By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City High School Boys Indoor Track team is the South Jersey Group 3 champion.
Led by Kevin King’s first place in the 55 meter hurdles, Matt Purdue’s team finished with 48 points, 11 more than second place Hammonton, at the NJSIAA Meet in the Bennett Indoor Complex in Toms River.
And sophomore Alexa Palmieri added to her already impressive resume by winning South Jersey titles in both the 1600 and 3200 meters. The Ocean City girls finished fifth, less than seven points behind second place Timber Creek. Winslow Township won the girls team title by nearly 30 points.
The boys championship was Ocean City’s first since the Raiders won back-to-back titles in 2010-11.
King ran the 55 meters in 8.07 seconds to edge Brandon Greene of Winslow.
Though King’s individual championship was a big factor in the team title, there were other strong finishes that contributed.
Luke Kramer was third in both the 1600 (4:31.37) and 800 (2:04.35) meters. Jaden Tocci-Rogers cleared 5-10 in the high jump to finish second. Anthony Conte was fourth in the 3200 meters in 9:55.46. And the OCHS 4×400 meter relay team of Conte, Kramer, Tyler Greene and Gavyn Fox finished third in 3:38.08.
Palmieri won the 1600 meters in 5:15.80, more than three seconds ahead of the field, and finished the 3200 nearly 10 seconds ahead of the second place runner in 11:24.20.
Casey McLees (11:55.84) was third for OCHS in the 3200 and Brooke Farr (12:04.04) finished fifth.
Purdue will take his team back to Toms River on Saturday for the NJSIAA State Group 3 Meet.
Also on Saturday, the Ocean City girls basketball team (15-5) lost to Manchester Township, 57-40, in the War Vs. Shore at Mainland Regional High School. The Raiders led Manchester Township, 15-12, after one quarter but the Hawks, ranked No. 5 in the state by NJ.com, had a 34-15 advantage over the next two quarters to take control of the game.
Danielle Donoghue scored 11 points and Emma Finnegan 10 for OCHS. Leilani Correa, a transfer from Rutgers Prep who is headed to West Virginia University, led all scorers with 18 for Manchester Township.
The Ocean City wrestlers (12-14) won twice Saturday in a quad at Vineland. The Raiders defeated Lower Cape May, 45-31, and Palmyra, 66-6. They lost to Vineland, 42-35.
Bill Kroeger (195) and Tom Oves (132) both registered a trio of pins. Nick Sannino (285), Charley Cossboone (120) and Lou Williams (126) pinned two opponents during the three team matches.
Dan Calhoun will take his team to the NJSIAA District 32 Tournament next weekend at Kingsway.
Tomorrow, the OCHS boys basketball team will travel to Lower Cape May in an attempt to clinch second place in the Cape-Atlantic League’s National Conference and the spot in the CAL Tournament that goes with it. Senior Luke Varallo also goes into the game needing one three-point goal to set a new school career record. The girls basketball team will play Lower Cape May in the Dixie Howell Gym in its final home game of the regular season.
Also tomorrow, the Boys Swim Team (8-3) will host Shawnee in the South Jersey Semifinals of the NJSIAA Class B Tournament. And the Girls Swim Team (10-2) will travel across the causeway to face Mainland in the Class B girls semifinals. Ian Keyser’s team defeated the Mustangs, 91-79, during the regular season.
Check out all the OCHS daily results and schedules in the Raider Sports Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.