Is she a hurdler who also long jumps or a long jumper who also hurdles? Tionna Tobias is making that question very difficult to answer.
Tobias over the last couple weekends has dominated both events, winning the long jump at Woodbury with a season-best 18-9 1/2 and then winning at Rowan with an 18-7 1/4. She ran 14.29 in the hurdles trials at the South Jersey Open Friday night, then ran a season-best 14.24 to win the finals
Tobias is No. 3 in the state in the hurdles, behind Atlantic City’s Claudine Smith, who ran 14.04 at the Carifta Trials in Jamaica last month, and Ramapo’s Grace O’Shea of Ramapo, who was third in the Meet of Champions last spring.
She’s No. 2 in the long jump in New Jersey, behind only Williamstown’s Karissa Watson, who popped a 18-10 1/2 at the Rowland Relays last weekend.
Tobias and Smith hooked up in a titanic battle in the hurdles finals at Rowan, with both being clocked in 14.24.
The photo cameras actually had Tobias winning by 6-1000ths of a second — 14.232 to 14.238 for Smith. Eastern soph Jailya Ash wasn’t far behind in a personal-best 14.36.
Tobias, Smith and Ash ran the three-fastest hurdles times at the Rowan Invite since 2012, when Ste’yce McNeil set the meet record of 13.79. Interesting that Tobias was Winslow’s eighth Rowan Invite hurdles winner in the last 15 years, following Krystal Cantey in 2005 and 2006, McNeil from 2010 through 2012, Gabrielle Bennett in 2015 and Brittany Preston in 2016. You can add Edgewood’s Pam Richardson in 2000 as well, since Edgewood became Winslow.
In the long jump, Tobias came up just short of her own meet record of 18-9 1/4 from last year but she did become the first girl in meet history to win the long jump two years in a row. Her 18-7 1/4 was two inches better than Millville freshman Bryanna Craig, who set a huge PR of 18-5 1/4.
Next for Tobias and the Winslow girls powerhouse is the Camden County Championships Saturday at Haddon Township.