Mazzaccaro, Colts smash course records at SC meet

first_imgBY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer The real Mike Mazzaccaro was unleashed Saturday at the Shore Conference Cross Country Championships. The result was one of the most impressive runs turned in by a conference harrier in history. At the Oct. 19 Monmouth County Championships held at Holmdel Park, Mazzaccaro helped pace his Christian Brothers Academy teammates during the first two miles of the race. He then took off and finished third behind Red Bank Catholic’s Kevin Byrne and Colts Neck’s Mike O’Dowd. At Saturday’s Shore Conference meet held at the more time-friendly Ocean County Park in Lakewood, there was no holding back. Mazzaccaro, O’Dowd and Byrne went straight to the front, and an opening 4:50 mile had separated the trio from the rest of the contenders. Over the next mile of the 3.1-mile, or 5K, layout, Mazzaccaro and O’Dowd traded the lead while Byrne was the first to fall back. By two miles, Mazzaccaro opened up the first gap on O’Dowd, about five meters. As Mazzaccaro kept his foot on the pedal, O’Dowd gamely tried to hold on. But this day belonged to the Colts senior. On a downhill leading to the final 200-meter sprint to the finish line, he put the Cougar away. As he approached the finish line and the clock hadn’t hit 15:00 yet, everyone knew how special a race Mazzaccaro had run. The defending champion would stop the timer at 15:02, breaking the course record of 15:05 set by Colts Neck’s two-time Meet of Champions winner Craig Forys, one of the state’s greatest runners, in 2006. Behind Mazzaccaro, O’Dowd ran 15:13, the third fastest time in OCP history. Speaking of history, it was a historic day for the Colts. They repeated as conference championships with a team score of 46. Even more impressive, they broke the OCP team average, held by the 1999 Colts, averaging 15:32.09 per runner. The old mark of 15:45.65 took a healthy beating by the 2010 Colts. George Kelly, running his best race of the year, was the Colts’ No. 2, clocking 15:29 and finishing in sixth place. Dan Mykityshyn was right behind in eighth (15:37). Completing the scoring were William Bragg in 14th (15:45) and Conrad Lippert in 17th (15:15:50). All five Colts ran under 16:00, which was something that had never done before — another first for the state’s most successful cross country program. CBA, the top-ranked team in the state, moved up to No. 11 in the country in The Harrier. Holmdel (262) finished eighth in the team competition with Travis Fodor ((16:22) and Jason McMullen (16:23) finishing 37th and 39th. Mater Dei was 15th (402) with Daniel Polanco (16:25) finishing 43rd. The girls’ race saw records fall as well. Red Bank Catholic’s Molly McNamara broke the course record with her 17:14. She took down the 2008 record of another conference legend, Southern Regional’s Jillian Smith, who did 17:19. Like Mazzaccaro, this was McNamara’s second straight SC win as she led the Caseys to the overall win with 46 points. RBC’s girls broke the team average held by the 2006 MOC champion Colts Neck Cougars, averaging 18:26. The Cougars’ record was 18:29.6. Locally, Holmdel’s Lennon Cooper was the top finisher, taking fourth (18:18). Her teammate Shannon Nelson was 10th (18:51). The Hornets were seventh (250), just behind Middletown South (242). The Eagles were led by Grace Watters (19:30) and Erica Colavito (19:32), who were 33rd and 34th. St. John Vianney had two high-placing harriers. Tara Connelly was 16th (18:54) and Courtney Thompson was 23rd (19:14). The Lancers were 11th (330). For the public schools, this Saturday, Nov. 6, begins the road to the Meet of Champions with the NJSIAA Central Jersey State Sectional at Thompson Park in Jamesburg.last_img

Leave a Reply