Gess becomes 5th S.J. girl in history to record 3 straight M-of-C wins!!!!!

Haddonfield’s Briana Gess wins mile races so routinely it’s easy to forget just how special a runner she’s been the last three years.

On Wednesday, Gess won the 1,600 for the third straight year at the Meet of Champions, joining Carol Lewis, Erin Donohue, Jess Woodard and Michelle Brown as the fifth South Jersey girl in meet history to win an event three straight years.

Gets ran a meet-record 4:45.97 in 2014, 4:48.05 last year and 4:50.09 this year. If she wins the 1,600 next year, she’ll become the seventh girl in state history and the first in South Jersey in nearly four decades to win four straight titles in the same event.

Christina Cancan of West Windsor-Plainsboro South and Ciara Roche of Freehold Township finished ahead of Gess at the indoor Meet of Champions this winter, and Gess was also eighth at Millrose. But she has never lost a 1,600 or mile race outdoors against high school-only competition.

Let’s take a look at all the three-time winners in Meet of Champions history. Not surprisingly, there are many, many more girls than boys due to the fact that girls track generally features a non-linear improvement path, while boys for the most part consistently improve throughout their four years.

OK, let’s take a look at all the boys and girls who’ve won at least three straight Meet of  Champions titles in the same event since the inception of the meet in 1969 (the girls started in 1978):

BOYS
3 in a row
Ray Maragni [Seton Hall], Pole Vault [1981, 1982, 1983]
Matt Elmuccio [Westfield], 1,600-Meter Run [1995, 1996, 1997]
Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 3,200-Meter Run [1997, 1998, 1999]
Terrence Glover [Trenton], Discus [1997, 1998, 1999]
Glenn DiGiorgio [Bayonne], Shot Put [2000, 2001, 2002]
Glenn DiGiorgio [Bayonne], Discus [2000, 2001, 2002]
Nick Vena [Morristown], Shot Put [2008, 2009, 2010, 2011]
Sam Mattis [East Brunswick], Discus [2010, 2011, 2012]

GIRLS
4 in a Row
Joetta Clark [Columbia], 880/800 [1977, 1978, 1979, 1980]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [1978, 1979, 1980, 1981]
Jodie Bilotta [North Hunterdon], 3,200 [1985, 1986, 1987, 1988]
Chris Engel [Mount Olive], 1,600 [1989, 1990, 1991, 1992]
Danielle Tauro [Southern Regional], 1,600 [2004, 2005, 2006, 2007]
Olivia Baker [Columbia], 400 [2011, 2012, 2013, 2014]
3 in a row
Sharon Redact [Monmouth], Shot Put [1975, 1976, 1977]
Mary Banks [Raritan], Two-Mile [1977, 1978, 1979]
Pam Dukes [Freehold Twp.], Shot Put [1980, 1981, 1982]
Andrea Johnson [Plainfield], 400 Hurdles [1981, 1982, 1983]
Tatiana Smolin [Randolph], High Jump [1983, 1984, 1985]
Jodie Bilotta [North Hunterdon], 1,600 [1986, 1987, 1988]
Sandi Everett [Hillsborough], High Jump [1989, 1990, 1991]
Moral Chokshi [Bridgewater], 3,200 [1991, 1992, 1993]
Kathy Kilar {North Edison], High Jump [1994, 1995, 1996]
Sara Beth Cullen [Red Bank], Shot Put [1996, 1997, 1998]
Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1,600 [1999, 2000, 2001]
Kim Mineo [Glen Rock], 800 [2001, 2002, 2003]
Michelle Brown [Seneca], 400 [2008, 2009, 2010]
Myasia Jacobs [Paramus Catholic], 100 [2009. 2010, 2011]
Myasia Jacobs [Paramus Catholic], 200 [2009. 2010, 2011]
Jill Smith [Southern Reg.], 800 [2007, 2008, 2009]
Jessica Woodard [Cherokee], Discus [2011, 2012, 2013]
Keturah Orji [Mount Olive], Long Jump [2012, 2013, 2014]
Keturah Orji [Mount Olive], Triple Jump [2012, 2013, 2014]
Sydney McLaughlin [Union Catholic], 400 Hurdles [2014, 2015, 2016]
Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 1,600 [2014, 2015, 2016]

So the only schools that have produced two different three-time winners are Haddonfield, with Gess and Donohue; Mount Olive, with Engel an Orji; and Columbia, with Clark and Baker.

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