What a wild 1,600 Thursday night at Delsea, with Haddonfield senior Seth Clevenger running one of the 20-fastest miles or mile equivalent in South Jersey history and leading three others under 4:18 and a total of six under 4:20.
Clevenger won the 1,600 at the South Jersey Elite meet in 4:12.94, No. 19 in South Jersey history, a personal best and No. 2 this year in New Jersey.
It’s also No. 6 in Camden County history, and 2nd-fastest in Haddonfield history, behind only Colin Baker, who ran 4:09.39 in 2009.
Clevenger’s previous PR was a 4:15.36 full mile at a meet last month in Westfield, and that converts to 4:13.88 for 1,600 meters.
The South Jersey Elite continues the lineage of the old South Jersey Invitational, which was a boys-only meet that ran from 1992 through 2019. The previous meet record was 4:16.30, set by Oakcrest’s Ishmael Muhammad in 2014.
The only faster miler in New Jersey this year is state Group 4 champ and Meet of Champions XC runner-up Jackson Barna of Ridge, who ran 4:09.53 (equivalent to 4:08.07 for 1,600] chasing Arcbishop Wood’s Gary Martin last month at a meet at La Salle High School in Springfield Township, Montgomery County.
Clevenger took command of the race early, going out in 61.88 before coming through the 800 in 2:07.14 and the 1,200 in 3:11.71. He closed in 61.23.
West Deptford’s Jacob Cobb lowered his PR from 4:18.59 from last year’s Meet of Champions down to 4:16.52. That’s No. 15 on a very fast all-time Glouester County list and just under the previous school record of 4:16.74, set by Kevin Cianfarini at the 2014 South Jersey Group 2 meet at Egg Harbor.
Next across the line was Cinnaminson junior Tyler Schill, who ran 4:17.41 and demolished his PR of 4:27.89 from this past indoor season at the South Jersey Group 2 meet at the Bubble. Schill’s time makes him the fastest junior in New Jersey this year, and he becomes the fifth Cinnaminson runner to go sub-4:18, joining Matt Poskus [4:14.06 in 2007], Jon Anderson [4:15.28 in 2004], Brian Tetreault [4:15.44 in 2007] and Austin Gabay [4:16.02 in 2019]. Schill was in 7th place with a lap to go before moving up to 3rd with a 61.23 final lap.
Woodbury’s Peyton Shute continued his tremendous sophomore season by taking 4th in 4:17.46, lowering his PR from 4:21.80 at the state Group 1 meet at the Bubble this past winter. His time is No. 14 in the U.S. among sophomores according to the MileSplit database and No. 1 among New Jersey sophs. Watch out Rich Caton. He’s Woodbury’s school record holder with a 4:12.5 converted from a 4:13.9 full mile when he won the Penn Relays mile in 1978, outleaning Michael Cleary of Fordham Prep. Shute has two years plus to catch Caton.
Also under 4:20 were Delsea senior Andrew Littlehales [PR 4:19.74] and Haddon Heights junior Colin Patterson [PR 4:19.82]. Littlehales PR’d by about a second. Patterson had never broken 4:27 before.
The race produced the six of the 9-fastest times in the state this year.
Here’s the updated all-time South Jersey 1,600-meter list followed by the all-time Camden and Gloucester County lists.
All-Time Camden County 1,600-Meter List
4:08.7y ….. Mike Elder [Haddon Twp.], 1973
4:09.30 … Colin Baker [Haddonfield], 2009
4:11.78 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2015
4:12.02y … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1999
4:12.3y ….. Ed Blakeley [Haddon Twp.], 1975
4:12.92 … Seth Clevenger [Haddonfield], 2022
4:13.26y … Greg Pelose [Haddonfield], 2015
4:13.5y … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
4:13.71 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2015
4:14.1y … Charles McCarthy [Paul VI], 1972
All-Time Gloucester County 1,600 List
4:08.58 … Kyle Rakitis [Kingsway], 2021
4:10.1y ….. Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1979
4:11.07 … Xavier Fraction [Washington Twp.], 2009
4:11.84 … Tom Cooke [Kingsway], 2012
4:12.08 … Bill Dolan [Clearview], 2014
4:12.5y ….. Dick Caton [Woodbury], 1978
4:13.23 … Justin Branco [Delsea], 2015
4:13.46 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2019
4:13.4y … Greg Stremmel [Gateway[, 1973
4:13.83 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp.], 2003
4:15.0y … Bob Marino [Williamstown], 1975
4:15.0h … Fred Sharpe [Paulsboro], 1997
4:16.01 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2014
4:16.07 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp.], 2003
4:16.52 … Jacob Cobb [West Deptford], 2022