Less than a month after she first broke 75 seconds in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, Paul VI sophomore Aliya Rae Garozzo is a state champion and one of New Jersey’s fastest hurdlers.
Garozzo won the 400 intermediates Friday at the state Parochial A meet with another remarkable PR of 1:01.46, fastest this year by a South Jersey girl and fastest by any New Jersey sophomore.
She ran her first serious big-meet race at the Rowan Invitational a month ago with a 1:05.74, then lowered her PR to 1:03.36 at the Camden County meet and 1:02.37 at sectionals before Friday’s state title and sub-62 breakthrough.
Her time is fastest by a South Jersey sophomore in at least 15 years. Zamira Isaac of Union Catholic took second in 1:01.93.
Garozzo is the first girl other than Olympian Sydney McLaughlin to win the Parochial A intermediates since 2013, and she’s the first Paul VI girl to win the event since Stephanie King in 2002.