Ocean City senior Owen Ritti won the 800 at the Metropolitan Invitational Wednesday at the Armory with the fastest time in the state this year and the No. 2 indoor time Cape May County history.
Ritti ran 1:58.18 and won by 14 meters over Noah Brightman of Pawling (N.Y.) High, who placed second in 2:00.31. Ritti took the lead for good on the third lap.
He ran all his laps between 29.43 and 29.73, coming through the 400 in 58.98 and coming back in 59.20.
Ritti ran just over half a second off the Cape May County record of 1:57.59, set at the 2011 state Group 3 meet at the Bubble by Ocean City’s Miles Schoedler.
Before Wednesday, the top New Jersey time this year belonged to Jessier Soriano of Pascack Valley High in Little Falls, who ran 1:58.24 at the Passaic County Championships at Ocean Breeze on Saturday.
Ritti is the third South Jersey runner under two minutes so far this indoor season. Kingsway senior Kyle Rakitis ran 1:58.68 at the Bubble last week, and senior Cole Sharpnack of Pitman ran 1:59.51 in the same race. Kingsway senior Jeffrey Heineman came up just short of two minutes with a 2:00.16 in that race as well.
Ritti’s previous indoor PR was 2:00.25 at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic at the Armory last month. His outdoor PR is a 1:57.01 last spring at the state Group 3 meet at Pennsauken.