Gabay, Adler, Wechsler set to chase history in loaded Meet of Champions 3,200!!!!!

Austin Gabay, Oliver Adler and Ethan Wechsler are already among the fastest two-milers in South Jersey history.

On Sunday, they’ll have a chance to go even faster.

Gabay, Adler and Wechsler are the No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the 3,200 at the 52nd annual Meet of Champions, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday on the 200-meter banked track Ocean Breeze in Staten Island.

It’ll be the first NJSIAA meet ever held outside New Jersey and the first ever held on a banked track.

The boys 3,200 is scheduled to go off at 1:55 p.m.

Gabay won the state Group 2 title in 9:12.77, Adler won Group 4 in 9:12.87 and Wechsler finished just behind Adler in 9:12.90.

The top two seeds are Foot Locker finalists Liam Murphy of Allentown, who ran 9:04.41 to win the Group 3 title, and Jack Jennings of Mendham, who ran 9:09.27, for second.

They’re also the top two seeds in the 1,600, and it remains to be seen what their plans are for Sunday.

Because they both have 4:12 speed, their presence would likely guarantee that the race goes out very fast – something like 4:32 or 4:33 through the mile wouldn’t be surprising.

But even if one or both of them chooses the mile – or doubles back – there’s still no shortage of very fast two-milers in the field.

State Group 4 XC champ Jackson Braddock of Southern [9:16.27], 9:10 outdoor two-miler Martin Riddell of Haddonfield [9:16.29] and Vidhur Polam of South Brunswick [9:16.63], who ran a 14-second PR last weekend, give the race seven two-milers who ran sub-9:17 last weekend.

Gabay, Adler and Wechsler are No. 6, 7 and 8 in South Jersey history and fastest South Jersey indoor two-milers since 2010, when Jonathan Vitez of Haddonfield set the South Jersey record of 8:58.81 and also the indoor Meet of Champions record.

Vitez is the only South Jersey boy who has ever run sub-9:10 (or the two-mile equivalent, which would be 9:13.21) at the Meet of Champions.

Here are the outdoor PRs of the seven seeds who ran sub-9:20 last weekend:

9:04.43 … Liam Murphy [Allentown]
9:08.62 … Jack Jennings [Mendham]
9:15.13 … Austin Gabay [Cinnaminson]
9:29.62 … Oliver Adler [Cherry Hill East]
9:10.90 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee]
9:10.75 … Martin Riddell [Haddonfield]
9:30.80 … Vidhur Polem [South Brunswick]

Disappointing the race will be missing Mainland Regional’s Kevin Antczak, who ran 9:09.38 last spring but has been hurt this indoor season.

The complete all-time South Jersey 3,200 performance list is below.

Let’s take a look at the fastest Meet of Champions times ever by South Jersey runners. As you can see, Gabay, Adler and Wechsler – and Riddell as well – all have the potential to get into that top group if they even match their times on a slower flat track at states. Incredibly, four of the top seven South Jersey times in meet history came in that hot 2010 race with Vitez setting the pace!

As always, send me corrections and additions in the comments section!

8:58.81 … Jon Vitez, Haddonfield, 2010 [1st]
9:10.4y … Ken Medlin, Haddon Township, 1970 [1st]
9:11.7y … Mike Butynes, Sterling, 1970 [2nd]
9:11.9y … Johnny Englehardt, Willingboro, 1976 [5th]
9:13.33 … Mike Rankin, Paul VI, 2010 [7th]
9:13.58 … Mike O’Dowd, Colts Neck, 2010 [8th]
9:13.93 … Paul Szulewski, Williamstown, 2010 [9th]
9:14.9y-………Butynes, 1971 [2nd]
9:15.76 … Kevin Pumphrey, Highland, 1986 [1st]
9:16.0y … Mike Mantini, Gateway, 1978 [1st]
9:16.13 … Jimmy Daniels, Sterling, 2013 [5th]
9:16.57 … Aaron Groff, Cherry Hill East, 2016 [3rd]
9:17.55 … Greg Hughes, Mainland Reg., 2004 [3rd]
9:17.71 … Dave Forward, Shawnee, 2009 [5th]
9:18.59 … Kevin Antczak, Mainland Regional, 2019 [4th]

There are some other very good South Jersey runners in the field. Pitman senior Sebastien Reed ran 9:27.16 earlier this winter, Cherokee senior Chase Miller and Cherry Hill East junior Aidan Eyre both ran under 9:30 at states, and Delsea senior Noah Deckert qualified in both the 1,600 and 3,200.

8:58.81 ….. Jonathan Vitez [Haddonfield], 2010
9:10.4y ….. Ken Medlin, Haddon Township, 1970
9:11.1y ..… Mike Butynes [Sterling], 1970
9:11.2y ..… Mike Elder [Haddon Twp.], 1974
9:11.86y … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2002
9:11.9y ….. Johnny Englehardt [Willingboro], 1976
9:12.77 … Austin Gabay [Cinnaminson], 2020
9:12.87 … Oliver Adler [Cherry Hill East], 2020
9:12.90 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee], 2020
9:13.33 ….. Michael Rankin [Paul VI], 2010
9:13.93 ….. Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2011
9:14.31 ….. Jimmy Daniels [Sterling], 2013
9:15.8y ….. Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978
9:15.82y … Kevin Pumphrey [Highland], 1986
9:16.09 ….. Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2016
9:16.29 … Martin Riddell [Haddonfield], 2020
9:17.52 ….. Lou Corgliano [Hammonton], 2013
9:17.55 ….. Greg Hughes [Mainland Reg.], 2004
9:17.71 ….. Dave Forward [Shawnee], 2009

The full performance list for the entire meet is here.

And final list for now … this is an amazing one! Seven performances from the 1970s are still on the all-time top-20!

8:58.81 … Jon Vitez, Haddonfield, 2010 [1st]
8:59.77 … Brian Leung, West Windsor South, 2008 [1st]
9:00.95 … Jeramy Elkaim, Livingston, 2010 [2nd]
9:01.86 … Doug Smith, Gill St. Bernard’s, 2008 [2nd]
9:02.00 … Tom O’Neill, Middletown North, 2013 [1st]
9:03.58 … Craig Forys, Colts Neck, 2007 [1st]
9:04.7y … Chris Inman, Essex Catholic, 1973 [1st]
9:04.8y … Tim Conheeney, Paramus Catholic, 1973 [2nd]
9:05.6y … Vince Cartier, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 1971 [1st]
9:06.2y … Chris Hallinan, Bernards, 1974 [1st]
9:06.11 … Devin Hart, Point Pleasant, 2018 [1st]
9:06.58 … Mohamed Khadraoui, Paterson Kennedy, 2004 [1st]
9:07.17 … Tyler Udland, Millburn, 2010 [3rd]
9:08.32 … Jordan Brannan, Colts Neck, 2017 [1st]
9:08.55 … Sean Poherence, Morris Hills, 2009 [1st]
9:08.7y … Carlos Bazo, Essex Catholic, 1972 [1st]
9:10.0y … Ed Taylor, Edison, 1976 [1st]
9:10.09 … Alex Roth, Princeton, 2017 [2nd]
9:10.27 … Chris Pannone, Hunterdon Central, 2004 [2nd]
9:10.4y … Ken Medlin, Haddon Township, 1970 [1st]

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