Cherry Hill East junior Alexis Tepper got her outdoor season started out the right way with an outdoor PR and a win in the 800 at the Lenape Invitational.
Tepper ran 2:23.50, winning the 800 by 12 meters over Mainland sophomore Gillian Lovett, who ran 2:25.79. She’s No. 1 in South Jersey in the early going and No. 6 on the state 800 list through two weekends.
Indoors, Tepper set an East school record of 2:19.12 at the Bubble in February, which ranked her No. 4 in South Jersey during the winter. But she raced the 1,600 at sectionals, and that 2:19.12 was her only indoor 800 and her last 800 until Saturday, when she ran away from the field at Lenape.
Her previous outdoor PR? She actually didn’t have one. Other than dual meets presumably, this was her first 800 on a 400-meter track.
But Tepper had a strong cross country season, placing 3rd at Group 4 sectionals at DREAM Park for the 2nd-place Cougars, 20th at states at Holmdel, where East placed 5th, then running 19:41 at Holmdel at the Meet of Champions, where the Cougars recorded a top-10 finish as South Jersey’s No. 3 team behind Cherokee and Haddonfield.
She ran 5:18.72 indoors in addition to her 2:19.12 setting her up for a big spring season.
Lovett, meanwhile, also PR’d. Her previous outdoor best was a 2:31.51 as a freshman at Group 3 sectionals last spring, and she ran 2:25.95 indoors at sectionals in February.
Three other girls broke 2:30, and all set PRs as well – Cinnaminson sophomore Anna Marino [3rd in 2:26.79], Egg Harbor soph Taylor Rooney [4th in 2:28.43] and Cinnaminson junior Stephanie Renouf [5th in 2:28.87].