first_img BY GEORGE ALBANOStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff CBA’s Joe Clemente races to the wall in the 100-yard breaststroke event during Saturday’s Monmouth County Championships at the Ocean County YMCA. The Colts won seven of 11 events en route to an impressive win, the team’s 16th straight county title. Without a doubt, the Christian Brothers Academy swim team has bigger goals in mind for 2006. Like winning the New Jersey Non-Public A state championship. But capturing another Monmouth County title was certainly on the Colts’ checklist. It has been for the past decade and a half. And for the 16th straight year, the Lincroft school won the county championship Saturday at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River. As usual, the Colts did it in very impressive fashion too, as they accumulated 458.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Red Bank Region with 224.5. CBA, ranked fifth in the state, was only 3-2 coming into this week, but the two losses have come against state powers St. Augustine’s, ranked No. 1 in the state, and No. 3 St. Joseph’s of Metuchen. Neither loss, however, sat well with the Colts as they prepared for the Monmouth County meet. “The kids were looking to have a good day,” veteran head coach Michael Sullivan said. “They had two good meets against St. Joe’s and St. Augustine’s, but they lost to both of them and they were looking to get vindicated at the county meet.” CBA lost to St. Joseph’s on Dec. 2 and to St. Augustine’s right before Christmas. “Two losses in one month, we’re not used to that early in the season,” Sullivan, now in his 16th season, said. “Again, we swam two very good teams. But we’re used to winning, and they wanted to come back and have a big day at the county meet.” Mission accomplished. The Colts dominated the meet by winning seven of the 11 events, including two each by senior captains Larkin MacDonald and Ryan Guttormsen. MacDonald had a day to remember as he broke two meet records and was named the meet’s MVP. He won the 100 butterfly in a record 53.28 seconds, and also broke his own record he set last year in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 52.78 seconds. He was also a member of two winning relay teams, swimming the opening backstroke leg in the 200 medley relay and then swimming the third leg in the 400 free relay. Meanwhile, Guttormsen swept the 50 freestyle in 22.39 and the 100 free in 49.40. And he, too, was part of two winning relays as he anchored both the 200 and 400 free relay teams. Joining him and MacDonald on the winning 400 free relay (3:21.21) was Andrew DiPietro and Michael Harm, while the 200 free relay (1:32.56) consisted of Martin and Michael Harm, Sean Gillespie and Guttormsen. Besides MacDonald, the medley relay team (1:42.70) included Kevin Schafer on the breaststroke, Martin Harm on the butterfly and Terry Hubert on the anchoring freestyle. CBA also showed plenty of depth as Martin Harm, a sophomore, finished runner-up in both the 200 IM (2:08.26) and 100 fly (53.77), right behind MacDonald, while Michael Harm, a senior, was second in the 100 free (49.85) behind Guttormsen. DiPietro, a junior, added a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 200 (1:50.16) and 500 (5:06.08) freestyles, while Gillespie was fourth in the 50 (23.14) and 100 (50.62) freestyles. CBA will also be the favorite to win a 16th straight Shore Conference championship on Feb. 14. For Sullivan, winning the county and conference crowns never gets old hat. “It’s different kids every year, that’s one of the nice things,” he said. “Young kids get to step up every year, and that’s fun watching them grow up and step into leadership roles. It’s exciting to see that. “Plus our guys take a lot of pride in winning both meets every year,” Sullivan added. “They want to get their due. I tell them they have to prove it in the water and they stepped up on Saturday. They wanted to have a good day.” But make no mistake, it’s the Non-Public A state championship meet later in the month the Colts really have their eyes one. Last year, CBA went 10-2 with its only two losses coming against St. Augustine’s and St. Joseph’s. The Colts beat St. Joe’s during the regular season by one point, but then lost to them in the state semifinals. “It was their turn in the semis,” Sullivan joked. St. Augustine’s then beat St. Joseph in the state final. While they finished one-two in the state, CBA was third, and the same three teams figure to battle for the crown this season. “It’s gonna be tough,” Sullivan, who guided CBA to the state title in 1998, said. “St. Augustine’s is good, St. Joe’s is tough, and we have a lot of quality swimmers too; so, it’s going to be interesting. It depends who steps up, and who’s sick and who’s healthy.” And not necessarily who has the fastest swimmer in each event, but who has the most depth. “The meet is not won in the middle lanes,” Sullivan pointed out, referring to where the top-seeded swimmers are. “We have to swim fast in the outside lanes and our second relays have to swim well. I’ve had meets with St. Joe’s in the past where we won more races, but they had more seconds, thirds and fourths, and got more points and won the meet. The team with the least amount of last places usually wins.” CBA still has some time, though, before it has to start thinking about the state tournament. In fact, the Colts have a challenging schedule ahead of them this week. On Tuesday, they were scheduled to swim at Westfield. “And they’re one of the top public schools in the state,” Sullivan noted. Then after a meet on Friday against Ocean Township at Monmouth University, CBA will take part in the 27th annual Pirate Invitational on Saturday at The Bubble in West Windsor. There the Colts will face some of the state’s premier individuals and teams, including top-ranked and defending meet champion Mount St. Mary of Watchung. “It doesn’t get any easier,” Sullivan concluded. Notes … The Holmdel boys took sixth place (156 points), led by a stellar effort from senior Brendan Jones. Jones took second in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle. He swam 1:47.45 in the 200, which was won by Howell’s Waldron Tucker in 1:47.11, and 4:54.73 in the 500, won by Shore Regional’s Andrew Dennis (4:48.38). Jones was also part of two third-place relay teams, teaming with senior Luis Martinez, senior Arman Yalcin and junior Nicholas Williams to finish the 200-yard IM in 1:49.32, before teaming with senior Sean Snyder, Williams and Yalcin in the 400-yard free relay (3:32.52). Williams also had some individual success, finishing tied with CBA’s Harm for second place in the 100-yard free (49.85) and taking fourth place in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.14. In the girls championship meet, held Sunday at the Ocean County YMCA, Red Bank Catholic emerged with the team title, despite capturing just one event — the 500 freestyle won by junior Christina DiMaria (5:22.73). BY GEORGE ALBANO Staff Writer last_img read more

Melting the ice

first_imgAbove, Middletown North’s Brian Kirk works the puck out of the neutral zone during the Lions’ come-from-behind 3-3 tie against Old Bridge at the Wall Ice Arena on Dec. 19. Below, North’s Bryan Felice looks to send the puck into the Old Bridge zone. The Lions have raced out to a 5-0-1 start this winter to take the early lead in the SouthernWhite Division. They face Wall Township (4-1-1) in an important game on Tuesday in Wall. PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY stafflast_img

first_imgAbove: Middletown High School North’s Uly Gibson (with football), and Middletown High School South’s Danny Suarez (left photo) participated in recent preseason scrimmages, and are just two of the many student-athletes in the area ready to make twoa days and the summer heat a distant memory starting this weekend as the high school football season gets under way. South squares off against Freehold Borough this Saturday, while North takes on Toms River North Friday night.last_img

first_imgMatawan High School’s boys track and field team captured its third straight NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II sectional title on Saturday. The win didn’t come easy as the Huskies had to overcome a Long Branch team that was led by triple winner Miles Shuler-Foster.Matawan beat Long Branch by three points, 80-77.The CJ II sectional was held Friday and Saturday at Monmouth Regional High School.Andre Hodge, the Shore’s dominant thrower, led Matawan with a pair of wins. He won the discus by more than 40 feet with a 176-7 whirl and then the shot put at 50-7 ¼. The javelin went to Michael Sefack (164-8).Solomon Simpkins won the long jump for Matawan (22-5¼) and pole vaulter Dylan Spadaccini continued undefeated with a vault of 13-0.Shuler-Foster won the 100- (10.90), 200- (21.95) and 400-meter dashes (49.23) for Long Branch. Shuler-Foster picked up a fourth win as a member of the Green Wave’s 4×400 relay team that won in 3:26.44.Holmdel’s boys had a pair of winners in CJ II with Jason McMullen taking the 1,600 (4:31.76) and Jack Baisley, the 3,200 (10:02.42).In Group III, also held at Monmouth Regional, Christian Spaulding won the javelin (182-4).For Matawan’s girls, Sarah Isaacson bested Monmouth Regional’s Stephanie Skove to win the pole vault. Both fliers cleared 10-6 with Isaacson winning the CJ II on fewer misses.Middletown South’s girl’s were a point away from winning a state sectional title in Group III. The Eagles finished one point behind Hopewell Valley, 41-40.Capturing sectional titles for South were Lindsey Weil in the high jump (5-) where the Eagles went one-two-three and Tiffany Okiemei in the shot put (35-2).Up in South Plainfield, the Non-Public sectional were held and CBAkept its perfect championship record intact piling up 184 points to win Non-PublicASouth by 100 points.Winning for the Colts were Theo Foster, 400 (49.19), Dan Mykiityshyn, 1,600 (4:25.08), Conrad Lippert, 3,200 (9:53.15), Matt Pozo,110 hurdles (15.010), Leo Szalkowski, discus (126-10), Phil Ragan, javelin (183-11) and the 4×00 relay team of John Turi, Kevin Olsen, Clark Mangini and Foster (3:27.59).St. John Vianney’s Andrea McKenna won the girls’NP-ASouth discus goal (99-2).In Non-Public B South, Mater Dei’s Dejah McGree struck gold in the 400 intermediate hurdles (1:07.97) for the girls while for the boys Christopher Pace won twice. He won the shot put with a throw of 51-7 ¼ and the discus, at 134-4.This weekend it’s the State Group Championships on Friday and Saturday. Groups I and IV and NP-A are at Old Bridge High School while Groups II and II and NP-B are at South Plainfield.The NJSIAAMeet of Champions is June 9 at Old Bridge.last_img read more

SPORT SHORTS

first_imgFrank Esposito, PGA professional at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, captured his record-breaking fifth New Jersey PGA Professional Championship, shooting a 1-under-par 215 to claim victory in the 54-hole event that took place Sept. 17-19 at the famed Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield.Jim McGovern, PGA Professional at the White Beeches Golf and Country Club, was runner-up, finishing one stroke back, while the defending champion, Brian Gaffney, PGA professional at the Rumson Country Club, took third place, finishing two strokes back.Capturing the New Jersey PGA Section’s (NJPGA) most prestigious Major Championship adds to an incredible tournament season for Esposito, which includes victories at the NJPGA Senior Championship and the N.J. State Open Championship. Esposito, who lives in Monroe Township, will now lead 12 PGA professionals from New Jersey to compete in the 47th PGA Professional National Championship on June 22-25, 2014, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Gaffney, who lives in Rumson, is one of the 12, as is Knob Hill Country Club pro Lou Kubisa.Scott Paris, the PGA director of golf at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, has been named the recipient of the PGA of America 2013 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities.last_img read more

first_imgBy Tracy RucinskiSpain mourned the national soccer team’s stunning loss to Netherlands in their World Cup opener on Friday with words such as “humiliation” and “nightmare” splashed across the front pages of newspapers on Saturday.Spain, one of the favourites to win the World Cup and defend their 2010 title, succumbed to a rampant Netherlands team in their heaviest World Cup defeat in over 60 years with a 5-1 demolition.“Worse than the worst possible nightmare for a team that had never conceded more than one goal in a European or World championship since 2008,” Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais said. “A complete cataclysm.”Madrid, which normally greets victories with blasting car horns and singing along the streets, had gone silent.“Ladies and gentleman, we’ve lost the magic touch” sports newspaper AS said.Spain’s defeat in Salvador was also only their fourth competitive loss under coach Vicente del Bosque since he took over in 2008 and has triggered speculation of the team’s possible premature return to home.“Spain started the defense of its title without any defense at all and ended up humiliated by Netherlands,” sports newspaper Marca said.Some newspapers took consolation from the fact that Spain also lost their opening game at the 2010 World Cup to Switzerland but eventually went through as group winners.Spain play Chile in their next Group B match on Wednesday.last_img read more

first_imgBy Pritha SarkarEngland turned to the old enemy in an attempt to restore national pride as Trevor Bayliss became the first Australian to be appointed head coach of the team on Tuesday.With an Ashes series against Australia looming on home soil in six weeks’ time, the 52-year-old former Sri Lanka coach has been tasked with repairing battered reputations following England’s 5-0 humiliation Down Under 16 months ago.“What particularly excites me about the role is the chance to work with a very talented group of players. I firmly believe that the team has a bright future and I’ll be doing everything I can to help them realise their potential and achieve success on a consistent basis,” Bayliss said in a statement.He succeeds Peter Moores, who was sacked earlier this month following England’s dismal performance at this year’s World Cup and a 1-1 draw in a test series in West Indies.“Trevor has an outstanding record as coach, has global experience and is very highly regarded in the game,” England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss said.“He has proved himself in both domestic and international cricket, has a strong reputation for man-management and has shown how to build winning teams in all three formats.”HUGE TASKBayliss faces the huge task of instilling some stability into England after their 5-0 mauling in Australia led to a period of turbulence, with off-field matters drawing as many headlines as the team’s miserable form on the pitch.During the past 18 months, controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen was sacked after the England management accused of him of being a divisive presence in the dressing room during the doomed 2013-14 Ashes series.ECB managing director Paul Downton departed in April as he paid the price for England’s failure to progress during the group stages of the World Cup.Moores was also axed for failing to guide England to a series win in the Caribbean against what many considered to be a weak West Indies team.Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie was expected to be appointed to the role after talks with Strauss last week but Bayliss was chosen for his proven track record as a coach.He led Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final and has twice won the Sheffield Shield with New South Wales.Bayliss has also enjoyed success in the Twenty20 format, winning the Australian Big Bash and Champions League with Sydney Sixers in 2012 and the Indian Premier League title with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012 and 2014.“His expertise in the shorter forms of the game will be vital as we build towards three major ICC events over the next four years; the ICC World T20 tournament in India in 2016 and the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup which will be staged in England and Wales in 2017 and 2019 respectively,” Strauss added.The Ashes begins on July 8.last_img read more

first_imgBy Tim HanlonVillarreal have reached an agreement to sign Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado in a deal worth a reported 10 million euros ($11.12 million), the Spanish club confirmed on Friday.The 30-year-old Spaniard returns to Spain after a disappointing spell in the Premier League where he failed to live up to his 26-million-pound ($40.68-million) transfer fee from Valencia two years ago. His record for Spurs was 16 goals in 76 matches in all competitions.“Villarreal and Tottenham Hotspur have agreed the transfer of Spanish forward Roberto Soldado,” read a statement on the Villarreal website (www.villarrealcf.es).“He will wear the Villarreal shirt for the next three seasons.”Soldado, who scored only one Premier League goal last season and seven in all, remained popular with the Spurs fans for his never-say-die attitude but never adapted to the physical demands of the English game.The striker came through the Real Madrid youth academy and played for Osasuna and Getafe before making his name at Valencia where he scored 82 goals in three seasons.He has made 12 appearances for Spain but has not been included in recent squads and will now try to get his international career back on track.Roma have signed Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko on a one-year loan from Manchester City, the Premier League club’s official website reported on Tuesday.Dzeko, who joined City in January 2011, has been loaned with a view to a permament transfer to the Serie A club “if certain conditions are met”.Dzeko joined City in January 2011 and scored plenty of important goals for them during his four-and-a-half year stay.“I came here to win titles with Roma. Hopefully, we will win many, many trophies but first we have to work hard on the pitch and at the end, hopefully we will get where we want to be,” the 29-year-old told Roma TV after completing his medical in the Italian capital.Dzeko made a particularly huge contribution to City’s history-making 2011/12 Premier League campaign, scoring 19 goals in 42 games, including the injury-time equaliser against QPR that set up the incredible climax which saw them snatch the title in the dying seconds.Yet he only made 11 appearances for the club last year and opportunities to break into the starting line-up were likely to be even more limited this term.last_img read more

first_imgA competitor lambasted the French Open as “one big circus” on Thursday as soggy weather once again came back to exasperate players seeking a foothold in the semi-finals of the rain-hit claycourt major.Novak Djokovic was lucky to escape being defaulted and Austrian tyro Dominic Thiem provided plenty of entertainment as they finally caught up with the bottom half of the men’s draw by setting up a cross-generational semi-final.With Andy Murray and defending champion Stan Wawrinka enjoying a welcome rest day after booking their last-four showdown a day earlier, world number one Djokovic was back on court for a third day running and again had to dodge the showers as he sealed a 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over a fuming Tomas Berdych.It was a shame that only a handful of shivering spectators turned up on Court Suzanne Lenglen to watch Thiem’s racket skills. The 22-year-old reached the last four of a major for the first time with a 4-6 7-6(7) 6-4 6-1 win over Belgium’s David Goffin.Serena Williams was caught up in a cold front for more than an hour as she dropped her first set of the tournament and came within two games of defeat before ramming home her title credentials with a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory over little-known Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.“I didn’t think I was gonna win that in the second set,” the 21-times grand slam champion said after booking a semi-final with Dutch outsider Kiki Bertens, who beat Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky 7-5 6-2.Djokovic returns a shotA week of wet weather and chilly temperatures — with the mercury topping out at 14 degrees Celsius on Thursday — has robbed the tournament of its usual joie de vivre.Hence it was little wonder that the smallest of incidents could tip players over the edge.Djokovic was fortunate that a moment of petulance midway through the third set did not scupper his chances of winning the only grand slam title missing from his collection.The top seed admitted he was lucky he did not injure a linesman after he slammed his racket to the ground and it went flying into the baseline hoardings. Had it hit anyone, it would have been an automatic default.“I threw a racket on the ground and it slipped and almost hit the line umpire. I was lucky there,” the 29-year-old Serb said after reaching his 30th grand slam semi-final.But Djokovic’s momentary rage was nothing compared to how angry Berdych felt a few games later.The Czech seventh seed lost his cool when Australian official Wayne McEwen ordered play to be halted after Djokovic grumbled about the misty conditions.As the Serbian sauntered off court, Berdych shouted: “This is a circus. An absolute circus. “We’ve been playing two and half sets like that.”The Czech had a point.Following Monday’s complete washout, Berdych and Djokovic were among several competitors who were ordered to play their fourth-round matches through drizzle on Tuesday as organisers tried to clear a huge backlog of matches.Hence as far as Berdych was concerned, Thursday’s seven-minute break seemed rather farcical.“That was one of the worst calls that I ever had on the court,” Berdych said after slipping to his 11th successive defeat against Djokovic.“What’s the point of this? The court won’t get better. It will get only get worse.”Djokovic, who has played through rain in each of his last three matches, said there was only one way to draw a line over the issue.“I’m just hoping that for sake of this tournament and all the players that we are going to have that roof at least on one court as soon as possible.”last_img read more

first_imgGermany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from international football on Friday, bringing to an end a glittering career that ended in disappointment with a semi-final exit at Euro 2016 in France.“It wasn’t to be and I have to accept it,” the 31-year-old said in a statement on his verified Twitter account (@BSchweinsteiger).“The historic and emotional high was winning the World Cup in 2014,” the Manchester United player added.Schweinsteiger was vice-captain of the national team when Germany edged Argentina in extra-time to claim a fourth World Cup title and took over as captain when his then Bayern Munich team mate Philipp Lahm stood down after the 2014 tournament.His seventh major tournament saw him lead Germany to the last four of the European Championships earlier this month but the 2-0 defeat to hosts France proved to be his 120th and last appearance.His first call-up came as a 19-year-old in June 2004 and a year later, he scored the first of 24 international goals.“I was able to turn out 120 times for my country and experience moments which were indescribably beautiful and successful,” he tweeted.“It is only right and sensible to finish now and wish the team all the best in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.”After playing for two junior clubs the player known universally as ‘Schweini’ joined Bayern in 1998 as a teenager.He played 500 matches for the most successful club in Germany, winning eight Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League before joining Manchester United two years later.His first season at Old Trafford was beset by poor form and regular injuries, and retiring from international duty may have been one way of attempting to persuade new United manager Jose Mourinho of his determination to seal a regular place.The announcement came on the day that British media reported Schweinsteiger would be sold if Mourinho succeeded in signing French midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus.last_img read more

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