SHORE AC TEAMMATES AJEE' WILSON, JOSH AWOTUNDE STAR FOR TEAM USA AT THE 18TH EDITION OF THE WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS STAGED MARCH 18-19-20 AT THE STARK ARENA IN BELGRADE, SERBIA !!!
Major cheers for Shore AC Alumna Ajee' Wilson, for her explosive, dramatic, breakaway 1:59.09 win in the women's 800-meter final. It was one of just three gold medals collected by Team USA.
Major cheers, too, for Shore AC Varsity Team member Josh Awotunde, for his great 21.70-meter toss, good for a truly terrific fifth place in the absolutely loaded men's shot put final.
Here is the story of Teammate Ajee's big-big-win, as recounted by Simon Turnbull of
Wilson brings her A game to claim global 800m gold in devastating fashion
March 20, 2022
This time, Ajee Wilson didn’t have to settle for a silver lining.
Beaten to the world indoor 800m title on home ground in Portland in 2016 and in Birmingham in 2018, the 27-year-old from the United States finally found a Midas touch on the closing night of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22.
She did so with a vengeance, putting the hammer down at the bell and destroying her rivals with a 29.19 final circuit of the Stark Arena.
Sweeping into the lead with a devastating burst of acceleration, Wilson surged relentlessly clear, crossing the line with a 1.45 cushion in 1:59.09.
It was a perfectly timed effort, rendering Freweyni Hailu’s late charge from the back of the field worthy of only silver.
Fourth in the Olympic 1500m final last year, the Ethiopian passed three rivals in the home straight to finish a well-beaten runner up in 2:00.54.
"It feels amazing to finally come home with the gold after coming so close so many times," said Wilson.
"I've been working on that last phase of the race and I knew if I was close I had a good chance of running away with it and when I went I wanted to make sure it was convincing and power through the line."
Uganda’s world outdoor champion Halimah Nakaayi took bronze in 2:00.66, with early leader Natoya Goule of Jamaica fourth in 2:01.18 and Australian Catriona Bisset fifth in 2:01.24.
“Maybe my reaction was too slow and that cost me the gold medal,” said Nakaayi, reflecting on Wilson’s decisive break.
“Right now I am glad for a medal despite the fact that my tactics were prepared to win gold.”
Having missed the qualifying cut for the Olympic final last year, Wilson’s consummately executed victory was all the sweeter.
The world U18 champion in Lille in 2011 and world U20 winner in Barcelona the following year, the native of Neptune, New Jersey, has finally made it to global gold standard at senior level.
See Simon Turnbull's Article here
A huge congratulations to our youth athletes and coaches: Big Bob and Coach Will! Shore A.C./Gone Running stand out, Jess Abbott finished 2nd in the 1500M running a PR of 4:46! Additionally, three boys went sub-5 that same day. It was a great day for our youth program at the USATF National Championships in Staten Island. N.Y.! Keep up the great work!
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
When Talitha Diggs crossed the finish line in 50.98 seconds, last Saturday (March 12) to claim the women’s 400-meter title at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, at the CrossPlex athletic facility in Birmingham, one of the many world-class indoor track venues now emerging around the nation, reverberations were heard far beyond the Alabama borders.
They resounded in at least five other states:
* In Pennsylvania, where she’d gone to high school (and was a five-time state champion at Saucon Valley High.)
* In New Jersey, where her Mom, Joetta Clark Diggs, had risen to fame (at
Columbia High School of Maplewood), as a four-time USA 800-meter Olympian, 12-time USA National champion, multiple major-meet record-breaker and, capping it all, as electee to both the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and her home state’s all-endeavors Hall of Fame.
* In Indiana, where at NCAA headquarters, they were scanning the archives to determine where the Diggs’ feat, added to her Mom’s exploits (as a nine-time national-collegiate gold
medalist at Tennessee), fit into all of NCAA history.
* In the Sunshine State, where this sophomore sensation was a key ingredient in the University of Florida's romp to the NCAA women's indoor team title.
* And, of course/of course, in Oregon, site of this June’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, the official qualifying meet for July’s historic World Championships, the global title meet coming to America (Eugene’s Hayward Field, to be precise) for the first time.
Best guess is that in not much more than 50.98 seconds and her Birmingham win, the sport’s stats-keepers were penciling-in Talitha Diggs as a red-hot candidate for Team USA 2022, not just in the individual 400 meters but in two of the 4x400 relay events (all-women and mixed men and women) now on the Worlds slate of events.
And as a major candidate for the Paris Olympic Games of 2024, too.
“Yes, it was exciting to be there and see it all,” said Joetta Clark Diggs, just back from Birmingham. “Talitha ran a great race in the final. She made us proud.”
Diggs’ 50.98 was a personal best-ever indoor clocking and she won it decisively over Kennedy Simon of Texas, whose runner-up 51.46 was also a personal best.
Stacey Ann Williams of Texas – and Jamaica – (51.49), Alexis Holmes of Kentucky (51.50) and Jan Taijah Ford of Southern California (51.51) occupied the 3-4-5 slots.
The 50.98 was not an NCAA indoor meet record – that still belongs to, who Southern Cal’s Kendall Ellis, who ran 50.34 in 2018.
But it may have been something more important.
“It made us the first mother-and-daughter pair ever to win NCAA individual-event
track and field championships,” said her Mom, whose pride keeps reaching record-breaking levels now, too.
“I think she’s got a pretty good future in the sport.”
That’s obviously putting it oh-so-very-mildly.
Talitha Diggs made a brilliant collegiate debut as a Florida freshman in 2021, and her 50.74 outdoor best ranked 28th in the world and 10th in the USA. Oh, and she was an All-Academic honoree, too.
At the 2021 NCAA’s before heading into the USA Final Trials for the year-delayed Tokyo Olympic Games, she ran second to eventual Olympic 800 gold medalist Athing Mu of Texas A&M in the final. On now to the Trials, where she easily advanced out of the first round, but bowed out in the semifinals, and then saw Quanera Hayes take the final in 49.78.
For Diggs, just getting that far was a major achievement – she was just 18 years old.
As all track people have always known, only time will tell as to all these golden possibilities just ahead. Nothing is ever a given in this what-have-you-done-fror-me-lately sport.
Now, back to Birmingham.
Diggs’ 10 points and her teammates’ 58 more gave the Gators their second-ever NCAA indoor team title, with Texas (56), Kentucky (44), Arkansas (40) and LSU (29 ½) next in line, as 59 schools wound up in the scoring column with at least a single point.
As Gator publicists wrote it, “Florida held a slim lead heading into the second day of the meet, but blew the competition out of the water on Saturday evening, winning the team title with three events to spare (and thus able to scratch out of the concluding 4x400 relay.)
“The Gators home five individual titles (hurdler Grace Stark, long-triple jumper Jasmine Moore and pentathlete Anna Hall won the others) and that was just the second time that's happened in the history of the NCAA Women's Indoor Championships.
“The Gators wrapped up the team race (68 points) before the start of the 200 meters, allowing Florida the ability to watch the final three events before the trophy celebration.”
This NCAA Championship is the 11th in Gator program history and the second won by the women's team. This is also the 10th team title won under the leadership of head Coach Mike Holloway.
Bottom line: For Talitha Diggs and all the Florida Gators, even better things are just ahead.
She’ll be 20 on August 22nd.
There will be lots more to celebrate by then. Count on it.
THE ANNUAL USA TRACK AND FIELD INDOOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS -
A MEET NOT HELD IN 2021 DUE TO THE PANDEMIC AND LAST STAGED AT
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO IN 2020 - RETURNED TO THE SCHEDULE
AND PRODUCED AN ARRAY OF SPARKLING PERFORMANCES,
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26-27, 2022 AT THE
BRAND-NEW PODIUM FACILITY IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON.
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
We are delighted to report that distinguished Shore AC Alumna Ms. Ajee' Wilson and Shore AC Varsity Team Member Mr. Josh Awotunde were at the top of their game and with brilliant efforts in the nationally televised meet clinched berths on the USA National Team headed for the upcoming (March 18-19-20) World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
Neptune's Ms. Wilson was sensational again in her signature event, the 800 meters, and, controlling the pace from the 200-meter mark onward, raced to a decisive win in 2:01.72.
Another New Jerseyan, Olivia Baker, the former Columbia HS and Stanford star, placed 2nd in 2:02.14 and will thus make the Worlds team in Belgrade, too.
For Ms. Wilson, it was her eighth USA National Indoor crown amassed over the years, and 12th National crown all-time, indoors and outdoors. Not since being tripped up in the 600 final and winding up 6th at Boston in 2015, has she done anything but win at Indoor Nationals. Her roll call of previous Indoor National golds Albuquerque in 2013-14, Portland in
2016, Albuquerque in 2017-18, Staten Island in 2019, and Albuquerque once more in 2020.
Shore AC shot put star Josh Awotunde - the Delsea High School and University of South Carlina graduate who until a week ago had the world's longest toss this winter - was also at the top of his game and reached another seasonal best with a mighty effort of 71-4, good for
second place. At his best, too, though, was Olympic champion and world record-holder Ryan Crouser, who won with a 73-10 1/4 performance.
Bound for Belgrade, too, will be Josette Norris, the Tenafly High School and Georgetown
University graduate, whose blazing finish carried her to a photo-finish second in the women's 3,000-meter final. The top three in this exciting event were separated by the slimmest of
margins, with Heather MacLean first over the line in 4:06.09 to Norris's 4:06.13, with Elle Purrier St. Pierre third at 4:06.14. In December, Norris will also be bound for the altar - to wed Shore AC and Manalapan stalwart Robby Andrews, the 2016 Olympian and 2017 Naitonal 1500 champion.
Shore AC's Amina Smith - now serving as head jumps coach at her alma mater, the Univerity of Maryland - reached her season best height of 6 feet and 3/4 of an inch for sixth place in the women's high jump.
Two-time USA Olympian Rudy Winkler, the former Cornell and Rutgers star, placed third in the men's 35-pound weight throw at 78-0. Sixth in the women's 20-pound weight throw with a career-best toss of 73-9, was Alyssa Wilson, the former Donovan Catholic High School and UCLA star now finishing her collegiate career at Texas State University.
It was a tough Indoor Nationals, however, for Shore AC pole vault star Scott Houston, a past USA champion, who missed his three attempts at opening height of 18-1.
IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE THAT WE ANNOUNCE THAT FOUR SHORE AC TEAMMATES HAVE BEEN NAMED TO THE USA TEAM SELECTED TO REPRESENT THE NATION IN THE UPCOMING WORLD RACEWALKING TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS IN MUSCAT, OMAN !!!
THEY AND THEIR AMERICAN COLLEAGUES WILL RACE AT THE 20K AND 35K DISTANCES IN THIS HISTORIC FIRST MAJOR ATHLETICS EVENT TO BE HELD IN NATION OF OMAN!!!
WE WISH THEM ALL THE VERY BEST, ALONG WITH THEIR INTERNATIONAL RIVALS, IN THIS PRECEDENT-SETTING GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COMPETITION.
Representing Team USA will be Shore AC teammates:
Sam Allen, in the men's 20K
Anthony (A.J. ) Gruttadauro in the men's 20K.
Michael Mannozzi, in the men's 35K
Erin Taylor-Talcott, in the women's 35K.
And here is the complete news release from USA Track and Field:
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — USATF announced the roster for the 2022 World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships set to take place March 3-5 in Muscat, Oman. Team USATF will send 16 race walkers, with Olympians Nick Christie and Robyn Stevens highlighting the bunch.
Nick Christie is coming off of a recent win in the 3000m race walk at the 2022 USATF Race Walk Championships in January. His 11:43.46 was nearly 12 seconds faster than the rest of the field. He’s seen recent success at longer distances as well, clocking a 2:48:48 to win the 2022 USATF 35 km Race Walk Championships in Santee, California in January.
Daniel Nehnevaj took second to Christie at the 2022 USATF 35 km Race Walk Championships, clocking a 2:59:22 to join Team USATF in Muscat at the same distance. Bricyn Healey and Michael Mannozi will round out the 35 km men.
Erin Taylor Talcott and Stephanie Casey, each with several major championships under their belts, will race at the 35 km distance on the women’s side.
The 20 km men’s qualifiers include 19-year-old Samuel Allen, who will compete alongside Jordan Crawford, Emmanuel Corvera, and AJ Gruttadauro at the distance.
Robyn Stevens returns to the 20 km distance after a win at the Olympic Trials 20 km Race Walk in 1:35:13. She will be joined by established race walkers Katie Burnett and Celina Lepe.
The group is capped off by three U20 athletes — Heather Durrant, Angelica Harris, and Adeline Johnson — set to compete in the U20 10 km race walk. This will be the first major international championship for all three.
Team USATF Athlete RosterNick Christie - Men’s 35 km Race Walk
Bricyn Healey - Men’s 35 km Race Walk
Michael Mannozzi - Men’s 35 km Race Walk
Daniel Nehnevaj - Men’s 35 km Race Walk
Stephanie Casey - Women’s 35 km Race Walk
ErinTaylor Talcott - Women’s 35 km Race Walk
Samuel Allen - Men’s 20 km Race Walk
Emmanuel Corvera - Men’s 20 km Race Walk
Jordan Crawford - Men’s 20 km Race Walk
AJ Gruttadauro - Men’s 20 km Race Walk
Katie Burnett - Women’s 20 km Race Walk
Celina Lepe - Women’s 20 km Race Walk
Robyn Stevens - Women’s 20 km Race Walk
Heather Durrant - Women’s U20 10 km Race Walk
Angelica Harris - Women’s U20 10 km Race Walk
Adeline Johnson - Women’s U20 10 km Race Walk
Team USATF Staff RosterTom Menendez - Men’s Head Coach
Patricia Hanna - Women’s Head Coach
Diane Graham Henry - Head Manager
Ena Weinstein - Head ATC/LMT
Richard Robert - LMT
TWO USATF Junior Olympics National Champs here!!! Jessica Abbott won for the THIRD year in a row, 13-14 year age group. This is just incredible and super impressive!
Liliah Gordon (North Burlington HS – NJ Freshman XC athlete of the year and #8finisher at the MOC at Holmdel) won the 15-16 year age group championship!
Back in December this took place in Paris, Kentucky in horrendous conditions the morning after the violent tornadoes swept through the state.
In total 6 of our athletes ventured to the meet. A very special thank you to Jessica Abbott, Liliah Gordon, Emerison Muir, Justin Romano, Sabrina Roselli and Clay Stevens!
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, speaking at Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games at Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium, alluded to the
special concurrence of the Games taking place in the world's most populous nation in the once-in-a-dozen Year of the Tiger on Chinese calendars.
In Princeton, New Jersey, this Year of the Tiger - 2022 - has a very special ring to it.
No less than nine Beijing Winter Games athletes, representing four nations, have ties to Princeton University.
Most prominent ex-Tiger - perhaps the most noted athlete in the entire Friday night parade of nations at Opening Ceremonies -was Nathan Crumpton, Princeton University
class of 2008.
Braving the icy Beijing temps, Crumpton was prominent as that shirtless guy proudly carrying the flag of American Samoa into the Bird's Nest gala.
He'd done the same thing - with no chill whatsoever - at last July's Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he represented American Samoa in track and field's 100-meter dash.
Crumpton is in Beijing to compete, along with some of the world's great daredevil athletes, in the men's skeleton sliding event.
At 36, Crumpton is a professional photographer with a global background. He was born in Kenya while his father was stationed abroad with the U.S. Foreign Service. He spent his childhood in Africa and Australia before settling in Virginia during his high school years.
He moved on to Princeton, where he excelled on Coach Fred Samara's Tiger track and field team, as a key scorer on Heptagonal/Ivy League champion teams, and posting triple jump marks that still rank high on the Princeton all-time charts.
Ex-Tigers Charlie Volker, Chloe Kim and Declan Farmer are members of Team USA.
Ex-football and track standout Volker, the former NJSIAA Meet of Champions titlist in the 100-meter dash for Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS, and a brilliant running back in high school and college, as both Rumson Bulldog and Princeton Tiger, will compete in the two-man and four-man bobsled events,
Kim is set to compete in the snowboarding event. The Paralympics take place two weeks after the Winter Games and Farmer will be in unifom for the American sled hockey team.
The women's ice hockey tournament's strongest two squads are USA and Canada, and Tiger alumnae Sarah Fillier and Claire Thompson will compete for Canada. Competing for the Canadian men's hockey squad will be Princeton grad Max Verroneau.
Playing for host China's women's hockey team will be Princeton alumna Kim Newell.
Another USA medal hopeful is Kelly Curtis in the women's skeleton event. A former star athlete at Princeton High School, Lawrenceville School and Springfield College, and now a member of the US Air Force, she excelled in track and field's heptathlon event and once was a point-scorer for the Shore Athletic Club team that won the women's USA Track and Field National Club team championship. Her husband, Jeff Milliron, was a top performer in track and field's throwing events, and a former throws coach at Princeton University and Tulane University.
SHORE AC MASTERS DISTANCE STAR MARC BLOOM REFLECTS ON A LIFETIME OF RUNNING AND HOW HE KEEPS GOING (as originally published by DyeStat.com)
SHORE ATHLETIC CLUB SALUTES MR. LIAM MURPHY AND HIS VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY TEAMMATES CHARLIE O'DONOVAN AND SEAN DOLAN !!!
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
ALL THREE WILDCATS dipped under the one-magic four-minute mark for the mile in an historic team performance at the Sykea and Sabock Challenge Meet at Penn State University's Horace Ashenfelter Indoor track last Saturday, Jan. 29 !!!
O'Donovan and Dolan had boken four previously but it was the first sub-4 by Murphy and he thus joined the truly elite group of those who have broken 4 - indoors or outdoors - since the performance was first achieved by Dr. Roger Bannister at Oxford, England, May 6, 1954.
Furthermore, Murphy,a resident of Millstone Township, N.J. and an alumnus of Allentown High School, joins the small, elite sub-group of sub-4 runners to emerge from the Monmouth/Ocean County - Shore area of New Jersey over the years.
He is the fifth runner - from a fifth different high school - to have achieved the feat.
His Shore area HS Alumni sub-4 predecessors have been Robby Andrews of Manalapan HS, Craig Forys of Colts Neck HS,, Rob Napolitano of Red Bank Catholic HS and Tim Gorman of Christian Brothers Academy.
Murphy, who has redshirt freshman status at Villanova, was honored as a scholastic athlete of the year by Shore Athletic Club after his brilliant, state-championship senior year at Allentown High School.
Here, courtesy of Villanova University, are further details:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- It was a historic day for Villanova at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track as three Wildcats posted sub-four minute times in the Mile in the same race at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 29. The trio of senior Charlie O'Donovan (Cork, Ireland), junior Sean Dolan (Pennington, N.J.) and redshirt freshman Liam Murphy (Millstone, N.J.) all crossed the finish line in under four minutes to add to the Villanova legacy of one of the most distinguished achievements for a distance runner.
Murphy becomes the 44th member of the Wildcats celebrated club of sub-four minute milers, joining O'Donovan and Dolan on the current roster as well as dozens of world-class runners who came before them. Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan, one of only three athletes ever to run more than 100 career sub-four races, has now coached the 18 most recent sub-four Villanovans. O'Donovan first achieved the feat in Boston in February 2020 and Dolan registered the first sub-four miles of his career during the 2021 indoor season.
In Saturday's race at Penn State it was O'Donovan who led the Wildcats trio with a time of 3:57.46, while Dolan was just behind him in 3:57.59 and Murphy posted a time of 3:59.63. Pending the outcome of other races around the country this weekend, O'Donovan and Dolan currently rank 13th and 15th on the season's NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying List. They each now own two of the 10 fastest indoor Miles times in school history. The top 16 The top 16 declared athletes in each individual event contested at the NCAA Championships will be selected for the national meet in March.
O'Donovan came in second in Saturday's race, followed by Dolan in third place and Murphy fifth in a field of 37 runners. The first five runners across the finish line in the fastest heat of the Mile broke four minutes, with the three Villanova runners accompanied by athletes from Penn State and Penn in posting historic marks.
CHECK OUT LIAM'S CAREER RESULTS