Rancocas Valley senior Aliyah Taylor, whose junior year was marred by injuries, returned in style this year and on Friday won her first outdoor state title, running 55.28 and edging Burlington County rival Shelby Whetstone of Lenape, who was second in 55.69.
Taylor and Whetstone are the only South Jersey girls under 56 seconds this year.
Taylor has won four state titles indoors — the 55 as a sophomore and the 400 as a sophomore and a senior as well as the Meet of Champions 200 as a junior — but an outdoor state title had eluded her till now.
Taylor’s outdoor PR was 55.79, which she had run twice, so she lowered that by half a second. She does have a 55.21 to her credit indoors, from her win at indoor Easterns last year at the Armory.
Taylor ranks No. 2 in the state this year, behind only junior Kaira Brown of Kent Play School in Summit, who ran 54.78 at the Parochial A meet this past weekend. Whetstone ranks No. 5.
Taylor and Whetstone rank No. 3 and No. 7 in Burlington County history.
ALL-TIME BURLINGTON COUNTY 400 LIST
52.91 … Michelle Brown (Seneca), 2008
54.19 … Okechi Ogbuokiri (Willingboro), 2003
55.21i … Aliyah Taylor (Rancocas Valley), 2017
55.4h … Carla Hunt (Holy Cross), 1976
55.5h … Danielle Myricks (Willingboro), 2001
55.51 … Mandie Dulin (Shawnee), 1997
55.67 … Shelby Whetstone (Lenape), 2017
55.82 … Danielle Myricks (Willingboro), 2001
56.11 … Courtney Foster (Cherokee), 2013
56.1h … Angela Williams (Pemberton), 1981
56.26 … Shannon Lambert (Lenape), 2017