Stone Caraccio wasn’t in the fast race. Until he made it the fast race.
Caraccio, a Kingsway sophomore, didn’t qualify for the seeded boys 1,600 Friday evening at the 11th annual Holmdel Twilight Series Royal Rumble because his PR was only 4:22.80 from just a week ago, when he won the Gloucester County meet at Delsea.
That’s fast. And very fast for a sophomore. But not quite fast enough to get him into the field of 15 for the elite race Friday night at Bob Roggy Stadium.
So Caraccio settled for the 21st and fastest section of the open 1,600 and proceeded to win it in a ridiculous six-second PR of 4:16.11 — fast enough to place sixth in the seeded race!
The time makes Caraccio the No. 12 sophomore in the U.S. and No. 1 in New Jersey. It’s fastest by a South Jersey sophomore since Ben Potts of Haddonfield ran 4:14.14 at the 2009 Meet of Champions. The last Gloucester County sophomore to run faster was Xavier Fraction of Washington Township, who went 4:15.66 at the 2010 Meet of Champions.
Tom Cooke set the Kingsway 1,600 record of 4:11.84 at the 2012 Meet of Champions. Caraccio is the fastest Kingsway miler since Noah Culbreath ran 4:16.01 at 2014 sectionals..
With Cooke, Culbreath and Caraccio, Kingsway has now had three runners whose last name starts with “C” go 4:16.11 or faster in the last seven years.
The various races at Holmdel Friday night produced the six-fastest 1,600 times in South Jersey this year, and all six runners recorded outdoor PRs.
In addition to Caraccio,
—> Bishop Eustace junior Connor Melko PR’d with a 4:16.20 for sixth in the elite race (his previous PR was 4:17.99 at last year’s Parochial A states;
—> Cherokee senior Justin Kelly ran 4:19.93 in the seeded race, an outdoor PR, although he has run faster (4:18.48) indoors;
—> Cherokee sophomore Christopher Spisak ran 4:20.96 in the seeded race, a nine-second PR from his previous PR of 4:29.76 set this past winter at the Bennett Center;
—> Kingsway senior Jonathan Connor ran 4:21.91 for sixth in the open race and a five-second PR;
—> Eustace junior Andrew Massaro ran 4:22.24, a five-second PR, and placed seventh in the open race.
—> Cherokee soph Ethan Wechsler ran 4:22.70 for a 12-second PR and a 24-second outdoor PR and was ninth in the open race;
—> Kingsway senior Joe Grandizio ran 4:23.04 in the elite race, missing his 1,600 PR of 4:22.68 by less than half a second.