Cherokee soph Kelsey Niglio runs monster PR and all-time Burlington County #9 800 at states!!!

Until three weeks ago, Cherokee sophomore Kelsey Niglio had never broken 2:18 for the 800.

So much for plateaus.

In the span of eight days, Niglio broke 2:18, 2:17, 2:16, 2:15 and 2:14 … all for the first time.

Niglio ran 2:13.40 to place fourth at the state Group 4 meet at Franklin Township over the weekend and goes into the Meet of Champions as the No. 6 seed.

Not bad for someone whose PR coming into the spring season was an indoor 2:18.61 from Ocean Breeze at the Meet of Champions in March of 2020.

Niglio lowered her PR to 2:18.43 at Haddonfield Distance Night on March 24, then PR’d with a 2:17.40 at the Group 4 sectionals at Washington Township.

Then came this weekend’s huge breakthrough down to 2:13.40 at states. That’s No. 2 on the all-time Cherokee list, behind only Monica Olkowski’s 2:12.09 at the 1990 Meet of Champions and No. 9 in Burlington County history.

Her time is fastest by a South Jersey sophomore in six years, since Kayla Martin of Seneca ran 2:11.88 and Briana Gess of Haddonfield ran 2:13.18.

The all-time Burlington County sub-2:15 list is below.

The state Group 4 race on Saturday was crazy fast, with 10 runners under 2:20 and five under 2:15. Including wild cards, it produced five of the top eight seeds for the Meet of Champions Saturday at South Plainfield.

Niglio’s teammate, junior Nicole Clifford, placed sixth in 2:17.39 out of the first heat. That’s also a PR, and she will join Niglio at the Meet of Champions.

Niglio and Clifford will also race in the 3,200-meter relay. Cherokee is the No. 4 seed at 9:34.21. Senior Erin Jacksons and Meghan Carroll are also on that team. Westfield is the No. 1 seed at 9:25.82.

Cherokee is also the No. 9 seed in the 1,600-meter relay at 3:59.52.

2:10.55 … Shelby Whetstone [Lenape], 2019
2:11.07 … Miya Johnson [Lenape], 2007
2:11.56 … Mary Bohi [Seneca], 2009
2:11.88 … Kayla Martin [Seneca], 2015
2:12.0h … Monica Olkowski [Cherokee], 1990
2:12.78 … Megan Quimby [Lenape], 2015
2:12.93 … Carly Pettipaw [Lenape], 2015
2:13.38 … Julia Despirito[Shawnee], 2014
2:13.40 … Kelsey Niglio [Cherokee], 2021
2:14.3h … Becky Wells [Moorestown], 1987
2:14.46 … Okechi Ogbuokiri [Willingboro], 2003
2:14.70 … Kelly Victory [Lenape], 2000
2:14.6h … Chris Danks [Shawnee], 1987
2:14.76 … Kari Vigerstol [Holy Cross], 1994
2:14.91 … Renee Passalacqua [Rancocas Valley], 2003
2:14.8h … Michelle DiMuro [Shawnee], 1984


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