Maxwell Dickens enjoyed a spectacular Day 1 at the state track championships with two PRs, a state championship, 18 team points and one 2016 South Jersey No. 1 performance.
And he’s got two more events to go on Saturday!
Dickens, a Paul VI senior, won the 400-meter intermediates at the state Parochial A track championships at Egg Harbor in 53.30, the fastest time in South Jersey this year and a personal-best. His previous PR was 53.90, which got him third at in the Emerging Elite division at the New Balance Nationals last spring in Greensboro.
Dickens won by a whopping 12 meters over junior Tim Jacoutet of Christian Brothers Academy, who placed second in 54.77.
Dickens’ time is No. 3 in the state this year and fastest by any South Jersey intermediate hurdler since Alex Reber of Cherry Hill East ran 52.92 at the 2013 Olympic Conference meet in Pennsauken.
He placed second to Union Catholic All-America Taylor McLaughlin last year and fifth behind three Union Catholic runners and Camden’s Benny Walls as a sophomore.
He’s the first Paul VI runner to win a state title in the intermediates in 25 years. Phil Alicea won the Parochial A title in 1991 in 54.38. Alicea also won the highs in 14.39 and anchored Paul VI’s relay team, which won in 3:24.41.
Dickens on Friday also ran a PR of 48.86 to take second in the open 400 behind Mike Zupko of Christian Brothers Academy, who won in 48.51. That’s a big PR down from 49.51 at last year’s Meet of Champions. Dickens was the No. 4 seed in the 400.
The last Paul VI state champion was high jumper Brett Pierce in 2008 and 2009.
Can Dickens win a second state title? Or a third?
PVI’s last double winner at states was a thrower – Matt Deliso won the shot (51-7) and discus (152-10) at the 2003 Parochial A state meet at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville.
Dickens shares the No. 1 seed in today’s 110-meter high hurdles at 14.42 along with Shawn Ohazuruike of Delbarton. Jacoutot is just behind at 14.65 so it could be a wild three-man final.
He’s also on Paul VI’s top-seeded 1,600-meter relay team, so it could be quite a weekend for the Lawnside native.
PVI is No. 1 seed in the 4-by-4 by more than three seconds with its 3:23.66 from sectionals but is also No. 1 in New Jersey this year with its 3:16.53 from the Woodbury Relays back in April.