In a terrific competition between South Jersey’s two-best teams, Rancocas Valley’s sprinters and hurdlers overcame Cherokee’s middle-distance might to give the Red Devils their second straight South Jersey Group 4 title and 3rd in the last four years.
R.V. outscored Cherokee 97 ½-81 ½ to become the first program to win back-to-back S.J.-4 titles since Southern Regional won five straight from 2006 through 2010 and the first South Jersey school to repeat since Winslow Township in 2004 and 2005.
The Red Devils scored 51 points in the sprints and hurdles and another 20 in the two short relays, and Cherokee scored 57 points in the three middle-distance or distance runs and the long relay.
Let’s take a look at some of the terrific performances from the weekend with two of New Jersey’s most talented teams squaring off in the most competitive section in the state:
100-METER DASH [Rancocas Valley 6, Cherokee 2]
Rancocas Valley senior Jya Marshall ran a personal-best 12.48 for 3rd place, and Cherokee senior Jillian Strauss’s 12.76 got her 5th place (2-1,000th of a second ahead of 6th place).
200-METER DASH [Rancocas Valley 9, Cherokee 4]
R.V. junior Kasey White PR’d with a 25.49 for second behind Washington Township’s Dylan Giloley [25.20], and senior Anabella Chin added a point in 6th place with a 25.83. Cherokee got four points from senior Alison Cooke, who ran 25.71 for 4th.
400-METER DASH [Rancocas Valley 6, Cherokee 3]
White placed 3rd in a nearly two-second PR of 57.29. Cherokee’s Cooke [57.78] and junior Kelsey Niglio [58.25] placed 5th and 6th.
800-METER RUN [Cherokee 20, Rancocas Valley 0]
Clifford [2:12.86] and Niglio [PR 2:13.31] were a very fast 1-2, with freshman Megan Niglio 6th with a PR 2:18.28.
1,600-METER RUN [Cherokee 10, Rancocas Valley 0]
The third of Clifford’s three wins, she needed to run fast [4:58.23] to hold off Toms River North senior Olivia Takla, who PR’d with a 5:0157.
3,200-METER RUN [Cherokee 17, Rancocas Valley 0]
Clifford ran 10:54.92 to hold off Kingsway junior Nicole Lipieta, who also broke 11 minutes with her 2nd-place 10:59.96. Cherokee soph Kerry O’Day came up for 3rd place with a personal-best 11:09.48 and Megan Niglio took 6th in 11:17.47.
100-METER HURDLES [Rancocas Valley 12, Cherokee 0]
Chin, the indoor Meet of Champions winner, ran a big PR of 14.52, and senior Sanai Jenkins added two points with a PR of 15.60 in 5th place.
400-METER HURDLES [Rancocas Valley 18, Cherokee 6]
Huge 1-2 finish for R.V., with Jenkins PR’ing at 1:02.40 and Chin 2nd in 1:04.65. Cherokee’s Cooke ran 1:05.74 for 3rd.
HIGH JUMP [Cherokee 0, Rancocas Valley 0]
LONG JUMP [Rancocas Valley 7, Cherokee 0]
Senior Joyce Adegoke popped a personal-best 16-6 ½ for 3rd place, and senior Olivia Smith took 6th with a 15-10 ¼ leap.
TRIPLE JUMP [Rancocas Valley 8, Cherokee 0]
Sophomore Lauren Fadairo placed a close second to junior Ayotunde Folawewo of Toms River North with a 35-7 ½ jump. Folawewo won at 35-9 ½.
POLE VAULT [Rancocas Valley 1 ½, Cherokee 1 ½]
Rancocas Valley senior Mia Paolone and Cherokee’s Strauss tied for 4th place, both clearing 9-6.
SHOT PUT [Rancocas Valley 4, Cherokee 0]
Senior Ravin Hood threw 39-0 for 4th place.
DISCUS [Rancocas Valley 6, Cherokee 0]
Hood threw a season-best 113-6 to take 3rd in the discus.
JAVELIN [Rancocas Valley 0, Cherokee 0]
400-METER RELAY [Rancocas Valley 10, Cherokee 4]
Chin, Marshall, Smith and senior N’Duwonee Kangar ran 48.99, just off their season-best from Penn Relays, to win the 4-by-1. Cherokee senior Dani Gindville, sophomore Madison Van Haren, Strauss and Cooke ran 49.81 for 4th.
1,600-METER RELAY [Rancocas Valley 10, Cherokee 4]
Smith, Jenkins, Marshall and White just missed breaking four minutes, settling for the win in 4:00.27. For Cherokee, Clifford, sophomore Nicole Edelman, Kelsey Niglio and freshman Emily Butler placed 4th in 4:04.32.
3,200-METER RELAY [Cherokee 10 points, Rancocas Valley 0 points]
Edelman, senior Isabella Kadar, Kelsey Niglio and O’Day ran 9:42.35 to win the 4-by-8.