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