The Haddonfield girls continue to do things that very few – if any – girls track programs have ever done.
In their record-setting state championship on Sunday, Haddonfield won by the largest margin in meet history, and one of the reasons was a remarkable performance by its three milers.
Juniors Sarah Naticchia, Allison Colflesh and Payton Weiner all ran under 5:10 and finished second, third and fourth, behind Voorhees junior Emma McGill, who ran 4:59.15. Naticchia ran 5:07.21, Colflesh 5:08.31 and Weiner a personal-best 5:09.83.
Not only did that score Haddonfield 18 points in the one event, it made Haddonfield the first New Jersey school with three girls under 5:10 in the same indoor race since Mendham in 2013 with Reagan Kolakowski [5:03.98], Abby Seel [5:04.23] and Mackenzie Barry [5:08.61] in the North Section 2 Group 3 sectionals in 2013 at the Bennett Center.
No South Jersey school has done that in the last 20 years, although Lenape came very close in 2010 with Caitlin Orr [4:57.72], Natalia Occasion [4:58.48] and Amanda Restivo [5:11.42]
(I apologize to the Haddonfield program for this post being a few days late, but it took me a while to look up that last stat!)
Naticchia and Colflesh ran slightly faster at sectionals but this was Weiner’s first time under 5:10 indoors. Her previous indoor PR was a 5:12.74 at sectionals.
Naticchia also took third in the 3,200 in 11:10.36, and junior Lindsay Colflesh and junior Olivia Stoner went 2-5 in the 800, Colflesh in 2:16.62 – a huge PR – and Stoner in an indoor PR 2:22.82. Colflesh’s previous indoor 800 PR was 2:19.84. She’s gone as fast as 2:14.87 outdoors, last spring at states. Stoner ran 2:23.34 at sectionals.
So that’s 18 points in the 1,600, nine in the 800 and six in the 3,200 for 33 for the distance team.
There was much more to Haddonfield’s performance than its usual dominance in the long track races.
Senior Rachel Bonnet won the high jump at 5-2 on fewer misses over senior Nina Casselberry of Cedar Creek. It was Bonnet’s first time over 5-2 indoors and Casselberry’s first time over 5-2 indoors or outdoors.
Junior Robin Rosen cleared 10-6 for second place in the pole vault, behind only junior Julia Greeley of Seneca, who cleared 11-0.
Bonnet and Grace Kegler both placed in the hurdles, Bonnet in fifth in 8.90 and Kegler sixth in 8.93. It was the first time under 9.00 for both of them.
Haddonfield also placed fourth in the 1,600-meter relay in 4:10.73, with junior Grace Donch and freshman Maya Carey joining Lindsay Colflesh and Weiner.
Haddonfield’s 39-point margin of victory — 59-20 win over Rahway – is the largest in Group 2 meet history. The previous largest margin of victory was 34, when Buena beat Hopewell Valley 62-28 in 1999.
The team title was Haddonfield’s ninth overall but first since 2016. Only Columbia and Winslow, with 10 each, have won more.
Haddonfield won its first three state titles from 2000 through 2002 in Group 1 and then 2008 and four straight from 2013 through 2016 in Group 1. This year’s is the Bulldogs’ first in Group 2.