Millville senior Leah Howard bombed the 2nd-best javelin throw in state history Saturday with a 163-1 on her first throw at the Woodbury Relays.
The only superior throw in state history is Brielle Smith’s 168-6 at the same meet in 2019.
Howard’s throw appears to be No. 2 nationally according to MileSplit, behind a 171-11 by Trinity Spooner of South Beauregard High in Longville, La., from last month’s Texas Relays in Austin.
She broke the Cumberland County record of 160-8, set by Maria Jimenez at the 2012 Cape-Atlantic League Championships at Egg Harbor.
Howard opened the season with a 146-2 at the Spartan Relays at Deptford, just shy of her PR of 148-2 from last year’s Group 4 meet at Franklin High.
She surpassed that with a 151-10 at the Lenape Invitational, the No. 9 throw in state history and No. 5 on the all-time South Jersey list.
Then she added more than 10 feet onto that bomb Saturday. She had three other throws over 150 feet and averaged 154-10 on her five legal throws Saturday.
After her 163-1 opener, she threw 152-7 on her second attempt. She fouled on her next throw before finishing with a 154-11, 157-2 and 146-7.
Howard will take on some of the best throwers in the country at 10 a.m. Friday in the 127th annual Penn Relays on the throwing fields across the Amtrak tracks from Franklin Field in West Philadelphia.
Howard’s throw ranks No. 19 among U.S. women, according to the World Athletics database and looks like she’ll be No. 2 junior (under 20) in the country and No. 16 junior in the world. She already qualified for the U.S. Junior Championships with her throw at Lenape.
Three others surpassed 120 feet at Woodbury.
Eastern junior Aniyah Smith PR’d at 126-9 on her fifth attempt, Millville sophomore Shila hit 124-6 and Eastern junior Zoe Goldberg threw 123-2.
Here’s a look at the all-time New Jersey list with the new javelin, which has been in use since 2002:
168- 6 … Brielle Smith (Oakcrest), 2019 [Woodbury Relays]
163- 1 … Leah Howard [Millville], 2023 [Woodbury Relays]
160- 8 … Maria Jimenez (Vineland), 2012 [Cape Atlantic Championships, Egg Harbor]
155- 8 … Daina Pucurs (Demarest), 2004 [Bergen County Meet of Champions, Hackensack]
155- 0 … Jamie Klein (Paramus Catholic), 2011 [Bergen County Meet of Champions, Hackensack]
154-11 … Nia Barnes (West Orange), 2011 [Meet of Champions, Old Bridge]
152- 9 … Katherine Johnston (Haddonfield), 2012 [State Group 2, South Plainfield]
152- 4 … Jill Shaner (Egg Harbor Twp.), 2009 [Nike Outdoor Nationals, Greensboro,. N.C.]
151- 6 … Nicole Woods [Northern Valley], 2022 [New Balance Outdoors, Franklin Field]
150- 5 … Alianna Eucker [Bergen County Tech], 2021 State Group 4, Franklin]
150- 3 … Shauntierah Douglas (Garfield), 2012 [Meet of Champions, Old Bridge]
149-10 … Lisa Desink-Clee (Academy of the Holy Angels), 2013 Meet of Champions, South Plainfield]
149- 4 … Kelly Robinson (Raritan), 2003 [adidas Outdoor Nationals, Raleigh, N.C.]
congrats to Leah Howard, just a note,
Erin finished second to Anna Bobiak of Villa Marie Academy in the 2000 Penn Relays Girls High School Jav.
Erin also anchored Haddonfields DMR later in the day to a second place finish
oh wow, I missed that! I’ll update the story! Thanks!