Anaias Hughes, C.J. Johnson, Malachi James lead Willingboro to South Jersey-record 14th state championship!!!!!!!!

Senior Anaias Hughes won the high jump and high hurdles, C.J. Johnson won the shot and took second in the disc and Malachi James picked up fast 2nd places in both sprints, and mighty Willingboro piled up a remarkable 86 ½ points to win the state Group 2 championship at Franklin High.

The state title is Willingboro’s 14th, most by any South Jersey program and 4th-most in state history, behind Christian Brothers [26], Montclair [21] and Glen Ridge [15].

Willingboro became the first New Jersey school ever to win state titles in all four groups.

The Chimeras also won: Group 4 in 1979, 1981, 1982, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994; Group 3 in 1986, 1988, 1989, 2002, 2003; and Group 1 in 2019.

Willingboro’s 86 ½ points are the most by any school in a state Group 2 meet since Haddonfield scored 88 in 2010 and the 5th-most all-time. Willingboro’s 44 ½-point margin of victory over 2nd-place Haddonfield is largest in a state Group 4 meet since Somerville topped 2nd-place Governor Livingston by 46 points [77-31] in 2004.

It was a vintage performance by Willingboro, the kind of balanced and commanding team effort that Chimera legends Carl Lewis, Gerard Reynolds, Lamont Smith and Mike Morrison would be proud of.

Hughes won the high jump with a personal-best 6-4 on Friday and the 110-meter high hurdles with a huge PR of 14.29 with legal wind on Saturday. His previous PRs were 6-2 and 14.47, which he lowered to 14.35 in the trials.

On Friday, Willingboro opened up with a win in the 400-meter relay in a season-best 42.70 – a full second ahead of Deptford – with senior Miles Allen, sophomore Jackson Murry, Rae-Jaun Gayle and Jaylen Young.

Sophomore Malachi James matched up with Nottingham’s Shamali White and came out with a couple fast 2nd-place times. James ran 10.62 for 2nd place behind the All-America sprinter’s 10.49 win in the 100 and then 21.69 in the 200. Allen added four points with a 4th-place finish in the 100 in 11.04.

Johnson PR’d in both the shot [56-11 ¾] and discus [162-9] for the second straight meet. He PR’d by more than 10 feet in the discus.

Willingboro got a huge performance from senior Bryson Bright, a former hurdler, Lafayette football signee and 1st-year javelin thrower, who threw a personal-best 159-10 for a surprising third place. He was 14th seed coming into states.

Murray also scored in the pole vault, where he was part of a five-way tie for 5th at 12-6. Young also scored in the 400 with a 6th-place finish in 49.98. And junior Kedaar Wilson ran a lifetime-best 15.00 in the 110 hurdles for 5th.

With the team title secured, Allen, Geordan Collins, Young and Christopher F. Johnson finished things off by winning the seeded heat of the 4-by-400 in 3:21.85, settling for 2nd overall behind Ocean Township, which won an earlier unseeded section in 3:21.51.

In school history, Willingboro has won 19 state relays titles, 15 indoor state titles and now 14 outdoor state titles for 48 total state championships. The Chimera girls program has won an additional 21 state titles for 69 in all for the program.

Here’s a breakdown of those championships:

BOYS
State Relays [19]

1982 [Group 4]
1983 [Group 4]
1985 [Group 3]
1986 [Group 3]
1987 [Group 3]
1990 [Group 4]
1996 [Group 4]
2000 [Group 3]
2001 [Group 3]
2002 [Group 3]
2003 [Group 3]
2005 [Group 3]
2012 [Group 3]
2015 [Group 1]
2017 [Group 1]
2018 [Group 1]
2019 [Group 1]
2020 [Group 1]
2022 [Group 1]

Indoor States [15]
1983 [Group 4]
1986 [Group 3]
1987 [Group 3]
1988 [Group 3]
1989 [Group 3]
1990 [Group 4]
1995 [Group 4]
1997 [Group 4]
2000 [Group 3]
2002 [Group 3]
2012 [Group 2]
2018 [Group 1]
2019 [Group 1]
2021 [Group 1]
2022 [Group 1]

Outdoor States [14]
1979 [Group 4]
1981 [Group 4]
1982 [Group 4]
1986 [Group 3]
1988 [Group 3]
1989 [Group 3]
1990 [Group 4]
1991 [Group 4]
1993 [Group 4]
1994 [Group 4]
2002 [Group 3]
2003 [Group 3]
2019 [Group 1]
2022 [Group 1]

GIRLS
State Relays [11]

1992 [Group 4]
1993 [Group 4]
1995 [Group 4]
1997 [Group 4]
2002 [Group 3]
2003 [Group 3]
2004 [Group 3]
2005 [Group 3]
2010 [Group 2]
2019 [Group 1]
2020 [Group 1]

Indoor States [6]
1980 [All-Groups]
1981 [Group 4]
1998 [Group 3]
2002 [Group 3]
2003 [Group 3]
2004 [Group 3]

Outdoor States [4]
1980 [Group 4]
1981 [Group 4]
1999 [Group 3]
2002 [Group 3]

3 thoughts on “Anaias Hughes, C.J. Johnson, Malachi James lead Willingboro to South Jersey-record 14th state championship!!!!!!!!

  1. Fred L Rucker June 11, 2022 / 5:42 pm

    Hi Roob. Willingboro didn’t win an Outdoor State Title, in 1981. Plainfield did.

    Like

  2. Anaias Hughes June 12, 2022 / 12:38 am

    My name is spelled “Anaias”

    Like

    • sjtcaweb June 12, 2022 / 6:50 am

      Fixed. I apologize for the error. Congrats on a tremendous meet.

      Like

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