Cherokee graduate Matt Gross, who never won a sectional, county or conference title during his high school track career, earned All-America status in the javelin Thursday.
Gross, a sophomore at Rutgers-Camden, placed sixth in the javelin at the NCAA Division 3 Championships at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Gross, seeded 12th, threw a personal-best 199-4, surpassing his previous PR of 197-0 set last week when he won the ECAC Division 3 title in New Haven. He’s now thrown between 195 and 199 feet in five meets this year.
At Cherokee, Gross only exceeded 165 feet in the javelin once, with a 177-9 when he placed second to RV’s Robert Marks at sectionals as a senior in the spring of 2016. He improved to 191-6 1/2 last year and is now an All-America in an event in which he had a PR fo 142-9 going into his senior year of high school.
For more on his background, click here.
On Thursday, Gross went into his fifth throw sitting in ninth place with a best throw of 193-1. But he passed three throwers with his 199-4, moving into sixth. He fouled on his final attempt.
Junior Jordan Entwistle of U. Mass-Dartmouth won the event at 210-10. Rowan sophomore Dan McAleavey, a sophomore from Howell and the NJAC champion, placed eighth at 197-7, less than two feet off his own PR of 199-6 set at a meet at The College of New Jersey last month.
Another Rowan athlete, freshman Julio LeBron from Memorial of West New York, placed 19th with a 172-3 on his third throw of the trials. He was one of only three freshmen in the competition.