Hammonton’s Gardner overcomes ACL surgery to win state Group 3 javelin title with 142-foot BOMB

Hammonton junior Alexa Gardner, coming off offseason ACL surgery on her knee, bombed a nine-foot personal-best 142-1 to win the state Group 3 javelin title at Northern Burlington on Saturday.

Gardner’s previous best was a 134-3 to win last year’s Tri-County Conference meet. Her best this year had been a 132-3 to win this year’s Tri-County meet.

She had thrown 122-0 at sectionals and was the No. 3 seed at states but joined the elite 140-foot club to win her first state title. She was fourth last year.

Gardner’s throw makes her the No. 3 performer in Atlantic County history, behind only Jill Shaner of Egg Harbor Township, who threw 152-4 in 2009, and Brielle Smith of Oakcrest, who threw 145-0 this year.

She moved into the No. 7 spot in South Jersey history with the current javelin, which has been in use since 2002. Here’s the all-time South Jersey list, with everybody at 130 feet or better:

  • 160-  8 … Maria Jimenez (Vineland), 2012
  • 152-  9 … Katherine Johnston (Haddonfield), 2012
  • 152-  4 … Jill Shaner (Egg Harbor Twp.), 2009
  • 148-  8 … Caitlin Cielo (Eastern), 2002
  • 146-  7 … Victoria Imbesi (Our Lady of Mercy), 2008
  • 145-  0 … Brielle Smith (Oakcrest), 2017
  • 142-  1 … Alexa Gardner (Hammonton), 2017
  • 141-  6 … Lindsay Minch (Pennsville), 2010
  • 141-  5 … Kelly Yanucil (Bordentown), 2013
  • 141-  1 … Tumelo Nwanma (Vineland), 2016
  • 141-  0 … Jocelyn McRae (Millville), 2006
  • 140-  8 … Julianna Foering (Rancocas Valley), 2017
  • 140-  1 … Caitlin Ciello (Eastern), 2002
  • 140-  0 … Melissa Lake (Cherokee), 2011
  • 139-  9 … Heather Juhring (Kingsway), 2011
  • 138-  8 … Kaela Schrier (Cherokee), 2016
  • 138-  4 … Megan Saxvanderweyden (Pennsville), 2015
  • 137-  6 … Mercedes Glover (Burlington Twp.), 2010
  • 137-  6 … Alyssa Whipkey (Pennsville), 2015
  • 137-  4 … Danielle Steff (Rancocas Valley), 2016
  • 137-  1 … Ayana Culhane (Absegami), 2016
  • 136-  0 … Shamire Rothmiller (Glassboro), 2008
  • 135-10 … Mary Wilks (Bridgeton), 2007
  • 135-  6 … Danielle Still (Bishop Eustace), 2002
  • 135-  2 … Nicolette Burns (Kingsway), 2013
  • 134-  0 … Niyah Cosme (Vineland), 2016
  • 133-  4 … Leah Braidi (Sacred Heart), 2010
  • 133-  3 … Javona Ford (Millville), 2010
  • 132-10 … Nicole Bayer (Delran), 2014
  • 132-  4 … Kelse Reese (Paul VI), 2011
  • 131-  9 … Jeanne Berry (Delsea), 2012
  • 131-  7 … Emily HIgbee (Holy Spirit), 2013
  • 130-  9 … Lynn Brown (Buena), 2015
  • 130-  0 … Angela Garofalo (Mainland Reg.), 2006
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