Championship season in New Jersey track and field is beginning to pick up steam as the local scene moves to the Shore Conference Championships (9 a.m. Saturday, Neptune High School). Below, we present five things to watch at the one-day meet on the boys side.
1. Charlie Volker vs. Marvin Morgan in the 100: The Rumson-Fair Haven senior and Neptune sophomore have already squared off twice at the Long Branch Relays and last week at the Monmouth County Championships. Volker, a Princeton football recruit, took both meetings, but Morgan isn’t that far off. Volker won the Monmouth County title with a state-leading 10.80, with Morgan running a state No. 2 10.85 for the silver. It is still very early, but these two have emerged as serious threats at NJSIAA Meet of Champions next month. Saturday’s showdown will be the last head-to-head meeting between the two until that MOC 100 on June 3. Neptune’s Tyrell Jackson and Matawan’s Greg Edwards both ran 10.98 at Monmouth County.
2. Can Greg Edwards run sub-22 in the 200 again?: The Matawan senior opened some eyes last week at Monmouth County when he became the first Shore Conference boy this season to crack 22.0 in the 200, running a Shore Conference No. 1 and New Jersey No. 3 21.89 for the win. Rain is in the forecast and a one-day meet may stop coaches from overloading athletes on Saturday, but this race shapes up as a potential showdown between Edwards and CBA’s Mike Zupko, who was second last week at Monmouth County in 22.03. Volker and Morgan may also be factors after going 22.08 and 22.11, respectively, at Monmouth County.
3. Andrew Liskowitz vs. Luke Grodeska in the shot put: Grodeska, a St. Rose junior and the reigning MOC winner indoors, did not throw at Monmouth County, so Liskowitz stole the show. A CBA senior, Liskowitz threw a personal best 59-10 for the win, which surpassed his previous best by over one foot. Grodeska is out over 59-0 twice this season, throwing 59-4.5 for eighth at the Penn Relays and a season best 59-7.5 for the win at Nike Henderson Invitational last month. Grodeska’s personal best is 61-3.5, which he used to win the MOC in February.
4. 15-foot pole vaulters are fun, and the Shore Conference has one: Say hello to Matt Isaccson. The Matawan senior cleared a personal best 15-1 last week for the win at Monmouth County, making him the only vaulter in the state to clear 15-0 this spring. No other Shore Conference vaulter has gotten beyond 13-6, which Toms River North’s Kyle Holtz used to win Ocean County last week. Isaacson was the Monmouth County, Shore Conference, Central Group II and Group II champion indoors before finishing second on jumps (14-6) at the MOC to JFK-Iselin senior Joseph Ergi.
5. What will Kevin Mazzella do for an encore?: The Shore Regional senior and Monmouth University recruit was the standout of the Monmouth County meet thanks to coming from behind to win the 800 in 1:55.14, while running down the CBA duo of Blaise Ferro and Drake Anzano to do it. Mazzella negative-split the bell lap in 56.34 to complete the comeback. Mazzella could be joined in the 800 on Saturday by Anzano, Ferro, Freehold Township senior Jason Czajkowski (1:57.22 at Monmouth County) and Ocean County Champion Ryan Rafferty of Jackson Memorial, who ran 1:57.62.
Staff writer Josh Newman: firstname.lastname@example.org