South Jersey boys have the three-fastest qualifying times for the hurdles final at today’s Meet of Champions,.
Sincere Rhea of St. Augustine, coming off his Easterns title, ran within 5-100ths of his PR in the trials, leading all qualifiers at 7.25. Sam Aviles, racing in the same heat, ran 7.53, not far off his PR of 7.49. And Deptford’s Naseem Smith won the fourth heat in 7.55, also very close to his PR of 7.49.
Those three will line up in the middle of the track in the 55-meter hurdles final later on Saturday at the Bennett Center.
Rhea won last year in 7.35 and is attempting to become the first repeat winner in the 55-meter highs at the Meet of Champs since Sultan Tucker of Delsea in 1996 and 1997.
Keep an eye on the FAT meet record of 7.19 set by Jermaine Collier of Trenton in 2012 because Rhea is getting very close.
Incredibly, Rhea was also the fastest South Jersey boy in the 55-meter dash trials with a personal-best 6.52. His previous PR was a 6.57. Rhea’s 6.52 is fourth-fastest going into the finals. He’s the only South Jersey sprinter who qualified for the final.