IT’S THE ALL-TIME EASTERNS BOYS PERFORMANCE LIST!!!!!

It’s time for the 82nd annual Eastern States Interscholastic Track Championships, the oldest indoor high school track meet in the world!

This years edition is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. This is the 19th consecutive year Easterns has been at the 168th Street Armory after long runs for the boys in Princeton and the girls in Boston.

OK, without further ado … it’s the all-time Easterns top-10 performance list. Please forward corrections and additions my way!

Here’s the boys list! I’ll post the girls list soon!

BOYS
does not include some non-winning results before 1973
boys meet not held in 1973 or 1992
Schools in New Jersey Unless Otherwise Noted
55-METER DASH (hand time)
6.0+ … Mike Kee (Camb. Ridge and Latin, Mass.), 1975
6.1+ … John Chambers (Neptune), 1974
6.1+ … Frank Kelly (Westfield), 1977
6.2+ … Steve Strother (New Rochelle), 1976
6.2+ … Jason Grimes (Overbrook, Pa.), 1977
6.2+ … Carlos Roberts (Franklin Twp.), 1978  
6.3+ … Adley Raboy (Maine-Endwell, N.Y.), 1976
6.3+ … Waiters (JFK, N.Y.), 1976
6.3+ … Ray Allen (Long Beach, N.Y.), 1977
6.3+ … Steve Curry (Franklin Twp.), 1977

55-METER DASH (FAT time)
6.29 …. Terrell Wilks (Hames Hillhouse, N.Y.0, 2007
6.31+ … Luis Morales (Oxon Hill, Md.), 1982
6.31+ … Dennis Mitchell (Edgewood), 1983
6.31+ … Reginald Dixon (Plainfield), 2007
6.31+ … Jermaine Brown (Medger Evers, N.Y.), 2009
6.32 …. Maxwell Booker (Essex Catholic), 2001
6.34+ … Darren Walker (Meade, Md.), 1980
6.34+ …… Mitchell, 1984
6.34+ … Barney Borromeo (Nashua, Md.), 1986
6.34 …. Jamar Ervin (Camden), 2001
6.34 …. Miles Shuler Foster (Long Branch), 2011

200-METER DASH (run since 1994)
21.31 … Michael Blake (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), 2011
21.34 … Adian Sanderson (Ewing), 2004
21.37 … Rai Benjamin (Mount Vernon, N.Y.), 2015
21.37s .. Taylor McLaughlin (Union Catholic), 2015
21.42s ….. Benjamin, 2015
21.50 … Mike Abelard (Ramapo, N.Y.), 2008
21.53 … Darrell Bush (Woodbury), 2012
21.61 … Terrell Wilks (Hillhouse, N.Y.), 2007
21.62 … Todd Dutch (Washington Twp.), 2002
21.63 … Brian Bucknor (St. Benedict’s), 2008
21.67 … Tristan Walker (South Shore, N.Y.), 2005

400-METER DASH (run since 1994)
47.13 … Zyaire Clemes (Trenton), 2014
47.20 … Lance Wigfall (East Orange Campus), 2003
47.30 … Taylor McLaughlin (Union Catholic), 2014
47.31 … Rai Benjamin (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), 2014
47.45 … Ray Williams (Scotch Plains), 2002
47.54 … Najee Glass (St. Peter’s-Jersey City), 2011
47.69 … Kedar Inico (Campus Magnet, N.Y.), 2001
47.71 … Melville Rogers (Transit Tech, N.Y.), 2002
47.75 … Shaquan Brown (JFK Paterson), 2005
47.78 … Adian Sanderson (Ewing), 2004

800-METER RUN (run since 1994)
1:51.98 … Paul Joyce (Clarkstown South, N.Y.), 2000
1:52.11 … Edward Cheserek (St. Benedict’s, N.J.), 2013
1:52.12 … Gabriel McLaren (Freeport, N.Y.), 2003
1:52.47 … Brian Scotland (St. Benedict’s), 2005
1:52.47 … Sean Tully (Syosset, N.Y.), 2005
1:52.65 … Jason Apwah (Roxbury), 2007
1:52.86 … Greg Gomez (Franklin), 2004
1:52.86 … Ken Sinkovitz (Bergen Catholic), 2003
1:53.22 … James Buser (Mahwah), 2014
1:53.27 … Justin Romaniuk (Suffern, N.Y.), 2000

ONE-MILE RUN
4:11.6 …. Blair Mancini (North Penn, Pa.), 1981
4:11.8 …. Brian Pettinghill (Chevarus, Portland, Maine), 1981
4:12.31 … Robby Andrews (Manalapan), 2009
4:13.2 …. John Tuttle (Alfred-Almond, N.Y.), 1977
4:13.71 … John Trautman (Monroe-Woodbury, N.Y.), 1986
4:13.8 …. Dan Predmore (Fairport, N.Y.), 1976
4:13.8 …. Bill Ledder (Bishop O’Connell, Va.), 1976
4:13.8 …. Tom Camien (Sewanhaka, N.Y.), 1977
4:13.9 …. Jim Tyler (Norwood, N.Y.), 1981
4:14.13  … Chip Marsala (New Dorp, N.Y.), 1983

TWO-MILE RUN
8:54.82 … Edward Cheserek (St. Benedict’s), 2012
9:01.1 …. Alberto Salazar (Wayland, Mass.), 1976
9:02.40 … Edward Cheserek (St. Benedict’s, N.J.), 2011
9:03.65+ .. Brian Dalpiaz (Sayville, N.Y.), 2002
9:03.65+ .. Charles Alexander (St. Christopher, N.Y.), 1982
9:07.85 … Steve Murdock (Shenendehowa, N.Y.), 2007
9:07.87 … Kris Hardt (Whitman, Md.), 1984
9:08.32 … Jim Rosa (West Windsor-Plainsboro, North, N.J.)
9:09.0 …. Steve Ferri (O’Connell, Va.), 1977
9:09.0 …. Chris Hallinan (Bernards), 1976

55-METER HURDLES (hand time)
6.9+ … Renaldo Nehemiah (Scotch Plains), 1977
7.0+ … Kerry Bethel (Bartram, Pa.), 1975
7.0+ … Paul Lankford (Farmingdale, N.Y.), 1975
7.1+ … Paul Snipes (Essex Catholic), 1976
7.2+ … Jim Little (Moorestown), 1976
7.2+ … Dave Bannar (Rancocas Valley), 1976
7.3+ … Dudley Dorival (Ewing), 1993
7.3+ … Gary Ramsey (Neptune), 1976
7.3+ … Tony Smith (Norristown, Pa.), 1977
7.3+ … Mel Pinckney (Trenton), 1977
7.3+ … Gary Boyer (Horseheads, N.Y.), 1978
7.3+ … Greg Smith (Kennedy, N.Y.), 1978
7.3+ … Rodney Wilson (Bartrum, Pa.), 1978
7.3+ … Greg Hines (Walt Whitman, N.Y.), 1993

55-METER HURDLES (FAT time)
7.17+ … Rodney Wilson (Bartrum, Pa.), 1979
7.23 …. Sultan Tucker (Delsea), 1996
7.27+ … Patrick Mann (Gar-Field, Va.), 1984
7.28+ … Calvin Holmes (Denbeigh, Va.), 1984
7.29 …. Anthony Acklin (Triton), 2001
7.29 …. Nate Harley (Pleasantville), 1996
7.29 …. Will Brown (Palmyra), 2006
7.30 …. James Purvis (Brentwood, N.Y.), 1984
7.31 …. Danyne Brown (Camden), 1999
7.32+ … Dwayne Allen (Harrisburg, Pa.), 1980
7.32+ … Stephan Fletcher (Princeton), 1983
7.32+ … Jonathan Dickey (Penns Grove), 1985
7.32+ … Jeff Porter (Franklin), 2003

HIGH JUMP
7-3 … Greg Gonsalves (Falmouth, Mass.), 1981
7-2 ¼ … Milt Goode (Monmouth), 1979
7-2 … Eric Taylor-Perry (Montclair), 1990
7-2 … Mike Morrison (Willingboro), 2003
7-1 ½ … Tim Walker (Rogers, R.I.), 1975
7- 0 … Rudy Reavis (New Rochelle, N.Y.), 1975
7- 0 … Desmond DaCosta (Overbrook, Pa.), 1980
7- 0 … Eldred Williams (Music-Art, N.Y.), 1981
7- 0 … Terrence Ferguson (Cherry Hill West), 1987
7- 0 … Tommy Thompson (St. John Baptist), 1993
7- 0 … Adam Bergo (Westfield), 2008

POLE VAULT
16-6 … Jordan Yamoah (Arlington, N.Y.), 2011
16- 3 ¼ … Adam Sarafian (Ocean Twp.), 2004
15-10 … Bill Hartley (Southern Ocean), 1976
15-6 … Vince Reilly (St. Joseph-Metuchen), 1977
15-6 … Don Heyburn (Cranford), 1980
15-6 … Eric Richard (Bridgewater East), 1981
15-6 … Chris Lockett (Woodbridge, Va.), 1986
15-6 … Gavin McMahon (Fordham Prep, N.Y.), 2003
15-6 … Brian Duggan (Monsignor Farrell, N.Y.), 2005
15-6 … Casey DeCesare (Irvington, N.Y.), 2005
15-6 … Dan Batdorf (West Deptford), 2008
15-6 … Darwin Gibbons (Caravel Academy, Del.), 2009
15-6 … Greg Gallagher (Iona Prep, N.Y.), 2012
15-6 … Craig Hunter (Robbinsville, N.J.), 2013
15-6 … Matt Fay (Iona Prep), 2015
15-6 … Chris Rough (Westhill, Ct.), 2015
15-6 … Derek Dibona (Warwick Valley), 2015
15-6 … Ryan Herrera-Murphy (Iona Prep), 2015

LONG JUMP
26- 0 ¾ … Dion Bentley (Penn Hills, Pa.), 1989
25- 7 ¾ … Marvin Ford (Uniondale, N.Y.), 1993
25- 5 ½ … Carl Lewis (Willingboro), 1979
25- 3 ¾ … Eric Metcalf (O’Connell, Va.), 1985
24-10 ½ … Ron Dickerson (State College, Pa.), 1989
24- 6 ¾ … Gerard Reynolds (Willingboro), 1990
24-2 … Jason Grimes (Overbrook, Pa.), 1977
24- 1 ½ … Boris Goins (Cardozo, Wash., D.C.), 1985
24- 0 ¼ … Isaac Samuels (Kennedy), 1983
23-11 ¼ … Lucas Kerley (So. Jefferson, N.Y.), 1989

TRIPLE JUMP
49- 9 ….. Gary Jones (Webster Schroeder, N.Y.), 2006
49-  6 ½ … Craig Halyard (Ridgewood, N.J.), 1989
49-  6 ½ … Eric Bethea (Piscataway, N.J.), 2015
49-  1 ¼ … Erik Clinton (Hope, R.I.), 1993
48-  9 ½ … Sanya Owolabi (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), 1977
48-  9 ¼ … Steve Crouse (Colonie, N.Y.), 2008
48-  6 ¾ … Shawn Tittley (Seneca Valley, N.Y.), 1983
48-  6 ½ … Dewey Sanders (Seton Hall Prep), 1986
48-  6 ½ … Antonio Davis (Walt Whitman, N.Y.), 1990
48-  5 ¾ … Robert Howard (Shea, R.I.), 1994

SHOT PUT
71- 3 ¼ … Nick Vena (Morristown), 2011
70- 8 … Braheme Days (Bridgeton), 2012
66-2 … Glenn DiGiorgio (Bayonne), 2002
64-8 … Steve Adams (St. Joseph-Montville), 1970
64-  7 ¾… Dan Krueger (Bayside, Va.), 1978
64-  5 ¼ … Bruce Heide (Dayton), 1975
64-  2 ½ … Jim Gilligan (Toms River East), 1984
64-  1 ½ … Kevin DiGiorgio (Bayonne), 1997
63-  6 ½ …  Aaron Echternacht (Hopewell Valley), 1991
63-  1 ½  … Uzoma Orji (Matawan), 2002

800-METER RELAY
1:26.90 … Camden, 2004
1:28.05 … Campus Magnet, N.Y., 2001
1:28.18 … Vineland, 2004
1:28.35 … Trenton, 2008
1:28.35 … Union Catholic. 2008
1:28.46 … Lenape, 2000
1:28.77 … Lawrenceville School, N.J., 2011
1:28.77 … Mt. Vernon, N.Y., 2011
1:28.82 … Camden, 2002
1:28.85 … West Orange, 2012

1,600-METER RELAY
3:15.78 … Camden, 2001
3:16.5? … Vineland, 2003
3:17.0? … Trenton, 2003
3:18.90 … Pleasantville, 2007
3:19.0+ … Boys and Girls, N.Y., 1977
3:19.1+ … Asbury Park, 1978
3:19.2+ … Fairmont Heights, Md., 1979
3:19.3_ … Chester, Pa., 1981
3:19.3? … Winslow, 2003
3:19.36 … Seton Hall Prep, 2005
3:19.5+ ..Ben Franklin, Pa., 1976
3:19.51+ … New Rochelle, N.Y., 1984
3:19.61 … Camden, 2002

3,200-METER RELAY
7:45.55 … Pleasantville, N.J., 2013
7:47.00 … Pope John XXIII, 2012
7:47.81 … Morris Catholic, 2009
7:47.84 … Cherokee, 2012
7:48.6+ … Roselle Catholic, 1970
7:49.4+ … Maria Regina, N.Y., 1975
7:49.89 … South Brunswick, 2014
7:50.68 … Warwick Valley, 2012
7:50.86 … Boys and Girls, 2012
7:50.97 … Lawrenceville School, 2009

DISTANCE MEDLEY (run since 1971)
10:07.21 … West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 2009
10:10.60 … Haddonfield, 2010
10:10.70 … St. Benedict’s, 2012
10:11.5+ … T.C. Williams, Va., 1979
10:12.1+ … Archbishop Ryan, Pa., 1976
10:13.0+ … Paramus Catholic, 1977
10:13.60 … West Windsor-Plainsboro South, 2013
10:14.09 … Chaminade, N.Y.
10:14.54 … St. Benedict’s, N.J., 2011
10:15.08 … Colts Neck, N.J., 2005

KEY
+ – converted from yards
% – converted from meters
s – mark achieved in semis
q – mark achieved in qualifying round
? – likely timing error

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Pelose speeds to 4:14.18 and moves into No. 2 mile spot in S.J. history

step0001-2.jpgGreg Pelose ran within half a second of Marc Pelerin’s South Jersey indoor mile record Saturday at the Meet of Champions, where he ran the fastest third-place time in meet history and the seventh-fastest time ever run at a Meet of Champions.

Pelose ran a personal-best 4:14.18 for 1,600 meters Saturday, finishing behind twins Will Daly (4:13.01) and Colin Daly (4:13.44) of River Dell.

Pelose broke the Haddonfield school record of 4:14.53, set by Chris Platt in 2003; he surpassed the Camden County record of 4:14.1 hand-timed set by Marty Ludwikoski of Cherry Hill West in 1975 (although both will be listed as co-record holders because you can’t convert a FAT time into a hand-time); and he moved into the No. 2 spot in South Jersey indoor history, behind Pelerin, who ran 4:13.68 in 2002.

The race produced the second-fastest winning time in meet history and the fastest second-place time, the fastest third-place time, the fastest fourth-place time, the fastest fifth-place time and the fastest sixth-place time.

Wow.

Pelose, who plans to continue his education and running career at Boston University, lowered his indoor PR more than 2 1/2 seconds from the 4:16.74 he ran to win the state Group 2 title last week. He also ran faster than his outdoor PR of 4:15.10, which won last year’s outdoor state title.

Here are the top times in meet history, with the runner’s place at the far right. As you can see, this race produced the No. 2, No. 5, No. 7, No. 17, No. 20 and No. 25 times in meet history.

According to the MileSplit national rankings, the Daly brothers rank No. 6 and No. 10 in the U.S. this year, and Pelose is No. 15. All three are seniors.

As you can see, Pelose ran fast enough to win the Meet of Champions 43 of the 48 years it’s been run.

The previous-fastest third-place time was Harry Kronick’s 4:14.9 (converted from a full mile) in the 1972 race, which produced the meet record of 4:06.6 by Vince Cartier.

  • 4:06.6h, y … Vince Cartier, (Scotch Plains-Fanwood), 1972 (1)
  • 4:13.01m … Will Daly (River Dell), 2016 (1)
  • 4:13.12m … Ben Malone, (Pascack Valley), 2012 (1)
  • 4:13.41m … Liam Tansey, (Moris Hills), 2009 (1)
  • 4:13.44m … Colin Daly (River Dell), 2016 (2)
  • 4:14.01m … D.J. Thornton, (Union Catholic), 2010 (1)
  • 4:14.18m … Greg Pelose (Haddonfield), 2016 (3)
  • 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)
  • 4:15.82m … Drake Anzano (Christian Brothers), 2016 (4)
  • 4:16.05m … Sam Macaluso, (West Windsor South), 2010 (3)
  • 4:16.09m … Luke Petela, (Haddon Township), 2015 (1)
  • 4:16.15m … Zach Michon (Robbinsville), 2016 (5)
  • 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), 2002 (3)
  • 4:17.22m … Brandon Tubby (Hillsborough), 2016 (6)
  • 4:17.27m … Tom Rooney, (Christian Brothers), 1973 (2)

Also, here’s the all-time South Jersey list:

4:13.68y … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2002
4:14.18 ….. Greg Pelose [Haddonfield], 2016
4:14.1y ….. Marty Ludwikowski [Cherry Hill West], 1975
4:14.53y… Chris Platt [Haddonfield], 2003
4:14.71 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2015
4:15.11….. Jim Smith [Haddonfield[, 1980
4:16.02 … Erik Johnson [Ocean City], 2012
4:16.0 ….. Greg Stremmel [Gateway], 1974
4:16.3 ….. Rich Caton [Woodbury[, 1979
4:16.57 … Miles Schoedler [Ocean City], 2011
4:16.62 … Bill Dolan [Clearview], 2014
4:16.85 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield], 2011

Pelose won’t run the mile at Easterns Tuesday night in New York, but he will be there with Haddonfield, anchoring the Bulldogs’ distance medley team.

The Daly brothers will be running individual events – Will is in the mile and Colin is in the 800.

R.V. grad Pierce wins Big East 55 and 2nd in 200 as a true freshman!!!!!

11735394
RV alum Sydney Pierce is honored after winning the 60 at the Big East Meet Saturday.

What a remarkable first Big East meet for Rancocas Valley graduate Sterling Pierce, now a true freshman at Villanova.

Pierce, the Meet of Champions 200 champ last spring, won the Big East Conference Championships 60-meter dash title Saturday at the Ocean Breeze track complex in Staten Island, N.Y. He also placed second in the 400.

So Pierce scored 18 of Villanova’s meet-record 208 points as the Wildcats won their third straight Big East indoor title.

Pierce is the first Villanova sprinter ever to win the Big East indoor dash in 24 years and the first to place in the top three in the 200 in 12 years.

Wow! And this was his first conference meet!

Pierce was only the fourth-fastest qualifier into the 60 final at 6.98 but the four-fastest qualifiers all ran between 6.95 and 6.98.

He then finished in front in a ridiculously close mass finish in the final that saw five runners finish with 6-100th of a second of each other. His winning time, 6.89, is sixth-fastest in Villanova history.

It’s also fastest by a Villanova runner since Kevin Okolie ran 6.82 in the heats of the 2008 Big East meet. Pierce’s previous PR was 6.95 at the Villanova Open in January on the same track.

Pierce appears to be the first Villanova Big East champion in the dash since Salaam Gariba won the 55 in 6.25 in 1992.

In the 200, Pierce ran 21.61 in the trials and then lowered it to a PR 21.45 in the finals, finishing just behind Sebastian Feyersinger of DePaul, who won in 21.39.

Pierce’s 21.45 is a PR and No. 8 in Villanova history. It’s fastest by a Villanova runner since Carlos Bedoya ran 21.27 in the Armory Collegiate Challenge in 2004 — some 12 years ago.

Bedoya is also the last Wildcat to finish in the top three in the 200 at the Big East meet. He won it in 2004.

Looks like Pierce is the eighth South Jersey native to win a Big East title for Villanova (and the second this year):

Camden’s Martin Booker (1983 indoor 4-by-4, outdoor intermediates, 4-by-1, 4-by-4; 1984 outdoor 110 high, 4-by-4; 1985 indoor 55 highs, outdoor 110 highs, 4-by-4; 1986 indoor and outdoor highs, outdoor 4-by-4), Ocean City’s John Richardson (indoor 3,200-meter in 2005); Lenape’s Mike Brown (2001 intermediates and 4-by-4, indoor 400; 2002 indoor 400 and 4-by-4); Cherokee’s Marc Pelerin (2004 DMR outdoors); Cinnaminson’s Brian Tetreault (2012 outdoor 4-by-8); and Oakcrest’s Ishmael Muhammad (indoor 4-by-800 this year).

Soph Taylor speeds to Pemberton’s first M-of-C title in 32 years!!!!!

Her PR was 7.36 a month ago. Think about that for a moment. Aliyah Taylor hadn’t even run fast enough to make the finals at the Meet of Champions. Much less win it.

But Taylor has improved over the past few weeks like no other sprinter in the state, from that 7.36 for second at sectionals to to 7.26 in the trials at states to 7.11 in the finals at states to an eye-popping 7.04 Saturday to win the 55-meter dash at the Meet of Champions.

Just like that, Taylor’s time is No. 16 in state history and No. 7 in South Jersey history.

Taylor, a sophomore, became the first Pemberton athlete to win an indoor Meet of Champions title in 32 years Saturday, winning the 55 with the eighth-fastest time in meet history.

Pemberton’s only other indoor M-of-C winner was Lillian Rivera, who won the shot put in 1984 in the basement of  Jadwin Gym.

Let’s do some lists!

Here’s the updated all-time South Jersey list. Included is every girl that’s ever run 7.20 or faster:

  • 6.73 … Michelle Glover (Willingboro), 1981
  • 6.88 … Patti Dunlap (Camden), 1979
  • 6.91 … English Gardner (Eastern), 2010
  • 6.95 … Torie Robinson (Winslow Twp.), 2014
  • 6.95 … Denise Mitchell (Edgewood), 1983
  • 7.00 … Amandi Rhett (Moorestown), 2000
  • 7.04 … Aliyah Taylor (Pemberton), 2016
  • 7.05 … Dana Burnett (Williamstown), 1996
  • 7.07 … Annie Johnson (Shawnee), 2012
  • 7.07 … Audrey Wilson (Deptford), 2009
  • 7.07 … Magenta Taylor (Willingboro), 1999
  • 7.09 … Ste’yce McNeil (Winslow Twp.), 2012
  • 7.09 … Emily Carson (Haddonfield), 2013
  • 7.11 … Jamie Walker (Haddon Hts.), 2006
  • 7.12 … Assante Johnson (Camden), 2009
  • 7.14 … Shonda Burroughs (Vineland), 1999
  • 7.17 … Nia Lawrence (Pemberton), 2013
  • 7.17 … Kiara Lester (Deptford), 2014
  • 7.17 … Krystal Cantey (Winslow Twp.), 2006
  • 7.18 … Sherese Price (Pleasantville), 1997
  • 7.19 … Bria Mack (Williamstown), 2016
  • 7.19 … Latoya Benson (Washington Twp.), 2001
  • 7.20 … Medina Salaam (Camden), 1974
  • 7.20 … Nia Ali (Pleasantville), 2006
  • 7.20 … Fametta Lewis (Wilson), 2007
  • 7.20 … Tacquaya Tobias (Our Lady of Mercy), 2010
  • 7.20 … Cidae’a Woods (Winslow Twp.), 2013
  • 7.20 … Gabrielle Farquharson (Williamstown), 2011

I wanted to see where Taylor’s race Saturday ranked among all the great New Jersey sprinters who’ve run in the Meet of Champions.

I compiled a list of every time ever run faster than 7.10, including non-winning marks and marks achieved in the trials.

Taylor is the No. 8 performer of all-time, and her 7.04 is the No. 14 performance of all-time.

6.92 … Dominique Booker (Montclair Immaculate), 2009 [1st]
6.93 … Ogechi Nwaneri (Chatham), 2008  [1st]
6.95 … Torie Robinson (Winslow Twp.) 2014 [1st]
6.96 … Myasia Jacobs (Paramus Catholic), 2011 [1st]
6.97 … Aleah Williams (Montclair), 1998 [1st]
6.97 … Melisa Barber (Montclair), 1998 [2nd]
6.98 ……. Booker, 2008  [1st]
6.99 ……. Nwaneri, 2008 [trials]
7.00 ……. Haisha Bisiolu (Union), 2013 [1st]
7.01 ……. Williams, 1998 [trials]
7.02 ……. Gardner, 2008 [trials]
7.03 … English Gardner (Eastern), 2010 [1st]
7.03 ……. Robinson, 2014 [1st]
7.04 … Aliya Taylor (Pemberton), 2016  [1st]
7.04 ……. Gardner, 2008 [1st]
7.04 ……. Booker, 2009 [trials]
7.04 ……. Bisiolu, 2014 [trials]
7.04 ……. Jacobs, 2011 [trials]
7.05 ……. Regina Trotter (Weequahic), 1991 [1st]
7.05 ……. Robinson, 2013 [trials]
7.07 … Audrey Wilson (Deptford), 2009 [2nd]
7.07 ……. Barber, 1998[trials]
7.08 ……. Gardner (Eastern), 2007 [1st]
7.09 ……. Jacobs, 2009 [3rd]

Oh, and one other thing: Taylor also placed third in the 400 in 57.29, which is a terrific time in its own right. That’s also an indoor/outdoor PR and a top-25 all-time South Jersey time.

The only bad news? Taylor is not running at Easterns.

Quimby joins sub-5 club with huge race at M-of-C; Lenape first NJ school with 3 under 5:00!!!!!

Lenape junior Megan Quimby moved into the No. 7 spot on the all-time South Jersey indoor 1,600 list Saturday with her fourth-place finish in the Meet of Champions.

And that made history for Lenape. More on that later.

Quimby lowered her indoor PR exactly three seconds from 5:00.12 to 4:57.12, a Lenape indoor school record by 6-10ths of a second. Caitlin Orr ran 4:57.72 six years ago on the same track.

Quimby’s outdoor PR is 5:02.04, so Saturday’s race gave her an indoor and outdoor PR.

It also gave Lenape three girls under 5:00 indoors, with Natalia Ocasio joining Quimby and Orr. Ocasio ran 4:58.48 in the same race Orr ran 4:57.72.

That makes Lenape the only New Jersey school with three girls under five minutes.

Gets finished third and actually lowered her indoor PR as well, but she has run as fast as 4:45.97 outdoors – her time when she won the Meet of Champions the spring of her junior year. Gess’s 4:51.60 is No. 3 in South Jersey history behind two legends — Michelle Rowen and Erin Donohue.

Christina Rancan of West Windsor-Plainsboro South won the race at the Bubble in Toms River in 4:50.85 and Ciaira Roche was second in 4:51.18.

Here is the updated all-time South Jersey performance list:

  • 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
  • 4:56.1h,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 (Cherokee), 2004
  • 5:00.78y … Monica Olkowski (Cherokee), 1990
  • 5:00.81 … Vickie Ajimoko (Williamstown), 2014
  • 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
  • 5:03.50 … Bridget Flynn (Ocean City), 2014
  • 5:03.81 … Maria Ruiz (Williamstown), 2009
  • 5:03.97 … Camille Franklin (Lenape), 2014

We got to wondering how many schools have multiple girls in state history under 5:00 indoors, and it turns out Lenape is the school with three.

Here’s the list of schools with more than one, with mile times converted to 1,600 meters for the purposes of determining a cutoff (as always, corrections and omissions are welcome):

Lenape (3)

  • 4:57.12 … Megan Quimby, 2015
  • 4:57.72 … Caitlin Orr, 2010
  • 4:58.48 … Natalia Ocasio, 2010

Randolph (2)

  • 4:53.18 … Kim Standridge, 2007
  • 4:59.22 … Liz Wellman, 2014

Hopewell Valley (2)

  • 4:58.47 … Haley Mahn, 2014
  • 4:59.97 … Emily Sherrard, 2005

Washington Twp. (2)

  • 4:41.52y … Michelle Rowen, 1983
  • 4:53.36 … Lindsey Kane, 2014

Southern Regional (2)

  • 4:46.13 … Danielle Tauro, 2007
  • 4:48.83 … Jill Smith, 2008

Bernards (2)

  • 4:45.6y … Meg Waldron, 1983
  • 4:56.1y … Karen Ahearn, 1985

Haddonfield (2)

  • 4:49.46y … Erin Donohue, 2001
  • 4:51.60 … Briana Gess, 2016

Red Bank Regional (2)

  • 4:52:42, Katy Trotter, 2003
  • 4:53:54. Amanda Trotter, 2003

Hunterdon Central (2)

  • 4:54.02, Casey Nelson, 2002
  • 4:57.48y, Autumn Fogg, 1996

Roxbury (2)

  • 4:55.29, Jenn Ennis, 2006
  • 5:01.72, Ashley Cromartie, 2008

Colts Neck (2)

  • 4:55.50, Ashley Higginson, 20o7
  • 4:55.56, Allison Linnell, 2008

Summit (2)

  • 4:58.34 … Katie Watson, 2011
  • 4:59.1y … Theresa Gschwind, 1980

Freehold Twp. (2)

  • 4:51.18 … Ciara Roche , 2016
  • 4:59.20, Allyson Moskal, 2009

West Windsor-Plainsboro South (2)

  • 4:50.85 … Christina Rancan, 2016
  • 4:59.90 … Deirdre Casey, 2014

Red Bank Catholic (2)

  • 4:54.41 … Molly McNamara, 2011
  • 4:58.38 … Liana Manzano, 2012

Note that Marielle Hall was attending Haddonfield High School when she ran 4:56.76 for a full mile in the winter of 2010, but she wasn’t running for Haddonfield’s program at the time, so she wasn’t included in this list.

This Week in SJTrack: The Group Championships

Toms River, NJ: The Bennett Indoor Complex in Toms River played host to the NJSIAA Group Championships this past weekend.  Friday saw the State’s largest, Group 4, and smallest, Group 1, schools competed for State titles.  Saturday morning Groups 2 and 3 laced up the spikes, while Saturday night the non-public schools saw their first State Series action.  The team winners earned the Title of State Champion while the top 6 individuals in each group punched their ticket to the Meet of Champions this Saturday.  The next 6 fastest individual in each event of all the groups also earned the right to compete this weekend.  

Group 4 Boys

Groff Rolls to a Second Place Finish

Sometimes second place hurts.  Sometimes it lingers in the mind of an athlete.  If Cherry Hill East’s Aaron Groff can avoid that stigma he has the opportunity for a title more precious than the one that slipped away this past Saturday.  Groff finished the 3200 meter run in a blazing 9:16.09.  That time was the second fastest of all the group meets… Unfortunately it was also the second fastest in his race.  Freehold Township’s Jake Konig ran 9:15.49 for the win but can’t feel comfortable heading into Meet of Champions where Groff will be looking to return the favor.  

Joshua Chazin, who missed cross country due to injury, continued his steady progress running nearly prefect 35 second splits to place 5th in the 3200.  He dropped 11 second from sectionals to finish the race in 9:27.59.  The only other South Jersey qualifier was Cherokee Sophomore Justin Kelly who, after setting personal records two consecutive weeks, had to sweat through the rest of the weekend before he learned he was the 6th and final wildcard to the MOC.  He finished in 9:41.02.  

The 400 meters was the strongest overall race for South Jersey Group 4 as three athletes punched tickets to the Meet of Champions.  Lenape’s Chase Campbell was SJ’s top finisher.  He improved from his sectionals mark of 51.38 seconds running 50.80 to place 2nd.  He was followed by Alex Dessoye (5th, 51.22) and Amir Brock (6th, 51.23) both of Egg Harbor.  

Cole Pschunder’s goal was to be in position with 600 to go and execute a long strength based kick to pull away from his speedy 1600 meter competitors.  After Brandon Tubby of Hillsborough countered and ran away with the race Pschunder refocused on 2nd.  He did everything he could closing with a 62.5 second last lap but was just edged out and had to settle for 3rd.  Still, his time of 4:20.55 is a 2 second indoor personal record and earned him top SJ honors.  He will enter the MOC as the 9th seed.  Joshua DeJesus will also represent South Jersey as he earned the top wildcard position with his 4:24.83 performance.

Thomas Zor of Millville was the top South Jersey finisher in the 55 meter hurdles with a 7.84 second showing.  He placed 4th.  He will be joined on Saturday by Cherry Hill East’s Jordan Clark who earned a wildcard by running 7.94 seconds at the Group Meet.  

The Egg Harbor team of Alex Dessoye, Robert Dessoye, Aidin Hendriks, and Amir Brock will lead three South Jersey Group 4 teams to Meet of Champions as they ran 3:26.52 to 3rd in the 4×400.  Rancocas Valley (3:30.89) and Millville (3:31.41) earned wildcards.  Isaiah Curbelo lead the way for South Jersey in the 800 running 1:55.72 for 2nd.  Isaiah Jean-Baptiste of Cherry Hill East was South Jersey’s only other qualifier as he ran 1:59.03 for 6th.  

In the field Chase Matthews cleared 6 feet 4 inches for 2nd place in the high jump.  Cherry Hill East’s Nevin Beasley jump 6’2 to qualify in 5th place.  Two additional South Jersey Group 4 athletes were granted wildcards in the event as Earnest Daniel of Kingsway and Ryan Felker both cleared 6 feet.  Sam Shinn of Kingsway placed 6th in the shot put with a 52 foot 8.25 inch throw.  He will be joined by Egg Harbor wildcard Darren Wan who threw 50 feet 1.25 inches at the Group Meet.  

Group 4 Girls

Mack Brings Home a Title

Bria Mack was the only South Jersey Group 4 athlete, boy or girl, to win an individual state title this past weekend.  Her 55 meter victory in 7.19 seconds makes her the 4 seed at the Meet of Champions where she will face South Jersey rival and #1 seed Aliyah Taylor of Pemberton.  Najiyah Palmer of Kingsway placed third to qualify in 7.35 seconds.  

South Jersey qualified 4 girls in the 1600 meters as Julianna Catania continued her fantastic winter with a blazing 5:01.21 2nd place effort.  She was followed by Megan Quimby who ran a personal best time of 5:02.71 to place 3rd.  Shawnee’s Kara Bonner earned her way to Meet of Champions with a 4th place 5:04.48 performance.  Destiny Stanford of Kingsway closed out SJ qualification with a 5:14.90 wildcard earning time. Catania returned later in the meet and repeated her second place performance running 11:00.81 in the 3200 to become South Jersey Group 4’s only qualifier.  

Rachel Armstead of Millville qualified in the 55 meter hurdles running 8.39 for 2nd.  She will be joined at MOC by Shakira Dancy of Eastern who raced to a 5th place finish in the 400.  Her time of 59.77 seconds was a personal record.  The Lenape team of Megan Quimby, Shannon Lambert, Jasmine Staten, and Shannon Storms lead South Jersey qualification in the 4×400 with their 4:01.99 2nd place finish.  Eastern (4:04.46), Shawnee (4:04.74), and Cherokee (4:06.15) all earned wildcards.  Williamstown’s Gabbi Kirsch earned a wildcard in the 800 with a time of 2:23.06.

Shannon Storms of Lenape continued her consistent pole vaulting as she matched her season best of 10 feet and placed 3rd.  Vineland’s Najeaya Singleton’s 41 foot 10 inch throw in the shot put earned he a second place finish and the 7th seed at Saturday’s Meet of Champions.  She will be joined in the shot put by Samira File of Millville who threw 38’1.25 for 6th, and Kingsways Emily Hilt who earned a wildcard with her 36’8.50 throw.  

Group 1 Boys

Haddonfield Wins #9

Haddonfield won their second consecutive State Group Title on Saturday and their 9th overall.  They were lead by outstanding performances from athletes on opposite ends of their high school careers.  Coach Nick Baker deemed Senior Greg Pelose his team’s “Performer of the Meet,” while he looked at Freshman Luke Colehower’s 400 meter win as the “Performance of the Meet.”  Pelose won 2 events (1600, 800) and was the runner up in a 3rd (3200) for a total point hull of 28.  Colehower added 10 huge points in 400 and shocked the state running 49.91 seconds on the Bennett Center’s flat track.  Not only does that performance make the Bulldog Freshman the #1 seed at Saturday’s Meet of Champions but it is the #4 freshman time in the US.  Derek Gess, Golin Gallagher, Zach Murray, and Joey Ellis also contributed to Haddonfield’s 55 point total.  

Colehower’s 400 meter victory kicked off the meet with a bang.  He will be joined at Meet of Champions by fellow two lappers Terrance Walker of Pleasantville (4th, 51.92) and Woodstown’s Julian Borman (5th, 52.23).  Pelose ran a personal record of 4:16.74 to break Ben Potts 2011 school record and earn a 5 second victory in the 1600.  After the race opened in a pedestrian 2:14.8 first 800 Pelose dropped the hammer running a 2:02 final half mile.  Derek Gess ran 4:23.12 to become the fastest freshman 1600 meter runner (indoor or out) in Haddonfield school history.  His performance in #2 freshman time in the United States.  Randy Ladd of Haddon Township ran 2:08 over the last 800 meters for personal record 4:23.62.  His rapid close took him from 7th (first non-qualifier) to 5th in the last 100 meters. Samuel Gerstenbacher of Schalick established a new school record of 4:24.24 and grabbed the final qualifying spot.  

Sensing it would take a quick time to earn a spot in the fast heat at Meet of Champions Haddon Township Senior Own Long set the pace for most of the grueling 3200 meter race.  He planned to run the first mile in 4:48.  He ran 4:40.  He planned to run the second mile in 4:40.  He ran 4:39.  His expectation exceeding 9:24.21 effort lead to a Group 1 Title and the number 6 seed at the Meet of Champions.  His 2nd State Championship win in 3 years will put him squarely in MOC fast heat.  Pelose of Haddonfield notched his first sub-10 minute 3200 in style placing 2nd in 9:32.06.  Long and Pelose were followed by their teammates as Joey Domanico of Haddon Township placed 5th in 9:37.07 and Haddonfield’s Colin Gallagher clocked 9:41.81 for 6th.  Both seniors set personal records.  

Pelose continued his outstanding meet with a 1:56.49 victory in the 800 meters.  The Haddonfield school record performance earned him a 2.5 second margin over his nearest competitor.  Pelose’s freshman teammate Gess followed up his outstanding 1600 performance with startling 4th place 2:01.50 800 meters.   That is currently the #5 freshman time in the nation.  Burlington City’s Daveigh Brooks closed out South Jersey qualification in 5th with a time of 2:01.83.

Jason Stefanski of Penns Grove won the Group 1 State title in the 55 meter hurdles by dropping over 2 tenths of a second from the prelims.  His winning time of 7.60 seconds was the 2nd fastest time by a South Jersey athlete in any group and makes him the #3 seed heading into the Meet of Champions.  Audubon’s Kyle McNeely will join Stefanski at Meet of Champions as he placed 3rd in 7.96 seconds.  

Ramon Bentley was the top SJ qualifier in the 55 meter dash.  He finished 5th in 6.69 seconds.  He was followed closely by Audubon’s Kyle Limbaga who finished 6th in 6.72 seconds.  The Haddonfield foursome of Colehower, Gess, Murray, and Ellis dropped 4 seconds from their sectionals 4×400 time and earned top SJ honors finishing 2nd in 3:32.67.  The future is bright as three of the 4 are freshman.  Woodstown was South Jersey’s only other Group 1 qualifier running 3:35.98 for 4th.  

The Pleasantville duo of LaQuay Bishop and Jean Brevil were the top SJ performers in the field as they placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in the shot put.  Bishop’s putt of 51 feet 1.75 inches was a 5 and a half foot improvement from sectionals.  Brevil followed his teammate’s lead tacking an additional 3 feet 8 inches to his sectional throw in a 50’10 performance.  Palmyra’s Matt Yanick finished 4th with a 50’7 effort.  Meet of Champions will be his last high school competition as he plays baseball in the Spring.  Julian Giovinetti’s season best throw of 49’7.76 made him the last South Jersey qualifier in 5th.  

Steven VanderMeer of Gateway was South Jersey’s top finisher in the pole vault.  His clearance of 11 feet 6 inches earned him 3rd.  Schalick’s Trent Lowe, who has only been vaulting since May, cleared 11 feet and placed 4th.  Tarik Robinson of Penns Grove, Rahsaan Hayes of Woodbury and Palmyra’s Kelvin Harmon all tied for 4th in the high jump with 5 foot 10 inch clearances.  All three athletes will clash again at Saturday’s Meet of Champions.  

Group 1 Girls

Gess Dominates, Haddonfield Splits Title

Staying in contact with with New Providence’s Jillian Turner, Briana Gess of Haddonfield concentrated on shaking off effects of her 400 victory 25 minutes earlier.  Turner charged off the line in an effort to break the iron willed Gess as the athletes came through the 800 in 2:26.  With less than 400 meters to go Gess made her counter move and never looked back as she completed a 400, 1600 double her Coach Jason Russo called, “one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen an athlete do.”  Her winning 400 time of 58.57 seconds makes her the #9 seed at Meet of Champions.  Her winning 1600 time of 4:59.03 makes her Saturday’s 4th seed.  She wasn’t done yet.

Gess returned from her dazzling 400, 1600 double to win a third event, the 800, in 2:20.07.  That earns her the MOC 9th seed.  Still, she wasn’t done.  She returned in a fourth event and ran arguably her most impressive time winning in 10:53.58 over a very solid Rachel Suss of Metuchen.  Her four victories garnered 40 points for the Bulldogs.  The team scored a total of 62 as Ana Buzzerd, Kaitlyn Bonnet, Bridget Kane, Nicolette Barringer, and Gabi Connor chipped in enough points to tie Whippany Park for the Group 1 State Title.  

Daniel Nicklas of Audubon was South Jersey’s other qualifier in the 400 running 60.73 for 6th.  Gess was followed by teammate Kaitlyn Bonnet in the 1600 who ran indoor personal record of 5:11.81 for 3rd.  Bonnet returned in the event she will be running at Meet of Champions, the 800 meters, running 2:22.10 for 3rd.  Audubon’s Molly Furlong closed out South Jersey qualifying with a 2:24.10 effort that earned her 6th.  

In the field, Rachel Ondricek won the Group 1 State Championship in the pole vault as she improved by a half a foot from sectionals to clear 10 feet.  She was South Jersey’s only qualifier in the event and the only SJ athlete other than Gess to win a title.  Tomara Charmichael missed her own school record by a half an inch but qualified for Meet of Champions with a 38 foot 3.5 inch shot put effort that earned her 4th.  Schalick’s Zyra Carmichael followed Carmichael with a 35 foot 9 inch throw for 5th.  

Other track qualifiers included Rachael Leyrer of Beuna and Danielle Nicklas of Audubon who ran 9.26 seconds and 9.27 seconds respectively for 4th and 5th in the 55 meter hurdles.  Ana Buzzerd ran a personal record of 7.43 second in the trials and returned in the finals with a 7.44 second performance that earned her 3rd in the 55 meter dash.  She will be joined at Meet of Champions by Pleasantville’s Rebekah Clark who finished 5th in 7.57 seconds.  The Haddonfield team of Kane, Barringer, Bonnett, and Connor earned top SJ honors in the 4×400 with a 4th place earning 4:14.09.  

Group 3 Boys

Pennsauken Show Sprint Strength

Pennsauken showed impressive sprinting depth at the Group 3 State Champion this past Saturday as Marquan Jones earned a 50.10 second victory in the 400 meters and all three Indian 55 meter dashers qualified for Meet of Champions.  Pennsauken teammate Martin Booker followed Jones in the 400 running a 50.86 second 5th place time.  Timber Creek’s Cameron Stinson was South Jersey’s only other qualifier running 51.53 and grasping a wildcard.  

The 55 dash saw 4 South Jersey athletes qualify.  Booker lead the way running 6.49 seconds for second.  He enters Meet of Champions was the 4th seed but he is just 2 one hundredths of a second from the top spot.  Jones was the next South Jersey finisher running 6.65 seconds for 5th.  Pennsauken teammate Nahzir Russell ran 6.71 seconds for 6th while James Bettis of Winslow ran a wildcard earning time of 6.66 seconds in the prelims.  

Highland Senior Sean David continued a 55 meter hurdling tradition by winning the event in 7.56 seconds.  His victory marks the third straight year that a Highland athlete has won a state championship in the hurdles.  His winning time was the fastest time by a South Jersey athlete in any group.  It also positions him as the #2 seed headed into Saturday’s Meet of Champions.  Jamil Adams was the only other South Jersey Group 3 athlete to qualify with a 7.77 second race that placed him 3rd.  

The Bridgeton foursome of Avery Brown, Nicholas Ferrone, Vincent Avallone, and Mikal Wright were South Jersey top team and only qualifier in the 4×400 running 3:31.61 for 2nd. Bobby Maguire of Absegami placed 5th in the 800 and will move onto Meet of Champions with a 1:59.14 time.  Moorestown’s Kyle Loveland was South Jersey’s only qualifier in the Pole Vault.  He matched the best effort of the day with his 13 foot 6 inch clearance but placed 3rd on misses.  He will enter Meet of Champions only 6 inches behind the top seed.  Osemwingie (Joe) Asemota placed 3rd in the shot put with a 52’0.5 effort and was South Jersey’s only Group 3 qualifier.  Mike Grillo of Mainland earned top SJ honors finishing 4th in the High Jump by clearing 6 feet 2 inches on his third and final attempt.  He was followed by Winslow’s Isaiah Jones who placed 6th with a 6 foot clearance.  

Girls Group 3

Winslow Places Second

The Winslow Township Girls Track and Field team has a considerable tradition.  They are known for being tough competitors who come through in the clutch.  A new generation continued that tradition Saturday winning three events at the Group 3 State Championship and just missing a team victory.  They were lead by Sophomore Flora Ahiarakwe who won the 400 in 59.08 seconds and Senior Brittany Preston who won the 55 meter hurdles in 8.27 seconds.  Neither of the newly crowned Winslow State Champions made it out of last years Sectionals in the events they won this year.  Iyianna Williams (61.7), Ahiarakwe (58.8), Nicole Berry (59.7), and Preston (59.8) closed out Winslow’s day with an NJ #2 4:00.02 victory in the 4×400 meter relay.  

Nia Hinds of Burlington Township, who was seeded 18th headed into the meet, ran 60.05 seconds to place 4th in the 400.  Hinds (a competitive cheerleader in her spare time) returned later in the meet to beat out Kai Starnes of Timber Creek on misses in the High Jump.  Both athletes cleared 5 feet 4 inches.  They will be joined by Absegami’s Mariah Hubbard who earned a wildcard with her 5 foot clearance.  

Hubbard’s Absegami teammate Cyann Moyer placed 6th in the hurdles (8.69) and along with wildcard earning Christine Lavallias (8.56) of Timber Creek will join Preston at Meet of Champions.  In the field, Winslow’s Ciarra Johnson lead three South Jersey Qualifiers in the shot put.  Johnson’s throw of 38 feet 10.25 inches placed her 3rd.  Timber Creek’s Gabbriel Harris-David (37’10.25) and Maddie Bradway of Ocean City (37’1.25) finished 4th and 6th respectively.  

After running the fastest time of the day in the prelims of the 55 meter dash (7.36) freshman Alivia Scott of Northern Burlington had to settle for second in the final as she was edged by 1 hundredth of a second.  Scott was followed by 3 additional South Jersey qualifiers.  Donjai Upshaw of Highland Regional was 3rd in 7.42 seconds.  400 meter champion Ahiarakwe was 6th in 7.51 seconds, and Pennsauken’s Brianna Bryan earned a wildcard with her 7.48 seconds prelims effort.

Despite running a new indoor school record, Seneca star Kayla Martin was edged out by two athletes in the 800 meter run.  Her time of 2:15.89 makes her not only 3rd in the race but the 3rd seed at Saturday’s Meet of Champions where she will have a shot at revenge against her top seeded Group 3 rivals.  Two South Jersey Group 3 athletes earned earned wildcards in the event as Highland Regional’s Kalin Priest and Winslow Township’s Nicole Berry ran 2:22.15 and 2:22.68 respectively.  

Three South Jersey Athletes qualified in the 1600 meter run.  Triton’s Kelsey Cummings ran the final 400 meters in 72 seconds and moved from 10th to 4th.  Her 5:14.51 performance made her the first Triton distance athlete to qualify for Meet of Champions since Katie Van Horn back in 2004.  Kingsway’s Destiny Stanford (5:14.90) and Sydny Warner of Seneca (5:19.36) earned wildcards.  

After leading almost the entire race, Cross Country Meet of Champions winner Alyssa Aldridge of Mainland placed second in the 3200 in 10:49.91.  She will enter Saturday’s Meet of Champions looking for revenge as the #2 seed behind Group 3 winner Julia Guerra.  Timber Creek’s Alyssa Condell improved 23 seconds from sectionals to finish 4th in 11:06.31.

Prior to the event Officials informed Seneca’s Rebecca Bohi that she would not be able to compete in the pole vault.  Her pole had a label in an illegal spot.  Coach Karen O’Neil explained that, “this obviously upset her, but fortunately the officials were able to work it out with the help of some of the other coaches.”  Adrenaline now firing Bohi powered to a South Jersey best 2nd place finish with a 10 foot clearance.  Bohi was followed by teammate Brittney Raffo who finished 3rd on misses also with a 10 foot vault.  Abesgami’s Sarah Polistina closed out South Jersey qualification with a 9 foot 6 inch performance.  

Group 2 Boys

Deptford Excel–erates

Deptford’s Tyler Garland shot out of the blocks, floated over the hurdles, roared through the finish running a championship snatching 7.79 seconds in the Group 2 55 meter hurdles.  His victory would set the tone for a Deptford sprint squad that would return later in the day to accomplish a unique feet in school history.  In the 55 meter dash Derrick Clements (3rd, 6.68), Jahmir Ellis (4th, 6.69) and Myles Davis (6th, 6.72) all qualified.  For the first time in school history all three entrants in an event qualified for the Meet of Champions.  

Zavian Bell of Willingboro came in 2nd in the hurdles running 7.84 seconds.  Francis Terry of Sterling bolted out in the 400 running 23.3 seconds for the first 200 of the 400 meters.  He faltered in the last 20 meters but was still South Jersey top Group 2 finisher.  His 51.06 second effort earned him 3rd.  Willingboro’s Tyler Davidson was the only other SJ qualifier running 51.37 for 5th.  

In the 3200 Cinnaminson Junior Mike UngvArsky broke his indoor school record running 9:31.11 for 2nd.  He is the 16th seed headed into Saturday and has a chance to squeak into the fast heat depending on which events multi-event qualifiers choose.  His Cinnaminson teammate Tom Long was South Jersey’s only qualifier in the 800 meters.  He placed 3rd.  His time of 1:59.28 is the best Cinnaminson 800 performance in 9 years.  Delsea’s George Tenenberg earned a wildcard in the 1600 with his time of 4:25.62.  In the final event of the day, the 4×400 relay, Willingboro was the top SJ finisher as Michael Walker, Tyler Davidson, Zavian Bell, and Tyshon Hernandez teamed up for 3rd in 3:31.68.  Deptford also qualified with a time of 3:34.93.  

The top South Jersey field performance came in the pole vault where Delsea’s Jarrod Brovero skied to a 14 foot win.  He was followed by his vaulting teammate Nick Clark who qualified as a wildcard with his 12 foot 6 inch clearance.  The top finisher in the high jump was Myles Davis of Deptford who tied for 6th by clearing 6 feet.  Enaje Johnson-Hutto of Oakcrest lead the way in the shot put with a 49’0.75 throw for 3rd.  He was followed by Deptford Senior Marcus Carter who threw 48 feet 4.25 inches for 5th.   

Group 2 Girls

Taylor and Lester Shine

Sophomore Aliyah Taylor of Pemberton is new to indoor track.  That hasn’t stopped her from putting a Hornet shaped mark on South Jersey Sprinting.  According to Coach Sophia Ard, “She has a high motivation and commitment along with a strong ability to focus on and off the track (she has a 4.625 GPA).”  She started her day by taking on the incomparable Deptford Senior Kiara Lester in the 400.  Lester edged her running a SJ leading 56.79 seconds (Taylor ran 57.57).  She then returned to action by out dueling Lester in the 55 meter dash where she dropped an New Jersey leading 7.11 second performance.  Not to be outdone, Lester returned in the 4×400 meters teaming with Camryn Tirado, Kayla Tucker, and Jayla Harrison.  Lester’s anchor split of 56.6 seconds sealed the victory for Deptford (4:06.30).  Cecelia Gerstenbacher was the 3rd South Jersey finisher in the 55 where she ran 7.21 seconds for 4th and the 400 where she placed 5th in 58.50 seconds.  

Lenaami Morton of Camden was South Jersey only other Group 2 Champion.  She won the 55 hurdles by a margin just shy of 3 tenths of a second.  Her time of 8.37 seconds makes her the 6th seed headed into the Meet of Champions.  Sydney Coppolino took the lead with about 500 meters to go in the 800 but couldn’t hold on as he placed 3rd with a time of 2:21.65.  Her sister Madison Coppolino had breakout race and set a personal record of 5:11.97 to place 4th in the 1600.  Delsea’s Katie Rauscher was the only SJ qualifier in the 3200 with a time of 11:09.29.  

Quinn Bithell of Lower Cape May lead the way in the field with a 5’2 clearance in the high jump.  The effort earned her 3rd and a 2 inch victory over Lauren Tigue of West Deptford and Janell Rowe of Sterling.  Rowe’s performance was a personal record and a unique surprise as she uses the unconventional scissor kick method.  Coach Jeff McLlavine explained that they use the strategy to “utilize her extremely long legs.”  Elisia Lancaster of Delsea was the sole SJ qualifier in the shot put with a 4th place effort of 39 feet 8 inches.

Boys Non-Public A

Paul VI Runs to 4×4 Glory

Paul VI will enter Saturday’s New Jersey Meet of Champions as the top seed in the 4×400 thanks to a Non-Public A Championship winning effort by Maxwell Dickens, Richard Bush, Antonio Tarantino, and Stefone Moore-Green.  Thier time of 3:25.59 bested runner up Christian Brothers Academy by nearly 4 second.  Camden Catholic was South Jersey’s second qualifier in the event running 3:34.34 for 5th despite not being at full strength.  4×400 teammates Dickens and Tarantino also qualified in individual events.  Dickens ran 7.78 seconds in the 55 hurdles for 2nd, and Tarantino cleared 6 feet for 4th in the high jump.  The only other South Jersey qualifiers from this section were Marc Reeder of St. Augustine and Austin Olson of Paul VI who finished 2nd and 5th respectively in the pole vault.  Reeder cleared 12 feet 6 while Olson scaled 11 feet.  

Girls Non-Public A

4 Athletes Impress

Sarah Jones of Bishop Eustace punched her ticket to Meet of Champions with a 8.72 second 3rd place finish in the high hurdles.  Paul VI’s Bernadette McGowan was South Jersey top field performer as he placed 3rd in the shot put with a 37 foot 11.5 inch performance.  Bishop Eustace Freshman Katy Storti ran 5:19.64 in the 1600 and earned her way to winter’s biggest meet. Finally Zarria Williams ran a personal record to qualify out of the unseeded heat in the 400 with a 61.46 6th place effort.  

Boys Non-Public B

Eustace Wins Big

The Bishop Eustace Boys Winter Track team outlasted their competitor by winning 5 events and scoring in all but one event.  The outstanding team effort earned the Crusaders a 29 point victory over Hudson Catholic.  Individual State Championships were won by Jack Smith in the 55 meter dash (6.72), Philip Sobocinski in the 800 (2:03.63), Nick Hutchison in the 3200 (9:52.54),  Sebastian Fenerty in the 55 hurdles (8.14) and Evan Adams in the High Jump (6’0).  Other Eustace scorers included Jason Varley who finished 4th in the 55 (6.80), Sean May 6th in the 800 (2:08.63), Hutchinson 2nd (4:31.58) and Connor Melko 5th (4:37.48) in the 1600, Michael Dziuba in the 3200 (10:15.19), Evan Adams (8.25) and Cameron Acito (8.63) in the hurdles, Michael Fisher who was 2nd in the pole vault (10’0), Montel Johnson who placed 6th in the shot put (43’4) and the 4×400 team of Acito, Daniel Hullihan, May, and Adams who finished 2nd (3:46.93).  The only non-Eustace qualifier was St. Joseph’s of Hammonton’s Salaam Horne who finished 2nd in the 55 (6.73).  

Girls Non-Public B

Young Runs to a Win

Asia Young of Holy Spirit was South Jersey’s only Champion at the Girls Non-Public B Championship.  Her 61.45 second victory edged Ryan Webb of Hudson Catholic by a tenth of a second in the 400.  She returned to cap off the meet by joining teammates Ayana Plummer, Isabella Desairo, and Kristy Goff who fought off injuries and illness to finish second with a time of 4:21.98.   

C.H. East’s Groff moves up on all-time S.J. 3,200 indoor list … Way up!

step0001-1In the span of a week, Aaron Groff has lowered his indoor 3,200 PR from 9:32.33 to 9:16.09.

That is quite a drop.

And there’s a good chance there’s more to come.

Groff, the Cherry Hill East senior, matched up with Freehold Township’s Jake Konig in a terrific battle at the Group 4 state meet this weekend at Toms River, and although Konig edged Groff across the line, Groff set a new indoor or outdoor PR.

Konig won in 9:15.49, with Groff a step behind in 9:16.09. Nobody else in the race broke 9:23.

Groff’s previous PR indoors or outdoors was 9:17.32, set at last year’s outdoor Meet of Champions, where he finished 10th in a very fast race.

Konig’s previous PR came in the same race, a 9:20.26 four spots behind Groff. His previous indoor PR was a 9:31.04 at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectionals.

For Groff, it’s quite a breakthrough with the Meet of Champions and Easterns and possibly nationals still to come.

His time is No. 11 in South Jersey history indoors. Here’s the complete list, using the standard .9942 conversion factor from two miles to 3,200 meters:

  • 8:58.81 ….. Jonathan Vitez [Haddonfield], 2010
  • 9:11.1y ..… Mike Butynes [Sterling], 1970
  • 9:11.2y ..… Mike Elder [Haddon Twp.], 1974
  • 9:11.86y … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2002
  • 9:11.9y ….. Johnny Englehardt [Willingboro], 1976
  • 9:13.33 ….. Michael Rankin [Paul VI], 2010
  • 9:13.93 ….. Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2011
  • 9:14.31 ….. Jimmy Daniels [Sterling], 2013
  • 9:15.8y ….. Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978
  • 9:15.82y … Kevin Pumphrey [Highland], 1986
  • 9:16.09 ….. Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2016

Curiously, seven of those 11 times come from Camden County schools, with just four from the rest of South Jersey — two from Burlington County, two  from Gloucester County.

Also interesting that of those 11 times, four are from the 1970s, then just two from 1979 through 2009, then five from the last seven years.

Groff is coming off a XC season in which he was a Nike National Cross finalist and third-place finisher at the Meet of Champs with a ridiculous 15:39.

Groff, a serious swimmer earlier in his athletic career, has signed to run for Penn, where he’ll be a freshman in the fall.