A day after helping Cherokee win the Meet of Champions 3,200-meter relay, Megan Niglio became New Jersey’s fastest freshman miler.
Niglio finished a terrific freshman year by placing 5th in the Freshman Mile at the New Balance Nationals Saturday morning at Franklin Field in a personal-best 5:07.39, fastest by a New Jersey 9th-grader this year by more than seven seconds.
Her time over a full mile converts to 5:05.61 for 1,600 meters, which is fastest by a South Jersey freshman in seven years, since Mainland Regional’s Alyssa Aldridge ran 5:06.13 at 2015 Group 4 sectionals at Central Regional in Bayville.
It’s fastest by a Burlington County freshman since Natalia Ocasio and Amanda Restivo of Lenape ran 5:01.02 and 5:05.42 in 2010.
She becomes Cherokee’s fastest freshman since Lisa Burkholder ran 5:01.94 to win the freshman mile at 2003 adidas Nationals in Raleigh, N.C.
Niglio was out in 75.40, then split 78.23 and 78.31 before closing in 76.46. Olivia Cieslak of Haverford High won the race in 5:01.70.
Her previous PR was 5:08.16 for 1,600 meters at the indoor state Group 4 meet at the Bubble. Her outdoor PR had been 5:13.31 at the Burlington County Open.
Niglio is the 3rd Cherokee girl to run sub-5:10 this year. Nicole Clifford ran 4:48.82 in New York and older sister Kelsey Niglio ran 5:09.08 at Holmdel.