Delsea’s Josh Awotunde finishes his best season ever with big throw at Prefontaine Classic!

Delsea graduate Josh Awotunde finished the best season of his life when he placed fifth in the shot put over the weekend at the Profontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.

Awotunde threw 69-8 1/2, missing the 70-foot barrier by just 3 1/2 inches. Awotunde reached 70 feet in four meets this year, culminating in a 71-8 when he placed fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June at the same Hayward Field facility.

That 71-8 ranks No. 44 in world history, 19 in U.S. history and No. 9 in the world this year. It’s the No. 12 throw in U.S. Olympic Trials history.

Pre was Awotunde’s first meet in six weeks, since he competed in three meets in Europe in late June and July, with a best throw 71-2 1/4 at the Gyulai István Memorial Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix at the Bregyó Athletic Center in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.

At Pre, Awotunde opened with a throw of 65-2 1/4 followed by a 65-2 1/2 before his 69-8 1/2. He fouled on his two remaining throws.

Awotunde entered the 2021 season with a lifetime best of 69-3 3/4 from a meet in Los Angeles in April of 2019, so he wound up surpassing that in five meets and on at least eight throws.


Photo by Michael Scott, courtesy of Megan Lacy’s Facebook page!

Megan Lacy placed 4th Sunday in the Gnar Gnar trail race in Oregon, qualifying for the U.S. national team that will compete in the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thaland next year.

The race, held at the Mt. Hood SkiBowl resort, served as the USATF Mountain Running Championships, and the first four finishers form the U.S. team that will compete in the World Championships, scheduled for Chiang Mai, Thailand, in February.

Lacy, a Cherokee High School graduate now based in Boise, Idaho, finished the challenging, mountainous course in 46:26. 

Grayson Murphy of Salt Lake City won the event in 43:22, and the next three runners all finished in the span of 15 seconds – Rachel Johnson of Lynchburg, Va., in 46:11, Bailey Kowalczyk of Nederland, Colo., in 46:22, and then Lacy.

Lacy finished 23 seconds ahead of the 5th-place runner, Anna Gibson of Teton Village, Wy.

The page on the USATF web site dedicated to the event not only does not include results but does not say how long the course is.  Not surprisingly, considering the entire USATF web site is a train wreck.

An article on web site indicates the course peaks at about 5,000 feat but it’s not clear if the start or finish are at sea level.

The inaugural World Mountain and Trail Running Championships is scheduled for Feb. 10-13 in Chiang Mai. The event was created to replace several overlapping trail championships – the World Mountain Running Championships, World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and Trail World Championships.

Kingsway grad Tom Cooke nears sub-4 mile plateau!!!

Tom Cooke, a 2012 graduate of Kingsway, is closing in on the 4-minute-mile barrier.

Cooke ran 4:01.08 Thursday night at the Hotel Warner Mile at Henderson High School in West Chester, Pa.

Cooke placed third behind Brian Crimmins, who ran 3:58.73, and Villanova grad Casey Comber, who ran 4:01.10.

The field went out a little slow, with Comber at 60.61, Crimmins 61.02, Jeremy Hernendez 61.25, Cooke 61.40 and Dave Minors 61.49.

The pace quickened on the second lap, and Cooke came through in 2:00.68 but in fifth place after a 59.29. He ran 62.21 on his third lap but closed in 58.20 to pass Minors and Hernandez and finish inches behind Comber.

This was quite a field Cooke raced against.

Crimmins is a 1:48.67 half-miler, Comber has run 3:57.80 indoors (and 3:37.76 for 1,500 meters), Minors has run 1:48.53 and Hernandez – a Clifton High graduate – ran 3:55.66 indoors in 2019, making him the 6th-fastest miler in New Jersey history (see complete list below).

What was Cooke’s previous mile PR? I’m not sure he even has one. He ran 4:11.84 for 1,600 meters at the 2012 Meet of Champions, and that converts to 4:13.30. He ran briefly for Felician University in Lodi, N.J., but never ran a mile. According to the MileSplit database, he only raced a handful of times on the track, never ran a mile and only ran one 1,500 – a 4:13.92 in a meet at Rider in April of 2013. 

Here’s a look at the fastest mile times ever run by New Jersey natives. The list may be missing a couple times between 4:00 and 4:01.08 from before 2000 but it’s complete since then. If you know of any missing times please let me know! South Jersey runners in bold-face.

3:49.44i … Edward Cheserek [St. Benedict’s Prep], Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:52.2h … Marty Liquori [Essex Catholic], Kingston, Jamaica, May 17, 1975
3:53.16i … Robby Andrews [Manalapan], New York, Feb. 20, 2016
3:54.28i … Rob Napolitano [Red Bank Catholic], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:54.92i … Ford Palmer [Absegami], Boston, Feb. 26, 2018
3:55.66i … Jeremy Hernandez [Clifton], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:56.75 … Steve Slattery [Mount Olive], New York, June 3, 2006
3:56.9h … Ron Speirs [Paramus], Philadelphia, April 30, 1977
3:57.86i … Travis Mahoney [Old Bridge], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:58.02i … Craig Forys [Colts Neck], New York, Feb. 6, 2016
3:58.14i … Rob Novak [Bordentown], Boston, Feb. 11, 2012
3:58.52 … Chris Hatler [Pope John XXIII], Nashville, Tenn., May 31, 2019
3:58.4h,i … Roger Jones [Ramsey], Boston, Feb. 13, 1982
3:58.62i … Jim McKeon [Millburn, Johnson City, Tenn., Jan. 19, 1985
3:58.62i … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], Seattle, Feb. 9, 2013
3:58.78i … Tim Gorman [Christian Brothers Academy], Seattle, Feb. 11, 2017
3:58.90i … Ben Malone [Pascack Valley], Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:59.18i … Jeramy Elkaim [Livingston], Seattle, Feb. 23, 2013
3:59.2h … Cliff Sheehan [Westfield], , Philadelphia, April 27, 1985
3:59.35i … John Richardson [Ocean City], Lexington, Ky., Feb. 2, 2008
3:59.43i … Rich Kenah [Montclair Immaculate], Fayetteville, Feb. 12, 2002
3:59.60 … Mike Kerrigan [Blair Academy], Swarthmore, Pa., May 14, 2007
3:59.6h … Jim Crawford [Ridge], Modesto, Calif., May 23, 1970
3:59.74i … Colin Daly [River Dell], Boston, Feb. 15, 2020
3:59.85i … Mark Sivieri [St. Augustine], Boston, Jan. 28, 1994
3:59.91i … Brian Gallagher [Sterling], Boston, Feb. 14, 1998

3:59.98i … Christian Gonzalez [Franklin], Boston, Jan. 27, 2012
4:00.01 … Ed Moran [Notre Dame], Falmouth, Mass., Aug. 9, 2008
4:01.08 … Thomas Cooke [Kingsway], West Chester, Pa., Aug. 12, 2021
4:01.67i … Jimmy Wyner [Mainland Regional], Boston, Feb. 7, 2009
4:01.79 … Karl Savage [Eastern], New Britain, Conn., June 10, 2003


English Gardner won her second Olympic medal Friday morning when her U.S. teammates placed second in the 400-meter relay in Tokyo.

Gardner, an Eastern High School graduate, ran the third leg on the 400-meter relay in the semis on Thursday. The U.S. ran 41.90 with the team of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Gardner and Aleia Hobbs, the second-fastest qualifying time behind Great Britain’s 41.55.

On Friday, Oliver, Daniels, Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas ran 41.45 to take second in the final behind Jamaica, which set a national record of 41.02.

Jamaica’s time is 3rd-fastest in history, behind only the U.S.’s 40.82 at the 2012 World Championships in London and 41.01 at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. time of 41.45 is No. 10 all-time and 3rd-fastest in U.S. history.

Gardner is the third New Jersey woman to medal in track in Tokyo this week. Athing Mu of Trenton won the 800 with a U.S. record of 1:55.21, and Sydney McLaughlin of Dunellen won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles with a world-record 51.46.

Gardner won the gold medal in 2016 when she ran the third leg on the U.S. team that ran 41.01. Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix and Torie Bowie also ran on that team, and Morolake Akinosun also earned a gold medal for running in the semis.


English Gardner ran the third leg for the U.S. 400-meter relay team Wednesday evening at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, helping the United States team advance to Saturday’s final with the second-fastest qualifying time.

Racing in the first of two semifinals, the U.S. ran 41.90, the fastest time by any U.S. 4-by-1 since 2017, when an American team ran 41.82 to win the World Championships in London.

Gardner, gold medalist on the United States 400-meter relay win in Rio in 2016, was named to the U.S. relay pool after reaching the final of the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She has a 100-meter dash PR of 10.74, which she ran twice at the 2016 Trials in Eugene.

The 400-meter relay heats took place Wednesday evening on the East Coast but Thursday morning in Tokyo.

Javianne Oliver led off for the U.S., followed by Teanna Daniels, Gardner and Aleia Hobbs. Gabby Thomas and Jenna Prandini are expected to replace Gardner and Hobbs in the final. But if the U.S. medals, Gardner and Hobbs will receive the same medals as the four sprinters in the final because they ran in the rounds.

Racing in 90-degree heat, the U.S. placed second to Great Britain, which won the heat in a national-record 41.55. The top three in each of two races along with the next two-fastest teams advanced to the final. Both small-q qualifiers came from the first race. Germany won the second semifinal in 42.00.

The Great Britain and U.S. teams ran the two-fastest times in the world this year. As the top two seeds, Great Britain will race in Lane 5 in the final with the U.S. in Lane 6. Favored Jamaica, which struggled to a 42.15 in the first semifinal, will be out in Lane 8. Here are the official lane assignments.

Here are the qualifiers for the final:
41.55 … Great Britain [heat 1]
41.90 … United States [heat 1] 
42.00 … Germany [heat 2]
42.05 … Switzerland [heat 2]
42.15 … Jamaica [heat 1]
42.68 … France [heat 1]
42.81 … Netherlands [heat 1]
42.82 … People’s Republic of China [heat 2]

The final is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Friday in Tokyo, which is 9:30 a.m. Friday here.

Curtis Thompson finishes 22nd in javelin at Olympics in Tokyo!!!

Curtis Thompson of Florence placed 22nd in the javelin at the Olympic Games in Tokyo Wednesday morning.

Thompson, competing in the second group of 16 throwers, threw 256-6, 256-2 and 255-6 on his three attempts in the qualifying round.

Although it wasn’t the performance he was hoping for, Thompson had a spectacular 2021 season, with his second national title, his first Olympic Trials title, his best throw in five years and a chance to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games.

The top 12 throwers advanced to the finals on Saturday. The cut-off was 268-1 [81.73].

Thompson has thrown 268-1 twice  – both times in the Olympic Trials, both times in Eugene. He threw 271-11 in 2016 an d 271-7 in June.

Thompson ranks No. 16 in U.S. history and ranks No. 22 in the world this year.

The other American in Tokyo, Michael Shuey, competing in Group A earlier in the evening, fouled on all three of his attempts.


Trenton’s 19-year-old Athing Mu on Tuesday became the first New Jersey woman in history to win an Olympic track and field individual gold medal when she ran away from the field to win the 800 in Tokyo.

Mu ran 1:55.21, breaking the American record of 1:55.61 set by another New Jersey half-miler – Neptune graduate Ajee Wilson, who ran 1:55.61 in Monaco in 2017.

Official results are here.

Mu became the first U.S. woman to win the Olympic 800 in more than half a century. Madeline Manning set the Olympic record of 2:00.92 in Mexico City in 1968.

Mu, a 2019 Trenton High School graduate, moved to the front at the start and stayed up front throughout the race. She started to gap the field on the final turn and won by four meters over another 19-year-old, England’s Keely Hodgkinson, who was second with a national-record 1:55.88. Another American, Raevyn Rogers, won the bronze medal with a PR of 1:56.81.  

Mu’s previous PR was 1:56.07 in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene. Her 1:55.21 is No. 11 all-time and the 3rd-fastest time by anybody in the world over the last 25 years.

Her time is No. 5 in Olympic history and fastest since Pamela Jelimo of Kenya ran 1:54.87 to win the 2008 gold medal in Beijing.

Her time is No. 5 in Olympic history and fastest since Pamela Jelimo of Kenya ran 1:54.87 to win the 2008 gold medal in Beijing. 

She came through 400 in 57.9 and 600 in 1:27.2 before running her final 200 in 28.0. Race analysis with complete 100-meter splits is here.

Full video of the race doesn’t seem to be available yet, but here’s a pretty good highlight video of the race:

Here’s a look at the top 20 times in world history. It should update soon.

How to watch Curtis Thompson in the Olympic javelin tomorrow!!!

Curtis Thompson makes his Olympic debut Wednesday morning in Tokyo, but it will be Tuesday evening here on the East Coast, and you can watch live as he competes in the javelin.

There are two groups of qualifying rounds in the men’s javelin. Group A starts at 9:05 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo, which is 8:05 p.m. Tuesday here. Group B starts at 10:35 a.m., which is 9:35 p.m. Tuesday here.

Thompson, a Florence High School graduate, is in Group B and will throw fifth out of 16 entries in his group of throwers.

Start lists, PRs of all entrants, all-time lists, 2021 lists, all-time Olympic lists are all here.

Everybody who throws 83.5 meters – which is 273-11 – advances automatically to the final. If there are fewer than 12 competitors who reach 83.5, the top 12 throwers in the two qualifying groups will advance to the final.

Thompson’s lifetime best is 271-11 from the 2016 Trials, where he briefly held the Olympic record, and his season best is 271-7 from this year’s Trials, which he won. 

The men’s javelin final is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tokyo time on Saturday, which is 7 a.m. on Saturday in South Jersey.

NBC lists Tuesday evening’s track coverage on both Channel 10 and CNBC. But the entire event will be streaming live on, and this link should take you right to the men’s javelin qualifying:

Live results will be available here.

Here’s a look at all of Thompson’s throws of at least 80 meters [262-5]:

271-11: July 4, 2016, U.S. Olympic Trials, Eugene, Ore.
271-7: June 21, 2021, U.S. Olympic Trials, Eugene, Ore.
267-2: May 22, 2021, USATF Throws Fest, Tucson, Ariz.
265-10: July 17, 2021, American Javfest, East Stroudsburg, Pa.
262-6: March 25, 2016, Florida State Relays, Tallahassee, Fla.