Lenape’s Staten has huge performance in long jump and hurdles at Poreda Invite

Jasmine Staten had a big night at the 14th annual Poreda Invitational Wednesday at Lavino Fieldhouse at the Lawrenceville School.

Staten, a Lenape junior, posted South Jersey’s No. 1 mark of the indoor season in the high hurdles and the No. 2 mark in the long jump.

Staten squared off against one of the state’s top hurdlers — Union Catholic’s Tia Livingston, the state outdoor hurdles champ and Meet of Champs bronze medalist — in the 55 highs. In the trials, Livingston led all qualifiers with an 8.33 and Staten ran 8.54.

The final was all Livingson and Staten. With nobody else under 8.6, Livingston won in 8.20 but Staten was right there, taking a close second in 8.28.

That’s a big PR for Staten, whose previous best time was 8.43 at the Armory earlier this month. It’s No. 5 in New Jersey this year and the top mark by a South Jersey girl this winter. Staten even never ran the 55 hurdles before this year. Her first race ever over the indoor barriers was about six weeks ago.

Staten’s time is No. 16 in South Jersey history and the fastest time by a Burlington County girl in the 55 highs in 35 years — since Olympian Carol Lewis ran 7.92 in 1981.

Here is the all-time South Jersey girls 55-meter high hurdles performance list:

  • 7.89 … Nia Ali [Pleasantville], 2006
  • 7.89 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow], 2012
  • 7.92 … Carol Lewis [Willingboro], 1981
  • 7.98 … Nichole Belcher [Wilson], 1992
  • 8.01 … Samantha Sharper [Wilson], 2008
  • 8.03 … Alethia Jenkins [Pennsauken], 2000
  • 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], 2014
  • 8.17 … Torie Robinson [Winslow], 2014
  • 8.18 … Gabrielle Bennett [Winslow], 2015
  • 8.22 … Jamillah Nock [Wilson], 2004
  • 8.26 … Jane Sharper [Wilson], 2006
  • 8.28 … Kristina Keegan [Haddonfield], 2003
  • 8.28 … Jasmine Staten [Lenape], 2016
  • 8.29 … Keisha Williams [Camden], 2015

Staten was just as impressive in the long jump, which has historically been her best event, although she is versatile enough to medal in four events at sectionals last year and win four events at the Burlington County championships.

In the long jump, Staten matched up with another of the state’s best, Meet of Champions runner-up Kelsey Viera of Hillsborough, a  19-foot jumper last year.

Viera wound up winning by an inch with a 17-11 ½, with Staten at 17-10 ½. That was actually an indoor PR for Viera. Staten has an 18-1 to her credit.

Staten’s long jump mark is No. 2 by a South Jersey jumper this year, behind only Holy Spirit’s Asia Young, who went 18-4 ½ at the Hispanic Games earlier this month.

Curiously, Staten ranks No. 16 in South Jersey indoor history on the all-time long jump performance – the same spot she holds on the hurdles list above.

The only girls on both lists are Staten, Lewis and Winslow’s Cidae’a Woods.

  • 21-7 ½ … Carol Lewis [Willingboro], 1981
  • 19-8 … Cidae’a Woods [Winslow], 2014
  • 19-7 ½ … Helen Wilks [Bridgeton], 1993
  • 18-9 … Shameka Speed [Bridgeton], 2002
  • 18-7 ¾ … Artrelia Turner [Wilson], 1984
  • 18-7 ¼ … Shelly Bailey [Woodbury], 1982
  • 18-6 ½ … Tisifinee Taylor [Woodbury], 2002
  • 18-5 ¾ … Lindsey Walsh [Lenape], 2008
  • 18-5 ¼ … Tacquaya Tobias [Our Lady of Mercy], 2011
  • 18-4 ¾ … Tonya Lee [Rancocas Valley], 1988
  • 18-4 ½ … Asia Young [Holy Spirit], 2016
  • 18-4 … Kristin Tricocci [Cinnaminson], 2004
  • 18-3 ½ … Tanisha Jarrett [Cumberland Reg.], 1990
  • 18-2 ¾ … Sable Loper [Wilson], 2005
  • 18-1 ¾ … Emily Carson [Haddonfield], 2013
  • 18-1 … Jasmine Staten [Lenape], 2016

Staten has an outdoor long jump PR of 18-4 ¼. She also has PRs of 12.62 in the 100, 24.81 in the 200, 56.31 in the 400 and 14.82 in the 100 hurdles.


This Week in SJTRACK: Before the Storm

Toms River, NJ: In the calm before the snow a number of South Jersey school were able to squeak in the South Jersey Track Coaches Meet # 8.  The Boy’s 3200 meters seems to have been the premier event pitting a strong field against three of the 2015 All South Jersey Cross Country team members.

Leading the race early on were two Cherokee teammates and All South Jersey members Nick Falk and Jack Shea.  They rolled through the 400 in about 74 seconds, the 800 in 2:27 and the mile in 4:55.  Trailing behind the duo was a pair of Eastern runners Joshua Chazin and Vipul Bhat who came through the mile in about 4:56.  Falk cruised the rest of the rest of the way for a 9:50.50 win.  Chazin, who missed the entire cross country season with an injury, returned with strong 2nd place finish in 9:53.28.  Beepul Bharti of Northern Burlington broke up the Cherokee, Eastern show with a third place finish in 9:54.42.  Shea and Bhat rounded out the top 5 in 9:57.19 and 9:59.9 respectively.  In the girl’s race Kelsey Cummings of Triton beat out Ashley Ranere of Hammonton in 11:50.48.

Other notable efforts include Anthony Maturano of Hammonton winning the 200 in 23.10.  On the girls side Sophomores Shakira Dancy of Eastern and Aliya Harrison of Sterling battled with Dancy winning in 25.76.  25.76 makes Dancy, a first year runner, the second fastest 200 runner in the State this year.  Tyler Davidson of Willingboro had a strong day posting a time of 50.68 to win the 400 and 2:01.69 for second in the 800 to Isaiah Curbelo of Rancocas Valley.  Curbelo ran a winning time of 2:00.28.  Kiara Lester, a 400 meter All South Jersey performer indoors and out last year continued her dominance of the event with a winning time of 59.51.  Sydney Coppolino of Sterling brought home victory in the 800 meters with a time of 2:24.7.  

Jonathan Taylor of Salem won the 55 dash by 2 tenths of a second running 6.52.  In the 55 hurdles Zavian Bell of Willingboro posted a winning time of 7.77 seconds.  In girls dash action Absegami shined.  Cyann Moyer won the 55 dash in 7.53 and her teammates Joshonda Johnson and Mariah Hubbard continued the strong Absegami hurdling from State Relays with a 1, 2 finish in 8.68 and 8.95 seconds respectively.

In the High Jump Nevin Beasley of Cherry Hill East defeated Evan Adams of Bishop Eustace on misses.  Both athletes cleared 6 feet, 4 inches.  Mariah Hubbard switched from hurdles to High Jump and cleared 5 feet 4 for the win.  That clearance makes her the 3rd highest jumper in the State this season.  Brittney Raffo of Seneca cleared 10 feet 6 inches for the win in the girl’s Pole Vault.  Matt Carter of Oakcrest won the boys competition with a 12 foot clearance.  Cade Antonucci of Holy Spirit had a big throw of 51 feet 2.5 inches in the shot put for a nearly 2 foot victory.  While Tomara Carmichael of Palmyra won the girls competition by almost 4 feet in 35 feet 9 and a half inches.


Woodard opens 2016 with massive Shot Put PR and No. 12 U.S. ranking

GKHBWMPFHRKPSRR.20160115142451The shot put has always been Jessica Woodard’s secondary event, but there is no indoor discus, and Woodard has become pretty talented throwing the shot put in her spare time during the winter.

Woodard, who won shot put and discus Meet of Champions titles during her career at Cherokee High School, bombed a huge personal best in the shot at a rare indoor home meet in Norman, Okla.

Woodard threw 54-6 to win the competition at the J.D. Martin Invitational at Oklahoma-Mosier Indoor Track. Check out here full series and full results here.

That huge throw moved Woodard, an Oklahoma sophomore, into the No. 11 spot on 2016 NCAA indoor list, No. 3 among sophomores.

Woodard’s previous shot put indoor and overall PR was 51-09 1/4, set last year at a quad meet at Texas A&M.

With her 54-6, Woodard moved from No. 8 to No. 3 on the all-time Oklahoma indoor list, behind only Tia Brooks and Karen Shump. Brooks threw 63-0 3/4 in 2013, and Shump threw 58-11 1/2 in 2011.

Woodard’s mark is also No. 12 on the U.S. indoor women’s list.


This Week in SJTRACK: State Relays

Toms River, NJ: South Jersey teams converged on Toms River’s Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend for the NJSIAA State Group Relays.  South Jersey athletes distinguished themselves in 9 relay events (4×200, 4×400, 4×800, Distance Medley, Sprint Medley, Shuttle Hurdles, High Jump, Pole Vault, and Shot Put).   

Group IV Boys (Thursday)

Rancocas Valley (RV) entered the NJSIAA State Relays Championship eyeing gold in the sprint medley relay (400m, 200m, 200m, 800m) and though they fell short Coach Jeff Dzuranin called anchor Isaiah Curbelo’s 1:58 split a “very gutsy effort… !”  

State powerhouse Old Bridge opened the event with a blistering 400 meter leg that gapped RV despite a strong 52.9 split by RV junior Rob Hawkins.  200 meter legs Tyler Pohl (23.7) and JeSean Foster (23.8) closed the gap on Old Bridge but still left Senior Cubrelo with a 10 to 15 meter deficit.  “He (Cubrelo) ran close to an all-out first 400 to get himself even with Rey Rivera with 300 to go; however, those first 3 laps took too much out of his legs for any real kick,” explained Dzuranin.  

Still, RV’s performance was a 1 second season best of 3:38.44 and puts them in position to take a run at their school record of 3:35 at next weekend’s New Balance Games on the fast track at the New York Armory.  

Egg Harbor Township emerged over RV’s SMR nemesis Old Bridge in the 4×800 meter relay making them the only Group 4 South Jersey team to win a track relay.  Tough lead off legs by twins Rob (2:04) and Alex (2:04) Dessoye set the stage for 3rd leg Aidin Hendriks (2:00) who was able to establish a 10 meter lead for anchor Eric Barnes (2:02) (8:12.72).  Coach Ryan Smith said this of his all junior 4×800 championship team:

“[They] are four great kids that are the leaders of our distance team.  They work so hard day in and day out at practice.  Whether it’s the distance workouts and OC bridge runs with Coach Lucchio or the sprint workouts with myself, I could not be happier with their progression.”

Kingsway Regional High School won South Jersey’s sole field relay title in the Pole Vault.  The Junior team of Ryan Evernham and Jacob Metheny both cleared 12 feet 6 inches to clinch the title.  The duo tied for the highest clearance of all individuals in the competition.  Their 25 feet of skyscraping gave them a 1 ½ foot victory over second place Hunterdon Central High School.

Back on the track, South Jersey teams excelled in the shuttle hurdle relay where 4 South Jersey teams (Egg Harbor Township 32.01, Millville 32.36, Cherry Hill East 32.73, and Rancocas Valley 32.80) ran under the national qualifying mark of 32.89.  In the distance medley relay (1200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m) Cherry Hill East impressed with a 4th place finish in 10:39.27.  The East team consisted of Isaiah Jean-Baptiste (3:12), Jordan Clark (53), Cole Parsons (2:04), and Aaron Groff (4:27).

Egg Harbor Township followed up its strong 4×800 effort with a 4th Place finish in the 4×400.  A. Dessoye (51.9), R. Dessoye (52.9), Barnes (54.2), and Amir Brock (51.1) combined to make the Eagles SJ’s fastest Group 4 team.  

Despite just missing at 6 feet 6 inches, Cherry Hill East’s Nevin Beasley had to settle for the highest individual clearance of the meet (6’4”) and, along with his teammate Kyle Encarnacion, a 3rd place team finish.  Kingsway was the highest South Jersey finisher in the shot put as Sam Shinn (52’9.75”) and Byron Wells (44’10.5”) combined for 5th.  

Egg Harbor Township was South Jersey’s highest finisher in the team competition (5th).

Group IV Girls (Friday)

The Lenape Regional High School team of Jasmine Staten (1:00), Shannon Lambert (27.4), Dana Duffield (27.2), and Megan Quimby (2:14.7) turned in an NJ#1, US#4 performance in the sprint medley relay to win the State Group 4 SMR relay title for the second consecutive year.  Coach Gerald Richardson said the girls use their 4×400 meter foundation (where they placed 4th in 4:06.01) and the leadership of Staten and Quimby to excel:

“I’ve always coached my teams to believe that a strong 4×4 relay is the foundation of a solid team. Quimby and Staten solidified that foundation, they are the only two returning runners from last years SMR. Their presence provided the confidence, calmness, and intensity needed to compete at such a high level.”

Cherokee High School followed district rival Lenape with a 3rd place finish capped off with a 2:23 anchor by senior Jess McAdams.  Lenape used these strong finishes to place 3rd in the team competition making them the highest finisher amongst South Jersey teams.

In other events, Kingsway’s underclassmen foursome of Destiny Stanford, Haley Rivell, Alexis Mullarkey, and Rachel Vick ran an impressive 12:30.48 for second in the Distance Medley Relay.  Shawnee (12:47.76) also scored in the event.  Egg Harbor Township was the highest South Jersey finisher in the 4×200 with a time of 1:50.52.  Rancocas Valley’s Taliya Rogers, Camryn Colon, Mahon McClenahan, and Razamiyah Carter broke a 20 year old school record to become South Jersey’s highest finisher in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay.  

Lenape’s Shannon Storms (10’) and Cassie Hoxit (9’) broke a school record in the Pole Vault Relay to earn the highest South Jersey finish and second place overall.  Vineland earned top SJ honors in the shot put with a fourth place finish, while Emily Hilt had the second furthest throw day (38’8.5”), best amongst South Jersey throwers.  Rancocas Valley’s Sydne Nance cleared 5’0 in the high jump, best by a South Jersey athlete.

Non-Public A&B (Saturday Morning)

NP A Boys

Missing two important team members Paul VI faced a challenge.  Coach Jim Cox challenged his athletes to focus and compete after a disappointing 4×200 meter race where they finished 5th.  According to Smith the team responded in the 4×400:

“In the 4×4 they showed the heart and determination that we were expecting. They are a great group of kids who compliment each other very well. Nick has the heart and determination of a lion as he gutted his way, with the broken toe, and kept us in the race, Max did what Max has always done, put us in a position to win and Ric ran a great, aggressive 2nd leg. He refused to give up the lead. While we did lose the lead on Nick’s leg, Antonio, only a Sophomore, showed great race instincts in chasing down Union Catholics anchor.”

The team split 49.9, 52.2, 55.1, and 51.8 to place second in 3:30.21.  

With the top clearance of the day in the Pole Vault Relay (12’6”) St. Augustine Prep’s Marc Reeder lead his team to a 2nd Place Finish.  His teammate Frank Bergamo contributed a strong 9’0” performance.  Another St Augustine duo (Ernest Coursey and Sean Becker) turned in the top SJ performance in the shot put.

On the track Camden Catholic was the highest placing South Jersey team in the 4×800, Distance Medley, and Sprint Medley while St. Augustine Prep earned top honors in the Shuttle Hurdles.

NP A Girls

The Camden Catholic 4×200 squad of Zarria Williams (27.11), Moriah Hall (27.22), Olivia Covington (27.62), and Audrey Esposito (29.99) teamed up for a 3rd place time of 1:52.03.  Coach Sonny Anderson was not surprised by the effort, “The goals guide them like a beacon in a storm. The goals keep them on course.” He continued, “They know what they have to do and are willing to make the sacrifices to achieve.”  

Paul VI earned the highest finish of a South Jersey team with their second place finish in the shot put relay as Bernadette McGowan (37’09”) and Anna Marie Carrozzo (29’01”) combined for a 66 foot, 10 inch performance.  Another Paul VI pair (Anastasia Ketchek and Gabriella Babore) earned top SJ honors in the high jump relay (5th).

Bishop Eustace turned in top South Jersey finishes in the 4×800, distance Medley, shuttle hurdles, and sprint medley, while Camden Catholic followed their strong 4×200 effort with a 4th place finish in the 4×400.

NP B Boys

Bishop Eustace came into the meet hoping to earn a team title despite missing key performers.  They placed second to Hudson Catholic (52 to 49).  Coach Chris Threston said he “liked how we were able to fill in and still contend for the state title,” and found, “the shuttle hurdles relay… victory… particularly satisfying because we were actually missing [two top legs].”  The team of John Nguyen, Cameron Acito, Zahir Williams, and Mike Fisher combined for 35.72 second victory.  Fisher is a pole vaulter forced to fill in for a missing teammate and protected a lead for the win.

In sprint medley relay Dan Hullihan (57.4), Jason Varley (24.6), Jack Brady (24.1), and Phil Sobocinski (2:04.9) came from behind to clinch victory for Bishop Eustace in a time of 3:50.46.  The Crusaders also earned top SJ honors with a 3rd place finish in the Distance Medley.  Nick Hutchinson (3:23.2), Hullihan (56.1), Paul Jacob (2:19.9) and Mike Dziuba (4:48.9) teamed up in the effort.  Eustace also scored in the 4×200 (2nd), 4×400 (6th), 4×800 (4th), high jump relay (2nd), and the shot put relay (5th).

NP B Girls

The Holy Spirit team of Asia Young, Angela Bannan, Isabella Desano, Kristy Goff ran to a 2nd place finish in the 4×400 with a time of 4:23.03.  They also scored in the 4×200.  Holy Cross High School earned top South Jersey honors in the 4×800, distance medley, and sprint medley.

Group 2 (Saturday Night)

G2 Boys

Willingboro High School Boys had a strong performance on Saturday night earning a second place finish in the team competition at the NJSIAA Group 2 Relay Championships.  The Willingboro 4×800 team of Aaron Cooper, Michael Walker, Tyshon Hernandez, and Tyler Davidson ran 8:19.77 for the win.  The Chimeras followed that up with a blistering nationals qualifier in the shuttle hurdles (30.81).  Zavian Bell, DeVon Watson, Jahaad Beckford, and one unknown athlete contributed to that victory.  Willingboro was also the top placing South Jersey team in the high jump relay.  

Delsea High School’s Jarrod Brovero and Nick Clark cleared 12’6” a piece in the pole vault relay and remarkably did not win the team competition.  Their 25’ performance would have won or tied for first place in every other group.  Kingsway also cleared a combined 25’ in the Group 4 relay meet.  The Tri-County pole vault looks to be remarkable yet again this year.  In the shot put relay the Oakcrest duo of Enaje Johnson-Hutto (49’1.5) and Terrence Smith (46’11.25) posted a South Jersey best 2nd place finish. 

In the 4×400 the Oakcrest foursome of Tyler Clybourn (51.6), Oliver Paul, Isaiah Whaley (52.9) and Chris Dennis (53.3) teamed up to win in an impressive 3:28.42.  Oakcrest also ran to a second place finish in the Sprint Medley.  This top SJ relay consisted of Clybourn (51.6), Paul (23.5), Marquis Miller (24.1) and Cole Puggi (2:06) and ran an official time of 3:45.8.  The Sterling High School Team of Darin Clark, Conner Garzon, Terry Francis, and Charles Naone-Carter ran 1:35.28 for 3rd place and top SJ honors in the 4×200.  The Delsea squad of George Tenenberg, Greg Butenewicz, William Mayhew, and Nanthan Senatore finished 3rd in the Distance Medley with at time of 10:59.71, tops in SJ.

G2 Girls

South Jersey impressed in the 4×200 relay where traditional SJ powerhouses toed the line at the expense of the rest of the state.  In a race that turned Central Jersey’s Bennett Center into a South Jersey landmark Deptford (1st, 1:48.97) outlasted Camden (2nd, 1:49.72), Oakcrest (3rd, 1:49.76), Delsea (4th, 1:50.69), and West Deptford (6th, 1:51.73).  The champion Deptford team consisted of Kayla Tucker, Amaris Marsh, Jayla Harrison, and Kiara Lester.  Tirado Camryn, Tucker, Zabrina Clements, and Lester returned to capture the 4×400 title in 4:07.44.  Deptford carried that momentum to a top South Jersey team finish of 3rd.

The West Deptford team of Jazmine Daly, Lauren Tigue, Alexa Petracci, and Annette Wanjiku combine to bring home the title in the shuttle hurdle relay.  Delsea accomplished their goal of earning a medal in the 4×800 with a 6th place finish (10:35) and in the process became SJ’s highest finisher.  Sterling took home top SJ honors in the distance medley with a 3rd place finish in 12:48.57, while Cinnaminson placed out of the unseeded heat in the sprint medley to place first amongst SJ teams (4:33.01).

According to Delsea Coach Linda Merchese the team set a goal of 3rd place in the high jump relay.  They exceeded those expectations as Megan Zabelski (5’0.75”) and Mercedes Morales (4’4”) placed second.  Delsea was also the top finishing South Jersey team in the shot put placing 6th.  Sterling earned the top SJ spot in the pole vault relay as they finished 4th.

Group 1 (Sunday Morning)

G1 Boys

The NJSIAA Group 1 Relay Championship saw the return of the neighborly rivalry between two of South Jersey best distance programs in the distance medley relay.  After a great leadoff leg by Haddonfield’s Austin Stoner (3:12.2) and strong performances from freshmen Zach Murray (55.5) and Derek Gess (2:05.8), Senior Greg Pelose found himself in a battle with Haddon Township’s Owen Long.  Pelose’s 4:21.6 anchor allowed him to pull away over the last 400 meters and earn Haddonfield a victory in 10:36.54.  

Haddonfield also earned victories in the 4×800 and sprint medley.  In the sprint medley Haddonfield chased down Weequahic High School for a new school and state meet record.  The team of Luke Colehower (51.2), Joey Ellis (24.2), Franklin Clapp (24.8) and Pelose (1:56.8) clocked 3:37.66.  The 4×800 consisted of Stoner (2:00.1), Colin Gallagher (2:03.5), Gess (2:02.2), and Pelose (2:10) who was conserving energy for the spring medley.

Jean Brevil (47’1.25) and LaQuay Bishop (44’0) turned in big performances for Pleasantville and earned gold in the shot put relay.   Palmyra’s Kelvin Harmon (6’0) had the highest individual jump and along with teammate Clarence Brigmon (5’4) placed second overall, tops in South Jersey, in the high jump relay.  Jarrett Bullock of Gateway Regional had the highest individual pole vault of South Jersey athletes at 10’6, while the Pennsville duo of Spencer Walker (10’0) and Alec Labb (10’0) had the highest team finish (2nd).  

On the track A.P. Schalick turned in top SJ performances in the 4×200 and shuttle hurdle relay, while Haddonfield added to their point total in the 4×400.  

G1 Girls

Haddonfield coach Jason Russo knew his team was strong and when adversity struck (a dq in the shuttle hurdles, and a no height in the pole vault) he challenge the girls.  They responded: “I was really proud of the girls… our kids stayed focused and intent on accomplishing their goal (the team title).  Good teams find a way to win no matter what.”  Haddonfield won 4 events and scored in another.  Their total of 48 points edged a strong Whippany Park team’s 44 and the Bulldogs were crowned Group 1 State Relay Champions.  

Haddonfield got off to a quick start in the Distance Medley as Kaitlyn Bonnet (3:55.1), Nicolette Barranger (1:04.6), Casey Clarke (2:31.7), and Briana Gess (5:02.9) ran to victory.  They continued their strong running in the 4×200 where their second place finish made them the top South Jersey team.  That team consisted of Ana Buzzerd (26.8), Lizzy Mulvenna (28.3), Bridget Kane (27.3), and distance star Gess (27.2).  Their official time of 1:49.97 shattered their indoor school record of 1:51.15.  

Haddonfield scored another victory in the 4×800 where they were lead by Lillyl Minor (2:26.1), Meg Schroeter (2:33.1), Casey Clarke (2:30.2), and Bonner (2:27.6).  Their time of 9:58.79 earned them a 3+ second victory.  Next they won the sprint medley with a combination of Nicolette Barranger (1:04.6), Buzzerd (27.1), Kane (27.3) and Gess (2:20).  Haddonfield’s final meet clinching victory came in the 4×400 where they ran 4:10.83.  Bonnett (1:04.7), Mulvenna (1:04.2), Kane (1:03.1) and Gess (58.9) teamed up that effort.  Russo was impressed with his team, “They make us look good… Obviously Bri had a hell of a day, but so did Kaitlyn Bonnet.  Similarly Bridget Kane and Ana Buzzerd added some explosiveness that people aren’t used to seeing out of our team.”

In other action AP Schalick earned top SJ honors in the shuttle hurdles (38.25),  high jump relay (9’2), and shot put (60’2.75).  Pennville was the top finisher in the pole vault relay (16’6).

Group 3 (Sunday Night)

G3 Boys

Timber Creek knew they had a battle on their hands.  After winning the 4×200 early in the meet and exerting significant effort in the sprint medley, they poised themselves for one more race.  According to Assistant Coach Mike Short, “Jason Butler (51.0), Jerome Gibson (51.5), Cameron Stinson (51.7), and Dante Witcher (51.0) wanted to make a statement in the 4×400.”  A statement they made as the foursome combined for a narrow victory (3:25.31) over a strong Pennsauken squad.  Pennsauken’s time of 3:25.84 was the second fastest time recorded over State Relays weekend.  Short continued, “Pennsauken provided a great battle.  Dante Witcher ran a perfect race and made his final move at just the right time.”

Timber Creek’s 4×200 victory was the only other South Jersey victory.  Butler (23.2), Gibson (24.0), Stinson (22.2), and Witcher (23.4) also teamed in that effort.  Highland Regional used exceptional performances in the 4×200 (3rd), 4×800 (3rd, SJ 1), high jump relay (3rd, SJ 1), and shot put (2nd, SJ 1) to finish second overall, best amongst South Jersey Teams.  Mike Calabrese (48’0) and Orlando Council (46’6) joined forces for their 2nd place shot put performance.  

Mainland’s foursome of Matthew Grillo, Trey Ogelsby, Larry Gustafson, and Kenny Anderson ran a South Jersey best 31.48 in their 3rd place effort.  Other top performances included Hammonton’s 6th place time of 11:01.63 in the distance medley relay and Burlington Township’s 4th place performance in the spring medley relay (3:45.64).

G3 Girls

The Timber Creek High School, which opened in 2001, has done a lot of winning in 15 years…. on the boys side.  Going into Sunday night’s NJSIAA State Group 3 Relay Championship the Chargers had never won a single state championship… in any sport.  That all changed in what assistant coach Mike Short called, “the most satisfying 20 minutes of my 28 year coaching career.”  Despite not winning a single event Timber Creek was down only 4 points heading into the final event of the day: the 4×400 meter relay.  

Heading into the meet Coach Shawn McHugh knew that winning would be a tough task.  According to Short, “We felt that Seneca and West Windsor Plainsboro South would be great in the distance races and that Winslow was a deep and balanced team.”  He also worried about leadership, “losing Myiah Sturvidant (broken leg) meant that our depth and leadership would be severely tested,” but his concerns were quelled by leadership of Janiyah Davis-Hines, Ziani Smalls, and Christine Lavallias.  In the end Timber Creek clinched their first state title with a 3rd place finish in the 4×400 meters.  The team of Janiyah Davis Hines (1:00), Cheyenne Beattie (1:02.4), Ziani Small (1:01.7), and Sarina Jones (1:01.4) scored just enough points as Timber Creek tallied 40 points to Seneca’s 39.  Timber Creek scored in the distance medley, shuttle hurdles, 4×200, 4×400, high jump relay , and shot put relay(SJ 1).  Still Short points to another source of victory, “Depth and guts won the meet for us.”

Winslow Township shook off a false start in the shuttle hurdles and ran the fastest 4×200 of any group State Relays weekend.  The team of Tionna Tobias, Ahiarakwe Flora, Iyianna Williams, and Brittany Preston defeated second place Timber Creek by over 2 seconds.  Winslow backed up their 4×200 gold with another win in the 4×400 where Williams, Flora, Nicole Hood, and Preston ran 4:04.55.  Though disappointed they were unable to compete for the team title, Winslow Coach George Horn took positives from the meet: “In the end 9 different girls medaled and we were state champs in two relays.  I’m proud of how they kept it together after the start of the meet.”

Seneca had a performance for the ages winning 3 events and placing 2nd (SJ 1) in a third.  They claimed victory in the 4×800, distance medley (12:29.56), and pole vault relays.  They placed second in the sprint medley after an impressive anchor leg from junior Kayla Martin.  In the 4×800 the team of Joey Webb, Lindsay Hoffman, Sydny Warner, and Kayla Hay posted the fastest time of State Relays weekend (9:41.96).  The Pole Vault tandem of Brittney Raffo and Rebecca Bohi cleared 11’0, and 9’0 respectively for the win.

Mariah Hubbard of Absegami and Kai Starns of Timber Creek matched top clearances in the high jump with 5’2 performances but Absegami claimed victory when ‘Gami’s Leah Gaston (5-0) edged Creek’s Azhanee Johnson (4-8).  The Absegami team of Joshonda Johnson, Erica Ross, Cyann Moyer, and Mariah Hubbard posted a time of 32.22 (the fastest time of state relays weekend) in the shuttle hurdle relay.

Timber Creek girls win Group 3 the hard way: Without a first in any event!!!

It’s hard enough to score 40 points in the state relays. It’s even harder to do it without finishing first in a single event.

But that’s what the Timber Creek girls did in winning the state Group 3 track and field championship at the Toms River Bubble this weekend.

Timber Creek needed every one of those points to record a 40-39 win over Seneca for the team title:

DMR – 4th, 4 points, 12:55.82
SHR – 2nd, 8 points, 33.02
4×2 – 2nd, 8 points, 1:48.84
4×4 – 3rd, 6 points, 4:06.10
4×8 – Did Not Score
SMR – Did Not Score
HJ Relay – 2nd, 8 points, 9-10
PV Relay – Did Not Score
SP Relay – 3rd, 6 points, 68-06 3/4

The championship was the first ever at the state relays for Timber Creek.

Junior Ziana Smalls was a workhorse for Timber Creek, contributing legs to four scoring teams — the 4-by-200, 4-by-400, distance medley and shuttle hurdles. So she had a hand in 26 of Timber Creek’s 40 points.

Juniors Janiyah Davis-Hines and Sarina Jones each contributed to three scoring teams — the 4-by-200, 4-by-400 and shuttle hurdles for Davis-Hines and 4-by-200, 4-by-400 and 800 leg on the distance medley for Jones.

Another junior, Cheyenne Beattie, ran on the two sprint relays.

Senior Christine Lavallias and junior Jarline Gonzalez, Jarline ran with Smalls and Davis-Hines on the shuttle hurdles team, and juniors Alexa Clark and Alyssa Condell ran the two long legs on the DMR, Clark leading off and Condell anchoring.

Junior Kai Starns led the field event contingent with a 5-2 clearance in the high jump, teaming up with sop Azhane Johnson [4-8] for eight big points. And senior Gabriel David-Davis threw the shot 37-10, teaming with sop Tyiana Hooke [30-8 1/2] for six points.

This was a true team effort from Timber Creek.

Rancocas Valley’s Kemp, now a N.C. State, races to U.S. #2 in the 5,000!!!!!!!!!!

rsz_kemp_fpp_indoor_trackErika Kemp just keeps getting faster and faster, and the Rancocas Valley graduate, now a North Carolina State junior, is now not only the the fastest collegian at 5,000 meters, she’s No. 2 in the world.

Kemp ran a blistering 15:45.46 for 5,000 meters at the Boston University Invitational, finishing second to Courtney Frerichs, who attends New Mexico but was running unattached.

Frerichs and Kemp now rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, and, in fact, every time on the IAAF world list so far is from that race in Boston.

Kemp’s previous PR for an indoor 5,000 was 16:17.06, which she ran this past February at the ACC indoor championships. Her previous overall PR was 15:57 84 from the Raleigh Relays last spring.

Kemp’s time is actually fourth-fastest indoors or outdoors in N.C. State history and fastest in 14 years, behind only Betty Springs [15:33 in 1983], Kristin Price [15:35 in 2002] and Julie Shea [15:41 in 1980].

The previous N.C. State indoor 5,000 record was 15:55.26 set on 1991 by NCAA champ Laurie Gomez, who is now Laurie Henes and is Kemp’s coach

There is no official all-time college indoor list anywhere, but I compiled one from various sources, and it looks like Kemp’s time is No. 28 in indoor college history and No. 18 in U.S. collegiate history, although some of the runners listed as Americans may not be.

Most importantly, Kemp’s time as you can see is the earliest time of 15:45 ever run by a college distance runner. By one day.

  • 15:12.22 … Emily Sisson [Providence], Feb. 28, 2015, New York
  • 15:14.18 … Kim Smith [Providence/New Zealand], March 12, 2004, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:17.28 … Sonia O’Sullivan [Villanova/Ireland], Jan. 26, 1991, Boston
  • 15:20.57 … Sarah DiSanza [Wisconsin], Dec. 6, 2014, Boston
  • 15:27.42 … Sally Kipyego [Texas Tech/Kenya], March 9, 2007,  Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:28.11 … Abbey D’Agostino [Dartmouth], March 8, 2013, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:31.62 … Liv Westphal [Boston College/France], Dec. 6, 2014, Boston
  • 15:33.66 … Betsy Saina [Iowa State/Kenya], March 8, 2013, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:34.5h … Margaret Groos [Virginia], Feb. 20, Blacksburg, Va.
  • 15:37.02 … Kathy Butler [Wisconsin], Feb. 8, 1997, Indianapolis
  • 15:37.97 … Arianna Lambie [Stanford], March  9, 2007,  Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:38.00 … Aliphine Tuliamuk [Wichita State/Kenya], March 8, 2013 Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:39.25 … Sarah Gorton [Colorado], March 14, 2003, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:39.43 … Mary Cullen [Providence/Ireland], Jan. 27, 2006, Boston
  • 15:39.65 … Lisa Koll [Iowa State], March 12, 2010, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:39.75 … Amy Skieresz [Arizona State], March 7, 1997, Indianapolis
  • 15:40.30 … Jordan Hasay [Oregon], March 8, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:40.45 … Rachel Johnson [Baylor], Dec. 13, 2014, College Station, Texas
  • 15:40.74 … Deborah Maier [Cal], March 9, 2012, Nampa, Idaho
  • 15:40.88 … Kate O’Neill [Yale], March 14, 2003, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:41.00 … Sarah Collins [Providence/Switzerland], Dec. 7, 2013, Boston
  • 15:41.12 … Jen Rhines [Villanova], March 10, 1995, Indianapolis
  • 15:42.27 … Katie Matthews [Boston University], March 8, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:42.60 … Laura Nagel [Providence/New Zealand], Dec. 7, 2013, Boston
  • 15:42.71 … Marie McMahon [Providence/Ireland], March 8, 1996, Indianapolis
  • 15:42.81 … Lindsey Scherf [Harvard], Dec. 3, 2005, Cambridge, Mass.
  • 15:43.04 … Alicia Craig [Stanford], March 15, 2003, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 15:45.46 … Erika Kemp [North Carolina State], Dec. 5, 2015

The fastest 5,000 meters on record by a South Jersey native is Marielle Hall’s remarkable  15:06.45 last June for second place at USATF nationals. But Hall doesn’t have a fast indoor  5,000 on her resume, and it appears Kemp’s 15:45 is the fastest on record by a South Jersey alum indoors.



Kingsway girls record fast double as state relays kick into gear

It was a near-record day for Kingsway in two relays on Friday, with both the Dragons’ 3,200-meter relay team and distance medley both just missing school records and earning U.S. rankings at the state Group 4 relay championships at the Bubble in Toms River.

Kingsway finished a close second to Southern Regional of Manahawkin in both distance relays, with the 4-by-8 running 9:44.52 and the DMR going 12:30.48.

Junior Destiny Stanford led off both teams. Junior McKenzie Nugent, sophomore Kyle Anicic and freshman Lauren Krott also running on the 3,200-meter relay, and junior Haley Rivell, sophomore Alexis Malarkey and junior Rachel Vick finishing off the DMR.

That’s a fast double this early. In fact, Southern and Kingsway now rank 1-2 in both events in New Jersey this year. Southern won the two races in 9:42.75 and 12:29.19.

As of Saturday morning, Kingsway ranked No. 9 nationally this year in the 4-by-8 and No. 22 in the distance medley according to Milesplit’s national rankings.

Kingsway just missed indoor school records in both relays. Kingsway ran 9:43.61 and 12:29.90 in 2010 with Chelsea Ley anchoring both teams.

With eight points in the two races, Kingsway finished fifth in team scoring, behind Souh Brunswick [40], Southern [37], Lenape [22] and Piscataway [20].

According to the Milesplit U.S. rankings, only four schools in the entire country have run faster than Kingsway in both the 4-by-8 and the distance medley.

Here are the four: La Salle of Providence, R.I. [9:32.41, 12:11.68], Ursuline School of New Rochelle, N.Y. [9:35.52, 12:19.99] ,Lincoln-Sudbury of Sudbury, Mass. [9:40.53, 12:16.16]
and Southern Regional [9:42.75. 12:29.19].

Hopefully, Kingsway will mix it up with all of them at Easterns!


Rancocas Valley blasts #9 U.S. Sprint Medley!!!!!!

This is a nice way to start out the new year.

Rancocas Valley, unchallenged, ran the fourth-fastest sprint medley in the U.S. at the SJTCA Large-School meet at the Toms River Bubble, with Robert Hawkins, Tyler Pohl, Samuel Keleekai and Isaiah Curbello clocking 3:39.54.

That time is No. 9 in the U.S. this year, which is amazing considering it was accomplished on a flat track with nobody pushing the Red Devils.

The only faster time by a New Jersey school this year is Union Catholic’s 3:38.81 at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic just after Christmas on the banked track at the Armory in New York.

Hawkins led off with a 52.9 split for 400 meters, and Pohl and Keleekai ran 23.8 and 23.9 for their 200-meter laps, setting up a 1:58.9 anchor from Curbelo, the state indoor Group 4 champ at 800 meters last year.

R.V. won by 65 meters over Kingsway.

School indoor record for Rancocas Valley is a 3:35.86 at the Armory last January at the New Balance Games.