Gabriel Moronta is an intermediate hurdler, so he almost runs the flat 400 outdoors and until this month the Pleasantville graduate and Mississippi State sophomore hadn’t run one indoors.

But earlier this month at Clemson, he dropped down from the 800 to the 400 and unleashed a monster performance in a loaded race at the Tiger Paw Invitational.

How about 46.24?

That’s the fastest ever by a South Jersey high school graduate in an indoor 400.

Believe it or not, it was the first open 400 Moronta has run as a collegian. His previous PR dates back to the 2020 state indoor state meet at the Bubble, which he won in 48.79. That was actually the last official flat 400 he ran. Until now.

His 46.24 ranks 4th in Mississippi State history (3rd-fastest on a legal track) and fastest in seven years, since Alfred Larry ran 46.13 in 2016 on an over-sized track at Notre Dame, and fastest on a legal track since Tavaris Tate set the school record of 45.80 at the 2010 Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville.

It places him No. 27 in the U.S. this year, No. 48 in the world and No. 29 in NCAA Division 1.

His time is 7th-fastest ever by a New Jersey native in an indoor 400. The previous record for fastest 400 indoors by a South Jersey quarter-miler was 46.28 set by Woodbury’s Darrell Bush of LSU at the 2014 SEC Championships in College Station, Texas.

Eight other South Jersey runners have broken 47 seconds indoors, and a total of 16 runners from New Jersey have broken 47 seconds.

The full list is below, and you can’t imagine how long that took me to put together 🤣🤣🤣 . As always, if I left anybody off, please let me know along with meet details.

Unfortunately, Moronta didn’t race at SECs this past weekend either in the 400 or the 1,600-meter relay. Hopefully nothing serious because if he’s running 46.24 flat he’s going to fly in the intermediates outdoors.

The first meet on Mississippi State’s outdoor schedule is the Miami Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables on March 17.

Moronta has run 51.38 for the intermediates and 1:49.33 for 800 meters outdoors.

All-Time New Jersey Indoor 400 Alumni List
45.34 … Najee Glass [St. Peter’s Prep], Jan. 31, 2015 [Fayetteville, Ark.]
45.75 … Clayton Parros [Seton Hall Prep], Feb. 7, 2015 [College Station, Texas]
45.94 … Justin Gaymon [Phillipsburg], March 2, 2008 [Fayetteville, Ark.]
45.97 … Andrew Valmon [Manchester Township], Feb. 10, 1991 [Boston]
46.02 … Kevin Lyles [Franklin Township], Feb. 28, 1997 [Atlanta]
46.09 … Taj Burgess [Carteret], March 3, 2019 [Boston]
46.24 … Gabriel Moronta [Pleasantville], Feb. 10, 2023 [Clemson, S.C.]
46.28 … Darrell Bush [Woodbury], March 1, 2014 [College Station, Texas]
46.60 … Lamont Smith [Willingboro], March 6, 1993 [Manhattan, Kan.]
46.61 … Charles Cox [Monmouth Regional], March 11, 2011 [College Station, Texas]
46.69 … Brandon Outlaw [Moorestown], Feb. 27. 2021 [Clemson, S.C.]
46.81 … Clayton Gravesande [Franklin Township], Feb. 23, 2013 [Fayetteville, Ark.]
46.83 … Christopher Cox [Monmouth Regional], March 7, 2010 [Boston]
46.93 … Antonio Abney [Willingboro], March 12, 2011 [Albuquerque, N. Mex.]
46.95 … Reuben McCoy [Winslow Township], March 2, 2008 [Fayetteville, Ark.]
46.95 … Aaron Younger [Delsea], March 6, 2010 [Boston]


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