Crazy 800 PR Friday night for Timber Creek graduate Josh Thaler at the Widener Invitational in Chester, Pa.
Thaler, a sophomore at St. Joe’s, won the 800 in 1:51.80, his first time under 1:55, 1:54, 1;53 or 1:52. Thaler’s previous PR was a 1:55.85 at the Fasttrack Invitational at Ocean Breeze in February, and his outdoor PR was 1:55.91 from last year’s Widener Invitational.
He ran 1:56.08 in his final high shool meet, the 2021 Meet of Champions at South Plainfield in June 2021. Two years ago, he had never broken two minutes. Now he’s No. 10 in the Atlantic 10.
Thaler is the second South Jersey high school grad to have a breakthrough spring for St. Joe’s. Washington Township’s Jayden Greene, a junior, ran 1:50.79 last weekend at Princeton.
St. Joe’s goes into Penn with Greene at 1:50.79, Thaler at 1:51.80, Maris Tranquille from Perth, Australia, 1:52.30 and Gavin Campbell of Central Bucks South 1:52.93 as well as Sean Murphy of Bishop Shanahan at 1:53.51 and Michael Szwed from Delea at 1:53.98. The Hawks are scheduled to run the 4-by-8 at 5:10 p.m. on Saturday.
The Hawks could run an all-South Jersey 4-by-8 with Greene, Thaler and Szwed along with one of any number of former South Jersey runners on the St. Joe’s roster. Noah Deckert of Delsea ran 3:50.29 for 1,500 meters last weekend, Matthew Coffey from Camden Catholic ran 3:53.23,
In the same race Friday night at Widener, The College of New Jersey junior Sean Burtnett ran 1:53.70 and placed 6th a week after PR’ing at 1:53.21. And Rowan freshman Brett Shea, a Hofstra transfer, ran 1:57.13, a collegiate PR.