Yarayah Hawkins dropped a huge PR in the Camden County Championships, winning the large-school 800 in 1:55.96.
Hawkins’ previous PR was a 1:57.14 last weekend at the South Jersey Invitational, where he took third. Before that it was 1:57.77 from last spring’s S.J. Invite.
Hawkins’ is now Highland’s fastest 800 runner in 17 years, since Ayo Owodunni ran 1:55.93 at the 2002 Meet of Champions. Actually, Jamal Davis in 2008 and Jamil Jackson in 2014 both also ran exactly 1:55.96, oddly enough.
That 1:55.96 ranks No. 14 in the state this year and No. 4 by a South Jersey half-miler, behind only Pleasantville junior Gabriel Moronta (1:55.00), Haddonfield senior Derek Gess (1:55.13) and Haddonfield senior Ethan Spellmeyer (1:55.74).
Hawkins led four runners under 1:57 in a very fast race at Haddon Township.
Bishop Eustace senior Connor Melko was second in 1:56.47, Spellmeyer ran 1:56.83 for third and Haddonfield junior Andrew Gostovich was fourth in 1:56.87. The times were big PRs for Melko, a 9:06 two-miler, and Gostovich as well.
Hawkins is now No. 2 in the state in Group 3, behind only Hopewell Valley’s Sean Dolan, who ran 1:52.81 at the Mercer County Championships. Dolan ran 1:50.74 last year.
Hawkins also placed third in the 1,600 with a 4:26.77 and ran on Highland’s third-place 1,600-meter relay.
Next up for Hawkins is the Tri-County Conference meet at Delsea on Wednesday.