OCEAN CITY — Lane Owens recently started throwing the javelin for the Ocean City High School track and field team.
Owens initially played baseball during the spring season, but he wanted to try something different.
And the junior had a lot to smile about Friday.
With less than two months of experience, Owens won the boys javelin at the Cape May County Championships with a throw of 174-feet, 2 inches.
Ocean City hosted the meet.
“Well, we just come out every day and practice throwing,” said Owens, 17, of Ocean City. “We just practice throwing and hope we win, and we did.
“We are known as a javelin team now. We are starting to place one, two, three in almost every meet.”
And that’s how most of the meet went for Ocean City.
The Red Raiders won the boys team title with 179 points. Middle Township was second (78), and Lower Cape May Regional was third (59).
“First of all, we are grateful to have hosted the meet, and being on our home site was exciting,” Ocean City boys coach Matt Purdue said. “It was a really good all-around team effort.”
Ocean City also won the girls team title with 199.83 points. Lower Cape May finished second (77.33), and Middle Township was third (45.83).
“I’m very proud of our girls,” O.C. girls coach Tim Cook said. “They have been preparing all year and all season, and this is one of the dates on the calendar that they really wanted to gear up for. It also fun to host this meet and going up against these good teams.”
Middle’s Abri Bostard won the girls pole vault (8-06.00) for the second consecutive season. Ocean City’s Kamryn Chisholm was second (8-00.00), and the Panthers’ Briar Rose Lemma was third (7-06.00).
“It feels really great, and I’ve been working a lot,” said Bostard, 18, of Middle Township. “I’m proud of myself. And our team is doing really well this year. We have a very strong pole vault team. I’m very proud of them.”
The Panthers’ Keira Phillips won the 400-meter hurdles (1:07.47), and placed second in the 400 dash (1:00.97).
Ocean City’s Erin Hanlon won the 400 run (59.10).
Dakota Black of Lower Cape May Regional won the boys 400 hurdles in 59.53. T.J. Harris of Middle Township finished second in 59.82.
Black also won the triple jump (41-06.00), and placed second in the 110 hurdles (16.29).
The Red Raiders’ Kevin King won the event in 14.65.
“Overall, I think we had a pretty good day,” Black said. “I’ve been doing good in my events, and so have my teammates. I’m proud of everyone.
“Getting these medals, it feels really good. I’m proud of myself, proud of all my hard work and the team’s hard work. It’s a really good experience to be here.”
The Red Raiders’ Sophia Gresham won the girls 100 dash (13.08), 200 dash (27.33) and long jump (17-00.25).
“It feels awesome,” said Gresham, 18, of Longport. “I’m really proud of everyone today. I think they are all doing awesome.”
Wildwood’s Andrew Zielinski won the boys 200 dash (24.93), and teammate Leo Zaccaria placed second in the 800 run (2:04.32).
Luke Kramer of Ocean City won the 800 (2:04.24). The Red Raiders’ Mike Rhodes won the shot put (41-03) and the discus (125-02).
Lower Cape May’s Christina Adams won the girls javelin (109-07), and teammate Joelle Dufault won the shot put (28-09.00). The Caper Tigers’ Elijah Jackson won the boys 400 dash (54.50).
Owens’ story goes beyond just succeeding at a new challenge. His brother Matthew died in 2005 after an ATV accident.
Owens touched his first-place medal dangling around his neck as he told the story, adding that he won for his late brother.
“I like to honor him by winning,” Owens said.
Owens’ other brother, Brian, threw javelin at the University of Colorado and helps the Ocean City throwers. Owens thanked him and thrower coach Paul Baruffi.
Owens also has another brother, Montana, who threw javelin at the University of Minnesota.
“Once again, I have to thank my coaches, they helped me a lot.” Owens said. “I have a goal to win, and that’s what I come out here to do.”
Purdue is proud of Owens’ accomplishments this spring.
“He’s been a great part of the team this season,” Purdue said. “Like all our javelin guys, he’s making process each week. So, we are really excited to see that.”
Big day for O.C. girls
Casey McLees, Brooke Farr and Emma Sardy were the first three runners to cross the finish line during the girls 1,600 run.
McLees won in 5:27.23. Farr placed second (5:44.53), and Sardy was third (5:49.12).
McLees, who competed in only four meets this spring due to illness, was also second in the 800 run (2:27.29).
“I was feeling good today, so I just went for it,” McLees said. “There was some great competition, so it was a fun day to race.”
Farr won the 3,200 run in 12:30.68, and teammate Issy Padula was second (12:57.22). Mackenzie Matura won the 100 hurdles in 16.48.
Emma Sacco won the high jump (5-00) and the triple jump (34-06.00). Joni Dice won the discus (83-08), and teammate Aine Desch placed second (82-04).
Grace Burke, Megan Gereaghty, Maggie Halbruner and Erin Hanlon won the girls 400 relay (4:11.03).
“I’m really proud of my team today,” McLees said. “We all had great performances, and it was a beautiful day to be out running. Our goal for our team was to sweep the miles, like we did, which was awesome for us.”
The Red Raiders’ Kevin King won the boys 100 dash (11.62). The Caper Tigers’ Darion Lamar placed second (11.74).
Wildwood Catholic’s Joelle Osborne finished second in the girls 400 (1:10.21). Ocean City’s Matura placed third (1:10.29).
The Caper Tigers’ Hannah Kelleher was second in the girks high jump (4-08), and teammate Ava Pierce was second in the triple jump (32-07.50).
Osborne, Alyia Grace-Rivera, Xiomara Walker and Gwen Orlowicz finished second in the 400 relay (4:24.88). The Crusaders’ Erik Feria was third in the boys 800 (2:09.00).