Mays Landing native Cade Antonucci became the second South Jersey athlete in three years to win the Penn Relays javelin Saturday when he threw a personal-best 237-5 on his final attempt.
Antonucci, an Auburn sophomore from Holy Spirit, became Auburn’s first thrower to win a Penn Relays title in 45 years, since Brett Due won the discus in 1974.
Antonucci opened with a 218-11 throw and a foul, but he was in the lead until Marc Pinichello of Penn threw 224-11 on his third throw.
After a 205-9 on his third throw, Antonucci nearly caught Pinichello with a 223-9 on his fifth throw.
He finally moved into the lead with the 237-5 on his final attempt. Minichello, who had passed his second and fourth throws, had one last chance to reclaim the lead, but on the final throw of the competition along the river fields adjacent to the Schuylkill Expressway, he finished with a 214-8, giving Antonucci the title.
Rutgers senior Chris Mirabelli, who won at Penn in 2017 with a 251-6 throw, placed third with a 221-0 throw.
Antonucci is only about two feet from the Auburn school record of 239-7, set in 2014 by Justin Carter.
Antonucci moved into the top-10 in NCAA Division 1 with his 237-5 bomb, and he’s one of four South Jersey throwers in the top 12 nationally — Curtis Thompson of Mississippi State is No. 2 (258-2), Antonucci is No. 9, Mirabelli is No. 11 (237-2) and his younger brother, Texas A&M freshman Nick Mirabelli, is No. 12 (236-6).
All three are also ranked in the top-15 among all U.S. men, according to the latest IAAF rankings.