Rosenthal leads area athletes to Meet of Champions

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Jordan Rosenthal is a bit “overwhelmed.” The Freehold Township High School javelin thrower planned on having a good season in 2012, but he never expected his season to include a trip to the NJSIAA Outdoor Track and Field Meet of Champions.

However, Rosenthal, a senior, is going to the Meet of Champions on June 7 at Old Bridge High School after finishing second at the Group IV state meet that was held at Old Bridge on June 1-2.

“I never thought I would be doing this good,” he said. Rosenthal uncorked a personal best throw of 172-7 to finish second in Group IV.

“I’ve been doing a lot of drills,” he said, explaining that he has also worked on a faster approach that has helped him throw the spear further.

Rosenthal said the key to throwing the javelin is not strength, but technique. That is why he has spent hours doing drills and watching film of his throws and breaking themdown so he can determine what aspects of his performance need work.

The Group IV meet marked the second straight week that Rosenthal improved his personal best. He threw 168-11 to place second at the Central Jersey Group IV meet.

Rosenthal started the 2012 season with a personal best of 140 feet in the javelin. He started throwing the javelin as a junior after trying to make the track team as a sprinter during his first two years in high school.

He played travel baseball prior to high school and was a pitcher. That experience led himto pick up the javelin and give it a try. His first throw was 90 feet.

“I never give up in any sport I play,” Rosenthal said. “I was throwing it (javelin) like a baseball. I had to learn the technique.” Rosenthal will be trying to break the school record of 179-8 held by Max Lit.

Rosenthal, who also plays ice hockey for the Patriots, will continue throwing the javelin in college at Muhlenberg.

The top six finishers in each event at the state group meets automatically advanced to the Meet of Champions.

Manalapan’s Jason Dijols ran his Central Jersey Group IV 110-meter high hurdles final with a sense of urgency.

“To me, it was my last race,” the Braves’ senior said. “That’s the way I ran it.”

It turned out not to be Dijols’ “last race,” as he finished fifth in a time of 14.86 to move on to his goal, the Meet of Champions .

Manalapan’s Anthony Menza extended his season by placing fourth in the Central Jersey Group IV 400-meter dash (49.26).

Freehold Township’s Graham Huggins- Filozof has been having a big year in the distance events and punched his ticket to the Meet of Champions with a fourth-place finish in the Central Jersey Group IV 1,600- meter run. The senior and leader of the Patriots turned in a personal best time of 4:18.71.

The Group III state meet was held at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield. Freehold High School’s Eric Kahana finished sixth in the 400-meter dash (50.04) to earn an invitation to the Meet of Champions.

In addition to the automatic qualifiers, the six best non-qualifying performers in each event earned wild card invitations to the Meet of Champions.

Several area athletes have advanced to the Meet of Champions as wild cards, including Kendal Hand, Howell, (400 intermediate hurdles), Monet Masters, Howell, (pole vault), Brianne Roche, Freehold Township, (3,200), Julia Petruch, Colts Neck, (triple jump), Deanna Johnson, Freehold Township, (triple jump) and Allie Doyle, Colts Neck, (discus).

The boys’ wild card invitations went to Saeed Blacknall, Manalapan, (100), Dylan Tarpey, Freehold Township, (3,200), Ryan Barrera, Freehold Township, (pole vault), and Aaron Liberatore, a resident of Marlboro who attends Christian Brothers Academy, (1,600).

The Meet of Champions will get under way at 3:30 p.m. June 7 in Old Bridge.

The athletes who competed in the group meets got there based on their performances at the state sectional meets that were held on May 25-26 at Hillsborough and Monmouth Regional high schools. The top six finishers in each event advanced to the group meet.

Hillsborough hosted the Central Jersey Group IV schools. Hand and Huggins-Filozof each won their first individual sectional crown. Hand won the girls 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:04.13. Huggins-Filozof won the boys 1,600-meter run in 4:19.41.

At Monmouth Regional in Tinton Falls, Kahana won the Central Jersey Group III title in the boys 110-meter high hurdles in 14.33. Kahana turned in a personal best time of 22.12 in the 200-meter dash final, placing third, and he ran a season’s best time of 49.71 in the 400-meter dash to place third.