Delsea’s Josh Awotunde shines in European shot put tour!!!

After placing fifth in the Olympic Trials shot put, Josh Awotunde spent some time in Europe competing in several major international track meets against some of the top throwers in the world.

Awotunde, a Delsea graduate, threw a PR of 71-7 3/4 at the Trials in Eugene, missing a spot on the U.S. Team heading for the Olympics in Tokyo by just three inches.

Awotunde started out at the Arena Szewinska Memorial Bydgoszcz Cup at Dzdislaw Krzyskowiak Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on June 30 where he threw 69-1 1/2 and placed fourth.

From there it was off to the Gyulai István Memorial Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix at the Bregyó Athletic Center in Székesfehérvár in Hungary on July 6, where he threw 71-2 1/4 – just 5 inches off his PR – and placed third.

And on July 11, he placed second at the Kamila Skolimowska Festival at Stadion OPO Cetniewo in Władysławowo, Poland, with a throw of 70-6 1/2.

Awotunde’s 71-7 3/4 ranks No. 44 in world history, 19 in U.S. history and No. 9 in the world this year.

Pennsauken’s Bryce Tucker can now say he out-kicked an Olympian!!!!!

It’s not too often a high school sophomore gets to out-kick an Olympian.

But Pennsauken’s Bryce Tucker had the opportunity Sunday morning at Franklin Field.

With an asterisk.

Olympic half-miler Ajee Wilson, the American record holder who trains in Philadelphia, entered the men’s 800 at the inaugural Penn Relays Summer Series meet. The women’s race didn’t have anybody under 2:14, so to get some decent competition before leaving for Tokyo, Wilson ran with the guys.

One of those guys was Tucker, the Meet of Champions 400-meter intermediate hurdles champion.

On Saturday, before the meet was postponed a day because of thunderstorms, Tucker ran a PR 48.33 in the 400. His previous PR was 48.64 at the state Group 1 meet on his home track.

He jumped in the 800 on Sunday morning and found himself racing Wilson down the final straightaway.

Tucker can now say he beat an Olympian. He finished in 1:57.70 and Wilson ran 1:57.85.

Wilson, a Neptune graduate, set the American record of 1:55.61 in 2017 in Monaco. Another New Jersey alum, Trenton’s Athing Mu, is No. 2 on that list with her 1:56.07 at the Trials last month. They’ll both be racing in Tokyo.

Wilson’s 1:57.85 is actually a season best. She ran 1:58.39 at the Trials. Since she didn’t race last year, it was her fastest time since a 1:57.72  in Des Moines, Iowa, in July of 2019.

Tucker has a PR of 1:55.00 from the Metuchen Last Chance Meet in May.

South Jersey girls dominate 400 at inaugural Penn Relays Summer Series at Franklin Field!!!

Some of South Jersey’s fastest quarter-milers got together at Franklin Field this weekend with some pretty fast results.

The occasion was the inaugural Penn Relays Summer Series meet at Franklin Field in West Philly.

Part of the meet, including the 400, was held Saturday evening and after a long rain delay Saturday, the rest was held Sunday morning.

In the women’s 400, Djassi Dean, who just finished her freshman year at Deptford, ran 58.38 to hold off Janelle Marshall, who recently finished her sophomore year at Winslow Township. Marshall ran 58.54.

Chloe Jones, who was a freshman this past season at Timber Creek, ran 59.53 for third and Dahlia Beasley, a freshman this spring at Washington Township, also dipped under 60 seconds with a 59.81 for fourth.

Dean’s winning time is her second-fastest, behind only her 57.97 PR at Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. Marshall lowered her PR from 58.61 from the Olympic Conference Championships at Washington Township, Jones lowered her PR from 59.80 from the Cherokee Last Chance Meet in May, and Beasley ran her fastest FAT 400 (she ran a hand-timed 59.1  in a dual meet).

Dean was the No. 1 freshman quarter-miler in New Jersey this past season, and Jones and Beasley were also in the top 10. Marshall was the No. 2 sophomore. 

All four raced at Penn for the Camden Track Club. 

In final tune-up before Olympics, Curtis Thompson records his all-time #4 javelin throw!!!!!

In his final tuneup for the Olympics, Curtis Thompson bombed the No. 4 throw of his life Saturday.

Thompson, competing at the American Javfest at South High School in East Stroudsburg (Pa.), threw 265-10, only six feet off his lifetime-best 271-11, which he set at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Here’s a look at Thompson’s five-best throws – all five of his meets over 80 meters (262-5):

271-11: July 4, 2016, U.S. Olympic Trials, Eugene, Ore.
271-7: June 21, 2021, U.S. Olympic Trials, Eugene, Ore.
267-2: May 22, 2021, USATF Throws Fest, Tucson, Ariz.
265-10: July 17, 2021, American Javfest, East Stroudsburg, Pa.
262-6: March 25, 2016, Florida State Relays, Tallahassee, Fla.

Thompson, a graduate of Florence High School, won the Olympic Trials last month and eventually clinched a spot on the U.S. Olympic team headed for Tokyo through a long and complicated ranking process administered by the IAAF.

On Saturday, Thompson opened with a 254-0, 252-6 and 250-5 in the trials before a 258-6, 265-10 and 254-7 in the finals.

Michael Shuey, who will also represent the U.S. in Tokyo, had a best of 261-0 until he popped a lifetime-best 281-1 on his final throw. That bumped Thompson’s 271-7 as the No. 1 throw by an American this year. It’s also No. 4 in U.S. history and 9 in the world this year. His previous PR was a 273-0 in Minsk, Belarus, in 2019.

Thompson opens competition in the Olympics in Tokyo on Aug. 4.

Better late than never … It’s 5 girls Meet of Champions performances you may have missed!!!!!!

There were so many remarkable performances by South Jersey athletes ta the Meet of Champions I didn’t want them to go unnoticed. But with the Olympic Trials following almost immediately after the M-of-C I never had a chance to highlight them.

So it’s been a few weeks but it’s never too late!

We’ll get to the boys in the next couple days, but here are five terrific performances from the Meet of Champions that I didn’t have a chance to write about earlier that you may have missed!

For complete results click here.

Olivia Bent-Cole: Camden Catholic soph Olivia Bent-Cole got faster every meet she ran this spring, starting out at 12.80 at the Olympic Conference Championships and culminating in the Meet of Champions, where she placed 6th in 12.18 after a PR 12.26 in the trials. Bent-Cole was the top sophomore in the M-of-C 100 final and the No. 2 underclassman, behind only Kent Place junior Christiana Nwachuku, who was 4th in 11.96. Bent-Cole also PR’d at 25.41 for 9th in the 200, where she was also the top soph. She was one of four girls to finish in the top-10 in both the 100 and 200. Her 12.18 is a school record.

Nevaeh Lorjuste: A Triton senior, Lorjuste was the top South Jersey finisher in the M-of-C 400, placing 4th in 57.07, a Triton school record. Lorjuste PR’d with a 56.98 at Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. Lorjuste was also the state Group 3 champion at 22 meters with a PR 25.51 and a sectional medalist in the 100. She’ll join Rowan’s powerhouse program in the fall.

Grace Wassell: The Highland sophomore’s best event most of the season was the 1,600, and she got her time down as fast as 5:04.85 at Haddonfield Distance Night, which wound up No. 7 in South Jersey this year and No. 7 among all New Jersey sophs. But after running 2:18.38 and 5:10.26 at states, she picked the 800 for Meet of Champions and PR’d by two seconds with a 2:15.18 for 5th place, and she did it unpressed out of the unseeded heat. She ran just 22-100ths of a second off Nia Holden’s school record of 2:14.98, set at 2018 sectionals at Central Regional. She was the No. 4 soph in New Jersey this year.

Diamond McLaughlin: Absegami’s McLaughlin capped a tremendous season with a 2nd-place finish in the M-of-C 400-meter intermediates with a lifetime-best 1:00.40. That was No. 6 in the U.S. this year and 6th-fastest ever by a South Jersey girl in the Meet of Champions. It’s also No. 9 in South Jersey history and just off the Atlantic County record of 1:00.26 set by Helena Leyrer of Buena when she won the 2012 Meet of Champions. Adelaide Asante of North Brunswick won the race in 1:00.24. McLaughlin’s previous PR was a 1:01.24 at Group 3 sectionals at Delsea. Here’s a look at the top South Jersey times in Meet of Champions 400-meter intermediate hurdles history:

59.03 … Tonya Lee (Rancocas Valley), 1988 (1)
59.56 … Torie Robinson (Winslow Twp.), 2013 (1)
59.96 … Mandie Dulin (Shawnee), 1997 (1)
1:00.10 …….. Dulin, 1996 (1)
1:00.13 … Arianna Smith [Pennsville], 2019 (1)
1:00.26 … Helene Leyrer [Buena], 2012 (1)
1:00.40 … Diamond McLaughlin [Absegami], 2021 (2)
1:00.47 … Shaquanda Meylor [Woodrow Wilson], 2006 (2)
1:00.67 … Meredith Updike [Cinnaminson], 2019 (3)
1:00.73 … Pam Richardson [Edgewood], 2001 (1)
1:00.74 … Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 2003 (1)
1:00.79 … Courtney Smith [Penns Grove], 2014 (3)

Jenovia Logan: Logan capped a very consistent sophomore season with a 5-6 clearance for 3rd place in the M-of-C. She cleared at least 5-4 in every major meet, including three 5-6 performances. The top four girls cleared 5-6 at the M-of-C, including Delsea freshman Alaana Woolfolk, who won the event. Unfortunately, the girls high jump results were never posted so there’s no way to tell who cleared what heights on which attempts, but Woolfolk and Logan are among four returning jumpers in New Jersey who cleared 5-6 this past spring.  

 

ANOTHER ALL-AMERICA RACE FOR HADDONFIELD GIRLS, #2 DMR IN S.J. HISTORY!!!!!

The Haddonfield girls capped a terrific weekend at Outdoor Nationals with the second-fastest distance medley in South Jersey history.

Allison Colflesh, Payton Weiner, Lindsay Colflesh and Sarah Naticchia ran 12:00.47 for fifth place in the DMR at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, one day after breaking the South Jersey record in the 4-by-8 with a 9:00.51 for second place.

The only faster time in South Jersey history is Lenape’s 11:53.15 at the 2012 Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Allison Colflesh led off with a 3:41.88 for 1,200 meters and Weiner split 61.10 for the 400. Lindsay Colflesh ran 2:17.87 and Naticchia anchored in 4:59.63.

The previous school record – and Camden County record – was 12:02.34 set by the 2000 Haddonfield team of Holly Cosnett, Adrienne Butler, Erin O’Donnell and Olympian Erin Donohue at the Penn Relays.

ALL-TIME SOUTH JERSEY DMR TOP 10
11:53.15 … Lenape, 2012
12:00.47 … Haddonfield, 2021
12:00.64 … Ocean City, 2004
12:02.34 … Haddonfield 2000
12:02.37 … Haddonfield, 2014
12:04.39 … Lenape, 2010
12:05.39 … Ocean City 2005
12:05.98 … Sterling, 2017
12:06.73 … Ocean City 1994
12:07.21 … Lenape 2008

ALL-TIME NEW JERSEY DMR TOP 10
11:32.29 … Red Bank Catholic, 2011
11:37.86 … Red Bank, 2003
11:40.81 … Southern Regional, 2007
11:42.16 … Roxbury, 2008
11:42.17 … Red Bank, 2002
11:45.54 … Southern Regional, 2006
11:47.67 … Southern Regional, 2008
11:47.95 … Voorhees, 2002
11:48.04 … Columbia, 1997
11:49.73 … Randolph, 2019
11:50.03 … Roxbury, 2006
11:50.73 … Ridgewood, 2012
11:50.7h … Summit, 1981
11:51.76 … Voorhees, 2007
11:52.24 … Bernards, 2012
11:53.13 … West Windsor-Plainsboro South, 2015
11:53.15 … Lenape, 2012
11:54.22 … Ridgewood, 2019
11:54.9h … Summit, 1982
11:55.13 … Randolph, 2010
11:55.41 … Red Bank, 2001
11:55.55 … Red Bank Catholic, 2012
11:56.10 … Mount St. Dominic, 2013
11:56.69 … Ramapo, 2007
11:56.60 … Southern Regional, 2004
11:57.85 … Northern Highlands, 2015
11:57.88 … Roxbury, 2007
11:57.96 … Bernards, 2013
11:58.33 … North Hunterdon, 2017
11:58.4h … North Hunterdon, 1987
11:58.43 … Randolph, 2007
11:58.74 … Southern Regional, 2009
11:59.6h … Ridgewood, 1982
11:59.78 … Mendham, 2012
12:00.16 … North Hunterdon, 2018
12:00.32 … Southern Regional, 2016
12:00.47 … Haddonfield, 2021
12:00.64 … Ocean City, 2004
12:00.67 … Columbia, 1998
12:00.91 … Red Bank Catholic, 2010
12:01.22 … Pope John XXIII, 2008
12:01.34 … Southern Regional, 2010
12:01.55 … Voorhees, 2009
12:01.9h … Ridgewood, 1983
12:02.00 … Randolph, 2013
12:02.34 … Haddonfield 2000
12:02.36 … High Point, 2013
12:02.37 … Haddonfield, 2014
12:02.6h … Bernards, 1983
12:02.79 … Northern Highlands, 2014
12:02.8h … Ridgewood, 1998
12:03.07 … Randolph, 2014
12:03.10 … Immaculate Heart Academy, 2008
12:03.21 … Roxbury, 2005
12:03.5h … Ridgewood, 1994
12:04.39 … Lenape, 2010
12:04.68 … Southern Regional, 2012
12:05.38 … Hunterdon Central, 2002
12:05.39 … Ocean City 2005
12:05.53 … Pope John XXIII, 2006
12:05.81 … Voorhees, 2019
12:05.98 … Sterling, 2017
11:32.29 … Red Bank Catholic, 2011
11:37.86 … Red Bank, 2003
11:40.81 … Southern Regional, 2007
11:42.16 … Roxbury, 2008
11:42.17 … Red Bank, 2002
11:45.54 … Southern Regional, 2006
11:47.67 … Southern Regional, 2008
11:47.95 … Voorhees, 2002
11:48.04 … Columbia, 1997
11:49.73 … Randolph, 2019
11:50.03 … Roxbury, 2006
11:50.73 … Ridgewood, 2012
11:50.7h … Summit, 1981
11:51.76 … Voorhees, 2007
11:52.24 … Bernards, 2012
11:53.13 … West Windsor-Plainsboro South, 2015
11:53.15 … Lenape, 2012
11:54.22 … Ridgewood, 2019
11:54.9h … Summit, 1982
11:55.13 … Randolph, 2010
11:55.41 … Red Bank, 2001
11:55.55 … Red Bank Catholic, 2012
11:56.10 … Mount St. Dominic, 2013
11:56.69 … Ramapo, 2007
11:56.60 … Southern Regional, 2004
11:57.85 … Northern Highlands, 2015
11:57.88 … Roxbury, 2007
11:57.96 … Bernards, 2013
11:58.33 … North Hunterdon, 2017
11:58.4h … North Hunterdon, 1987
11:58.43 … Randolph, 2007
11:58.74 … Southern Regional, 2009
11:59.6h … Ridgewood, 1982
11:59.78 … Mendham, 2012
12:00.16 … North Hunterdon, 2018
12:00.32 … Southern Regional, 2016
12:00.47 … Haddonfield, 2021
12:00.64 … Ocean City, 2004
12:00.67 … Columbia, 1998
12:00.91 … Red Bank Catholic, 2010
12:01.22 … Pope John XXIII, 2008
12:01.34 … Southern Regional, 2010
12:01.55 … Voorhees, 2009
12:01.9h … Ridgewood, 1983
12:02.00 … Randolph, 2013
12:02.34 … Haddonfield 2000
12:02.36 … High Point, 2013
12:02.37 … Haddonfield, 2014
12:02.6h … Bernards, 1983
12:02.79 … Northern Highlands, 2014
12:02.8h … Ridgewood, 1998
12:03.07 … Randolph, 2014
12:03.10 … Immaculate Heart Academy, 2008
12:03.21 … Roxbury, 2005
12:03.5h … Ridgewood, 1994
12:04.39 … Lenape, 2010
12:04.68 … Southern Regional, 2012
12:05.38 … Hunterdon Central, 2002
12:05.39 … Ocean City 2005
12:05.53 … Pope John XXIII, 2006
12:05.81 … Voorhees, 2019
12:05.98 … Sterling, 2017

ENGLISH GARDNER ADDED TO U.S. OLYMPIC 4X1 RELAY POOL!!!!!

English Gardner is going back to the Olympics! 

Gardner, a graduate of Eastern High School and a 400-meter relay gold medalist in 2016, has been added to the U.S. Olympic Team’s relay pool for Tokyo, according to report by Jim Lambert of New Jersey Milesplit.

Gardner raced herself into contention for a relay berth by running 10.96 in the Olympic Trials semifinals – her fastest time since 2016 – and placing sixth in the final.

Being added to the relay pool means Gardner will travel to Tokyo with the U.S. team and be eligible for relay duty in either round. Gardner has more international relay experience than any of the other Americans.

She ran the third leg in 2016 when the U.S. ran 41.01 and won the 400-meter dash final at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite having to race out of lane 1. Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix and Tori Bowie also ran on that team.

That’s the No. 2 time in world history, behind only then 40.82 the U.S. ran to win the 2012 gold medal in London. Tianna Madison, Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter ran on that team.

There are two rounds of the 400-meter relay in Tokyo – trials on Aug. 5 and finals on Aug. 6.

With Trials winner Sha’Carri Richardson unable to run the 100 because of a one-month suspension, Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels and Jenna Prandini are scheduled to run the 100 in Tokyo, and Jenna Prandini, Gabby Thomas and Gardner form the remainder of the relay pool. Richardson could also be added to the relay pool since her suspension ends after the 100 but before the 4-by-1.

Since Thomas and Prandini are also in the 200, there’s a chance one or both of them could focus on the 200 and drop out of the 100, which means there’s a chance Gardner could be added to the 100-meter dash.

Gardner, 29, battled back from a nasty battle with COVID that nearly derailed her 2021 season to run 11.13 in Maryland in June.

Other than a series of weird races in Fort Worth in July of 2020 – an outdoor 60, a 100, a 150 and a 300 – she didn’t race at all from the World Championships in Doha in September of 2019 until a meet in Walnut, Calif., this past May, where she ran 11.29. She ran a wind-legal 11.10 in late May in Jacksonville – her fastest wind-legal 100 since 2018.

With her 10.96 at the Trials – slightly wind-aided but still very fast – Gardner showed she’s still a world-class sprinter, and with another month of training and getting stronger after her COVID battle, there’s no reason to think she can’t go even faster.

Gardner won the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene in 10.74, to this day the 8th-fastest time in world history and No. 5 in U.S. history.

HADDONFIELD GIRLS 2ND AT NATIONALS, SHATTER S.J. 4X8 RECORD!!!!!

The Haddonfield girls shattered their own South Jersey 3,200-meter relay record Friday at the Outdoor Nationals in Eugene.

The team of seniors Sarah Naticchia, Lindsay Colflesh, Olivia Stoner and Allison Colflesh ran 9:00.51 at historic Hayward Field and placed second to Niwot (Colo.), which won the race in 8:52.48, No. 8 in meet history.

Haddonfield’s time is No. 10 in state history.

Naticchia led off with a 2:15.40 split and Lindsay Colflesh followed with a 2:14.63. Stoner split 2:14.04 and Allison Colflesh anchored in 2:16.44.

What a way to go out for this remarkable group of seniors, who have helped make Haddonfield one of the top programs in the country for the last several years.

Niwot and Haddonfield came into the race ranked No. 1 and 2 in the country at 8:55.86 and 9:04.72 and both ran faster in their final race of the year.

Haddonfield ran 9:04.72 in May at the Cherokee Relays. That broke the South Jersey record of 9:05.62 set by Lenape at the 2012 Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Before this year, Haddonfield’s school record was 9:06.30 at the 2008 Penn Relays.

Cherokee placed eighth in 9:21.99, just off their 9:20.44 from the Cherokee Relays.

Kelce Niglio, Nicole Clifford, Meghan Carroll and Erin Jackson ran for the Chiefs, with Niglio splitting 2:14.22, Clifford 2:18.80, Carroll 2:27.70 and Jackson 2:21.28.

For the complete all-time South Jersey top-50, click here.

Here’s a look at the all-time New Jersey 4-by- list!

8:45.37 … Columbia, 2014
8:52.80 … Southern Regional, 2009
8:54.88 … Columbia, 1997
8:55.44 … Freehold Township, 2014
8:55.82 … Ridge, 2017
8:56.45 … Pope John XXIII, 2007
8:59.16 … Voorhees, 2002
8:59.78 … Union Catholic, 2019
9:00.38 … Bernards,2010
9:00.51 … Haddonfield, 2021
9:00.43 … Ridgewood, 2012
9:03.74 … Red Bank Catholic, 2012
9:03.4h… Bernards, 1983
9:04.22 … Roxbury, 2008
9:05.62 … Lenape, 2012
9:05.83 … Lenape, 2008
9:06.30 … Haddonfield, 2008
9:06.47 … West Windsor-Plainsboro, 2014
9:06.80 … Voorhees, 2008
9:06.92 … Randolph, 2010
9:07.1h … Columbia, 1983

 

HIGHLAND’S FLOYD WHITAKER WINS NATIONAL TRIPLE JUMP CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!

Highland senior Floyd Whitaker soared a quarter of an inch short of 50 feet Thursday afternoon and won the national triple jump championship by two inches.

Whitaker jumped 49-11 3/4 on his second attempt at the Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The top three jumpers all finished within four inches of each other.

Whitaker held off Solomon Washington of of Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas, who jumped 49-9 3/4 on his second attempt, and Aren Spencer of Christ Church, Barbados, who hit 49-7 3/4 on his first jump. 

Washington followed up with jumps of 49-6 1/2 and 49-8 1/4 but couldn’t catch Whitaker, who backed up his 49-11 3/4 with a 49-10 on his third attempt. Spencer fouled four times but did have a second jump over 49 feet at 49-1. Anthony Woods of St. Xavier High in Louisville, Ky., was fourth at 49-1 1/2, making it four jumpers over 49 feet.

It was Whitaker’s first national title, although he did win the freshman triple jump at the 2018 New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Whitaker’s 49-11 3/4 is the second-best jump of his life. He won his first of two consecutive Meet of Champions titles in 2019 with a 50-2 1/2. He won this past M-of-C with a 49-7.

Whitaker jumped 48-2 1/2 into a moderate wind (0.2) on his first attempt before his winning 49-11 3/4. He finished the trials with a 49-10 before going 48-11 3/4, 47-6 1/4 and 48-10 1/4 in the finals.

He averaged 48-10 1/2 on his six legal jumps. 

Whitaker is the first boy from Camden County to win a national outdoor title since Anthony Miles won the long jump in 2003, and he’s the first South Jersey boy to win a field event at nationals since Braheme Days Jr. of Bridgeton won the shot and James Plummer of Egg Harbor Township won the discus in 2013.

Paul VI runs season-best 4-by-1, advances to final at Outdoor Nationals

Paul VI ran a season-best 42.42 Thursday in the 400-meter relay qualifying rounds at the Outdoor Nationals, qualifying for the final on Friday.

The team of senior Matthew Jenkins and juniors Matthew Mazero, Cameron Serafinelli and Michael Mazero placed third in the first of three heats at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. 

There are no auto qualifiers. The nine-fastest times in three heats advanced to the final. Overall, Paul VI had the 7th-fastest time.

The only time Paul VI ran faster for a 4-by-1 was 2018, when the team of ran 42.25 and 41.96 at New Balance Nationals after a 42.28 at the Meet of Champions.

The time matches the No. 2 time in South Jersey this year, behind Rancocas Valley’s 41.99 to win the Meet of Champions last month. Deptford also ran 42.42, also at the Meet of Champions. It’s No. 4 in the state.

The final is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. EST Friday.