Maple Shade’s Karcher becomes first S.J. boy to record state Group 1 triple in 25 years!!!!!!!!!!

Ken Karcher finished off a wild and extremely rare Group 1 triple Saturday by winning the 200-meter dash at the state Group 1 championships at Egg Harbor.

He’s only the second boy to record an individual triple in the state Group 1 meet in the last 17 years.

And he’s the first South Jersey boy to record a triple win in the state Group 1 meet since Kevin White of Haddon Heights, who in 1992 won the 100 in 11.56, 200 in 22.76 and 110 hurdles in 14.52.

With his 30 points, Maple Shade placed fourth in the state in team scoring, behind only Boonton (51), Schalick (42) and Shore Regional (36).

Karcher becomes the first Burlington County boy to triple in any state meet since Delran’s Todd Lowber won the 100 in 10.93, 200 in 22.16 and high jump at 7-0 in Group 2 in 2001.

He’s the first Burlington County boy to record a Group 1 state triple since Matt Rose of Bordentown won the 200 (22.7), 400 (49.7) and long jump (22-9 1/2) in 1984 — that’s 33 years ago!!!

Karcher won the 200 in 22.03 a day after winning the 400 in 48.75 and the intermediates in 55.03.

Karcher is only the second Group 1 athlete to win three individual events since 2000. The other is Raymond Clark of Abraham Clarke, who won the 110 hurdles, 400 and intermediates just two years ago (14.23, 48.57, 53.35).

Before that, the last Group 1 triple was turned in by Brad Becker of Spotswood, who won the Group 1 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in 1999 with times of 1:58.10, 4:22.72 and 9:39.70.

Karcher is also the second runner to sweep the two one-lap races in the state Group 1 meet in the last 20 years, with Clark obviously the other one.

Before that, you have to go back to Tyrone Ross of Metuchen, who ran 48.61 and 54.14 in the 1996 meet.

Only three other boys have ever won state titles for Maple Shade – Rich Gerke won the mile in 4:25.4 in 1976, Mike Fulton won the 3,200 in 1997 (9:41.90) and the 1,600 in 1998 (4:26.47) and James Buinicky won the 3,200 in 2004 (9:44.86) and swept the 1,600 and 3,200 in 2006 (4:27.32, 9:46.36).

Karcher joins the tremendous program at Monmouth next year.

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