LOS ALTOS, CALIFORNIA - The authoritative Track and Field News world and U.S. rankings for the 2018 season have been posted and once again Shore AC "alumni" and current Varsity Team athletes have earned prominent positions of honor.
Once again atop the USA women's 800-meter list is Neptune's own Ajee' Wilson, our distinguished Shore AC alumna.
Already an eight-time USA champion, a 2016 Olympian and past World Youth and Junior champion, Temple University graduate Ms. Wilson is ranked #1 in the nation at the two-lap distance and #3 in the world. Only her chief rivals on the global circuit, Caster Semenya of South Africa and Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, are listed ahead of international star Wilson in the World rankings. Semenya was also named women's athlete of the year by Track and Field News, the publication called "the bible of the sport."
Seven current Shore AC Varsity Team athletes have gained U.S. top-10 rankings in their specialities.
With the wheels in motion - hopefully - to get the women's 50-Kilometer Racewalk onto the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program, 50K pioneer Erin Taylor-Talcott of Shore AC is ranked #2 in the nation and clubmate Susan Randall #3 over the ultra-tough 31.1-mile distance. Taylor-Talcott's promotional efforts over a long period of years are now paying off as the 50K seems destined to become the 24th Olympic event for women - matching the men's total - as the IAAF and IOC stride to their avowed goals of assuring total gender equity.
On the men's side of the sport, Shore AC pole vaulter Scott Houston, javelin thrower Mike Brazzel and racewalkers Anthony "A.J." Gruttadauro, Michael Mannozzi and Dave Talcott have all gained top-10 U.S. positions.
Houston, the USA national indoor champion, was ranked #3 in the pole vault, back only of World #1 Sam Kendricks and Chris Nilsen.
Brazzel, the former Georgian Court University star, made his Shore AC debut season a big one and ranked #8 in the javelin, on a USA list topped by another Jerseyan, Curtis Thompson of Florence and Mississippi State University.
The men's 50K racewalk list sees Shore AC's Gruttadauro as #3 and Talcott as #6. In the men's 20K racewalk rankings, it's Shore AC's Gruttadauro #7 and Mannozzi #9.
Donovan Catholic HS graduate and UCLA sophomore Alyssa Wilson of Howell Township gained a National #10 ranking in the women's hammer throw. Of course, she's always a triple threat in every major meet - having excelled in the shot put and discus, too at such major meets as the Pac-10, NCAA, USA 20-under and World 20-Under Championships.
Many other New Jerseyans feature prominently in the rankings. Among them are:
By Elliott Denman