Petela runs all-time S.J. #4 mile to win Meet of Champs!!!!!!

Luke Petela keeps winning. And keeps getting faster.

Petela, the Haddon Township senior, won the 1,600-meter run Saturday at the Meet of Champions in a personal-best 4:14.71, finishing 12 meters ahead of Colin Daly, a River Dell junior over the flat 200-meter track at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

His time is No. 5 in the U.S.

Petela becomes the first boy from Haddon Township to win a Meet of Champions title indoors in 45 years, since the second year the meet existed, when Ken Medlin won the two-mile in 9:13.6.

He’s also the first South Jersey M-of-C 1,600 winner since Erik Johnson of Ocean City in 2011 and the first from Camden County since Chris Platt of Haddonfield won in 2003.

Petela’s time is No. 4 in South Jersey indoor history. Converting to 4:16.21 for a full mile, it’s fastest by a South Jersey runner in 12 years — since Platt’s 4:16.01 in 2003 — and trails only two legends — Cherokee’s Marc Pelerin and Cherry Hill’s Marty Ludwikowski.

Here’s the updated all-time South Jersey indoor performance list, with 1,600s converted into miles:

  • 4:15.16 Marc Pelerin (Cherokee), 2002
  • 4:15.5 Marty Ludwikowski (Cherry Hill West), 1975
  • 4:16.01 Chris Platt (Haddonfield), 2003
  • 4:16.21m Luke Petela (Haddon Twp.), 2015
  • 4:16.6 Jim Smith (Haddonfield), 1980
  • 4:17.4 Greg Stremmel (Gateway), 1974
  • 4:17.7 Rich Caton (Woodbury), 1979
  • 4:17.52m Erik Johnson (Ocean City), 2012
  • 4:18.07m Miles Schoedler (Ocean City), 2011
  • 4:18.12 Bill Dolan (Clearview), 2014

And here’s a list of all South Jersey winners in the indoor Meet of Champs mile or 1,600:

1974  … Greg Stremmel (Gateway), 4:18.2 (mile)
2003 … Chris Platt (Haddonfield), 4:16.64 (1,600)
2004 … Carmen Cavella (Washington Twp.), 4:19.09
2011 … Erik Johnson (Ocean City), 4:16.02
2015 … Luke Petela (Haddon Twp.), 4:14.71

Petela, who is undefeated this year at 1,600 meters, lowered his PR more than two seconds from 4:16.95, which he ran at states.

His time is the fifth-fastest winning time since the race was changed from a mile to a 1,600 in 1982 and the fastest time ever in the M-of-C by a South Jersey runner. On the overall all-time M-of-C indoor performance list, he’s No. 15 all-time.

Here’s the all-time Meet of Champions performance list, with 1,600 times converted to the mile using the standard 1.0058 conversion rate:

  • 4:06.6h, y … Vince Cartier, (Scotch Plains-Fanwood), 1972 (1)
  • 4:13.12m … Ben Malone, (Pascack Valley), 2012 (1)
  • 4:13.41m … Liam Tansey, (Moris Hills), 2009 (1)
  • 4:114.01m … D.J. Thornton, (Union Catholic), 2010 (1)
  • 4:14.59m … Jim Rosa, (West Windsor North), 2009 (2)            
  • 4:14.58m … Pat Schellberg, (Delbarton), 2010 (2)
  • 4:14.7h, y … Bll Sieben, (Union Catholic), 1970 (1)
  • 4:14.9h, y … Chris Inman, (Essex Catholic), 1972 (2)
  • 4:14.9h, y … Harry Kronick, (Franklin), 1972 (3)
  • 4:14.96m … George Kelly, (Christian Brothers, (2012 (2)        
  • 4:15.1h, y … Dave Wall, (Dickinson), 1973 (1)
  • 4:15.3h, y … Chris Elliott, (Ramapo), 1970 (2)
  • 4:15.67m … Mike McClemens, (Christian Brothers, (2014 (1)
  • 4:16.05m … Sam Macaluso, (West Windsor South), 2010 (3)
  • 4:16.09m … Luke Petela, (Haddon Township), 2015 (1)          
  • 4:16.2h, y … Henry Menke, (Toms River South, (1976 (1)
  • 4:16.2h, y … George Mackay, (Pascack Hills), 1973 (2)
  • 4:16.96m … Brian Robinson, (Millburn), 2010 (4)
  • 4:17.06m … Steve Lewandowski, (Mountain Lakes),202 (3)
  • 4:17.27m … Tom Rooney, (Christian Brothers), 1973 (2)
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