Eastern junior Kadence Dumas turned in quite a middle-distance double over the weekend.
Dumas won the 400 at the South Jersey Group 4 meet at Buena in a personal-best 56.61 and placed 3rd in the 800 with another PR of 2:15.39.
The only other girl in New Jersey to run that fast for both the 400 and 800 this year is Union Catholic’s Peyton Hollis [55.81, 2:06.42].
Dumas is the first girl to run 56.61 and 2:15.39 or faster at sectionals since Brooke Fazio of Ridge in 2017 [56.01, 2:10.32] and the first from South Jersey since Carly Pettipaw of Lenape in 2015 [56.59, 2:14.27].
Heading into sectionals, Dumas had PRs of 57.61 from the Olympic Conference meet last month at Pennsauken and 2:21.87 from the Camden County Championships last month at Haddon Township. Dumas had only run three big-meet 800s indoors or out before sectionals.
Dumas ranks No. 3 in South Jersey this year in the 400 behind two of the Sharpe sisters – Arianna ran 53.49 at Group 1 sectionals and Amirah ran 53.60 – and she’s No. 3 in the 800 behind Cherokee’s Nicole Clifford [2:11.52] and Kelsey Niglio [2:13.31].
Her 400 time is No. 3 in Eastern history, behind Olympian English Gardner [53.00] and Jewel Ash [56.23], and her 800 time appears to be a school record.
At Group 4 states this weekend at Franklin Township, Dumas will be the No. 4 seed in the 400 [assuming everybody who qualified runs], behind Julia Jackson of Scotch-Plains-Fanwood [53.69], Laura Gugliotta of Howell [55.46] and Grace Kennedy of Scotch Plains [56.52].
In the 800, she’s the No. 5 seed behind Clifford [2:12.87] and Niglio [2:13.31] of Cherokee, Freehold Township’s Emma Zawatski [2:14.59], Jenai Berry of Scotch Plains [2:14.69].
She’s the top underclassman in any of the 400-meter dash races at states and No. 4 in the 800 [behind Niglio, Zawatski and Berry].
At sectionals, Eastern also got points from junior Johnay Stilley [2nd in 100 hurdles in [PR 14.76], sophomore Zoe Goldberg in the javelin [131-9] and senior Sophia Staiger [6th in 1,600, 5:13.99].
Also, the 400-meter relay team of Dumas, sophomore Lomaria Tengbeh, junior Ciyani Santiago and Stilley placed 2nd in 49.75, and the 4-by-4 team of Stilley, Tengbeh, junior Noelle Pfeiffer and Dumas took 6th in 4:06.78.
Eastern finished tied with Kingsway for 4th at South Jersey Group 4 sectionals with 36 points.