Mainland’s Mawali Osunniyi, Paulsboro’s Jamile Gantt lock up in crazy high jump battle at Woodbury!!!!!!

Seniors Mawali Osunniyi of Mainland Regional and Jamile Gantt of Paulsboro both cleared 6-8 Saturday in the most competitive high jump competition at the Woodbury Relays in 15 years.

Osunniyi’s PR coming into the spring season was 6-4 from last year’s Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. He raised that to 6-6 at the Bridgeton Relays.

Gantt had a couple 6-8 clearances last year, including a 6-8 ¼ to win the state Group 1 title at Pennsauken.

They both found themselves at Woodbury Saturday, and they were separated by the slightest margin.

Both cleared 6-0, 6-2 and 6-4 on their first attempt, 6-6 on their second attempt and 6-8 on their first attempt and both missed all three tries at 6-10. They were separated only by Gantt’s miss on his first attempt of the competition at 5-10.

It’s the first time two South Jersey high jumpers have cleared 6-8 in the same meet in eight years, since the 2015 Meet of Champions, when three did. Williamstown’s Devin Bradham cleared cleared 6-10 to win the event, Bridgeton’s Marquese Bell was second on misses at 6-10 and Camden’s Dustin Singleton cleared 6-8 for 3rd place. Delsea’s Ameer Banks made it a 1-2-3-4 South Jersey sweep with a 6-6 for 4th place.

The last time two jumpers cleared 6-8 at Woodbury was 2008, when Montez Blair of Timber Creek cleared 7-0 and Matt Kates of Schalick was second at 6-8.

Osunniyi’s 6-8 puts him in a tie for No. 4 in Atlantic County history and matches the best jump by an Atlantic County high jumper in 18 years, since Egg Harbor’s Marshall Akins cleared 6-10 at the 2005 Meet of Champions in South Plainfield. Gantt is already No. 6 in Gloucester County history.

Even though they’re among the top high jumpers in the state, neither Osunniyi or Gantt is a school record holder. Mainland’s Paul Klemic set the state record that still stands at 7-4 ½ at 2000 Foot Locker Nationals in Raleigh, N.C. And Spencer Irvin set a Paulsboro school record of 6-10 some 30 years ago at the rain-postponed Haddonfield Invitational.

Timber Creek’s Karon Brookins cleared a PR 6-6 on his first attempt for 3rd place in what appears to be the second track meet of his life. According to his MileSplit page, he cleared 5-10 at Fast Times at Cherokee last weekend in his first meet.

Brookins appears to have matched the No. 2 jump in school history behind Blair. Will Allison (2004), Brandon Grayson (2011) and Diomari Gordon (2019) also cleared 6-6.

All-Time Atlantic County 6-8 List
7-4 ½ ..… Paul Klemic [Mainland Reg.], 2000
6-10 …….. Marshall Akins [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2005
6-9 ………. Bob Reid [Oakcrest], 1977
6-8 ………. Dave Covington [Atlantic City], 1993
6-8 ………. Ryan O’Connell [Mainland Reg.], 1994
6-8 ………. Christiana Johnson [St. Augustine], 2001
6-8 ………. Nana Hensah-Bonsu [St. Augustine], 2000
6-8 ………. Matt Klemic [Mainland Reg.], 2002
6-8 ….…… A.J. Vance [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2012
6-8 ….…… Ben Mitchell [St. Joe’s-Hammonton], 2015
6-8 ….…… Mawali Osunniyi [Mainland Reg.], 2023

All-Time Gloucester County 6-8 List
6-10 …….. Spencer Irvin [Paulsboro], 1993
6-10 …….. Josh Butler [Delsea], 2006
6-10 …….. Devin Bradham [Williamstown], 2005
6-10 …….. Ameer Banks [Delsea], 2015
6-8 ½ … Rocky Harrison [Woodbury], 1975
6-8 ¼ … Jamile Gantt [Paulsboro], 2023
6-8 ……… Greg Collins [Deptford], 1980
6-8 ….…… Craig Howard [Washington Twp.], 1998
6-8 ………. Tim Cook [Glassboro], 2005


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