Kingsway graduate Sam Allen headed to Oman for World Racewalking Championships!!!!!

Sam Allen, a Kingsway graduate now attending Cornell, is part of the U.S. national team that will compete at the 2022 World Athletics Race Walking Championships this weekend in Oman.

Allen, a 2020 graduate of Kingsway, will compete in the 20,000-kilometer event along with Americans Emmanuel Corvera, A.J. Gruttadauro and Jordan Crawford.

The 20K walk is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday in Muscat, Oman, which will be 7 a.m. Saturday EST. The two-day event will be held on the grounds of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Allen, 19, has a 20K PR of 1:30.43.43 set earlier this month outdoors on the track at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, Calif. 

He ranks No. 4 in the world this year at 20,000 meters and No. 2 among U.S. men, behind  Nick Christie, an Olympian who finished just ahead of Allen in El Cajon in 1:30.43.

In June, Allen placed 6th in the U.S. Olympic Trials 20,000 race walk on a road course in Springfield, Ore., in 1:37.59.

At Kingsway, Allen ran track and cross country. He was on the 2019 Kingsway XC team that placed 3rd at South Jersey Group 4 sectionals.

Oman is a sultanate with a population of about 4.8 million located in Western Asia on the Arabian Sea and borders Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The capital city of Muscat, population 1.6 million, is located across the Gulf of Oman from Iran.

Meet of Champions boys and girls performance lists and wild-card additions now available!!!

The 53rd annual boys Meet of Champions and 43rd annual girls Meet of Champions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

The meet should be at Ocean Breeze, but, alas, the state is forcing kids to run the biggest meet of  the season on a slow, flat track inside a cramped, uncomfortable air bubble.

New Jersey athletes are so talented, it will still be a tremendous meet. But anybody who watched the 2020 meet at Ocean Breeze knows what an indoor Meet of Champions should look like.

In any case, field events get underway at 5 p.m. Friday and track events start at 10 a.m. Saturday.

On Monday afternoon, the NJSIAA released the official boys and girls performance lists, including wild-cards.

Click HERE to download the *.pdfs.

Kingsway grad Orion Joyner PRs and wins Atlantic 10 triple jump title for Rhode Island!!!!!!

Kingsway graduate Orion Joyner, now a junior at Rhode Island, won his first conference title Sunday with a PR at the Atlantic 10 Championships.

Joyner leaped 48-5 ¼ on his first attempt in the triple jump to win the A-10 title at the George Mason Sports Complex in Fairfax, Va.

Joyner’s previous indoor PR was a 47-9 ¼ earlier this month at Boston University. Before this season, his best indoor performance was a 46-5 at Easterns at the Armory as a Kingsway junior in February of 2019. His previous lifetime best jump was a 48-1 ¼ to win 2019 outdoor sectionals at Washington Township in the spring of 2019.

At the A-10 meet, Joyner added a 48-3 on his fourth jump, giving him the two-best jumps of the competition. Freshman David Coles of Virginia Commonwealth placed second at 47-4 ½.

Joyner is URI’s 12th A-10 triple jump champion and first since Casey Burley won the 2018 title.

This was only Joyner’s third meet of the indoor season, all in February. He’s set indoor PRs in each – 46-8 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, Mass., and then the 47-9 ¼ in Boston and Sunday’s 48-5 ¼.

Joyner’s 48-5 ¼ is 1 ½ inches shy of the all-time Rhode Island indoor triple jump top-10.

Joyner has only competed in one season of outdoor track at URI with a best jump of 46-2 ½ from a meet in New Britain, Ct., this past May.

Millville graduate Kaitlyn Dermen closing in on all-time South Jersey women’s pole vault alumni record!!!!!!

Kaitlyln Dermen graduated a few years ago from Stockton, where she was an All-America pole vaulter, but she hasn’t stopped competing. And she hasn’t stopped improving.

Dermen, a Millville graduate, had a collegiate PR of 12-7 ½ from the 2017 NCAA Division 3 Championships in Alliance, Ohio, where she placed 9th, and an indoor PR of 12-1 ½ from a meet in February of 2018 at Ocean Breeze.

Since graduating in the spring of 2018, Dermen has competed intermittently, and last spring, competing unattatched at a meet at Rider, she cleared 12-9 ½ for an outdoor PR.

This indoor season, she’s taken her vaulting to another level. 

In her indoor opener at Ocean Breeze in December, Dermen cleared 13-7 ¼ – an indoor PR of about a foot and a half and a lifetime best by nearly a foot.

That puts her at No. 62 on the 2022 U.S. indoor performance list.

She backed that up with a 13-5 clearance earlier this month in a meet at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and then this past weekend at Ocean Breeze she cleared 13-6, just off two-week-old PR.

I think but am not sure that Dermen’s 13-7 ¼ moves her into the No. 2 spot in South Jersey alumni history and just 5 1/2 inches from the record.

Shawnee graduate Stephanie Maugham cleared 14-0 ¾ outdoors in Fresno, Calif., in April of 2002 and 13-10 ½ indoors in Reno, Nev., in February of 2002. Maugham was a hurdler and high jumper at Shawnee but picked up the pole vault in college at Rhode Island and was 2000 Penn Relays champ.

Another Shawnee graduate, Danielle O’Reilly, set the national indoor high school record of 13-5 at the Armory in 2004. Her lifetime best outdoors was 13-1 ½ in Fayetteville in 2005.

Current Villanova junior and graduate Ashley Preston has PRs of 13-3 ¾ outdoors from last spring at Franklin Field and 13-3 ½ from 2020 when she won Big East at SPIRE Insitute in Geneva, Ohio.

Moorestown graduate Jessica Kloss just missed the 13-foot barrier while she was at Princeton, clearing 12-11 ½ both indoors and outdoors in 2009 [in Cambridge, Mass., indoors, and in Princeton outdoors].

Any other South Jersey women who’ve been over the bar at 13 feet or higher? Let me know!

Entries released for 87th annual Eastern States Invitational Tuesday at the Armory!!!!!

The 87th annual Eastern States Invitational begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the 168th Street Armory, its home since 1998.

The meet wasn’t held last year, the third time since its inception that’s happened. The 1973 and 1992 boys meets weren’t held because of issues because of venue issues.

The first boys meet was held in 1934 under the auspices of the AAU at the old Madison Square Garden at 50th Street and 8th Avenue, and it remained at the Garden until 1966, when it moved to the Armory. When the Armory wasn’t available in 1973, the meet was cancelled, but it returned in 1974 at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym, where it stayed until moving back to the now-refurbished Armory in 1998.

The girls meet was held from 1980 through 1996 in Boston before merging with the boys meet. A joint meet was first held at Jadwin in 1997 before the meet as we all currently know it, with boys and girls at the Armory, debuted at the Armory in 1998.

Over the next couple days I’ll be posting all-time top-20 Eastern’s boys and girls performance lists and a list of all-time South Jersey winners – the first South Jersey winner was 79 years ago!

But first here’s a look at all the entries.

It’s not a very large South Jersey contingent this year, but Haddonfield, Rancocas Valley, Delsea, Deptford, Washington Township, Pleasantville, Atlantic City, Sterling, Winslow Township, Pitman, Highland and Egg Harbor will all be in action Tuesday.

For the complete event-by-event list of entrants, click here.

Penn freshman Aliya Garozzo from Paul VI speeds to #8 time in Quakers history at 500 meters at Ivy Heps!!!!!

Penn freshman Aliya Garozzo from Paul VI used a powerful finish to snag 5th place in the 500-meter run at the Ivy League Heps Championships Sunday.

Garozzo ran 1:13.44 in the first of two sections of the 500 final at at the Armory, then watched as her time held up for 6th overall after the second section.

Her time is No. 8 in Penn history, which is quite an achievement considering her limited experience at a very challenging distance. 

Garozzo just ran her first collegiate 500 two weeks ago and ran 1:15.68 in a meet at Lynchburg, Va. She ran 1:14.45 in the Ivy Heps trials on Saturday before her breakthrough race on Sunday.

Here’s a look at the all-time Penn 500-meter list:

1:11.77 … Jesse Carlin, 2005
1:12.37 … Uchechi Nwogwugwu, 2019
1:12.68 … Jamie Massarelli, 2010
1:12.72 … Candace Taylor, 2015
1:12.75 … Nia Akins, 2017
1:13.04 … Skyla Wilson, 2022
1:13.36 … Taylor Hennig, 2015
1:13.44 … Aliya Garozzo, 2022
1:14.26 … Victoria Strickland, 2012
1:14.56 … Dana McCurdy, 2005
1:14.65 … Mikayla Schneider, 2017

Garozzo did run a 500 in high school, clocking 1:19.16 as a PVI junior in another meet at the Armory, so she had some experience at the distance. 

Her best event is the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, which she won both as a junior and a senior at the state Parochial A meet. Her PR of 1:00.16 at the 2019 New Balance Nationals in Greensboro is No. 6 in South Jersey history and earned her All-America honors with a 5th-place finish.

Safe to say a 1:13.44 in a speed-strength event like the 500 augurs well for her performance in the 400IH this spring.

Garozzo also ran a 56.72 third leg on Penn’s 1,600-meter relay team, which ran 3:47.46.

Northern Burlington’s Lailah Gordon remains unbeaten at 3,200 meters, wins state Group 3 title!!!

Northern Burlington’s Liliah Gordon remained unbeaten this year at 3,200 meters with a PR win at the state Group 3 meet Saturday at the Bubble.

Gordon ran 11:06.89, three seconds below her winning time at sectionals a week earlier on the same track.

She fell about half a second off the school record of 11:06.43 set 27 years ago by Colleen Sunderland, who actually ran 11:10.32 for two miles at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. That converts to 10:06.43 for 3,200 meters.

This is the second straight year NBC has had a state champion. Lindsey Michie won the pole vault last year at 11-6. Michie and Gordon are the only Northern Burlington girls to win indoor state titles.

The last Northern girl to win a state title on the track indoors or out was Sunderland, who won the state Group 3 3,200 outdoors in 1995 in 10:58.23.

Gordon finished three meters ahead of Toms River South senior Taylor Guthrie, second in 11:07.40. Mainland’s Sofia Day was 3rdin 11:11, a five-second PR of her own.

Gordon is the No. 9 seed for the Meet of Champions 3,200, although at least a couple of the girls seeded faster than her will likely run the 1,600.

The 11:06.89 is fastest by a South Jersey freshman since Kingsway’s Chelsea Ley ran 11:00.79 at 2007 Group 3 states.

She moved up to No. 6 in Burlington County indoor history, and her time is 5th-fastest among U.S. freshmen, according to MileSplit’s national database.

10:31.06 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2012
10:46.63 … Erika Kemp [Rancocas Valley], 2013
10:55.58 … Nicole Clifford [Cherokee], 2022
11:00.7y … Deanna Germano (Shawnee), 1986
11:06.32y … Colleen Sunderland (Northern Burlington), 1995
11:06.89 … Lialah Gordon [Northern Burlington], 2022
11:08.85 … Nina Bendixen, [Shawnee], 2015
11:09.91 … Liliah Gordon [Northrn Burlington], 2022
11:10.88 … Caitlin Orr (Lenape), 2009
11:12.32 … Mara Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2014


Delsea graduate Josh Awotunde his first U.S. national team and will compete in the Indoor World Championships after placing 2nd at USATF Nationals Sunday with a monster PR.

On his second throw at the Podium in Spokane, Awotunde threw the 16-pound shot 71-4, good for second behind world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser, who won the event with a world-leading 73-10 ¼.

The top two finishers in each event at U.S. Nationals this weekend form the U.S. team that will travel to World Indoors March 18-20 at Štark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.

Awotunde’s previous PR was 70-7 ½ from earlier this month in Louisville. He moved up from No. 20 to No. 13 in U.S. history and threw half a foot of his outdoor PR of 72-2 set in Italy in September, No. 15 in U.S. history.

His 71-4 is No. 4 in the world this year, behind Crouser on Sunday and Filip Mihaljević of Croatia [71-7 ¾ ] and Konra Bukowiecki of Poland [71-7 ½] both from a meet in Toruń, Poland, last weekend.

His throw is also No. 74 in world history.

Awotunde finished his series with a 68-4 ¼ and another 70-foot throw, a 70-2 ¼ on his fourth attempt. He fouled on his last two throws.

He’s now surpassed 70 feet four times in his last two meets after taking a PR of 69-11 ¾ into February, a four-year-old PR from the 2018 SEC Championships at College Station, Texas, while he was competing for South Carolina.

Awotunde finished more than two feet ahead of 3rd-place Roger Steen, a former NCAA Division 3 champion at Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Cornell freshman Brady Shute from Woodbury uses insane finish to place 3rd in 1,000 at Ivy Championships!!!

Closing in 55.4 for his final 400 and 27.1 for his final 200 (😲), Cornell freshman Brady Shute from Woodbury placed 3rd in the 1,000 Sunday at the Ivy League Championships at the Armory.

Shute, who ran 2:25.68 in Saturday’s trials, lowered his time to 2:25.68 at a distance he had never run until this weekend.

Shute, the No. 6 seed out of the qualifying rounds, was in 6th place with a lap to go but passed three runners over the final 100 to move up into 3rd.

He move up from 10th to 7th in Cornell history. Teammate Rhys Hammond ran 2:23.77 in the semis, No. 4 on that top-10 list, and placed 2nd Sunday in 2:24.75. Princeton’s Harrison Witt won the final in 2:24.41.

Shute had never run a 1,000 until Saturday. He’s run 1:54.13 an 4:16.76 this year in his only previous open races.

Shute went out much faster Saturday [59.09 to 60.39] but finished much faster Sunday [1:24.84 final 600] compared to Saturday [1:26.59].

All-time Cornell 1,000-meter list
2:23.66 … Nick Wade, 2011
2:24.31 … Andrew Levy, 2009
2:24.35 … John Schilkowsky, 2011
2:23.77 … Rhys Hammond, 2022
2:24.58 … Jimmy Wyner, 2006
2:24.74 … Mike Franks, 1993
2:25.24 … Brady Shute, 2022
2:25.41 … Aldo Gonzalez, 2004
2:25.3h … Colin McClive, 1980
2:26.00 … Alex Mocarski, 2022

Shawnee grad Kara Bonner from Lehigh runs PR 4:55 mile at Patriot Conference Championships!!!!!

Shawnee graduate Kara Bonner ran a personal-best 4:55.27 mile Sunday at the Patriot Conference Championships at Bucknell.

Bonner, a Lehigh senior, placed 7th in the mile final after running 4:59.21 in Saturday’s trials. Bonner had a PR of 5:05.41 until earlier this month when she ran 4:55.86 on the banked 200-meter oval at the Armory.

Her 4:55.27 Sunday came on a flat, slow track at Bucknell’s Gerhard Fieldhouse.

Bonner was out in 73.38, 2:29.04 and 3:43.52 but closed in 71.76 for her final 400 and 35.09 for her final 200.

Unfortunately, Lehigh is one of the few schools that doesn’t have a top-10 list on its web site. 

I did look through year-by-year results and can tell you Bonner’s time is Lehigh’s 3rd-fastest over the past decade, behind only Clare Severe, who ran 4:45.41 at Boston University in 2019, and Maura Henderson, who ran 4:53.32 in 2017 at Ocean Breeze.

Bonner also ran a 2:15.04 leadoff on Lehigh’s winning 3,200-meter relay team, which set a meet and facility record of 8:50.37.