There were so many remarkable performances by South Jersey athletes ta the Meet of Champions I didn’t want them to go unnoticed. But with the Olympic Trials following almost immediately after the M-of-C I never had a chance to highlight them.
So it’s been a few weeks but it’s never too late!
We’ll get to the boys in the next couple days, but here are five terrific performances from the Meet of Champions that I didn’t have a chance to write about earlier that you may have missed!
For complete results click here.
Olivia Bent-Cole: Camden Catholic soph Olivia Bent-Cole got faster every meet she ran this spring, starting out at 12.80 at the Olympic Conference Championships and culminating in the Meet of Champions, where she placed 6th in 12.18 after a PR 12.26 in the trials. Bent-Cole was the top sophomore in the M-of-C 100 final and the No. 2 underclassman, behind only Kent Place junior Christiana Nwachuku, who was 4th in 11.96. Bent-Cole also PR’d at 25.41 for 9th in the 200, where she was also the top soph. She was one of four girls to finish in the top-10 in both the 100 and 200. Her 12.18 is a school record.
Nevaeh Lorjuste: A Triton senior, Lorjuste was the top South Jersey finisher in the M-of-C 400, placing 4th in 57.07, a Triton school record. Lorjuste PR’d with a 56.98 at Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. Lorjuste was also the state Group 3 champion at 22 meters with a PR 25.51 and a sectional medalist in the 100. She’ll join Rowan’s powerhouse program in the fall.
Grace Wassell: The Highland sophomore’s best event most of the season was the 1,600, and she got her time down as fast as 5:04.85 at Haddonfield Distance Night, which wound up No. 7 in South Jersey this year and No. 7 among all New Jersey sophs. But after running 2:18.38 and 5:10.26 at states, she picked the 800 for Meet of Champions and PR’d by two seconds with a 2:15.18 for 5th place, and she did it unpressed out of the unseeded heat. She ran just 22-100ths of a second off Nia Holden’s school record of 2:14.98, set at 2018 sectionals at Central Regional. She was the No. 4 soph in New Jersey this year.
Diamond McLaughlin: Absegami’s McLaughlin capped a tremendous season with a 2nd-place finish in the M-of-C 400-meter intermediates with a lifetime-best 1:00.40. That was No. 6 in the U.S. this year and 6th-fastest ever by a South Jersey girl in the Meet of Champions. It’s also No. 9 in South Jersey history and just off the Atlantic County record of 1:00.26 set by Helena Leyrer of Buena when she won the 2012 Meet of Champions. Adelaide Asante of North Brunswick won the race in 1:00.24. McLaughlin’s previous PR was a 1:01.24 at Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. Here’s a look at the top South Jersey times in Meet of Champions 400-meter intermediate hurdles history:
59.03 … Tonya Lee (Rancocas Valley), 1988 (1)
59.56 … Torie Robinson (Winslow Twp.), 2013 (1)
59.96 … Mandie Dulin (Shawnee), 1997 (1)
1:00.10 …….. Dulin, 1996 (1)
1:00.13 … Arianna Smith [Pennsville], 2019 (1)
1:00.26 … Helene Leyrer [Buena], 2012 (1)
1:00.40 … Diamond McLaughlin [Absegami], 2021 (2)
1:00.47 … Shaquanda Meylor [Woodrow Wilson], 2006 (2)
1:00.67 … Meredith Updike [Cinnaminson], 2019 (3)
1:00.73 … Pam Richardson [Edgewood], 2001 (1)
1:00.74 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2003 (1)
1:00.79 … Courtney Smith [Penns Grove], 2014 (3)
Jenovia Logan: Logan capped a very consistent sophomore season with a 5-6 clearance for 3rd place in the M-of-C. She cleared at least 5-4 in every major meet, including three 5-6 performances. The top four girls cleared 5-6 at the M-of-C, including Delsea freshman Alaana Woolfolk, who won the event. Unfortunately, the girls high jump results were never posted so there’s no way to tell who cleared what heights on which attempts, but Woolfolk and Logan are among four returning jumpers in New Jersey who cleared 5-6 this past spring.