first_imgGood things happen when you least expect them. Just ask hurdler Aubrey Herring. FARRAH MAFFAI Members of the Middletown High School South cross country and track and field teams pay tribute to their teammate and friend, Casie Kerr, at the Holmdel International Track and Field Meet on June 12. Herring came to the Holmdel International Track and Field Meet on June 12 at Holmdel High School not expecting very much. He was nursing a sore hamstring and wasn’t sure how it would hold up under the stress of a race. He was also facing the marquee name at the 16th annual meet — Dudley Dorival of Haiti, one of the world’s leading hurdlers. Dorival was a bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships and was a finalist at the 2000 Olympics. While all eyes were on Dorival in the middle of the Holmdel High School track, it was Herring, from lane one, who stole the show. He was out of the blocks quick and beat everyone to the first hurdle. Herring had everyone playing catch-up from that point, and when he ran errorless for the rest of the race, the field was unable to catch him. He was first in a new personal best and meet record in the Harrison Dillard 110-meter high hurdles, 13.36. “I got out pretty good and relaxed,” said Herring, a 23-year-old graduate of Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind. “It’s important to me to have a good start so that I don’t have to press. “I ran clean,” he added. “I was high over the hurdles because I was concerned about my hamstring. I’m shocked at the time.” In addition to beating an Olympian and world championship medalist (Dorival was second in 13.61), Herring bested the meet record held by two-time Olympic gold medalist Roger Kingdom, who ran a 13.38 in 1998. This is Herring’s first year out of ISU and running on his own. He currently lives in Cherry Hill where he is coached by one of the great hurdlers of all time, Jack Pierce, who has a pb of 12.94, making him one of the few men in the world who have broken 13.0 for the high hurdles. Herring trains in Philadelphia with Pierce and said he was looking for a meet to run in before this weekend’s USATF National Championships. Holmdel provided him with just what he wanted. Herring was fifth at last year’s national championships and is headed to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend a much more confident hurdler. “All of the hard work of the past year is paying off,” he said. “I’m stronger and faster than I was last year.” With a 13.42, Herring ranked 21st in the world last year. Already with a 13.36 under his belt, Herring is moving up in the world rankings. He is also well aware of where he and Dorival (who he trains with in the winter at Princeton) stand head-to-head. “I evened the score today,” he said. Herring and Dorival are 2-2 this year and will likely meet up again this summer in Europe at the premier summer meets there. With the Holmdel International being held on the Bob Roggy Memorial Field, the Bob Roggy javelin is the highlight event. The late Roggy was a 1974 graduate of Holmdel. He went on to gain international fame in the javelin winning a National Collegiate Athletic Association title, setting an American record and ranking No. 1 in the world in 1982. The javelin tradition continues at Holmdel through Craig Percopo, the senior who is headed for Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa. Percopo, who won the Monmouth County title this spring and qualified for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions, reached the final in this open competition and had a best throw of 52.74 meters. “I’m here to show respect for Bob Roggy,” said Percopo. “Everyone in the school knows about him. The javelin he set the American record with is on display, and we watched videos of him throwing the javelin. “He’s an inspiration,” the Hornet senior added, “to know that someone from Holmdel did that well in the javelin.” Percopo said he will be concentrating on the decathlon at Lehigh, but the javelin will always be special for him. He improved his personal best from 168 to 185-10 this year and won the county title. “I wanted to do 180 this year,” said Percopo. “I trained hard and went to camps. I had a good year, throwing consistently in the 180s.” The javelin was won by Tim Releford from Princeton, who reach 61.20 meters (200-1). Proving just how big the javelin is at Holmdel, the women’s javelin went to Hornet Dana Hoffman, who was first with a throw of 34.91 meters. Hoffman is a junior and qualified for the MOC this year. Monmouth University’s all-American, Jon Kalnas, dusted the field in winning the men’s Al Blozis Memorial Shot Put at 18.30 meters. Kalnas recently took fourth at the NCAA Division I championships with a school record throw of 19.41 (63-8 1/4). The senior has earned all-American honors three times during his remarkable career, twice this year. Another big name appearing at the International was the University of Connecticut miler Dan Wilson. Wilson, who anchored the Huskies to a Penn Relays title and is a Big East champion, picked up his second win in the Eamonn Coghlan Mile in 4:07.21. The Chrissy D’Alessandro-Shaheen Memorial Women’s Mile was won by Emily Enstree in 4:47.28. TheHerring’s meet record highlights Holmdel International Monmouth University’s Kalnas takes shot put By tim morris Staff Writer Casie Kerr Memorial Girls’ High School Mile produced a meet record 5:02.36 by Jennifer Croghan. The old mark was 5:02.79 by Leslie Burr in 1993. There was a very moving moment after the seeded section of the high school mile as members of the Middletown High School South cross country and track and field teams ran a mile in tribute to the late Casie Kerr, who would have graduated this month. The girls ran four laps around the Holmdel track together with letters spelling out Casie Kerr’s name painted on their stomachs. Kerr was killed in an automobile accident two summers ago, and this was the Eagles’ way of letting everyone know Kerr is still with them and always will be. Sheila Ernst, who will be attending James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., in the fall, received the 2002 Casie Kerr Memorial Scholarship. “I loved her so much — she was my sister and best friend,” said Ernst. “We ran this for her.” One of the things that Ernst remembers most about Kerr is her sense of humor. “Casie used to laugh at everything,” she said. “If we were running a hard workout, doing repeats of the bowl at Holmdel Park, she’d be laughing. She’s looking down, laughing now.” Connecticut’s Mike Cummings won the Vince Cartier High School Mile in 4:29.34. High schooler Olivia Kalinowska, a native of Poland, continues to be the ground-setter. The sophomore at Pinelands Regional, won the Don Bragg Women’s Pole Vault at 3.35 meters, beating Georgetown’s Erica Derrickson on fewer misses. Kalinowska won the first-ever Shore Conference girls’ pole vault last season and ended her first year in the United States by winning the Meet of Champions state title with a vault of 12-0. Duncan Littlefield won the men’s pole vault at 4.40 meters on fewer misses. Marlboro High School’s T.J. Meagher was fourth at 3.95. Red Bank Catholic’s Shannon Gillespie, one of the country’s top junior racewalkers and a member of the RBC cross country team, won the women’s 800-meter racewalk (4:42.3) while the men’s winner was Billy Wiches (4:18.6). Other winners included Kesnick Frazer, Frank Budd Men’s 100-Meter Dash (10.6); Orville Taylor, Johnny Gibson Men’s 400-Meter Dash (46.12); Tim Kober, John Woodruff Men’s 800-Meter Run (1:50.0); Jim Carney, Marty Liguaori Men’s 500 (14:34.34); Juliette Poussot, Wilma Rudolph Women’s 100-Meter Dash (12.17); Carmen Douma, Joetta Clark Women’s 800-Meter Run (2:07.62); and Allian Pompei, John Moon Women’s 40-Meter Dash (53.21).last_img