Deptford’s first state championship was truly a team effort. Naseem Smith won the high hurdles and James Lynch won the pole vault, but the real stars for the Spartans were the relay teams.
The 4-by-4 finished first, the 4-by-1 took second and the 4-by-8 placed sixth for 19 big points.
The Spartans were the only school in Group 3 to medal in all three relays. And they used 10 different runners. Only Khion Smith and Amadu Jalloh ran on more than one of the three scoring relay teams.
Deptford outscored second-place Hopewell Valley 47-40 to win the state Group 3 championship at Central Regional.
Let’s take a look!
1,600-METER RELAY: Seniors Tyrece Brown and Amadu Jalloh, sophomore Steven Rios and senior Khion Smith ran a season-best 3:21.13 to win the 4-by-4.
400-METER RELAY: Juniors Richard Fawkes and Donovan Clement along with Khion Smith and senior Donnie Scott won the 4-by-1 in 42.83.
3,200-METER RELAY: Junior Philip Sedalis, sophomores Julian Rodriguez and Kevin Eli and senior Amadu Jalloh ran 8:12.44 for sixth in the 4-by-8.
We already wrote about Naseem Smith [https://sjtrackblog.com/2019/06/01/sincere-rhea-naseem-smith-sam-aviles-put-on-a-show-in-110-high-hurdles-at-states/], who broke 14 seconds in the highs for the first time.
Lynch matched his personal-best of 15 feet, which he cleared at the South Jersey Invitational. The state title is his first.
Deptford also got points from senior Marcel Washington, how cleared 6-2 for third in the high jump; Khion Smith, who placed sixth in the 100 in 11.14; and sophomore Julian Rodriguez, who cleared a personal-best 13-6 for sixth in the pole vault. His previous PR was 13-0 from the Willingboro relay meet.
This is back-to-back state Group 3 titles for Gloucester County schools. Delsea won Group 3 last year before moving down to Group 1, where it won this year’s title.
This is the first time ever that Gloucester County schools have won two state titles the same year.