Sincere Rhea shows his versatility with Meet of Champions win in the … 400??? YES!!!!!!!

Sincere Rhea is a Meet of Champions winner. Just not in the event you expected.

Rhea showed his remarkable range Saturday, winning the 400-meter dash at the 51st annual Meet of Champions in 47.89.

Rhea, the national indoor high hurdles champ and indoor M-of-C champ, cemented his status as one of New Jersey’s most versatile elite athletes winning a Meet of Champions title in an event he didn’t begin contesting seriously until a few weeks ago.

According to the New Jersey MileSplit database, the St. Augustine senior ran a few 400s as a freshman, and with a 52.78 he ranked No. 31 among New Jersey 9th-graders in the spring of 2016.

He ran a couple 400s indoors as a sophomore and junior, with a PR of 55.18 in a meet at Kutztown in January of 2018.

And that was it in terms of non-dual meet 400s until three weeks ago, when he jumped in the 400 at the Parochial A sectionals at Donovan Catholic and ran an eye-popping 48.80 — a four-second PR from that 52.78 as a freshman.

He dropped to 48.06 when he won the state Parochial A title at Central Regional last weekend and then out-raced the field Saturday at Northern Burlington, finishing a meter ahead of junior Bayyan Dallas of Union, who was second in 48.05.

Rhea is the first Meet of Champions winner from St. Augustine in 29 years, since Mark Riviera won the 1,600 in 1990 at South Plainfield in 4:15.1. Sivieri went on to a spectacular career at Georgetown and ran a sub-4-minute mile (3:59.85) in Boston in 1994.

Rhea’s time is No. 26 in South Jersey history and No. 2 in Atlantic County history, behind only Egg Harbor’s Amir Brock, who ran 47.44 in 2017.

Rhea did run in the hurdles trials Saturday and ran a 13.78, which is actually the third-fastest time he’s ever run. He started in the final but it was less than half an hour after the 400, and he dropped out after wrong-stepping the first hurdle.

It would have been a heck of a final if everyone was at full strength because Jaheem Hayles of Roselle, who never ran the hurdles until this year, won in 13.55, the second-fastest time in meet history (Todd Matthews of Notre Dame ran 13.52 in 1998) and the No. 5 mark in state history!

Atlantic County has always had tremendous success at the Meet of Champions and in fact has now had at last one M-of-C winner in the boys meet 21 of the last 33 years going back to 1987.

Here’s a look at all the Meet of Champions winners in Atlantic County history, followed by the all-time South Jersey 400-meter dash list!

1987
Dave Dixon [Mainland Reg.], discus [169-7]
1988
Don Brooks [Pleasantville], 100-meter dash [10.74]
1990
Mark Sivieri [St. Augustine], 1,600-meter run [4:15.1]
1993
Steve Harper [Atlantic City], 200-meter dash [21.77]
1994
Desmond Powell [Oakcrest], 110-meter hurdles [14.08]
Cornelius Cruz [Oakcrest], Javelin [211-5]
1996
Nate Harley [Pleasantville], 110-meter hurdles [13.76]
1997
John Stone [Mainland Reg.], 200-meter dash [21.59]
1998
Tim Athill [Pleasantville], 100-meter dash [10.68]
Joe Lewis [Pleasantville], 800-meter run [1:53.61]
1999
Devon Matthews [Pleasantville], 400-meter hurdles [53.02]
2000
Paul Klemic [Mainland Reg.]. high jump [7-2]
2001
Steve Cirino [Buena Reg.], long jump [22-6 1/2]
2004
Jimmy Wyner [Mainland Reg.], 1,600-meter run [4:11.49]
2008
Demetrius Rooks [Absegami], 400-meter hurdles [53.31]
Absegami, 1,600-meter relay [3:15.77]
Stevenson Cajuste [Egg Harbor Twp.], long jump [23-3 1/4]
2009
Tejay Johnson [Egg Harbor Twp.], 100-meter dash [10.67]
2011
Oakcrest, 400-Meter Relay [41.83]
2012
Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 100-meter dash [10.59]
Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 200-meter dash [21.52]
David Jefferson [Oakcrest], High Jump [6-6]
Oakcrest, 400-Meter Relay [42.09]
2013
Isaac Clark [Pleasantville], 800-meter run [1:50.12]
2014
Ishmael Muhammad [Oakcrest], 800-meter run [1:48.52]
2016
Cade Antonucci [Holy Spirit], javelin [205-8]
2017
Cade Antonucci [Holy Spirit], javelin [220-11]
2019
Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine], 400-meter dash [47.89]

ALL-TIME S.J. 400 LIST
46.02 … Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
46.25 … Brandon Outlaw [Moorestown], 2017
46.62 … Lamont Smith [Willingboro], 1991
46.67 … Jamaad Muse [Timber Creek], 2014
46.77 … Reuben McCoy [Winslow Twp.], 2004
46.82 … Brandon Outlaw [Moorestown], 2017
46.90 … Antonio Abney [Willingboro], 2007
46.95 … Darrell Bush [Woodbury], 2012
47.03 … Royce Reed [Bridgeton], 1994
47.30 … Rob Gary [Lenape], 1998
47.1h … Darron Outler [Lenape], 1984
47.2h … Levin Handy [Vineland], 1969
47.2h … Brian Bennett [Edgewood], 1985
47.44 … Amir Brock [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2017
47.48 … Ron Hillian [Eastern], 2002
47.3h … Curtis Mcintyre [Bridgeton], 1992
47.59 … Jade Smith [Camden], 2002
47.4h … Ken Moore [Overbrook], 1984
47.4h … Chuck Carter [Eastern], 1985
47.4h … Barry Douglas [Willingboro], 1993
47.64 … Keith Griffith [Florence], 2010
47.68 … Nick Brown [Bridgeton], 1999
47.76 … Carl Smith [Camden], 2005
47.88 … Shawney Kersey [Woodbury], 2009
47.88 … Damiere Byrd [Timber Creek], 2011
47.89 … Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine], 2019
47.95 … John Morris [Camden], 2001
47.96 … Alex Reber [Cherry Hill East], 2013
47.99 … Elliott DeShields [Clayton], 2011

Atlantic City
St. Augustine

12

1987
Dave Dixon [Mainland Reg.], discus [169-7]
1988
Don Brooks [Pleasantville], 100-meter dash [10.74]
1990
Mark Sivieri [St. Augustine], 1,600-meter run [4:15.1]
1993
Steve Harper [Atlantic City], 200-meter dash [21.77]
1994
Desmond Powell [Oakcrest], 110-meter hurdles [14.08]
Cornelius Cruz [Oakcrest], Javelin [211-5]
1996
Nate Harley [Pleasantville], 110-meter hurdles [13.76]
1997
John Stone [Mainland Reg.], 200-meter dash [21.59]
1998
Tim Athill [Pleasantville], 100-meter dash [10.68]
Joe Lewis [Pleasantville], 800-meter run [1:53.61]
1999
Devon Matthews [Pleasantville], 400-meter hurdles [53.02]
2000
Paul Klemic [Mainland Reg.]. high jump [7-2]
2001
Steve Cirino [Buena Reg.], long jump [22-6 1/2]
2004
Jimmy Wyner [Mainland Reg.], 1,600-meter run [4:11.49]
2008
Demetrius Rooks [Absegami], 400-meter hurdles [53.31]
Absegami, 1,600-meter relay [3:15.77]
Stevenson Cajuste [Egg Harbor Twp.], long jump [23-3 1/4]
2009
Tejay Johnson [Egg Harbor Twp.], 100-meter dash [10.67]
2011
Oakcrest, 400-Meter Relay [41.83]
2012
Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 100-meter dash [10.59]
Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 200-meter dash [21.52]
David Jefferson [Oakcrest], High Jump [6-6]
Oakcrest, 400-Meter Relay [42.09]
2013
Isaac Clark [Pleasantville], 800-meter run [1:50.12]
2014
Ishmael Muhammad [Oakcrest], 800-meter run [1:48.52]
2016
Cade Antonucci [Holy Spirit], javelin [205-8]
2017
Cade Antonucci [Holy Spirit], javelin [220-11]
2019
Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine], 400-meter dash [47.89]

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