Camden’s Loretta Thompson finally gets the headline she deserved 30 years ago!!! And it’s the all-time S.J. girls 400-meter dash top-50 list!!!

Looking at the progression of the girls 440-yard and 400-meter dash records, I was struck by the 55.2 hand-time that Loretta Thompson of Camden ran 30 years ago.

Thompson broke the South Jersey record of 55.3 the Lori Lewis of Woodbury had set two years earlier. She ran 55.3 on May 17, 1980, at the Pennsauken Open, and this being 1980, nobody even noticed that it was a South Jersey record and tied the state record set a year earlier by Terry Dembek of Hawthorne.

Here’s the extent of the coverage Thompson’s remarkable race got in the local media:

The_Philadelphia_Inquirer_Sun__May_18__1980_

Thompson didn’t even get a headline! She didn’t even get her own paragraph! She tied the state record and nobody even wrote about it!

But it was a remarkable performance and it remained a South Jersey record for 12 years, until Nichole Bartley of Highland ran 55.11 when she won the 1992 Meet of Champions at South Plainfield.

Dana Burnett of Williamstown lowered the mark twice in 1996, including 53.51 when she won the National Scholastic Championships in Raleigh, N.C., and she held it for 10 years, until Michelle Brown of Seneca ran 52.91 at the 2009 Nike Outdoor Champions in Grensboro. Brown has now held the mark for 12 years.

Here’s today’s top-50 list – the girls outdoor 400. Additions and corrections, please shoot me a message in the comment’s section! Enjoy!

All-Time S.J. Girls 400-meter dash top-50

52.91 … Michelle Brown [Seneca], 2009
53.51 … Dana Burnett [Williamstown], 1996
53.64 … Nijgia Snapp [Oakcrest], 2008
53.00 … English Gardner [Eastern], 2007
54.04 … Nadia Davy [Bridgeton], 1998
54.19 … Okechi Ogbuokiri [Willingboro], 2003
54.36 … Shakira Dancy [Winslow Twp.], 2018
54.41 … Dennisha Page [Woodrow Wilson], 2019
54.51 … Katrina Sye [Buena], 1998
54.62 … Audrey Wilson [Deptford], 2008
54.75 … Faleesha Dowe [Penns Grove], 2014
54.93 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2004
55.13 … Aliyah Taylor [Rancocas Valley], 2018
55.06 … Shameka Speed [Bridgeton], 2003
55.11 … Nichole Bartley [Highland], 1992
55.21 … Avionne Sloan [Camden], 2006
55.24 … Jasmine Still [Wilson], 2005
55.2h … Loretta Thompson [Camden], 1980
55.3h … Lori Lewis [Woodbury], 1978
55.50 … Sabrina Burrell [Delsea], 2014
55.51 … Mandie Dulin [Shawnee], 1996
55.4h … Carla Hunt [Holy Cross], 1976
55.5h … Denise Mitchell [Edgewood], 1983
55.65 … Jade Pope [Pennsauken], 2018
55.67 … Shelby Whetstone [Lenape], 2017
55.72 … Kiara Lester [Deptford], 2015
55.6h … Jeanette Palmer [Oakcrest], 1982
55.78 … Andrea Olsen [Buena Reg.], 2013
55.82 … Danielle Myricks [Willingboro], 2001
55.84 … Candyche DeLoatch [Schalick], 1996
55.93 … Brianna Crofton [Delsea], 2009
55.97 … Nylah Perry [Winslow Twp.], 2019
56.00 … Maya Drayton [Cherry Hill East], 2019
56.01 … Raniyah Walker [Camden], 2002
56.05 … Marcene Jack [Mainland Reg.], 2004
56.06 … Ste’cye McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2009
56.11 … Courtney Foster [Cherokee], 2013
56.0h … Halimah Bashir [Willingboro], 2002
56.14 … Flora Ahiarakwe [Winslow Twp,], 2017
56.20 … Vernick Smith [Woodrow Wilson], 1997
56.23 … Jewel Ash [Eastern], 2017
56.1h … Angela Williams [Pemberton], 1981
56.24 … Thaila Cooper [Kingsway], 2013
56.26 … Shannon Lambert [Lenape], 2017
56.29 … Olivia Jamison [Pennsauken], 2014
56.30 … Bryanna Craigville], 2019
56.31 … Jasmine Staten [Lenape], 2017
56.33 … Shakirah Rutherford [Willingboro], 2000
56.2h … Carla Hunt [Holy Cross], 1976
56.2h … Evelyn Simpson [Camden], 1979
56.35 … Nicol Corsey [Deptford], 1997
56.36 … Ajae Alvare-Tyler [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2008

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