Shawnee grad Amanda Demko, a sophomore at The College of New Jersey, won her third straight NJAC 400-meter dash championship on Monday.
Demko ran a personal-best 56.15 to win the 400 at the New Jersey Athletic Conference championships on her home track in Ewing.
She was only 21-100ths of a second off the meet record of 55.94 set 39 years ago by Natalie Jordan of William Paterson in the 1983 meet at Glassboro State. Jordan went on to win the 400 at the NCAA Division 3 Championships in Naperville, Ill., with a meet-record 54.73.
Demko is now 3-for-3 in the 400 at the NJAC championships. She won the outdoor title last spring in 57.91 and the indoor title in 57.68.
Her time Monday ranks No. 5 in TCNJ history. She’s No. 8 indoors after just one season. She’s also No. 11 nationally in NCAA Division 3, which should qualify her for the Division 3 Nationals .
Demko also ran the second leg on TCNJ’s winning 400-meter relay team. Ashlyn MacLure of Nashoba Regional High in Bolton, Mass., led off, Demko ran the second leg and Maria Grill of Whippanny Park and Valandra Riggins of Lawrence finished up. The Lions ran 47.13, beating Ramapo by 3-100ths of a second. That’s No. 7 in NCAA Division 3 and a qualifier for nationals.
Demko didn’t run on TCNJ’s 4-by-4 Monday but did run on their fastest team this year along with Ocean City graduate Erin Hanlon, Allishon Uhl of Park Ridge and Riggins. That group ran 3:50.02 at Widener University in Chester, Pa., last month, which ranks 9th in Division 3. Hanlon, Uhl and Erin Buquicchio of Pascack Hills ran on that team, which will also run at Nationals.
She also PR’d in the 200 with a 25.29 in the trials and placed fifth in the final.
Woodstown grad Molly Lodge, a Rowan freshman, PR’d in both of those races with a 25.10 in the 200 trials and 56.88 in the 400. She placed 4th in both races.
Demko’s fastest high school 400 was a 58.54 at the 2020 indoor Meet of Champions at the Bubble. And she ran 58.66 outdoors two months later at Group 4 sectionals at Washington Township.
She lowered her PR to 57.46 last April in a meet at Franklin Field and ran an indoor PR of 57.68 at last year’s NJAC meet at Ocean Breeze. She dipped under 57 for the first time last month with a 56.99 in a meet at Stockton University in Galloway Township, PR’d again last month with a 56.92 in Princeton and then recorded her third PR in three major outdoor meets on Monday.
TCNJ outscored 2nd-place Rowan 245-192 to win its third straight team title and 30th since 1986, the first 10 as Trenton State College.
Division 3 nationals are scheduled for May 26-28 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.