Salem senior Bobby Arnold III, the No. 3 seed, ran a huge PR and won a state Group 1 title Friday at Pennsauken in an event he just began competing in.
Arnold, who according to the MileSplit database ran his first lifetime 400-meter intermediates race 17 days ago, ran 55.58 and upset top-seeded Thomas Gibbard of Emerson, who was second in 56.38.
His previous PR was 57.64 from sectionals and before that 58.10 at the Salem County Championships on May 25, which according to MileSplit was the first major 400IH race he ever ran.
So he’s gone from never running the event in major competition to a state title in 2 1/2 weeks.
Arnold is the first Salem runner to win a state title in the intermediates since junior William Barnes ran 54.91 to win Group 1 in 2004 at Notre Dame High in Lawrenceville.
Arnold also advanced to states in the 400 and triple jump.