Sophia Curtis is usually so busy with the hurdles, horizontal jumps and various relay duties, she doesn’t have a chance to run the flat 400.
Curtis, No. 2 in South Jersey history in the triple jump, a Meet of Champions medalist indoors in the high hurdles, No. 1 in the state in the intermediates and the No. 2 junior long jumper in New Jersey (a quarter of an inch behind No. 1), finally got a chance to run a big-meet 400 Wednesday night at the 2023 Cape-Atlantic results at Bridgeton.
It was her first open outdoor 400 since last April, when she was a sophomore at Padua Academy in Wilmington, Del., and she ran 1:00.60 in a meet in Greenville, Del., finishing behind an 8th-grader from Caravel Academy in Bear, Del. (Apparently 8th-graders are allowed to compete in high school meets in Delaware).
Anyway, all Curtis did was break another Cape May County record, winning the 400 in 57.45. It’s the sixth county record in her first year at Ocean City.
Her 57.45 snapped the 19-year-old county record of 57.67 set at the 2004 state Group 3 meet at Egg Harbor by Ocean City’s Renee Tomlin, who was better-known as a half-miler. Tomlin ran 2:09.50 in high school in 2005 – still No. 4 in South Jersey history – and went on to run 2:05.42 for Georgetown and was a three-time Big East champ and three-time All-America.
Curtis is now the Cape May County record holder in the 400, intermediates [1:01.50 at South Jersey Elite at Delsea] and triple jump [40-10 ¼ at the Penn Relays] outdoors and the 400 [57.99 at the state Group 3 meet at the Bubble], 55-meter hurdles [8.33 at the Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze] and triple jump [41-3 ¼ at Boston Nationals] indoors.
Curtis hasn’t run the 100-meter hurdles in a big meet yet for Ocean City and she hasn’t long jumped indoors.
The one event she’s made a serious attempt at that she hasn’t broken the county record is the outdoor long jump. She’s only long jumped twice this spring, but she did get off a 17-8 at the Lenape Girls Invitational in April. Her versatile teammate, senior Elaina Styer, has gone 18-5 in a dual meet and 17-7 ½ in an invitational.
The county record is pretty good – Yvonne Wolef jumped 19-1 at the 2012 Cape-Atlantic Championships at Egg Harbor. The top mark in a big meet by an Ocean City girl is 18-2 by Sophia Grisham at the 2018 state Group 3 meet at Central Regional.
Although she did anchor Ocean City’s 1st-place 400-meter relay team, which ran 50.11 (and also included Styer, sophomore Naomi Nnewihe and senior Tricia Nicoletti), the 400 was Curtis’s only individual event Wednesday.
In 2nd place, Atlantic County Tech senior Amalinally Pemberton ran 59.57, lowering her PR from 59.67 at Fast Times at Cherokee.