For fourth time in 13 years, a Riverside triple jumper is a state champion.
Senior Alex Stockton continued Riverside’s remarkable triple jump tradition Friday when he won the Group 1 state title with a personal-best 44-5 1/2 jump at Franklin High.
Stockton’s previous PR was a 42-10 1/4 from states last year, so that’s an improvement of a foot and a half.
Four different Riverside triple jumpers have won the state Group 1 title as seniors since 2007. All four PR’d in that victory.
And they are the only Riverside state champions during that span. Riverside’s last state champ who wasn’t a triple jumper was Ron Brock, who won the Group 1 1,600 in 1990.
Let’s take a look at Riverside’s triple jumpers over the years:
2007: Phil Lindmueller jumped 45-3 1/2 to win on a second-best-jump tiebreaker over Dan DePalma of Verona, who also jumped 45-3 1/2.
2008: Sean Jimoh jumped 45-5 1/4, then a meet record, to win by three inches over Chris Pisano of Metuchen.
2018: Emmanuel Harris popped big PR of 45-8 1/2 to win by six inches over Javon Spann of Schalick.
2019: Stockton — the No. 14 seed in a field of 24 — popped a 44-5 1/2, edging Spann by three inches.
Stockton’s previous-best jump this year was a 42-8 1/2 at the Burlington County Open, where he was third. He placed 16th at the South Jersey Invitational, second at the BCSL Freedom Division meet and fourth at sectionals and had never previously won a conference, county, sectional or state title, so this is his first major triple jump title ever.
Stockton will race in the 110-meter high hurdles and run on the Rams’ 1,600-meter relay team on Saturday. He also qualified for states in the javelin.