Alyssa Wilson spun around the shot put ring at Neptune High School and let the iron ball fly.
When , moments later, officials announced that it had landed exactly 51 feet, 1 1/2 inches away, the news was cheered by members of the small audience of fans, friends, family members and other competitors gathered Tuesday night for the third of four Shore Athletic Club-hosted All-Comers meets at the Neptune facility.
With that toss of the four-kilogram (8.8-pound) ball, the rising Donovan Catholic High School junior boosted her already soaring status in a number of directions.
The 51-1 1/2 was (a) the longest ever a Shore Conference girl track and field athlete; (b) the second longest ever by a New Jersey scholastic competitor, trailing only the 51-2 3/4 toss by Nickolette Dunbar of Whippany Park earlier in the year, and (c) moved her up to fourth in the nation for 2015, on a list headed by Sophia Rivera of Missouri (at 53-3 3/4) and Elena Bruckner of California (53-5 1/2), with Dunbar and Wilson now next in line.
Expect all kinds of list adjustments by this time next year with all four of them and six of the nation’s top 10 returning to action for the 2016 season.
Outstanding as she was during the traditional scholastic phase of the 2015 season — including a victory in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions discus throw — Wilson has been even better since then, with nationally-ranked performances in the discus and hammer throws, too, and starring roles in the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina and the USATF National Youth Trials and Chicagoland Throwers Invitational, both in Illinois.
The Chicagoland meet, staged by the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, paired top young throwers with members of the Olympic-level elite, and thus Wilson got to match skills with the nation’s best (each division using its respective-weight implements.)
Thus, Wilson won the Chicagoland shot put at 49-10 1/2, and placed third in the hammer (170-3) and fifth in the discus (145-2).
And she came home with a proud possession — a discus autographed by 2008 Olympic champion Stephanie Brown Trafton.
The men’s senior shot put at the Shore AC All-Comers meet went to Monmouth University graduate Jon Kalnas, the former IC4A champion and NCAA All-American, with a 56-11 toss of the 16-pound ball, in his first meet since the indoor season.
Kalnas now coaches many of the Shore area’s and the state’s best young throwers, helping to perpetuate New Jersey’s long-held role as a producer of top competitors.
The four-meet Shore AC All-Comers Series, staged in cooperation with the Neptune Township Board of Education, comes to a close at 6 p.m. next Tuesday. Among the special rewards awaiting top scorers in the series are trophies donated by Neptune’s own Ajee’ Wilson, the three-time National 800-meter champion now prepping for the IAAF World Outdoor Championships next month in Beijing.
Shore AC stars in national club championships
With gold-medal performances in 11 of the 44 events on the program, Shore AC’s athletes played many starring roles in the USATF National Club Championships staged July 11 at New York’s Icahn Stadium.
Shore AC members took seven firsts in rolling up 140 points to regain the men’s team title the club team had won previously in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
On the track, Shore AC’s winners were Emanuel Mayers (49.80 400 hurdles), Richard Luettchau (23:11.47 5000 racewalk) and the 4×800 relay team of Kevin Mazzella, Nicholas Reid, Charles Clark and Isaac Clark (7:46.25).
SAC men also won four of the eight field events, with Kristopher Kornegay-Gober and Justin Frick (7-2 1/2 high jump), James Plummer (193-10 discus), Barry Krammes (235-0 javelin) and Wilfredo DeJesus (191-2 hammer.) Errol Jeffrey added a second place in the shot put (57- 3 1/2) and a fourth in the discus (165-0).
In the USATF women’s National Club Championships, Shore AC placed third with 68 points and four gold medals. SAC’s Emmaline Berg (154-9) and Sylvia Galarza (150-1) placed 1-2 in the discus; Berg also won the shot put (49-6 1/2), and teammates Mariah Toussaint (5-8 3/4 high jump) and Megan Jamerson (13-1 1/2 pole vault) took golds, too.
Union Catholic’s McLaughlin is world champ
Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic High School added to her extensive portfolio of major honors with a meet-record 55.94 win in the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF Youth (17-Under) Championships staged in Cali, Colombia. Whippany Park’s Dunbar placed sixth in the shot put.
Earlier, McLaughlin had won the USA Youth National Trials in 55.28, second best time ever recorded by a U.S. high school runner.
The Jersey Shore Grand Prix of major road races rolls on with the Asbury Park 5K coming up on Aug. 8 and the Pier House 5K in Long Branch on Sept. 7.
The 52nd annual Takanassee Lake Races in Long Branch have passed their midway mark for the season and have sessions set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27 and August 3, 10 and 17. No pre-entries are ever needed.
Monmouth University grad Ford Palmer sped to a 3:39.90 1500 meters (3:57 mile pace) placing fourth in the Kortrijk, Belgium meet on July 11. Four days earlier, he’d clocked a personal-record 8:12.79 for 3000 meters in Cork, Ireland.