They don’t have a pentathlon at the Meet of Champions, so Bryanna Craig did her best to create one for herself.
Craig, who competes for her second national multi-event championship this weekend at the Armory, turned Sunday’s 52nd annual Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze into her own personal little near-pentathlon.
The Millville sophomore, who set the national freshman heptathlon record at outdoor nationals last year, competed in four events Sunday and picked up a first, a fifth, a seventh and a ninth. Is she the first athlete in history to place in the top 10 in four individual events at the same Meet of Champions? She has to be!
Let’s take a look at her busy Sunday on Staten Island!
HIGH JUMP: Craig won her first Meet of Champions title when she cleared 5-6, an indoor PR and Cumberland County record. She has cleared 5-8 in AAU summer track. Craig and A.L. Johnson junior Carly Tarentino both cleared 5-6 on their third tries, but Craig won because she was clean at 5-4 and Tarentino had a miss at 5-4. She joins Sylvia Galarza as the second girl in Millville history to win a Meet of Champions indoor title. Galarza won the shot put at Jadwin in 2004 with a throw of 44-1 1/2. Millville’s only indoor M-of-C winner on the boys side is Raffael Craig, who won the high jump in 1998 and 1999. He happens to be Bryanna’s dad and coach.
55-METER HURDLES: Craig ran 8.39 in the trials and slightly slower in the finals with an 8.49 but still made the medal stand with a seventh-place finish. She set her PR of 8.31 at Easterns at the Armory, where she’ll compete in the pentathlon this weekend.
LONG JUMP: In only her third long jump competition this year, Craig jumped 17-7 3/4, within a few inches of her indoor PR of 18-1 1/4 from a meet at the Armory in December. Ironically, she and sophomore teammate Leah Ellis both jumped 17-7 3/4 and tied for eighth, but Ellis was given eighth place based on a superior second-bet jump. It was a season-best jump for Ellis.
200-METER DASH: Craig jumped in the showcase 200 and placed fifth against some of the best sprinters in the state with a personal-best 25.29. Her only faster 200 was a 25.24 in the women’s heptathlon at the USATF Under-20 Championships in Miramar, Fla., this past June. The 25.29 actually appears to be a Cumberland County record.
Craig is now ranked No. 2 in South Jersey this year in the high jump, No. 3 in the long jump, No. 3 in the 200 and No. 5 in the hurdles.
Craig scored 3,584 points when she won the Marine Corps Holiday Classic pentathlon at the Armory in December. That’s No. 2 in the U.S. this year, behind Brianna Smith of Cheltenham (Pa.) High in Montgomery County, who scored 3,617 at the Ocean Breeze Invitational in January. Smith is also entered at nationals this weekend.
Craig’s 3,584 is No. 2 in New Jersey history, behind a score of 3,674 that Tia Livingston of Union Catholic set at nationals in 2016.
The indoor pentathlon consists of the 60-meter hurdles, shot put, long jump, high jump, shot put and 800-meter run. The indoor event is held over one day. At nationals, this weekend at the Armory it’s scheduled to start with the hurdles at 8:15 a.m. Saturday and continue until mid-afternoon.