What a remarkable breakthrough race Friday for Emily Wallace! And what a breakthrough meet for Collingswood.
Wallace, a junior at Collingswood, lowered her 55-meter dash PR from 7.42 to 7.29 and won her first state title at the state Group 1 meet at the Bennett Center.
Wallace, who also placed in the 400 and anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay team, had a hand in 24 of Collingswood’s 39 points as the Panthers outscored second-place Highland Park 39-24.
Her 55 win was the key to Collingswood’s first championship in school history.
Wallace’s best time coming into the season was a 7.60 from December last season. She lowered that to 7.46 in her first indoor meet this past December, then to 7.42 when she won sectionals.
She posted only the third-fastest time in the trials Friday at 7.47 but saved it all for the final, where she ran away from the field. Rebecca Kneppel of Butler was second in 7.41.
Wallace is now sixth-fastest in South Jersey this year and 12th in New Jersey. Her time is fastest winning time in the state Group 1 race by a South Jersey sprinter since Emily Carson of Haddonfield won the 2013 race in 7.16.
Wallace also placed fourth in the 400 in 1:00.33, with teammate Dash Cruz just behind in sixth.
Other Collingswood scorers: Senior Quinn Basewitz placed fifth in the 1,600 in 5:24.1, sophomore Sophie Steidle ran 11:46.45 for second in the 3,200, and senior Samantha Hamrick was fourth in the 800 in 2:28.42.