Monmouth County girls track and field in review, 2013-14

Athlete of the year: Nicole Macco’s willingness to throw herself into the air upside down was one of the main traits which made her a successful gymnast.

Thanks to her tenacity and daring, the Matawan junior parlayed that same trait into a state championship in the pole vault.

Macco, who has been practicing gymnastics since she was in elementary school, first came into contact with pole vaulting when discussing it with a gymnastics club teammate, who happened to be a senior at Matawan competing in the pole vault. It wasn’t long before the Matawan coaching staff was chasing down Macco to pursue the pole vault as well.

“I saw it coming,” Macco said. “I had done gymnastics my whole life. When I came to high school and they realized I did gymnastics, that was it. I know it looks scary to most people but I didn’t mind being upside down in the air.”

Succeeding in the pole vault was another matter.

“I wasn’t sure I would clear anything because I didn’t know if I was doing it right,” said Macco, who was thrown into her first competition as a freshman and she cleared 7-0 and 7-6 at her first meet. “Overall it came pretty naturally.”

Macco’s improvement has been steady since, and this season she enjoyed her most fruitful campaign yet. She won the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 title (10-6), the Group 2 championship (11-10), and the Meet of Champions title with an 11-6. She also placed second at the Eastern States Championship with a career-best 12-0, the top vault in the state this season.

Macco could not capitalize on her momentum from her success in New Jersey, as she failed to clear the opening height of 11-7 at the New Balance Nationals.

“That got me extra-motivated for spring season,” Macco said. “I’m a really competitive person so I was really angry. Once I calmed down I said now I’m ready for spring.”

Team of the year: Freehold Township, under State Coach of the Year Todd Briggs, had a dominant year on the track, highlighted by a Monmouth County Championship and Relay title, a Shore Conference crown, a Central Jersey, Group 4 victory, and capped off with a national championship in the 4×800-meter relay.

With one of the best 4×800 teams in the country throughout the season, Freehold Township put on a show at New Balance Nationals on March 15 when it won in a U.S. No. 1 9:00.62. With Adrian Vitello as its lead off and Emily Bracher as its anchor, middle legs Caitlyn Poss (2:13.6) and Ciara Roche (2:17.3) made the difference in the historic victory.

At the Monmouth County Relays on Jan. 4, Freehold Township took the title in the 4×200 (1:51.65), the 4×400 (4:11.48), the 4×800 (9:26.61), and the distance medley (4:19.22) to walk away with the title.

At the Monmouth County Championships on Jan. 10, Roche won the 3,200 in 11:16.33, and Bracher (2:17.04) led a 1-2 finish with Vitello (2:17.30) in the 800 to claim the title.

Freehold Township beat Southern in the 4×400 for the first time in seven years en route to its first ever Shore Conference championship on Jan. 24 when it took the title in 4:03.74. On that night, Vitello (2:15.66) led a 1-2 finish with Poss (2:20.63) in the 800.

Freehold Township put on a show at the state sectional meet, when Roche wqas a double-winner in the 1,600 and 3,200, Vitello and Bracher went 1-2 in the 800, and it took the 4×400 crown in 4:04.80.

Coach of the year: Behind coach Tim McLoone, Rumson won its third straight Central Jersey, Group 2 crown this winter. Distance star Jacqueline Gottuso became the first girl to ever break five minutes in the mile at Rumson (4:59.59), Raechel Mullan, who served as the team’s manager last season, came back to break 1:00 in the 400, and Morgan Steinhacker placed fifth (2:23.54) in the 800 at the Group 2 Championships.

Rookie of the year: Matawan’s Sam Anderson had a strong freshman season as she captured the 400 title at the Monmouth County Championships (58.94), the Shore Conference Championships (59.37), the Central Jersey, Group 2 sectional meet in 58.85, and the Group 2 Championships in 57.51.

At the Meet of Champions, Anderson finished sixth in 57.39.

Thrower of the year: Ocean’s Michelle Mazza won the shot put at the Monmouth County Championships (40-6), the Shore Conference Championships (40-0 3/4), and the Central Jersey, Group 3 state sectional meet (40-9 1/4), before placing second at the Group 3 Championships in 40-11 and the Meet of Champions at 42-7 3/4.


Marin Warner, Holmdel(Jody Somers / For The Star-Ledger)


55-Cleopatra Morrison, Long Branch

400-Sam Anderson, Matawan

800-Adrian Vitello, Freehold Township

1,600-Marin Warner, Holmdel

3,200-Ciara Roche, Freehold Township

HH-Ariana Wilson, Neptune

HJ-Fallon Quigley, Mater Dei

SP-Michelle Mazza, Ocean Township

PV-Nicole Macco, Matawan

4X400-Freehold Township


55-Domonique Panton, Freehold Township

400-Destiny Boynton, Neptune

800-Emily Bracher, Freehold Township

1,600-Jacqueline Gottuso, Rumson

3,200-Courtney Thompson, St. John Vianney

HH-Victoria Zamarra, Colts Neck

HJ-Jessica Knobloch, Freehold Township

SP-Sarena Dixon, Red Bank

PV-Kiera Yonclas, Holmdel



55-Maya Thompson, Neptune

400-Morgan Steinhacker, Rumson

800-Caitlyn Poss, Freehold Township

1,600-Tara Connelly, St. John Vianney

3,200-Hannah Anderson, Rumson

HH-Emily Boak, Rumson

HJ-Kayla Pfleger, Middletown North

SP-Fidele Jules, Red Bank Catholic

PV-Kelly McKay, Holmdel





*** The articles that we post on this website are searched from the Internet and don’t reflect our views.  VAULTER Magazine LLC. is bringing the pole vault news to the reader in one central location. ***

Leave A Comment