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame. He had so wished to have his players with him to celebrate it. With the championship streak now over, Scannapieco said it has forced him into some self-analysis. “It’s time I did that and took a fresh approach,” he said. “It’s made me recruit harder. I have to upgrade the talent. There are going to be significant changes.” Center fielder Allyson Melia (Toms River North) led the Jersey Blues who picked up postseason honors. The leadoff hitter was named the Region Player of the Year, batting .376 and playing a flawless center field. She will be an All-American candidate. Joining her on the Region First Team were Reitzel (Life Center Academy), Jenna Criscuolo (Middletown North) and Sky Rubel (Ocean Township). Danielle Smith (Neptune) was Second Team. Melia, Rubel and Criscuolo were First-Team All-GSAC with Amy Bankos (Monsignor Donovan) and Booy Erbig (Brick Township) Second Team selections.
Middletown High School South’s Marc Krivitzky (r) and Ocean Township High School’s Fabio Diaz (l) try to win the ball during the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals match played in Ocean. The Eagles defeated the Spartans in a shootout, 12-11, after the teams were tied through regulation and two overtime periods. On Nov. 15, Middletown South fell to third-seeded Princeton High School, 2-1, in the semifinals. JEFF GRANIT staff
The Monmouth County Park System is keeping two of its golf courses open for play this winter — Bel-Aire Golf Course in Wall and Charleston Springs Golf Course in Millstone. Golfers will be able to tee off on Bel-Aire’s 18-hole course starting Jan. 1 and on Charleston Springs’ South Course starting Jan. 2. Other county courses may open before the official start of the 2013 golf season if conditions permit.The cost for a round of winter golf at Bel-Aire is $20 for adults ($15 matinee rates starting at 1 p.m.), $14 for seniors (age 65 and over), and $13 for juniors (age 20 and under).Charleston Springs Golf Course will use its 2012 matinee rates. Applicable cart fees will be charged. Weather permitting, courses are open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both reserved tee times and walk-on play will be available. The tee time reservation system is available to those with golf cards. Golfers looking to purchase a golf card may do so at both courses. All cards will be sold at 2012 rates until 2013 rates are established.To learn more about Park System winter golf, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711.The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.
The Cougar Basketball Camp at Colts Neck High School will be held in two sessions: Read and React, June 30 through July 3 from 9 a.m. to noon for ages 11-14 (cost is $125) and July 14-18 for ages 7-14 ($190 cost). There is a discount price of $300 for those attending both sessions.The primary emphasis of the camp, under the direction of Colts Neck head boys basketball coach Lou Piccola, is on the development of fundamental skills through group and individual instruction and game experience. Those goals will be accomplished through group lectures, small group drills and fundamental stations. All campers are grouped according to age, physical maturing, previous experience and overall ability.The staff will include high school coaches and players under Piccola’s direction.The Read and React Clinic is to give individuals a better understanding on how to play against a defender through a series of drills that will include offensive movements like cutting, screening, pick-and-roll offense, moving without the ball and individual breakdown of beating the defender to the basket.There will also be an emphasis on ball handling and shooting, with sessions each day to help improve a player’s speed and agility.For applications, contact Piccola at 732-577-9625. Rutgers University is offering free Rutgers football tickets through the Junior Knights Club. Membership is free and is open to children 12 and under. Benefits include free tickets to the football home opener against Howard University, tickets to the men’s basketball home opener, additional discounts for select games, a Junior Knights Club card and free access to some Rutgers wrestling, lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics and women’s basketball games.For more information, contact Rutgers Athletics Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or visit www.scarletknights.com/marketing/ jrknights.asp.
By Andreas VouOmonia must win to progress to the Europa League third-round when they host Jagiellonia Bialystok on Thursday night, while Apollon’s 4-0 first leg win over FK Trakai means that a less troubling evening awaits the Limassol club. After a hard-fought 0-0 draw in Poland last week, Omonia now need a win, or rely on the lottery of a penalty shootout should the tie remain goalless after 120 minutes, to progress to the next round. Costas Kaiafas’ men rode their luck at times in the first leg and had their 20-year-old goalkeeper Constantinos Panayi to thank for keeping the score level with two excellent saves in stoppage time of either half.The backline did its job last week and Omonia will now require the services of forwards Cillian Sheridan and Andre Schembri, who both rose to the occasion when needed in the second leg of the previous round in Cyprus against Dinamo Batumi, to help secure a place in the third round where either Beroe or Brondby await. Jagiellonia forward Patryk Tuszynski understands that his side are in for a real test and rued some of the missed opportunities of the first encounter: “We performed very well in the first game and it was a shame that we couldn’t score seeing as we made chances.”A sold-out crowd is expected at the GSP and Tuszynski is aware that they will be up against a 12th man due to Omonia’s overwhelming support.“We watched some videos of Omonia’s home games and the atmosphere is really nice. The fans are very passionate and the stands are always full.” Apollon’s sizeable lead from the first leg has afforded manager Pedro Emanuel the luxury of resting two of his star players with just another seven days between Thursday’s match and a likely third-round first leg.Fotis Papoulis has started this campaign with a bang, netting twice in the three qualifiers and so the Portuguese manager has left the Greek hitman back in Cyprus to avoid any risk of injury. Nuno Lopes, who has provided two assists in the last two European matches, will also remain on the island for precautionary reasons.Club captain Giorgos Merkis insists his side will respect the opponent despite the four-goal margin, saying: “We secured a large score in Cyprus but we will remain serious.”He also added that he feels a different air about his side this season and believes that this campaign could hold something special for Apollon, both at home and abroad.“I see some things that I didn’t see in previous years. We will be better than last season. Apollon can go far this season, not with words but with action. In Europe, we can pursue our passage to the group stages and aim high in the league.”Omonia begin their mission at 7pm in front of a packed GSP crowd while Apollon’s game in Lithuania kicks off one hour later.
Spain became the first nation to have five teams in the Champions League group stage in a single season after Valencia squeezed past Monaco 4-3 on aggregate in the playoff round despite a 2-1 defeat at the French side on Tuesday.Valencia joined holders Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who gained an automatic berth as last season’s winners of the second-tier Europa League.On a night of pulsating action, Malmo, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Shakhtar Donetsk also booked money-spinning group stage spots in Europe’s premier club competition.Swedish title holders Malmo advanced for a second successive season after Markus Rosenberg and a Dedryck Boyata own goal gave them a 2-0 home win over Celtic which a overturned a 3-2 first leg deficit.Croatians Dinamo qualified for the third time in the past five seasons, beating Skenderbeu 4-1 at home to complete a 6-2 overall victory over the Albanians.A nervy 2-2 home draw with Rapid Vienna saw Shakhtar through after a 1-0 win in the first leg while Maccabi edged out Basel on away goals, a 1-1 home draw being just enough following last week’s 2-2 tie in Switzerland.The top match of Wednesday’s action features Manchester United’s visit to Bruges, where the three-time winners will defend a 3-1 first leg advantage over the Belgians.
By Justin PalmerSLICK Ireland put an underwhelming warm-up campaign firmly behind them by crushing Canada 50-7 in their Rugby World Cup Pool D opener at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.The Six Nations champions, recently ranked second in the world behind New Zealand and looking to go beyond the quarter-finals for the first time, were out of sight after scoring four first-half tries.Ireland took full advantage of Canada skipper Jamie Cudmore’s yellow card, with Sean O’Brien, Iain Henderson and Johnny Sexton crossing and Dave Kearney added a fourth score to make it 29-0 at the break.Canada stemmed the tide for a while in the second half when Ireland captain Paul O’Connell was sin-binned, but normal service resumed when Sean Cronin barged over for another Irish try.Canada wing DTH Van Der Merwe grabbed a consolation try, but the Irish added two more through Rob Kearney and Jared Payne.In the day’s early game, Georgia, inspired by captain Mamuka Gorgodze, held off a desperate second-half surge by Tonga to secure a surprise 17-10 win over the Pacific Islanders in their Rugby World Cup Pool C opener.Gorgodze, the number eight nicknamed ‘Gorgodzilla’ for his mighty bulk, was named man of the match after leading by example in a tense and bone-crunching encounter.“I have big emotions, I think all national team of Georgia were man of the match, it is not only me,” he said after Georgia’s delighted players had sealed only their third-ever World Cup victory and wrapped themselves in the national flag.