Rancocas Valley senior Aliyah Taylor, who was hurt much of last year, is healthy again and opened the 2017-18 season in explosive fashion Saturday, breaking the South Jersey record in the 300-meter dash at the Bishop Laughlin Games.
Taylor ran 39.42, breaking the South Jersey record of 40.27, set two years ago by Deptford’s Kiera Lester in the same meet but on a different track.
Lester ran 40.27 when the Laughlin Games were held at the 168th Street Armory. The meet is now held at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Center in Staten Island.
Taylor had run only one 300 before this weekend, and that was a 42.07 running for Pemberton High at the North Shore Invitational in 2015, also at the Armory.
On Saturday, Taylor ran 41.49 in the trials, which was only the sixth-fastest qualifying time. But in the final, she lowered that by a full two seconds, placing second to Cameron Hinton of Franklin, who ran 2-100th of a second in a second section of the two-race final. Hinton is a transfer from Bullis School in Potomac, Md., where she ran 55.29 last year.
Taylor’s time is No. 5 in New Jersey history, behind Olympian Sydney McLoughlin of Union Catholic (36.82 in 2017), Columbia’s Olivia Baker (38.73 in 2014) and Paramus’s Myasia Jacobs (39.28 in 2012). It’s also No. 4 nationally in the early going.
The previous Burlington County record was Taylor’s 42.07 in 2015. Before that it was 42.67 by Kristen Frombach, also of R.V., in 2014.