Cherry Hill East wins Woodbury DMR for first time in 29 years and blasts meet record along the way!!!

It took 40 years for the record to fall.

In 1976, Toms River South set a Woodbury Relays DMR record of 10:24.8 over 2 1/2 miles, a performance that converts to 10:20.86 for the currently run 4,000 meters.

Rancocas Valley came close to eclipsing that mark last year with a 10:24.92, a mark that was considered a co-record since it’s faster than Toms River South’s time but for a shorter distance and converts to a slightly slower time.

Now there’s only one record.

And it belongs to Cherry Hill East.

Aaron Groff’s 4:18 anchor led the Cougars to the fastest distance medley time in New Jersey this year, a 10:19.90 school record that easily won the Group 4 race at the 44th annual Woodbury Relays Saturday.

This is Cherry Hill East’s first Woodbury Relays DMR title in 29 years.

More on that later.

Since East’s time is both faster than Toms River South’s 1976 time and faster than South’s converted time, East gets sole possession of the record, although meet officials could elect to list both, since they were achieved at different distances.

Nonetheless, this was the greatest DMR effort ever at Woodbury.

Cole Parsons opened with a 3:11 for 1,200 meters, Kyle Encarnacion split 51 seconds, Isaiah Jean-Baptiste ran 1:57 and Groff anchored in 4:18 to set East up nicely for the Penn Relays in two weeks.

The Cougars’ time is No. 9 in the U.S., according to the Milesplit national rankings.

Complete Woodbury Relays results are here.

Cherry Hill East finished 85 meters ahead of Rancocas Valley, second in 10:32.85.

The Cougars moved into the No. 11 spot on the all-time South Jersey list, but they are only 1.2 seconds out of sixth, and they should be able to find those 1.2 seconds — and more — at Penn.

Cherry Hill East’s previous school record came at Woodbury last year, when a team that also included Jean-Baptiste and Groff ran 10:23.98 for second to Rancocas Valley. Seniors Dan Helmand and Vladimir Theophile also ran on that team.

Note that the top 13 times in South Jersey history were all achieved by schools in either Camden or Burlington County.

  • 10:00.9 … Willingboro, 1983
  • 10:10.74 … Washington Twp., 2000
  • 10:10.6 … Haddon Township, 1973
  • 10:16.11 … Cherokee, 2001
  • 10:16.14 … Haddonfield, 2010
  • 10:16.29 … Highland, 1991
  • 10:18.74 … Shawnee, 1991
  • 10:19.11 … Washington Twp., 2009
  • 10:19.47 … Cherokee, 2012
  • 10:19.67 … Haddon Twp., 2015 [Penn]
  • 10:19.90 … Cherry Hill East, 2016
  • 10:20.92 … Rancocas Valley, 2015
  • 10:20.98 … Northern Burlington, 2014
  • 10:21.78 … Cherokee, 1998
  • 10:22.9 ….. Paul VI, 1988
  • 10:23.1y … Holy Cross, 1972

Cherry Hill East last won the Woodbury distance medley in 1987 with a 10:47.5. Here’s a look at the last 30 Group 4 distance medley winners at Woodbury:

    • 2016: Cherry Hill East, 10:19.90
    • 2015: Rancocas Valley, 10:20.92
    • 2014: Kingsway, 10:31.12
    • 2013: Rancocas Valley, 10:42.82
    • 2012: Vineland, 10:34.88
    • 2011: Egg Harbor, 10:49.09
    • 2010: Cherokee, 10:38.4
    • 2009: Oakcrest, 10:37.7
    • 2008: Washington Twp., 10:35.9
    • 2007: Washington Twp., 10:44.54
    • 2006: Washington Twp., 10:50.1
    • 2005: Vineland, 10:59.5
    • 2004: Toms River North, 10:32.6
    • 2003: Toms River North, 10:41.54
    • 2002: Cherokee, 10:29.91
    • 2001: Eastern, 10:32.1
    • 2000: Cherokee, 10:28.0
    • 1999: Washington Twp., 10:35.4
    • 1998: Cherokee, 10:26.3
    • 1997: Overbrook, 10:49.2
    • 1996: Cherokee, 10:44.2
    • 1995: Highland, 10:46.7
    • 1994: Highland, 10:52.9
    • 1993: Shawnee, 10:52.0
    • 1992: Shawnee, 10:31.4
    • 1991: Highland, 10:28.7
    • 1990: Cherokee, 10:33.7
    • 1989: Paul VI, 10:30.1
    • 1988: Brick Township, 10:51.3
    • 1987: Cherry Hill East, 10:47.5

I knew there was a reason I’ve been keeping complete Woodbury Relays results since the 1987 season!

While we’re on the topic, let’s take a look at the 10-fastest Woodbury Relays distance medley performances over the years, regardless of group. I converted races run at yards just for the purposes of this list. Some non-winning marks from the meet’s earlier years are not available.

  • 10:19.90 … Cherry Hill East, 2016 [Group 4]
  • 10:20.86 … Toms River South, 1976 [Group 4]
  • 10:20.92 … Rancocas Valley, 2015 [Group 4
  • 10:22.62 … Haddon Twp., 2015 [Group 1]
  • 10:23.98 … Cherry Hill East, 2015 [Group 4]
  • 10:24.40 … Pleasantville, 2013 [Group 2]
  • 10:24.4 ….. Eastern, 1985 [Group 3]
  • 10:25.31 … Northern Burlington, 2014 [Group 3]
  • 10:26.3 ….. Cherokee, 1998 [Group 4]
  • 10:28.0 ….. Cherokee, 2000 [Group 4]
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Cinnaminson girls run school record & Penn qualifying hopeful with Holmdel Twilight 4-by-8 win!

All the Cinnaminson girls 4-by-8 team did Thursday evening was run the fastest time in South Jersey this year, break the school record, win the Holmdel Twilight Series race and — hopefully — post a Penn Relays qualifier.

Senior Olivia Rocks, junior Andrew Benites, sophomore Tina Harrell and sophomore Haley Adams ran 9:49.26, edging Sterling (9:49.53) for the win.

Cinnaminson will learn on Monday whether they’re in the field for the Small School 3,200-Meter Relay at the 122nd annual Penn Relays in two weeks at Franklin Field.

But their time is No. 3 in New Jersey this spring, behind only perennial powerhouse Ridgewood, which went out to California to run 9:28.62 last weekend, and Summit, which ran 9:43.32 at its own Summit Relays on April 2.

The Pirates’ time is already fastest by a BCSL school in three years, since Rancocas Valley ran 9:31.49 at the Burlington County Open in 2013.

Rocks led off with a 2:28.5, followed by Benites in 2:27.5, Harrell with a 2:30.9 in her first race of the year and Adams with a 2:22.2 anchor.

Rowan hurdlers Benjamin & Salemo off to smoking fast starts outdoors

High hurdler David Benjamin and intermediate hurdler Anthony Salemo are both off to hot starts this spring for Rowan University’s track team.

Benjamin, a versatile sophomore jumper, sprinter and hurdler from Freehold Township, already has a 14.42 to his credit in the 110-meter highs this spring from the Emory Invitational last month. That ranks No. 2 in NCAA Division 3 behind only indoor national champ Luke Campbell of Salisbury (Md.), who ran 14.04 at the Colonial Relays.

Benjamin also has a 10.94 100 and a 6-2 3/4 high jump under his belt this spring. He’s a returning All-America in the high hurdles for the Profs after placing seventh at indoor nationals in Grinnell, Iowa, and winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference title.

At Freehold Township, Benjamin was a sectional champ in the high jump and participated in just about every other event at some point before graduating in 2011.

Salemo, a sophomore from Ramsey, has already run a lifetime PR, and we’re not even halfway through April.

Salemo came into the season with a PR of 53.77, set at a meet on his home track in Glassboro last April, but he broke that with a 53.75 on the same track in his first 400 IH outing of the season. That’s No. 5 in Division 3.

Salemo led a 1-2-3 Rowan sweet in the Oscar Moore Invitational, with Christopher Mesiano of Schalick second in 54.45 and Ulysses Santos of Bloomfield High School third in 54.81.

Mesiano and Santos are 17th and 24th on the D-3 list, giving Rowan three of the 24-fastest intermediate hurdlers in the country.

Rowan will be in Baltimore this weekend for the Johns Hopkins/Loyola Invitational on Saturday.

 

The fastest hurdler in the world is from South Jersey! She just won a world title & had a baby!

4f1a8677-71c7-40c4-ad81-82f7d2426332-1Add another world championship to Nia Ali’s loaded resume.

Add mom, as well.

Ali, a Philadelphia native and Pleasantville High School graduate, won the 60-meter high hurdles by 1-100th of a second at the IAAF World Championships in Portland, Ore., and came within 2-100ths of her personal-best time.

It was her second consecutive indoor world title, following two years after she won the 2014 championship with a 7.80 in Sopot, Poland.

And she did it soon after having a child, a little boy named titus.

Ali ran 7.91 in the trials and went into the final significantly behind Americans Kendra Harrison and Brianna Rollins, who ran 7.81 and 7.82 in the trials.

But the final was a different story.

Using a 0.137 reaction time, Ali got out fast and crossed the line in 7.81, 1-100th of a second ahead of Rollins, with Harrison never in the race. Ali’s time was No. 3 in the world this year, behind Rollins (7.76) and Harrison (7.77).

“I’m so overwhelmed,” Ali said, holding Titus while talking to reporters covering the meet in Eugene. “I’m so happy my son and my family got to see me win. Titus probably won’t remember these moments, but it means a lot to me.”

Ali is only the second woman to win consecutive high hurdles titles in the world indoor championships, a meet that began in Paris in 1985.

American LoLo Jones won in 2008 and 2010.

Ali won in 2014 by 5-100ths of a second over Australian Sally Pearson, who had won the 2012 title in Istanbul.

“In the hurdles, it’s always close. It’s anybody’s race,” Ali said. “I had the best race of my season, and it couldn’t have fallen on a better day.”

Here’s a list of all the indoor high hurdles world champions:

  • 2016 … Nia Ali (USA), 7.81
  • 2014 … Nia Ali (USA), 7.80
  • 2012 … Sally Pearson (AUS), 7.73
  • 2010 … LoLo Jones (USA), 7.72
  • 2008 … Lolo Jones (USA) 7.80
  • 2006 … Derval O’Rourke (IRE), 7.84
  • 2004 … Perdita Felicien (CAN), 7.75
  • 2003 … Gail Devers (USA), 7.81
  • 2001 … Anjanette Kirkland (USA), 7.85
  • 1999 … Olga Shishigini (KAZ), 7.86
  • 1997 … Michelle Freeman (JAM), 7.82
  • 1995 … Aliuska Lopez (CUB), 7.92
  • 1993 … Julie Baumann (SUI), 7.96
  • 1991 … Lyudmila Narozhilenko (URS), 7.88
  • 1989 … Yelizaveta Chernyshova (URS), 7.82
  • 1987 … Cornelia Oschkenat (GDR), 7.82
  • 1985 … Xenia Siska (HUN), 8.03

“Being a mother and a professional athlete can sometimes be a struggle,” Ali said. “But I can’t take the full credit for this, because I have an amazing support system.”

Here’s the all-time IAAF World Championships 60-meter hurdles performance list:

7.72 … Lolo Jones (USA), 2010 [1st]
7.73 … Sally Pearson (AUS), 2012 [1st]
7.75 … Perdita Felicien (CAN), 2004 [1st]
7.78 … Gail Devers (USA), 2004 [2nd]
7.79* … Sally Pearson (AUS), 2014 [—]
7.80** … Gail Devers (USA), 2003 [—]
7.80 … Lolo Jones (USA), 2008 [1st]
7.80 … Nia Ali (USA), 2014 [1st]
7.81 … Gail Devers (USA), 2003 [1st]
7.81** … Sally Pearson (AUS), 2014 [—]
7.81 … NIa Ali (USA), 2016 [1st]
7.82 … Cornelia Oschkenat (GDR), 1987 [1st]
7.82 … Yelizaveta Chernyshova (USR), 1989 [1st]
7.82 … Michelle Freeman (JAM), 1997 [1st]
7.82 … Linda Ferga-Khodadin [FRA], 2004 [3rd]
7.82** … Lolo Jones (USA), 2008 [—]
7.82 … Brianna Rollins (USA), 2014 [2nd]
7.82** … Brianna Rollins (USA), 2014 [—]
7.83 … Lyudmila Narozhilenko (URS), 1989 [2nd]
7.83** … Perdita Felicien (CAN), 2004 [—]
7.83** … Joanna Hayes (USA), 2004 [—]
7.84 … Gillian Russell (JAM), 1997 [2nd]
7.84 … Cheryl Dickey (USA), 1997 [=3rd]
7.84 … Patricia Girard (FRA), 1997 [=3rd]
7.84 … Derval O’Rourke (IRE), 2006 [1st]
7.84* … Josephine Onyia (ESP), 2008 [—]
7.85 … Yordanka Donkova (BUL), 1987 [2nd]
7.85 … Anjanette Kirkland [USA], 2001 [1st]
7.85* … Sally Pearson (AUS), 2012 [—]
7.85 … Sally Pearson (AUS), 2014 [2014]
* – trials
** _ semifinals

“I’m very happy,” Rollins said. “To be able to share that 1-2 with a good friend is really exciting. (Ali) just had a baby so to see her go out and perform that well is really exciting.”

Ali, by the way, opened her 2016 outdoor season by jumping in a low-key meet in California – the Sam Adams Combined Events Championships at Westmont College in Santa Barbara — and competing in the heptathlon, her first in seven years. She scored 5,779 points, earning an early No. 18 world ranking with a sixth-place finish.

She ran 12.94 along the way in her first outdoor hurdles race, No. 5 in the world. She also went 5-10 in the high jump.

Woodard closes out indoors with All-America status in shot put!!!!!

Cherokee graduate Jessica Woodard, now a sophomore at Oklahoma, earned her first All-Amerca award after placing eighth in the shot put at the NCAA indoor championships in Birmingham, Ala.

Woodard PR’d yet again with a 55-11. She was 12th seed entering the meet, so she moved up four spots from her seeding. Her previous PR was 55-7.

Woodard, whose PR was 51-8 1/4 coming into the indoor season, now ranks third on the  Oklahoma all-time indoor list, behind Tia Brooks (63-0 3/4 in 2013) and Karen Shump (58-11 1/2 in 2011).

Woodard’s high school PR was 47-1 1/4, and her best throw as a freshman was a 50-10 3/4, so her improvement has been consistently tremendous.

After a 54-6 3/4 on her first throw of the trials, Woodard popped her 55-11 on her second throw. She fouled on her next three throws — her final throw of the trials and her first two in the finals — before finishing with a 55-3 on her sixth and final attempt.

Her big throw earned Woodard a No .24 ranking among all U.S. women and a No.52 ranking on the 2016 world indoor list. She’s No. 2 among sophomores, behind only NCAA champ and world No. 5 Raven Saunders of Mississippi, who has thrown 63-1 1/4.

Woodard has a 178-0 career best in the discus. Her outdoor shot PR is 53-8 1/4.