Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Athlete bios courtesy of Jim Lambert

Kelly Robinson

Kelly was a big field event star in the early 2000’s and one of the best javelin throwers in state history.

As a junior at Raritan, she won the javelin with a meet record throw at the Monmouth County Championships, won the discus with a school record throw at the county meet, captured the javelin title at the Shore Conference Championships, won both the discus and javelin at the Central Jersey, Group 2 meet, finished first in the javelin at the state Group 2 meet, and won the javelin at the Meet of Champions.

Her senior year was even more spectacular.

In the spring of 2003, she repeated as county and conference champion in the javelin, won the javelin, shot and discus at the Central Jersey, Group 2 meet, including a still standing sectional record in the javelin of 141-2. She also repeated as Meet of Champions winner and then capped her historic season by winning the Adidas National Title in the javelin with a then state record 149-4.

Also the All-time leading scorer in girls basketball history at Raritan, she is the only athlete to win Meet of Champions titles with the new and old javelin, and she is only one of five girls to win 2 straight Meet of Champions titles in the javelin.

After graduating from Raritan High School in 2003, she went on to a record breaking career as a two-sport star at Towson University where she set school records in the shot put, discus, and javelin, qualified for the NCAA Championships multiple times, and was chosen to the U.S. Track and Field Coaches All Academic Team on numerous occasions.

She also finished her basketball career at Towson with 1,171 points, which was No. 6 in school history at the time.

James Gilligan

Jim was the King of the Ring in the early 1980’s as has he sent his 12-pound wrecking ball crashing through record books on his way to carving out a legendary career in the circle.

He served notice before he even got to high school that he was destined for greatness when this all-time great thrower had made a name for himself in eighth grade by setting the state intermediate school records in both the shot put and discus.

His dominance continued when he arrived at Toms River East High School, where he became one of the greatest throwers in state history.

During his legendary high school career he won numerous county, conference, sectional and state titles, highlighted by four Meet of Champions victories.

In 1983 he became only the second boy to ever win both the shot put and discus at the same Meet of Champions, and in 1984 he delivered one of the greatest moments in N.J. track and field indoor history when he launched the shot put 67-1 ¾ at the Shore Conference Championships to shatter the state record of 65-10 that had stood for 14 years.

The 67-1 3/4 remained the state indoor record for 13 years and is still the Shore Conference record and now stands No. 4 on the state’s all-time list.

An All-American in both the shot put and discus a a junior and senior, he was ranked No. 3 in the nation in the shot and No. 7 in the nation in the discus during his senior year, and he placed third in the shot at both the Golden West and Keebler Invitational meets in 1984.

After graduating from Toms River East in 1984, he went on to star at the University of Arizona where he broke the freshmen school records in both the discus with a 172-7 and the shot put with a 58’10 and ½.

Brian Zatorski

Brian was an outstanding track and field athlete during his days at Middletown North High School in the late 1980’s and was a standout decathlete at Moravian.

After graduating from Moravian, he returned to his alma mater and served as an assistant track and cross-country coach at Middletown North under Rocco Christopher or two years.

Then he took his vast knowledge of the sport with him to Southern Regional, where in 1997 he took over as the head girls cross-country, and head girls indoor and outdoor coach.

He proceeded to build the Rams into one of the greatest programs in state history.

During his illustrious 18 year career as head coach of the Rams, which spanned 54 seasons, his teams captured 34 Ocean County titles in the three seasons combined, 19 Shore Conference Championships in the three seasons, 17 A South titles overall, 13 South Jersey Sectional Track and Field Championships, 9 state Group Track and Field Championships, five nationals titles (three in the Distance Medley Relay and two in the 4×800), and a Penn Relays title in the Distance Medley Relay in 2007.

He also coached 31 national champions, and 81 All-Americans, led by national champions Danielle Tauro and Jilllian Smith, and had 46 athletes in individual events chosen First Team All-State by The Star-Ledger and a total of 148 of his athletes were chosen All State first team in relays .

He finished his career with dual meet records of 86-23 in cross-country and 107-8 in track and field, was named State Track and Field Coach of the Year by The star-ledger in 2008, and was chosen as the Asbury Park Coach of the year 10 times, Atlantic City Press Coach of the Year 7 times, and was the Northeast United States Regional Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 2009.

He’s also a member of the Middletown North, Southern Regional and New Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame.

Parents of Danielle Tauro, Accepting for Danielle Tauro

Danielle is one of the all-time distance running greats in New Jersey history.

This legendary distance runner burst on the scene as a freshman at Southern Regional in 2004 as she became just the second freshman to ever win the 1,600 at the outdoor Meet of Champions.

She was untouchable in the state in the 1,600 after that as she went on to win four straight titles at the M of C at that distance to become only one of two girls to ever accomplish that feat, and by her junior year she blossomed into the best high school miler in the nation.

She won the mile at the prestigious Millrose Games twice, and as a junior in 2006 she won the mile at the Penn Relays, and at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals that year  she blasted a still standing New Jersey state record of 4:39.25 to finish first and also take down the National Junior Record. She followed that up by winning the 1,500 at the U.S. Junior National Championships to earn a spot on the U.S National team that competed at the World Junior Championships in Beijing, China. At the World Junior Championships, she placed fifth.

As great as she was individually, this all-time great was just impressive on Southern’s relay teams and on the cross-country trails.

As the anchor for Southern’s DMR team, she brought her team across the line first four times at the National Championships, twice indoor and twice outdoors, and anchored the Rams to the Penn Relays DMR title in 2007. She also won numerous county, conference, sectional and group titles in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 to help lead Southern to several team titles.

In cross-country, she captured the M of C titles as a junior and a senior by winning great duels with fellow Hall of Famer Ashley Higginson of Colts Neck, ran a Holmdel Park personal best of 17:46.9, No. 3 in course history at the time and now No.  and she qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals twice, placing as high as sixth as a junior in 2006.

She went on to star at the University of Michigan where she was a three-time All-American, four time Big Ten champion, four-time indoor Big Ten First Team member, and she was named to the All Academic Big Ten Team, and was a four-time Athletic Academic Achievement award winner.

Debbie Vento

Debbie is one of the greatest high jumpers in state history.

During her sophomore year at Freehold Boro High School, she told her coaches that she wanted to learn how to high jump..

She took to it like a fish to water and quickly raised the bar to record breaking heights

During her legendary high school career she racked up 12 state titles in the high jump and captured four Meet of Champions titles, two indoors and two outdoors.

When she captured the high jump as a junior at the 2002 outdoor Meet of Champions, she cleared a still standing meet record of 5-10.

As a senior, she soared over the bar at 5-10 ½, which is currently third on the state’s all-time outdoor list, and she capped off her remarkable high school career by winning the High Jump at the Adidas Outdoor Championships in Raleigh, N.C.

She also finished at the top of her graduating class, and was the recipient of many accolades and awards during her high school days.

She was named Greater Media Newspaper’s 2003 Female Athlete of the Year, the 2003 News12 New Jersey High School Athlete of the Year, the NJ Nets High School Athlete of the Month, and was a three time High School All-American.

After graduating from Freehold Boro in 2003, she went on to star at Duke University where she continued to shine as she set schools records and captured several prestigious titles.

She was a two-time All-American,  a seven-time NCAA Championship qualifier, finished third in the nation in 2005, was a two-time ECAC Indoor Champion, and was the 2006 ACC Outdoor Champion.

She was also recognized on multiple occasions with All-ACC and All-East honors, and she still  holds the Duke women’s high jump record at 6’ 1 ½”.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude in 2007 with a degree in Psychology and went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of North Carolina in 2011.

She’s now married to one time Duke teammate, Jeremy Davis, and they have with two children and live in Ewing, N.J.

Jermaine Morris, Accepting for Craig Morris

Craig was one of the greatest hurdlers in state history.

As an eighth grader this legendary track and field athlete learned how to hurdle when his brother Robert pulled him aside and showed him how to do it.

A star had been born.

When he arrived at Monmouth Regional in the late 1970’s, he immediately began to flourish under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Ed Scullion.

By his junior year at Monmouth, no one in the state could stay with him over the high hurdles or the intermediate hurdlers as this record setting star blossomed into one of New Jersey’s all-time greats by accomplishing things that had never been done before.

In 1979 and 1980, he won the 110  hurdles and the 400 hurdles at the Meet of Champions to become the first athlete in state history to win both of those races in back-to-back years. And his winning time of 52.0 in the 400 hurdles in 1980 stood as the Meet of Champions record for 14 years, and it’s still the Monmouth County record.

He also won the high hurdles at the 1980 Indoor Meet of Champions to finish his career with five individual Meet of Champions titles.

In addition to those five Meet of Champions titles, he won numerous Shore Conference, Monmouth County, State Sectional and State Group Championships, and in 1980 he was named All-American and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation in the intermediate hurdles.

After graduating from Monmouth in 1980, he went on to star at Villanova where he won the 500 and ran on the winning 4×400 at the 1983 Big East Indoor Championships,

After graduating from Villanova in 1984, earned two Masters Degrees at Wilmington College.

For the last five years, he suffered from the early onset of dementia, but still managed to run 4-8 miles per day until he no longer could do so. Sadly, he passed away this past February.