It doesn’t count. But it was really fast.
St. Augustine senior Sincere Rhea, the indoor national scholastic champion, made the long trip to the 52nd annual Glenn Loucks Invite at White Plains (N.Y.) High School, where he ran the third-fastest time in New Jersey history in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Rhea, racing in Lane 4, exploded out of the blocks and took command of the race coming off the first hurdle. He ran away from the field, winning in 13.52, then clapped his hands when he saw the scoreboard at the finish line reading an unofficial 13.55.
Second place was a full second behind.
He kept running beyond the finish line and through an opening in a fence well beyond the track.
The wind-reading of 3.1, however, was well over the legal limit of 2.0 meters per second, so the performance technically isn’t eligible for records and all-time lists.
However, most marks on the all-time New Jersey lists were recorded without wind gauges, so people who keep lists generally include all marks. Otherwise, athletes would be penalized for competing in meets with a wind gauge.
In any case, Rhea has a wind-legal PR of 13.68 from the trials of the South Jersey Invitational last Thursday at Delsea.
That mark is No. 3 nationally this year. The 13.52 is fastest under any conditions in the country this year.
Rhea ran 13.81 in the trials with a legal wind of 1.2 meters per second, so if you’re a stickler for these things, that will be considered the meet record.
The only times under any conditions faster than Rhea’s in New Jersey history were turned in by Camden’s Dayne Brown, who set the state record of 13.43 in 1999, and Cory Poole of East Orange, who ran 13.46 in 2017. Todd Matthews of Notre Dame also ran 13.52, back in 1998.
ALL-TIME N.J. HIGH HURDLES LIST
13.43 … Danye Brown [Camden], 1999
13.46 … Cory Poole [East Orange Campus], 2017
13.52 … Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine], 2019
13.52 … Todd Matthews [Notre Dame], 1998
13.59 … Gerard Reynolds [Willingboro], 1990
13.62 … Christopher Stephens [Plainfield], 2001
13.66 … Sultan Tucker [Delsea], 1997
13.66 … Emmanuel Deux [Linden], 2001
13.67 … Jermaine Collier [Trenton], 2012
13.70 … Chris Alexander [Christian Brothers], 2015
(Author’s note: I can tell you for a fact this isn’t the first time a huge performance has been negated by a wind reading at the Glenn Loucks Invitational. At the 1978 meet, a triple jumper named Sanya Owolabi from Sleepy Hollow High School just north of White Plains jumped 53-something and broke the national scholastic record, but the wind was barely over the 2.0 limit at 2.1. I know this because tthe person working the wind gauge that day was an injured White Plains distance runner (me). The entire Sleepy Hollow track program raced over and began screaming at me, but I stuck to my guns and that mark is still listed in the record books as wind-assisted. Owolabi did eventually break the national record with a jump of 53-3 1/2 at the old IPI national championships in Naperville, Ill.)