NJ Meet of Champions & the Next Two Weeks!


The New Jersey State Meet of Champions concluded last night with some good performances by the Strength Athlete crew. Here’s how it broke down:

  • Derek Trott:    Javelin 8th place 183-07 (Senior at Christian Brothers Academy). For starting off the season with a dislocated throwing shoulder, I think he did very well!
  • Nick Pull:     Discus 1st place 174-05; Shot Put 2nd 61-01 (Senior at West Deptford HS) . Having 190ft practices this year and throwing 16 feet shorter is a pain in the ass, but on his last throw he was able to pop one far enough to win, and a win is a WIN!
  • Vlad Castillo:     Discus 7th 162-08; Shot Put 49-07 (Junior at Montgomery HS). Vlad performed very well in the discus throwing 14+ feet further than he did last year at the MOC. The shot didn’t go as well. However, he finished the year with a 56+ foot throw at the State Championships which is  a 7 foot improvement from last year.
  • Jason Bryan:  Shot Put 1st place 1st 61.07 ; Discus 8th 161-02 (Rumson Fairhaven HS). Jason had a lifetime best at the State Championships with a throw of 62-09.  It seemed that for Jason, Vlad and Nick that the emotion was low. The discus took the juice out of them, but Jason and Nick still had enough in the tank to take the 1&2 spots.
  • Andrew Liskowitz:    Shot Put 17th 51-07 ;  Discus 31st 135-03 (Junior at Christian Brothers Academy).  Andrew opened up with a personal best on his first throw. Crazy to think that as a freshman he was floating around 30-32 feet!
  • Luke Grodeska:  Shot Put 47-06 (Sophmore at St. Rose).  Luke kicked ass this year and improved over 7  feet since January! I believe his personal best was last week at the State Championships with a throw of 51+. He will be converting to the spin, so watch out next year!
  • Katharine Taylor: Shot Put 30-02 (Sophmore at St. Rose). Katharine threw well, even though she will tell you otherwise! I was impressed by her natural reaction to reverse her feet at the release! This is something I have never seen her do!
  • Jada Taylore: Discus 124-01 (Junior at Neptune HS).  Jada actually did well. Even though she as a personal best of 134 feet from last year, Jada severely injured her groin/hamstring this winter.  The season started out rough but ended well. One thing that stands out about Jada is that she is maturing and she is realizing how to control herself when the nerves kick in. Next year she will do some big things!
  • Jade Cunningham: Discus 125-03 (Central Regional HS). I haven’t worked with Jade as much as I would like but she is coming into her own too. She knows what she is capable of and I think next year she will be a monster!
  • Alyssa Wilson: Discus 11th 123-05; Shot Put 11th 39-05  (Monsignor Donovan HS). Alyssa is a special athlete.  She has been throwing at a young age and is still a very young athlete being only a Freshman!  Her personal best of 42-05 and 133 feet have shown that she is a BEAST!  She has three more years of solid training and if done correctly, can have a good shot at breaking some HUGE HUGE records!  I’m not talking state records!
  • Michelle Mezza: Shot Put 3rd 42-09 (Ocean Twp. HS).  After almost dying last summer, Michelle has climbed up the ranks. Her best last year was 36 feet… That’s almost a 7 foot improvement!

So where do we go from here?  To start, after I get done with this post I have to make the programs for those who qualified for the New Balance Nationals.  At this point it’s trying to maintain a peak which is tricky, especially with young teenagers.  Next, I myself hope to get in my throws and lift this Friday/Saturday before the NJ International Meet. The NJ I. T. Meet is a great meet for the high school athletes to compete alongside the Open Athletes.  Monsters Like Dane Miller of Garage Strength (60+ w/16lb shot put), James Plummer (203 w/2k Discus 3rd at USA Nationals last year) Monique Riddick (54+ w/4k shot put) and Jaccob Freeman (250+ w/16lb Hammer) will be competing this weekend.  I haven’t seen the list but I am sure there are more!

The schedule is a bit tricky so I will lay it out here and post a link to the schedule/sign up

  • Javelin will be contested at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey on Friday June 6th at 3:00pm
  • Shot Put, Discus, running and jumping events will be held at Colts Neck High School in Colts Neck, New Jersey on Saturday June 7th at 4:00pm
  • Hammer will be contested at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey on Monday June 9th at 3:00pm

Who else will be throwing at the NJ International Meet? (as of what I know now)

  • Vlad Castillo of Montgomery HS
  • Jason Bryan of Rumson Fairhaven HS
  • Nick Pulli of West Deptford HS
  • Dane Miller of Garage Strength
  • Monique Riddick formally of Indiana University now throwing for the Garden State Track Club
  • Michelle Mazza of Ocean Twp. HS
  • Jada Taylor  of Neptune HS
  • Derick Trott of Christina Brothers Academy
  • Andrew Liskowitz of Christian Brothers Academy
  • Taylor Rogers of North Hunterdon HS
  • Garrett Pynn formally of Leonia HS now as an Open athlete
  • Connor Healy of Raritan HS

Meet sign up and information DEADLINE IS TODAY BY 4PM! (you may be able to sign up at the meet but I wouldn’t risk it) SIGN UP LINK

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