Rancocas Valley boys run fastest South Jersey 4×4 in NINE YEARS to finish big weekend at Penn Relays!!!

Rancocas Valley broke the school record in the 4-by-4 by two seconds Saturday.

Then R.V. broke the school record in the 4-by-4 by two seconds Saturday again.

Rancocas Valley, which has one of the oldest and richest track and field traditions in South Jersey, had never run sub-3:20 until the Penn Relays.

On Saturday afternoon, the Red Devils won the South Jersey 1,600-Meter Relay at Penn with a 3:18.10 and 4 1/2 hours later, R.V. placed a close second to Howard Tech of Wilmington in the Philadelphia Area Championship Race with a 3:16.33. Howard Tech ran 3:16.32.

Get this: That’s the fastest time by a South Jersey 4-by-4 in NINE YEARS!

Rob Hawkins (49.52), Sam Keleekai (48.68), Vincent Brown (50.24) and Brian Merriman (47.91) ran the No. 2 time in New Jersey this year, behind only Cory Poole and East Orange Campus, who ran 3:13.92 at Penn.

Rancocas Valley’s time is  fastest by a South Jersey 4-by-4 since 2008, when Absegami, led by Geof Navarro and Demetrius Rooks, ran 3:15.77 and Winslow, anchored by Barry Cephas, ran 3:16.13 to place first and second in the Meet of Champions.

It’s the fastest time by a Burlington County school since Willingboro ran 3:15.31 for second to Seton Hall Prep at the 2007 Meet of Champions.

Previous school record was 3:20.04 at last year’s Burlington County Open, on the Red Devils’ home track.

R.V’s record in the mile relay is 3:22.1, when Dave Ortega, Chris Harkins, John Stevenson and Andy Robinson won the 1976 South Jersey Group 4 title. That would convert to a 3:20.9 for the 4-by-400.

Interesting to note that Merriman is the son of Darryl Merriman, who was state Group 4 champ in the intermediate hurdles in 1982 running for Fred Rucker at Willingboro with a 53.1 and also won sectional titles that year in both the highs and intermediates.

The evolution of the 1,600-meter relay is pretty interesting.

Once upon a time, the 4-by-4 ruled in South Jersey.

Up through 1979, no South Jersey school had run faster than 3:17. Then six did it between 1980 and 1985 and then nobody did it for 10 years. Then from 1996 through 2008, 23 schools went sub-3:17 in the span of 13 years. Those were the glory days of the 4-by-4.

Heck, at the 2001 Meet of Champions, 3:13.85 got you third place! Two years later, 3:11.24 got you second!!!

But since 2009, a span of nine years, only four schools have broken 3:17 and none of them ran faster than 3:16.53.

Until Saturday.

Here’s a look at the all-time South Jersey 4-by-4 list. So RV’s time is No. 31 in South Jersey history but fastest since 2008!

3:09.91 … Camden, 2001
3:10.47 … Winslow Twp., 2003
3:11.24 … Willingboro, 2003
3:11.2h … Edgewood, 1984
3:12.14 … Edgewood, 1985
3:12.17 … Winslow Twp., 2002
3:12.27 … Winslow Twp., 2002
3:12.44 … Willingboro, 2001
3:13.50 … Camden, 2005
3:13.58 … Camden, 2004
3:13.71 … Winslow Twp., 2004
3:13.78 … Camden, 1980
3:13.85 … Edgewood, 2001
3:14.06 … Lenape, 2000
3:14.12 … Edgewood, 1983
3:14.2h … Willingboro, 1982
3:14.58 … Camden, 1999
3:14.79 … Willingboro, 2007
3:14.95 … Vineland, 2002
3:14.99 … Woodrow Wilson, 1996
3:15.00 … Lenape, 2000
3:15.04 … Willingboro, 2002
3:15.29 … Eastern, 2002
3:15.31 … Willingboro, 2007
3:15.34 … Camden, 1997
3:15.41 … Vineland, 2003
3:15.5h … Woodrow Wilson, 1984
3:15.77 … Absegami, 2008
3:16.08 … Camden, 2007
3:16.13 … Winslow Twp., 2008
3:16.33 … Rancocas Valley, 2017
3:16.46 … Camden, 2004
3:16.47 … Vineland, 2003
3:16.53 … Paul VI, 2016
3:16.57 … Cherry Hill East, 2016
3:16.61 … Oakcrest, 2011
3:16.65 … Timber Creek, 2003

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s