St. Augustine’s David Kenny races from 20 meters back to win Cherokee Distance Festival 800!

St. Augustine senior David Kenny led seven half-milers under 2:02 and four under 2:00 Saturday at the Cherokee Distance Invitational, winning the 800 in a personal-best 1:57.16.

Cumberland junior Jalen Ridgeway took the field through 400 meters in 55.80, with Timber Creek senior Brian Eaton (55.88) and Kingsway junior Jeffery Heineman (56.34) on his tail, and Kenny 20 meters back of the lead in 57.73.

But Kenny closed strong, with a 59.41 second lap to edge Ridgeway by four meters. Ridgeway was second in 1:57.58, Heineman ran 1:58.69 and Eaton 1:59.36.

Kenny’s previous PR was a 1:58.84 indoors at Virginia Beach in January. Heineman lowered his PR from 1:59.04 at indoor states last year, and Eaton from 2:00.20 in a meet at the Bubble last month.

The time is an outdoor PR for Ridgeway, who ran 1:57.91 for Toms River North as a freshman at the state Group 4 meet at Franklin. He’s run 1:53.72 indoor at the 2000 Meet of Champs at Ocean Breeze.

It looks like the St. Augustine school record is 1:57.08, set by Chris Gough at Parochial A sectionals at South Plainfield in 2011. Anybody know if Mark Sivieri ever ran a fast 800 in high school?

Haddon Heights senior Andrew Bayna (2:01.53) and Timber Creek senior Joshua Thaler (2:01.99) also ran big PRs. For Thaler, it was his first time under 2:08!

Four other South Jersey half-milers ran sub-2:05: Washington Township senior Julian Lawson (2:03.75), Eustace junior Ryan Carney (2:03.84), Cherry Hill East sophomore (2:04.27) and Cherokee sophomore Thomas Bromley (2:04.51). All were PRs.

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