HOLMDEL DOMINATES DISTANCE EVENTS AT STATE SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS by Les Pierce

The dominance of Holmdel distance running was confirmed at the NJSIAA Group 2 CJ State Sectional Championships, as the Hornets won every distance race at the meet. 

Sophomore Marin Warner started the Holmdel streak when she captured the 1600 meter on day one of the venue.  Warner clocked in at 5:08.39 and was followed across the finish line by teammate Lennon Cooper, who was timed at 5:14.59.  Jacqueline Gottuso of Rumson–Fair Haven took the bronze. 

Warner came back on day two to take the gold in the 800 meter run. She stopped the watches at 2:18.12, with Kyrsten Gilmartin of Red Bank and Grace Nielsen of Manasquan in pursuit. 

Lennon Cooper earned another championship title for the Hornets by winning the gold at 3200 meters.  Cooper went to the front almost immediately and was pursued for the entire trek by a trio of Rumson–Fair Haven (RFH) runners.  She finished the race with a time of 11:17.94, comfortably ahead of RFH’s Jacqueline Gottuso by over 20 seconds.  Isabella Maita and Michaella Irvine, both of RFH, finished third and fourth, respectively.

In the boys’ competition, senior Jack Baisley emerged a double champion.  He captured the 1600 meter race in 4:23.71, with a final 400 meter surge after going stride for stride with Connor Clarke of Spotswood. Junior Daniel Barlev and sophomore Nick Demaio finished fourth and fifth for Holmdel, providing a glimpse into the future of Hornet distance running. 

Baisley found friendlier company in the 3200 meter event.  Baisley, Andrew Tsai, and Barlev formed a three-man team of Hornet runners that broke away from the competition and set the pace as a pack.  The trio finished in a 1-2-3 sweep for Holmdel, with Baisley taking the gold, followed by Tsai and Barlev.