Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

Harvey Cedars lifeguard wins Point Challenge

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, July 28, 2014 10:10 pm

CAPE MAY POINT – Jenna Parker is a former professional triathlete but the Harvey Cedars lifeguard had a little trouble with one of the legs of the Cape May Point Women’s Lifeguard Challenge triathlon-type event.

“This is only my second year on the paddleboard,” Parker said.

But the 30-year-old Harvey Cedars lifeguard did extremely well in the beach run and ocean swim portions of the race and came away as the winner Monday evening in her first time in the event, which includes a 1.3-mile, soft-sand beach run; three-quarter-mile paddleboard; and half-mile swim.

Parker led after the run, fell to fourth following the paddleboard but rallied in the swim to win the challenge in 27 minutes, 49 seconds. Parker edged Ocean City lifeguard Lexi Santer by six seconds. Parker and Santer were almost neck and neck as they swam to the beach but Parker caught a wave to surge ahead for good.

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Margate wins balanced Hoffman race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, July 26, 2014 10:36 am

WILDWOOD – There was no dominant beach patrol at the four-event Dutch Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships Friday evening.

The competition saw first-place finishers from different beach patrols for each event and left most fans wondering which patrol emerged as the team champion at the close of the competition.

The contest was so balanced that Margate won despite garnering only a pair of second-place finishes.

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Rehabbing Pennington signs with Red Sox

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, July 23, 2014 01:44 pm

Josh Pennington now has a fully reconstructed elbow ligament in his right arm. He’s also now armed with a professional baseball contract.

Pennington, a 29th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in June and recent graduate of Lower Cape May Regional High School, officially signed a contract with the organization on Friday. He has been working out at the team’s spring training facility in Ft. Myers, Fla., since earlier this month.

Pennington tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow in mid April while warming up prior to a scheduled start during the Caper Tigers’ trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. But with a fastball that consistently sat into the low 90s prior to his injury, Pennington was still an attractive enough prospect for the Red Sox to take a chance on him in the later rounds of the draft.

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Wildwood High grad lands Division I coaching job

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 05:03 pm

MATT SCHIFF Matt Schiff’s basketball experiences at Rutgers University have led him all the way to the West Coast for his first full-time coaching job.

Schiff, a native of Wildwood Crest and a 2009 graduate of Wildwood High School, has been named assistant coach/director of basketball operations for the women’s basketball program at Division I University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Ocean City-Upper Township team made Little League history

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Brian Furey was the winning pitcher in the Section 4 championship game Brian Furey was the winning pitcher in the Section 4 championship game The combined Ocean City-Upper Township team added another Little League championship to its resume and, in the process, accomplished something never achieved by a Cape May County team.

OC-UT defeated Haddonfield, 7-4, in North Vineland to win the Section 4 championship and improve its Little League tournament record to 8-0. It marked the first time a Cape May County team had won the section title and advanced to the state tournament.

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Extraordinary comeback by double cancer survivor

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 08:51 am

Giovanna Imbesi with boyfriend and cancer survivor Bob Garbutt following the Upper Township bay race STRATHMERE – Last December was a cold month for Bob Garbutt, and not just because the first of what was a long winter chill for all of us was settling into the region. It was during that time that he began the first of eight rounds of chemotherapy for an aggressive form of lymphoma, even more aggressive than the first bout of a related kind of cancer he beat about a decade ago.

Then in March, he underwent a stem cell transplant.

So to see Garbutt competing in the Upper Township Six-Mile Bay Row Monday evening behind the Deauville Inn, well, it was nothing short of extraordinary.

Garbutt, rowing with his girlfriend, Giovanna Imbesi, crossed the finish line in second place among mixed doubles crews and 27th overall out of 42 boats. They – and more specifically Garbutt – however, were the real winners of the race.

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Garbutt, Kosten cruise at bay race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 08:48 am

Dylan Kosten (left) and Matt Garbutt of the OCBP won the 2014 Upper Township bay race Dylan Kosten (left) and Matt Garbutt of the OCBP won the 2014 Upper Township bay race STRATHMERE – Competitors in the Upper Township Six-Mile Bay Row have often called the event nothing more than a long, grueling doubles row.

The nearly all-out-sprint mode of the race has often made for some exciting, close finishes, with the top boats often within a few seconds of one another at the finish line.

The 2014 race was an exception, though, as Matt Garbutt and Dylan Kosten ran away with victory Monday evening. The Ocean City Beach Patrol crew finished in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 3 seconds to win comfortably, beating the next-closest boat by a whopping 47 seconds.

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Former Phillie in Wildwood later this week

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, July 21, 2014 01:57 pm

LENNY DYKSTRA LENNY DYKSTRA Former Philadelphia Phillie and three-time all-star Lenny Dykstra is scheduled to appear in Wildwood on Friday, July 25.

Dykstra will take part in a fund-raiser for the Wildwood High School baseball team at the Waves Restaurant at Oak and New Jersey avenues from noon to 1 p.m. Dykstra will sign autographs at $20 per signing per item. Fans must bring their own items to sign.

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New athletics director at WHS

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:34 am

Phil Schaffer Wildwood High School has a new athletics director.

As expected, Phil Schaffer, who had been a teacher and the head boys basketball coach at Cedar Creek High School, was approved for the position at Wednesday evening’s regular meeting of the school district’s board of education.

Schaffer replaces Christel Pond, who left the position after four years earlier this summer. Pond is the new principal at the Glenwood Avenue Elementary School in Wildwood.

Schaffer had coached the Pirate boys basketball team to a 31-45 record in three seasons.

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Storm halts SuperAthalon race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:31 am

CAPE MAY – Past race history has shown that the early leader of the Cape May SuperAthalon almost never wins.

But on Tuesday, it would have been impossible for him to lose.

Stone Harbor’s Gregg Donnelly was declared the champion of the event after the first leg of the run-row-swim race when race officials suspended the race at the end of the 2.2-mile run due to stormy weather conditions that saw lightning flash in the southern sky. The ensuing 1 ½-mile row and quarter-mile swim were not held.

2014 Cape May SuperAthalon With storm clouds on the horizon, athletes begin the Cape May SuperAthalon It proved to be a sound decision, as the skies opened with heavy rains only seconds after the final athlete finished the run, followed by numerous rounds of violent thunder and rapid lightning.

“I feel bad for the athletes but we didn’t have any other choice but to end the race,” Cape May Beach Patrol chief Harry “Buzz” Mogck said.

With storms in the forecast, Mogck was asked about the decision to begin the race in the first place. The competition was set for a 6 p.m. start, but was begun a few minutes early in hopes of beating the approaching storm.

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WCHS golf standout chooses college

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:27 am

Blake Vogdes, BLAKE VOGDES Blake Vogdes, a rising senior at Wildwood Catholic High School, will play his college golf at Temple University.

Vogdes made a verbal commitment to accept athletic scholarship money from the Division I school during a recent unofficial visit to its main campus in North Philadelphia.

Vogdes chose Temple over Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast and Penn State, among others.

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Avalon breaks through at Beschen-Callahans

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:24 am

Avalon breaks through at Beschen-Callahans Avalon's Anthony Richardson places first in the can run NORTH WILDWOOD – Two things occurred for the very first time at the 46th annual Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Races Friday evening.

First, on a somber note, John Callahan was not present at the race for the first time. Callahan, who passed away in January, was the father of former Army Specialist Michael Callahan, who was killed on active duty during the Vietnam War in June 1969. Michael Callahan and Jim Beschen, who was also killed during the Vietnam War, were two former North Wildwood Beach Patrol lifeguards for whom the race is named.

A moment of silence was held in Mr. Callahan’s memory during the post-race awards ceremony.

Second, the Avalon Beach Patrol claimed the team championship for the first time behind a handful of stirring performances in the six-event competition.

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Peterson enjoys surfing success out West

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 10, 2014 08:19 am

Wildwood Crest resident Maddie Peterson traveled to California recently to compete in quite a few important surfing events and fared rather well in the competitions.

The 16-year-old won first place at the Rip Curl Grom Search in Huntington Beach, placed second in both the National Scholastic Surfing Association women’s high school championship in Salt Creek and the Surfing American U-16 U.S. Championships in Lower Trestles and finished fourth in the NSSA open women’s championship in Huntington Beach.

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Gill stars but OCBP wins county title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, July 09, 2014 04:35 pm

The OCBP's Matt Garbutt and Dylan Kosten won the doubles row The OCBP's Matt Garbutt and Dylan Kosten won the doubles row WILDWOOD CREST – While an Ocean City High School student was the individual star, it was the Ocean City Beach Patrol that again grabbed team glory in the first lifeguard competition of the 2014 season.

The OCBP was the only patrol of 10 to score in all six events as it captured the championship in Monday’s Cape May County Championships. The event was originally scheduled for last Thursday but was postponed to earlier this week due to inclement weather.

The championship is Ocean City’s 15th in the 31 years of the event.

Meanwhile, Kevin Gill, a 17-year-old rising senior at Ocean City High School, led the Upper Township Beach Patrol to a second-place team finish by impressively winning back-to-back events.

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