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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood Thursday, April 1, 1999 Page 13

CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK

THE WEEK IN SPORTS By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Formany years,theWestfieldHigh School girls track and field teams have been dominant in the Watchung Conference, but the attainment of an undefeated season has eluded them for quite some time. Last year, the Blue Devil girls placed third in the Union County Tournament and captured first in the Watchung Conference for the second year in a row with a 5-1 record, one shy of an undefeated season.

"We try to gear everything towards our conference and our county tournament,"said BlueDevilHeadCoach NancyCarpenter. "Lastyear,wewere such as small Group 4 school that we really could not compete well in the states against big schools like Roxbury, Columbia, Montclair, Plainfield."

This year, the Blue Devils have different opponents now that they have shifted to a Group 3 school.

Whenone speaksofWestfieldgirls track the first thing that comes to mind is their tradition of producing

adequate numbers of excellent distance runners. This season will be no exception. SeniorsMeganShuttswill be strong in the quarter, half and mile events and Tara Bhandari will compete in the one and two-mile events. Sophomores Maura McMahon and Alexis Anzelone are very strong in the mile and two-mile events.

"Maura, Alexis, Megan and Tara will be our top distance runners," said Blue Devil Head Coach Nancy Carpenter. "A lot of the other girls that we have back this year were right on the heels of those girls. Our distance program has always been strong. Jack Martin and Tom Hornish do a good job with them in the fall and Jen Buccino does a terrific job in the spring."

The maturation of distance runner McMahon certainly brightens Carpenter'seyes. "Ifshestayshealthy, we are set. She should also be able to run the half (mile) pretty well," commented Carpenter.

Senior Allison Checchio, who has surpassed the 100' mark in the javelin and qualified for the Group 4

Championships, will lead a pack of young girls in the field events. Senior Alison Westerhold will pump up the shot put event.

The Devils graduated speedsters Katie Egan and Mary Korfmacher whobothqualified fortheStateGroup 4 Meet last year. "We have some big shoes to fill this year, but fortunately, we had a lot of depth last year," explained Carpenter.

Senior Andrea Constandis adds speed to the some sprint events. Sophomore Krystle Dixon will be expected to run in the 200-meter event and sophomore Susan Hinds has the adaptability to perform well in many events.

"Susan does a lot of things. She will probably run the 100. She wants to long jump, she wants to high jump and she is a quarter-miler. She's got some speed."

With a bountiful crop of 29 freshman participating this year, Carpenter hopes to cultivate a few more sprinters and from the multitude of girls the possibility a good

WOODWARD, JONES, LOOMIS EXPECTED TO SHINE

Raider Boys Look for Strong Push and Speed in Track By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Power and speed remain to be the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys track and field team's major assets despite graduating several superb athletes from last year's championship team. Last year, the Raiders captured their fourth Union County title in the past five years, grabbed their fourthstraightWatchungConferencecrown and tied for the New Jersey Group 3 crown in 1998.

TheRaiders gobbledupeventssuch as the high jump, long jump, sprints and sprint relays. Karl Jennings, Adam Bowser, Blair Woodward and

Nathan Jones contributed to that dominance. In the distance scenes, James Canterberry was always in the thick of the state's top runners.

Jennings, Bowser and Canterberry have graduated but the Raiders still have a wealth of speed in the sprinting events and plenty of explosion in thefieldevents. Inaddition,theRaiders have experience in their already talented shot putting crew.

Considering the strength of his field team and his sprinters, Raider boys Head Coach Rich McGriff said, "Our field team will be pretty strong and we have always been strong in the hurdles. Losing Jennings and

Bowser hurts us a bit." McGriff added, "We have a bunch of young kids who I think will step up but are not ready yet. But, we still should be strong because we still have Woodward."

Woodward, now a senior and a team Tri-Captain, was amazing as he glided 23'4.5" to temporarily record the state's best leap in the long jump last year when he took first in the Section 2, Group 3 tournament in Millburn. He also cleared a personalbest 6'10" in the high jump to also placing first in the same meet. In addition, Woodward was quite effec

SPRINTERS, FIELD EVENTS PROVIDE MAINSTAY

Raider Track Ladies Increase Depth, Need Distance Strength

By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School girls track and field team appear to have a little more depth this season but will look to strengthen their distance crew. The Raiders have more to chose from for their sprinting events and seem to be rather healthy in their field events.

Last year, the Raider girls placed second to Westfield in the Watchung

Conference Tournament, 162-134, and placed fifth in the Union County Tournament.Manyprimarycompetitors have returned. Veteran seniors Erin Brandt, Stephanie Quinn, Kerri Whitley and Stacy Bushinger will share the responsibilities as team captains.

"Our captains will be ones who we will look to score some points," said

Raider Head Coach Bill Klimas. Musing over his candidates for the distance events, Klimas whispered, "We are going to be a little soft in the distance races, There is no question about it."

Senior Holly Oates and Allison Breidenstein, who both ran cross country, are two of a very sparse number who will compete in the distance events.

"We may move Erin Kelly up to the 1,600 to add depth," said Klimas. "But, she is our girl in the 800. She ran under 2:30 during the indoor season and could be a threat to our school record."

Kelly also will compete in the 400meter and the mile relay.

"We have more 400-meter girls than we do in any other event, and that is a plus," said Klimas. "They could do sprints or we could move them up to the 800-meters."

Brandt,who qualifiedfortheGroup 3 Championships last year in the 400-hurdles, will also compete in the 400-meter and the mile relay.

"If need be, she will run the 100hurdles and she may move up to an 800 on occasion if we need her for a relay," pointed out Klimas. "She is a strong runner who can run up to the 800."

The Raiders have several athletes who can compete in the sprint events. Bushinger is one of the top sprinters. Freshman Jill Koscielecki has good

LADY DEVILS DESIRE AN UNDEFEATED SEASON

Depth, Talent Make Up Lady Blue Devils Track, Field Team

"KAZ", PECORARO, ANZELONE NAMED TRI-CAPTAINS

Devil Trackmen Add Depth; Increase Speed for Season By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

SeniorsGordonKaslusky,Anthony Pecoraro and Pete Anzelone will be leading a young but relatively solid Westfield High School boys track team this season. Although graduating several outstanding field and distance athletes, the Blue Devils appear to have a good spread of athletes in all events.

Probably, the biggest loss to graduation was pole vaulter Dave Citrin who soared 13'6" to place second in the Section 2, Group 4 Champion

ships. Citrin also qualified for the Meet of Champions. This season, junior Josh Ray will be the main man in the pole vault. Last year, Ray cleared 11' 6" and is expected to clear the 12' mark. Senior Scott Kenneyand juniorSteveSurgentwill also provide depth to the pole vaulting crew.

"He should do over 12' this year because he is in better shape this year," stated Blue Devil Head Coach JohnMartin ofRay."Soconsequently, he will be able to get on the pole a little better."

Considering other uses for Ray, Martin responded, "We are also hoping to get him to do some throwing as well."

The Blue Devils were also strong last year in the javelin and discus events with the skills of Greg Gorski, Jason KriegerandPecoraro.Through graduation, only Pecoraro remains to headthediscus andthejavelinevents. Presently, Pecoraro tosses the javelin in the 130' range and the discus around 120'.

"He was a solid competitor for us

CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

FRANZONE, ASCOLESE, HAHNER NAMED TRI-CAPTAINS

Raiders Must Place Youthful Squad on the Baseball Field

By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Many starting positions have been up for grabs for the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School baseball team this season after the Raiders graduated a multitude of fine players from last year's excellent squad. Although many positions must be filled, the key concerns appear to be with the pitching and catching responsibilities.

The Raiders had a marvelous 1998 season, finishing with a 14-5 record that concluded with a 6-3 victory over the perennially powerful Cranford team which earned them a share of the Watchung Conference title. Part of the Raiders' success came with the superb hitting of catcher Jim Buccola and the effective pitching of Dave Gewirtz.

Buccola tore up the league with a .602 batting average, blasted seven

home runs, had 35 RBI and scored 23 runs. He also exhibited fine defensive skills behind the plate. Gewirtz, as the Raiders' ace hurler, finished with a 6-4 record but showed his great control by recording 71 strikeoutsand allowingonly13walks. Gewirtz also expressed his offensive skills, finishing with a .393 average.

The Raiders definitely face an uphill battle with just three returning startersand 10first-yearstarters.This season, the Raiders will rely on the experience of veteran lefties, senior Tri-Captain Joe Franzone and junior Dave Herrmann. Last year, Franzone had 13 hits, scored 12 runs and drove in 14 while Herrmann nailed 12 hits, scored 15 runs and had nine RBI.

The Raiders must also fill in the positions vacated by team captain and second baseman Doug Bishop,

CONTINUED ON PAGE 15 CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

RAIDER GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD VETERANS…Pictured, left to right, are: seniors Erin Brandt, Stephanie Quinn, Stacy Bushinger and Kerri Whitley.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

RAIDER BOYS TRACK TRIUMVIRATE…Seniors Scott Paterson, left, Dan Harrison, center, and Blair Woodward have been selected to be the Raider boys track Tri-Captains.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

DEVIL BOYS TRACK TRI-CAPTAINS…Seniors Peter Anzelone, left, Gordon Kaslusky, center, and Anthony Pecoraro will be leading the Blue Devil boys track team.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

BLUE DEVIL TRACK AND FIELD QUAD-CAPTAINS…Pictured, left to right, are: Megan Shutts, Andrea Constandis, Allison Checchio and Alison Westerhold.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

RAIDER BASEBALL TRI-CAPTAINS…Seniors Joe Franzone, left, Ryan Hahner, center, and Joe Ascolese have been selected as the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School baseball team Tri-Captains.

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