TR South's Marco excels in 1,600 race

TR South's Marco excels in 1,600 race

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TR South's Marco excels in 1,600 race

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OLD BRIDGE

Chris Marco learned his lesson when it comes to running high-level 1,600-meter races last week when Kingsway senior Tom Cooke stunned the field for the win in Group III.

The lesson is don’t fall asleep at the wheel because against a good field, it will cost you. Marco’s 65-second third lap was proof of that.

Monday’s NJSIAA Meet of Champions 1,600 was a very different story. With hard lessons learned at the hands of Cooke, Marco put it all together at Lombardi Field on the campus Carl Sandburg Middle School and registered one of the best distance wins the MOC has ever seen.

Marco went through 800 meters unofficially in 2:06.1, moved to the front with about 700 meters to go and then held off Mountain Lakes senior Stephen Lewandowski for the win in 4:07.31.

The Toms River South junior’s winning time is a personal best, an MOC and Ocean County record and the sixth fastest time in state history. On the season, Marco finishes 7-2 in championship races over 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

“I don’t what the split on that third lap was, but it was quick,” said Marco before learning he had gone 1:01 on that important third lap. “You go hard the third lap and everyone knows it’s anything and everything you got left and that was the plan.”

Lewandowski, who stayed up for second in 4:08.28, came charging with about 300 meters to go. Marco found another gear with about 125 meters to go to hold him off for the historic win. Christian Brothers Academy senior George Kelly was third in 4:09.29.

“The exact words going through my mind were ‘I’m not losing the Meet of Champions,’ ” Marco said. “I saw him coming up on my side around the (final) turn. The race was going to be fast, under 4:10 and that’s what I did.”

The 3,200 saw CBA junior and No. 11 seed Jack Boyle outkick Voorhees senior Harrison Brakewood over the final 100 meters for the win in a monster personal best of 9:08.28. Boyle is the first runner in the storied history of CBA track and field to win the MOC 3,200 since Colts legend John Coyle won it in 1988.

“Seeded 11th going into the race, I wasn’t expecting to win, Coach (Tom) Heath told us before the race that three in the top six was the goal as the team,” Boyle said. “Last week (at Non-Public A), I didn’t have the greatest kick in the world, this week I had a lot left and that helped dramatically.”

In the 100-meter final, it looked as if Ocean senior Mike Andre would shock many onlookers and steal the race from pre-race favorite Fabian Santiago. Andre led the race by a slight margin, but Santiago took control over the final 30 meters for the win in 10.59. Andre took second in 10.74.

Andre came back for his signature event, the 400, but could only go 49.03 to finish seventh. CBA junior Theo Foster ran 48.37 to finish fourth. In the 200, Andre went 21.72 in a race Santiago won in 21.52.

The Georgetown recruit ran the 200 and 400 after tweaking his right hamstring during the 100 final.

“I knew it was going to bother me for the rest of the day, but I did the best I could,” Andre said. “Santiago was my motivation this year. I saw his times, he had a 10.54 and it was exciting coming here today to push each other. He’s a real nice guy, a very hard worker and I wish him the best next year.”

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