To say this race was close is an understatement.
Cameron Kee of Haddon Heights and Jayaire King of Willingboro opened the season with a couple very fast early performances in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles Saturday at the Don Danser Relays at Lenape.
They crossed the line together, both with fully-automatic times of 55.22. Tomahawk Timing’s photo reader had to go to the 1,000th-of-a-second to determine the winner, and that showed Kee in 55.213 and King in 55.219.
That’s a difference of 9-100ths of a second. Or a little less than one-third of an inch.
Kee and King turned in the fastest times in South Jersey on opening weekend and No. 2 and 3 in the state, behind Liam O’Hara of CBA, who ran 54.85 at the Metuchen Relays.
Kee’s previous PR was 55.38 from last year’s Meet of Champions. He was South Jersey Group 1 champ and state runner-up.
King’s previous PR was 55.44 from his win at the South Jersey Group 2 sectionals last spring.
Those times are fast any time of the year. Only two intermediate hurdles ran as fast as 55.22 all last year – Quentin Bundy of Pleasantville ran 53.96 at nationals an Sincere Rhea ran 54.62 at states.
So for them to put those times out this early is awfully encouraging.
But they weren’t the only South Jersey boys to run fast in the 400 IH Saturday.
Rhea ran 56.37 at Buena, Micah Wood of Rancocas Valley ran a personal-best 56.63 at the Rebel Relays in Howell, Buddy ran 56.97 and Burlington City’s Darnell Williams ran 57.87 at Lenape.
That’s six boys already under 58 and five under 57, and it’s only the first weekend of April.