Bishop Eustace senior Connor Melko completed a remarkable distance triple crown Saturday when he won the Parochial A 3,200 in 9:07.23.
Melko finished 10 meters ahead of Luke Reid of CBA, who was second in 9:08.48.
Melko was the state Parochial B XC champ with a 16:50.0 at Holmdel and he won the 1,600 and 3,200 at indoor states at the Bennett in February.
This is his first outdoor state title.
Melko finished less than two seconds off the meet record of 9:05.57 set by legendary Jason DiJoseph of Paul VI in 1988. DiJoseph was a Foot Locker national XC runner-up in the fall of 1988.
Melko’s time is the fifth-fastest in state Parochial A history, fastest in eight years and fastest by a South Jersey runner since DiJoseph 31 years ago.
9:05.57 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988 [1st]
9:05.67 … Morgan Pearson [CBA], 2011 [1st]
9:05.78 … Mike Mazzaccaro [CBA], 2010 [1st]
9:06.79 … Morgan Pearson [Delbarton], 2010 [2nd]
9:07.23 … Conor Melko [Bishop Eustace], 2019 [1st]
His time was second-fastest of all the two-milers in the six various sections Saturday, so he’ll be the No. 2 seed in the Meet of Champions, behind only defending champion Devin Hart, who ran 9:04.57 to win the Group 2 title. Hart was the XC Meet of Champions winner and a Foot Locker finalist this past fall
Going into the Meet of Champions, there are eight two-milers under 9:10, including Melko and Mainland Regional’s Kevin Antczak, who ran a huge PR of 9:09.38 in the Group 3 meet at Central Regional.
Here’s what that group looks like:
Devin Hart 9:04.57 [1st, Group 2]
Connor Melko 9:07.23 [1st, Parochial A]
Luke Reid CBA 9”08.48 [2nd, Parochial A]
Jack Stanley 9:08.18 [1st, Group 3]
Conor Murphy 9:08.55 [2nd, Group 3]
Jack Jennings 908.62 [3rd, Group 3]
Kevin Antczak 9:09.38 [4th, Group 3]
John McGovern 9:09.82 [5th, Group 3]
Melko has a PR of 9:06.52 from Holmdel earlier this month. That’s No. 18 in South Jersey history.