Nico Morales lost his South Jersey pole vault record to his twin brother Marco earlier this year, but now he’s a state champion.
Morales, in only his third meet of the year, beat his brother for the first time since sectionals last spring and tied a meet record along the way.
Nico Morales cleared 15-6, matching his indoor PR and one inch off his overall PR, and Marco cleared 14-0 for third, and the amazing Morales brothers’ 16 points along with some clutch running by senior Noah Deckert, hurdling by Damir Lomax and throwing by junior Joe Metzger led the Crusaders to the state Group 2 championship.
The state indoor title is Delsea’s third in the last 10 years. Delsea, always strong in distance and the throws, also won Group 2 in 2011 and 2018.
Woodbury is the only Gloucester County school with more indoor state titles. The Thundering Herd has won five, all between 1969 and 1982.
Marco Morales broke the South Jersey record when he cleared 16-0 at Ocean Breeze earlier this month, and he broke the overall New Jersey sectional record last weekend when he cleared 15-8.
Both Morales brothers and West Deptford’s Dan Batdorf, who cleared 15-6 in 2008, came into the season sharing the South Jersey indoor record.
Marco Morales and Bob Green (Haddon Heights outdoors in 1992) are the only 16-footers in South Jersey history.
Nico Morales is tied for 9th in state history indoors at 15-6 and No. 4 in South Jersey history overall at 15-7.
Nico tied the Group 2 meet record of 15-6 set in 2013 by Craig Hunter of Robbinsville and matched in 2019 by Liam Landau of Pascack Hills.
But the Morales brothers definitely got some help Saturday!
Deckert had a strong double with 4:24.39 for second in the 1,600 and 9:41.60 for fifth in the 3,200. His 4:24.39 was an overall indoor-outdoor PR, breaking his mark of 4:28.17. He just broke 4:33 for the first time earlier this month. His 9:41.60 was just off his PR of 9:40.35 from last month.
Metzger threw 52-10 1/4 for second in the shot put, a little over a foot off his PR of 54-1 1/4 that he set last week. He never threw 50 feet before late last month.
Lomax barely got into the finals of the hurdles at sectionals after an 8.35 in the trials, but he bounced back with an 8.10 for second in the final and then ran 8.08 in the trials Saturday and matched his PR with an 8.04 in the final.