Bryanna Craig’s first outdoor high school meet was an unforgettable one!
Craig, the Millville freshman, placed second in the heptathlon at the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School outside Los Angeles with 4,791 points – one of the highest scores ever recorded by a freshman and the highest score by a New Jersey girl in an in-season competition with the current javelin implement.
Record keeping can be difficult when it comes to the heptathlon, because there are no official high school class records, because of the 2002 javelin change and because MileSplit occasionally includes marks made during summer track competitions, which are not eligible for high school record purposes.
The listed national freshman record is 4,882 points by Jacqueline Johnson of Yuma, Ariz., in 2000. But that was made with the old javelin.
The national freshman record with the new javelin that wasn’t made in an open summer meet? I just don’t have a way of determining it. Nobody keeps this stuff.
Jack Sheppard’s U.S. track annual lists a national freshman record of 4,934 points by Tyra Gittens of Ensworth High in Nashville in 2014, but that was made in an AAU Region 6 qualifier, in early July, which is not a high school meet or an extension of the high school season and doesn’t qualify for the high school record book.
Ashlee Moore of Hamilton High in Yuma, Ariz., scored 4,573 points in 2011, which is the highest score I could find by a freshman in a real meet with the current javelin, but there certainly could be higher ones.
There is no official New Jersey state record, but it appears that the highest score ever recorded in an actual high school meet — not during a summer track AAU or Junior Olympic meet – is 4,931 points by Amber Williams of Roxbury in 2000. The South Jersey record looks like it would be 4,872 by Helen Wilks of Bridgeton, set in 1993.
However, those marks were made with the old javelin, which hasn’t been used since in high school competition 2001. So there is now a separate set of records for the javelin, and since multi-events outdoors include the javelin throw there are a separate set of records for the high school heptathlon as well.
So it looks like Craig has the highest score by a New Jersey girl since the javelin change. Tia Livingston of Union Catholic is credited in Jack Sheppard’s high school track annual with a 4,952 in 2015, but that was in a junior olympic summer meet. The general rule for high school performance lists is that the mark counts if it was achieved during the school year or in a meet that’s an extension of the school year, like the National Scholastic Championships, USATF Junior Nationals, Olympic Trials, etc.
It looks like the highest previous in-season heptathlon by a New Jersey girl was a 4,667 by Noel Jancewicz of Robbinsville in 2012. Interestingly, Livingston and Jancewicz were teammates at Penn.
Record or not, Craig’s performance was remarkable:
Here’s what it looked like:
100-METER HURDLES: 14.88, 858 points [3rd], 1.0 wid
HIGH JUMP: 5-3, 736 points [T2nd]
200-METER DASH: 25.60, 833 points [2nd]
SHOT PUT: 29-8 1/4, 467 points [6th]
800-METER RUN: 2:23.25, 779 points [2nd]
LONG JUMP: 17-0, 609 points [1st] -1.0
JAVELIN: 103-11 3/4,509 points [5th]
Craig placed second at Arcadia. Jessica Swalve, a senior at Westmont High School in Los Gatos, Calif., won the event with a personal-best 4,807 points. She’s already signed with Cal Santa Barbara.
As Jim Lambert and I dig up more information and keep digging I’ll update this story. Record or not, this was a remarkable performance by Craig. Considering it’s the first weekend of April, it’s even more remarkable.
How high can she score at New Balance Nationals? It’s going to be fun to watch!