Haddonfield’s Derek Gess PRs and becomes first to win consecutive S.J. Invite 800 titles since Rob Novak!!!!!

Haddonfield junior Derek Gess ran 1:55.13 Thursday night winning the 800 and PR’ing at the 26th annual South Jersey Invitational at Delsea.

It’s his second straight SJI 800 win after a 1:56.79 last year. He’s only the second half-miler to repeat in the quarter century of the SJI, the first in 13 years, since Bordentown’s national 800 champ Rob Novak in 2004 and 2005.

His time is fastest at the South Jersey Invite since Kevin Canfarini of West Deptford’s 1:55.13 in 2014 and matches the fastest since 2013, when LaQuan James of Vineland ran 1:53.98.

Gess broke his overall PR of 1:55.93 that he set when he placed fourth at Easterns this winter at the Armory, and he dipped more than 1 1/2 seconds below his previous outdoor PR of 1:56.66 set his freshman year at South Jersey Group 2 sectionals at Central Regional in Bayville.

Gess time is No. 1 in South Jersey this winter and No. 2 in the state, behind Luke Peralto of Passaic, who ran 1:50.62 to win the Dominican Republic National Championships last month in Santo Domingo.

Here’s a look at every runner in meet history who’s gone 1:56 or faster:

<strong>ALL-TIME SJI 800 PERFORMANCE LIST</strong>

1:53.2 Fred Sharpe (Paulsboro), 1997 [1st]

1:53.2 Rob Novak (Bordentown), 2005 [1st]

1:53.95 Ben Potts (Haddonfield), 2011 [1st]

1:53.98 LeQuan James (Vineland), 2013 [1st]

1:54.14 William Dolan (Clearview), 2013 [2nd]

1:54.18 Isaac Clark (Pleasantville), 2012 [1st]

1:54.22 Murad Campbell (Overbrook), 1998 [1st]

1:54.54 Jacob Clark (Pleasantville), 2012 [2nd]

1:54.9 Rondell Braxton (Highland), 1992  [1st]

1:54.9 Mark Davis (Highland), 1996  [1st]

1:54.92 Rob Novak (Bordentown), 2004 [1st]

1:55.03 Tivo Rivera (Kingsway), 2011[2nd]

1:55.13 Kevin Cianfarini (West Deptford), 2014 [1st]

1:55.13 Derek Gess (Haddonfield), 2018 [1st]

1:55.15 Wayne Riley (Willingboro), 1997[2nd]

1:55.20 Joe Lewis (Pleasantville), 1998[2nd]

1:55.25 Ishmael Muhammad (Oakcrest), 2013 [3rd]

1:55.3 Jaja Fisher (Cherokee), 1993  [1st]

1:55.3 John Keevey (Cinnaminson), 1992 [2nd]

1:55.53 Aaron Johnson (Oakcrest), 2009 [1st]

1:55.55 Ryan Garvin (Lenape), 2008 [1st]

1:55.5 Marc Pelerin (Cherokee), 2001 [1st]

1:55.7 Nelson Cresson (Delsea), 1995  [1st]

1:55.81 Robert Edwards (Bridgeton), 2002  [1st]

1:55.97 Ford Palmer (Absegami), 2008 [2nd]

1:56.0 Zach McBride (Lenape), 2001 [2nd]

And here’s a list of every winner in meet history:

<strong>ALL-TIME SJI 800 WINNER</strong>

2018: Derek Gess (Haddonfield) 1:55.13

2017: Derek Gess (Haddonfield) 1:56.79

2016: Jacob Tyndale (Rancocas Valley) 1:56.61

2015: Eric Barnes (Egg Harbor Twp.) 1:55.86

2014: Kevin Cianfarini (West Deptford) 1:55.13

2013: LeQuan James (Vineland) 1:53.98

2012: Isaac Clark (Pleasantville) 1:54.18

2011: Ben Potts (Haddonfield), 1:53.95

2010: Daniel Galeano (Absegami) 1:57.94

2009: Aaron Johnson (Oakcrest) 1:55.53

2008: Ryan Garvin (Lenape) 1:55.55

2007: Ford Palmer (Absegami) 1:58.57

2006: Casey Pinckney (Camden) 1:58.47

2005: Rob Novak (Bordentown) 1:53.2

2004: Rob Novak (Bordentown) 1:54.92

2003: Jon Anderson (Cinnaminson) 1:57.4

2002: Robert Edwards (Bridgeton) 1:55.81

2001: Marc Pelerin (Cherokee) 1:55.5

2000: James Holden (Bridgeton) 1:56.14

1999: Marvin Sewell (Pennsauken) 1:58.72

1998: Murad Campbell (Overbrook) 1:54.22

1997: Fred Sharpe (Paulsboro) 1:53.2

1996: Mark Davis (Highland) 1:54.9

1995: Nelson Cresson (Delsea) 1:55.7

1994: Nick Cavalarro (Paul VI) 1:57.1

1993: Jaja Fisher (Cherokee) 1:55.3

1992: Rondell Braxton (Highland) 1:54.9

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