EVERYTHING you need to know about SJ’s 10 sectional team titles!

The Rancocas Valley Red Devils celebrate after winning the program's first sectional title since 1977.
The Rancocas Valley Red Devils celebrate after winning the program’s first sectional title since 1977.

Ten South Jersey schools won South Jersey sectional team championships at various locations this weekend.

In the next few days, we’ll focus on some of the individual standouts at sectionals and look ahead to states next weekend.

But for now, let’s take a look at those 10 sectional champions and how they won their title.

South Jersey Group 1 Boys – Haddon Township

Luke Petela won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, leading 1-2-3 Haddon Township sweeps in the 800 and 3,200 and a 1-2-4 finish in the 1,600. That’s insane. That’s also 70 points in three distance events.

Petela ran 1:53.78, 4:26.77 and 9:59.52, with Township junior Owen Long second in all three (1:57.39, 4:26.92, 9:29.71).

Petela and Long also ran on the winning 3,200-meter relay team, along with Joe Domanico and Randy Ladd.

Chris Gandolfo was third in the 1,600 and Joe Dinerman was third in the 800. Ladd was fourth in the 3,200.

Haddon Township outscored second-place Penns Grove, 120-89.

The sectional title is the program’s sixth overall but only its second in the last 24 years. Township won Group 2 in 1971 and 1972 and Group 1 in 1989, 1991 and 2012.

South Jersey Group 2 Boys – Haddonfield

For all the program’s accomplishments, this was the Bulldogs’ first South Jersey sectional title in 22 years and sixth overall. Haddonfield won Group 3 in 1968 and Group 1 in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988 and 1993.

This title was a rarity in that Haddonfield didn’t win a single individual event. But the Bulldogs still were able to outscore Deptford by 10 points.

Key events — not surprisingly — were the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, where Haddonfield piled up 44 points.

In the 1,600, Greg Pelose, Austin Stoner and Danny Brennan ran 1-3-5 for 18 points; in the 800, Stoner,  Pelose and Jack Wood went 2-4-5 for 14 points; and in the 3,200, Danny Brennan and Chad Evans ran second and fourth for 12 points.

Stoner, Wood, Pelose and Chris Goings ran a hot 7:52.11 for a 75-meter win in the 3,200-meter relay.

Haddonfield also got a second place from Ian Picking in the pole vault.

South Jersey Group 3 Boys – Oakcrest

Oakcrest has been a very solid program for the last decade and won its fifth title in school history and fourth since 2007. The Falcons came out on top after a wild three-way team battle with Delsea and Timber Creek, Oakcrest finishing with 84 points, Delsea 79 and Timber Creek 74.

Oakcrest did a lot of its damage in the field, scoring 52 of its 84 points away from the track, with Terrence Smith winning the javelin, three scorers in the high jump, Ray Rodriguez third in the pole vault (13-6), Jordan Ingrum and Tyler Clybourn going 2-3 in the long jump (22-6, 21-11 1/4), Enaje Johnson-Hutto second and Prescott Nimley placing 2-6 in the shot,

The Falcons also got big points in the intermediates, with Ali-Quan Stokes and Quadir Thomas going 1-4, and got second in the 4-by-4 with Stokes, Tyler Clybourn, Christian Dennis and Kevin Stokes.

South Jersey Group 4 Boys – Rancocas Valley

A monumental performance by the Red Devils, who won their second sectional title in school history and first since the 1977 team won Group 3.

Sydney Pierce had a monster double, winning the 100 in a N.J. #1 10.72 and the 200 in a N.J. #2 21.64 along with anchor legs on R.V.’s winning 4-by-1 and third-place 4-by-4. So Pierce had a hand in 36 points.

The 800 was huge for the Red Devils, with juniors Isaiah Curbelo (1:55.97) and Joshua DJesus (1:58.06) finishing 1-3. DeJesus was also second in the 1,600 in 4:21.21, a four-second PR.

Jose Colon-Cruz and Jacob Tyndale joined Curbelo and DeJesus on the winning 4-by-8, which ran 8:00.98.

Zakiyy Williams did his thing in the horizontal jumps, blasting a meet-record 47-4 1/2 to win the triple jump and taking second at 21-7 in the long jump

Diante Bah had a monster weekend for R.V., with a PR 14.86 for second in the high hurdles, third in the high jump at a PR-matching 6-4, 21-5 for third in the long jump and fifth in the intermediates (PR 56.82). That’s 22 huge points for Bah.

Dyson Scott also placed in both sprints for R.V., and Robert Marks (174-9 win in the javelin), Chris Bright (PR 154-9 in the disc) and and Maurice Johnson (shot) added a surprising 19 points in the throws .

R.V.’s 133 points are second-most in S.J. Group 4 meet history. Winslow scored 140 in 2003.

South Jersey Group 1 Girls – Schalick

Schalick finished 35 points ahead of second-place Haddon Heights, 107-72, with Haddon Township just behind with 68 points.

Josephina Koomson led a 1-4 finish in the highs, and Alexia Lee led a 1-4 finish in the triple jump. Koomson was also second in the 100.

Tierrny Wiltshire (second in 400), Superia Ryan (second in discus), Amanda Chomo (second in 800) and Olivia Gerstenbach (third in 3,200, fourth in 1,600) also scored big points.

Schalick also took second in the 4-by-4 and 4-by-8, with Amanda Chomo, Taylor Ismail, Olivia Moor and Wiltshire on the 4-by-4 and Chomo, Avery Bramell, Paige Nelson and Gerstenbach on the 4-by-8.

Schalick won its fourth title overall and first since 2011. The Cougars also won in 1996 and 2002.

South Jersey Group 2 Girls – Sterling

The Silver Knights won their first title in 33 years, edging Haddonfield 91-85 and denying the Bulldogs a fifth consecutive title.

Shaniyla Johnson won the discus and Justine Thomas was first in the pole vault to lead the way for Sterling.

Sydney Coppolino led three scorers in the 800 with a 2:18.18 and led a 1-2 finish with twin sister Madison in the 1,600, both under 5:15. Sydney Coppolino also ran third in the 400IH with a PR 1:06.25.

The Knights clinched the team title when Candace Daywalt, Julie Stratton, Aliya Harrison and Julie Stratton finished fourth in the 4-by-4 in an eight-second season-best 4:06.40. Sterling needed to finish sixth or better to clinch the team title.

Sterling also got big points from Janlle Rowe (second in triple jump, third in long jump) and Rachel Adamski (second in javelin)

South Jersey Group 3 Girls – Winslow Township

The title was Winslow’s third in a row, fifth since 2004 and eighth overall (including three won as Edgewood – Group 3 in 1979 and Group 4 in 1983 and 1985).

Only Haddonfield (17), Paulsboro (nine) and Woodbury (nine) have won more in South Jersey girls track history. Shawnee has also won eight.

Huge weekend for Gabrielle Bennett, who soared a personal-best 19-2 1/2 to win the long jump, ran 14.60 for first in the high hurdles, cleared 5-6 and won the high jump on misses over Natalie Cowan of Hammonton and got second in the triple jump with a 36-11 1/2. Only Vashti Hanna of Cumberland, who PR’d at 37-4 in the triple, denied Bennett a rare quad win.

The intermediates were big for Winslow, with Brittany Preston, Jordan Austin and Shayla Rivers all running 1:04-point and taking second, third and fourth,behind Daijah Davis-Hines of Timber Creek, who won in 1:02.69. Ciarra Johnson was second in the shot, nearly hitting 40 feet.

Shayla Rivers, Maryn Hess, Jordan Austin and Amiaya Melvins ran 4:00.27 to win the 4-by-4, and the all frosh-soph 4-by-1 team of Tyianna Williams, Ananda Smith-Stroud, Flora Ahirakwe and Ziani Smalls ran 49.20 for another relay win.

South Jersey Group 4 Girls – Lenape

Lenape turned in one of the greatest performances in South Jersey sectional history, scoring a South Jersey Group 4-record 133 points — 23 more than the previous meet record of 110, set two years ago by Cherokee.

The Indians scored in every track event other than the 3,200 — which they didn’t enter. They outscored second-place by 52 points, the largest margin of victory in S.J.-4 history.

There were a number of stars for Lenape, but senior Carly Pettipaw and sophomore Jasmine Staten performed out of their minds, combining for 78 out of a possible 80 points. Pettipaw won four events and Staten had three firsts and a second to Pettipaw.

Pettipaw won the 400 in 56.59, reclaiming the school record that Staten took from her last weekend at the Burlington County meet. Staten was a step behind in 56.76, just off her 56.63 PR.

Pettipaw also won the 800 in 2:14.27, another PR, won the intermediates in 1:01.49, a school record, and ran a leg on the winning 1,600-meter relay team with Samantha Maynes, Shannon Storms and Marissa Topoloski.

All Staten did was win the 200 in a PR 24.81, edge Millville’s top-seeded Rachell Armstead by 1-100th of a second with a big PR 14.82, jump a PR 18-4 to win the long jump and take second to Pettipaw in the 400.

Soon after Pettipaw and Maynes opened the meet by scoring 16 points in the intermediates, Shannon Storms and Cassie Hoxit went 1-2 in the pole vault, both clearing 9-6. That’s 34 points in the first two events (Hoxit tied for second), and it was pretty much over already.

Other big contributors for Lenape: Camille Franklin (5:00.49 for second in 1,600), Maynes (14.99, 1:04.16 for third in both hurdles), Megan Quimby (2:16.70 for fourth in the 800), Topolski (PR 58.44 for fourth in the 400) and the 400-meter relay team of Maynes, Ariel Mitchell, Shannon Storms and Topolski (third in 49.55).

South Jersey Parochial B Boys – St. Joe’s-Hammonton

Tremendous meet for Ben Mitchell, whose quad include individual wins in the intermediates, high jump and long jump along with a leg on the winning 4-by-4,.

Mitchell and Erick Colon went 1-2 in the high jump for 18 big points for the Wildcats and led three St. Joe’s scorers in the long jump with a big 22-3 1/2 jump.

Caleb Williams swept the 100 and 200 with a fast 10.76-21.91 double, and edged teammate Rocco Ordille for the win in the 100.

Ordille, Williams, Davore Mewborn and A’Laam Horne won the 400-meter relay in 42.88, and Jordan Davis, Ricky Quirindongo, Horne and Mitchell won the 4-by-4

Central Jersey Group 3 Girls – Northern Burlington

Northern couldn’t have written a better script. This was the first time the Greyhounds have hosted a sectional, and the NBC girls wound up winning their first sectional title on their home track.

Senior Ashley Edwards and sophomore Kayla Jackson led the way for Northern, which outscored Middletown North by 19 points, winning by an 80-61 margin. Edwards and Jackson had a hand in 56 of Northern’s 80 points — 34 for Edwards, 22 for Jackson.

Edwards popped a big 18-7 to win the long jump and junior teammate Ty Horne took second by a quarter of an inch. Edwards also won the triple jump with a 37-6 1/2 and was second in the high hurdles (by 1-100th of a second) and third in the 200.

Jackson won the 400 in a PR 57.94 and was third in both the 100 and 200.

Precious Williams (second in javelin) and Ashley Dunteman (third in 3,200) also had big performances for the Greyhounds.


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