Unbelievable performance at her conference meet this weekend for Egg Harbor Township graduate Mariah Stephens, now a sophomore at Rider.
Stephens won the 60-meter hurdles and triple jump and placed 2nd in the 60-meter dash at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Indoor Championships at the Armory and set two PRs along the way.
Her 28 points helped Rider win the team title 193-179 over Quinnipiac. The title is Rider’s third after winning the indoor conference meet in 2017 and 2020.
Because of the way the meet schedule lined up, Stephens had the hurdles and 60 finals and triple jump all on Saturday afternoon.
In the hurdles, Stephens ran 8.59, destroying the field – 2nd place was nearly 3-10ths of a second back. Stephens shattered her previous PR of 8.81 from her 4th-place finish at last year’s MAAC Championships at the Armory and moved into the No. 2 spot in Rider history, behind Sarah Gardner, who ran 8.41 at the 2019 MAAC meet, also at the Armory.
In the 60-meter dash, Stephens lowered her PR from 7.82 from earlier this month at the Armory to 7.65, which also puts her in the No. 2 spot in school history – actually tied for No. 2 with La’tazah Coleman, who ran 7.65 in 2013. She trails only Tierra Taylor, who ran 7.57 in 2017. Zionna Perez-Tucker of Mount St. Mary won the 60 in 7.59.
Then it was off to the triple jump, where Stephens – in her third final of the day – came up huge again. After an opening foul, she hit 37-10 ¾, 37-10 and 37-6 ½ on her next three jumps, then popped the winning 38-4 ¼ on her fifth attempt. She fouled on her final jump.
Stephens’ indoor PR is a 38-8 ¾ from the IC4A/ECAC championships at Boston University last March. Her lifetime best is a 39-7 ½ also in March of 2022, this time outdoors in Lawrenceville.
Stephens won the long jump and triple jump at last year’s indoor MAAC Championships. Last spring, she medaled in four individual events and won the gold medal in the 4-by-100.
Interesting note that Stephens is the fifth South Jersey high school graduate to run sub-8.60 in the hurdles this indoor season:
7.97 … Nia Ali [Pleasantville]
8.30 … Jasmine Staten [Rancocas Valley]
8.31 … Jailya Ash [Eastern]
8.39 … Tionna Tobias [Winslow Twp.]
8.59 … Mariah Stephens [Egg Harbor tTownship]