Pennsauken’s remarkable Bryce Tucker opened up the state Group 3 meet with a South Jersey sophomore-record performance in the intermediate hurdles.

Racing on his home track, Tucker ran 52.68, the second-fastest time ever by a New Jersey sophomore and the fastest eight years. It’s also No. 5 in the U.S. this year.

The only New Jersey sophomore to run faster is Union Catholic’s Taylor McLaughlin, who ran 51.69 at the USATF World Youth Trials in Edwardsville, Ill., in June of 2013. McLaughlin is the older brother of American record holder Sydney McLaughlin.

Tucker broke the South Jersey sophomore record of 53.79 set at the 2011 Group 2 sectionals at Buena by Willingboro’s Brandon Hill.

His time is No. 17 in South Jersey history (but only 12-100ths out of the all-time top-10) and fastest by any South Jersey intermediate hurdler in 12 years, since Washington Township’s Tim Carey ran 52.10 in 2009.

It’s also the fastest run at the Group 3 state meet in 14 years, since Emanuel Mayers of Lakewood won the 2007 race at South Plainfield in 51.98.

And according to the MileSplit database, it’s the fastest time by a U.S. sophomore in high school competition since McLaughlin ran 51.69 and Rai Benjamin of Mount Vernon (N.Y.)  ran 52.36 in 2013. Benjamin is currently No. 3 in world history at 46.98. He and McLaughlin both qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Tucker’s time is also fastest by any intermediate hurdler in the Burlington County Scholastic League in 22 years, since Delran’s Harran Williams ran 52.66 at the 1999 Meet of Champions. It’s No. 9 in Camden County history.

Tucker’s previous PR was 54.28 at the BCSL Championships, also at Pennsauken.

Pennsauken scored 16 points in the event, with another sophomore, Premier Wynn, taking third in 56.48.

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