With Christian Brothers Academy’s harriers returning to dominance, look for the distance events to be a highlight of the indoor track and field season. Monmouth County has a number of other standouts as well which should make for a memorable year.
Joe Barrett and Nicholas Sullivan returned CBA to the top in cross country and are the two to watch indoors in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events. Sullivan, a senior, won the Shore Conference 3,200 under cover. He has a 4:19.67 personal best for the 1,600 and 9:16.61 for the 3,200. Barrett, just a sophomore, ran a 9:18.43 3,200 as a frosh. He’s coming off a cross country season in which he won the Non-Public A state title. Other Colts who will make their presence known this winter include Jack Falkowski (Jr.) and Lucas Ward (Sr.).
The Colts aren’t the only distance runners who will vying for medals and championships.
Middletown South’s Chris Shay can carry over the momentum from the fall to the indoor season. The senior won the Central Jersey Group III championship at Thompson Park. It was the biggest win of his career. Like Sullivan and Barrett, he is equally effective running either the 1,600 or 3,200.
Colts Neck junior Jacob McNamara and senior Leo Kurtz will be in the mix as well. They led the Cougars to the CJ III team championship and qualified individually for the MOC.
Red Bank Catholic’s Patrick Coyle qualified for the indoor MOC at the 1,600 in ’22 as a sophomore. After another solid cross country season, he comes back a stronger runner in 2022-23.
Versatile senior sprinters Alec Stillitano, of Middletown South, and Jack Chenoweth, of Middletown North, are back looking to add to their impressive resumes.
Stillitano has great range, running everything from the 55-meter dash indoors up to 400 meters. He was the Shore Conference champion in the 55-meter dash last winter and was fourth in the 200 at the MOC. His impressive personal bests include 10.98 for the 100, 21.80 for the 200 and 49.47 for the 400.
Chenoweth also has great range with his strength in the 400. He won the CJ III 400 championship last winter, improving his personal record to 51.25. Outdoors he lowered it to 50.14. He’ll be looking to crack 50 seconds. The Lion is also a fine 400 intermediate hurdler with a 57.50 personal best. He runs the lead-off leg on the 4×400 relay team. Unlike a lot of sprinters, Chenoweth runs cross country to build up his strength and stamina.
Kam Coleman is CBA’s Mr. Versatility. He’ll compete in the 55 dash, 55 hurdles and the 400 as well as the high jump and triple jump. The senior medaled at the indoor MOC in both the triple (fourth place) and 55 hurdles (eighth).
Rumson-Fair Haven has some of the most versatile track and field athletes in the area. Seniors Leonard Izzo and Gabe Stypul are two of the top returning pole vaulters. Izzo won the county championship last winter, and both vaulters qualified for the Group championships. Izzo improved from 12-6 indoors in ’22 to 13-6 outdoors. Stypul went from 11-0 under cover to 13-0 outdoors. Stypul is also a multi-event athlete. He’ll run the 200 and 400 meters and the 55 hurdles indoors. Outdoors, he competes in the 110 and 400 intermediate hurdles along with his vaulting. He’s also a key leg on RFH’s 4×400 relay team.
The Bulldogs’ John Connors excels in the high jump, long jump and runs the sprints too. The senior captured the CJ II high jump title last winter and won both the high jump and long jump in June at the state sectional.
Junior Owen Saad is another RFH sprinter who made a mark in the 400.
Middletown North senior Trevor Reid advanced to the Group championships in the high jump and would like to take the next leap to the MOC in ’23.