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Tuesday, May 29, 2018: N.J. club coach made up an entire track meet

   Leading off today: Well, a borderline bizarre story out of New Jersey indicates that adults have found a new way to muck up high school sports.

   The coach and co-founder of a track club admitted Tuesday that he falsified an entire high school meet in Newark, N.J., to boost athletes' personal records, according to an email.

   In an email to NJ MileSplit, a person who identified himself as Newark Flames Track Club coach Corey Johnson apologized for falsifying a May 20 meet called the Brick City Invitational purportedly held May 20.

   "I really didn't know it would cause them problems as I never coached high school track and field," Johnson said. "Once again I truly apologize for the chaos that I have caused."

   Johnson said his intent was to attract college recruitment for some of his athletes.

   The issue came to light a day earlier when a parent of one of the alleged participants notified NorthJersey.com that the meet never happened. That revelation triggered an inquiry by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association because of the possibility that phony marks might be used to qualify for championship meets.

   By midday Tuesday it became apparent the half dozen teams listed in the results did not have a hand in the fraud, which included times and distances that would have qualified the athletes for either the championship division or the Emerging Elite division of the New Balance Nationals next month.

   Eddie Greene, who co-founded the Newark Flames and coaches West Side High, denied any involvement in the meet. Greene said none of his school's athletes participated and that he was in Atlanta at his son's college graduation at the time of the alleged meet.

   "I'm concerned that number one my team is put in this position," Greene said. "I spoke to the guy. He apologized to me. He said there was no ill will or to get me or any other team in trouble."

   Adding to the initial confusion, Greene told Milesplit that Johnson has access to his email account because of their connection to the track club. It initially led to suspicion that Greene had submitted the initial results and then tried to revise some results when questions were raised. As an experienced high school coach, however, he would have been unlikely to have made some of the obvious mistakes made in switching between automatic and hand times.

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   Memorial Day baseball: Massapequa began the season with five losses in its first nine games and has concluded the Section 8 season as Nassau County's Class AA baseball champion. Christian DeNave threw a four-hitter Monday as Massapequa defeated Oceanside 5-0 at SUNY Old Westbury.

   Massapequa has won 14 straight games and is 19-6 after defending its sectional title.

  

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  •    "I wanted to be in this spot, I couldn't wait for it the whole season," DeNave said. "I knew we were going to get here somehow, and I'm just glad I was able to close it out."

        • Wantagh beat Levittown Division 14-3 behind a nine-run seventh inning to win its third straight Section 8 Class A championship. Senior Patrick Willix went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and an intentional walk.

       Honestly, it's something to get used to now," Willix said. "This year, it just felt like another game. I was ready to go whenever they needed me and it's an amazing feeling."

       The Warriors scored the nine runs in the seventh on eight hits as 13 batters came to the plate.

       "I tell you, I wouldn't want to go through our lineup three, four times in a row," Wantagh coach Keith Sachs. "Eventually they're going to get you."

       USA basketball developments: Mary Louis Academy star Jordan Nixon has made the USA Basketball roster for the 2018 FIBA Americas Women's U18 Championship, which will be held Aug. 1-7, 2018, at a location still to be announced. The top four teams will earn a qualifying berth into next summer's 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

       The squad is being coach by Louisville's Jeff Walz.

       Meanwhile, two other New York scholastic standouts have made it to the final 18 for the 2018 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup Team, with the final 12-player roster likely to be announced Wednesday.

       Aubrey Griffin of Ossining and Celeste Taylor of Long Island Lutheran are seeking berths on the squad that will represent the U.S. at the FIBA U17 World Cup scheduled for July 21-29 in Minsk, Belarus. The United States qualified with a gold-medal finish at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship this past summer, with Taylor starting all five games.

       The team heading to Minsk will be coached by Carla Berube of Tufts University.


      
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