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.