Paulsboro’s Amirah, Arianna Sharpe run hot 500-meter times, both in all-time N.J. top-10!

Paulsboro seniors and twin sisters Amirah and Arianna Sharpe ran two of the fastest 500s in state history recently in a meet in Virginia.

Both ran under the existing South Jersey record in the infrequently run middle-distance race.

Amirah and Arianna, competing unattached since the New Jersey indoor season hasn’t officially begun, placed 2nd and 4th in the 2 1/2-lap race at the Virginia Showcase at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.

Halyn Senegal of St. Louis High in Lake Charles, La., won the race in 1:14.92, Amirah was 2nd in 1:15.73, Charlee Crawford of St. Georges Tech in Middletown, Del., was 3rd in 1:16.09, and Arianna placed 4th in 1:17.18.

Amirah and Arianna now rank No. 5 and No. 9 in state history. The previous South Jersey record was 1:17.31, set last year by Pleasantville’s Maya Harper at the New Balance Games at the Armory.

Here’s a look at the all-time New Jersey top-10:

All-Time New Jersey 500-Meter List
1:10.22 … Athing Mu [Trenton], 2020
1:12.99 … Janine Davis Queen of Peace 2005
1:13.51 … Olivia Baker [Columbia], 2011
1:14.35 … Hazel Clark Columbia 1995
1:15.73 … Amirah Sharpe [Paulsboro], 2021
1:16.36 … Alexis Roper [North Hunterdon], 2011
1:16.77 … Sam Anderson [Matawan], 2016
1:17.06 … Lexi Del Gizzo [Tenafly], 2016
1:17.18 … Arianna Sharpe [Paulsboro], 2021
1:17.31 … Maya Harper [Pleasantville], 2020

The Sharpe twins also went 1-2 in the 400 at the Technique Holiday Invitational on the same track at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.

Amirah won the race in 57.58 and Arianna was second in 58.40.

For Amirah, the time is an indoor-outdoor PR. She ran 57.69 in an AAU summer track meet in North Carolina in June of 2019 but her high school PR was 58.15 from the 2019 state Group 1 meet at Franklin township High. 

Amirah is a three-time New Jersey Group 1 state champ in the 800 and has a PR of 2:15.05 from the 2018 outdoor state meet, but she didn’t run the 800 in Virginia and actually hasn’t run an open 800 since the 2019 outdoor Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington, when she was seventh in 2:16.29 as a Paulsboro sophomore.

The 57.58 is a school record and ranks No. 7 in Gloucester County indoor history. It’s also fastest by a South Jersey Group 1 girl indoors since Faleesha Dowe of Penns Grove ran 57.14 in 2014.

Amirah has also run 7.66 for the 55-meter dash this winter and 25.84 for 200.

Arianna Sharpe’s 58.40 is an indoor PR. She ran 57.62 at the 2018 outdoor state meet. She also won the 200 in Virginia with a PR time of 25.31.

Even though the Sharpes were competing independently, because their marks were made during the indoor season, they are eligible for records and all-time lists.

Amirah Sharpe’s time is No. 9 in the world this year, according to the IAAF international performance list, which is pretty cool to see even though the 500 has only been contested this winter at a handful of high school meets, mainly in Virginia.

Winslow’s Nylah Perry runs fast 400 in collegiate debut for Iowa!!!

University of Iowa freshman Nylah Perry, a 2020 graduate of Winslow, ran 56.33 in her first collegiate 400.

Perry won the 400 at the Husker Triangular on the University of Nebraska’s Devaney Center in Lincoln, outleaning sophomore Danielle Josephs of Minnesota by 4-100ths of a second.

It was Perry’s first 400 since she won the Meet of Champions last March at Ocean Breeze with an indoor PR of 56.19. She’s run as fast as 55.97 outdoors.

Perry’s  time is No. 9 among all freshmen in NCAA Division 1 so far this year, No. 8 in the Big Ten Conference and No. 2 among Big Ten freshmen, behind Minnesota’s Abigail Schaffe, who ran 55.53 this past weekend.

Perry also ran a 56.5 anchor split on Iowa’s 1,600-meter relay team, which ran 3:45.23, finishing second to Minnesota’s 3:43.88.

Cherokee’s Pizarro tosses 3-foot PR with 16-pound shot at Penn State!

Cherokee graduate Lucciano Pizarro added 3 1/2 feet to his PR Saturday in his second college meet.

Pizarro, a freshman at Penn State, threw the 16-pound shot 53-10 1/2 in the Penn State Invitational after making his college debut with a 50-3 1/2 throw last weekend, also on his home track at Penn State.

Pizarro placed fourth overall and second among Penn State throwers. 

Rutgers junior Adam Hunt from Collingswood took second in the weight throw with a 56-7 1/4. He hit 57-6 1/2 last weekend at Penn State. His PR is 57-8 1/2 from a meet at The College of New Jersey last January.

Turnersville’s Kami Joe Hickson runs 2:13 in collegiate 800 debut!!!

Turnersville’s Kami Joe Hickson, a University of Maryland freshman, ran 2:13.14 Saturday in her first college 800, placing fourth at the Penn State Invittional in State College.

Hickson finished just behind Penn State freshman Victoria Vanriele, who won eight straight N.J. indoor or outdoor Meet of Champions 800s while at Governor Livingston High in Berkeley Heights. Vanriele ran 2:08.45 in her first collegiate 800. Her high school PRs were 2:07.24 indoors and 2:05.15 outdoors.

Saturday’s race was Hickson’s first 800 since last March 1, when she was 4th in the PTFCA indoor states, also at Penn State.

Hickson attended Washington Township High through indoor season of her sophomore year. She ran 2:12.72 as a freshman at the 2017 outdoor state meet, No. 3 in South Jersey indoor history. She was the state Group 4 800 champ as a freshman with a 2:14.99 at the Bennett Center.

She transferred to Neumann Goretti High in South Philly before sophomore outdoor season, and her indoor PR is 2:08.58 from 2019 New Balance Nationals at the Armory in New York, when she placed eighth. 

She ran 1:36.23 in a 600 last weekend in her first college race, also at Penn State.

Hickson is the daughter of Don Hickson, who played football and ran track at Highland and played football at Georgia.

Hickson was the 1990 Group 3 indoor state champ in the 55-meter high hurdles in 7.3 and was fourth in the Meet of Champions and then placed third outdoors in Group 3 in the 110-meter highs in 14.2. Hickson’s brother Brandon played basketball at Highland.

Toledo’s Janelle Rowe from Sterling opens delayed 2021 season with a 2nd and a 3rd!

Sterling graduate Janell Rowe, a University Toledo senior, got her delayed 2021 season started in a Bowling Green-Toledo dual meet at Green-Perry Fieldhouse in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Friday.

Rowe long jumped 17 feet for second place and cleared 4-9 3/4 in the high jump for third place. Her best event, the triple jump, wasn’t contested.

Rowe has indoor PRs of 39-11 1/4 in the triple [No. 9 in school history], 18-5 3/4 in the long jump and 4-11 in the high jump and has also sprinted and hurdled for the Rockets. She’s No. 5 in school history outdoors in the triple jump at 39-4.

It was Rowe’s first competition in 11 months, since she competed in the Mid-American Conference Championships in Akron last February.

Cherokee’s Lucciano Pizarro throws a shot put PR for Penn State!

Lucciano Pizarro, a Penn State freshman from Cherokee, opened his season by throwing the 16-pound shot a personal-best 50-3 1/4 and placing fourth in the Nittany Lion Opener this past weekend.

Pizarro surpassed 50 feet on two throws, with a 50-1 1/2 and the 50-3 1/4. Penn State swept the top four spots in the meet.

It was Pizarro’s first meet since December of 2019, when he threw 49-5 3/4 in another meet at PSU’s Horace Ashenfelter track. That was his only meet last season, and Penn State continues to list him as a freshman.

Pizarro won the 2018 Meet of Champions with a throw of 60-11 with the 12-pound shot as a Cherokee senior in the spring of 2018.

In the same meet, Rutgers junior Adam Hunt, a Collingswood graduate, threw a 57-6 1/2 in the weight throw, taking second. Hunt threw two inches off his PR of 57-8 1/2 set at a meet at The College of New Jersey last January.

Delsea grad Nick Petriello of VMI records first collegiate pole vault win!

Virginia Military Institute junior Nick Petriello won the pole vault this past weekend in his first competition in over a year.

Petriello, who attended Gloucester County Tech and competed for Delsea, recorded his first collegiate win, clearing a collegiate indoor personal-best of 12-3 1/2 at the VMI Keydet Invitational at his home track in Lexington, Va.

Petriello cleared 11-9 3/4 and 12-3 1/2 on his first attempt at 12-9 1/2. Petriello’s outdoor PR is 13-7 1/4, set at the 2019 Southern Conference Outdoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala. 

Petriello was a sectional runner-up and two-time state medalist in the pole vault at Delsea. He cleared 13-0 outdoors and 12-6 indoors at Delsea.

Williamstown grad Bria Mack opens 2021 season with a win for Maryland!

Maryland senior Bria Mack, a Williamstown graduate, opened her 2021 indoor season with a win in the 60-meer dash at Penn State Saturday.

Mack ran 7.61 to win the event at the Nittany Lion Opener at the Horace Ashenfelter track in State College, Pa.

It was Mack’s first race since last year’s indoor Big Ten Championships, when he she also ran 7.61. Mack ran just 3-100ths of a second off her PR of 7.58, which she ran on the same track two years ago at the Penn State National. She ranks No. in Maryland history at 7.58 but only 13-100ths off the school record of 7.45, set in 2000 by Stacy Minott at the ECAC Championships in Boston.

Mack won the 55 at the 2017 indoor Meet of Champions and the 100 at the 2016 and 2017 Meet of Champions.

Sincere Rhea opens season with fast hurdles win for Penn State!!!

In his first race in 11 months, Penn State sophomore Sincere Rhea ran within 12-100ths of his high hurdles PR Saturday on his home track in State College.

Rhea, a St. Augustine graduate and native of Maurice River Township in Cumberland County, won the 60-meter highs at the Nittany Lion Opener at the Horace Ashenfelter track in 7.88, not far off his PR of 7.76, set last February in the trials at the Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio. He went on to place third in the Big Ten final in 7.82 and finished the year as the No. 2-ranked freshman in NCAA Division 1, behind only Brithton Senior of South Dakota, who ran 7.74 at the Summit League Championships in Fort Wayne, Ind.

In the early going in this COVID-delayed season, Rhea’s 7.88 ranks 8th in Division 1 and third in the Big 10, behind Jamal Britt of Iowa [7.85] and USC transfer Ayden Owens of Michigan [7.87].

On Saturday, Rhea edged Caleb Dean of Maryland, who was second in a personal-best 7.95. 

Rhea also ran the 200 and placed second in 22.21 behind Nadale Buntin of Rutgers (via John P. Stevens High in Edison), who ran a PR 21.66. Buntin was competing in his first race in nearly two years, since transferring from Monmouth. Rhea has run as fast as 21.38 indoors

Rhea is No. 2 in Penn State history in the 60-meter highs, behind only Guy Rose (a graduate of Wayne Hills High in Passaic County), who ran 7.69 at the 2001 Big Ten Championships in State College.

No. 3 on the Penn State indoor hurdles list is Michael Timpson, who ran 7.82 in 1986. Timpson went on to spend nine years in the NFL and caught 42 passes for 484 yards and two TDs for the Eagles in 1997.

Delsea grad Nico Morales makes college debut with a win and Rutgers all-time #10 PV clearance!!!

Rutgers freshman and Delsea graduate Nico Morales made his collegiate pole vaulting debut Saturday with a win and a near-PR.

Morales, in his first collegiate meet, won the vault at the Nittany Lion Opener at the Horace Ashenfelter track in State College with a 15-5 3/4 clearance, which is just a quarter of an inch off his indoor PR of 15-6, which he hit twice – at last year’s state Group 3 meet in Toms River and the Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze, his last official competitions.

Morales’ overall PR is a 15-7 at the 2019 Tri-County Conference Championships outdoors on his home track at Delsea.

Morales is No. 2 in South Jersey indoor history behind only his brother Marco, who cleared 16-0 at a SJTCA meet in Toms River in February. Marco is also a freshman at Rutgers but hasn’t competed yet this indoor season.

Morales’ 15-5 3/4 ranks No. 10 in Rutgers indoor history and is the Scarlet Knights’ best mark since Northern Valley Regional graduate Chris Mazzacano cleared 15-10 1/2 four years ago at the Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio.

It’s the top indoor mark by a South Jersey vaulter for Rutgers, supplanting a 15-3 by Matt Mancini of Cinnaminson at the 2010 Big Ten meet at the Armory.