Cinnaminson’s Austin Gabay caps fantastic weekend at Penn Relays with leadoff on Duke’s record-setting 4-mile relay!!!!!!

Cinnaminson’s Austin Gabay, a junior at Duke, capped a fantastic Penn Relays Saturday with a leadoff leg on the Blue Devils’ four-mile relay team, which ran the 17th-fastest time in college history.

Gabay led off with a 4:03.14 split, and Duke placed 6th in 16:14.67 in a race that produced seven of the 19-fastest times ever run in college track history.

The top 10 teams all finished within 3 ½ seconds of one another, led by Villanova, which ran 16:14.03 with two Mercer County runners – Hopewell Valley’s Sean Dolan and Allentown’s Liam Murphy – running the last two legs.

Wisconsin [16:14.24], Washington [16:14.31], Virginia [16:14.48], Georgetown [16:14.64] and Duke [16:14.47] made it six finishers in less than half a second. So the first six teams were separated by about 2 ½ meters at the finish line.

Grad student James Lee from Colorado [4:01.36], sophomore Beck Wittstadt from Baltimore [4:02.90] and Nick Dahl from Germantown Friends [4:07.27] followed Gabay for Duke.

Gabay and his teammates broke the 50-year-old school record of 16:22.34 set in 1973 by Scott Eden, Steve Wheeler, Roger Beardmore and Bob Wheeler at the Texas Relays.

16:03.24 … Oregon, 2009
16:04.54 … Michigan, 2005
16:07.96 … Arkansas, 1999
16:08.81 … Arkansas, 2000
16:08.9h … Oregon, 1962
16:09.67 … Oregon, 2014
16:09.84 … Arkansas, 2002
16:10.6h … Villanova, 1974
16:11.65 … Arkansas, 1998
16:14.03 … Villanova, 2023
16:14.24 … Wisconsin, 2023
16:14.31 … Washington, 2023
16:14.1h … UTEP, 1976
16:14.48 … Virginia, 2023
16:14.64 … Georgetown, 2023
16:14.4h … Manhattan, 1974
16:14.67 … Duke, 2023

Gabay also ran a 2:54.74 leadoff on Duke’s 6th-place distance medley team, which also included Jackson Walker on the 400, Wittstadt on the 800 and Dahl on the anchor. They finished just three seconds behind winner Wisconsin, which ran 9:33.82. That time is No. 2 in Duke history, just off the school record set by that 1973 group, with Beardmore, Miek Murphy and the Wheeler brothers.

Pennsauken girls take 4th in Philly Area Championship 4×4 at Penn with #3 time in New Jersey this year!!!!!!

The young Pennsauken 4-by-4 mixed it up with some of the fastest schools in the region and emerged with 4th place in the Philadelphia Area Championship race at the 127th annual Penn Relays Saturday at Franklin Field.

Pennsauken ran 3:55.75, 3rd-fastest this year by a New Jersey school and Pennsauken’s fastest time ever at Penn.

The top four schools were separated by just nine meters, with Padua Academy of Wilmington, Del., winning in 3:54.33, Lawrenceville School 2nd in 3:55.24, Penn Charter of Philadelphia 3rd in 3:55.47 and Pennsauken just behind in 3:55.75.

Racing with two freshmen and two sophomores, Pennsauken ran the 3rd-fastest time in school history.

Sophomore Amina Dyer led off with a personal-best 59.39 split and freshman Sianni Wynn split 55.57. freshman Sanaya Dupree followed with her fastest split ever, a 59.46, and sophomore Ameenah Rodriguez ran 1:01.35 to finish off the race.

Pennsauken ran 3:52.15 at 2014 Greensboro Nationals and 3:55.70 at the 2019 state Group 3 meet in Bayville.

Pennsauken qualified for the Philadelphia Area race by winning the South Jersey Large-School race in 3:58.41.

Here’s a look at the fastest times ever run by South Jersey schools in the Philadelphia Area Championship race:

3:46.18 … Willingboro, 2000 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:48.08 … Winslow Twp., 2017 Philadelphia Area [3rd]
3:49.30 … Winslow Twp., 2004 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:49.74 … Eastern, 2003 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:49.97 … Lenape, 2015 Philadelphia Area [3rd]
3:49.53 … Willingboro, 1998 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:50.24 … Camden, 2009 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:50.60 … Woodrow Wilson, 2005 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:51.45 … Camden, 2006 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:51.70 … Winslow Twp., 2022 Philadelphia Area [1]
3:52.71 … Woodrow Wilson, 2006 Philadelphia Area [3rd]
3:52.88 … Washington Twp., 2007 Philadelphia Area [1st]
3:53.16 … Woodrow Wilson, 2001 Philadelphia Area [3rd]
3:53.26 … Lenape, 2014 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:53.71 … Washington Twp., 1998 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:53.73 … Winslow Twp., 2018 Philadelphia Area [5th]
3:53.83 … Rancocas Valley, 2022 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:54.06 … Winslow Twp., 2006 Philadelphia Area [4th]
3:54.12 … Lenape, 2017 Philadelphia Area [5th]
3:54.12 … Cherokee, 2013 Philadelphia Area [3rd]
3:54.16 … Winslow Twp., 2016 Philadelphia Area [5th]
3:54.74 … Delsea, 2011 Philadelphia Area [2nd]
3:55.34 … Kingsway, 2013 Philadelphia Area [8th]
3:55.54 … Winslow Twp., 2003 Philadelphia Area [4th]
3:55.71 … Camden, 2003 Philadelphia Area [5th]
3:55.75 … Pennsauken, 2023 Philadelphia Area [4th]
3:55.88 … Woodrow Wilson, 2002 Philadelphia Area [3rd]

Rutgers’ Nico Morales of Delsea clears huge PR for 2nd place in Penn Relays pole vault!!!!!!

Delsea’s Nico Morales, a junior at Rutgers, cleared a lifetime-best 16-9 ½ Saturday to place 2nd in the college pole vault at the 127th annual Penn Relays. The competition was held indoors because of poor weather in West Philly.

Morales passed at opening height of 15-0 and cleared 15-5 ¾ and 15-11 ¾ on his second attempt. With the bar at a PR 16-5 ½ he missed twice before clearing on his final try. The bar went up to 16-9 ½ and after missing is first try he cleared on his second. After nine attempts, he went out at 17-1 ½. Christian Di Nicolantonio of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., won on fewer misses. He cleared 16-9 ½ on his first attempt.

Morales moved into the No. 4 spot on the all-time Rutgers list with the best clearance in 10 years, since Chris Wykoff from Toms River East got over the bar at 17-0 ¾ at the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary.

Mark Vinci from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., set the school record of 17-0 ¾ at the 2000 IC4A Championships in Princeton and Steve Keating of Pompton Lakes cleared 17-0 at the 1989 Metropolitan Championships at Columbia University.

Morales came into the spring season with a PR of 16-1 ¼ from a meet in January in Orlando, Fla., and he extended it to 16-2 ¾ earlier this month in a meet at Princeton. His indoor PR is 16-0 ¾ from a meet in January of 2022 in Boston.

His clearance Saturday will likely be considered an indoor mark. It would rank No. 3 in Rutgers history indoors behind Ed Keefe’s 17-4 ½ [2008 Big East in Syracuse] and Vinci’s 17-2 ¾ [couldn’t find details].

Either way, it’s a nearly seven-inch PR and No. 8 this this year in the Big 10 Conference.

Cherokee races to 7th-fastest 4-by-8 in South Jersey history with 6th-place finish in Championship of America at Penn Relays!!!!!!

The Cherokee girls ran the 7th-fastest 4-by-8 in South Jersey history Saturday and placed 6th in the Championship of America race at the 127th annual Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

Senior Kelsey Niglio, junior Kerry O’Day, freshman Maddie Meder and sophomore Megan Niglio ran 9:14.25.

The only South Jersey schools to ever run faster are Haddonfield four times and Lenape twice. Cherokee set its previous school record of 9:17.77 when the Chiefs placed 4th in last year’s CoA race with Kelsey Niglio, O’Day, Megan Niglio and Nicole Clifford, who graduated.

Cherokee’s time is fastest by any South Jersey school at Penn since 2008, when Haddonfield placed 7th in 9:06.30 with Mariele Hall, Greta Feldman, Mia Spinelli and Alyssa D’Orazio.

Kelsey Niglio got the Chiefs out into the lead pack with a quick 2:14.58 leadoff split, 8th-fastest of all the runners in the race and the 3rd-fastest leadoff leg. O’Day followed with a personal-best 2:17.01 split. Meder, split 2:22.52 – four seconds faster than on Friday – to set up Megan Niglio’s 2:20.16 anchor.

Union Catholic of Scotch Plains won the race in 8:44.98 and was the only New Jersey school to run faster than Cherokee, who is now the fastest public school in the state. Rumson-Fair Haven was the only other New Jersey school to qualify and placed 11th in 9:22.79.

Cherokee qualified by running 9:23.45 Friday in its qualifying race.

All-Time South Jersey 4-by-800 Sub-9:20 List
9:00.51 … Haddonfield, 2021
9:05.62 … Lenape, 2012
9:05.83 … Lenape, 2008
9:06.30 … Haddonfield, 2008
9:10.32 … Haddonfield, 2000
9:12.30 … Haddonfield, 2019
9:14.25 … Cherokee, 2023
9:15.61 … Ocean City, 2014
9:15.19 … Lenape, 2007
9:15.92 … Haddonfield, 2015
9:16.57 … Seneca, 2017
9:16.79 … Haddonfield, 1999
9:17.77 … Cherokee, 2022
9:18.22 … Kingsway, 2016
9:18.37 … Haddonfield, 2019
9:18.57 … Seneca, 2018
9:18.71 … Lenape, 2011
9:18.93 … Haddonfield, 2018
9:18.94 … Lenape, 2006
9:19.15 … Wilson, 2002
9:19.68 … Kingsway, 2017

Villanova’s Ashley Preston from Delsea takes 5th in Penn Relays pole vault with near PR!!!!!!

With her best jump in two years, Delsea graduate Ashley Preston of Villanova tied for 5th in the Championship Pole Vault at the 127th Penn Relays Saturday. The vault was held indoors because of bad weather.

Preston, a Villanova senior cleared 13-2 ½ before going out at 13-6 ½, which would have been a personal best.

She cleared her lifetime-best 13-3 ¾ in April of 2021 in the Quaker Invitational, also at Franklin Field. Last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., Preston cleared 13-1 ½, her best performance in two years. And she topped that Saturday in cool, wet conditions.

Preston cleared opening height of 12-2 ¾ on her first attempt and 12-8 ¾ and 13-2 ½ on her second. She and Victoria Atkinson of Cornell also cleared 12-8 ¾ and 13-2 ½ on her second attempts, and Preston and Atkinson tied for 5th.

Preston won the college-division vault at Penn in 2019 at 12-5 ½ and placed 6th in the championship division last year at 12-2 ¾.

With her 13-3 ¾ Preston ranks No. 2 in Villanova history behind Alexandra Wasik, who cleared 13-7 ¼ at the 2014 NCAA preliminary round in Jacksonville. Indoors, Preston is No. 3 all-time at Villanova at 13-3 ¼ from the 2020 Big East at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Sianni Wynn’s 55.39 leg leads Pennsauken to S.J. Large-School win at Penn and a spot in the Philly Championship race!!!!!!

Pennsauken’s sophomore Amina Dyer, freshman Sianni Wynn, freshman Sanaya Dupree and sophomore Ameenah Rodriguez raced to the fastest 4-by-4 by a South Jersey school this year, a win in the Penn Relays South Jersey Large-School race and a berth in the Philly Area Championship race later Saturday.

With Wynn splitting 55.39, Pennsauken ran 3:58.41, 3rd-fastest of all New Jersey schools at the 127th annual Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

Pennsauken’s best previous finish in the South Jersey relay at Penn was a 3rd in 2014 in 4:01.25 with Tiara McDuffie, Briana Roberts, Aiyanna Ware and Olivia Jamison. This is the first time Pennsauken has ever broken 4:00 at Franklin Field.

Pennsauken will be back on the track at 5:45 p.m. for the Philadelphia Championship Race.

Pennsauken finished eight meters ahead of Winslow, which placed 2nd with a season-best 3:59.69. Seniors Ciara Wiltshire and Alana Henry, junior Dominique Clement and senior Janelle Marshall ran for Winslow, with Marshall anchoring in 57.92.

Other sub-60 splits were turned in by Rancocas Valley junior Leah Howe [59.09] and senior Kasey White [58.08] and Timber Creek junior Chloe Jones [59.86]. Timber Creek placed 3rd in 4:00.53 and R.V. was 4th in 4:02.03 with sophomores Aniya Wilkins and Cecilia King joining Howe and White, and sophomores Ryan Jennings and Billie Frazier and junior Naylah Jones joining Chloe Jones.

Millville’s Leah Howard records best Penn Relays javelin finish by a South Jersey girl in 25 years!!!!!!

Competing in terrible conditions, Millville senior Leah Howard placed 3rd in the javelin Friday at the 127th annual Penn Relays at the grass throwing fields across the Amtrak lines from Franklin Field in West Philadelphia.

Howard popped a 148-7 on her first throw and that held up for 3rd place behind Julia Magliaro of Trinity School of Hicksville, N.Y. [164-7] and Belle Bosch of Chestnut Ridge of New Paris, Pa. [150-7].

Howard surpassed 140 feet on two other throws – 142-9 on her 3rd attempt and 144-10 on her 4th.

According to the MileSplit national database, Howard ranks No. 3 nationally and No. 2 in state history at 163-1 from the Woodbury Relays last weekend behind Trinity Spooner of South Beauregard in Longville, La. (171-11) and Magliaro.

Her finish is best by a South Jersey girl in the Penn Relays since 2000, when Haddonfield Olympian Erin Donohue took 2nd with a 139-10, finishing behind only Anna Bobiak of Villa Maria of Malvern, Pa. Later in the day, Donohue ran a 4:58 anchor on Haddonfield’s DMR team, which ran 12:02.34 and finished 2nd to San Lorenzo Valley High of Felton, Calif.

Lynlee Phillips of Shawnee placed 2nd in the 1998 Penn Relays with a throw of 136-5 with the old javelin. Susan Warnick of Meyersdale High in Summit Township, Somerset County, Pa., won the meet that year with a 138-9.

Northern Burlington’s Liliah Gordon runs all-time #9 3,000 in S.J. history at Penn Relays!!!!!!

Northern Burlington sophomore Liliah Gordon ran the 9th-fastest 3,000 in South Jersey history on a cold and rain Friday afternoon at the 127th annual Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

Gordon placed 14th among some of the best distance runners in the country, covering the 12 ½ laps in 9:57.23.

That’s equivalent to 10:41.25 for 3,200 meters or 10:45.01 for the full two miles. Gordon’s outdoor PRs for 3,200 is 10:49.76 from earlier this month at Cherokee. She ran 10:38.20 for 3,200 meters indoors at Ocean Breeze at the Meet of Champions last month.

The only New Jersey runner who finished ahead of her was XC Meet of Champions runnerup Lindsay Hausman of Kent Place in Summit, who ran 9:52.74 for 12th place.

Here’s the all-time South Jersey 3,000-meter sub-10 List
9:40.23 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2010 Penn Relays
9:44.72 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2012 Penn Relays
9:45.73 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2010 Penn Relays
9:50.11 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Reg.], 2017 Penn Relays
9:50.95 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2016 Penn Relays
9:53.19 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2009 Penn Relays
9:55.0h … Theresa Cattuna [Cherry Hill East], 2007 Penn Relays
9:57.12 … Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2007 Penn Relays
9:57.23 … Liliah Gordon [Northern Burlington], 2023 Penn Relays
9:57.9h … Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1981
9:59.5h … Deanna Germano [Shawnee], 1985

Willingboro girls run fastest 4×1 in 14 years, qualify for Philly Championship race at Penn Relays!!!!!!

Willingboro’s Kaila Speight, Aaliyah Robinson, Jaden Murry and Nester Wea ran 48.78 in the 400-meter relay at the 127th annual Penn Relays Friday at Franklin Field to advance to the Philadelphia Area Championship Race on Saturday.

Willingboro’s time was fastest of 188 New Jersey schools that raced at Penn Friday and 24th-fastest of 550 schools overall.

Among the 23 faster schools, nine were from Jamaica and two from the Bahamas, so Willingboro was 13th-fastest among U.S. schools.

The only faster New Jersey schools Friday were Union Catholic of Scotch Plains [47.48] and Paramus Catholic [48.48]. So the Chimeras were New Jersey’s fastest public school.

Spright, Robinson and Murry are freshmen, and Wea is a sophomore.

The nine-fastest teams qualify for the Championship of America race at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. Willingboro was among the nine-fastest schools from the Northeast that will race at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Also in Willingboro’s race are Union Catholic [47.48], Benjamin Cardozo of Bayside, N.Y. [48.34], Paramus Catholic [48.48], Guilderland of Guilderland Center, N.Y. [48.77], Chester, Pa. [48.82], North Babylon, N.Y. [48.92], Downingtown East of Exton [48.96] and North Penn of Lansdale [49.01].

Willingboro’s 48.78 is its fastest since 2009, when the Chimeras ran 48.08 to win the Emerging Elite race at Greensboro Nationals. Beverly Brownlee, Asja Goode, Tiye Saran Mutazz and Shanavia Thomas ran on that team.

Other South Jersey schools under 50 seconds Friday were Timber Creek [49.34], Winslow Township [49.47], Pennsauken [49.74] and Washington Township [49.97].

Ocean City’s Sophia Curtis top American in Penn Relays triple jump with #3 mark in South Jersey history!!!!!!

Ocean City’s Sophia Curtis extended her outdoor PR and was the top American finisher in the triple jump at the 127th annual Penn Relays Friday at Franklin Field.

Curtis, who set a South Jersey record of 41-3 ¼ at Boston Nationals last month, improved her No. 3 mark in South Jersey history Friday, placing 2nd with a 40-10 ¼.

That’s only a quarter of an inch off the No. 2 mark in South Jersey history – a 40-10 ½ by Northern Burlington’s Ashley Edwards in 2014 at Greensboro Nationals. Atlantic City’s Claudine Smith, now at Rutgers, set the South Jersey mark of 42-2 at the 2019 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.

Jade-Ann Dawkins of St. Jago in St. Catherine, Jamaica, had the five-best jumps of the competition, including the winning 42-8 ¾, which she hit on her 2nd attempt and repeated on her 3rd.

Curtis was in 6th place until she sailed 40-10 ½ on her final attempt, moving past four competitors. Until her final attempt, Curtis’s best jump was 39-0 ¼, which she did twice – on her 3rd and 5th attempts (with identical -0.6 wind).

On her clutch final jump, she passed Morgan Bridges of Bullis School of Potomac, Md. [39-6], Julia Dial of Thomas Edison of Alexandria, Va. [39-8 ½] and Llyric Driscoll of Western Branch of Chesapeake, Va. [40-7 ½].

Curtis is the top triple jumper in New Jersey by nearly two feet. Union Catholic’s Alexandra Bonn placed 8th Friday at 38-2 ¼, and sophomore I’mara Ford of Moorestown is No. 3 with her 38-1 ¼ at the Lenape Invitational.

Curtis is No. 15 in the U.S. according to the MileSplit national database and the No. 4 junior.