Denise Mitchell held the S.J. indoor 400 record for 19 years!!! Here’s the complete all-time girls indoor 400 top-50!!!

Long before Michelle Brown, Nijgia Snapp and Okechi Ogbuokiri were running ridiculous 400-meter dash times, Edgewood’s Denise Mitchell was one of the best in the country.

Back in the winter of 1983, Mitchell lowered the South Jersey indoor 400 record more than THREE SECONDS and held it for 19 years.

Going into the season, the South Jersey record was 58.7, run at the 1983 state Group 4 meet by Shawnee’s Michelle DiMuro, who would go on to race in the 800 at the 1988 Olympic Trials. DiMuro had broken the South Jersey record of 59.4 set at the state Group 4 meet in 1981 by Willingboro’s Bobbi Tabb.

Then Mitchell, in her first year as a quarter-miler, went to work. 

She ran 57.5 in an early season meet in December, breaking DiMuro’s record by more than a second. Then at the state Group 4 meet at Jadwin, she ran 56.5 in the trials and 55.6 in the final. That broke both her own South Jersey record and the state mark of 56.6 set at the 1981 Meet of Champions by Lakewood’s Robin Stephens.

Courier_Post_Tue__Feb_21__1984_

Mitchell, older sister of Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell and later an All-America at Florida,  held the South Jersey indoor 400 record until Ogubokiri ran 55.41 to win Easterns. Ogbuokiri then lowered her own state record to 54.90 in the prelims at nationals and then to 54.24 in the final, which she won. At the time it was No. 14 in U.S. history. It remained the state record for 11 years, until Olivia Baker of Columbia ran 53.49 at nationals. Olympian Sydney McLoughlin lowered the mark to its current 51.61, also at nationals. 

Incredibly, Ogbuokiri’s time is still the South Jersey record, 17 years later, and Mitchell’s 55.6 remains No. 7 in South Jersey history, 36 years after she ran it.

54.24 … Okechi Ogbuokiri [Willingboro], 2003
54.91 … Nijgia Snapp [Oakcrest], 2008
55.16 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2006
55.19 … Michelle Brown [Seneca], 2008
55.21 … Aliyah Taylor [Rancocas Valley], 2017
55.4h … English Gardner [Eastern], 2008
55.6h … Denise Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
55.83 … Kiara Lester [Deptford], 2016
56.19 … Nylah Perry [Winslow], 2020
56.21 … Dana Burnett [Williamstown], 1997
56.34 … Katrina Sye [Buena], 1997
56.44 … Avionne Sloan [Camden], 2006
56.62 … Ste’yce McNeil [Winslow Twp.], 2012
56.65 … Britney Kott [Millville], 2009
56.76 … Simone Thomas [Willingboro], 2003
56.78 … Ajae Alvarez-Tyler [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2018
56.85 … Emily Duffey [Lenape], 2012
56.85 … Nylah Perry [Winslow], 2020
56.88 … Marcene Jack [Mainland Reg.], 2004
56.90 … Nadia Davy [Bridgeton], 1999
56.98 … Jade Pope [Pennsauken], 2020
57.14 … Danielle Myricks [Willingboro], 2001
57.14 … Faleesha Dowe [Penns Grove], 2014
57.36 … Shakirah Rutherford [Willingboro], 1999
57.36 … Flora Ahiarakwe [Winslow Twp.], 2018
57.37 … Courtney Foster [Cherokee], 2013
57.43 … Raniyah Walker [Camden], 2002
57.44 … Nicole Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2011
57.47 … Briana Crofton [Delsea], 2011
57.57 … Audrey Wilson [Deptford], 2008
57.58 … Thailia Cooper [Kinsgway], 2015
57.58 … Carly Pettipaw [Lenape], 2015
57.58 … Shameka Speed [Bridgeton], 2002
57.58 … Morgan Gordon [Rancocas Valley], 2009
57.59 … Jewel Ash [Eastern], 2020
57.61 … Janeya Hammond [Winslow Twp.], 2020
57.67 … Annie Johnson [Shawnee], 2011
57.72 … Aishia Lawson [Camden], 1995
57.76 … Olivia Jamison [Pennsauken], 2015
57.79 … Arianna Smith [Pennsville], 2019
57.80 … Megan Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2010
57.7h … Jenelle Wilson [Eastern], 2003
57.84 … Tamara Jones [Woodrow Wilson], 2007
57.85 … Jackie Dim [Washington Twp.], 2008
57.91 … Andrea Olsen [Buena], 2013
57.94 … Americo Odey [Willingboro], 2006
58.03 … Halimah Bashir [Willingboro], 2003
58.14 … Bryanna Craig [Millville], 2018
58.15 … Kristina Keegan [Haddonfield], 2002
58.19 … Shakira Dancy [Winslow Twp.], 2017

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