Shuler-Foster, Byrne win MOC track races BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer They were the fastest all year and they were the swiftest at Saturday’s NJSIAA Indoor Track and Field Meet of Champions.
Long Branch High School’s Miles Shuler-Foster and Red Bank Catholic High School’s Kevin Byrne were the runners everyone was chasing in their respective races at the MOC, and just as they’ve been all year, they were uncatchable.
Shuler-Foster had won every championship en route to the MOC, and the Green Wave speedster did not waver in the race— the 55-meter dash — that is a test of nerves as well as speed. His 6.40 was clear of the field as his Shore Conference rival Jihaad Howard from Brick Memorial High School took second (6.51).
Shuler-Foster has the fastest time in the state this year at 6.35.
Byrne came into the 800-meter final with the best time in the state as well as the fastest 1,000 run in the county this winter. His coach, Rob DeFilippis, pointed out that Byrne could run well from the front or from off the pace, making the task of this year’s challengers all the more difficult. They had no answers for Byrne’s all-around talent in the event as he lowered his state-leading best time to 1:55.10 (No. 12 in the country in 2010).
This was the first MOC crown for both runners, who are juniors.
RBC’s Molly McNamara was quite impressive herself in finishing second in the girls 800. The Casey junior ran the fastest time of her life, 2:11.82, behind the 2:11.53 of Washington Township’s Megan Tiernan. Their times are third and fourth fastest run in the country this year.
Tiernan won the Group IV state title while McNamara was the Non-Public A state winner.
Monmouth Regional’s Stephanie Skove medaled in the girls pole vault. She cleared 11-6 to take sixth.
Next up for some of the area track and field champions are the two indoor national meets. In New York City there are the National Scholastic Indoor Championship (NSIC) at the New Balance Track and Field Center and the Nike Indoor Nationals at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Both championships run March 12-14.
Before running in the MOC, RBC’s runners and Shuler-Foster did some noteworthy things at the Eastern States Championship. The meet was held Feb. 23 at the New Balance Track and Field Center.
Shuler-Foster cranked out his fastest 55 dash of the season, 6.35, in winning the championship.
McNamara anchored the girls to a strong second place in the distance medley relay (12:01.28). This turned out to be the race of the year thus far in the country. Champion Lenape High School (11:58.92) and runner-up RBC turned in the two fastest times of the year.
Liana Marzano, Sophia Fil-Saime and Lindsey Bellaran ran the first three legs of the relay for the Caseys.
Byrne ran the anchor 1,600 for the Casey boys, who were sixth in the DMR (10:23.60)). Rob Napolitano started it all off for RBC, followed by Rob Devine and Kyle Clonan.