There are PRs and then there are PRs. And then there’s what Kevin Fox just did.
Good grief! This is an all-time PR!
Fox, racing Tuesday night at the Haddonfield Distance Night, demolished his 800 PR of 1:57.15 and ran 1:52.60 to edge Haddonfield’s Greg Pelose on a perfect night for racing.
That’s right, 1:52.60.
No. 1 in Burlington County, No. 1 in South Jersey, No. 1 in New Jersey.
Yes, that is a 4.55-second PR in a race where PRs generally are recorded in fractions of a second.
Fox, ranked No. 38 in New Jersey coming into the day, is now the state’s fastest half-miler. Michael Thurston of Ridgewood had been No. 1 at 1:52.79.
Fox ran his previous PR of 1:57.15 in the same meet on the same track last year. His fastest time this year was a 1:57.52 Saturday at the Burlington County Open in Mount Holly, where he was second to Isaiah Curnello of Rancocas Valley.
His time is No. 17 in South Jersey history, and he’s the fastest junior in New Jersey in three years.
Since Novak in 2005, the only South Jersey underclassman to run faster than Fox is Oakcrest’s Ishmael Muhammad, who ran 1:51.79 at the state Group 3 meet in 2013. Muhammad is now at Villanova and ran on the Wildcats’ Big East-champion 1,600-meter relay team earlier this month.
Fox’s time is fifth-fastest in Burlington County history and fastest since Matt Poskus of Cinnaminson ran 1:52.37 in 2007. He’s the No. 2 junior in county history, behind Rob Novak, who ran 1:51.38 as an 11th-grader at Westampton Tech racing for Bordentown.
Fox broke a 53-year-old school record. The previous mark was 1:55.4 over 880 yards by Barey Middleton in 1963.
Middleton had a heck of a career at Moorestown, winning four state championships and earning honorable mention honors on the NJ.com Team of the Decade for the 1960s.
He was the state Group 1-2 combined XC champ as a senior, running 12:39.9 over 2 1/2 miles in the fall of 1962 and he won state Group 2 mile titles in 1962 and 1963 – 4:35.2 in 1962 and 4:25.9 in 1963. He was also state indoor Group 2 champ in 1963 with a 4:43.4.
Middleton went on to serve several years in the U.S. Navy and was a firefighter in Moorestown for nearly 20 years. He served as a detective for more than 20 years with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. Middleton passed away in 2012.
OK, time to check out the updated all-time South Jersey 800-meter list:
- 1:48.52 … Ishmael Muhammad [Oakcrest], 2014
- 1:49.7h … Rich Caton [Woodbury], 1979
- 1:49.74 … Fred Sharpe [Paulsboro], 1997
- 1:49.84 … Rob Novak [Bordentown], 2005
- 1:50.12 … Isaac Clark [Pleasantville], 2013
- 1:50.30 … Jacob Clark [Pleasantville], 2013
- 1:50.67 … John Richardson [Ocean City], 2003
- 1:50.8h … Vance Watson [Willingboro], 1983
- 1:51.02 … Derrell Manhertz [Kingsway], 2013
- 1:51.6h … Sam Summerville [Holy Spirit], 1976
- 1:51.8h … Cliff Beckford [Vineland], 1991
- 1:51.84 … Shannon Sherrer [Vineland], 2003
- 1:52.1h … Greg Honsby [Rancocas Valley], 1974
- 1:52.21 … Leaquan James [Vineland], 2013
- 1:52.24 … Ford Palmer [Absegami], 2009
- 1:52.37 … Matt Poskus [Cinnaminson], 2007
- 1:52.60 … Kevin Fox [Moorestown], 2016