Highland’s Floyd Whitaker records historic jumps double at Meet of Champions!!!

Floyd Whitaker swept the horizontal jumps Sunday at the 52nd annual Meet of Champions, becoming only the second South Jersey boy in meet history to win two events at the same Meet of Champions.

Whitaker, a junior at Highland, won the long jump with a lifetime-best 23-5 1/2 over Tyler Heller of Hunterdon Central, who went 23-2 1/4. R.V. junior Jalen Blango hit 21-10 1/2 for fifth.

Whitaker’s 23-5 1/2 is No. 10 in South Jersey history and the best mark in eight years. According to the MileSplit national performance list 158187145220864304.png, it’s No. 12 in the U.S. this winter.

Whitaker came back to win the triple jump at 46-3 1/4, nearly a foot ahead of Mount Olive’s A.J. McKay, who was second at 45-5 3/4. Collingswood senior Kevin Kevelier [45-3 1/4], Millville senior Ebenezer Edzii [44-2 3/4] and Rancocas Valley senior Jordan Floyd [PR 44-1 3/4] gave South Jersey four of the top five spots in the triple.

This is only the second year for the long jump in the 52-year history of the Meet of Champions and the first year for the triple jump. Both are so-called showcase events that aren’t contested on the sectional or state level.

The only other South Jersey boy to double at a Meet of Champions is Nick Brown of Bridgeton, who won the 55-meter dash in 6.57 and the 400 in 49.76 at the 1999 meet at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym.

The only other South Jersey athlete to win two different events at the M-of-C is Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell of Edgewood, who won the 55-meter dash in 1983 (6.3) and the 400 in 1984 (49.3).

Five others have won the same event in consecutive years: Half-miler Tony Uzdavines of Williamstown, sprinter Albert Newkirk of Camden, quarter-miler Royce Reed of Bridgeton, high jumper Raffael Craig of Millville (whose daughter won the high jump Sunday) and hurdlers Sultan Tucker of Delsea and Sincere Rhea of St. Augustine.

Previous Highland Meet of Champions winners are Kevin Pumphrey in 1986 and Steve Mazur in 1992, both in the 3,200.

Obviously Whitaker set the triple jump meet record, since it was the first time contested. He broke the long jump mark of 23-4 set last year by Princeton’s Nils Wildberg.

Whitaker’s 23-5 1/2 eclipsed his PR of 23-0 1/2, which he set at a SJTCA meet at the Bubble last month. His outdoor PR is 22-1.

His indoor triple jump PR is 46-10 3/4, which is No. 6 in South Jersey indoor history and No. 27 nationally.

Whitaker last month became only the third boy in the 87-year history of Easterns to double, joining former Willingboro stars Gerard Reynolds (long jump, hurdles in 1990) and Mike Morrison (long jump, high jump in 2003).

Now he’s repeated that double against the best in New Jersey.

Last spring, Whitaker broke the state sophomore class triple jump record and the Meet of Champions record with a 50-2 1/2, No. 6 in state history.

Here’s a look at all the two-time winners from South Jersey in Meet of Champions history:

Tony Uzdavines [Williamstown]
—> 880-yard run, 1976 [1:56.0]
—> 880-yard run, 1977 [1:56.6]

Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood]
—> 60-yard dash, 1983 [6.3]
—> 440-yard dash, 1984 [49.3]

Royce Reed [Bridgeton]
—> 400-meter dash, 1994 [50.06]
—> 400-meter dash, 1995 [49.92]

Albert Newark [Camden]
—> 55-meter dash, 1996 [6.56]
—> 55-meter dash, 1997 [6.50]

Sultan Tucker [Delsea]
—> 55-meter hurdles, 1996 [7.36]
—> 55-meter hurdles, 1997 [7.44]

Raffael Craig [Millville]
—> high jump, 1998 [6-6]
—> high jump, 1999 [6-10]

Nick Brown [Bridgeton]
—> 55-meter dash, 1999 [6.57]
—> 400-meter dash, 1999 [49.76]

Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine]
—> 55-meter hurdles, 2018 [7.35]
—> 55-meter hurdles, 2019 [7.22]

25-5 1/2 … Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 1979
24-6 1/4 … Gerard Reynolds [Willingboro], 1990
24-2 1/2 … Isaac Samuels [Kennedy], 1983
24-0 3/4 … Mike Morrison [Willingboro], 2003
24-0 1/2 … William Spearmon [Wilson], 1996
23-11 1/2 … Kerry Vivett [Edgewood], 1985
23-10 ….. Matt Rose [Bordentown], 1985
23-9 …… Syteek Farrington [Camden], 2009
23-7 3/4 … Anthony Averett [Woodbury], 2012
23-5 1/2 ….. Floyd Whitaker [Highland Reg.], 2020
23-4 1/2 … Maurice Hunter [Woodbury], 1983
23-4 ….. Andrew Athias [Cherry Hill East], 2011
23-3 3/4 … Jamar Byrd [Vineland], 2005
23-2 1/2 … Rich Winstead [Egg Harbor Twp.], 1988
23-1 ….. Mikhail Micheaux [Eastern], 2014
23-0 ….. Derek King [Cumberland Reg.], 1984

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