Burlington City’s first sectional champ in 13 years. City’s first double winner in 40 years. City’s first triple winner ever.
It sure was a historic weekend for junior Ny’era Hand-Brooks, who turned in a magnificent performance in the Central Jersey Group 1 meet at Howell.
Hand-Brooks entered three events, she won three events and she PR’d in two events.
Hand-Brooks won the 200 in 25.56, just 12-100ths of a second off her PR of 25.44 set at the BCSL divisional meet last month at Pennsauken.
She won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.15 after a 15.50 in the trials that was her first race ever under 16 seconds. Talk about a huge PR.
She also won the intermediates in 1:04.60, more than a 1 ½-seconds PR from her previous best of 1:06.25, also from divisionals.
Hand-Brooks also anchored City’s 3rd-place 1,600-meter relay team, which also included junior La’Secret Bolds, senior Ember Foreman and sophomore Rana Aykutoglu and ran a season-best 4:20.89.
At the Group 1 state meet this weekend at Pennsauken, Hand-Brooks will be the top seed in the high hurdles, nearly half a second ahead of Haddon Township’s Kaelin Marshall, who ran 15.63 to win the South Jersey Group 1 meet.
She’ll be No. 2 seed in the intermediates behind only Clayton’s Amirah Sharpe, who won the South Jersey race in 1:01.66, and the No. 4 seed in the 200.
Hand-Brooks is the top-ranked underclassman in all three races in New Jersey Group 1.
Bolds also had a big huge for City, winning the 100 in 12.81, taking 2nd in the 400 in 1:00.61 and long jumping 16-1 for 4th. All three marks are PRs.
Also for City, Foreman ran 4th in the 800 [2:31.68]. Her PR was 2:44 two weeks ago.
Before this past weekend, City’s last sectional champ was Bessie Dean, who won the Central Jersey high jump at 5-0 in 2008 and the 200 in 2009 with a 25.80.
The last City girl to win more than one event at a sectional was Gina McMenamin, first in both the 1,600 [5:14.1] and 3,200 [11:03.2] in 1982.
City’s only other sectional champs over the years are Tonya Morris, who won the S.J. Group 2 long jump in 1988 at 16-9; Kelly Dickerson, who won the S.J. Group 1 high jump at 5-2 in 2001; and Ashley Smitherman, first in the 2003 S.J. Group 1 high jump at 5-0.
Thanks in large part to 30 points from Hands-Brooks and 22 from Bolds, City tallied 62 points and placed 4th in team scoring behind Shore Regional of West Long Branch , Jonathan Dayton of Springfield, Union County , and David Brearley of Kenilworth, also in Union County .