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Aug 01, 2022

Area Track and Field Athletes Wrap Up Successful Spring Season

By Tim Morris

Colts Neck’s Kylie Jacoutot found a new event this spring, the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, and has quickly become one of the state’s best.

When the outdoor track and field season began back in April, you wouldn’t have seen Kylie Jacoutot’s name on any form chart for the girls’ 400-meter intermediate hurdles. There was a good reason for that. The Colts Neck High School sprinter/hurdler had never competed in the event. However, by season’s end, Jacoutot’s name was all over the charts at or near the top as one of the breakout stars of 2022.

The Cougar junior proved a natural for one of the sport’s most grueling events. She won the NJSIAA Group III state championship and went on to finish third at the season-ending Meet of Champions.

“I was very happy with it,” said Jacoutot. “It was good that I could get better with each race. [The 400 hurdles] is a tough event. It took a while to get it down.”

Once she did, however, school records and personal bests followed with each race as she went undefeated up to the MOC.

The Cougar’s fastest time for the 400 hurdles was 1:02.62, which ranked as the fourth fastest in the state for 2022 and one of the 25 quickest in the country.

The MOC loss, Jacoutot said, was a lesson learned and motivation for 2023.

“I was getting comfortable,” she remarked. “I was having so much success. I needed a bad race.”

The Cougar is really looking forward to what she can do next spring now that she has a full season under her belt.

Red Bank Catholic’s Cate DeSousa was all over the pre-season form charts as one of the state’s best distance runners. She backed it up, winning the Non-Public A state 1,600-meter title and finishing second at the MOC. The Casey junior ran a personal best 4:49.91, finishing second to Freehold Township’s Emma Zawatski (4:48.88). 

With the graduation of Colts Neck’s Lilly Shapiro, DeSousa and Zawatski will battle it out all next year for distance running supremacy as they will go head-to-head throughout the county and conference meets as well as the MOC in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

You can add Middletown South’s Rosemary Shea to the distance running mix as well. The Eagle sophomore clocked 10:53.53, taking third in the 3,200. 

Rumson-Fair Haven’s Clemmie Lilley, the Group III state champion in the 400, took sixth (57.85). The freshman is one of the state’s emerging sprint talents with a bright future.

For the boys, Christian Brothers Academy junior Nicholas Sullivan took fourth in the 1,600 (4:21.44).

In the field, CBA throwers medaled in all three events. Robert Manse III was sixth in the shot put (59-6 ¼), Tyler Mayerhoff placed fifth in the discus (186-4) and Jack Ryan was fourth in the javelin (171-7)

Area teams also came up big in the MOC relays.

Rumson-Fair Haven sprinters Kate Hennen, Cassedy Stypul, Megan Burns and Cholee Dotts were fourth in the 4×100 (50.06).

In the 4×400, both RFH and Middletown South teams medaled. 

It was Ryan Malone, Burns, Dotts and Lilley taking fifth (4:03.67) and South’s team of Yolanda Torres, Jennifer Schuster, Chess Campanale and Abigail Michaelson placing seventh (4:04.09).

CBA and Middletown North scored in the boys’ 4×800. Lucas Ward, Zach Shroba, John Holovach and Sean Lawson posted a time of 8:15.92 to place seventh for CBA just ahead of the Lions’ quartet of Connor Kinch, Jack Rothermund, Jorge Rivera and Aaron Guensch in eighth (8:17.55).

The Lions’ sprinters left their mark in the 4×400, taking eighth (3:29.23). Christian Sanford, Guensch, Rivera and Jack Chenoweth made up the team.

The Lions’ success in the relays, which requires depth, was what helped North win the Central Jersey Group III championship.