Cherokee’s Jessica Woodard bombed one of the top shot put performances in U.S. history Sunday to secure a spot on the U.S. team that will compete later this summer at the World Championships.

Woodard, 27, moved up from 4th to 3rd and locked up the final qualifying spot when she threw 63-7 ¾ on her 5th attempt at the USATF Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The top three finishers qualify for the U.S. national team as long as they’ve met the World Athletics standard, which in the case of the shot put is 60-8 ¼.

This is Woodard’s first national team.

Woodard came into the meet with a lifetime-best of 62-3 ½.

She threw exactly 61-7 ¾ on her 1st and 4th attempts separated by two fouls but despite throwing within six inches of her PR she was still sitting in 4th with two throws left, behind world leader and world indoor silver medalist Chase Ealey (70-6 ¾), Ohio State Olympian Adelaide Aquilla (63-9 ¾) and 2021 Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders (62-2 ¼).

On her 5th throw, Woodard hit 63-7 ¾ to pass Saunders and move into 3rd. Saunders then fouled on her 5th attempt and threw 61-5 on her 4th to lock Woodard into 3rd place.

Woodard’s 63-7 ¾ is No. 8 in the world this year and and No. 14 in U.S. history.

The 2022 World Athletics Championships are scheduled for July 15-24 back at Hayward Field in Eugene.

The women’s shot put qualifying rounds are scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST July 15 with the final at 9:25 p.m. July 16.

Upon further review … Bryanna Craig has been named to the U.S. national team for the World Under-20 Championships!!!!!!!!!!

Bryanna Craig is headed for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships later this summer after all.

Craig, a Millville native who graduated from Ruston (La.) earlier this month, placed 3rd in the hepthatlon at the USATF Under-20 Championships this week in Eugene, Ore., and only the top two placers reveive automatic invitations to join the U.S. national team that will compete at the World Championships in South America in August.

Craig scored 5,388 points, the 11th-highest score in high school history. She finished 13 points behind JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, a freshman at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Wash., who broke Craig’s U.S. freshman record earlier this year and improved it this weekend to 5,401 points. That’s No. 10 in U.S. high school history.

NCAA Division 2 All-America Blakelee Winn, who recently finished her freshman year at Pittsburg (Kans.) State University, won the event with 5,473 points in her final year of Under-20 eligibility. She placed 3rd at the NCAA Division 2 Championships in Allendale, Mich.

But due to an administrative issue, Winn will apparently not be able to represent the U.S. at the World Under 20 Championships, which is scheduled for Aug. 1-6 at Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero in Cali, Colombia.

As the first alternate, Craig joins Gero-Holt on the U.S. Under-20 team.

Winn, Gero-Holt and Craig rank 27th, 38th and 41st among all U.S. women through Saturday.

In Eugene, Craig PR’d in the shot put (34-7), 200 (25.11), javelin (118-0) and 800 (2:19.42). She also ran 14.55 in the high hurdles, high jumped 5-7 ¾ and long jumped 18-6 ¼ in the two-day, seven-event challenge.


Nia Ali runs #8 100 hurdles time in world this year at U.S. Championships, then scratches in final!!!!!

Pleasantville’s Nia Ali ran the 8th-fastest high hurdles time in the world this year in the semifinals at USATF Nationals Saturday, then scratched from the final with her spot at the World Championships assured.

Ali ran 12.49 to win the first of two 100-meter hurdles semifinal races Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. That was the 2nd-fastest time going into the final behind only world record holder Kendra Harrison, who ran 12.40 to win the 2nd semifinal. Harrison set the world record of 12.20 to win the Olympic gold medal in London in 2016.

Ali was 2nd in that race but ran her PR of 12.34 when she won the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. That’s 7th in world history.

At 33 years old after taking a year and a half off to have her third baby, that 12.49 is Ali’s fastest time since Doha and only 15-100ths of a second off her lifetime-best time.

The 12.49 is also her 4th-fastest time ever, behind the 12.34 in Doha, a 12.44 in the semifinals in Doha and a 12.48 at the 2013 U.S. Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

The only hurdler to run faster at 33 years old is Gail Devers, who was 33 years, 8 months, 14 days old when she ran 12.33 at the 2000 U.S. Championships in Sacramento. Ali is 33 months, 8 months and 2 days old – 12 days younger than Devers.

But when the final went off, Ali’s lane 6 was vacant. Harrison went on to win the final in a 2022 world-best 12.34.

There was no immediate word whether Ali is injured or why she scratched. But she did not need to place in the top two at the U.S. Championships to qualify for the World Championships because as the 2019 World Champion she has an automatic berth into the meet.

The 2022 World Athletics Championships are scheduled for July 15-24 back at Hayward Field. The first round of the hurdles is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. EST on July 23 with the semifinals and finals a day later at 8:05 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Pleasantville’s Nia Ali matches fastest 100HH time in 3 years, advances to semifinals at USATF Championships!!!!!

Pleasantville’s Nia Ali matched her season-best time and advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles Friday at the USATF Championships in Eugene.

Ali placed 2nd in the 2nd of three heats in 12.59, the 5th-fastest time overall at Hayward Field. The top four finishers in each of the three hearts plus the next four-fastest times qualified for the semifinals on Saturday evening.

Ali, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, also ran 12.59 in a meet in Gainesville in April. She did not race outdoors in 2020 or at all in 2021 as she had a baby, so the 12.59 matches her fastest time since she ran a lifetime best 12.34 to win the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Ali races in the semifinal at 4:04 p.m. Saturday. The top three finishers in each of two heats plus the next two-fastest advance to the final, which follows at 5:41 p.m.

Ali will be in lane 6 in the first of the two semis. She had the 2nd-fastest time in the trials among the women in her semifinal. Alaysha Johnson, who ran 12.40 Friday, will be in lane 4.

Click here for live results:

Bryanna Craig records 11th-highest high school heptathlon score in U.S. history in 3rd-place finish at Under-20 Championships!!!!!!!!

Millville native Bryanna Craig fell an agonizing 14 points short of making the U.S. National team for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships but recorded the 11th-highest heptathlon score in U.S. high school track history.

Competing in the USATF Under-20 Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Craig scored 5,388 points and placed 3rd at the USATF Under-20 Championships Thursday and Friday.

She finished 13 points behind JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, a freshman at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Wash., who broke Craig’s U.S. freshman record earlier this year and improved it this weekend to 5,401 points. That’s No. 10 in U.S. high school history.

USATF has a rule that doesn’t allow athletes to attend World Under 20 Championships if they’re 15 or under, but according to her bio on the IAAF web site Gero-Holt is 16.

NCAA Division 2 All-America Blakelee Winn, who recently finished her freshman year at Pittsburg (Kans.) State University, won the event with 5,473 points in her final year of Under-20 eligibility.

Winn and Gero-Holt will represent the U.S. at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, in August.

Craig doesn’t turn 19 until Feb. 12, so she has another year of eligibility in the Under-20 Championships.

Craig’s previous heptathlon PR was 5,117 points last year in Myrtle Beach, S.C., although she also had a 5,138 with incomplete wind information, which makes the performance wind-aided and not eligible for list purposes.

Craig’s score of 5,388 ranks No. 23 in the world in the Under-20 division and No. 41 among all U.S. women.

Going into the final event Friday, the 800 meters, Gero-Holt held a 192-point lead over Craig (4,749-4,557). But Craig ran a personal-best 2:19.42 and finished five seconds ahead of the field and nearly 14 seconds ahead of Gero-Holt, making up all but 13 points of the deficit.

Craig, a two-time national high school champion, set personal bests in the 800 (2:19.42), 200 (25.11), shot put (34-7) and javelin (118-0) as well as the heptathlon overall. That’s five PRs in a weekend, and no matter what anybody else did, that’s an incredible weekend.

She also ran 14.55 in the high hurdles, high jumped 5-7 ¾ and long jumped 18-6 ¼ in the two-day, seven-event challenge.

Craig, who recently graduated from Ruston (La.) High School, will be a freshman this fall at Louisiana Tech, where her father – former Millville legend Raffael Craig – is a coach. Craig’s former Millville teammate, long jumper and hurdler Leah Ellis, will also be at Louisiana Tech.

Bryce Tucker advances to finals after big PR performance in 400IH trials at USATF Under-20 Championships!!!!!!!!

Bryce Tucker ran an intermediate hurdles PR and advanced to the finals at the USATF Under-20 Championships Friday.

Tucker, who finished his junior year at Pennsauken this month, ran 52.14 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., and advanced to the final as a “small-q” qualifier, which means he wasn’t one of the first three finishers in his heat – which is an auto qualifier for the final – but he had one of the next-two-fastest times.

Competing against mainly college freshmen, Tucker placed 4th in the first of two heats. His time is fastest by a South Jersey junior since Millville’s Azim Smith ran 51.82 to place 2nd at the 2001 adidas Outdoor Championships in Raleigh, N.C.

Tucker’s time is No. 25 in state history and No. 7 in South Jersey history, fastest in 13 years, since Washington Township’s Tim Carey ran 52.10 to win the 2009 state Group 4 meet at Egg Harbor.

It’s fastest by a Camden County hurdler in 18 years, since Rueben McCoy of Winslow Township ran 51.39 as part of an insane Meet of Champions triple at South Plainfield – 21.51 in the 200, 47.42 in the 400 and 51.39 in the 400IH.
Tucker’s time is fastest by a U.S. underclassman this year.

Tucker, who set his previous PR of 52.17 when he won the Meet of Champions last year at South Plainfield, had a season-best this year of 53.01 from his 4th-place All-America performance at New Balance Outdoors last week at Franklin Field.

The final is scheduled for 7:43 p.m. Saturday. The top two finishers make the U.S. national junior team that will compete in the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in August in Cali, Colombia.

South Jersey All-Time List
50.37 … Dwight Ruff [Camden], 2001
51.39 … Rueben McCoy [Winslow Twp.], 2004
51.5h … Martin Booker [Camden], 1981
51.62 … Fred Sharpe [Paulsboro], 1997
51.82 … Azim Smith [Millville], 2001
52.14 … Bryce Tucker [Pennsauken], 2021
52.0h … Vince Rawlins [Eastern], 1992
52.4h … Diandre Chandler [Camden], 1986
52.4h … Donovan Darius [Wilson], 1993
52.54 … Marcus Lee [Vineland], 2004
52.56 … Royce Reed [Bridgeton], 1995
52.62 … Devon Matthews [Pleasantville], 1999
52.62 … Harran Williams [Delran], 1999
52.62 … Ian Moore [Lenape], 2001
52.66 … Justin Dupree [Camden], 1996
52.66 … Aaron Younger [Delsea], 2007
52.71 … Mike Brown [Lenape], 1996
52.71 … Mike Morrison [Willingboro], 2003
52.72 … Devon Carter [Washington Twp.], 2000
52.87 … Demetrius Rooks [Absegami], 2008
52.89 … Barry Bethea [Eastern Reg.], 2010
52.92 … Alex Reber [Eastern Reg.], 2012
52.8h … Jack Thompson [Edgewood], 2001
52.89 … Devon Patton [Willingboro], 1990
52.94 … Maurice Young [Camden], 2002
52.96 … Tyler Davidson [Willingboro], 2016

New Jersey All-Time List
50.14 … Cory Poole [East Orange], 2017
50.20 … Taylor McLaughlin [Union Catholic], 2015
50.37 … Dwight Ruff [Camden], 2001
50.84 … Justin Gaymon [Phillipsburg], 2005
51.02 … Tony Valentine [Plainfield],. 1983
51.0h … Chris Person [Plainfield], 1978
51.39 … Rueben McCoy [Winslow Twp.], 2004
51.5h … Martin Booker [Camden], 1981
51.62 … Fred Sharpe [Paulsboro], 1997
51.62 … Shaquan Brown [JFK Paterson], 2006
51.66 … Ramy Berberena [North Brunswick], 2019
51.69 … David Jones [Montclair], 1985
51.78 … Randall Walker [Rahway], 1985
51.82 … Azim Smith [Millville], 2001
51.85 … Akeem Lindo [East Orange], 2018
51.91 … Paul Quitzau [Mount Olive], 1983
51.92 … Anthony Hampton [Englewood], 1994
51.98 … Emanuel Mayers [Lakewood], 2007
52.05 … Andrew Cameron [Paterson East Side], 1987
52.06 … Christopher Serrao [East Brunswick], 2022
52.09 … Mark Cooke [J.P. Stevens], 2014
52.10 … Tim Carey [Washington Twp.], 2009
52.12 … Felix Lawrence [Freehold Twp.], 2019
52.13 … Greg Christie [Perth Amboy], 1997
52.14 … Bryce Tucker [Pennsauken], 2021

Kingsway’s Ryan Allen wins USATF Under-20 title in 10,000-meter race walk!!!!!!

Ryan Allen, who graduated this month from Kingsway, won the 10,000-meter race walk Friday morning at the USATF Under-20 Championships in Eugene

With a top-two finish, Allen earned a spot on the U.S. National team that will compete at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in August in Cali, Colombia.

Allen set a nearly two-minute PR of 49:53.14 and beat the field at Hayward Field by over half a mile.

Clayton Stoil, who Allen edged by 10 meters to win the National Scholastic title at 3,000 meters on the same track last weekend, placed 2nd in 54:15.71.

He finished about 850 meters behind Allen.

Allen walked his previous 10,000 PR of 51:39.97 in February in a meet at Cuyamaca College El Cajon, Calif.

Allen is the first U.S. junior champion from Kingsway in 38 years, since Pedricktown native Denise Liles won the 100-meter dash in 11.81 in 1984 in what was then known as The Athletics Congress Junior Nationals at L.A. Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Stoil built an early five-second lead. Just 800 meters into the 6.2-mile race, Stoil came through in 3:52.55 and Allen was at 3:57.41. Stoil still led at 2,000 meters – by 4-100ths of a second – before Allen took the lead for good. At 2,800 meters – through seven laps – Stoil was only 2 ½ seconds back.

But the next time they came across the line Allen’s lead was up to nine seconds and by 4,400 meters – 11 laps in – the lead had grown to 40 seconds.

It only grew largert and larger as Allen ripped off steady sub-two-minute laps.

His first 15 laps were all between 1:57.22 and 1:59.94.

Allen is the first South Jersey race walker to win a U.S. junior title in 49 years, since Willingboro’s Randy Mimm won the 1973 10,000 in 51:45.1.

For those of you who want to see the official judge’s summary sheet, click here.

Bryanna Craig records two PRs and sets highest lifetime Day 1 score in heptathlon at USATF Under-20 Championships!!!!!!

Millville native Bryanna Craig set PRs in two events on Day 1 of the heptathlon at the USATF Under-20 National Championships Thursday in Eugene, Ore.

Ater four of the seven events at Hayward Field, Craig has 3,223 points – her most ever on Day 1 of a heptathlon.

The top two finishers comprise the U.S. Junior National team that will compete at World Athletics Junior Championships Aug. 1-6 at Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero in Cali, Colombia.

JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, who recently completed her freshman year at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Wash., is in the lead with 3,371 points, and Blakelee Winn of Pittsburg State (Kans.) University is in 2nd with 3,235 points. So Craig is only 12 points out of 2nd place with three events to go. Fourth place is more than 300 points behind Craig.

Craig opened the two-day competition in Eugene with a 14.55 in the 100-meter hurdles, good for 902 points, and followed that up by clearing 5-7 ¾ in the high jump, just short of her lifetime-best 5-8 and worth 879 points.

She then PR’d in the next two events.

In the shot put, Craig threw 34-7 to score 565 points. Her previous shot put PR was 32-1 ½ from the Jacksonville Athletic Club Championships in Florida in August, 2020. She actually surpassed that on all three throws Thursday – 33-11 ½, 33-6 ¾ and the 34-7 on her final attempt.

Then in the 200, Craig ran 25.11 with a legal 1.1 meters-per-second tailwind. Her previous 200 PR was a 25.24 at the 2019 Under-20 Championships in Miramar, Fla. She did run a wind-aided 25.08 last summer at Hayward Field.

Craig’s previous high score after one day was 3,074 points at the NSAF USA Meet of Champions in Myrtle Beach, N.C. She went on to score 5,117 points.

Craig placed 4th with 5,094 points at the 2019 meet in Miramar. The meet was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.

Craig was born and raised in Millville and led Millville’s track team to the 2019 state Group 4 championship. She won the national scholastic heptathlon as a Millville freshman and set the national freshman record. She graduated from Ruston (La.) High School earlier this month.

Craig is 18 and doesn’t turn 19 until Feb. 12, 2023, so she will be eligible for the Under-20 Championships again next year. The meet is open to athletes who are 19 or younger at the end of the year.

Action resumes Friday with the long jump scheduled for 3:15 p.m., javelin at 4:15 p.m. and 800 at 5:26 p.m.

A detailed look at all the South Jersey athletes headed to Eugene for Under-20 Nationals!!!!!!

Here’s a look at all the South Jersey athletes scheduled to compete at the USATF Under-20 Championships, which start Thursday morning in Eugene, Ore.

The U.S. Under-20 Championships – formerly USATF Junior Nationals – serves as the qualifier for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships. The top two finishers in each event will be invited to join the U.S. team that will compete Aug. 1-6 in Cali, Columbia.

The athletes listed below are the South Jersey athletes listed as “declared” on the USATF web site. So far still no sign of heat sheets. For a meet that starts tomorrow morning!!!

Click on the name for each athlete’s IAAF bio (where available).

Nicole Clifford, 1,500-Meter Run
12:53 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:52 p.m., Saturday – Final
Clifford, who graduated from Cherokee this month, will finish one of the greatest middle-distance seasons in South Jersey history in Eugene. Clifford has a mile PR of 4:50.50 from Trials of Miles at Icahn Stadium in New York last month and ranks 29th among U.S. women in the under-20 division. Clifford, who also ran 2:11.12 and 10:45.24 this spring, has run one serious 1,500 and it was also at Hayward Field. In April, she ran 4:37.67 at the Oregon Relays. That’s No. 5 in South Jersey history behind Washington Township’s Michelle Rowen [4:19.34 in 1983], Marielle Hall [4:25.05 in 2010] and Briana Gess [4:27.67 in 2015] of Haddonfield and Shawnee’s Liz Moore [4:35.05 in 1994].

Yashaya Brown, 110-Meter Hurdles
Brown, who completed his sophomore year at Washington Township this month, ran his season-best 14.08 at Pennsauken last month in the Olympic Conference Championships. That’s fastest by a South Jersey sophomore since Sultan Tucker of Delsea ran 13.91 when he won his first Meet of Champions title in 1995 and fastest in the state since Cory Poole of East Orange ran 14.03 in 2015. This will be Brown’s first official race over the 42-inch hurdles.
2:09 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:50 p.m., Friday – Final

Bryce Tucker, 400-Meter Hurdles
The versatile Tucker, now finishing his junior year at Pennsauken, has an intermediates PR of 52.17 and won his 2nd straight Meet of Champions title last weekend at Franklin with a 53.57. A day later he ran 53.01 for 4th at New Balance Nationals. Not sure why that mark isn’t listed on the IAAF site, but Tucker should be No. 13 among U.S. juniors under 20. Tucker also has PRs of 14.22 in the high hurdles, 48.23 for 400 meters and 1:55.00 for the 800.
3:27 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:43 p.m., Saturday – Final

Ryan Allen, 10,000-Meter Race Walk
8:40 a.m., Friday – Final
Allen, a June Kingsway graduate, has a PR of 10,000 track PR of 51:39.97 from Cuyamaca College El Cajon in February. He was also in Eugene last weekend for the Nike Outdoor Nationals and won his 5th scholastic title, winning the 3,000-meter event in 13:45.62.

Greg Foster Jr., Long Jump, Triple Jump
1:15 p.m., Friday – Long Jump Final
3:25 p.m., Saturday – Triple Jump Final
Foster, a Lumberton native, ranks 3rd on the 2022 U.S. scholastic list with his 25-6 ½ long jump and 4th with his state-record 51-0 ½ triple jump, both at New Balance Nationals over the weekend at Franklin Field. Foster is the greatest horizontal jumper in New Jersey history – remember, Carl Lewis rarely triple jumped at Willingboro, only in a couple relay meets, and never surpassed 42 feet. Foster is No. 1 all-time in the triple jump and No. 2 in the long jump. The Princeton-bound Lawrenceville Prep grad will try to  improve on those marks this weekend in Eugene. (Note – Just learned Greg won’t be competing in Eugene. He’s shutting down for the year. What a season! Congrats to Greg for all his accomplishments and can’t wait to see what’s next at Princeton!)

Floyd Whitaker, Triple Jump
3:25 p.m., Saturday – Triple Jump Final
Whitaker, a freshman at Minnesota, PR’d at 51-5 ½ in January in a meet in Minneapolis and went on to place 5th at the Big Ten Championships with an outdoor legal-wind PR of 50-2. A year ago, Whitaker won the national high school title on the same track in Eugene as a Highland senior.

Bryanna Craig, Heptathlon
10 a.m., Thursday
10:45 a.m., Friday
She doesn’t live in South Jersey anymore, but Craig is a Millville native and spent the first two years of her remarkable high school career competing for Millville. With her dad, legendary high jumper Raffael Craig, now coaching at Louisiana Tech, Craig graduated this month from Ruston High in Louisiana (and will be a freshman in the fall at Louisiana Tech). Craig is a two-time high school national champion. She won outdoor nationals in 2019 with a national freshman-record 4,958 points (which she later improved to 5,094 at USATF Under 20s), placed 2nd at 2021 outdoor nationals as a junior at Lubbock (Texas), then won indoor nationals in the pentathlon with the 6th-highest score in U.S. history. Craig has PRs of 14.08 in the hurdles, 5-8 in the high jump, 19-0 ¼ in the long jump, 32-1 ½ in the shot put, 117-1 in the javelin and 2:21.44 in the 800. She set her lifetime best of 5,138 points at the same Hayward Field track last year in Eugene. Craig scored 5,038 points earlier this month in a heptathlon in Dallas, No. 1 in the U.S. among high school girls.

Here’s a look at all the South Jersey champions in meet history. The meet was first held in 1972.

The USATF, which may be the worst-run organization on Earth, has literally not updated the list of winners in eight years. Here’s the most recent list, which is impossible to find on the USATF site but with some creative Googling I found it. The USATF site is literally the worst web site I have ever seen. It’s a travesty and it’s a shame because they’re not doing the sport any favors. Good luck finding prior results, all-time lists, all-time winners – all stuff that could be updated in a day if they cared the least bit.


Curtis Thompson, Florence [Javelin], 237-4

Braheme Days, Jr., Bridgeton [Shot Put], 65-54 ½
Curtis Thompson, Florence [Javelin], 216-0

Reuben McCoy, Winslow Twp., Auburn [400-Meter Hurdles], 50.69

Dwight Ruff, Camden, Willingboro T.C. [400-Meter Hurdles], 50.37

Robert Jordan, Millville [High Jump], 7-4 ¼

Gerard Reynolds, Willingboro [Long Jump], 24-10

Dennis Mitchell, Edgewood [100-Meter Dash], 10.36

Carl Lewis, Willingboro, Houston [100-Meter Dash], 10.21
Carl Lewis, Willingboro, Houston [200-Meter Dash], 20.66

Randy Mimm, Willingboro [10,000-Meter Race Walk], 51:45.1


Denise Liles, Kingsway [100-Meter Dash], 11.81

Michelle Rowen, Washington Twp. [1,500-Meter Run], 4:20.05

Michele Glover, Willingboro [100-Meter Dash], 11.42
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [100-Meter Hurdles], 13.89
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-11 ¾

Carol Lewis, Willingboro [100-Meter Hurdles], 14.20

Michele Glover, Willingboro/Pennsauken [100-Meter Dash], 11.64
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-7 ¼

Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-5 ¼

A detailed look at every South Jersey athlete competing at U.S. Nationals in Eugene!!!!!!

Seven South Jersey athletes – five of them throwers – have been accepted into the U.S. Championships.

The USATF Championships is scheduled to run from Thursday through Sunday at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore.

Here’s a detailed look at the seven South Jersey athletes who will compete at nationals. The top two finishers in every event comprise the U.S. team that will return to Eugene for the IAAF World Championships in July.

(The USATF Under-20 Championships will be held concurrently with nationals at Hayward Field. We’ll take a look at the South Jersey contingent competing at U20 nationals on Thursday!)

To reach each athlete’s IAAF bio page click their name.

Nia Ali, 100-Meter Hurdles
First Round: 5:30 p.m., Friday
Semifinals: 1:04 p.m., Saturday
Final: 2:41 p.m., Saturday

The Pleasantville graduate is ranked 13th in the world and 8th among Americans going into nationals at 12.59, which she ran in April in Gainesville. She ran her PR of 12.34 in October of 2019 when she won the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. That’s No. 10 in world history and No. 4 in U.S. history. Ali was the Olympic silver medalist in 2016 with a 12.59 in Rio de Janeiro.

Josh Awotunde, Shot Put
Final: 6:42 p.m., Friday
One of two Delsea throwers on their way to Eugene, Awotunde has only thrown once this outdoor season after a terrific indoor season when he was 2nd at nationals and placed 5th at Worlds in Belgrade, Serbia, after apparently getting robbed of a throw that would have put him on the podium. Awotunde is No. 9 in the world this year and No. 4 among Americans at 71-0 from Walnut, Calif., in April. His 72-2 PR from Padova, Italy, last September is No. 30 in world history and No. 15 in U.S. history.

English Gardner, 100-Meter Dash
First round: 5:15 p.m., Thursday
Semifinals: 5:35 p.m., Friday
Final: 7:21 p.m., Friday

The 2013 and 2016 U.S. champion from Eastern High School returns to Eugene, where she starred at Oregon. Gardner, an Olympic gold medalist for her work on the U.S. 400-meter relay team in 2016, has a season best of 11.15 in a meet in May in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Her lifetime best is 10.74, which she ran twice on July 3, 2016 – in the semifinals and final at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene. That’s No. 8 in world history and No. 5 in U.S. history.

Johnnie Jackson, Hammer Throw
Final: 12:15 p.m., Saturday
The Cherry Hill East graduate, who placed 10th last year in the U.S. Olympic Trials, has a PR of 239-0 from last month in Tucson. He’s ranked No. 12 among Americans this year and No. 60 in U.S. history. Five of Jackson’s nine-best lifetime throws have come since April 8.

Elisia Lancaster
Final: 5 p.m., Thursday
The second Delsea thrower headed for Eugene is Lancaster, who finished her senior year at Southern Illinois earlier this month at NCAA Western Regional Preliminaries. Lancaster PR’d last month with a 220-4 when she won the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. All seven of her career 210-foot throws have come this spring. She’s currently ranked No. 21 in the U.S. and No. 83 in the world.

Curtis Thompson
Final 12:35 p.m., Sunday
Thompson goes for his 3rd national javelin championship and second in a row. Thompson won the 2018 USATF title with a throw of 249-3 in Des Moines and won the Olympic Trials last year at 271-8 and went on to represent Florence and Burlington County at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Thompson ranks No. 17 in U.S. history with his 271-11 at the 2016 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field – that was briefly the U.S. Olympic Trials record. With his 2022 best of 268-1 he’s No. 26 in the world this year and No. 3 among Americans. Four of Thompson’s nine lifetime throws of 263 feet or better have come since March.

Jessica Woodard
Final: 1 p.m., Sunday
Woodard goes into nationals ranked 14th in the world this year and 5th among Americans with a season-best throw of 61-7 from the USATF Golden Games in Walnut, Calif., back in April. She also had a nice 60-10 throw a few weeks ago at the USATF Throws Fest in Tucson, Ariz., and just won two meets in Canada as well. Woodard, who set her PR of 62-3 ½ last May in Tucson, placed 7th at nationals last year (it was the Olympic Trials). She’s reached the final in the last four U.S. Championships and placed in the top 10 in all five U.S. Championships she’s contested (10th in 2016, 8th in 2017, 9th in 2018, 6th in 2019, 7th in 2021). She also placed 13th at 2017 U.S. Nationals and 11th in 2018 in the discus. Woodard’s 62-3 ½ ranks 18th in U.S. history.

Here’s a look at every U.S. champion from South Jersey, going back to the legendary Mel Sheppard 116 years ago!

Curtis Thompson [Florence], Javelin [271-7]
Curtis Thompson [Florence], Javelin [249-3]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [9.97w]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [9.92]
Jack Pierce [Woodbury], 110-Meter Hurdles [13.19]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [10.09]
Jack Pierce [Woodbury], 110-Meter Hurdles [13.13]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-4 1/4]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.05]
Vince Labosky [Holy Cross], Javelin [261-3]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 200-Meter Dash [20.12]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-4 1/2]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [9.91w]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-5 1/2w]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.27]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 200-Meter Dash [19.75]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-10 1/4]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.11]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [27-10]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.13]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-3 1/2]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], Decathlon [7,164]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], 200-Meter Hurdles [22.8]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], 220-Yard Hurdles [23.5]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:57.4]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:54.9]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.6]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.2]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.4]


English Gardner [Eastern], 100-Meter Dash [10.74]
English Gardner [Eastern], 100-Meter Dash [10.85]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-9w]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-8 1/2w]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-8]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-4 1/4]