Ford Palmer and Vincent Elardo Post Strong Finishes This Past Weekend

default article imageMonmouth University junior Ford Palmer (Smithville, N.J. (Absegami) ran 4:08.08 in the mile to snap the program record set in 1987 Thursday afternoon.The men and women’s track and field teams competed at the Armory’s Collegiate Challenge, the final test for both squads before the ECAC/IC4A Championships next weekend.

“We are proud of Ford for breaking a record that stood for 25 years,” said Head Coach Joe Compagni. “We had some strong efforts in every event area to give us great momentum heading into the ECAC/IC4A Championships.”

Palmer, who took fourth overall and was the third collegiate finisher in the event, broke Ed Hendricks’ record of 4:10.63 set 25 years ago.

Errol Jeffrey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Transit Tech [Bronx CC]) finished first place in the weight throw, landing a toss of 55’ 6.5”, while also earning first in the shot put with a mark of 57’ 3”. Dan D’Amato (Matawan, N.J./Old Bridge) threw 48’ 6” for fifth overall in the shot.

Josh Mann (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) cleared 45’ 7” in the triple jump to claim second.

Erik Anderson (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) and Jake Bartlett (Middletown, N.J./CBA) shared fourth place in the high jump, each clearing 6’ 4”.

Led by Palmer, the squad of Aaron Aquino-Rodriguez (Haskell, N.J./Lakeland Regional), Mark Bernardo (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell), and Alex Leight (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge), ran to a sixth place finish in the 4x400, posting a time of 3:26.60.

Peter Matano (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) vaulted himself to fifth place with a mark of 14’ 5” followed by Tom Jeffers (Bellmawr, N.J./Triton) who cleared 13’ 8”.

In the 200 meter dash, Ben Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) crossed the finish in 22.20 in fourth, while Mike Drake (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East [College of Charleston]) trailed in eighth with a time of 22.42. Drake also claimed fifth in the 60 meter dash, running 7.13.

Garth DeBlasio (Millstone, N.J./Allentown) ran 2:34.79 in the 1000 meter to earn seventh.

Joshua Lewis (Montville, N.J./Montville Township) cleared 21’ 10” in the long jump to claim fifth followed by Stevenson Cajuste (Egg Harbor, N.J./Egg Harbor) who finished eighth with a clearance of 20’ 9”.

For the women’s team, Rachel Watkins (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) and Lindsey Walsh (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape) each cleared 5’ 8.75” in the high jump to share first.

Lauren McDonald (Roseland, N.J./West Essex Regional) vaulted herself to third place in the pole vault, clearing 11’.

Local product Kate Frye (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro) registered a mark of 18’ 6” in the long jump. The rookie also ran to a seventh place finish in the 200 with a time of 25.46.

Junior Sandra Jean-Romain (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) landed a shot put mark of 45’ 4” to earn second.

On the track, the Hawks finished 1-3-4-5 in the 800 meter run with Amanda Eller (Delmont, N.J./Millville) leading the way with a time of 2:13.01. The junior was followed by Emily MacEwen (South Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) who ran 2:15.31, while Danielle Toritto (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) and Ali Hehn (Toms River, N.J./Toms River [Seton Hall]) finished in 2:15.35 and 2:16.56, respectively.

Hehn, MacEwen, Toritto and Eller also ran 3:59.45 in the 4x400 meter relay, good for seventh overall.
In the 500 meter run, Colleen Rutecki (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) claimed seventh with a time of 1:17.30.

Making his second straight appearance at the U.S. Indoor championships, Monmouth University senior Vincent Elardo (Forked River, N.J./Lacey) finished 14th in the shot put Sunday afternoon at the Albuquerque Convention Center. This year’s field consisted of competitors that have won Olympic medals, World Championship medals and were former NCAA Champions.

Elardo landed a throw 17.33m (56’ 10”) in his first attempt in the circle making his mark the second-best collegiate result in the competition. Reese Hoffa of the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) took first registering a throw of 21.75m (71’ 4.25).

“Vinny is having a tremendous season again this year and is ahead of where he was last year,” said Compagni. “Coach [Abe] Flores has done an excellent job getting him ready to compete on such a high level. To step in the circle along with the best in the world again this winter is a huge accomplishment for Vinny and our program.”

Elardo, who finished eighth at the event last season, is one of just three collegiate athletes to throw over 60’ in both the shot put and weight throw this season. The local product is ranked 30th in the U.S. and 22nd among Division I shot putters. A team captain and the 2011 IC4A Champion won both throwing events at the 2012 NEC Indoor Championships to lead the Hawks to their fourth NEC Indoor team title this winter. Elardo has captured nine individual NEC Indoor and Outdoor titles in the throwing events during his tenure in West Long Branch.

Elardo and the Hawks will travel to Boston next weekend for the ECAC/IC4A Championships.