PRINCETON — Christian Brothers Academy’s distance runners did it again. Piling up 40 points from 800-3,200 meters, CBA captured the NJSIAA Group IV state championship Sunday at Princeton University. The 40 points accumulated by the Colt distance runners topped Union (28.5) and Old Bridge (22) for the state crown, CBA’s 13th. It was the same distance running strength CBA had displayed in winning the Monmouth County and Shore Conference championships earlier this year. Greg Leach was the star for the Colts, winning the 1,600 meters and then coming back shortly afterward to finish second in the 800. Leach, a junior, won the 1,600 in 4:22.87, with teammate Justin Wheat, fourth (4:30.39). With the Colts needing every point they could get, Leach bounced back and turned in his fastest 800 meters undercover, 1:58.78 behind Passaic’s Hayrol Cruz’s 1:58.51. Peter Glackin added six points to the CBA cause with his third place (2:00.14). Chris Horel, CBA’s all-state cross country runner, led a two-four finish in the 3,200. Horel was second (9:40.32) to Lenape’s Anthony Kelhower (9:40.14). Kevin Rogers was fourth for the Colts (9:44.20). Horel, Leach and Rogers led CBA to the 2005 state cross country championship last November. The state indoor season comes to an end Sunday with the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Princeton. Action in Jadwin Gymnasium will get under way at 2 p.m.
Monmouth University Battling the cold, rain, wind and at some points snow, the Monmouth University women’s and men’s cross country teams finished third and fourth, respectively, at the Northeast Conference Championships held at Holmdel Park on Saturday. Senior Jennifer Nelson (Barnegat, Ocean County College) and junior Kelsey Maher (Jackson Memorial) earned All-NEC for the women’s squad, while rookie Khari Bowen (Monroe Township) claimed All-NEC accolades for the men’s squad, missing the top freshman title by one spot.“Both our teams ran very tough on their home course in some very challenging conditions,” said head coach Joe Compagni in a press release. “Jen was super today and close to grabbing another NEC title, Kelsey added a great effort for the women’s team, and Khari put together a very impressive race in his first NEC Championships to lead the men.”Quinnipiac University claimed the women’s crown for the seventh straight time with 44 points, followed by Sacred Heart, which tallied 75 points. The Hawks claimed 91 points while Central Connecticut State finished eight tallies behind the Blue andWhite.Nelson claimed third overall for the Hawks, who finished in the top three for the fifth straight season, posting a time of 18:52.9 on the 5K course. Nelson, who claimed her second career All-League accolades, finished the highest for MU’s women’s team since Cailin Lynam took third in 2007 and 2008. Maher, who also earned her second straight league accolade, finished 10th, crossing the finish line in 19:23.2, followed by classmate Amanda Eller (Millville), who placed 19th with a time of 19:46.3. Junior Emily MacEwen (South Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) finished in 19:57.8 in 26th place, followed by sophomore Mackenzie Roche (Freehold), who took 35th with a time of 20:14.5. Three seconds later, sophomore Lucia Montefusco (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) rounded out the Hawks’ top seven, finishing 39th.The Blue Devils took the men’s crown, winning their third straight championships, totaling 54 points, followed by St. Francis (Pennsylvania) with 67 points and Mount St. Mary’s in third compiling 131 points. The Hawks, who finished in the top four in five out of the last six years, were two points behind the Mountaineers in fourth and were trailed by Robert Morris and Quinnipiac, which finished with 163 and 171 points, respectively. Bowen earned his first All-Conference honors with his ninthplace finish on the challenging 8K course with a time of 27:08.20. The rookie was followed by senior Dan Collura (Jackson Memorial), who finished 18th with a time of 27:23.5. Garth DeBlasio (Allentown) was the next Hawk to cross the finish line, as the senior completed the event in 27:50.0, while sophomore Seth Robbins (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and senior Ryan Mulligan (Raritan) posted times of 28:13.6 and 28:22.5, respectively, good for 39th and 43rd overall. Jeffrey Ascough (Toms River East) finished in 28:27.2, which landed the junior in 47th overall, followed by sophomore Dakota Dalzell (Atlantic City), who finished the race in 28:52.8 to round out the Hawks’ top seven.Compagni added, “We had a great contingent of Monmouth parents, alums, track teammates and fans there bracing the elements with us to support the team, which was tremendous.”Both squads will return to action in two weeks at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships hosted by Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md., on Nov. 12.
A memorable season for the Middletown High School South girls basketball team was ended a bit too early by a familiar foe — Neptune High School — on its home court in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III semifinals on March 2.Meanwhile, Middletown High School North opened its state tournament bracket with a 57-35 victory over Allentown High School, as Nicole Tollevsen fired in 21 points before losing in the next round to a 21-3 Hopewell Valley Central High School team, 52- 48.Middletown North finished 16-8, matching its win total from last season.For Middletown South, it was the fourth time in five years that the Eagles were stopped short in the state tournament by Neptune and the ending of a fine 22- 4 Shore Conference A North Division repeat championship season for four fourth-year varsity players — Jackie Dluhi, Kiera Gannon, Carissa Gray and Lauren VanExter.“We’ve had some great moments, and my athletic director said afterward that we should be proud,” coach Tom Brennan said. “We did not get to the championship game, but [we] had a tremendous season. This group did everything we asked. They played as close to a 100-percent level as any team I’ve coached.”“They’ve played winning, championship style basketball, and I always told them that if they played that way, the wins will take care of themselves,” Brennan added. “In all four games we lost, we didn’t quite do that.”Middletown South took a 21-13 lead when Neptune closed out the first half with eight straight points to tie it at halftime. The Scarlet Fliers went on a 15-8 surge in the third quarter. Middletown South got the margin to four points, 49- 45, with two minutes left, but it did not get any closer.“The game changed stylistically with two minutes left in the second quarter when it got much more physical and the kids did not respond to that,” Brennan said. “And they made shots like they had to.”Chilly shooting led to another loss to Red Bank Catholic High School, 45- 28, in the Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) semifinals. The other losses came to Point Pleasant Borough High School, which reached the SCT finals, and Freehold High School, which Middletown South later avenged in the SCT quarterfinals.While Brennan bids farewell to Dluhi, who ended her high school career with 17 points against Neptune and will embark on an NCAA Division I career at Wagner College, and the other seniors, a promising group returns.Freshman point guard Stephanie Karcz led a well-balanced attack with10.8 points per game and put in 12 points against Neptune. Junior guard Christiana Rutkowski broke into the starting lineup later in the season. Olivia Liskowitz, a junior transfer, is also expected to play a significant role, as are sophomores Angela DeBartolome and Jill Falvey. Brennan said the success this past season relied on the cohesive play of a team that Brennan said “really did like sharing the ball [and] didn’t care what they scored.”It showed in the team’s assists, as 73 percent of the field goals came off an assist.“We’re not going away. We’ll be very competitive, but different,” Brennan said about his team, which will not be overlooked in its division again next season.As for Middletown North, it loses four seniors to graduation — Nicole Tollevsen, Megan DeGrushe, Emily Lavin and widely used reserve Karen Miller. Three other players return with starting experience. Mia Ehling, a sophomore, was a regular at one of the guard spots, while junior Courtney Davis started at a forward spot before an injury ended her season. Fellow junior Marissa Reilly started from there.“I’m proud of going 16-8,” said coach Ed Jones. “They won their Christmas tournament [in Pequannock] for the first time in at least 10 years and also won a state tournament game for the first time in about 10 years.”Middletown North actually took the lead with two minutes left on a 3-point basket by DeGrushe before Hopewell Valley finished with a 7-2 run, including a layup at the buzzer. Hopewell Valley sank nine of its 18 3-point attempts.Jones said it’s tough to replace the graduating players, but he also can look to junior point guard Ashley Bird, who got a lot of playing time coming off the bench, as well as prospects from junior varsity and freshmen teams that had winning records. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
The Brookdale Community College women’s basketball team has been running past teams this season and climbing up the national rankings as a result.The Jersey Blues are off to an 8-2 start and moved up to No. 9 in the country in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division III poll.Head coach Bob Dubina has put together an athletic team, with six returning sophomores and talented newcomers who have been turning games into a track meet.“We’re trying to play an up-tempo style,” Dubina said. “We’re getting out and running, getting easy baskets.“We’re scoring a lot better than I thought,” he continued.Brookdale is averaging 65.8 points per game, and half have come off fast breaks. Brookdale has simply been able to outrun its opponents.Sophomore Lauren Bowler (Red Bank Regional) has been running the show as the point guard, leading the team in assists per game (3.8).“Lauren is a smart basketball player who gets us into our offense,” Dubina said.A key newcomer for Brookdale is freshman forward Marya Trapp (Red Bank Regional). Trapp, who is 6 feet tall, is the post player the Jersey Blues were looking for.“She fits into the system well,” Dubina said. “She’s athletic and runs the floor well in transition, and she cleans up the glass.”Trapp has been “exceptional” on the offensive glass, Dubina pointed out, reporting that she’s averaging six offensive rebounds a game.The former Red Bank Regional High School standout is averaging a double-double for the Jersey Blues (13.0 points and 11.6 rebounds per game).Sophomore Sam Carlson (Manalapan), a returning starter, is averaging 7.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Carlson is a force on the defensive end, averaging 3.3 blocks a game.St. John Vianney High School graduate Paxton Reddington, another newcomer, is second on the team in scoring (13.9 points per game).“She makes us go offensively,” the coach said. “She consistently scores in double-figures.” The former Lancers standout is also “our best defensive player,” Dubina said.Earlier in the season, Reddington earned Region 19 Player of the Week honors.Jazmin Palma (North Bergen), Marina Lukianov (Howell) and Megan DeGrusha (Middletown North) have taken turns starting. All three help the Jersey Blues have a balanced attack, with Lukianov averaging 8.9 points per game, followed by Palma and DeGrusha, who are averaging 6.8 points per game.Kimberly McNelis (Keansburg) has been doing a fine job as the backup point guard.Palma, Reddington and McNelis bring the 3-point shot into play, which stretches defenses and makes Carlson and Trapp that much more effective in the paint.Nadya Szaniszlo (Keansburg), Jasma Stanback (Keansburg) and Victoria Hayes (Freehold) round out the 2013-14 Jersey Blues, and they provide depth that Dubina uses to the fullest for his up-tempo running game.“We’re pretty deep,” Dubina said. “Most nights we play nine or 10.”The Jersey Blues have struggled on defense a bit, and lot of that has to do with rule changes. The NJCAA is trying to take contact out of the game. Defenders can no longer hand check or use their arms on the back of players in the post. The changes have led to a lot of marches to the foul line.Still, the team is only allowing 41.7 points per game, and teams are shooting just 30.6 percent from the field.After a game at Sussex County Community College on Dec. 21, the Jersey Blues are off until Jan 10. In that time, the team will work on its defense, as Dubina looks to play more man-to-man pressure and less zone.The Jersey Blues will not be at home in the Collins Arena until Jan. 16, when they host Mercer County Community College.While 8-2 overall, the Jersey Blues are 5-0 in Region 19 and 4-0 in Garden State Athletic Conference play. They are the highest-ranked team in the region.Dubina listed Cumberland County College, Northampton Community College (Bethlehem, Pa.) and Ocean County College as the other region contenders. Brookdale is at Ocean on Jan. 21 and Cumberland on Jan. 30. It hosts Northampton on Jan. 28. By TIM MORRIS Staff Writer
Eden Hazard scored from the spot in stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw for Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion, who were seconds away from inflicting a first Premier League home defeat on a Chelsea side managed by Jose Mourinho on Saturday.Hazard scored to take Mourinho’s unbeaten home league record at Stamford Bridge to 66 matches following 60 unbeaten games in his first spell there between 2004 and 2007.Samuel Eto’o put Chelsea ahead but goals from Shane Long and Stephane Sessegnon put West Brom, managed by former Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke ahead and within sight of victory until the late drama.Although Chelsea blew the chance to close the gap on leaders Arsenal to two points, Liverpool made no mistake crushing a woeful Fulham 4-0 at Anfield.Luis Suarez scored twice to take his goal tally to eight in the seven matches he has played since returning from suspension.Arsenal, who play Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, top the table with 25 points from 10 matches, followed by Liverpool on 23, Southampton on 22, and Chelsea on 21.Southampton moved into third place with a highly impressive 4-1 win over Hull City with Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert from the spot and Adam Lallana with a superb individual goal, putting Saints 3-0 ahead after 37 minutes. Steven Davis added the fourth in the 88th minute.In the other afternoon matches, Aston Villa ended a run of seven and a half hours without a Premier League goal when Leandro Bacuna scored after 76 minutes to give them the lead against Cardiff City.Libor Kozak then added a second in the 83rd minute to give Villa a 2-0 victory.Bottom-placed Crystal Palace ended a run of six successive defeats when they drew 0-0 at Selhurst Park with Everton.Norwich City were meeting West Ham United in the late kickoff (1730GMT).
By Brian HomewoodTHE World Cups of 2018 and 2022 are set go ahead in Russia and Qatar as planned after FIFA’s ethics committee said on Thursday it could find no grounds for reopening the controversial bidding process.In a long-awaited report, the committee said that “the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”The report criticised England’s bid for the 2018 tournament for “inappropriate requests” from former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, a FIFA powerbroker at the time, in what it said was “an apparent violation of bidding rules”.It also said that in Australia’s bid for 2022 “there are certain indications of potentially problematic conduct of specific individuals in the light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules.“The occurrences at issue were…only of very limited scope,” it added.“In particular, the effects of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it — a decision which anyway would not fall under the FIFA Ethics Committee’s competence.“The assessment of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process is therefore closed for the FIFA Ethics Committee.”However, the report said ethics investigator Michael Garcia intended to open formal investigations against individuals, who were not named.FIFA and Qatar World Cup organisers have been fending off allegations of corruption ever since the Gulf state was awarded the 2022 tournament.Qatar, which has repeatedly denied the allegations, has also been criticised over its treatment of migrant workers in the construction industry.The 2018 tournament was awarded to Russia as part of the same bidding process which culminated in December 2010.In the case of Qatar, the report said “there are certain indications of potentially problematic conduct of specific individuals in the light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules” which did not compromise the bidding process.It said that the relationship between former Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam, banned for life by FIFA in 2011, and the Qatar bidding team was a “distant relative to the relationships of other FIFA Executive Committee members from bid nations”.The report said that it could not find any evidence of misconduct connected to the Russian bid, although it added that not all records had been available to the investigation.“The Russia 2018 Bid Committee made only a limited amount of documents available for review, which was explained by the fact that the computers used at the time by the Russia Bid Committee had been leased and then returned to their owner after the Bidding Process. The owner has confirmed that the computers were destroyed in the meantime.”Much of the report was procedural and devoted to explaining the background to World Cup bidding processes and FIFA ethics guidelines.Although it avoided naming individuals it said that two veteran FIFA executive committee members had resisted efforts to “hold them to the same rules as bid teams”.It also said that “two of the executive committee’s most senior members challenged the Ethics Committee’s independence and authority.”The report concluded that “the line between a bid team’s conduct…and improper conduct is a very fine one. From which point on lobbyism must be considered as improper conduct is, for example, not always clear.”“The perception for example, according to which a FIFA World Cup vote must have been “bought” if the host selected is not the one that has been generally considered a favourite (a position that is quite common in the media), is mere speculation and far from anything a judicial body like the FIFA Ethics Committee is allowed to accept as proof.“By contrast, the…Ethics Committee is under the obligation to collect real facts, i.e. proof, which have then to be assessed by both Chambers of the Committee. In this regard, it shall be pointed out that such proof must be substantive, with (official) documents, money and paper trails, e-mail and other correspondence and witness statements still being the most sound kinds of proof.”The report added that “it must be made clear that (FIFA) President Blatter did not violate the FCE. The one concrete allegation against the President, concerning an account purportedly held in his name at a US bank, was demonstrably false.“Mr. Blatter has implemented a number of critical reforms, including those that made this inquiry possible.“The bidding process established by FIFA was for the most part fair and thorough, although the Executive Committee’s obligations in that process – including its members’ obligations to abide the same reporting requirements placed on the bid teams – should have been made more explicit.”
By Nayan DasLiverpool have enough quality and strength in depth in the squad to win games and pick up important points during a demanding festive schedule, striker Christian Benteke has said.The Reds are ninth in the Premier League table after 17 games but winless in their last four in all competitions.The team registered four straight wins prior to their early December loss to Newcastle United. Those wins included a thumping 4-1 win at Manchester City in the league in November.“It is a special period because you have Christmas and New Year and a lot of games coming up,” Benteke told the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com). “It is s a chance for us to win some games.“Everyone knows that we have a very big squad with a lot of quality. We have to try to put that quality together.”The Merseyside club face surprise leaders Leicester City on Saturday and Benteke said Liverpool were vary of the threat the Foxes posed.“They (Leicester) will not just sit back and wait for a mistake,” Benteke said. “They will want to play and show that they have the quality to play. That’s why they’re first in the league.”Benteke, who moved from Aston Villa in July for £32.5 million, has gone six league games without a goal and manager Jurgen Klopp opted to start Roberto Firmino in attack ahead of the Belgian in Sunday’s loss at Watford.“I am feeling good and I want to play because it’s a big game. But it’s up to the manager and I respect his decision,” Benteke said.
Novak Djokovic began his pursuit of the only grand slam title missing from his collection with a no-nonsense 6-4 6-1 6-1 win over Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun in the French Open first round on Tuesday.The Serbian top seed now stands only six matches away from becoming the first man in almost 50 years to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time.Looking to achieve a feat that was last achieved by Rod Laver in 1969, the 11-time major champion appeared to be a in a hurry to escape the cold and dank confines of Philippe Chatrier Court.In fact, facing an opponent who had not played a top tier match since last October, Djokovic’s only blip was when he dropped serve in the eighth game of the opening set.But having levelled for 4-4, the wheels came off for Lu and the 32-year-old only won two more games before Djokovic safely secured a second-round clash with Belgian Steve Darcis.
Gigira FC hit an early 1-0 lead minutes into the first half when striker Julai Elijah powered a right foot shot into the nets.Five minutes before the half time whistled sounded, Gigira FC pushed their lead further with another goal from Gwama Taukuro.The score was left at 2-0 at halftime.PS United regrouped with a stronger side in the second half when striker Iamo Maneka gave a potent header from a penalty kick by Erickson Komeng to shake the back of the net to lessen the lead to a one point game.The game grew more aggressive in the dying minutes with more attempts from both sides.However, Gigira FC holds off their lead and set back to defend until the final whistle as they claim the win with 2 points to 1.
One year on from the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Pam and six months on from Tropical Cyclone Winston, the Just Play Emergency Programme has been shortlisted for the Beyond Sport Innovation award in recognition of the work in both Vanuatu and Fiji.Recognising the important role that sport can play in supporting the psychosocial recovery of children after an emergency, this child-centred programme developed by the Oceania Football Confederation and UNICEF is being used to disseminate critical messages and support the emotional recovery of children.OFC President David Chung said, “To once again see the hard work of all those involved in the Just Play Programme, from content developers to coordinators to volunteers on the ground, recognised for the important contribution they are making to children’s lives is amazing.”“Our objective with this programme was always to make a difference in the lives of children across the Pacific and to be there for them providing a programme that will add a little bit of joy to their lives during such a difficult and trying time is very important to us as an organisation, and as humans.”Capitalising on the existing Just Play programme platform, which targets children aged 6-16 years in 11-Pacific Island countries, the programme was able to mobilise and leverage an existing network of coordinators, teachers and volunteers to support the creation of an emergency based programme.Dr. Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative said, “Following any disaster, children are especially vulnerable. For example, following Cyclone Winston that hit Fiji in February, some 120,000 children were affected.“UNICEF continues to support governments, in collaboration with key partners, in ensuring that major issues relating to emotional wellbeing of children are prioritised and that these are addressed early on. The Just Play Emergency programme is an example of some of our best practices in the Pacific region where children are able to re-engage in activities through sport following a disaster. This helps them recover from the fear, stress and uncertainty caused by emergencies, and in the process ensures that children are able to be safe, healthy and thrive.”Once a year the Beyond Sport Awards recognise the best sport for development programmes and projects from around the world for their use of sport as a vehicle to support positive social change. The Summit and Awards is the largest global event, convening the world of sport for social change.The Just Play Emergency Programme,shortlisted as one of the Best Innovations of 2016 which recognises a programme or project that is truly innovative in their approach, has been selected as one of the 250 entries from 55 different countries, representing over 64 sport codes.“After seven years building the Just Play Programme in the Pacific, we are now ready to face any emergency situation and can use the Just Play network to reach children affected by a natural disaster anywhere in our region,” said OFC Head of Social Responsibility and International Relations Franck Castillo.“We are very honored to be shortlisted for this prestigious award and recognise that it is showcasing the hard work of our Just Play teams on the ground delivering these programmes in difficult situations.“Our success however would not have been possible without the tremendous support of UNICEF, the Australian and New Zealand Governments, the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Football Federation of Australia.”The Just Play Emergency Programme was delivered in partnership with the Vanuatu Football Federation, Fiji Football Association, the Australian and New Zealand Governments, the UEFA Foundation for Children and UNICEF.Winners of the Beyond Sport Awards will be announced at the Summit and Awards Ceremony in London, England on 20 October.