Holy Spirit sends two girls to state relays, returns to Absecon with two gold medals and two PRs!!!

Holy Spirit sent two girls to the state relays. They came back with two PRs and two gold medals.

Junior Julia Bannan and sophomore Morgan Keil teamed up to win the shot put relay at the girls Parochial B state relays at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

Bannan threw 33-1 1/2 and added more than eight inches to her indoor PR. Keil threw a nearly two-foot PR of 32-5.

Their combined throw of 65-6 1/2 easily out-distanced second-place Hudson Catholic, whose tandem threw 60-6 1/4.

That was the only event Holy Spirit entered, but the 10 points were good enough for the Spartans to finish eighth in the state in team scoring.

Holy Spirit’s last win at the state relays came in 2017, when Isabella Desario, Ayana Plummer, Jenna Bradberry and Kristy Goff won the 1,600-meter relay.

Bannan and Keil rank No. 2 and 3 in Atlantic County this winter behind only sophomore Tey’ana Ames of Atlantic County Tech in Mays Landing, who threw 34-0 1/2 at the Group 4 state relays.

Holy Spirit’s sprinters, Eustace’s youngsters shine at Parochial B state relays!!!

Holy Spirit’s sprinters enjoyed a huge day at the Parochial B state relays Thursday, with a win in the 1,600-meter relay and close second in the 800-meter relay.

Seniors Ahmad Brown, Terrell Moore and De-Quawn Johnson Jr. and junior Devin Lee ran 3:33.91 to win the 4-by-400 by a whopping 75 meters over second-place Hudson Catholic, which ran 3:43.94.

The same quartet ran 1:33.93 for second to Hudson Catholic in the 4-by-2. Hudson Catholic ran 1:33.79.

Holy Spirit’s 4-by-2 time is No. 5 in South Jersey this year and an indoor school record. The 4-by-4 time is also No. 5 in South Jersey this year. Both are fastest in 2020 by Atlantic County schools.

The Spartans also placed in both the 4-by-8 and the distance medley. Nicholas Bannan, Alex Dejean, Jack Negley and Brady Snyder ran on the 4-by-8 and Bannan, Snyder, Avierre Crawley and Dejean on the DMR.

With those 22 points, Holy Spirit scored 22 points and placed fifth in team scoring at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

Bishop Eustace also had a strong meet, placing fourth with 32 points without a senior scoring a point. Eustace took second in the shuttle hurdles, 3,200-meter relay and DMR, third in the sprint medley and a fifth in the shot put relay.

Eustace ran 11:22.04 in the DMR (senior Shane Vostenak, sophomore John Barrera, sophomore Ryan Carney, sophomore Anthony Faust), 39.92 in the shuttles (junior Gaven Polk, Bobby sophomore Braciszewski, sophomore Danny O’Rourke, junior Drake Taylor), 8:57.50 in the 4-by-8 (sophomore Sean Anderson, Carney, Faust, Vostenak) and 4:01.71 in the SMR (Barrera, Carney, Polk, O’Rourke). Sophomore Aidan Higgins and junior Drake Taylor threw the shot for Eustace.

Anthony Vasquez anchors Egg Harbor boys to U.S. #3 shuttle hurdles at state relays!!!

Now that the National Scholastic Indoors has gotten rid of the shuttle hurdles event, the state relays is likely the last chance for New Jersey schools to compete in the event.

If this was Egg Harbor’s final try at the 4-by-55 hurdles this winter, it was one heck of a performance.

Senior Anthony Vazquez, South Jersey’s top hurdler, anchored EHT to a win at the state Group 4 relays at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

Seniors Marcus Wood and William Spence and sophomore Malachi Wesley set up Vazquez, and EHT ran 30.42, finishing a half second ahead of Elizabeth, which ran 30.85.

That’s No. 2 in the state this year, behind Irvington’s 30.17 at the Essex County Relays at Ocean Breeze last weekend. That’s No. 14 in South Jersey history and No. 3 in Atlantic County history, behind EHT’s 29.74 in 2009 and Oakcrest’s 30.07 in 2012.

Here’s a look at the all-time South Jersey shuttle hurdles list, with all known sub-31-second times:

29.45 … Deptford, 2019
29.72 … Winslow Twp., 2004
29.74 … Egg Harbor, 2009
29.5h … Woodrow Wilson, 1999
29.6h … Camden, 1978
20.7h … Paul VI, 1972
29.8h … Willingboro, 1982
29.9h … Moorestown, 1975
30.0h … Willingboro, 1978
30.07 … Oakcrest, 2012
30.22 … Camden, 2009
30.26 … Winslow Twp., 2003
30.41 … Camden, 1996
30.42 … Egg Harbor, 2020
30.47 … Willingboro, 2012
30.52 … Washington Twp., 2012
30.3h … Camden, 1999
30.64 … Seneca, 2012
30.4h … Camden, 1979
30.4h … Camden, 1997
30.81 … Willingboro, 2016
30.90 … Winslow Twp. 2015
30.92 … Winslow Twp., 2020
30.94 … Deptford, 2018

Delsea graduate Ashley Preston moves up to #3 in Villanova history with big indoor pole vault PR!!!!!

Nice indoor PR for Villanova’s Ashley Preston Sunday!

The Delsea graduate, now a Villanova sophomore, cleared 13-1 1/2 in the pole vault at the Wesley A. Brown Invitational at Navy’s fieldhouse in Annapolis, and 13-1 1/2 is significant in PV circles because it’s 4.00 meters, and that’s a big plateau for vaulters.

Preston’s previous indoor PR was 12-7 1/2, which she hit twice last winter – at a meet last January at Ocean Breeze and again when she won Big East indoors at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Preston has an outdoor PR of 13-2 1/4 from last May, when she won outdoor Big Easts at Icahn Stadium at Randall’s Island in Manhattan.

On Sunday, Preston and Charlene Morke of Navy both cleared 13-1 1/2, with Morke winning on fewer misses. They both tied the facility record set two years ago by Hailey Sweatman of South Carolina.

Preston’s clearance moves her up to No. 5 performance in school history indoors, and she’s the No. 3 performer, behind Alexandra Wasik (13-10 1/4 in 2015) and Ashlyn Llerandi (13-5 3/4 in 2010). She’s No. 6 in Wildcat history outdoors.

Preston leads the Big East so far this season. Julie Clayton of Marquette is second at 12-10 3/4 and nobody else has cleared 12 feet.

On Sunday, Preston passed the first four heights, then cleared 12-1 1/2 on her first try, 12-5 1/2 on her second and 12-9 1/2 and 13-1 1/2 on her third. She took two tries at 13-5 1/4 — that’s 11 total jumps – before passing her final attempt and calling it a day.

Morke entered the competition at 11-9 3/4 and didn’t have a miss until 13-5 1/4.

Tireless Stone Caraccio, Jeff Heineman pick up 3 wins each as Kingsway boys roll to state Group 4 relays championship!!!

Stone Caraccio and Jeffrey Heineman both ran on three winning relay teams and Kingsway raced its way to the state Group 4 relays title at the Bennett Center on Sunday.

Kingsway outscored second-place South Brunswick 38-29 to win the Group 4 state relays title. The Dragons also won in Group 3 in 2014 and 2015.

The Dragons scored all 38 of their points in four track events with three wins and a second place.

Caraccio and Heineman both ran on the winning 1,600-meter relay team, 3,200-meter relay team and distance medley. Michael Williams and Finn Campbell were on the 4-by-4, Ethan Bentley and Kyle Rakitis on the 4-by-8 and Campbell and Rakitis on the DMR.

According to MileSplit, Caraccio split 51 seconds on the 4-by-4, 1:58 on the 4-by-8 anchor, 1:56 on the sprint med anchor and 4:23 bringing home the DMR.

Kingsway won the 4-by-4 in 3:31.77, the 4-by-8 in 8:01.98 and the DMR in 10:30.41. Caraccio, Eric Williams, Campbell and Michael Williams ran 3:39.50 for second in the sprint medley, No. 6 in the state this year and No. 2 in South Jersey.

Kingsway’s 10:30.41 is just off their state-leading 10:28.30 from last month at the Armory. Kingsway has also run faster this year in the 4-by-4 (3:29.12) and 4-by-8 (N.J. #1 7:55.30), both in the Millrose Trials.

Kingsway girls win Group 4 championship on huge day for S.J. schools at state relays!!!!!

The Kingsway girls are state relays champions for the fourth time and for the third time they shared the top of the podium.

Kingsway and Ridge both scored 30 points to share the state Group 4 relays title at the Bennett Center in Toms River Sunday. 

Kingsway also shared the 2007 title with Ridge and shared the 2013 title with Winslow Township. The Dragons won the 2014 championship outright.

It was a huge day for South Jersey schools overall with Millville a point back in third place, Rancocas Valley fourth with 26 and Egg Harbor, Eastern and Williamstown all recording wins in one event.

South Jersey schools won seven of the nine events.

Kingsway won the distance medley in 12:34.81, No. 5 in the state this year and No. 2 in South Jersey. Freshman Aubrey Pierontoni, seniors Allie Pierontoni and Emily Pierontoni and junior Skye Robinson ran for Kingsway, who beat Ridge by 35 meters.

The same quartet placed second in the 4-by-800 in 9:41.41. Kingsway is already No. 1 in South Jersey with its 9:35.90 at the Millrose Trials. Westfield won the race in 9:35.44.

In the sprint medley, junior Elise Daniel, Robinson, Allie Pierontoni and senior Allison Bobst took third in 4:19.00, just a couple steps behind Egg Harbor’s winning 4:17.52. Junior Anne Rutledge, senior Gabrielle German, junior Lauren Princz and senior Isabella Leak ran for EHT.

Kingsway also got third in the pole vault relay with Bobst clearing 10-0 and senior Erin Kennedy 7-0.

Millville won the 800-meter relay in 1:44.17 with the team of senior Zaniah Bowman, sophomore Bryanna Craig, senior Ciera Bowman and sophomore Leah Ellis and was second in the shuttles in 32.26 with Ciara Bowman, Autumn Craig, Bryanna Craig and Ellis. And the Craig sisters won the high jump relay, Bryanna clearing 5-4 and Autumn 4-0. 

Eastern won the shuttle hurdles in 32.19 with the team of junior Jailya Ash, senior Jewel Ash, senior Noelle Scott and junior Ariana Tait.

RV scored its win in the pole vault relay, with junior Abigail Boggs clearing 10-6 to match her PR and sophomore Mia Pauline a personal-best 8-0. 

The Red Devils also took second in both the 800- and 1,600-meter relays with the team of Sheriyah Nutt, Alyssa Leak, Anabella Chin and Maya Primas running 1:46.03 and 4:05.47. 

Williamstown freshman Ciara Demarest threw 38-0 and junior Zuri Richardson 35-2 1/2 and the Braves won the shot put relay. 

Haddonfield’s Derek Gess, RV’s Micah Wood both run indoor PRs at Navy in first collegiate 800 race!!!

Navy freshman Derek Gess from Haddonfield and Monmouth freshman Micah Wood from Rancocas Valley both ran indoor PRs in the 800 at the Wesley A. Brown Invitational Sunday in Annapolis, Md.

Gess placed second in 1:54.94, and Wood was fourth in 1:56.55. It was the first career collegiate 800 for both middle-distance runners.

Gess broke his indoor PR of 1:55.93 set when he placed fourth at the 2017 Easterns at the Armory. Wood’s previous indoor PR was 1:59.49 last year — in December of 2018 — at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic, also at the Armory.

Gess’s overall PR is 1:53.88 from Haddonfield Distance Night last spring, and Wood’s is 1:56.15 from Group 4 states last spring. 

Ashwin Briggs led a 1-2-3 Navy sweep, winning in 1:52.53.