Erika Kemp broke 9 minutes in the 3,000 for the first time Saturday, running 8:58.44 at the Dr. Sander Invitational at the 168th Street Armory.
Kemp, a Rancocas Valley graduate, placed fifth in a loaded field that saw five women dip under 9 minutes, including winner Nicole Hutchinson, who ran 8:48.92.
Heidi See (8:52.94), Emily Lipari (8:56.54) and Amy Eloise Neal (8:56.54) also ran sub-9.
Kemp’s previous PR was 9:05.83 in Boston last February.
The first five finishers are the five-fastest U.S. times this year, according to the IAAF web site. They’re also No. 2 through 6 in the world, behind Julie-Anne Staehli of Canada, who ran 8:47.97 on Friday in Boston.
Kemp’s time puts her somewhere around No. 70 on the all-time U.S. indoor list.
The only South Jersey woman to run faster for an indoor 3,000 is Haddonfield graduate Marielle Hall, who is No. 5 in U.S. history at 8:40.20 from 2018.
Other New Jersey natives who have broken 9 minutes include Julie Culley of North Hunterdon (8:55.62), Lindsey Gallo of Howell (8:56.92), Ashley Higginson of Colts Neck (8:57.86) and Sarah Pagano of Immaculate Heart Academy (8:58.42).
Kemp was a six-time track and XC All-America at North Carolina State.