4:10 AND A GLOUCESTER COUNTY RECORD FOR KINGSWAY’S KYLE RAKITIS

What a race by Kyle Rakitis!!!

The Kingsway junior shattered the 42-year-old Gloucester County 1,600 record Wednesday night at the Holmdel Twilight Series Royal Rumble 2021.

Rakitis won the 1,600 in 4:10.15, breaking the county mark of 4:10.29 (converted from a full mile) set by Gateway’s Mike Mantini in 1979. 

Mantini ran 4:11.75 for a full mile at the New Jersey Olympic Classic at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway on June 24, 1979, edging second-place Greg Herzog of White Plains, N.Y. (my teammate at White Plains and Mike Pascuzzo’s teammate at Maryland). 

For track purists who subscribe to the belief that you can’t break a mile record running a 1,600 (because it’s shorter), the Gloucester County 1,600 record was 4:11.07, set by Washington Township’s Xavier Fraction at the 2009 Meet of Champions in South Plainfield.

Either way, Rakitis is the fastest four-lapper in county history!

Rakitis’s time is No. 2 in the state this year behind Jackson Braddock of Southern Regional, who ran 4:06.25 last weekend at the Ocean County Championships at Jackson Liberty. It’s No. 23 nationally on the MileSpliit U.S. database and No. 7 among juniors.

His time is also No. 5 in South Jersey history and fastest in 12 years, since Brett Johnson of Ocean City ran 4:07.07 and Colin Baker of Haddonfield ran 4:09.30, both as juniors.

Rakitis was out in 62.5, came through 800 in 2:05.7, hit 1,200 meters in 3:09.3 and then closed in 60.8. (The timing company didn’t provide splits, so Jim Lambert clocked the MileSplit video! Thanks Lambo!)

He raced unpressed. He won by 80 meters over Ethan Hood of Holmdel, who placed second in 4:23.72. 

Rakitis’s previous PR was 4:17.39 indoors at Ocean Breeze in March. Thanks to the lost 2020 season he had never really run a hot outdoor 1,600. His outdoor 1,600 PR before Wednesday night was a 4:28.66 his freshman year at Cherokee.

The previous Kingsway outdoor record was 4:11.84, set by Tom Cooke at the 2012 Meet of Champions at Old Bridge. Stone Caraccio ran 4:13.46 at the 2019 state Group 3 meet at Franklin, which means Kingsway is now the third South Jersey school with three milers under 4:14. Haddon Township had Mike Elder (4:08.7 in 1973), Luke Petela (4:11.78 in 2015) and Ed Blakeley (4:12.3 in 1975) and Ocean City had Johnson in 2009, John Richardson (4:09.19 in 2003) and Schoedler (4:11.46 in 2010).

Timber Creek senior Joshua Thaler, coming off a PR 1:57.32 at the Camden County Championships, PR’d in fourth place in 4:24.97. His previous 1,600 PR was 4:38.97 at the Bubble in February of 2020.

Here’s a look at every South Jersey runner who’s gone sub-4:14 for the 1,600 or converted mile. The full all-time top-50 can be found here.

ALL-TIME SOUTH JERSEY 1,600 SUB-4:13 LIST
4:07.07y … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], 2009
4:08.7y ….. Mike Elder [Haddon Twp.], 1973
4:09.19 … John Richardson [Ocean City], 2003
4:09.30 … Colin Baker [Haddonfield], 2009
4:10.15 … Kyle Rakitis [Kingsway], 2021
4:10.24y ….. Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1979
4:11.07 … Xavier Fraction [Washington Twp.], 2009
4:11.15 … Ryan Garvin [Lenape], 2009
4:11.46 … Miles Schoedler [Ocean City], 2010
4:11.49 … Jim Wyner [Mainland Reg.], 2004
4:11.69 … Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2013
4:11.78 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2015
4:11.84 … Tom Cooke [Kingsway], 2012
4:11.86y … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2002
4:12.05y … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1999
4:12.08 … Bill Dolan [Clearview], 2014
4:12.1y ….. Al Harden [Millville], 1978
4:12.3y ….. Ed Blakeley [Haddon Twp.], 1975
4:12.5y ….. Dick Caton [Woodbury], 1978
4:13.23 … Justin Branco [Delsea], 2015
4:13.1y … Ricky Jacques [Burlington Twp.], 1968
4:13.26y … Greg Pelose [Haddonfield], 2015
4:13.46 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2019
4:13.4y … Greg Stremmel [Gateway[, 1973
4:13.64h … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
4:13.71 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2015
4:13.83 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp.], 2003
4:13.85 … Jacob Clark [Pleasantville], 2013

And here’s the all-time Gloucester County top-10!
4:10.15 … Kyle Rakitis [Kingsway], 
4:10.29y ….. Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1979
4:11.07 … Xavier Fraction [Washington Twp.], 2009
4:11.84 … Tom Cooke [Kingsway], 2012
4:12.5y ….. Dick Caton [Woodbury], 1978
4:13.23 … Justin Branco [Delsea], 2015
4:13.46 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2019
4:13.4y … Greg Stremmel [Gateway[, 1973
4:13.83 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp.], 2003
4:15.0y … Bob Marino [Williamstown], 1975
4:15.14h … Fred Sharpe [Paulsboro], 1997

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