It was quite a weekend for the Ocean County College Cross Country program at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships in Northfield, Massachusetts. 

Liz Kowalski, a member of the Ocean County College women's cross country team (Ocean County College)

The women’s team took home the national title thanks in large part to Toms River North graduate Liz Kowalski who won the women’s race and was named an NJCAA 1st team All American.  Another ex-Mariner Meghie Weinberger finished 11th and earned honorable mention All American selection.

The men’s team finished runner-up to Harper College of Illinois with the Vikings effort fueled by brothers Keith and Kevin Charette as the two Lacey High School grads finished 3rd and 6th in the field of 130 runners.  OCC coach Ed Baynes was named National Coach of the Year and the Vikings also claimed an award for having the best overall program.

The Monmouth University women’s soccer team is headed to Happy Valley for a first round game in the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer Championship.

The MAAC regular season and tournament champion Hawks will take on 20th ranked Penn State Friday night in their third trip to the NCAA’s in the last seven years.   Monmouth will take a 14-game unbeaten streak into the matchup with the Nittany Lions, who lost in the NCAA Championship game last year and are one of eight Big Ten teams to qualify for the tournament.

Should the Hawks advance they would face either Wake Forest or Morehead State.  Senior Dana Costello, a former Jackson Memorial standout, is Monmouth’s second leading scorer…another former Jaguar Kim Clemmer has helped anchor a defense that has allowed only six goals in 20 games.

The State Football playoffs begin this weekend and our Shore Sports Network will be at Barnegat where the 3rd seeded Bengals host #6 Pemberton in a South Jersey Group 3 first round game.

If you are or know of a family that is still struggling in the wake of Superstorm Sandy then the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group might be the resource you have been seeking.  They can often provide a free trained disaster case manager who can help cut through the red tape and get families badly needed results including financial assistance, construction consultants and more.  For information visit OceanCounty or call (732) 569-3484.