On Sunday, we published our first stab at all-time South Jersey alumni records. If you missed it, you can find the girls’ edition here.
These are the best marks ever made at any point in their lives by South Jersey natives.
The girls list was challenging, but we’re pretty sure of just about all the marks, although there’s still room for error with the triple jump and marathon marks.
The guys’ list is much harder, since men’s track simply has a much longer history, and my reference books only go back to the mid-1980s.
Some of the marks are slam dunks. We know nobody from South Jersey has long jumped farther than Carl Lewis, nobody from South Jersey has run 400 meters faster than Lamont Smith and nobody from South Jersey has high jumped higher than Darren Burton.
However, there are some events with holes in them, and I need your help filling them in!
The 5,000, 10,000, hammer throw and pole vault have been huge challenges. Somebody from South Jersey has to have run in the 13:40s for a track 5,000, but I can’t find him. And somebody from South Jersey has to have run in the 28’s or low 29’s for 10,000, but I can’t find him. The best pole vault I found by a South Jersey native was 17 feet even, and even that mark has been tough to verify. And I can’t find a hammer throw over 181 feet!
So here is the men’s list. I need the help of the South Jersey track community to fill in the blanks!
If you can think of someone from South Jersey who may have run 13:50 or 29:15, vaulted over 17 feet or thrown the hammer more than 181 feet, let me know in the comment’s section! Even if you don’t have the meet information, I can find it. And if you see any errors or omissions in the events that are listed, please let me know!
Oh, and I’m pretty sure SOMEBODY from South Jersey has scored well into the 7,000’s in the decathlon since legendary Charlie Pratt. But the best mark I found was from Charlie 62 years ago when he won the AAU national title, and it was fun to include it, even though it’s probably wrong!
OK, here you go! Enjoy!
100-METER DASH: 9.86, Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Aug. 25, 1991, Tokyo
200-METER DASH: 19.75, Carl Lewis [Willingboro], June 19, 1983, Indianapolis
400-METER DASH: 44.30, Lamont Smith [Willingboro], June 19, 1996, Atlanta
800-METER RUN: 1:46.48, Sam Summerville [Holy Spirit], June 2 or June 3, 1978, Eugene
1500-METER RUN: 3:36.98, Ford Palmer [Absegami], July 18, 2015, Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
MILE: 3:54.92, Ford Palmer [Absegami], Feb. 26, 2018, Boston
5,000-METER RUN: 13:48.61, Karl Savage [Eastern], April 17, 2003, Walnut, Calif.
10,000-METER RUN: 29:16.01, Kevin O’Donnell [Camden Catholic], April 13, 2013, Lewisburg, Pa.
MARATHON: 2:16.46, Paul Friedman [Moorestown], April 21, 1980, Boston
110-METER HURDLES: 12.94, Jack Pierce [Woodbury], June 22, 1996, Atlanta,
400-METER HURDLES: 48.37, Reuben McCoy [Winslow Twp.], June 28, 2008, Eugene
HIGH JUMP: 7-5 3/4, Darren Burton [Delran], Ylivieska, Finland, July 23, 1989
LONG JUMP: 29-1, Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Tokyo, Aug. 30, 1991
TRIPLE JUMP: 53-6 1/2, Greg Foster [Shawnee], Flagstaff, May 14, 1988
SHOT PUT: 69-3 3/4, Josh Olayinka Awotunde [Delsea], Los Angeles, April 13, 2019
DISCUS: 204-0, Mike Mielke [Holy Spirit], Tucson, May 4, 1996
JAVELIN: 271-11, Curtis Thompson [Florence], Eugene, July 4, 2016
HAMMER: 235-4, Johnnie Jackson [Cherry Hill East], Eugene, Ore., June 7, 2017
DECATHLON: 7164, Charlie Pratt [Palmyra], Kingsburg, Calif., July 24-25, 1957
Kevin McDonnell Camden Catholic 2008 went 29:16.01 at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic as one of Glavin’s SJU Hawks in 2013 – later that season placed 10th at NCAA DI Nationals! Thank you for organizing the list and writing, Roob!
Yep! Thanks! I updated the page!
Hi Reuben, First I want to thank you for all the research you do for South Jersey.I believe Sam Summerville (Holy Spirit HS) and ran for Manhattan College might hold the Alumni record in the 800 meters. He ran 1:46.48 to place 4th at the 1978 NCAA’s. It is still Manhattan’s school record. I am checking my records for the Hammer. If I find anything i’ll send it to you. Thanks again Bill Collins
That’s great information! Thanks for the heads up! I do remember that name but didn’t realize he was that fast!
The best hammer I could find is Awotunde, but that was only a 181 and I know there has to be superior marks than that.
This stuff is a blast. Gives me a fun project to work on during the Eagles’ offseason. My next project is class records for every South Jersey county!
Hope all is well!
I have some class records already done. I am almost finished a record progression for SJ. Give me a cal or email me if you want to talk. 856 -381-7763.
Interesting! … Record progression is a good one. That takes a ton of research. … Are you doing overall South Jersey class records or by county? Don’t want to duplicate your work!
I just passed through Kingsburg, CA, where Charlie Pratt set the decathlon scoring record, this morning. What’re the chances?!
That’s amazing! I was actually just out that way … spent a week up in Sonoma with the family … just got home Wednesday. So beautiful! Hope all is well with you!
All is good with me and I hope with you as well.
I’m out here on a father-son trip celebrating my boy’s graduation from high school. Spent a week driving up the coast from SD to SF. In Vegas now before we fly back Wednesday.
Great job on the lists! Catch up with you soon!
No I haven’t done too much with county records except in Camden County. I do have a ton of stats for cross country and track that I have been keeping for years. I have just started to put them together.
I do have a throw of 208′ 2″ in the discus for Mike Mielke, thrown in 1996 at La Jolla California in my records. That was the year he went to the Olympic trials and made the finals. I wasn’t sure what meet? Maybe you can verify it.
I didn’t know Darren Burton jumped 7′ 5 3/4″ that was good info for me and my records for the hall of fame.
Yeah, I found the 204 for Mielke but I’ll take a look for the 208 when I get home tonight and get that updated.
Hi Roob! Johnny Jackson has 235’ throw at LSU in the hammer.
Wow! That’s a bomb! I have no idea who he is though! Where is Johnny from? Thanks for the info!
Hey, is Jess planning to throw at USATF nationals?
He went to Cherry Hill East! How did I not know about him! I can’t believe it! This guy is incredible!
Johnny went to Cherry Hill East, a Juco and then LSU. Great kid! Yes, Jess will be at USA’s. She’s also throwing at Michelle Carter’s all girl meet at UTA this week.
UTA is … University of Texas Arlington? … I’m bad at abbreviations! … What day is that meet?
Eric Lorenz ran 29:17 while at Wake Forest which doesn’t help but Karl Savage ran 13:48.61 and 29:11 (but I think the 10K was on the road in Mobile) which might. Have to think there might be a few others in that range.
Yeah! I was there at Penn watching with Herb when Eric ran 29:17 at like 11:30 p.m. that night … that was the best race of his life and Herb was so proud. I’ll check on Karl’s marks … I figured there had to be a bunch of guys under 13:50 but he’s the first one anybody has actually told me about! I guess that would have been somewhere in the 2001-2005 range? … Thanks!
If it helps I got Karl’s mark off his IAAF profile and was 2004 I believe. Thinking Marty Ludwikowski might have a fast 5k/10K mark but can’t find anything for him except a 29:01 road one in Bermuda (which must have been a brutal course as I don’t think you can find a fast one in Hamilton)
I need to track down Marty or figure out his PRs. I was actually at his legendary Millrose mile race against Kevin Byrne. Best race I ever saw in my life!