2013-06-06 / Sports

RBC’s Napolitano kicks his way to Non-Public A 1,600 state title

BY TIM MORRIS
Staff Writer


Red Bank Regional High School’s Kyrsten Gilmartin (9) competes in the Group II 800-meter run at the NJSIAA Group Track and Field Championships held on June 1 at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield. Gilmartin qualified for the June 5 Meet of Champions back in South Plainfield by finishing sixth in the race. 
SCOTT FRIEDMAN Red Bank Regional High School’s Kyrsten Gilmartin (9) competes in the Group II 800-meter run at the NJSIAA Group Track and Field Championships held on June 1 at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield. Gilmartin qualified for the June 5 Meet of Champions back in South Plainfield by finishing sixth in the race. SCOTT FRIEDMAN Rob Napolitano used a withering kick in the final 300 meters to win the NJSIAA Non-Public A 1,600-meter run state title.

The Non-Public A championships were held from May 31 to June 1 at South Plainfield’s Frank Jost Field, which also hosted the Meet of Champions (MOC) on June 5.

The Columbia University-bound Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School senior was content to run near the front throughout the race, never letting anyone out of his sight. At the bell lap, a pack of eight runners was tightly bunched waiting to see who would make the first move.

It was Napolitano, and it was decisive. He unleashed his finishing kick on the backstretch and quickly opened daylight between himself and everyone else. Napolitano was in full flight at 200 to go, and it became a race for second.

The Caseys’ standout covered the last 400 meters in under 60 seconds and stopped the timer at 4:14.92. He led eight runners under 4:20.

At the MOC, Napolitano was looking for a bookend of MOC crowns. During the winter, he made his move from 600 meters out to win the indoor MOC 1,600.

Those who finished in the top six at the Group championships qualified for the MOC.

RBC’s 4x400 team of Kyle Bogert, Connor McNamara, Pelech Jake and Tommy Spernal was fifth (3:27.20).

Several girls got through to the MOC for the Caseys, led by their distance contingent.

MaryKate McNamara (5:15.14), Kassi Chrysanthopoulus (5:18.06) and Eryn Mills (5:21.21) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 1,600.

McNamara finished second in the 800 (2:17.01) and Mills was second in the 3,200 (11:43.61). Both are just sophomores.

Shane McNally, Megan Cronk, Julia Cangialosi and Gabriella Ferrigine were fifth in the 4x800 relay (9:48.76).

In the throwing events, Rachel Kershner (114-11) and Kate Davin (112-3) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the javelin. Davin also took sixth in the discus (90-5). In Group II, Red Bank Regional High School’s girls 4x800 team of Kyrsten Gilmartin, Margaret Kelly, Bridget Kelly and Lauren Sapone finished second behind Bernards High School, 9:30.54-9:40.42.

Gilmartin finished in sixth place in the 800 (2:18.62).

Jazz Van Loon placed third in the long jump (17-2 3/4). Megan Reardon was sixth in the javelin (123-9).

For the Red Bank Regional boys, sprinter Xavier Chestnut was sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.30) and ran on the 4x100 relay team with Colt Peter, Marcel Mewborn and Mario Williams that was sixth (44.0).

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Jason Bryan advanced in two events, finishing fourth in the shot put (54- 1 1/2) and discus (157-5).

Long Branch High School’s Shabazz Shuler was fourth in the triple jump (44-9 1/2).

The Green Wave’s Cleopatra Morrison was fifth in the girls 100 (12.54) and she ran on the 4x100 relay team that took fifth place (49.84). Joining her on the relay were Mariah Blanton, Justiss McKinney and Tanai Johnson.

Monmouth Regional High School’s Chloe Yelle punched her ticket to the MOC by securing a fifth-place finish in the discus (113-5).

The Group I championships were held at Egg Harbor Township. Shore Regional High School’s Mike Hurley was fifth in the 400 intermediate hurdles (57.43) and Kevin Mazzella finished sixth in the 800 (2:00.96). They both advanced to the MOC.

On May 24-25, the NJSIAA state sectionals were contested.

At the Central Jersey Group II meet at Monmouth Regional, Van Loon won the long jump (17-5 1/2), Yelle took the discus (107-11) and Red Bank Regional’s Sarena Dixon won the shot put (37-7 1/4). The Bucaneers’ 4x800 relay team of Gilmartin, Margaret Kelly, Bridget Kelly and Sapone won the sectional title in 10:04.44. At the Non-Public South Jersey A sectionals held at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River, Napolitano took first place in both the 800 (1:57.31) and 1,600 (4:29.47).

McNamara was also a double winner, taking the 800 (2:18.40) and 1,600 (5:18.90) for the Caseys. The 4x800 team of McNally, Cronk, Cangialosi and Ferrigine won in 9:55.95.

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