Junior Nikki Clifford’s 59.8 anchor leg – 20 minutes after a 2:19.4 open 800 – helped Cherokee run the fastest 4-by-4 in the state so far this year.
Cherokee ran 4:04.4 in an outdoor “indoor season” dual meet against Cinnaminson Thursday at Cherokee. The fastest previous time run by a New Jersey high school this year indoors or outdoors was Hillsborough’s 4:06.5 in an outdoor meet Saturday at Hunterdon Central.
The fastest previous 4-by-4 this year indoors or outdoors by a outhitting Jersey school was Cherokee’s 4:10.43 indoor at the Bubble on Monday. The 4:04 is Cherokee’s fastest 4-by-4 since 2016.
Junior Allison Cooke led off for the Chiefs with a 60.5 split, soph Kelsey Giglio followed with a 61.7 and senior Meghan Carroll ran 62.4 to set up Clifford.
About 20 minutes earlier, Clifford negative-split a 2:19.4, going out in 71.3 and coming back in 68.1. Niglio (2:25.9) and Carroll (2:30.1) also doubled back after running the 800. All four of them then ran a 4-by-200 about 10 minute later, winning in 1:54.8.
Clifford’s 2:19.4 was only about half a second off her PR of 2:18.87 on the same track in June of 2019. Clifford is the second South Jersey girl to go under 2:20 this year indoors or outdoors. Haddonfield’s Lindsay Colflesh ran 2:15.18 at the Cherokee Winter Distance Invitational last week.