One of the more improbable sectional champs from South Jersey is Florence’s Barone VanKline, who won the 100-meter dash at the Central Jersey Group 1 championships at Howell.
VanKline is a freshman competing in only his third lifetime major meet (according to his MileSplit profile) and had a PR of 11.39 before Friday
He’s the first Florence boy ever to win a sectional title as a freshman and the first Florence sprinter ever to win the 100 or 200 at a sectional meet.
His 100 time is fastest by a Florence sprinter in 14 years, since Kevin Linico ran 10.91 when he placed second at the 2008 state Group 1 meet at Egg Harbor.
Oddly, this is the second consecutive year a BCSL freshman has won the CJ-1 title at 100 meters. Willingboro’s Malachi James won it last year, then won SJ-2 this year after Willingboro moved south and up one division.
They are the only Burlington County freshmen in history to win a sectional 100 title.
VanKline ran 11.66 and placed 5th at the County Open, then 11.39 to win the Freedom Division 100 title at the BCSL Championships. He PR’d at 11.31 in the 100 trials at sectionals and had the 2nd-fastest qualifying time, behind only Shore Regional senior Aidan Scaturro.
But in the final, VanKline won on a lean with his 11.09 to Scaturro’s 11.11 with a legal wind (0.4 headwind).
That performance ruined an otherwise perfect meet for Scaturro, who won the 200, 110 highs and 400 intermediates.
VanKline placed 2nd to Scaturro in the 200 in 22.69 [legal 1.9], another big PR. He had run 24.11 at counties and 23.03 at divisionals.
VanKline goes into the state Group 1 meet at Pennsauken as the No. 5 seed in both the 100 and 200.
He’s the No. 1 freshman in New Jersey in the 100 and No. 3 in the 200, behind Southern Regional’s Cole Cramer [22.60] and Sterling’s Azir Lee [22.63].
Florence also picked up 14 points in the javelin, with senior Brandon Makowski winning with a 13-foot PR of 156-8 and senior Paul Gross placing 4th with a 132-0. Makowski was also 4th in the shot put [39-2].
Also for Florence, junior Luke Skinner placed 2nd in the discus [114-10],
Sophomore Darien Woody placed 3rd in the 100 [11.48] and 4th in the triple jump [41-8], sophomore Elijah Quinn took 5th in the 100 [11.48], and senior Cameron Silinsky was 5th in the pole vault at 8-0.
Florence placed third in Central Jersey Group 1 with 42 points.