A rain delayed day two of the Ocean County Championships finally played out on Monday afternoon and saw Toms River South’s Molly Applegate capture her first Ocean County Championship in outdoor competition.
The senior recorded a time of 2:19.44 in the 800-meter run and paced a talented pack of mid-distance runners that included Southern’s Melana Hammel (2:19.61), Alexa Squirini of Toms River East (2:19.76), teammate Chelsea Smith (2:20.19), and Lacey’s most decorated Lion Danielle Leavitt (2:20.60).
“I tend to have mixed emotions coming into a race,” explained Applegate. “The last few years there’s been such a healthy field of competition for distance, and I’m always thankful to have such good competitors because they push me to do my best, and I push them to do their best as well. It’s always exciting to see which of us comes out on top.”
Though she did earn an indoor Ocean County title this past winter, the closest this William & Mary-bound athlete had come to an outdoor crown was a second-place finish in the 1,600 event in 2012. Though little has changed about her cool and collected demeanor, Applegate does credit her looming graduation to the recent bolstering of her competitive edge, which proved to be the difference on Monday.
“Because it’s my senior year, I’m running every race with the intention of leaving it all out on the track. I never want to look back on this year with resignations about how I could’ve done more or done something better. This is it. There is no next year.”
Applegate’s performance helped the Raiders earn a third place showing with 62 total team points behind Toms River North’s 98 and Southern’s 125. With the Ocean Counties behind her, Applegate now shifts her focus to future championship events and, after her most recent performance, is eager to see what the following weeks will hold.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself after this race. My last few races there have been some regrets, or thoughts that I could have done something more or better. I did everything I set out to do today and I came out on top.
“This result is going to help me in the future to be a little more gutsy, to do what I think is right instead second guessing my plan and being a wimp.”
Southern’s Day two title run was fronted by Carly Dellavalle and Brianna Angellella’s individual 10-point efforts.
Dellavalle cut through the wind and reached a distance of 106-6 with her title winning javelin throw, a toss that was less than a foot away from her personal best of 107-4, which was reached on April 27 at The Lion Invitational.
Agellella ran to a personal-best time of 25.63 in the 200 meter dash, surpassing her previous best of 26.54, which was set this past winter. Angellella’s 200 championship was her second individual title of the championship meet, as she also earned first place in the high jump on Thursday with mark of 5-2.
Point Boro’s Dakota Karras leapt to a title winning mark of 37-03.25, a new personal best and her second championship of the weekend, as the junior’s long jump mark of 18-2 was also good enough for first place.
Barnegat’s Brianna Young was crowned champion of the shot put after her throw of 39-01, while Toms River North’s Tifani Byrd won the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.44.