Eastern senior A.J. Brooks ran a personal-best 7.69 to win the 55-meter hurdles Saturday morning at a SJTCA meet at the Bubble in Toms River.
That’s No. 1 in South Jersey this year and No. 3 in the state, behind Lumberton’s Greg Foster, who ran 7.61 at the Armory last month for Lawrenceville School (and is the nation’s No. 1 long jumper), and Chris Serrao of East Brunswick, who ran 7.62 at Ocean Breeze last month.
Brooks previously held the No. 1 mark in South Jersey this year with his 7.79 at a meet earlier this month at the Bubble.
In the prelims, Washington Township’s Kanye Mills and Tracy Marshall led all qualifiers, Mills with a PR 7.82 and Marshall with a PR 8.11, and Brooks ran 8.20.
But it was all Brooks in the final, with Mills PR’ing again in 7.81 and Marshall 3rd with his second PR of the day in 8.02. Zach Debose of Pemberton made it PRs all around in 4th place with an 8.11. Fifth-place finisher Chace Pearson of Timber Creek also PR’d with an 8.17 since he had never raced the event before.
Brooks and Mills now rank No. 1 and No. 2 in South Jersey this year. Also under 7.85 is Pennsauken junior Bryce Tucker, the Meet of Champions intermediate hurdles winner last spring.
Brooks is Eastern’s fastest high hurdler indoors in 30 years, since Vince Rawlins ran 7.49 in 1991.