Andrew Littlehales ran a monster 3,200 Friday at Group 3 sectionals, winning by 120 meters and breaking a 36-year-old meet record.
His time is fastest by a Gloucester County two-miler in 43 years.
Littlehales, a Delsea senior, ran 9:10.39 at his home track at Delsea, beating 2nd-place Dennis Fortuna by 21 seconds. Fortuna and Littlehales came through the 1,600 together, Littlehales with a slight lead at at 4:38.39 to Fortuna’s 4:38.63.
Littlehales led by only three seconds with three laps to go but finished strong, with final laps of 69.42, 69.35 and 66.74 to break the meet record of 9:14.7 (hand-timed) set by Highland’s Kevin Pumphrey at the 1986 meet.
The only faster 3,200 in any group in sectional history is Jackson Braddock’s 8:55.46 last year to win Group 4. Overbrook’s Murad Campbell won Group 4 in 9:10.6 in 1999.
Littlehales’ previous PR was 9:12.05 in March at the indoor Meet of Champions at the Bubble. His outdoor PR was 9:25.70 when he won the Gloucester County Championships earlier this month at Gloucester County College in Deptford, his only previous 3,200 this spring.
The only superior times by Gloucester County runners came from Gateway Regional runners in the 1970s. Mike Mantini ran 9:05.0 full two-mile when he won the 1979 Colonial Classic at Haddon Township, which converts to a 9:01.9 for 3,200, and Greg Stremmel ran a 9:09.3 full two-mile when he placed 2nd to Bernards’ Chris Hallinan at the 1974 Meet of Champions at Rutgers, which converts to 9:06.2 for 3,200 meters.
Littlehales’ time broke the school record of 9:19.19 set by Nick Costello at the 2012 Meet of Champions at Old Bridge.
His time is No. 30 on the all-time South Jersey list.
All-Time Gloucester County Top-10
9:01.9y … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1979
9:06.2y … Greg Stremmel [Gateway], 1974
9:10.39 … Andrew Littlehales [Delsea], 2022
9:11.88 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2011
9:14.31 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2011
9:14.93 … Kyle Rakitis [Kingsway], 2021
9:15.76 … Peyton Shute [Woodbury], 2022
9:16.39 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2019
9:19.19 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2012
9:19.89 … Jacob Cobb [West Deptford], 2021
Overall, Delsea led Pennsauken 56-42 going into Day 2.