Willingboro teenager posts top qualifying times in two sprints at AAU Junior Olympics

Malachi James, a 14-year-old from Willingboro, posted the fastest qualifying times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in his age group at the AAU Junior Olympic Games this week in Florida.

James ran 22.72 to lead all qualifiers in the 200-meter dash in the 14-year-old age group on Wednesday afternoon and then ran 11.25 into a 1.6-meters-per-second wind to lead all qualifiers in the 100-meter dash on Thursday morning. The next-fastest times among the eight qualifiers for the finals were 11.45 and 23.05.

James, a rising 9th-grader, is scheduled to run in the 200 final on Friday and the 100 final on Saturday. The meet is being held at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Fla.

Connie Pollack, Carol Lewis and Tierra Hooker are the only S.J. indoor high jump record holders in the last 40 years!!! And here’s the all-time top-50!!!

The first indoor high jump star in South Jersey history was Connie Pollack of Rancocas Valley, who won the 1979 Meet of Champions – the first one for girls – at 5-2.

Pollack went on to clear 5-4 later that winter, which broke the South Jersey record of 5-2 she shared with Overbrook’s Maria Gudjohnson, who had cleared 5-2 in 1978.

Courier_Post_Sat__Feb_24__1979_

Pollack’s 5-4 was No. 4 in state history as of the end of the 1979 winter season but only held up as the South Jersey record for two years until Olympian Carol Lewis hit 5-8 as part of her remarkable record-setting senior year at Willingboro.

Lewis then held the mark for 37 years … 37 YEARS … until Timber Creek’s amazing Tierra Hooker matched her outdoor 5-10 clearance, which got her second at the 2017 Meet of Champions, with an indoor 5-10 at the Ocean Breeze Invitational in January of 2018.

That equals the No. 3 mark in state history.

Hooker went on to sweep the 2019 Meet of Champions titles with a 5-8 indoors and a 5-10 outdoors. She also long jumped 19 feet, took second at states in the hurdles and even broke 60 seconds for the 400!

When I stared making the all-time top-50 list I was hoping I wouldn’t have to track down every 5-4 mark in South Jersey history, but alas, that’s the way it worked out. I could be missing a few 5-4’s, so hit me up in the comment section if you notice any marks missing.

All-Time South Jersey Girls Indoor High Jump Top-50

5-10 … Tierra Hooker [Timber Creek], 2018
5-8 … Carol Lewis [Willingboro], 1981
5-8 … Shatich Rivers [Moorestown], 1992
5-8 … Abby Campbell [Shawnee], 2002
5-8 … Lindsey Walsh [Lenape], 2008
5-8 … Gabrielle Bennett [Winslow Twp.], 2015
5-7 1/4 … Tonya Lee [Rancocas Valley], 1988
5-7 … Megan Kirschling [West Deptford], 2012
5-7 … Alicia Terrell [Timber Creek], 2013
5-7 … Kambi Walker [Paul VI], 2019
5-6 … Erin Halpin [Cherry Hill West], 1987
5-6 … Sandy Tokoto [Moorestown], 1991
5-6 … Mandy Wolicki [Ocean City], 1996
5-6 … Kate Beatty [Shawnee], 1997
5-6 … Patty Dudek [Bordentown], 2000
5-6 … Marcene Jack [Mainland Reg.], 2004
5-6 … Brianna Gray [Haddon Heights], 2007
5-6 … Anna Cook [Florence], 2007
5-6 … Kelsey Evancho [Lenape], 2010
5-6 … Mary Durek [Shawnee], 2012
5-6 … Amaris Kobolak [Cinnaminson], 2013
5-6 … Natalie Cowan [Hammonton], 2015
5-6 … Jade Pope [Pennsauken], 2018
5-6 … Kenady Wilson [Willingboro], 2018
5-6 … Bethany Biggi [Rancocas Valley], 2019
5-6 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2020
5-5 … Kristen Tricocci [Cinnaminson], 2003
5-4 ½ … Tionna Tobias [Winslow Twp.], 2018
5-4 ½ … Natalie Cowan [Hammonton], 2015
5-4 ¼ … Tamika Voltaire [Eastern], 2017
5-4 … Connie Pollack [Rancocas Valley], 1979
5-4 … Carrie Gibb [Lenape], 1990
5-4 … Misty Farrell [Washington Twp.], 1995
5-4 … Stephanie Maugham [Shawnee], 1995
5-4 … Brooke Murray [Pitman], 1995
5-4 … Kim Hargrove [Willingboro], 1995
5-4 … Kristina Matthews [Bordentown], 1998
5-4 … Jamie Mathews [Haddonfield], 1999
5-4 … Dierra Poland [Deptford], 1999
5-4 … Kena Butts [Eastern], 2000
5-4 … Diona Byrd [Millville], 2001
5-4 … Alison Sheperd [Oakcrest], 2001
5-4 … Tiffany Alford [Pemberton], 2002
5-4 … Lauren Graf [Oakcrest], 2002
5-4 … Dominique Ward [Lenape], 2002
5-4 … Jessica Marcasciano [Egg Harbpr Twp.], 2003
5-4 … Laura Passalacqua [Rancocas Valley], 2004
5-4 … Latasha Leake [Northern Burlington], 2004
5-4 … Christina Smith [Washington Twp.], 2004
5-4 … Megan Kustera [West Deptford], 2008
5-4 … Lauren Taylor [Cherokee], 2008
5-4 … Danielle Ward [Lenape], 2009
5-4 … Kristen Bradley [Shawnee], 2009
5-4 … Shaya Wilkerson [Lenape], 2011
5-4 … Erica Herrman [Haddonfield], 2012
5-4 … Talyah Cox [Delsea], 2014
5-4 … Cidae’a Woods [Winslow Twp.], 2014
5-4 … Mariah Hubbard [Absegami], 2016
5-4 … Quinn Bithell [Lower Cape May Reg.], 2016
5-4 … Nia Hinds [Burlington Twp.], 2016
5-4 … Kai Starnes [Timber Creek], 2016
5-4 … Gabriella Babore [Paul VI], 2020

Outdoor Meet of Champions returning to Rutgers after 38 years!!!

The outdoor Meet of Champions, which has moved around to a variety of locations since a 16-year stay at South Plainfield, will return to Rutgers University in the spring of 2021.

The NJSIAA’s track and field and XC committee met Thursday, and among other actions – like reinstating the indoor state relays for this winter – the committee agreed to move the Meet of Champions back to Rutgers, where it was last held in 1983, according to New Jersey MileSplit.

This will be the first time in nearly four decades the Meet of Champions will be held in a true track and field stadium as opposed to a high school field.

The Meet of Champions was held at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway (now called Shi Stadium) until 1983.

Starting next year, the Meet of Champions will be held a couple miles up the road at the beautiful Rutgers’ Bauer Track and Field Complex, which has hosted the Big East Championships several times. Bauer is located next to the RAC, Rutgers’ basketball arena.

Bauer

Here are the locations since the M-of-C first moved out of Rutgers:

2017-2019: Northern Burlington High School, Mansfield Township
2016: Central Regional High School, Berkeley Township
2013-2015: John F. Kennedy Elementary School, South Plainfield
2011-2012: Old Bridge High School
2003-2010: John F. Kennedy Elementary School, South Plainfield
2000-2002: South Brunswick High School
1984-1999: John F. Kennedy Elementary School, South Plainfield

In addition to an eight-lane track, Bauer has two shot put circles, four horizontal jump runways, two discus cages, two pole vault runways and two javelin runways and is equipped for sprints and hurdles on either side of the track.

According to the NJSIAA Track and Field Committee, the 2021 Meet of Champions is tentatively scheduled for June 16, 2021.

The committee also moved future indoor state group meets to Ocean Breeze on Staten Island, which last year hosted the Meet of Champions for the first time.

For full details of the Track and Field and XC Committee meeting, check out Robert Kellert’s story here on NJ Milesplit!

In 1981, Carol Lewis took on the world hurdles record holder while she was still in high school! And here’s the all-time girls 55HH top-50!!!

Carol Lewis wasn’t getting challenged in hurdles (or the long jump) in the handful of indoor meets available to high school girls in New Jersey back in the early 1980s.

She needed some competition to run a fast high hurdles race.

And on Jan. 23, 1981 — two days before the Eagles faced the Raiders in the Super Bowl in New Orleans – she found it.

Lewis, then a senior at Willingboro High, went to the Philadelphia Track Classic at the Spectrum to race world record holder Candy Young of Fairleigh Dickinson in an open 60-yard hurdles race.

Young won in 7.83, but Lewis wasn’t far back in 7.92. Lorri Dinello of Florida, the 1982 NCAA outdoor champion, was third in 7.99. Lewis’s time was No. 4 in U.S. history at the time.

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Lewis broke the state FAT record and her performance may have actually been the first fully automatically timed 60-yard hurdles race ever by a South Jersey girl. If there was one any earlier it was slower than 8.40.

That remained the state record until Dawn Bowles of Neptune ran 7.81 probably at the Colgate Games finals at Madison Square Garden in 1988 and her time remained the South Jersey record until future Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Champion Nia Ali of Pleasantville ran 7.89 to win the 2006 Easterns at the Armory.

All-Time South Jersey Girls 55-Meter Hurdles Top-50

7.89 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2012
7.89 … Nia Ali [Pleasantville], 2006
7.92 … Carol Lewis [Willingboro], 1981
7.94 … Lenaami Morton [Camden], 2017
7.98 … Nichole Belcher [Woodrow Wilson], 1992
7.98 … Tionna Tobias [Winslow Twp.], 2019
8.01 … Samantha Sharper [Woodrow Wilson], 2008
8.03 … Alethia Jenkins [Pennsauken], 2000
8.03 … Jailya Ash [Eastern], 2020
8.03 … Claudine Smith [Atlantic City], 2018
8.04 … Zonya Cross [Edgewood], 1983
8.05 … Sherese Price [Pleasantville], 1998
8.06 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2006
8.10 … Nichole Hill [Oakcrest], 1997
8.11 … Cidae’a Woods [Winslow Twp.], 2014
8.15 … Jewel Ash [Eastern], 2020
8.17 … Torie Robinson [Winslow Twp.], 2014
8.17 … Aliya Rae Garozzo [Paul VI], 2020
8.18 … Gabrielle Bennett [Winslow Twp.], 2015
8.18 … Te’seanna Harris [Camden], 2019
8.19 … Brittany Preston [Winslow Twp,], 2016
8.22 … Jamillah Nock [Wilson], 2004
8.23 … Tierra Hooker [Timber Creek], 2019
8.24 … Malea Broome [Millville], 2019
8.26 … Jane Sharper [Woodrow Wilson], 2006
8.28 … Jasmine Staten [Lenape], 2016
8.29 … Keisha Williams [Camden], 2015
8.29 … Meredith Updike [Cinnaminson], 2020
8.30 … Joshonda Johnson [Absegami],2017
8.31 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2020
8.28… Kristina Keegan [Haddonfield], 2003
8.33 … Helen Wilks [Bridgeton], 1994
8.33 … Christine Lavallias [Timber Creek], 2016
8.35 … Janiayah Davis-Hines [Timber Creek], 2017
8.35 … Tonya Lee [Rancocas Valley], 1988
8.35 … Kayla Henry [Winslow Twp.], 2008
8.36 … Sonja Bennett [Edgewood], 1985
8.37 … Annie Taft [Bishop Eustace], 2005
8.37 … Nichole Hill [Oakcrest], 1997
8.37 … Delicia Sample [Kingsway], 2004
8.37 … Lexie Fraction [Washington Twp.], 2014
8.38 … Kimberly Allen [Willingboro], 2004
8.34 … Amani Gilliam [Pennsauken],2004
8.39 … Rachell Armstead [Millville], 2016
8.40 … Yvette Murray [Edgewood], 1999
8.40 … Francesca D’Angelo [Holy Spirit], 2008
8.40 … Shevell Higgs [Winslow Twp.], 2020
8.40 … Nylah Perry [Winslow Twp.], 2020
8.42 … Stephanie Maugham [Shawnee], 1995
8.42 … Shameka Marshall [Oakcrest], 2001 

All-Time South Jersey Girls 60-Meter Hurdles Top-10

8.36 … Nia Ali [Pleasantville], 2006
8.50 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2012
8.52 … Alethia Jenkins [Pennsauken], 2000
8.62 … Lenaami Morton [Camden], 2017
8.64 … Claudine Smith [Atlantic City], 2019
8.74 … Sherese Price [Pleasantville], 1998
8.80 … Carol Lewis [Willingboro], 1980
8.80 … Tionna Tobias [Winslow Twp.], 2019
8.82 … Jailya Ash [Eastern], 2019
8.83 … Brittany Preston [Winslow Twp.], 2016

Shore Coaches XC Invitational cancelled

This year’s Shore Coaches Invitational, the largest XC invite in the state, has been cancelled, N.J. MileSplit reported Friday.

The meet was scheduled for Oct. 3 at Holmdel County Park.

Shore Coaches, which began in 1970 with three boy races, has grown to 26 boys and girls freshman, JV and varsity races.

There were some 4,853 finishers in the various races last year, an average of nearly 200 per race.

With states and the Meet of Champions already cancelled, it appears there won’t be any major high school meets this fall at the legendary Holmdel 5,000-meter course.

In a joint statement, meet director Brian Decker and Shore Coaches president Todd Briggs explained the decision:

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Briggs tweeted out that the Shore Coaches does support holding an abbreviated XC season this fall:

Back in 1970, when the meet was held at Ocean County Park in Lakewood, Westfield, Sterling and Bernards won the initial team titles, and Dan Adams of Gateway and Mike Butynes of Sterling won two of the individual titles that first year.

The meet wasn’t held in 1971 or 1976 but has been held every year since 1977.

The meet moved to Brookdale Community College in Lincroft in 1974 and has been held at Holmdel since 1979. The girls meet was added in 1977.

Next year’s meet – hopefully – will be held on Oct. 2, 2021.

 

When Brittany Sedberry ran one of the fastest two-miles in U.S. history!!!!! And the all-time S.J. top-50!!!

When Brittany Sedberry breaks a state record, she really breaks a state record.

Thanks to a snowstorm that postponed the Meet of Champions during the winter of 2006, Sedberry, then an Ocean City senior, was forced to make a decision between shooting for a Meet of Champions 3,200 title on the slow unbanked track at Jadwin Gym or facing some hot competition and going for the state record at the Armory a few days later.

She chose the Armory.

On Feb. 18, 2006, Sedberry toed the line for the two-mile at the Coca-Cola Classic at the Armory with her eye on the state record of 10:27.20 set in 1999 by Middletown South’s Cate Guiney when she placed second to Sara Bei of Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Calif., at the National Scholastic Championships in Boston. Bei is now Sara Hall, married to Ryan Hall, the U.S. marathon record holder at 2:04.58. Sara Hall is the No. 6 U.S. marathoner of all-time at 2:22.16.

Courier_Post_Sun__Feb_19__2006_

Sedberry’s time at nationals was No. 8 in U.S. indoor track history.

She broke her own South Jersey record of 10:30.25 that she set at the state Group 3 meet at Jadwin, where she edged Colts Neck teammates Brianna Jackucewicz (10:31.32) and Ashley Higginson (10:36.44), who went to become one of the world’s top steeplechasers. 

Before Sedberry first broke the South Jersey record, it was held by Washington Township’s Michelle Rowen, who never took a serious stab at the two-mile indoors but did run 10:43.2 (converted) in an easy effort in a developmental meet at Widener in January of 1983. 

Sedberry only held the state record for a year. In 2007, Higginson ran 10:16.75 when she won Nationals at the Armory.

But to this day her time is No. 2 in state history and No. 16 in U.S. history, holding up to every challenge by some incredible runners – Megan Lacy, Megan Venables, Chelsea Ley and Alyssa Aldridge, to name a few.

Sedberry ran for Duke and after dealing with injuries for three years transferred to La Salle and had an outstanding career as a collegiate swimmer!

All-Time S.J. Girls Indoor 3,200 Top-50

10:15.71 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2006
10:23.49 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
10:29.90 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2009
10:33.95 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Reg.], 2016
10:38.11 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2011
10:38.90 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2001
10:40.03 … Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2012
10:40.80 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2017
10:42.06 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2012
10:42.22 … Theresa Cattuna [Cherry Hill East], 2007
10:43.2y … Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1983
10:45.20 … Devon Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2015
10:45.40 … Julianna Catania [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2016
10:46.63 … Erika Kemp [Rancocas Valley], 2013
10:48.78 … Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2014
10:49.12 … Madison Coppolino [Sterling], 2017 [3]
10:49.46 … Alyssa Condell [Timber Creek], 2016
10:52.05 … Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2007
10:52.53 … Allie Pierontoni [Kingsway], 2020
10:53.4h … Christin Bettis [Hammonton], 2012
10:53.89y … Sarah Naticchia [Haddonfield], 2020
10:55.29y … Ann Klocke [Bishop Eustace], 1996
10:57.95 … Katy Storti [Bishop Eustace], 2019
10:59.02 … Catherine Van Horn [Triton], 2005
10:59.04 … Maria Ruiz [Williamstown], 2009
10:59.13 … Vickie Ajimoko [Williamstown], 2013
11:00.9y … Deanna Germano [Shawnee], 1985
11:02.02 … Jenn Rawls [Highland], 2009
11:03.78 … Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2017
11:03.94 … Alexa Palmieri [Ocean City], 2019
11:05.02 … Alexa Weber [Ocean City], 2017
11:06.43y … Colleen Sunderland [Northern Burlington], 1995
11:06.72 … Meghan Malloy [Cinnaminson], 2011
11:06.95 … Sarah Pierce [Cherry Hill East], 2017
11:07.63 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
11:08.03 … Nina Bendixen [Shawnee], 2015
11:08.35 … Lindsey Kane [Washington Twp.], 2013
11:09.29 … Kaitlyn Rauscher [Delsea], 2016
11:09.81 … Abbey Hartman [Ocean City], 1997
11:10.88 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2009
11:11.44 … Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2005
11:12.32 … Maria Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2014
11:12.52 … Natalia Ocasio [Lenape], 2010
11:13.1y … Sue Pockell [Cherry Hill West], 1983
11:15.94 … Kylie Anicic [Kingsway], 2018
11:16.17 … Kara Bonner [Shawnee], 2017
11:16.51 … Meghan Hughes [Moorestown], 2002
11:18.59 … Raelynne Miller [Millville], 2017
11:18.68 … Alexis Mullarkey [Kingsway], 2018
11:19.65 … Emily Pierontoni [Kingsway], 2020

How the legendary Michelle Rowen set a N.J. indoor mile record that nobody has approached in 37 years!!!!! And the all-time S.J. top-50!!!

It was March 6, 1983, and I was working the evening shift at the Gloucester County Times sports department in Woodbury.

I was an avid runner and starting to learn about South Jersey high school track and field, but I wasn’t obsessed quite yet, and I didn’t even realize there was a meet called Easterns taking place that evening in Massachusetts.

The phone rang.

ROOB: “Hey, sports department, can I help you?”
PERSON ON PHONE: “Hi, I’ve got results for Michelle Rowen in the mile at Easterns.”
ROOB: “OK, cool, how did she do?”
PERSON ON PHONE: “She ran 4:43.16.”
ROOB: “OK, 4:43.16, got it.”
PERSON ON PHONE: “DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS?????”

I said I did, and I talked to Michelle for a minute about her race and wrote a story for the next day’s paper. But the truth is I didn’t realize at that moment just exactly how monumental her performance was.

Competing at the 4th annual girls Easterns at Harvard’s Gordon Indoor Track in Cambridge, Mass., Rowen had just run the 5th-fastest indoor mile in U.S. scholastic track history. She had broken the state record. She had run 35 seconds than any other South Jersey girl ever had. She had also set a state 1,500 record of 4:24.0.

Here we are 37 years later and Rowen still holds the state record and despite super-charged tracks, state-of-the-art shoe design and more high-powered indoor meets for high school girls, Rowen’s time is still No. 19 in U.S. scholastic history, and her 1,500 time is No. 11 and also a state record.

Let’s take a look at Rowen’s remarkable 1983 indoor season.

She actually broke the South Jersey indoor mile record six times.

In 1982, she ran 5:06.1 at the South Jersey Championships at Widener, breaking the mark of 5:16.0, set by Williamstown junior Eva Marie Berardi on Jan. 14, 1979, at the East Coast Invitational in Richmond, Va. [Three days earlier, Berardi ran 5:17.9 at a meet at the Philadelphia Civic Center, breaking the S.J. mark of 5:23.6 set by Gateway’s Pam Adams at Widener in 1976].

Rowen then  ran 4:58.9 to win the state Group 4 title at Jadwin Gym and 4:55.7 to win the Meet of Champions and 4:50.09 for second at Easterns.

Meg Waldron of Bernards temporarily snatched the state record from Rowen with a 4:47.2 at a meet at Harvard on Feb. 7, 1983, but Rowen reclaimed it three weeks later when she ran her 4:43.16 full mile at Easterns on that same track at Harvard.

Rowen went out in 68.8 and 2:20.1 before coming back in 2:23.0.

Rowan’s 4:43.16 converts to 4:41.52 for 1,600 meters. The closest any New Jersey runner has gotten to Rowan is Danielle Tauro’s 4:46.13 full mile for Southern Regional at the New Balance Games at the Armory in 2007.

The closest any South Jersey runner has gotten is Olympian Erin Donohue’s 4:51.15 full mile (or 4:49.46 for 1,600) at the 2001 Nike Indoor Championships at the Prince Georges County Sportsplex in Landover, Md.

Imagine how Lindsey Kane felt in 2014 when she ran 4:53 and took second in the Meet of Champions and had a No. 9 U.S. ranking and still fell 12 seconds short of her own school record?

Rowen’s 4:43.16 broke the Easterns record of 4:45.09 set by Ceci Hopp of Greenwich, Conn., in 1981. Even though the meet moved briefly to Jadwin and then the Armory speedway, Rowen still holds the Easterns record. The closest anybody has gotten is Maddy Berkson of Classical High School in Providence, R.I., who ran 4:50.11 in 2014.

So hats off to Michelle Rowen for one of the greatest performances in U.S. track history, a performance that nearly four decades later remains untouched by the greatest runners New Jersey has produced.

Even though I didn’t quite realize it at the time!

All-Time S.J. Girls Indoor 1,600-Meter Run Top-50

4:41.52y … Michelle Rowen [Wash. Twp.], 1983
4:49.46y … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2001
4:51.60 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2016
4:53.36 … Lindsey Kane [Washington Twp.], 2014
4:54.58 … Celine Mazzi [Delsea], 2014
4:55.04y … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2010
4:56.1h,y … Ruth Lockbaum [Glassboro], 1985
4:57.12 … Megan Quimby [Lenape], 2015
4:57.72 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2010
4:58.48 … Natalia Ocasio [Lenape], 2010
4:59.29 … Julia Despirito [Shawnee], 2014
4:59.39 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2012
5:00.39 … Lisa Burkholder, 2004
5:00.78y … Monica Olkowski [Cherokee], 1990
5:00.81 … Vickie Ajimoko [Williamstown], 2014
5:01.96 … Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2017
5:01.21 … Julianna Catania [Egg Harbor], 2016
5:01.86 … Kristen Niedrach [Shawnee], 2012
5:02.21 … Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2014
5:02.83 … Felicia O’Donnell [Delsea], 2011
5:02.92 … Allie Pierontoni [Kingsway], 2020
5:03.50 … Bridget Flynn [Ocean City], 2014
5:03.81 … Maria Ruiz [Williamstown], 2009
5:03.82 … Allison Colflesh [Haddonfield], 2020
5:03.97 … Camille Franklin [Lenape], 2014
5:04.13 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Reg.], 2017
5:04.24 … Sarah Naticchia [Haddonfield], 2020
5:04.48 … Kara Bonner [Shawnee], 2016
5:04.54 … Mia Spinella [Haddonfield], 2010
5:04.69 … Alyssa Condell [Timber Creek], 2017
5:05.27 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2011
5:05.36 … Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2012
5:05.90 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2011
5:05.90 … Madison Coppolino [Sterling], 2017
5:06.12 … Payton Wiener [Haddonfield], 2020
5:06.26 … Devon Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2015
5:06.38 … Lindsay Thomas [Overbrook], 2001
5:06.43 … Andrea Shute [Clearview], 2005
5:06.53 … Brittnee Bynoe [Willingboro], 2003
5:06.85 … Kesley Cummings [Triton], 2016
5:06.90 … Olivia Shafer [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2020
5:06.91 … Gabby Kirsch [Williamstown], 2017
5:07.27 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
5:07:47 … Theresa Cattuna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
5:07.60 … Miya Johnson [Lenape], 2008
5:08.12 … Shelby Bobbie [Rancocas Valley], 2014
5:08.46 … Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2008
5:08.52 … Elizabeth Locke [Kingsway], 2010
5:08.65y … Kathy Linck, Eustace, 1995
5:08.7y … Deanna Germano, Shawnee, 1986
5:08.90 … Meghan McGlinchey [West Deptford], 2008

The enduring 800 legacies of Ruth Lockbaum and Michelle DiMuro!!! And the all-time girls indoor S.J. 800 top-50!!!

It’s been 25 years since Ruth Lockbaum and Michelle DiMuro re-wrote the South Jersey indoor 800-meter record book.

And they’re still two of the best in South Jersey history!

In the winter of 1985, Glassboro’s Lockbaum and Shawnee’s DiMuro ran the two-fastest 800s in South Jersey history … even though they never raced against each other in an 800 that winter.

Lockbaum ran 2:14.5 at the state Group 1 meet on Feb. 8, 1985, breaking the South Jersey record of 2:18.6 set by Shawnee’s Sue Walker in 1983 by more than four seconds! 

Later that day on the same Jadwin Gym track, DiMuro won the Group 4 race in 2:15.2.

Courier_Post_Tue__Feb_19__1985_Courier_Post_Tue__Feb_26__1985_-2

At the Meet of Champions, DiMuro ran 2:14.6, placing second to Gisele Harris of Shabazz, who set a meet record of 2:13.7. DiMuro was also under the previous meet record of 2:15.7 set by Kim Sannito of Caldwell in 1982. Lockbaum focused on the 1,600 at the M-of-C and won it in 4:56.0.

There was no 800 at Easterns, and Shawnee didn’t make the trip to Boston anyway. Lockbaum opted for the mile and ran 5:04.0 for ninth in a very fast race.

Lockbaum and DiMuro, who later became teammates at Villanova, were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in South Jersey history until 1990, when Monica Olkowski ran 2:12.46, winning the 1990 Meet of Champions at Jadwin by a staggering 35 meters.

Olkowski held the record for 11 years, when it was broken by Olympian Erin Donohue, who ran 2:10.0 in 2001 in an incredible race at the Varsity Classic at the Armory against Tawana Watkins of Kennedy. Watkins ran 2:09.6, edging Donohue.

Tiernan became the first and only South Jersey girl to dip under 2:10 when she ran 2:09.56 at 2019 nationals at the Armory, taking second to Phyllis Francis of the since-closed Catherine McAuley High in Brooklyn, who ran 2:07.54.

All Francis ever did was set the American and collegiate 400 records while she was at Oregon, win the 400 at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and the 2017 World Championships in London and place 5th in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She won an Olympic gold medal in the 1,600-meter relay.

Tiernan never ran outdoor track and never ran in college. She played lacrosse with twin sister Nicole at Temple, where she graduated with a degree in kinesiology.  

But 10 years later, she still holds the South Jersey indoor record.

And to this day, Tiernan ranks No. 5 in state history indoors, behind some of the greatest middle-distance names in U.S. track history: U.S. 600 record holder Athing Mu of Trenton [2:04.08 in 2020], Columbia’s Joetta Clark [2:06.0 in 1980], Queen of Peace’s Janine Davis [2:07.60 in 2005] and Governor Livingston’s Victoria Vanriele [2:07.83 in 2020].

Incredibly, Watkins and Donohue are No. 6 and 7 on that list with their times from their historic showdown 19 years ago. 

All-Time S.J. girls indoor 800-meter run top-50

2:09.56 … Megan Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2010
2:10.0h … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2001
2:12.46 … Monica Olkowski [Cherokee], 1990
2:12.55 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2010
2:13.51 … Emily Duffey [Lenape], 2011
2:14.12 … Carly Pettipaw [Lenape], 2013
2:14.5h … Ruth Lockbaum [Glassboro], 1985
2:14.6h … Michelle DiMuro [Shawnee], 1985
2:14.64 … Bridget Flynn [Ocean City], 2014
2:14.99 … Kami Joi Hickson [Washington Twp.], 2017
2:15.05 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2015
2:15.06 … Sydney Coppolino [Sterling], 2017
2:15.17 … Britney Kott [Millville], 2008
2:15.31 … Lindsay Colflesh [Haddonfield], 2020
2:15.46 … Tara DeBrielle [Overbrook], 2000
2:15.86 … Greta Feldman [Haddonfield], 2009
2:15.89 … Kayla Martin [Seneca], 2016
2:15.90 … Felicia O’Donnell [Delsea], 2009
2:15.99 … Brooke Kott [Millville], 2008
2:15.36 … Rachel Stremme [Ocean City], 2014
2:16.60 … Gabbi Kirsch [Williamstown], 2015
2:16.63 … Lindsay Thomas [Winslow Twp.], 2003
2:16.71 … Lindsey Kane [Washington Twp.], 2015
2:16.82 … Mary Bohi [Seneca], 2009
2:16.84 … Celine Mazzi [Delsea], 2014
2:16.85 … Megan Quimby [Lenape], 2017
2:16.88 … Shelby Whetstone [Lenape], 2019
2:16.93 … Julia Despirito [Shawnee], 2014
2:16.95 … Patrice Rowe [Willingboro], 2010
2:17.00 … Sarah Naticchia [Haddonfield], 2020
2:17.11 … Miya Johnson [Lenape], 2007
2:17.15 … Courtney McCrudden [Eastern], 2000
2:17.15 … Nicole Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2011
2:17.21 … Allie Pierontoni [Kingsway], 2020
2:17.23 … Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
2:17.32 … Courtney McCrudden [Eastern], 2000
2:17.43 … Cassie Hagstoz [Kingsway], 2013
2:17.70 … Kaitlyn Bonnet [Haddonfield], 2017
2:17.0h … Kimarra McDonald [Rancocas Valley], 2004
2:17.76 … Destiny Stanford [Kingsway], 2017
2:17.82 … Tara Debrielle [Overbrook], 2000
2:17.85 … Holly Cosnett [Haddonfield], 2001
2:18.00 … Lyndsy Horn [Seneca], 2009
2:18.00 … Nia Holden [Highland], 2019
2:18.10 … Nijgia Snapp [Oakcrest], 2008
2:18.30 … Brittnee Bynoe [Willingboro], 2005
2:18.31 … Hollie McGarvie [Shawnee], 2004
2:18.54 … Allison Hawkey [Rancocas Valley], 2007
2:18.57 … Liz Locke [Kingsway], 2009
2:18.4h … Krista Ferrera [Vineland], 1991
2:18.61 … Kelsey Niglio [Cherokee], 2020
2:18.72 … Hailey Tabar [Clearview], 2020
2:18.6h … Sue Walker [Shawnee], 1983
2:18.77 … Samantha Budd [West Deptford], 2012
2:18.91 … Vickie Ajimoko [Williamstown], 2013
2:18.9h … Ursula Eder [Gateway], 1974
2:18.9h … Patti Addis [Williamstown], 1984
2:18.97 … Shelly Solheim [Ocean City], 1995

Denise Mitchell held the S.J. indoor 400 record for 19 years!!! Here’s the complete all-time girls indoor 400 top-50!!!

Long before Michelle Brown, Nijgia Snapp and Okechi Ogbuokiri were running ridiculous 400-meter dash times, Edgewood’s Denise Mitchell was one of the best in the country.

Back in the winter of 1983, Mitchell lowered the South Jersey indoor 400 record more than THREE SECONDS and held it for 19 years.

Going into the season, the South Jersey record was 58.7, run at the 1983 state Group 4 meet by Shawnee’s Michelle DiMuro, who would go on to race in the 800 at the 1988 Olympic Trials. DiMuro had broken the South Jersey record of 59.4 set at the state Group 4 meet in 1981 by Willingboro’s Bobbi Tabb.

Then Mitchell, in her first year as a quarter-miler, went to work. 

She ran 57.5 in an early season meet in December, breaking DiMuro’s record by more than a second. Then at the state Group 4 meet at Jadwin, she ran 56.5 in the trials and 55.6 in the final. That broke both her own South Jersey record and the state mark of 56.6 set at the 1981 Meet of Champions by Lakewood’s Robin Stephens.

Courier_Post_Tue__Feb_21__1984_

Mitchell, older sister of Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell and later an All-America at Florida,  held the South Jersey indoor 400 record until Ogubokiri ran 55.41 to win Easterns. Ogbuokiri then lowered her own state record to 54.90 in the prelims at nationals and then to 54.24 in the final, which she won. At the time it was No. 14 in U.S. history. It remained the state record for 11 years, until Olivia Baker of Columbia ran 53.49 at nationals. Olympian Sydney McLoughlin lowered the mark to its current 51.61, also at nationals. 

Incredibly, Ogbuokiri’s time is still the South Jersey record, 17 years later, and Mitchell’s 55.6 remains No. 7 in South Jersey history, 36 years after she ran it.

54.24 … Okechi Ogbuokiri [Willingboro], 2003
54.91 … Nijgia Snapp [Oakcrest], 2008
55.16 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2006
55.19 … Michelle Brown [Seneca], 2008
55.21 … Aliyah Taylor [Rancocas Valley], 2017
55.4h … English Gardner [Eastern], 2008
55.6h … Denise Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
55.83 … Kiara Lester [Deptford], 2016
56.19 … Nylah Perry [Winslow], 2020
56.21 … Dana Burnett [Williamstown], 1997
56.34 … Katrina Sye [Buena], 1997
56.44 … Avionne Sloan [Camden], 2006
56.62 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2012
56.65 … Britney Kott [Millville], 2009
56.76 … Simone Thomas [Willingboro], 2003
56.78 … Ajae Alvarez-Tyler [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2018
56.85 … Emily Duffey [Lenape], 2012
56.85 … Nylah Perry [Winslow], 2020
56.88 … Marcene Jack [Mainland Reg.], 2004
56.90 … Nadia Davy [Bridgeton], 1999
56.98 … Jade Pope [Pennsauken], 2020
57.14 … Danielle Myricks [Willingboro], 2001
57.14 … Faleesha Dowe [Penns Grove], 2014
57.36 … Shakirah Rutherford [Willingboro], 1999
57.36 … Flora Ahiarakwe [Winslow Twp.], 2018
57.37 … Courtney Foster [Cherokee], 2013
57.43 … Raniyah Walker [Camden], 2002
57.44 … Nicole Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2011
57.47 … Briana Crofton [Delsea], 2011
57.57 … Audrey Wilson [Deptford], 2008
57.58 … Thailia Cooper [Kinsgway], 2015
57.58 … Carly Pettipaw [Lenape], 2015
57.58 … Shameka Speed [Bridgeton], 2002
57.58 … Morgan Gordon [Rancocas Valley], 2009
57.59 … Jewel Ash [Eastern], 2020
57.61 … Janeya Hammond [Winslow Twp.], 2020
57.67 … Annie Johnson [Shawnee], 2011
57.72 … Aishia Lawson [Camden], 1995
57.76 … Olivia Jamison [Pennsauken], 2015
57.79 … Arianna Smith [Pennsville], 2019
57.80 … Megan Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2010
57.7h … Jenelle Wilson [Eastern], 2003
57.84 … Tamara Jones [Woodrow Wilson], 2007
57.85 … Jackie Dim [Washington Twp.], 2008
57.91 … Andrea Olsen [Buena], 2013
57.94 … Americo Odey [Willingboro], 2006
58.03 … Halimah Bashir [Willingboro], 2003
58.14 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2018
58.15 … Kristina Keegan [Haddonfield], 2002
58.19 … Shakira Dancy [Winslow Twp.], 2017

Patti Dunlap’s 13-year monopoly on the S.J. girls indoor 200 record! And the all-time top-50 list!!!

The indoor 200 was a rarity for a long time. And this list reflects that.

There really waasn’t anywhere to run it indoors before that. And let’s be honest: The indoor 200 really isn’t a fair race because lane assignment is such a huge part of the result on a banked track. You can really only run three people at a time and still keep it a fair race.

The 200-meter dash wasn’t added to girls Easterns until 1996, so it’s no surprise that 47 of the top-50 indoor 200 times in South Jersey history have been recorded since 1996.

In 1996, Easterns moved from Boston to Princeton, where it merged with the boys meet to form one big, giant Easterns Championship, and with the merger came a codifying of events, so the girls started running the 200. But it wasn’t until the NJSIAA added it to the state meet program in 2005 that the event really took off indoors.

It all makes some of the early 200 marks really impressive.

Camden’s amazing Patti Dunlap set a South Jersey indoor record of 26.4 for 220 yards in 1979 (never did figure out what meet she did it), and that stood as the South Jersey record for 13 years, until Haddon Heights’ Ivy Foster ran 25.38 in 1992 (again, can’t find the meet).

Dana Burnett of Williamstown was the first under 25 seconds indoors, lowering the S.J. record to 24.78 at 1996 nationals in Boston.

Moorestown’s Amandi Rhett lowered the record to 24.46 as part of her double state-record performance at 2000 Easterns – she also anchored Moorestown’s state-record 1:40.77 that night – and Krystal Cantey of Winslow, known best as an All-America intermediate hurdler, has held the mark since 2006 with her 24.38, which she ran at Easterns when she finished in a virtual dead heat with Racquel Vassell of East Orange, Vassell getting the win after a read of the photo.

Here you go, indoor 200 fans!

All-Time S.J. girls indoor 200-meter dash top-50

24.38 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2006
24.39 … Shakira Dancy [Winslow Twp.], 2017
24.42 … Dennisha Page [Woodrow Wilson], 2019
24.46 … Amandi Rhett [Moorestown], 2000
24.52 … Cecelia Gerstenbecher [Delsea], 2017
24.61 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2012
24.61 … Aliyah Taylor [Rancocas Valley], 2017
24.5h … Jennifer Jackson [Eastern], 2003
24.78 … Dana Burnett [Williamstown], 1996
24.83 … Kiara Lester [Deptford], 2014
24.83 … Lauren Princz [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2020
24.94 … Shardae Anderson [Paulsboro], 2005
24.96 … Jackie Dim [Washington Twp.], 2008
24.96 … Toni Glatz [Delsea], 2017
24.99 … Aliya Harrison [Sterling], 2018
25.05 … Halimah Bashir [Willingboro], 2004
25.05 … Jamie Walker [Haddon Heights], 2007
25.05 … Audrey Wilson [Deptford], 2009
25.09 … Jewel Ash [Eastern], 2020
25.11 … Avionne Sloan [Camden], 2004
25.11 … Nia Ali [Pleasantville], 2006
25.15 … Haleemah Fisher [Camden], 2000
25.16 … Torie Robinson [Winslow Twp.], 2014
25.19 … Morgan Gordon [Rancocas Valley], 2009
25.25 … English Gardner [Eastern], 2007
25.29 … Daijah Davis-Hines [Timber Creek], 2015
25.29 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2020
25.33 … Shardae Anderson [Paulsboro], 2005
25.33 … Nylah Perry [Winslow Twp.], 2020
25.1h … Latoya Benson [Washington Twp.], 2001
25.35 … Gabrielle Farquharson [Williamstown], 2011
25.38 … Ivy Foster [Haddon Heights], 1992
25.38 … Assante Johnson [Camden], 2008
25.44 … Janeya Hammond [Winslow Twp.], 2020
25.54 … Nichole Hill [Oakcrest], 1997
25.3h … Raniyah Walker [Camden], 2002
25.3h … Jamillah Nock [Woodrow Wilson], 2004
25.56 … Simone Thomas [Willingboro], 2–3
25.4h … Danielle Myricks [Willingboro], 2004
25.71 … Ashley Parker [Pleasantville], 2003
25.71 … Sheriyah Nutt [Rancocas Valley], 2020
25.71 … Kayla Jackson [Northern Burlington], 2017
25.73 … Jaia James [Winslow Twp.], 2020
25.74 … Aalliya Fox [Delsea], 2020
25.5h … Mario Fasolino [Washington Twp.], 2004
25.75 … Katrina Sye [Buena], 1999
25.79 … Yvonne Wolef [Middle Twp.], 2011
25.79 … Darynn Minus-Vincent [Rancocas Valley], 2019
25.80 … Iyianna Williams [Winslow Twp.], 2017
25.83 … Jailya Ash [Eastern], 2018
25.83 … Sierra Dicupe’ [Camden Catholic], 2020
25.6h … Shawana Gray [Camden[, 2003
25.6h … Channel Hamilton [Willingboro], 2004