With #7 time in South Jersey history, Kelsey Niglio leads three S.J. girls in top 8 in Meet of Champions 800!!!!!!

Cherokee senior Kelsey Niglio raced her way into the all-time South Jersey top-10 in the 800 Sunday at the Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze.

Niglio placed 4th in 2:14.27, fastest by any South Jersey half-miler indoors in 10 years, since Lenape’s Carly Pettipaw ran 2:14.12 at the 2012 state Group 4 meet at the Bubble, where she placed 2nd to Columbia’s Olivia Baker.

Niglio’s time is No. 7 in South Jersey history, No. 4 in Burlington County history and not far from Monica Olkowski’s hallowed school record of 2:12.46 from the 1990 Meet of Champions at Jadwin Gym, which stood as the South Jerey record until Olympian Erin Donohue of Haddonfield ran 2:10.0 at the 2001 Varsity Classic at ther Armory.

It’s also fastest by a South Jersey half-miler at the indoor Meet of Champions since another Lenape runner, Emily Duffey, ran 2:13.51 to win the 2011 meet at the Bubble.

Niglio ran 2:11.80 last spring at the state Group 4 meet at Franklin, finishing 2nd to teammate Nicole Clifford, who ran 2:11.12. But her indoor PR before Sunday was 2:15.73 from last year’s Meet of Champions, when she was 5th.

Mainland sophomore Sofia Day and Camden Catholic senior Leah Clear made it three South Jersey girls on the medal stand. Day placed 7th in 2:17.23 and Clear was 8th in 2:18.57, her 3rd straight PR race.

Day and Clear have both had terrific breakthrough seasons. Day never ran anything shorter than 3,200 meters as a freshman, and Clear hadn’t broken 2:29 before this winter.

This was the first time in 13 years three South Jersey girls placed in the top eight in a Meet of Champions 800. In the 2010 race, Washington Township’s Megan Tiernan won in 2:11.53, Delsea’s Felicia O’Donnell placed 6th in 2:17.72, Seneca’s Mary Bohi was 7th in 2:17.86 and Willingboro’s Patrice Rowe placed 8th in 2:18.58.

2:09.56 … Megan Tiernan [Washington Twp.], 2010
2:10.0h … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2001
2:12.46 … Monica Olkowski [Cherokee], 1990
2:12.55 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2010
2:13.51 … Emily Duffey [Lenape], 2011
2:14.12 … Carly Pettipaw [Lenape], 2013
2:14.27 … Kelsey Niglio [Cherokee], 2023
2:14.5h … Ruth Lockbaum [Glassboro], 1985
2:14.6h … Michelle DiMuro [Shawnee], 1985
2:14.64 … Bridget Flynn [Ocean City], 2014
2:14.99 … Kami Joi Hickson [Washington Twp.], 2017
2:15.05 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2015
2:15.06 … Sydney Coppolino [Sterling], 2017
2:15.17 … Britney Kott [Millville], 2008
2:15.31 … Lindsay Colflesh [Haddonfield], 2020
2:15.46 … Tara DeBrielle [Overbrook], 2000
2:15.59 … Sofia Day [Mainland Reg.], 2023
2:15.86 … Greta Feldman [Haddonfield], 2009
2:15.89 … Kayla Martin [Seneca], 2016
2:15.90 … Felicia O’Donnell [Delsea], 2009
2:15.99 … Brooke Kott [Millville], 2008
2:15.36 … Rachel Stremme [Ocean City], 2014


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