Rancocas Valley’s Bethany Biggi topples national champ in thrilling Easterns high jump competition!!!!!

Rancocas Valley’s Bethany Biggi not only became the first South Jersey girl in 32 years to win the Easterns high jump, she not only set a lifetime PR of 5-6, she beat a national champion along the way.

Biggi, a Rancocas Valley senior, recorded the first major invitational win of her track career Tuesday night, clearing 5-6 for the first time indoors or out to win the Easterns high jump at the Armory.

Biggi had only cleared 5-4 twice before her huge breakthrough in New York.

She cleared opening height of 5-0 and also 5-2 on her first attempt, 5-4 on her second and 5-6 on her second before missing three attempts at 5-8.

Amy Arirguzoh of the Lawrenceville School and Abrianna Barrett of Montgomery High also cleared 5-6 but both did it on their third attempt, so Biggi got the win based on clearing the winning height on fewer attempts. Arirguzoh made 5-4 on her first attempt, so she was in the lead when the bar went up to 5-6.

Biggi is the first South Jersey girl to win at Easterns since Erin Halpin of Cherry Hill West cleared 5-6 in 1987.

Biggi’s clearance is the best by an R.V. girl indoors since Tonya Lee cleared 5-7 1/4 in 1988. Lee went on reach the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials final in the 400-meter hurdles. Lee cleared 5-8 outdoors in 1987.

As for the national champion, that was Rutherford junior Jenna Rogers, who cleared 6-0 3/4 in June to win the New Balance National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Rogers had never lost an indoor high jump competition to a New Jersey girl before Tuesday. She finished fourth at Easterns at 5-4.

Biggi is the third R.V. girl to win an Easterns title. Lee won the long jump at 18-4 3/4 in 1987 and Aliyah Taylor ran 55.21 to win the 400 in 2017. The boys won the 800-meter relay in 2017 in 1:29.29.

Dave Bannar came close in 1976, when he ran 7.2 hand-timed in the high hurdles, finishing 1-10th of a second behind Paul Snipes of Essex Catholic.

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