Petela continued his hot running Friday with a big meet-record 4:18.15 win in the 1,600-meter run at the South Jersey Group 1 meet at the Bubble in Toms River.
It was the first time under 4:20 indoors for Petela, whose time is No. 1 in New Jersey this year and broke the meet record of 4:21.84 set two years ago by Pleasantville’s Jacob Clark.
Petela’s time is also No. 4 nationally and less than two seconds out of first. It’s fastest by a Camden County miler in five years, since Ben Potts of Haddonfield ran 4:16.85 at the 2010 Meet of Champions.
It’s also fourth-fastest ever at any of the indoor sectional meets, second-fastest ever at any of the South Jersey sectionals and fastest in four years.
Here’s a list of the 10-fastest 1,600 performances in sectional history throughout the state:
- 4:14.43 … Curtis Richburg (West Orange), 2010, N1-4 [1st]
- 4:17.12 … Jeramy Elkaim (Livingston), 2010 N1-4 [2nd]
- 4:17.72 … Miles Schoedler (Ocean City), 2011 SJ-3 [1st]
- 4:18.15 … Luke Petela (Haddon Twp.), 2015, SJ-1 [1st]
- 4:18.36 … Brian Leung (WW-P South), 2008, CJ-3 [1st]
- 4:19.52 … Anthony Colasurdo (Lacey Twp.), 2011 SJ-3 [2nd]
- 4:19.84 … Erik Johnson (Ocean City), 2011 SJ-3 [3rd]
- 4:19.96 … Robert Rawls (Triton), 2011 SJ-3 [4th]
- 4:20.55 … Brian Robinson (Millburn), 2010 NJ2-3 [1st]
- 4:20.66 … Tim Ball (Piscataway), 2011 NJ2-4 [1st]
Petela’s previous indoor PR was a 4:25.05 from last year’s Meet of Champions, when he placed 21st after taking second at indoor states.
Outdoors last spring, Petela ran 4:16.55 to win the Camden County title, 4:17.20 to win states and 4:14.39 for second at the Meet of Champs, just behind Kyle Levermore of Don Bosco, who won in 4:13.98.
The South Jersey indoor record is Marc Pelerin’s 4:15.16 for a full mile by Marc Pelerin of Cherokee in 2002. The Camden County record is 4:14.0 full mile by Cherry Hill East’s Marty Ludwikowski in 1975.
Petela led a 1-2 Haddon Township sweep in the 1,600, with junior Owen Long taking second in 4:28.22.
Petela and Long also went 1-2 in outdoor sectionals in the 1,600 and in cross country sectionals at Delsea in November.