GIRLS TRACK COACH OF THE YEAR: Ken Oliver, Monsignor Donovan

GIRLS TRACK COACH OF THE YEAR: Ken Oliver, Monsignor Donovan

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GIRLS TRACK COACH OF THE YEAR: Ken Oliver, Monsignor Donovan

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Way back in the frigid months of the winter season, the Monsignor Donovan girls track and field program had a single weekend circled on its schedule, and a sensation of anticipation mounting around it.

May 24th and 25th marked the spring Non-Public A sectional meet, a championship event coach Ken Oliver and his Griffins had won the past two seasons, and a meet which, for the first time in history, would held on Monsignor Donovan’s home turf.

“There was excitement having it at home,” explained Oliver, the 2013 Coach of the Year who also earned the honor in 2011, “but there was also some added pressure.”

“Heading into the event I felt like it would be us, Red Bank Catholic, and Notre Dame challenging for the title, and that’s how the points ended up working out in the end. To have it play out like that at home was exciting for the girls, but as much incentive as there was to win, there was also pressure being a favorite at home.”

If there was an additional burden felt, the Griffins failed to feel its weight, earning 132 team points to Red Bank Catholic’s second place mark of 95 and Notre Dame’s 92.

In a similar fashion to that aforementioned 2011 Monsignor Donovan team, which received a majority of its scoring from Pauline Dabrowski, Alexis Harrison, Jess Maguire and Carly Lebe, a new core of group of four competitors, led by another Dabrowski, Claudia, emerged.

The 2013 squad saw Katie Weeks, Marielle Nwana, Dana Carbone, and Claudia Dabrowski lead them on this sectional title run.

Claudia Dabrowski earned two individual titles with victories in the pole vault and triple jump, while Weeks won the long jump, shot put, and discus events, and Carbone captured a javelin crown.

“Three years ago we had a really strong core of girls who put up a lot of our points, and this past season we had a totally new group that performed in a similar fashion. And to have that for the second time in three years is pretty amazing.”

Amazing, but not completely unexpected, as Oliver boasts of his “exceptional coaching staff” that “does a wonderful job of developing the girls and helping them reach their full potential,” which is comprised of Monsignor Donovan track and field alumni including Chad Dougherty (throws), Jen Colona (jumps), Suzanne Oliver (hurdles and sprints), and Heather Carbone (distance).

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