Barnegat Senior Scores Individual Dash Title While Southern Boys Take Home County Crown

ANOTHER FOR THE CASE: The Southern Regional boys indoor track and field team secured a share of the Ocean County championship by accumulating 64 points on Jan. 20, tying the Rams with Jackson Memorial. (Photo courtesy Scott Baker)
While Barnegat High School senior Valencia Gosser secured the first 55-meter dash title for the girls indoor track and field program, the Southern Regional boys’ squad claimed the top spot overall in Ocean County on Jan. 20. Tallying 64 points, the Rams shared the county crown with Jackson Memorial.
For the Bengals, Gosser posted a final time of 7.44 seconds to score the only 10 points for the girls team, edging Toms River North sprinter Lia Malave, who took second in 7.53 seconds, just ahead of Donovan Catholic’s Erin Haverty, who placed third in 7.71 seconds.
As for the Southern boys, they were paced by first-place finishes from junior Fabian Gonzalez, who swiped first place in the shot put with a throw of 55 feet, 3 inches, and sophomore Santino D’Amelio, who won the 3,200-meter run in 9:59.78. Senior Jaiden Brown contributed second-place points in the shot put, finishing behind his teammate with a top mark of 53 feet, 3¼ inches. Southern also received third-place points from junior Atul Sharma, who cleared 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump.
SPEED QUEEN: Barnegat senior Valencia Gosser shows off her first-place medal after winning the 55-meter dash during the Ocean County Championships on Jan. 20. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Kane)
Beyond that group, the Rams were solid in other events. Junior Andrew Bowker placed fourth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:37.44, while senior Gavin Lum took fourth in the pole vault by clearing 11 feet, and D’Amelio grabbed fifth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:45.50. Freshman Cole Cramer managed to take fifth in the 55 dash with a time of 6.86 seconds as well. Southern athletes also grabbed several sixth-place positions – Lum in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.28 seconds, freshman Tyler Medica in the 3,200 with a time of 10:21.87, and senior John Bruther in the pole vault  at 9 feet, 6 inches.
For the Southern girls, who placed fourth overall with 36 points, senior Megan Campanile was the top point scorer, as she cleared 4 feet, 10 inches to win the high jump. Senior Hailey Hochstrasser contributed third-place points by clocking 1:01.76 in the 400-meter dash, and senior Shannon Flaherty added fourth-place points with a time of 2:33.85 in the 800-meter run. Junior Mia Mastrogiovanni also placed fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 12:22.52, and senior Abby Gallacher placed fifth in the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.68 seconds.
Barnegat Girls Bowlers
Tied for First
In what could become a pivotal point in the season, not only did the Barnegat girls bowling team last week improve to 34-2 on the season with a pair of 3-0 victories over Shore Conference South B division foes, but the Bengals’ top rival lost a game along the way to create a tie for first place heading into this week’s action.
While the Bengals were busy defeating Donovan Catholic, the Lacey Lions lost the middle of their three-game set with Manchester. On Jan. 20, both Barnegat and Lacey won 3-0 contests to remain locked in their battle for the division crown.
Against the Griffins, Madison Kubicz led the way with games of 147, 215 and 212 for a 574 series, while Summer Burkle managed scores of 212 and 154 during the first and second games to finish with a 480 series, and Camryn White ended with a 466 series after blasting 183 and 147 pins during the last two games. Tara Charland added games of 158 and 155 during the last two of the day as well, ending with a 446 series.
In their 889-552, 774-535, 905-561 win over Lakewood, Kubicz paced the Bengals with scores of 160, 168 and 257 for a 585 series – now the top single-game score and second-highest series in the division for the season – while Charland hammered 190, 163 and 227 pins to finish with a 580 series, now third-highest of the season, and Burkle smashed 187, 159 and 162 pins for a 508 series. White tallied a first-game score of 211 to end with a 452 series, and Alexis Sugden dealt scores of 141, 144 and 158 for a 443 series.
The Barnegat and Lacey girls are scheduled for a 3 p.m. showdown on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Ocean Lanes in Lakewood.
Southern Wrestlers
Keep Rolling
After cruising through a 62-16 win over Shore Conference Class A South rival Toms River North to inch closer to the division title two days earlier, the Southern Regional wrestling team traveled to South Plainfield for its annual contest against the Tigers and rolled to a 40-23 victory to remain undefeated on the season.
The Rams (11-0) were sent into motion by Nick Bennet, who won a 14-6 major decision at 138 pounds, before Cole Velardi delivered a pin in 3:26 at 157 pounds, and Tyler Chase secured a pin in 4:25 at 175 pounds to spark a sweep of the upperweights. Collin French added six points when he pinned in 2:57 at 190 pounds, followed by a pin in 2:15 by Reilly O’Boyle at 215 pounds before Dave Casas was awarded a forfeit victory at heavyweight.
After the Tigers closed the gap to 37-20, Conor Collins scored a 1-0 decision over Jacob DelVecchio at 120 pounds, and Wyatt Stout won a 10-6 decision against Julian Irizarry at 126 pounds to close out the victory.
Southern Hockey Team
Back on Track
After winning seven of its first nine of the season, the Southern Regional ice hockey team had a bit of a dry spell, losing three of its next four contests heading into the Rams’ clash with Central Regional on Jan. 21. Fortunately for head coach Graham Borg’s crew, a goal with 5:02 left in the game ended the skid at four games, during which Southern went 0-3-1.
The Rams (8-5-1) gave up a goal midway through the first period but tied the contest at 1-1 when Sean Rowland took an assist from Matthew Leonard and scored on a power play with 32 seconds left in the period. Brooks Hradek scored with 5:52 to go in the second, assisted by Rowland and Yater Henry, to give Southern a one-goal lead going into the third.
After a successful penalty shot for the Golden Eagles again knotted the game, Hradek set up the game winner, scored by Matthew Brock. On Senior Night, Kaitlyn Braun was given the start in goal, and she made 20 saves to help preserve the victory.
— David Biggy

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