The 2009 Rebel Indoor Shot Put Series got off to record-setting start. Brick Township’s Lisa Stuto set a new meet record in the Senior Girls division with a heave of 39-7. Runner-up Shannon Watt of Jackson Memorial (39-5) also topped the old record 38-0 by Anna Di- Paolo of Howell. Third-place finisher Sandra Jean Romain of Old Bridge was not far off the old record with her 37-8½. Tilah Young of Barnegat won the Junior Girls competition with a throw of 32- 5. East Brunswick’s Corine Kominkiewiczz (31-6) and Franklin’s Diane Jones (30-4) were second and third. Franklin’s Nitosa Brooks won the Sophomore Girls competition at 32-6. Second was Diana Lawerence of Old Bridge (30-3) and third was Katie Brunner of Brick Township (29-7). Freshman winner was East Brunswick’s Connine Kominkiewicz (27- 5). Kayla Mazza of Raritan was second (27-0), and Metuchen’s Egypt Pringley- Mack was third (24-4). The best throw of the competition belonged to Old Bridge’s Jorge Merino who captured the Senior Boys competition with a 53-11¼ toss. A.J. Wondolowski (47- 11¼) and Alex Giglio of Jackson Liberty (45-3¾) were second and third. Adam Skidmore led a one-two Central Regional finish in the Junior Boys competition. Skidmore’s 49-2½ topped his teammate Matt Keifer’s 45-11¾. Third place went to Howell’s Sean Harvey (45-1½). Host Howell picked up a win in the Sophomore Boys competition with Eric Snyder edging Long Branch’s Doug Saffioti, 38-6 to 38-2. The Freshman Boys winner was Albie Labignara of Central Regional (34-1½). Jackson Memorial’s John Delaney (33- 11½) and Old Bridge’s Ramy Kased (32- 4) were place and show finishers. The Rebel Indoor Series continues tonight starting at 6:30 with sign-in at 6.
The Central Jersey Umpires Association seeks men and women who are certified umpires or interested in becoming certified umpires for baseball and softball. Prior knowledge of the game is necessary. Classes will be held in the cafeteria at Matawan Regional High School, 450 Atlantic Ave., Aberdeen, at 7 p.m. Wednesday nights beginning Feb. 16. Details: Bruce Tucker at 732-264-7131. Central Jersey Travel Baseball League is taking registrations from teams interested in playing in the 2011 spring season, beginning March 27 and concluding with the championship on Sunday, June 19. Games are usually scheduled for Sundays. Divisions are divided by strength and geographical location, with divisions for select teams, town all-star teams and town B teams. For more information, go to www.eteamz.com/cjb or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I t was only a matter of time before Christian Brothers Academy left its mark in the 4×800-relay. The event was first introduced to the NJSIAA Track and Field Outdoor Meet of Champions last year and in its second edition, the Colts set the meet record.The quartet of Conrad Lippert, Dan Mykityshyn, Tim Gorman and George Kelly, who won the Millrose Games back in January, added the MOC title to their conquests topping a loaded field with their 7:46.77 on June 9 at Lombardi Field in Old Bridge.The Colts brought three other teams under the record set by Freehold Township last year of 7:49.21.“We had a great race,” said anchor Kelly.Mykityshyn, the only senior in the group, pointed out the Colts executed their game plan perfectly.“We’ve used the same order all year,” noted Mykityshyn. “We all ran great. We couldn’t ask for more.”Lippert led it off for the Colts and after staying back for the first 600 meters moved the team up to the leaders in the last 200. His job, he said, was to “sit off the pace and chase.”Mykityshyn moved the Colts to the front on his leg passing the baton to Gorman, who opened up a huge lead on the penultimate leg.Gorman actually gave up the lead on the gmnews.com first lap.“I let him(WoodrowWilson runner) cut in front and I drifted off him,” said Gorman. “ I felt good on the second lap.”OnceGorman started his kick on the back straight, the lead seemed to increase with each stride.When he handed the baton to Kelly, the Colts were 30 meters clear of the field.“I was given such a huge lead,” said Kelly. “My goal was to go out fast (and extend lead). Jackson Liberty has a 1:53 guy (Ron Brown).”Kingsway (7:47.66) and Jackson Liberty (7:48.07) did close on Kelly in the final 100 meters, but, the race was never in doubt as these Colts managed to make history again by becoming CBA’s first 4×800 MOC champions.“It’s definitely great,” Mykityshyn said of setting the meet record and becoming CBA’s first winner of the race.Kelly had a very nice meet setting a personal best in the 1,600, 4:14.72, in finishing fourth.CBA’s focus is now on this weekend’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro today through Saturday. CBA won the indoor 4×1-Mile Relay National Championship and will be looking to duplicate that feat in North Carolina.The Colts Matt Pozo was sixth in the 110-meter hurdles (14.56) and Theo Foster was seventh in the 400 (48.80).Middletown South’s Christian Spaulding was fourth in the javelin (198-1) and Matawan’s Andre Hodge took seventh in the discus (170-9).Two Matawan athletes had to wait until Monday, June 13, to win their medals. A thunderstorm, complete with lightning, forced the postponement of the meet until Monday. The boys 3,200 final was in progress and had one lap remaining when officials pulled them off the track and told everyone to leave the stadiumThe Husky’s Dylan Spadaccini, the indoor MOC champion, was third outdoors clearing 14-6.In the long jump, Solomon Simkins was sixth (21- 11 ¼).Matawan’s Sara Isaacson vaulted her way to a medal in the girls pole vault finishing in a fourth place tie at 11-0. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer
By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Matawan Regional High School’s boys’ soccer team, which was one of the most dangerous scoring teams with its sheer team speed a year ago when it won its first Shore Conference A North Division title, has to find ways to get the ball in the back of the net these days if it wants to return to the Shore Conference and NJSIAA tournaments.Only three starters graduated, but fleetfooted Alex Cella, who has been scoring goals at Brookdale Community College, and Matt Isaacson, son of new head coach Tyler Isaacson and who is off to a college career in the pole vault for Monmouth University’s track and field team, carried much of the scoring load last season.This season, the Huskies have scored only seven goals in their last nine games and, at 4-5-3, need at least two wins in their next three games before this weekend’s cutoff. Matawan has scored two or more goals in a game only three times this season.Monmouth Regional High School dealt Matawan a setback in its tournament bids Oct. 9 when it pulled out a 1-0 victory on a goal about midway through the first half. Matawan had beaten Monmouth Regional, 4-1, amid a 3-0 start to the season, but it was only the third time the low-scoring Huskies have been shut out.“Goals have been hard to come by,” coach Isaacson said. “It’s a couple of things. We’ve had unlucky breaks, but that evens up over the season. And we’ve had a lot of opportunities, but it’s creating more opportunities in the box. Sometimes they tend to make the extra pass at times when they need to be selfish and take the shot.”The Huskies host Manasquan High School (7-5-1) Oct. 17. Manasquan defeated Matawan, 2-0, earlier in the season. The Huskies need a win to make the Shore Conference Tournament. A loss or tie would fall short of qualifying.“Making the Shore Conference Tournament is more difficult,” Isaacson said.The coach pointed out teams must be .500 or better by the cutoff, whereas the NJSIAA goes by power points. Isaacson said the Huskies had been seeded No. 10 out of 20 teams in the state bracket as of late last week. The top 16 teams reach the state tournament.“We’re in a real good position for states,” the coach said.Each of the tournaments presents a different type of challenge.“In the Shore Conference, you can be playing Group III and Group IV schools, and we’re a Group II,” Isaacson said. “In the states, you’re competing on a more level playing field against schools your size. This is a marathon where you want to be peaking at the right time and want everybody healthy at the end of the season.”Isaacson also feels assured if the Huskies make the Shore Conference Tournament. “I like our chances there to win a few games and give teams trouble and be competitive,” Isaacson said.Matawan hopes to have senior midfielder Brandon Dhume back at full strength from a strained back. Dhume leads the Huskies with five goals, matching his total from last season.Isaacson, who draws on a wealth of experience as a player that included a college career at Rutgers University and in various levels of coaching, came into this season realizing this team would fall back on its defense, playing only three defenders in a 3-5-2 configuration to stay competitive. Colin Thompson, one of only three seniors in the starting lineup, also is back in the nets.“We’ve allowed the least number of goals in our division with a core group [on defense] going back to last year. We haven’t given up many shots,” said Isaacson, who points to senior Amil Muminovic and juniors Kaleb Mehari and Tyler Chin on the back line.Chin headed in a cross for the goal in a 1-0 victory over Long Branch High School that Isaacson regards as the Huskies’ best victory so far.“Muminovic has done an outstanding job as an outside back anchoring our defense,” Isaacson said of the converted midfielder. “He’s really helped us solidify things there. He’s a hard worker who has played almost every minute.”With the lack of a big scoring punch, Isaacson relies on a possession game with five midfielders to get the ball to forwards John Vail, a junior, and Bob Johns, a sophomore. Along with Dhume and junior Jacob Labinger, the other three starters in the midfield are varsity newcomers: juniors Tyler Walling and Charlie Costello and sophomore Griffin Heyward.“We’re young, but many of the guys played a lot of minutes last year,” Isaacson said.Junior midfielders Liam Nappi and Anthony Quattrocchi and sophomore defender Matthew Weisburg have rotated into the Huskies’ lineup for significant minutes on the pitch.
By Alan BaldwinThe prospect of seeing Sebastian Vettel beaten for the first time since last July is just one of the many novelties Sunday’s season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix promises to deliver.Just how much trouble Vettel’s Red Bull team might be in is one of the questions waiting for an answer as the sport’s unpredictable new turbo era whooshes into action at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.The quadruple world champion won the last nine races of 2013 but the 26-year-old German spent much of his time during the pre-season tests in Spain and Bahrain watching the car being worked on in the garage.Red Bull are braced for a reality check as they and partners Renault work against the clock to fix the troublesome 1.6 litre V6 hybrid turbo engine and its complicated new energy recovery systems.Rivals Mercedes, under new leadership following the departure of Ross Brawn, have been racking up the laps with far less hassle.“Mercedes have got a bit of a march on people. They invested more, they invested earlier. They’ve got themselves into a good position,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told reporters.“If Mercedes were to finish two laps ahead of the opposition in Melbourne, that wouldn’t be a surprise, based on what we’ve seen in pre-season testing. It’s massive.“From what we can see at the moment, all the Mercedes powered teams are in pretty decent shape and we’re not.“We’re on the back foot, and have a lot of ground to catch up,” added the Briton, who now has Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the lineup following compatriot Mark Webber’s retirement.Horner’s words may be a part of the pre-season mind games, repositioning Red Bull as underdogs but Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have sounded quietly confident about a car that is sleeker than many of its ‘ugly’ new-look rivals.“With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that’s been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we’re capable of,” said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion with McLaren.“I feel like I’m equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can’t wait to get started,” added the Briton, whose win in Hungary last July was the last by anyone other than Vettel.Ferrari will be hoping to challenge with their new lineup of champions following the return of Finland’s 2007 title winner Kimi Raikkonen – triumphant in Melbourne for Lotus last year – to partner Fernando Alonso.The cars will sound different without the old V8 engines and will also be far less reliable at first, with any repairs likely to take far longer due to the complexity of the power units.How many cars will start from the grid, let alone finish the race now that fuel economy is a big factor, is another uncertainty. Some insiders have predicted that Sunday evening could see less than half the field reach the chequered flag.In 1996, when Melbourne first hosted the grand prix, only 11 cars made it to the finish in a race won by Britain’s Damon Hill in a Williams.That team had a nightmare season last year, the former champions taking only a meagre five points and finishing ninth overall, but they are more optimistic now they have switched Renault power for Mercedes.Brazilian Felipe Massa, who has joined Williams from Ferrari, lapped faster than anyone in Bahrain testing and was able to put in plenty of laps.“The new car we have is really well built, good quality… it is very reliable and not slow either so it’s going to be an exciting season,” Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas told Reuters.“Like I’ve kept saying for a couple of years now, I really think the future of Williams is going to be good and hopefully this can be a step forward from other years.”McLaren, starting their last season with Mercedes before the switch to Honda, are also looking for a strong start after failing to step on the podium at all last year and ousting principal Martin Whitmarsh.Jenson Button, who spoke movingly last week of how much he will miss his father in the first race since his death in January, has an exciting new team mate in 21-year-old Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.“We’re not the quickest,” said the 2009 champion, who has won in Australia three times in the last five years. “We’re looking at Q3 (qualifying in the top 10) and then a very good points finish at the end, if we can get to the end.”
By Julian LindenWith 17 grand slam titles under his belt, Roger Federer has made a habit of smashing barriers and passing milestones but even he was moved by his latest achievement.On Sunday, he chalked up another watershed, registering his 1,000 ATP career match win by beating Milos Raonic6-4 6-7(2) 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International.Only Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl had achieved the feat before and Federer was clearly moved.“It feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won, because I never thought about anything, reaching 500 or 800,” he told a news conference.“All those numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1.000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just counting to 1,000 is going to take a while.”The stars aligned themselves perfectly for Federer to reach the milestone. By sheer coincidence it came in a final in a country where the Swiss maestro has enjoyed some of his greatest triumphs.He received the tournament trophy from Roy Emerson, an Australian great who won 12 grand slam titles, and also a special framed photograph from Rod Laver, the only player to complete the calendar-year grand slam on two occasions.Raonic almost spoiled the party after coming back from losing the opening set and going down a service break in the second but the epic nature of the contest only added to Federer’s accomplishment.“Looking back, it’s almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a final,” Federer said.“It means so much more than just running away with it with the score maybe winning 6-4 6-4, which was looking very likely at one stage.”Federer said the win had boosted his confidence of adding to his tally of grand slam wins, which has been stuck on 17 since his last major win at Wimbledon 2012.At 33, he has no plans of retiring but conceded that the all-time record for ATP wins – which Connors holds at 1,253 – may be beyond him.“Never even thought about it,” he said. “It’s not been a goal of mine to reach any of those guys.“I know how well they’ve played over the years, how much they’ve played, and how successful they’ve played but it’s not a goal of mine in any way.“Clearly, at this point, I doubt that it’s going to happen, but you never know.”
By Ken FerrisSouthampton’s Senegal forward Sadio Mane scored the fastest Premier League hat-trick as he broke a 20-year-old record to help them lead 5-1 at home to Aston Villa by half-time on Saturday.His treble was timed at two minutes and 56 seconds breaking Robbie Fowler’s record of four minutes and 33 seconds against Arsenal on 28 August 1994.It also broke Scot Graham Leggat’s record for the quickest English top flight hat-trick scored in exactly three minutes for Fulham in a club record 10-1 win over Ipswich Town in 1963.Mane struck in the 13th, 14th and 16th minutes at St Mary’s, which is the earliest a player has scored three goals in a Premier League game, beating the 22 minutes registered by Dwight Yorke for Blackburn Rovers in 2003.Mane is the third Southampton player to score a Premier League hat-trick after James Beattie and Matt Le Tissier.Southampton striker Shane Long grabbed a double in the 26th and 38th minutes to put Southampton 5-0 ahead.Christian Benteke did pull a goal back in added time before the break prompting the travelling Villa fans to sing: “We’re going to win 6-5!”The fastest hat-trick in Football League history was scored in two minutes and 20 seconds by Bournemouth’s James Hayter against Wrexham in 2004 after he came on as a substitute with his team leading 3-0 and six minutes left.His parents missed his hat-trick as they had to leave early to get the last ferry back to the Isle of Wight.
By Brian HomewoodSeventeen matches, nearly ten months and eight countries after setting out, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk are tantalising close to reaching their first European final after a campaign which has been resourceful, even if not pretty.A goalless draw, or one-goal win, against Napoli in the second leg of their semi-final in Kiev on Thursday (10.05pm) will see the Ukrainians through to the Europa League final in Warsaw after a campaign which started against FC Copenhagen on July 31.Dnipro, who have never won the Ukrainian league but were twice winners of the old Soviet league, have overcome a limited budget and the disadvantage of staging home games in Kiev due to Dnipropetrovsk’s proximity to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.Although everyone loves an underdog, Dnipro’s pragmatic style, based on a defence built around Brazilian Douglas and ever-present goalkeeper Denys Boyko, means they are likely to have won grudging respect rather than joyful admiration.Their performance in last Thursday’s first leg was typical as they set out to frustrate Napoli, clung on grimly in the second half after falling behind and then snatched a late equaliser against the run of play.According to UEFA statistics, they have committed 226 fouls and suffered 214 in the competition, more than anyone else in both categories, and also top the yellow card charts with 45 received.They have mustered only 14 goals and have made a habit of muddling through ever since they began by losing 2-0 on aggregate to FC Copenhagen in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.That defeat allowed them to qualify for the Europa League playoff round where they beat Hajduk Split 2-1 on aggregate.After that, they snatched a second-placed finish in Group F by beating St Etienne 1-0 at home in their final game to leapfrog both the French side and Qarabag, having managed four goals and conceded five in their six matches.A sudden goal flurry saw them beat Olympiakos 4-2 on aggregate in the round of 32, before they beat Ajax on away goals and Club Bruges 1-0 on aggregate in the last eight.This under coach Myron Markevych, who briefly coached Ukraine in 2010 and has earned a reputation for attacking football during a lengthy stint at Metalist Kharkiv.On the other hand, Napoli, UEFA Cup winners in 1989, are the tournament’s top scorers and will be looking to repeat their impressive quarter-final win at VfL Wolfsburg.“It will be tough, it will be difficult but we are confident that if we create chances we will score goals,” said coach Rafael Benitez. “We won 4-1 against Wolfsburg away so I think we can do the same.”
Derlis Gonzalez slotted two penalties, one in regular time and again in the shootout, to help Paraguay beat Brazil 4-3 after a 1-1 draw on Saturday that advanced them to a Copa America semi-final against Argentina.It was the second tournament in succession that Paraguay have beaten Brazil on penalties at the quarter-final stage after 2011 when they went on the reach the final.The face Argentina on Tuesday for the second time in the tournament, having fought back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw in the teams’ opening group match.Gonzalez netted the decisive Paraguayan penalty with the fifth spot kick having scored his team’s equaliser during normal time.Robinho started and finished a fine move in the 15th minute to put Brazil ahead before Gonzalez equalised with 20 minutes to go when he converted a penalty after a hand ball by Thiago Silva.“Unfortunately, our game dropped in the second half,” said Robinho. “We had chances to kill the game off.“Paraguay with all respect aren’t one of the best sides. We didn’t kill the game and unfortunately we lost a goal with a silly mistake and we lost.”Brazil, who had won 12 of their previous 13 matches since Dunga took charge after last year’s World Cup, had more possession in the first half and weaved some good attacks but Paraguay were quick and dangerous on the break.Paraguay became more adventurous in the second half and winger Edgar Benitez soon won a free kick when he was brought down by Dani Alves, though goalkeeper Jefferson parried the ball away from Roque Santa Cruz’s attempt.With an hour gone, Jefferson made a diving reflex save from centre back Paulo Da Silva’s header and later made a similar save from Gonzalez in a counter-attack.Paraguay captain Justo Villar then had to make a scrambling save from a Philippe Coutinho shot as Brazil piled on late pressure.In the shootout, the writing was on the wall for Brazil from their second penalty which was put wide by Everton Ribeiro and another substitute, Douglas, missed their fourth to give Paraguay two penalties to settle the outcome.Santa Cruz then skied his penalty, Philippe Coutinho gave Brazil hope by netting his but Gonzalez made no mistake.
Sport’s highest tribunal on Thursday rejected Russia’s appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from the Rio Olympics starting in 15 days’ time, drawing swift and angry condemnation from Moscow.The decision by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increases the possibility that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will now exclude Russia from all sports, not just track and field, in Rio de Janeiro.That would mark the deepest crisis in the Olympic movement since the U.S. and Soviet boycotts of the 1980s, and would be a grave blow to a nation that prides itself on its status as a sporting superpower.“CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes,” CAS said in a statement that backed the right the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend the Russian athletics federation.The head of Russia’s delegation to the Rio Olympics said the decision was devoid of any logic, and double Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva called it “the funeral of athletics”.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “I certainly regret such a decision by CAS which refers to absolutely all of our athletes.”The ban was imposed last November by the IAAF after an independent report uncovered rampant state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics. It was maintained in June after the IAAF Council ruled that not enough progress had been made in transforming Russia’s anti-doping programme.Russia had argued it had taken steps to clean up the sport, and that the blanket ban was unfair to individual athletes with no record of doping.“The principle of collective responsibility is hardly acceptable,” Peskov said.Interfax news agency quoted Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko as saying Russian officials would consider what steps to take in the light of the court’s decision, and that things could not be left as they are.The ball is now in the court of the IOC to decide whether Russia should be excluded from all sports at the Rio Games, starting on Aug. 5.Pressure on the IOC to take such a step increased this week after another report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed evidence of systematic state-sponsored doping by Russian competitors before and during the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.The IOC’s executive committee met to discuss the issue on Tuesday and though it condemned the activities and started disciplinary proceedings against many of those involved, it postponed any announcement on potential blanket ban pending legal advice and the outcome of the CAS hearing.The IOC is expected to reach a final decision on Sunday.The IAAF said it was pleased that CAS had supported its stance.“While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti-doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.“I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.”