In only her 2nd career HS long jump competition, Tionna Tobias made NJ track and field history!!!!!

When the long jump ended at Easterns Tuesday night, Tionna Tobias sat at the start of the runway looking disappointed while a friend from Timber Creek’s track team consoled her.

Then the results were distributed. Turns out Tobias had nothing to be disappointed about.

Tobias, a freshman competing in the long jump for only the second time as a high schooler, had placed third with an 18-9 jump – the best jump ever indoors by a New Jersey freshman and overall No. 5 in South Jersey history!

According to the MileSplit data base, Tobias had only long jumped once previously this year — she went 16-8 for fifth at the Bishop Laughlin Games in December at the 168th Street Armory.

Because the New Jersey state meet series doesn’t have a long jump, that was it until Easterns, also at the Armory.

And Tobias blew up.

She PR’d at 17-6 1/2 with her first jump, extended that to 18-1 on her second and then bombed her 18-9 on her final jump of the trials. She then went 17-3 1/2, 18-3 and 18-2 3/4 on her three jumps in the finals.

So she got six legal jumps and averaged 18-2 3/4 on those six jumps.

The previous state freshman record indoors was 18-0 1/4, set in 2001 by Collette DeBenedetto of Mountain Lakes. Outdoors it’s 20-5, set in 1981 by Olympian Carol Lewis of Willingboro.

Tobias is also the No. 1 freshman in the U.S. so far, nearly four inches ahead of Nyla Ward of T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, Va., who jumped 18-5 1/4 at the Virginia High School Group 6A State Indoor Championships at the Boo Williams Complex in Hampton, Va., last weekend.

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

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

Tobias moved pretty far up the all-time state list, as well — No. 21 overall.

Tobias isn’t just a long jumper. She placed in two events at sectionals, taking fourth in the 55-meter dash in 7.56 and fifth in the high jump at 5-0. Winslow won the team title 75-67 over Delsea.

She also ran a leg on Winslow’s 800-meter relay team at Easterns. That group, which also included Brittany Preston, Flora Ahiarakwe and Iyianna Williams, ran 1:43.85 in the trials and 1:43.01 in the finals.

That’s No. 2 in New Jersey this year and No. 1 among South Jersey schools.

The discerning reader will notice that there is another Tobias on the all-time South Jersey list. That’s Tacquaya Tobias, a multiple state champion at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Newfield and Tiona’s older sister. She was a 19-9 jumper for Duquesne.

Here’s a nice story by Mike McGarry of the Atlantic City Press on the Tobias family, including Greg, who is the middle child and ran track and played football for St. Augustine – OLMA’s sister school – before attending Syracuse: Click here. Their parents, Gregory and Rosalind Tobias, founded the Omega Track Club to help young athletes in the South Jersey area excel in track and field.


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