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Best of the Decade

by George Kochman

The athletes chosen below are my personal choices. I based the rankings on performance at the highest level- therefore, open and collegiate championships do more for oneís resume than does a high school championship. Also, I considered the full body of work- titles won, consistency, quality of performance, etc.  

I named 15 men, and 15 women. Iíll start with the women- it seemed to be easier to evaluate the women and put them in some order.  

The men turned out to be extremely difficult. Are they in the correct order? You tell me.  


Jesse Carlin

  1. Jesse Carlin- this was easy. Record includes a third at USA Nationalchamps, two-time All American, numerous ECAC and Heptagonal Games championships.  

  2. Marina Liander- several conference championships in the throws. Got better in college.  

  3. Caitlin Tormey- Olympic Trials qualifier in marathon, and some good road races.  

  4. Terry Ballou- track star, road star, masters, but does well in open events as well.  

  5. Whitney Mitchell- cut career short at LSU.  

  6. Kerry Salzano- no one made bigger improvement in college.  

  7. Jasmine Barreto- became a very good college athlete.  

  8. Deanna Morelli- all around talent- heptathlete, thrower.  

  9. Lisa Marie Vellucci- nationally ranked racewalker.  

  10. Mary Tursi- Binghamton star in mid-distances.  

  11. Marissa Olivieri-good career at Manhattan .  

  12. Alysen Kuck- D-III star at Washington and Lee.  

  13. Julie Lamiquiz-another with good career at Manhattan .  

  14. Lauren Torelli- cut career short.  

  15. Kim Scotto- good relay runner at Lehigh.  



Saidu Ezike

  1. Saidu Ezike- many championships on the collegiate level back up great high school career.  

  2. Ali Abiola- All American relay performer at U. of Florida . Ran fast 800ís.  

  3. Tony Lordo- high school high jumper, became sprinter, horizontal jumper, MVP at Atlantic-10 conference championship.

  4. Lionel Williams- still a lot left here. Big-10 star at Penn State.

  5. Peter Zaccariello- D-III All American at 800 meters.  

  6. I. Perfection Harris- big-time scorer in college after great high school career.

  7. Brian Duggan- vaulter-Met IC conference champ. 

  8. John Carstensen- New England champ in vault, consistent scorer. 

  9. John Olsen- fine distance career at Naval Academy. 

  10. Mike Cassidy- two big marathons, future looks good.

  11. Kyle Duggan- consistent vaulter for U Conn.

  12. Rolando Ortiz- fine career at Florida . Competed in tough conference.  

  13. Dan Lewis- best yet to come for Villanova star.

  14. Jeff Brannigan- same as Lewis, emerging star.

  15. Sean McAuley- fine thrower at Lafayette .