Hammonton’s Nate Karl leads parade of South Jersey shot putters to 50-foot throws and PRs at Cherokee Throwdown!!!

Hammonton senior Nate Karl led four South Jersey shot putters over the 50-foot barrier with a huge PR Thursday night at the Cherokee Thrown Down #2 in Marlton.

Karl threw 54-9, more than a two-foot PR over the 52-6 he threw just before Christmas at the Bennett Center.

Also over 50 feet were Williamstown senior Dan Manion, Delsea junior Joe Metzger and Cinnaminson junior Luke Walton.

All four posted PRs.

There are now six South Jersey throwers over 50 feet this indoor season. In addition to these four, John Purvis of Winslow has a 60-foot throw and Willingboro’s C.J. Johnson threw 50-4 at the state relays.

Let’s take a look at all four throwers who went over 50 feet on Thursday night:

NATE KARL: He’s now been over 50 feet in six of eight meets this year and over 49 feet in two others, and he’s surpassed 52 feet in each of his last three meets.

Coming into this season, Karl had a PR of 49-2 1/2 from his win at the Atlantic County Championships at Buena last May and an indoor PR of 47-0 from a meet at the Bubble in December of 2018.

Karl’s mark makes him No. 2 in South Jersey so far this season, behind only Purvis, who bombed his 60-0 back in December at the Bubble.

It’s the best throw by an Atlantic County thrower since Cade Antonucci of Holy Spirit hit 57-9 in 2016.

DAN MANION: Manion also PR’d, adding a few inches to the 50-6 3/4 he threw earlier this month at the state relays. Manion has an outdoor PR of 52-2 3/4 from the Meet of Champions last year, which was his only meet over 50 feet as a junior.

JOE METZGER: Metzger’s PR was his second in five days. He hit 50 feet for the first time earlier this week at the Bubble. His overall PR is a 48-7 from the Willingboro Relays Championships last May.

LUKE WALTON: Walton became the latest Cinnaminson 50-footer after coming into the meet with a PR of 48-7 from the state relays. Walton’s best throw last year was 46-6 at sectionals.

Eastern’s Jailya Ash takes over N.J. #1 spot in high hurdles, sister Jewel Ash moves up to #4!!!!!

Eastern junior Jailya Ash took over the New Jersey high hurdles lead over the weekend with an 8.20 at the Bennett Center.

Ash ran 8.45 in the trials before her 8.20 in the finals.

That’s the second-fastest 55-meter highs time of Ash’s life. She ran 8.10 at sectionals last year, finishing 1-100th of a second behind Claudine Smith of Atlantic City – who’s now at Rutgers. Smith and Ash also went 1-2 at states and Smith went on to win the Meet of Champions and place 4th at nationals.

Ash ranks No. 12 in South Jersey history with her 8.10 last year. Her 8.20 Saturday is No. 20 nationally so far this year according to the MileSplit U.S. database and No. 8 among juniors.

Just behind Jailya is her sister Jewel Ash, an Eastern senior. She’s No. 2 in South Jersey at 8.31 from the same race and No. 4 in the state.

Jailya Ash also ranks No. 10 in the state in the 55 with her 7.31 at the Bennett Center last month.

The only other girls in the state to run 8.31 or faster are East Orange sophomore Azariah Christopher (8.25) and Felicia Quainoo of Union Catholic (8.29).

So the Ash family has as many hurdlers at 8.31 or faster than the rest of the state combined.

Millville sophomore Bryanna Craig and Paul VI senior Aliya Rae Garozzo are right there with the Ash sisters at 8.34, both from the Hispanic Games earlier this month at the Armory.

Jewel Ash also won the 400 Saturday in 58.05 and was second to EHT’s Lauren Princz in the 55 with a 7.43 (after a 7.41 in the trials).

She’s now No. 7 in the state and No. 3 in South Jersey in the 400.

Jailya Ash was the Meet of Champions winner in both the 55 indoors and 100 outdoors last year. She’s undefeated so far this year in the 55, hurdles and 200.

Jewel Ash was the state indoor Group 4 champ in the 400 and a Meet of Champions medalist in both the 400 indoors and 400 intermediates outdoors.

Kristina Tossas, Anaya Young make history for R.V. in Ocean Breeze long jump!!!

Rancocas Valley didn’t have an indoor long jumper go 17-6 or better for 32 years.

Then they had two on one day.

Senior Kristina Tossas and sophomore Anaya Young both surpassed 17-6 in separate events at the Ocean Breeze Invitational Sunday on Staten Island.

Tossas jumped 17-6 1/2 to place second in the varsity competition, and Young jumped 17-6 1/4 to place second in the sophomore competition.

Those marks are the best by R.V. jumpers indoors since Tonya Lee went 18-4 3/4 to win 1988 Easterns at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym.

Tossas hit 18-7 3/4 outdoors last year and won the state Group 4 title. She went on to jump 19-8 in an AAU summer track meet. Her previous indoor PR was 17-4 1/2 at last year’s Meet of Champions.

Young jumped 17-8 last spring at states, but this was only her second career indoor competition. She jumped 17-2 at Monmouth earlier this month.

Tossas and Young now rank No. 3 and 4 in South Jersey this year behind Bryanna Craig of Millville (18-1 1/4) and Tierra Hooker (18-1). Both are also in the top 10 in the state a month into the season.

Craig and Young are also the No. 1 and 2 sophomores state-wide.

Rancocas Valley is the first South Jersey school with two girls over 17-6 indoors the same year since Lenape in 2015 with Ariel Mitchell (17-11 1/4) and Jasmine Staten (17-9 3/4), although Millville is close with current sophomores Leah Ellis at 19-3 last year and Craig at 18-1 1/4 this year.

Here’s my best attempt at an all-time Burlington County indoor 17-foot long jump list:

21-7 1/2 … Carol Lewis (Willingboro), 1981
18-5 3/4 … Lindsey Walsh (Lenape), 2008
18-4 3/4 Tonya Lee (Rancocas Valley), 1987
18-4 1/2 … Kristen Tricocci (Cinnaminson), 2003
18-1 … Jasmine Staten [Lenape], 2015
17-11 1/4 … Ariel Mitchell [Lenape], 2014
17-10 1/4 … Jenna Niedermayer (Cinnaminson),2009
17-9 3/4 … Shaya Wilkerson [Lenape], 2012
17-8 1/2 … Ashley Edwards [Northern Burlington], 2014
17-8 … Tabitha Gary (Moorestown), 1997
17-6 1/2 … Kristina Tossas [Rancocas Valley], 2020
17-6 1/4 … Anaya Young [Rancocas Valley], 2020
17-3 … Selina Burton (Willingboro), 1995
17-0 3/4 … Amy Landell (Cherokee), 2001
17-0 … Elizabeth Montague [Cherokee], 2013

Rowan’s Ahmir Johnson ends long layoff with two big triple jump performances!!!!!

After an 11-month layoff, Ahmir Johnson has picked up right where he left off.

Johnson, a Rowan sophomore and transfer from Gwyneed Mercy, is the No. 17 triple jumper in NCAA Division 3 after leaping 46-6 3/4 this past weekend at the Coach I Open at Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster. He went 45-7 1/4 in the Fasttrack Season Opener last month at Ocean Breeze.

Johnson’s last meet before this indoor season was Feb. 22 of last year as a Gwynned-Mercy freshman. He set a school record of 46-8 1/4 and didn’t compete again the rest of indoor season or outdoors.

He’s now No. 2 in the NJAC, just inches behind Chaheen Payne of Rutgers-Newark, who has a 46-11 to his credit from a meet at Ocean Breeze earlier this month.

Johnson also high jumped 6-2 and long jumped 21-4 3/4 at Gwynned-Mercy and finished ranked among the top three in the Atlantic Conference in all three events.

During his high school career at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Johnson hit 48-5 3/4 indoors at the Track & Field Coaches Association of Greater Philadelphia Meet at Lehigh’s Rauch Fieldhouse in January of 2018 and 47-0 3/4 outdoors at the PIAA District 1 meet at Coatesville. He also jumped 6-4 and 23-4 3/4 at Wissahickon.

Rowan is ranked No. 17 in the initial U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division 3 poll.

Rowan heads to Ithaca, N.Y., this weekend for the Bomber Invitational at Ithaca’s Glazer Arena.

Timber Creek’s Tierra Hooker puts together all-time S.J. #5 indoor pentathlon performance at Ocean Breeze!!!!!

Timber Creek senior Tierra Hooker showed off her versatility Sunday with a second-place finish in the pentathlon at the Ocean Breeze Invitational.

Hooker, in her first career indoor multi-event competition, placed second to Brianna Smith of Cheltenham High, just across the Philadelphia border in Montgomery County. Smith scored 3,617 points, the No. 1 mark in the U.S. this year, just ahead of Bryanna Craig of Millville, who scored 3,584 last month at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic at the Armory.

On Sunday at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island, Hooker recorded the 4th-highest school in the U.S. this winter according to the MileSplit national database, behind Smith, Craig and Holly Cassel of Dwyer High in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (3,293).

Hooker scored big points in the 55-meter hurdles (879), high jump (818) and long jump (703). She added 439 points in the 800 and 423 in the shot put.

In the highs, Hooker ran 8.63, not far off her indoor PR of 8.50. She long jumped 18-1, best of the competition, an indoor PR and No. 3 in the state this year. And in the high jump the former Meet of Champions winner cleared the bar at 5-5 3/4. She’s already tied for the No. 1 spot in the state at 5-8, No. 4 nationally. Hooker also threw the shot 27-5 1/4 and ran 2:52.40 in the 800.

Her time is No. 5 in South Jersey history and broke the Camden County which appeared to be 2,848 by Jasmine Thompson of Triton in 2009 at the National Scholastic Championships. It’s No. 17 in state history.

3674 … Tia Livingston [Union Catholic], 2016
3584 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2020
3570 … Tonya Lee [Rancocas Valley], 1988
3548 … Anne Bansemir [Nutley], 1986
3546 … Amber Williams [Roxbury], 2001
3528 … Josefine Kvist [Ridge], 2006
3521 … Ahsley Newby [Columbia], 2007
3514 … Helen Wilks [Bridgeton], 1994
3511 … Bridgette Ingram [Columbia], 1998
3421 … Jessica Creedon [Ridge], 2017
3378 … Lindsey Walsh [Lenape], 2008
3368 … LaShonda Carter [Rahway], 2006
3344 … Charisse West [Notre Dame], 1985
3329 … Kennedee Cox [Paramus Catholic], 2019
3322 … Shelley Mitchell [Lakewood], 1988
3265 … Aiyanna Burton [Columbia], 1995
3262 … Tierra Hooker [Timber Creek], 2020
3232 … Jamie Lilien [Pascack Valley], 2000
3224 … Brittney Jackson [Columbia], 2010

Haddonfield’s Sarah Naticchia runs U.S. #16 in first lifetime indoor 2-mile race!!!!!

In her first lifetime indoor two-mile, Haddonfield junior Sarah Naticchia broke 11 minutes at the Ocean Breeze Invitational.

Naticchia ran 10:57.70 and placed 4th in a loaded field that saw Lydia Russell of Friends Central in Philadelphia, Jenna Mulhern of West Chester Henderson and Nicole Garcia of Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) all run well under 11 minutes as well.

Her time is No. 17 in South Jersey history.

Russell (10:35.18) and Mulhern (10:35.93) moved into the No. 3 and No. 4 spots on the MileSplit 2020 U.S. database, Garcia moved into the No. 8 position (10:50.66) and Naticchia’s time is No. 16 nationally.

Naticchia is now No. 2 in New Jersey, behind Nicole Vanasse of Pingry School.

Naticchia, who didn’t run track until last year, her sophomore year, has an outdoor PR of 10:48.87 for 3,200 meters from states last year. She’s focused mainly on the 800 and 1,600 in her brief career. 

That 10:48.87 converts to about a 10:52.63 full two-miles, so Naticchia – in her first lifetime indoor two-mile – came within only five seconds of her outdoor PR.

It looks like Naticchia’s time is 4th-fastest in Haddonfield history, behind Olympian Erin Donohue (10:38.90 in 2001), Briana Gess (10:40.80) and Shelby Cain (10:48.78 in 2014).

In addition to her 10:48.87, Naticchia ran 2:15.79 and 4:55.90 last spring.

I put together my best shot at an all-time South Jersey indoor sub-11-minute list. This includes converted two-mile marks, so Naticchia comes in at 10:53.89.

Holla if anybody is missing.

10:19.30 … Brittany Sedberry (Ocean City), 2006
10:31.06 … Megan Lacy (Cherokee), 2012
10:38.11 … Megan Venables (Highland), 2011
10:38.90 … Erin Donohue (Haddonfield), 2001
10:40.03 … Dina Iacone (Washington Twp.), 2012
10:40.70 … Alyssa Aldridge (Mainland Reg.), 2016
10:40.80 … Briana Gess (Haddonfield), 2017
10:42.06 … Holly Bischof (Bishop Eustace), 2012
10:42.42 … Theresa Cattuna (Cherry Hill East), 2007
10:42.71 … Chelsea Ley (Kingsway), 2008
10:45.20 … Devon Grisbaum (Ocean City), 2015
10:46.63 … Erika Kemp (Rancocas Valley), 2013
10:46.9h ….. Michelle Rowen (Washington Twp.), 1983
10:48.78 … Shelby Cain (Haddonfield), 2014
10:52.05 … Amanda Goetschius (Delsea), 2007
10:53.4h … Christin Bettis (Hammonton), 2012
10:53.89 … Sarah Naticchia (Haddonfield), 2020 
10:57.95 … Katy Storti (Bishop Eustace), 2019
10:59.04 … Maria Ruiz (Williamstown), 2009
10:59.13 … Vickie Ajimoko (Williamstown), 2013

Egg Harbor Twp. grad Donny Vineyard runs another big 800 PR in Boston!!!!!

Two races, two PRs this winter for Donny Vineyard.

Vineyard, a 2018 graduate of Egg Harbor Township and now a Rider sophomore, ran a personal-best 1:54.19 Friday at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University.


A week earlier he PR’d with 1:55.73 at the NYC Gotham Cup at Ocean Breeze.

Before those two races, he had never broken 1:59 indoors.

Vineyard’s time puts him at No. 5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference so far this year. He didn’t quite break into Rider’s all-time indoor top 10, but he’s less than half a second away.

Click to access All_Time_Top_10_Indoor_Men.pdf

Vineyard placed fifth in the fifth of 22 sections of the 800 in Boston and wound up placing 33rd out of 178 starters.

Vineyard’s high school PR at Egg Harbor was 1:58.14, which he ran senior year at the Cape Atlantic Meet at Bridgeton, when he placed second to Pleasantville’s Quentin Bundy.

His indoor PR in high school was 2:00.30 senior year at the Meet of Champions at the Bubble in Toms River.

He had a breakthrough as a freshman last spring with a 1:55.23 at the Widener Invitational in April, his first race under 1:58, but his indoor PR coming into this season was 1:59.34 at the same meet last year.

At B.U., Vineyard also ran on Rider’s 3,200-meter relay team, which placed 4th Saturday in 7:46.29, fastest time this year in the MAAC.

Stianche led off in 1:56.6, followed by Vineyard with a 1:56.2, Ruskan in 1:54.8 and Ruskan in 1:58.7. 

That was without their two-fastest half-milers – Mike Mazzei of Bishop Ahr, who ran 1:53.36 Friday, and Kevin Heredia of Clifton, who ran 1:53.53.

Add up their FAT times from this weekend, and you get 7:37.09.

Two other South Jersey runners PR’d in the 800 in Boston Friday: Vineyard’s former teammate, Rutgers junior Eric Barnes, ran 1:53.13, and Rancocas Valley graduate Micah Wood, a freshman at Monmouth, ran 1:53.46. More on them soon!

Welcome back to the track, Francis Terry!!!

Yesterday was a huge day for Rowan’s Francis Terry.

He didn’t win and he didn’t PR, but he did something he hasn’t done since 2018.

He raced.

Terry, a two-time All-America middle-distance runner for Rowan out of Sterling High, ended a 20-month layoff by placing second in the 400 at the Coach I Open at the Schnader Field House at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Terry ran 50.51 and finished just behind teammate Justin Bishop from Mainland Regional, who won the race in 50.03. Terry and Bishop are the last two NJAC 400 winners.

Terry ran as fast as 47.55 for Rowan in 2018. He placed 5th in the 400 at NCAAs, he won the NJAC and AARFTFC titles, and he anchored Rowan’s 3:11.99 4-by-4 at Penn and 3rd-place 4-by-4 at nationals (Bishop ran the second leg on both).

It was a heck of a season, especially considering that Terry’s best high school time was 49.37, and he didn’t break 50 seconds during his one year at Neumann University in Aston, Pa.

But after NCAAs wrapped up on May 26, 2018, we never saw Francis’ name again.

Until Saturday.

Rowan’s web site didn’t mention Terry’s layoff in its brief synopsis of the meet, so we’re not sure if he was hurt or just took a year off from track. 

But really it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy he’s back because the world needs more South Jersey 47-point quarter-milers!

Bishop and Terry now rank No. 1 and No. 3 in the NJAC this spring, with Dave Etienne of New Jersey City second at 50.38.

Terry has an indoor PR of 48.76 from the 2018 NJAC indoor meet. Rowan is back in action next Saturday and Sunday at the Bomber Invitational at Ithaca.


World champion Nia Ali of Pleasantville hurdles to world #2 performance in first indoor race in two years!!!!!

World champion Nia Ali opened her 2020 season with an electrifying win in the 60-meter hurdles Saturday at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Roxbury, Mass.

Ali, a graduate of Pleasantville High School, ran 7.94 and edged world indoor silver medalist Christina Clemons, who was second in 7.98. Payton Chadwick placed third in 8.07.

It was Ali’s first indoor race in more than two years, since she ran 8.45 at the Pima Aztec Indoor Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2018. It was only her third indoor meet in the last four years.

“It means a lot to start off the season here,” Ali said in an interview on the IAAF (WorldAthletics) web site. “My family is able to get down and see me and I appreciate that. Especially being from the East coast. I know the crowd is always good to me, so I love it.”

Ali, Clemons and Chadwick have the No. 2, 3 and 4 time in the world this year, according to the IAAF world performance list, behind Tonea Marshall, who ran 7.86 last weekend in Lubbock, Texas.

Ali’s time is her fastest since she ran 7.81 on March 18, 2016, at the Oregon Convention Center. Her PR is 7.80, which she ran in Albuquerque on Feb. 23, 2014. That ranks her No. 20 in world history and No. 8 in U.S. history.

Ali ranks No. 9 in world history and No. 4 in U.S. history with her 12.34 over the 100-meter highs, which she ran when she won the gold medal at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in October.

Ali won the silver medal as part of a U.S. sweep at Estádio Olímpico at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

Ali ran 7.99 in the trials earlier Saturday, leading all qualifiers into the final. This was her first meet since she won gold at Worlds in Doha on Oct. 6.

Pitman’s Sebastien Reed takes over #1 spot on 2020 S.J. 3,200 list with PR at the Bubble!!!

Sebastien Reed solo’d a South Jersey #1 9:27.16 at the Bubble Saturday, an indoor-outdoor PR for the Pitman senior.

That’s fastest by any Gloucester County runner indoors since Nick Costello of Delsea ran 9:24.71 at states in 2012.

Reed broke his overall PR of 9:27.52, which he ran last spring at Middletown North, and lowered his indoor PR from 9:28.59, which he ran last year at the Meet of Champions.

Reed, a two-time state Group 1 XC champion, won the race by 150 meters over Brady Shute of Woodbury, who was second in 9:53.19.

Cherokee junior Brett Shea (9:54.45), Clearview junior Anas Bensaoud and Lenape senior Matt Richardson (9:55.89) also broke 10 minutes.

Reed’s time is fastest by a South Jersey Group 1 runner since Owen Long ran 9:24.21 at states in 2016.

Mike Mantini of Gateway has held the Gloucester County two-mile record of 9:19.0 for 42 years.