Matt Iuvara is new to track. He’s even newer to the intermediate hurdles.
Yet Iuvara ran 55.05 Thursday night at the Cherokee Final Countdown Last Chance Meet in just his 5th lifetime 400-meter hurdles race.
Iuvara, a Haddon Heights senior, didn’t run track until he was a junior, but he had success almost instantly. In his 3rd lifetime 800, he ran 1:59.20 and placed 2nd in the state Group 2 meet at the Bubble in February 2022. He lowered his 800 time to 1:58.93 last spring, his first year of outdoor track, and although he’s PR’d in the 400 and 800 this spring – he ran 49.96 at South Jersey Elite and 1:57.87 at Haddonfield Distance Night – he’s progress in the 400IH has been crazy.
Iuvara ran his first couple intermediate hurdles races in dual meets – 56.84 vs. Haddonfield and then 55.54 vs. Sterling. But his first major race wasn’t until the Camden County Championships two weeks ago, where he ran 56.21 and won. He PR’d at 55.57 winning the Haddonfield Invitational last week before going 55.05 Thursday at Cherokee.
He took 2nd to Graham Greene of Germantown Friends, who ran 53.87. That’s No. 2 in Pennsylvania this year, behind Anthony Collins of Harry S Truman of Levittown, who ran 53.29 last month in a meet at Randall’s Island.
Iuvara now ranks 5th in South Jersey, No. 1 in South Jersey Group 2 and No. 4 state-wide in Group 2.
In the last 20 years, the only faster Colonial Conference intermediate hurdlers are Haddonfield’s Jordan Harris, who ran 54.75 at the 2011 South Jersey Group 2 meet at Buena, and Cameron Kee of Haddon Heights, who ran 53.88 at the 2019 Group 2 states at Central Regional in Bayville.
At the 1997 Meet of Champions at South Plainfield, legendary Fred Sharpe of Paulsboro ran 51.62 and Woodbury’s Andy Carson 53.84.