A quartet of Shore A.C. Masters Runners had an outstanding day at the 42nd annual
running of the New York Road Runners Club 5th Avenue Mile. Despite a monsoon rain
in the middle of their events, club runners Rick Lee, Dr. Harry Nolan, Spider Rossiter and
Ken Wilson turned in outstanding performances in their respective age group races.
Running in the 60-64 age group, Lee, 61, turned in a fast win in 5:10, to outpace his rivals,
winning by a wide margin. He once again repeated the first place he had achieved in the
2022 Fifth Avenue event. Nolan, 76, also scored a win in the 75-79 age group, clocking
a 7:10 in his race. Running is his 37th Fifth Avenue race, he has won at least one or
more of the races in every five year 40 and over age group category over the years.
In a hotly contested 70-74 division race, Rossiter,70 (6:27) and Wilson, 71, (6:30) landed second
and third places as the first two Americans only behind the win by New Zealander Rodger
Ward who clocked in at 6:23. Two other shore area runners outdid themselves in the
women’s division races. Joan Totaro of Toms River, won the 50-54 mile event in a career
best time of 5:34, while Courtney Decker of Avon placed second in the 40-44 women’s
race in 5:00 flat.
A number of other Shore A.C. runners performed very well in their individual events.
Among that group included Gerard Rokosz (23) in 5:22, John Delaney (54) in 5:55,
Diana Stavrou (41) in 6:22, and Susan Stirrat (68) in 8:09.
This year’s 5th Avenue Mile was well attended, with over 8,500 runners competing in
a variety of age groups. Due to the impact of the hard rain, thunder and some lightening,
a number of later races scheduled had to be cancelled, except for the Professional Division
men’s and women’s races which took place later in the afternoon. The event was held on
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Vincent Ciattei oudueled Eric Holt, 3:52.56 to 3:52.57, in a dazzling Monmouth Mile elite feature event, Thursday evening, Aug. 31, 2023, and just missed the meet record of 3:52.41 set by Paul Ryan in the 2022 edition of this Shore Area late summer feature.
For both Ciattei, the ex-Virginia Tech star, and Holt, the former Binghamton University standout, their 1-2 times in the event staged at Christian Brothers Academy's Dr. George Sheehan track also represented the fastest and next-fastest outdoor mile clockings in the nation this 2023 season, besting the 3:53.57 by John Gregorek at Falmouth, Mass. Aug. 16..
Further, the Ciattei and Holt performances were the second and third fastest outdoor miles ever run in New Jersey - after Ryan's 2022 Monmouth Mile time at Mater Dei Prep had eclipsed the prior in-state best of 3:53.64 by Mushin Jawher of Kenya and Bahrain at Princeton in 2002.
And just back of Ciattei and Holt were Kasey Knevelboard (3:53.52), Jack Anstey (3:53.87), Ben Allen (3:55.02), Rob Napolitano (3:59.16) and Lucian Fiore (3:59.38) as seven men bettered the once-magic four-minute mile mark.
Just over four were Alejandro Ambrosio (4:02.24), Matt Wisner (4:02.21), James Quttlebaum (4:04.09) and Ryan James (4:04.88)
Dazzling as all these top-notch and world outdoor list-quality performances were, however, they were nowhere near the fastest mile ever run in New Jersey - the 3:49.78 then-world record indoor clocking achieved by Ireland record-smasher and World champion Eamonn Coghlan at the 1983 Meadowlands Invitational Meet in East Rutherford,
The women's elite mile went to former Clemson star Laurie Barton in 4:28.07 over Judi Jones (4:45.0) and Mara Seykora (5:07.01.)
The men's and women's elite races capped a busy late afternoon and twilight Monmouth Mile program directed by Coach Joe Compagni that included youth, high school, Masters and community events, sponsored by Diadora, in cooperation with Runner's High, McLoone's Pier House, Medal Awards Plus, Shore AC and CBA.
GREENSBORO GOLD RUSH STORY: SHORE AC MASTERS STRIKE GOLD ELEVEN TIMES AT USA NATIONALS !! MONESMITH-LEE-LEWIS-HUFF-BLACK WINNERS
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
All the G’s were in alignment.
Google the Grand Gold rushes of history, the Gusting visions of the cherished inGots just waiting for the next incredibly fortunate digger to Gather and thus buld a lifetime of Glittering Grandeur.
And, for sure, you’ll strike Googled Gold at Kalgoorlie, Cripple Creek, Sutter’s Mill, the Klondike, Pilgrim’s Rest,,,and so many more.
But there was plenty of gold to be found in Greensboro, North Carolina, Thursday though Sunday, July 20-23, too.
And Shore AC stalwarts Fred Monesmith, Rick Lee, Oneithea “Neni” Lewis,
Carl Huff and Ivan Black staked their claims to big chunks of it, at the annual USATF National Masters Track and Field Championships at
North Carolina A&T State University’s Truist Stadium.
No less than 135 USATF club teams took part and Shore AC wound up an excellent 12th over-all with 133 team points. SAC’s 105 ranked seventh in men’s scoring and its 28 ranked 20th in women’s scoring, with 8-6-4-3-2-1 at stake in each event. And for sure, we’d have fared much higher if our whole lineup had been able to attend.
The Lee-Monesmith-Lewis-Huff-Black quintet garnered no less than 11 of those vaunted USATF National Championship gold medals. And plenty more silver and bronze, too.
As a famed football coach, trying to soothe his team’s vanquished opponent, once put it, “there was glory in it for all.”
Rick Lee, Shore AC’s brilliant and totally tireless distanceman, earned no less than five golds as he dominated the M60 division of the meet that was open to all athletes of ages from 25 to a century-plus.
Wow – this is Rick’s summary: 1st in the M60 1500 meters (4:52.41), 5000 meters (18:00.5), 10,000 meters (37:22.29) and in his debut as a 2,000-meter steeplechase, that event, too (7:33.36) For good measure, he ran on the winning M60 4x800 relay team (9:31.06) and placed 7th in the 800 (2:26.44.) Only in the 400 (1:04.13) did he miss the top echelon.
But it was Shore AC teammate Fred Monesmith whose all-around talents surely outdid everyone in Greensboro, and they were there from all over the USA – and a whole bunch of other nations. The runs, jumps, hurdles, weights and multis – Fred did them all !
Truth be told, Fred was totally understating his brilliant showing in this
post-meet, e-mailed report to his teammates.
He tells you that he “only” competed in 11 of the 12 events he originally entered in the M75 category. That, however, was counting the pentathlon as a single event (when it really is five) and not counting the two relays he ran, as well.
Here is what Fred told us:
“The meet is over and I was able to meet a number of other Shore AC athletes here.
I was able to compete in 11 of the 12 events scheduled. (His only miss – due to time conflict - was with the 100-meter sprint, where he’d almost surely have made the finals.)
Fred, along with his Shore AC teammates, was brilliant and tireless over the four days of the meet.
“I was able to earn 45 points for SAC of our 133 combined team points. My points were in the M75 group as follows:
“1st in the Pentathlon (2436 points); 2nd in the weight throw (18.57 meters); 2nd in the pole vault (1.90); 2nd in the discus (34.00); 3rd in the shot put (10.86); 3rd in the hammer (31.46); 3rd in the javelin (31.01); 4th in the triple jump (6.61); 5th in the high jump (1.19); 5th in the 80 M hurdles (19.15); 7th in the long jump (3.16).”
“I exceeded the All-American standard for all of my events and was especially pleased to earn a medal in all five throwing events. “
But that wasn’t the whole story. He ran a leg on the winning 4x100M relay and the 2nd place Shuttle Hurdles relay. (Oh, too, he had firsts in the M75 pentathlon long jump, javelin, 200 and discus.)
“t was great to throw the shot with (SAC teammate) Charley Roll , ,the discus with Glenn Weaver, and vault with Carlton Huff and to talk with other SAC team members.”
Summing it all up, “This meet will likely be the highlight of my Masters career and I was proud to represent our team.
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Our illustrious Shore Athletic Club, with a history that includes having its first USA National champion as far back as 1933, added to its glory list with top performances by its
four delegates to the 2023 USA Nationals, staged
July 6-9 at the historic Hayward Field on the University of
Oregon campus in Eugene.
Leading the way was brilliant and mighty shot putter Josh Awotunde, with a superb performance of 72 feet,
6 ¼ inches, that gave him the silver medal, trailing only world record-holder and two-time Olympic champion Ryan Crouser’s winning toss of 75 feet even.
Awotunde, the Delsea High School and University of South Carolina graduate, had started the competition slowly, and was in sixth place heading into the fourth round of the
Eugene SP event, where he unloaded his 72-6 1/4-effort that propelled him into second place, and there he stayed, even as top tossers Payton Otterdahl and Joe Kovacs were breathing down his back.
With his second-place performance, Awotunde’s best of the year and Number Five on the 2023 year list, and proudly wearing his Shore AC singlet for the National TV audience to see, he clinched a place on the Team USA delegation bound for August’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
This will be his second trip to the Worlds; he had placed third, back of Crouser and Kovacs, at the 2022 Worlds, also at Hayward Field, the glistening centerpiece of Eugene’s ongoing reputation as “Tracktown USA” and the American site where track and field is indeed treated as a major league sport.
Racewalking brothers Sam and Ryan Allen, both now collegians and graduates of Kingsway High School, kept Shore AC rolling at Hayward Field.
Early on the morning of July 9, for the 6.30 start of the men’s National 20,000-meter racewalk, Sam Allen, a rising senior at Cornell University, raced to a strong third place finish with a performance of 1:31:58.57, trailing only Californians Nick Christie (1:25.30) and Emanuel Corvera (1:31:31).
Christie, the veteran star, took an early lead and held it throughout. But Sam Allen was closing strongly on
Corvera over the last several of the event’s 50 laps. Jordan Crawford next in line at back of Sam Allen, fourth in 1:32:03. Sam, of course, had won the USA National Indoor 1-Mile walk title at February’s Millrose Games at the NYC Armory.
Not long after the completion of the Senior 20,000-meter race, it was time for the 10,000-meter racewalk in the concurrent USA Men’s Under 20 (Junior) National Championships.
Now it was time for Ryan Allen to excel.
Now a rising sophomore at Villanova University, he became a two-time U20 National champion with a convincing win in 46:17.05.
Leading throughout, he won by over a lap over walker-up Clayton Stoil.
Cheering them on was Mr. Frank Ratti, the official “Shore AC Ambassador to Tracktown USA.”
Completing the Shore AC lineup at Eugene was mighty hammer thower Tyler Williams, who also serves as throws coach at Widener University.
Williams came through with a 234-9 toss which landed him in 10th place back of champion Rudy Winkler.
Winkler, who had excelled for both Cornell and Rutgers, won it all with a heave of 259-4.
Williams, along with Sam and Ryan Allen, had warmed up for USA Nationals with top performances at the Elliott Denman/36th Annual New Jersey International Meet,
hosted by Shore AC June 17 at Monmouth University’s Joe Compagni Track and Kessler Stadium.
NOW – to backtrack and remember some great moments in Shore AC history at Nationals. Back in 1933, SAC’s Eulace Peacock had won the National AAU pentathlon title.
And in the 1935 National AAU Championships, Peacock beat Jesse Owens in both the 100-meter dash and long jump finals, stunning results that still rank among the great upsets in track and field history,
EDITOR’s NOTE: Given Peacock’s 1933 Nationals win, why did Shore AC list 1934 as its year of birth? Answer: insufficient research. Long after we established 1934 as our official
year of revival on the Track and Field scene, further research revealed to us that 1933 Peacock win.
16-ATHLETE SHORE AC DELEGATIONREADY FOR ACTIONON MULTIPLE FRONTSAT USA MASTERS NATIONALSIN GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
The USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships take place
July 20-23 at North Carolina A&T University’s Truist Stadium in Greensboro, and
16 Shore AC athletes will be in action on multiple fronts at the big event.
Especially busy-busy-busy-busy will be teammates Fred Monesmith, Rick Lee,
“Neni” Lewis and Dr. Harry Nolan. They’ll have little time to catch their breath
between their multiple assignments,
Having just celebrated his 75th birthday, Fred Monesmith will take part in- all going well – no less than 10 or 11 M75 division events.
And that’s amazing-incredible.
Heading into Greensboro, here’s what he told his Shore AC teammates:
“ As you know, this year in May, I turned 75 years old and will be representing Shore AC in many meets.
“ In June, at the Eastern Regional Masters meet in Mansfield, Pa, I participated in eight decathlon events except the 400 & 1500 meters. I finished first in seven events and second in the 100-meter race, losing by 0.01 seconds. I exceeded the All-American standard in all eight events.
“ Later in June, I decided to attend the Potomac Valley Track Club decathlon where I earned 5,155 points (new 2023 basis). Over the last two years only four guys have recorded better results in M75-79 decathlon worldwide. I exceed the All-American standard in 8 events.
“Last week, I attended the National Senior Games (in Pittsburgh) and was only able to participate in three events due to numerous scheduling problems. I finished first in the discus (35.49m), fourth in the pole vault and tenth in the 100m. sprint.
“This coming week I entered 12 events at the USATF Masters meet in Greensboro, N.C. It appears that I will (only) be able to participate in 10 or 11 of these events if I stay healthy. I have a good chance to win the outdoor pentathlon and discus and score some additional team points in all the other events (SP, 80H, HJ, HT, PV, JT, LJ, & WT). If all goes well, I may be able to earn 35-40 points for the team.
“During August, I am scheduled to attend the Throws Pentathlon Championship in Chicago and the National Decathlon Championship in Walnut, California. If all goes well, I will win at both of these meets. “
Shore AC Editor’s Note: What a man !! Go Fred Go!
The absolutely tireless Rick Lee, who excelled in the truly grueling
Comrades Double Marathon (a 53-mile-plus test over mostly uphill terrain in
South Africa last month) has signed up for no less than six M60 events – 400 meters, 800, 1500, 5,000, 10,000 and 2000 steeplechase.
Those who recognize and salute Lee’s amazing stamina – he also strarred in the super-grueling, super-testing Marathon Des Sables, a six-day, 250K race over the Sahara sands of south Morocco last year – reckon he’ll have no problem handling all those multiple events.
Shore AC Editor’s Note: Go Rick Go!
National Masters Hall of Famer and multiple record-breaker “Neni” Lewis will compete in the W60 shot, discus, hammer and weight throws.
Shore AC Editor’s Note: Go Neni Go !
Nolan, a National Masters Hall of Famer, too. is slated for the M75 800, 1500 and 2000 steeplechase.
Shore AC Editor’s Note: Go Harry Go !
And here’s a rundown of the other Shore AC entries in Greensboro:
Calvon Bowden, M30 100 and 200.
Matt Wallack, M60 100, 200 and 400.
Diane Essilfie, W45 100 and long jump.
Maurelhena Walles, W45 200 and 400.
Jon Smolenski, M40 5000.
Marissa Strange, W60 5000.
Barry Blake, M65 2000 steeplechase and 5000 and 10,000 racewalks.
Glenn Weaver, M75 discus.
Charley Roll, M75 shot put.
Peter Donini, M55 shot put.
Dr. Ivan Black, M70 triple jump.
Carl Huff, M70 pole vault.
Shore AC Editor’s Bottom Line: Go Team Go, Go Shore AC Go!!
(And keep up with the results at: Www.usatf.org.
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – The USA National Track and Field Championships are coming up July 6-9 in Eugene, Oregon.
The World Athletics Championships – the global title event in the most global of all sports, track and field – open in Budapest August 19 and run through the 27th.
For an array of elite competitors – and to the delight of those who attended the Elliott Denman/36th Annual New Jersey International meet, and the
Shore Athletic Club’s meet organizers – the very good news is that
their route to “Tracktown USA” (Eugene) and quite possibly the
Hungarian capitol (Budapest) – may now run through
West Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey USA.
“This is a great meet, I’m so glad they invited me, I’m so glad
I came,” said Jonathan Reniewicki, one of the top stars of the Elliott D/NJI
Meet, staged Saturday, June 17 at Monmouth University’s
Joe Compagni Track at Kessler Stadium.
With his brilliant 3:37.06 win in the men’s elite Dr. John Connors 1500-Meter Run, Reniewicki, a 27-year-old Arizona State University graduate who now represents the Under Armour team of top runners – many of them
track and field pros – the performance was a major breakthrough and
put him “right up there” on the national charts.
He’d already been recognized as a top-flight 5,000-meter runner
with a best of 13:20.31 for that 3.1-mile event, but now he’s a challenger for top honors in the 1500 – sometimes called “the metric mile,” – too.
Which event – or which events – will he run in Eugene? That’s still to be determined. But it’s a question that puts a wide smile on Reniewicki’s face.
“Now I’ll have my options, now I’ll have a pair of opportunities,” he told an interviewer after his Joe Compagni Track triumph.
His big win at the Elliott D/NJI Meet was both convincing and record-setting.
Ben Allen (3:41.30) and Jack Salisbury (3:42.33) ran 2-3 – also under
sub 4-minute mile pace – but Reniewicki raced home at least 30 yards ahead and in the process erased the meet record of 3:42.33 set by Australia’s
Sam McEntee in 2012.
Now – after top-notch Joe Compagni Track triumphs of their own – you can list Ahmed Jaziri, Derek Johnson, Alex Basten, Eric Holt, Emily MacKay, Helen Schlachtenlaufen, Meredith Rizzo, Lydia Olivere, Jeffrey Kline, Jacob Moran and Tyler Mitchell – as athletes to watch, too, in the big meets just ahead.
The Elliott D/NJI Meet prides itself on its globalism – over 40 nations have been represented in it since its first edition at Holmdel Hgh School in 1987 – and now the now the meet has a record-breaker from Tunisia.
He’s Jaziri, the former NCAA champion from Eastern Kentucky, who hopes to use his blazing 8:15.35 triumph in the Horace Ashenfelter Men’s 3000-Meter Steeplechase race as the clincher to repesent his North Africa homeland at the Worlds in Budapest.
The 8:15.35 clocking not only demolished the meet record by over a minute but was the fastest steeplechase time in the USA this year and 14th fastest in the world. And of those 13 quicker marks, all were run at either the Paris, France, or Rabat, Morocco meets, all million-dollar-plus stops on the Diamond League
circuit of major pro racing events.
Virginia’s Johnson (8:25.73) and Under Armour’s Basten (8:31.11) were Jaziri’s top pursuers, with personal bests of their own.
Empire Elite Club’s Holt, who ran a 3:54.09 mile last year at Middletown’s Mater Dei Prep track, dipped down to half that distance and blazed to a 1:47.48
win here in the Rich Kenah 800 Meters.
The Chrissy D’Alessandro Shaheen Memorial women’s 1500 Meters was another sizzler. It was as close as they come – New Balance Club’s MacKay (4:01.52) just edging Nike’s Schlachtenlaufen (4:01.55) by inches in a race that saw both crush the meet record of 4:07.89 set by Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid in 2012. Not only that, these 1-2 finishers are now the 4-5 fastest Americans and 21-22 on the world list for 2023.
The women’s steeplechase rce was brilliant, too.
Rizzo, a Yale graduate representing the Idaho Afoot club, nosed out Olivere, the Villanova star, 9;54.72 to 9:54.91, in a dash for the finish line that saw both demolish yet another meet record.
Meanwhile, the throwing events were raging on adjacent fields.
University of Maryland’s Kline won the men’s Al Blozis Memorial Shot Put – honoring the late and great former Georgetown University and New York Football Giants star who died heroically in the closing stages of World War II – with a toss of 62-2 ¼.
Moran, representing the Boston North Club, led the way in the men’s Bob Roggy Memorial Javelin – honoring the Holmdel great for whom this meet was first staged in 1987 – with his throw of 237-4.
Williams, the Widener University coach representing host Shore AC, led the way in the men’s Ira Wolfe Hammer Throw with his 243-11 heave that now ranks him seventh in the nation,
Shore AC’s Elisia Lancaster was a double winner in the women’s Al Blozis Shot Put (47-1) and Oneithea “Neni” Lewis Hammer Throw Throw (205-1.) Rhode Island’s Julia Campezato led the way in the women’s Barbara Friedrich Parcinski Javelin (158-0.)
The 1-Mile Racewalk events were named for a pair of Shore AC Olympians,
meet namesakes Denman and Todd Scully, the famed “Roger Bannister of racewalking “ with his historic 5:55.9 performance - as first man to walk a mile under 6 minutes, at the 1979 Mllrose Games - and saw top honors go to Shore AC’s Sam Allen (6:43.93) and Marist College’s Mia Priore (7:36.25.) Masters (40-up) walk champions were Curt Clausen (8:54.63) and Michelle Rohl (7:45.71), both three-time USA Olympians.
A top high schooler in the meet was Northern Burlington Regional sophomore Liliah Gordon, already a Junior Olympic national champion, who won the Dr. Norbert Sander Memorial Women’s Elite 5,000 meters in 17:32.80, yet another meet record.
The meet program listed events for men and women in the Youth, Open, Masters and Elite divisions and nearly all events were named for past greats of the sport, the majority of them with New Jersey ties.
In that category were such other events as the men’s Frank Budd 100, Andy Stanfield 200, Larry James 400, Renaldo Nehemiah 110 hurdles, Mike Pascuzzo high jump and Norman Tate triple jump, and the women’s Joetta Clark Diggs 800. Other events were titled for Shore AC stars Aliann Pompey, John Kuhi, Arthur Smith, Dr. Matt Brown, Dr. Harry Nolan, Dr. George Sheehan, Paul Richard, George Kochman and Dr, Phil Shinnick, and Jersey Shore Running Club’s Mary Conry.
Born as the Bob Roggy Memorial Meet in 1987 – a year after the Holmdel High School, Southern Illinois University and Shore AC javelin superstar, NCAA and USA national champion and world number-one-ranked spearman died after a tragic accident at the US Olympic Sports Festival in Houston – this year’s meet honored Elliott Denman.
West Long Branch resident Denman has worn many hats in his long career in sports - USA Olympic 50K racewalker (1956), Asbury Park Press sports columnist
and Olympic writer (1964-99), three-time New Jersey sportswriter of the year, past president of the Track and Field Writers of America (1996-98), first varsity track coach at Monmouth University/ then College (1966-68), international racewalking judge (1980-2010), high school, collegiate and USATF official, USA international team leader, and a founding father of the “new” Shore Athletic Club (1964.) Father of three and grandfather of eight, he and the former Jo Denman, originally of Sheringham, England, have been wed for over 60 years.
“We beat very-very-very long odds in finding each other,” said Denman.
This meet will now go high on his list, too.
“Wow! amazing! how it all happened, and all thanks go to my Shore AC teammates. And our many-many-many sponsors. And Monmouth University. And Maurice Bell and Viper Timing. Everything was 100 percent.
“They (an organizing committee led by Joe Compagni, Dave Friedman and Erin O’Neill, assisted by Shore AC president Walter MacGowan, former Shore AC intern Dayna Luma, and a whole lot of others) got it all done, and I will always remember this day and be thankful to them.
“We even had a Community Mile (in which entrants could “run it. jog it, walk it or stroll it”) which had nearly 100 doing their four laps, in a benefit for two excellent charities, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and Shore AC’s own Development Fund, supporting the club’s year-round programs for athletes of all ages, all events, and all divisions.”
Leading these Community Milers was U.S. Marine Corps first lieutenant Greg Nelson, who came up from Fort Lejeune, N.C. . to support the event….and led it in 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
“And even The Person Above cooperated,” summed-up Denman.” We had perfect weather, too.”
36th ANNUAL NEW JERSEY INTERNATIONAL MEET SET FOR JUNE 17 AT MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY AND WILL HONOR ELLIOTT DENMAN
Shore AC founding father Elliott Denman is incredibly excited these days.
As Elliott, who with others, got the "new" Shore AC rolling in the early 1960s, and has been dedicated to the club's many major strides forward in the 60-plus years since, puts it this way in this message to his dear friends, colleagues, teammates and kind folks:
"It is a wee hour as I write this and I am “sleepless in West Long Branch." I really, truly, fervently want to tell you these things right now and that is why I am up and about and sitting at a keyboard at 3:55 a.m.
"Things began spinning several few weeks ago when my teammates said they would like to add my name to the title of the New Jersey International Track and Field Meet, a great meet but born of tragedy in 1987 – the sad passing of javelin superstar Bob Roggy. The meet is an event that I have been “all in on” ever since.
"I was (a) truly surprised and (b) at first quite hesitant about accepting this amazing accolade but ran the idea past dear wife Jo and she said, “of course, of course, you have to say yes.” So, yes, here we are - the wonderful people of the Shore Athletic Club – pouring incredible effort into making the Elliott Denman New Jersey International Track and Field Meet, scheduled for Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the outstanding Joe Compagni Track at Monmouth University’s Kessler Stadium in West Long Branch, NJ – a very special occasion. "It will be designed as “not your usual track meet.” For sure, it will again feature Elite athletes–among them star racers taking on the “Sub-4 Challenge” in the men’s mile. But it will also include events for Open, Masters and Youth athletes in standard events, all of them pouring their energies into the “flagship sport of the Olympic Games.”
"It will also include the Community Mile in which one and all are invited to Run, Jog, Walk or Stroll four laps around the Compagni rack, with proceeds dedicated to two excellent causes, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Shore AC Development Fund, supporting events for athletes of all ages and events, the year round.
"The day’s events will also include a glad reunion of those who’ve played a role in Shore AC history and in Elliott Denman’s own journey – on and off the track – all these years. But I’m 89-plus now, have dealt (happily, successfully) with several difficult health issues this past year while also saying sad goodbye to many wonderful people – and that’s all the more reason to make June 17 “a very special occasion.” There is no admission fee and one & all are most cordially invited. Most sincerely, Elliott Denman."
Led by both a masters men’s and women’s 4 x 100 relay winning teams, the Shore Athletic Club scored well in the 2023 annual Penn Relays Carnival. The men’s 65-70 4 x 400 composed of Rick Lapp, Keith McQuitter, Dave Gritz and Ivan Black sped to an early morning win on Thursday in 1:01.43. Also claiming a famed Penn Wheel was the 40 and over women’s team of Diane Essilfie, Andrea Collier, Maurella Walles,and Eusheka Bartley who clocked in with a fast 55.19. Essilfie and Walles returned to the track on Friday and teamed with Katie Schramm and Tatlyana Cooper to place third in the women’s open 4 x 100 meter relay in 52.44. In the mid-day men’s 70-75 one hundred meter dash, it was Rick Lapp returning to the track to place fourth in 14.90.
In the late afternoon of Thursday, it was the masters 4 x 400 meter relays, and the club had teams entered in the 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70-Over division races. The best finish for the club was in the men’s 70-Over race, with the club entry of Rick Lapp, Harry Nolan, Kerry Gillespie and Ivan Black placing second behind the all-star team of the Houston Elite in 5:07.73. While not finishing in the money, the club's other 4 x 400 teams distinguished themselves in their various races. The 60-69 team of Bill Hughes, Matt Wallack, Keith McQuitter and Rick Lee finished a very close fourth in 4:29.98, while the 50-59 team of Ron Bork, Chris Rinaldi, Paul Henry and new club member Harris Gibson landed a well fought battle in sixth place in 4:36.16. For Nolan, at 76, it was his 55th year of running at Penn, while for Lee, at 61, it was his first year ever running in the relays, after winning his age group at the Boston Marathon a week earlier.
For the first time in a number of years, the club also had a 4 x 400 relay team entered in the 40-49 race. This was not only a Shore A.C. team, but a team made up of four former CBA runners competing as a relay team for the first time in over twenty-five years. The team of Matt Coleman, Dan Campbell, George Kochman and Tom DiChiara also landed a sixth place in their race in 4:09.76. Not to be outdone, on Saturday, it was the club open men’s 4 x 400 team of Alan Laws, Isaac Clerk, Syteek Farrington and Michael Twist landing seventh place in a fast 3:28.27.
YOUNG STAR SCHMITT AND BRADLEY TAKE CAPT. ZINN MEMORIAL 5K RUN TITLES; CAMPOS, RODRIGUEZ PACE 5K RACEWALKERS.
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
COLTS NECK, NJ – The lanky lad, seemingly destined to run his way into his sport’s biggest time, has done it.
This tall young man’s name is Gavin Schmitt and his decisive triumph in the 58th annual Captain Ronald Zinn Memorial 5K at Dorbrook Park on April 2 was a clear indication that much better achievements are just ahead.
He’s just 14, a student at St. Leo the Great School in Lincroft, and set to join the always-power-packed distance running lineup at Christian Brothers Academy in September.
On this chilly, blustery Sunday morning, the Holmdel resident toured the Dorbrook course in 16:12.76 in becoming the youngest winner in the Capt. Zinn event’s long and distinguished history.
Taking an early lead, Schmitt won decisively over Locust resident Matt Coleman (17:30) and Red Bank’s Benjamin Hutterer (17:41). Schmitt has already placed high in national age-group events. The best yet now awaits him.
Emma Bradley, 17, of Florham Park (18:47) led the women’s division of the Capt. Zinn event hosted by Shore Athletic Club in another of the club’s year-round schedule of events in all branches of track and field, for athletes of all ages.
Co-featured with the Capt. Zinn Run was the traditional 5K Racewalk, where Luis Alberto Campos of West New York (28:52.11) edged out Israel (Jerry) Soto of the Bronx, NY (28:54.25) for over-all honors, and Cristiana Rodriguez of Elmwood Park (32:28) took women’s top walk honors.
This was the 58th annual edition of the race, honoring the memory of
Capt. Zinn, the heroic West Pointer and two-time USA Olympian who gave
his life for his country , July 7, 1965, in Vietnam, and again saluted the service of all Vietnam veterans.
Capt. Zinn, who’d competed in Long Branch, Asbury Park and Seaside Heights as a West Pointer in 1961-62-63-64, went on star for the USA Olympic team in the 20-kilometer racewalk at the Rome Olympics of 1960 and the Tokyo Olympics of 1964. His sixth-place finish at Tokyo remains the second-best-ever in Olympic annals by an American racewalker at 20K. He’d also been an excellent runner on the West Point cross country team, twice advancing to the NCAA Championships.
The races are sponsored by NJ Natural Gas. Co. in cooperation with St. James School,of Red Bank and Jughandle Brewing Co. and in support of the Lt. Dennis Zilinski II Memorial Fund.
Most senior stars were Olie Nelson, 87 of Farmingdale, and Frank Bergson, 84, of White House Station. Nelson ran a 33:41, Bergson walked 54:30.
Full results can be found at www.compuscore.com. The full schedule of upcoming Shore AC events can be found at www.shoreac.org.