The Rancocas Valley girls waited 47 years for their first sectional title. They only waited three years for their second.
R.V. slugged it two over two days with powerful Egg Harbor and came out with a 92-85 win in the South Jersey Group 4 sectional at Washington Township, the state’s most competitive sectional meet.
In 2017, Lenape edged R.V. by five points, 65-60, to win SJ-4, with four other schools within 10 points. In 2018, R.V. edged Egg Harbor by five points, 76-71. In 2019, Millville edged Rancocas Valley by one point, 92-91, to win SJ-4.
The last time South Jersey Group 4 wasn’t decided by seven or fewer points was 2016, when Southern Regional topped second-place Lenape 92 1/2-75. That was also the last time R.V. wasn’t first or second.
This weekend, junior Annabella Chin was R.V.’s star, scoring 32 of the Red Devils’ 70 individual points.
Chin took second to Egg Harbor’s Anne Rutledge in the 400 with a 58.94, second in the 100 to EHT’s Lauren Princz with a 26.15, second to Eastern’s Jailya Ash in the high hurdles with a PR 14.75 and second to Rutledge in the intermediate hurdles in 1:03.62.
Chin went head-to-head with some of the state’s top athletes and even though she didn’t get a win this time, she did something even more important and put her team in position for a championship!
This was a true team effort, with senior Abby Boggs providing R.V.’s only individual win. Boggs cleared 10-6 in the pole vault on her first attempt to successfully defend her 2019 sectional PV title.
Boggs is the first Rancocas Valley girl to win the same event in consecutive sectionals (even though they were two years apart) since legendary Tonya Hill won the intermediate hurdles in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988, the long jump in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and the high hurdles in 1986 and 1987.
Also what a gutty performance by senior Sheriyah Nutt, who competed just two weeks after suffering a serious hamstring injury at the Burlington County Open. She might not have been 100 percent, but she still took third in the 400 in 59.26 and fifth in the 200 in 26.42 for eight huge points.
The Red Devils scored big in the three relays, winning the 4-by-4 in 4:00.9 (with sophomore Kasey White, Nutt, senior Alyssa Leak, and junior Jya Marshall), taking second in the 4-by-1 in 49.44 (Ogoemesim, White, Marshall and freshman Savana Riddick) and placing fourth in the 4-by-8 in 10:07.35 (with freshman Bea Faigal, Jenkins, senior Melanie Jimenez and Paz).
Here’s a look at other R.V. contributors:
RAVIN HOOD, JUNIOR
Hood picked up a pair of 4th-place finishes, throwing the discus 106-0 and the shot put 35-10 1/2.
MESHONA OGOEMESIM, SOPHOMORE
In her first sectional meet, Ogoemesim placed in two events. She took fourth in the 100 in 12.89 and sixth in the long jump at 15-8 1/2.
RACHEL SATCHELL, SENIOR
Satchell jumped within half an inch of her PR, placing fourth in the triple jump with a 35-10.
MIA PAOLONE, JUNIOR
Paolone took fifth in the pole vault, teaming up with Boggs to give the Red Devils 12 points in the event.
SANAI JENKINS, JUNIOR
Took fifth in the intermediates in a lifetime-best 1:07.96, giving R.V. 10 points in the event.
SABRINA PAZ, FRESHMAN
Paz PR’ed in the 800 at 2:24.70 and took seventh, but she advanced to states in the 1,600 with a PR of 5:18.97. She’s R.V.’s fastest freshman miler since Erika Kemp, who ran 4:57.96 at the 2013 Burlington County Open and has qualified for this year’s Olympic Trials in the 5,000.