COLUMBUS – Neither a poor start out of the blocks, nor running into a crosswind were conducive to Marvin Morgan winning a 100-meter NJSIAA Central Group III title on Friday afternoon.
In the end, the Neptune sophomore overcame both.
Running out of Lane 4 and into that crosswind at Northern Burlington High School, Morgan did not get out of the blocks well as New Brunswick’s Maurice French took early control. Morgan kept his form, made up the deficit and overpowered French over the final 40 meters for the win in 10.99
The sectional title is the first of Morgan’s career outdoors after he took home the CJ III 55 meters indoors on Feb. 8.
“I had to adjust, keep my head and power through with this wind,” said Morgan, who claimed the Shore Conference 100 last week after beating Rumson’s Charlie Volker for the first time in three tries this spring. “It’s all form. If your form breaks down, you start swaying around the track, so I just had to keep my head straight and keep moving.”
Morgan had the top time of the trials, clocking a 10.95 into that crosswind to set himself up in Lane 4 for the final.
“Pressure increases each meet, but you have to rise to the occasion.”
Volker, the Monmouth County 100-meter champion, took second in CJ II as he was nipped at the line by Ewing’s Eashwayne Haughton for the win in 10.95. Volker stayed up for second in 10.99.
A Princeton football recruit, Volker went into the day with the top mark in the state this spring, 10.80, which he used to win Monmouth County earlier this month.
In the CJ III girls 100, Neptune sophomore Phyllis Gordon took second, running 12.32 as Hamilton West’s Melissa Flim was the winner in 12.29. Gordon was coming off wins at Monmouth County and Shore Conference.
Shockwaves were sent through the statewide view of the girls pole vault when Matawan senior Nicole Macco no-heighted as she tried to navigate the wind on the far end of the track complex.
Macco cleared a personal best and state-leading 12-3 at the Monmouth County Relays on April 30. Clearances this month of 12-1 and 11-6 were enough to win Monmouth County and Shore Conference, respectively.
Macco is one of just only two girls in the state to clear 12-0 this spring, the other being Somerset County champion Julia Dannenbaum from Pingry.
Holmdel junior Keira Yonclas won the event with a clearance of 10-6. Yonclas was second to Macco earlier this month at Monmouth County.
Two-time Monmouth County 400 meter hurdles champion Jenna Reid cruised to the first sectional title of her career, taking Central Group III in a season-best 1:04.16.
Reid took control with about 250 meters to go and was never challenged over the final 100 as Lawrence’s Mijah Collier was second in 1:05.82.
In the CJ III 400 hurdles, Red Bank senior Sean Patterson ran into resistance for the first time this spring in the form of one of the state’s best in the event.
Patterson, this spring’s Monmouth County and Shore Conference champion, was in contention with about 150 meters to go, but the Hamilton North duo of senior Alex Borzelin and Boaz Madeus pulled away late to finish 1-2 in 54.35 and 54.38, respectively. Patterson was third in 55.93.
Patterson and Borzelin will go at it again next week at the Group III Championships, where the latter is the two-time defending champion. Borzelin finished eighth at the Meet of Champions as a sophomore and seventh as a junior.
Winners of four of the last seven CJ II team titles, the Matawan boys lead the team standings through eight events, 42-40, over Holmdel. The Huskies are expected to score big today in the pole vault, 200 and 4×100.
Staff writer Josh Newman: firstname.lastname@example.org