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.