A detailed look at every South Jersey athlete competing at U.S. Nationals in Eugene!!!!!!

Seven South Jersey athletes – five of them throwers – have been accepted into the U.S. Championships.

The USATF Championships is scheduled to run from Thursday through Sunday at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore.

Here’s a detailed look at the seven South Jersey athletes who will compete at nationals. The top two finishers in every event comprise the U.S. team that will return to Eugene for the IAAF World Championships in July.

(The USATF Under-20 Championships will be held concurrently with nationals at Hayward Field. We’ll take a look at the South Jersey contingent competing at U20 nationals on Thursday!)

To reach each athlete’s IAAF bio page click their name.

Nia Ali, 100-Meter Hurdles
First Round: 5:30 p.m., Friday
Semifinals: 1:04 p.m., Saturday
Final: 2:41 p.m., Saturday

The Pleasantville graduate is ranked 13th in the world and 8th among Americans going into nationals at 12.59, which she ran in April in Gainesville. She ran her PR of 12.34 in October of 2019 when she won the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. That’s No. 10 in world history and No. 4 in U.S. history. Ali was the Olympic silver medalist in 2016 with a 12.59 in Rio de Janeiro.

Josh Awotunde, Shot Put
Final: 6:42 p.m., Friday
One of two Delsea throwers on their way to Eugene, Awotunde has only thrown once this outdoor season after a terrific indoor season when he was 2nd at nationals and placed 5th at Worlds in Belgrade, Serbia, after apparently getting robbed of a throw that would have put him on the podium. Awotunde is No. 9 in the world this year and No. 4 among Americans at 71-0 from Walnut, Calif., in April. His 72-2 PR from Padova, Italy, last September is No. 30 in world history and No. 15 in U.S. history.

English Gardner, 100-Meter Dash
First round: 5:15 p.m., Thursday
Semifinals: 5:35 p.m., Friday
Final: 7:21 p.m., Friday

The 2013 and 2016 U.S. champion from Eastern High School returns to Eugene, where she starred at Oregon. Gardner, an Olympic gold medalist for her work on the U.S. 400-meter relay team in 2016, has a season best of 11.15 in a meet in May in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Her lifetime best is 10.74, which she ran twice on July 3, 2016 – in the semifinals and final at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene. That’s No. 8 in world history and No. 5 in U.S. history.

Johnnie Jackson, Hammer Throw
Final: 12:15 p.m., Saturday
The Cherry Hill East graduate, who placed 10th last year in the U.S. Olympic Trials, has a PR of 239-0 from last month in Tucson. He’s ranked No. 12 among Americans this year and No. 60 in U.S. history. Five of Jackson’s nine-best lifetime throws have come since April 8.

Elisia Lancaster
Final: 5 p.m., Thursday
The second Delsea thrower headed for Eugene is Lancaster, who finished her senior year at Southern Illinois earlier this month at NCAA Western Regional Preliminaries. Lancaster PR’d last month with a 220-4 when she won the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. All seven of her career 210-foot throws have come this spring. She’s currently ranked No. 21 in the U.S. and No. 83 in the world.

Curtis Thompson
Final 12:35 p.m., Sunday
Thompson goes for his 3rd national javelin championship and second in a row. Thompson won the 2018 USATF title with a throw of 249-3 in Des Moines and won the Olympic Trials last year at 271-8 and went on to represent Florence and Burlington County at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Thompson ranks No. 17 in U.S. history with his 271-11 at the 2016 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field – that was briefly the U.S. Olympic Trials record. With his 2022 best of 268-1 he’s No. 26 in the world this year and No. 3 among Americans. Four of Thompson’s nine lifetime throws of 263 feet or better have come since March.

Jessica Woodard
Final: 1 p.m., Sunday
Woodard goes into nationals ranked 14th in the world this year and 5th among Americans with a season-best throw of 61-7 from the USATF Golden Games in Walnut, Calif., back in April. She also had a nice 60-10 throw a few weeks ago at the USATF Throws Fest in Tucson, Ariz., and just won two meets in Canada as well. Woodard, who set her PR of 62-3 ½ last May in Tucson, placed 7th at nationals last year (it was the Olympic Trials). She’s reached the final in the last four U.S. Championships and placed in the top 10 in all five U.S. Championships she’s contested (10th in 2016, 8th in 2017, 9th in 2018, 6th in 2019, 7th in 2021). She also placed 13th at 2017 U.S. Nationals and 11th in 2018 in the discus. Woodard’s 62-3 ½ ranks 18th in U.S. history.

Here’s a look at every U.S. champion from South Jersey, going back to the legendary Mel Sheppard 116 years ago!

Curtis Thompson [Florence], Javelin [271-7]
Curtis Thompson [Florence], Javelin [249-3]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [9.97w]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [9.92]
Jack Pierce [Woodbury], 110-Meter Hurdles [13.19]
Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 100-Meter Dash [10.09]
Jack Pierce [Woodbury], 110-Meter Hurdles [13.13]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-4 1/4]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.05]
Vince Labosky [Holy Cross], Javelin [261-3]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 200-Meter Dash [20.12]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-4 1/2]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [9.91w]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-5 1/2w]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.27]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 200-Meter Dash [19.75]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-10 1/4]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.11]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [27-10]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 100-Meter Dash [10.13]
Carl Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [28-3 1/2]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], Decathlon [7,164]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], 200-Meter Hurdles [22.8]
Charles Pratt [Palmyra], 220-Yard Hurdles [23.5]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:57.4]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:54.9]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.6]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.2]
Mel Sheppard [Almonesson], 880-Yard Run [1:55.4]


English Gardner [Eastern], 100-Meter Dash [10.74]
English Gardner [Eastern], 100-Meter Dash [10.85]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-9w]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-8 1/2w]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-8]
Carol Lewis [Willingboro], Long Jump [22-4 1/4]


2 thoughts on “A detailed look at every South Jersey athlete competing at U.S. Nationals in Eugene!!!!!!

  1. Deirdre June 22, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    Hey Rub, I think English is accepted into the 100. I’m not sure if the competition day and time.


    • sjtcaweb June 22, 2022 / 7:29 pm

      You must have read that post the instant I posted it because I added her five minutes later haha! Thanks for the heads up!


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