Hornet sweeps 1,600-3,200; teammate Kwong wins high jump By tim morris Staff Writer Craig Segal had a near-perfect cross country season. The Holmdel High School harrier was undefeated through November, collecting a bevy of championships, including Monmouth County, Shore Conference and Central Jersey Group II. He even won his division at the famed Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. The undefeated season came to an end at the Group II state championships where he ran second to Haddonfield’s Chris Platt. There was plenty of consolation for Segal, as his Hornets upset Haddonfield for the state championship. However, that missed opportunity kept gnawing at him. The NJSIAA Indoor Group II state championships on Jan. 20 at Princeton University provided Segal with a second chance, and he made the most of it. The Hornet left Jadwin Gymnasium with not one, but two state championships, winning both the 1,600 (4:31.37) and 3,200 (9:49.76) meter races. He duplicated the double he had turned in just three days before at the county indoor championships at Red Bank Regional High School. “The cross country season motivated me,” Segal explained. “It did not end on a high note for me. I felt I had to win.” Mission accomplished as he easily ran away from the best Group II runners in the state to win his double. Both times surpassed what he ran at the county championships It was another first for Segal as he became the first Hornet to win an indoor state championship. “It feels good,” he said of the accomplishment. Winning a distance double in any championship meet isn’t easy, but what made Segal’s feat much more distinct was the lack of racing prior to the Group II state championships. Unlike the outdoor season, where runners can use dual meets for training, they jump right into the fire. The Monmouth County Championships were the first individual races of the year for Segal and then just three days later, he was at Princeton running for a state title. “It was pretty tough without any preparation,” he pointed out. “Both races were pretty difficult. I was relying on my strength from cross country.” Segal hinted that he will not double Sunday at the NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions, also in Princeton. he has not decided on. Which event he will participate in, the 1,600 or 3,200, “It’s going to depend on how I feel which race I run,” he said. Thanks to Segal’s double, Holmdel almost won the Group II title. The Hornets were ended by a single point, 37-36, by Bridgeton. High jumper Jonathan Kwong gave Holmdel 10 big points, joining his teammate as a state champion. Kwong defeated Monmouth Regional’s Barry Bostwick by virtue of fewer misses as both cleared 6-2. The Hornets got six more points from Charles DiFazio, who was third at 6-0. Matawan’s Uzoma Orji was second in the Group II shot put to his Shore rival Adam Kuehl of Monmouth, 57-9 3/4-54-5. Erison Hurtault, the county 400 champion, was sixth in the 400 (52.23) that was won by Scott’s Lance Wigfall (49.89). Latasha Dixon was third in the girls’ Group II 400 for the Huskies in 1:01.36. Bridgeton’s Shameka Speed was the Group winner in 59.03. The first six finishers in each event at the Group meets, plus five wilds cards taken from among all of the Groups, qualified for Sunday’s MOC. At the Group III state championships, Middletown South’s girls were fourth with 24 points. The Eagles showed their balance by scoring in a number of events. Nicole Lombardy was third in the 1,600 (5:10.36) behind the amazing Trotter twins of RBR, Amanda (5:05.71) and Katy (5:09.62). Kolleen McCauley was fourth in the 400 (1:00.05) which went to Halimah Bashir of Willingboro in a quick 58.9. Lauren Dike (2:24.12) and Tina Morrison (2:24.59) were fifth and sixth in the 800 that went to Katy Trotter (2:18.94). Lindsay Dike was fourth in the high jump (5-2) won by Oakcrest’s Lauren Graf (5-4). The Eagles’ 1,600-meter relay team of McCauley, Morrison, Lombardy and Lauren Dike ran a 4:11.36 in third place behind Woodrow Wilson (4:10.57 and Willingboro (4:10.57). The Group IV championships were held on Saturday in Princeton. Christian Brothers Academy’s Jeff Peterson came up with his best indoor race of the season in finishing second to Shannon Sherrer of Vineland in the 800 meters. Shannon cranked out a 1:57.21 on the 200-meter Jadwin oval with Peterson second in 1:57.56. The Colts’ Devin Barry was third in the 55-meter high hurdles (7.83) behind Trenton Central’s Irving Stills (7.74). CBA’s 1,600-meter relay team turned in a 3:29.98 and finished fifth. Vineland edged Eastern, 3:27.75-3:27.77, to win the Group title. CBA’s 16 points put the Colts in a tie for seventh place. Vineland was one point better than Eastern, 35-34, for the team state championship. In Group I, Mater Dei’s Lily Doyle extended her season to the MOC by finishing fourth in the high jump (5-0). The Group winner was Rebecca Baskinger of Butler (5-4). Before Sunday’s MOC at Princeton, area track and field athletes will have one more competition to get themselves ready, the Shore Conference Championships tonight at Red Bank Regional. This meet brings the best from Monmouth and Ocean counties together and the competition is as good as a Group state championship. Segal will use tonight’s meet to help him make the decision as to which race to run at the MOC. The meet will start at 5 p.m.