Jaia James lost her first race this year. She hasn’t lost since.
James, a senior at Winslow, continued her fantastic season this weekend when she won her first two outdoor state titles.
James won the 100 in personal-best 11.94 and the 200 in 25.05 at the state Group 3 meet at Pennsauken.
On top of her win in the 55 at the Bubble in the indoor Group 3 meet, James is now a three-time state champ.
What about the start to the season?
In the South Jersey Elite at Delsea, Timber Creek sophomore Naylah Jones edged James in the 100. James hasn’t lost a 100 or 200 final since.
Jones has had a terrific season as well and placed 3rd in the 100 and 4th in the 200 at states. She’s ranked No. 2 among New Jersey sophomores in the 100 this year [12.08] and No. 5 in the 200 [25.46], and she won a state title as well this weekend when she teamed up with sophomore Chloe Jones and freshmen Ryan Jennings and Adiat Olaogun-Dickson on Timber Creek’s 1st-place 4-by-4 team, which ran 3:55.21. They’re No. 6 seed in the MoC.
As for James, she goes into the Meet of Champions as the No. 2 seed in the 100, behind only Christiana Nwachuku of Kent Place School in Summit. Nwachuku won the Parochial B race at states in 11.70, a big PR of her own.
James’ 11.94 is No. 20 in South Jersey history and No. 3 in Winslow’s incredible girls track history behind two legends – Shakira Dancy [11.71 in 2017] and Torie Robinson [11.73 in 2014]. It’s also No. 8 all-time in Camden County history.
Although James didn’t need to run super fast to win the 200, her 25.05 is still her 2nd-fastest time ever, behind a 24.79 to win sectionals. She’s the No. 7 seed in the MoC 200, but at least two of the girls ahead of her are planning to race at Franklin Field Nationals instead.
Here’s a look at the all-time Camden County top-10:
11.49 … English Gardner [Eastern], 2008
11.57 … Patti Dunlap [Camden], 1979
11.63 … Dennisha Page [Woodrow Wilson], 2019
11.71 … Shakira Dancy [Winslow Twp.], 2017
11.73 … Torie Robinson [Winslow Twp.], 2014
11.88 … Denise Mitchell [Edgewood], 1983
11.91 … Aliya Harrison [Sterling], 2017
11.94 … Emily Carson [Haddonfield], 2013
11.94 .,.. Jaia James [Winslow Twp.], 2022
11.96 … Jailya Ash [Eastern], 2019