Eastern’s Jewel Ash goes sub-60 in 400IH and wins Big South title!!!

Jewel Ash broke the one-minute barrier in the intermediate hurdles for the first time this weekend.

And became a conference champion along the way.

Ash, a South Charleston freshman from Eastern Regional High school, ran 59.50 at the Big South Championships at Vert Stadium on Saturday on the campus of High Point (N.C.) University.

She won the conference title by nearly a second over High Point sophomore Nyile Facey, who was second in 1:01.37.

That time gives Ash a No. 59 ranking on the IAAF’s 2021 U.S. women’s performance list.

Ash’s previous PR was 1:00.01 on April 16 Georgia Tech Invitational and before that 1:01.46, which she ran at the 2019 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington and then matched in March in a meet in Columbia, S.C.

Ash’s time is No. 2 in school history, behind only Dotrine’ Jacobs, who ran 59.52 at the 2014 Florida Relays.

Ash also ran 14.56 in the high hurdles trials but missed advancing to the finals by 6-100ths of a second, despite the 5th-fastest time in the trials.

She also ran legs on the winning 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams, which ran 45.93 and 3:47.34.

Don’t forget about Lauren Princz … she’s still fast!

It’s been more than 14 months since Egg Harbor’s Lauren Princz competed in a major race, but don’t forget about her.

She’s still fast!

When last we saw Princz, it was March of 2020 and she won the Meet of Champions 55-meter dash at Ocean Breeze in 6.98, the 9th-fastest time in meet history.

Then the spring season got wiped out, Princz didn’t race at all this past winter and she still hasn’t competed in a major weekend meet this spring.

But she’s raced in two dual meets, and on Tuesday ran 12.1 and 25.2 unpressed.

Second place in the 100 was teammate Jayda Green, who ran 12.7, and second in the 200 was Hammonton’s Emily Dustman, who ran 26.0.

Those are decent times, so Princz had to work to win those races but safe to say she still hasn’t been really pushed or gone all out this spring or really since the 2020 indoor Meet of Champions.

Princz, who has signed with Penn State, has PRs of 11.81 from the spring of 2018, when she won the 100 at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, and 23.90, from her win at the 2018 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.

She’s No. 11 in South Jersey history in the 100 and No. 5 in the 200.

When will we finally see Princz race on a Saturday? It might not be until the Atlantic County Championships on May 27 at Buena.

But with a talent like hers, it’s worth waiting for!

Burlington Twp. grad Donovan Wright flying in the high hurdles for U. Conn!

Burlington Township graduate Donovan Wright is off to a fine start to his college career at U. Conn and races this weekend in the Big East Championships.

Wright, a U. Conn freshman, is ranked No. 5 in the Big East in the 110-meter hurdles at 14.50 (with a legal 1.4 wind), which he just ran a week and a half ago at the Torrin Lawrence Memorial Invitational at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

His PR before that was a wind-aided 14.65 with a wind-legal 14.99.

Wright has lowered his time every time he’s raced this spring over the 42-inch barriers —> 15.27 to 15.04 to 14.99 to 14.81 to 14.65 to 14.50.

Wright graduated from Burlington Township in the spring of 2020. His final race for the Falcons was the indoor Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze, where he ran 7.49 over the 39-inch 55-meter hurdles and placed fourth. He was second at the state Group 3 meet.

Wright’s high school PR over the 39-inch barriers was 14.49, when he placed second in the Burlington County Open at Rancocas Valley to Jayaire King of Willingboro, who also ran 14.49. King is now at St. Peter’s and placed third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 400-meter intermediates on Sunday.

So he’s now run within 1-100th of a second over the 42-inch hurdles as he ran in high school over the 39-inch hurdles.

The Big East Championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Wright runs in the hurdles trials at 1 p.m. Friday and then the finals at 12:55 p.m. on Saturday.

The most recent U. Conn on-line “media guide” is from 2016. What do these SIDs do all day? They can’t update a media guide for five years? But it doesn’t have any top-10 lists anyway so it’s useless.

Rancocas Valley’s Danielle Steff wins 3rd straight MAAC javelin title!

Rancocas Valley graduate Danielle Steff won her third straight conference javelin title this weekend for Monmouth.

Steff trailed Rider’s Grace Ramsey going into finals. Ramsey had thrown 139-3 and Steff’s best throw in her first three attempts was a 138-11.

But Steff unloaded a 155-2 on her fifth attempt to lock up her third Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title at Rider’s facility in Lawrenceville.

Steff won the 2018 title at Rider with a 160-7 and the 2019 title with a throw of 161-1. The meet was not held last year.

Steff broke the Monmouth school record last month with a throw of 166-6 in a Monmouth-Rider dual meet in Lawrenceville. The previous record was 164-4 by Kelsey Reese when she won the 2014 MAAC title, also in Lawrenceville. 

Steff is ranked 15th in NCAA Division 1 Eastern Region and No. 30 in all of NCAA Division 1. She’s the 23rd-ranked American woman according to the IAAF performance list.

The best throw ever by a South Jersey native (with the new implement) is 169-9 by Bordentown graduate Kelly Yanucil while competing for St. Mary’s of Emmitsburg, Md., when she won the 2017 Penn Relays.

The Monmouth women won their seventh straight MAAC title by 204 1/2-163 over Quinnipiac of Connecticut.

Rancocas Valley girls win 4×200 and 4×400 with N.J. top-5 times at Ridge!

The Rancocas Valley girls won the 800-meter relay and the 1,600-meter relay Monday at the Midseason Relay Showdown at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge.

The Red Devils ran top-5 times in the state this year in both relays.

In the 4-by-200, R.V. ran 1:44.83 in a race where no other team broke 1:48. Their time is No. 5 in New Jersey this year and No. 2 in South Jersey, behind only Clayton’s 1:43.63 at the Deptford Spartan Relays earlier this month

Junior Jya Marshall, senior Sheriyah Nuttjunior Anabella Chinand sophomore Kasey White ran for the Red Devils.

In the 4-by-400, Rancocas Valley ran 3:59.89 with the same quarter in a different order – Chin to Marshall to Nutt to White. 

That’s No. 4 in the state this year and No. 2 in South Jersey, again behind Clayton. The Clippers ran 3:58.25 at Deptford.

Brett Shea’s anchor gets Cherokee under 8:00 with #2 N.J. 4-by-800!

Cherokee moved into the top spot in South Jersey in the 3,200-meter relay with a 7:59.17 over the weekend at its own Cherokee Relays in Marlton.

Brett Shea’s 1:55.59 anchor gave Cherokee the No. 2 time in the state this spring, behind Ridge’s 7:49.25 in a meet in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in March.

(If you want to be a stickler for the rules, Ridge’s performance came before the official start of the 2021 outdoor season as measured by the NJSIAA, so you can make the case that it shouldn’t count on a 2021 performance list. We accept all times, regardless of when they were recorded or what the NJSIAA thinks.)

Nico Grilli led off with a 2:03.55, followed by freshman Nick Kuenkel with a 2:00.68 and sophomore Patrick Ditmars’ 2:00.47 to set up Shea.

With second place about 200 meters behind, Cherokee ran unpressed but still ran sub-8 outdoors for the seventh season overall but the first time since 2012, when the Chiefs ran 7:53.30 at the Penn Relays trials and 7:49.85 in the Championship of America race with the team of Colin Merrigan, Ross Staudt, Drew Viscidy and Shawn Wilson.

Here’s the all-time Burlington County sub-8 list: 

7:40.98 … Willingboro, 1983
7:44.25 … Willingboro, 2003
7:47.9h … Willingboro, 1982
7:48.70 … Rancocas Valley, 2016
7:49.34 … Cherokee, 2000
7:49.85 … Cherokee, 2012
7:49.9h … Willingboro, 1978
7:52.53 … Willingboro, 2002
7:52.60 … Cherokee, 2011
7:52.66 … Cherokee, 1998
7:52.7h … Willingboro, 1978
7:52.90 … Rancocas Valley, 2017
7:53.44 … Shawnee, 1991
7:55.63 … Rancocas Valley, 2018
7:55.67 … Rancocas Valley, 2014
7:56.30 … Rancocas Valley, 2019
7:56.4h … Shawnee, 1985
7:58.17 … Seneca, 2013
7:59.17 … Cherokee, 2021
7:59.3h … Cherokee, 1999
7:59.24 … Cherokee, 2000
7:59.87 … Willingboro, 1995
7:59.96 … Cinnaminson, 2019

Buena grad Kristin Siegle lowers Rider 800 record that she just set!!!

Kristin Siegle shattered her own Rider school record in the 800 at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships on Sunday in Lawrenceville.

Siegle, a graduate of Buena and now a Rider grad student, ran 2:09.83, breaking her record of 2:10.83 that she set last month on the same track.

Before that race, Rider’s school record was 2:11.24, set in 2016 by Steph Welte.

Siegle had an 800 PR of 2:17.90 until the 2019 outdoor season, when she ran 2:13.90 in an indoor meet at Ocean Breeze. Thanks to the pandemic, she didn’t race another 800 for 22 months, when she ran the 2:10.83.

Siegle, who also set the Rider 1,500 record this spring at 4:25.33, would have been a huge favorite to win the 1,500 at the MAAC Championships but elected instead to try the the more competitive 800, and she wound up finishing a step behind Monmouth’s Katie Locker, a freshman from Elizabethtown, Pa., who ran a huge PR of her own at 2:09.54.

But Siegle, who hails from Estelle Manor, has now lowered the school record in the 800 by nearly 1 1/2 seconds and the school record in the 1,500 by nearly 3 1/2 seconds. Siegle broke that one twice, with a 4:28.75 at Monmouth last month and then her 4:25.33 at Franklin Field a week later.

Siegle also ran a 2:11.65 leg on Rider’s 3rd-place 3,200-meter relay team, which ran 9:22.95

Siegle will have another opportunity to race either the 800 or 1,500 at the ECAC Championships at American International College in Centerville, Mass., next weekend.

At Buena, Siegle had PRs of 2:20.03 for 800 meters and 5:15.98 for 1,600 meters.

CHEROKEE’S JESSICA WOODARD GETS OLYMPIC STANDARD WITH #13 SHOT PUT THROW IN THE WORLD THIS YEAR!!!!!

Cherokee graduate Jessica Woodard uncorked the second-best shot put throw of her life and her best in three years Sunday and recorded an Olympic-qualifying mark along the way.

Woodard threw 60-9 1/2 to place fifth in a field of Olympic hopefuls at the USATF Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif.

Woodard moved into the No. 13 spot on the 2021 IAAF world list and her throw is No. 6 this year among U.S. women.

The Olympic qualifying standard is 60-8 1/4. That means if she finishes in the top three at next month’s U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., she’ll earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Woodard got off five legal throws, including two over 60 feet and one just a few inches shy of 60 feet.

She opened with a 56-1 3/4 then hit her 60-9 1/2 on her second throw. After a foul, she closed with 57-8 1/4, 59-7 and 60-7 1/4.

She averaged 58-11 1/2 on her five legal throws. 

Woodard ranks 25th in U.S. history with her PR of 61-3 1/2 from 2018

Huge day for Monmouth’s Jalen Jones of Burlington Township with two 1sts and a 2nd and two PRs at MAAC Championships!!!

Jalen Jones picked up a first place and a second place and two PRs Sunday at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Championships in Lawrenceville.

Jones, a Monmouth University sophomore from Burlington Township, won the 400 in 48.28 and placed second in the 200 after a PR 21.72 in the trials.

In the 400, Jones smashed his lifetime best of 48.37 that he set in his last open race, at the Monmouth Spring Invitational in West Long Branch last month. His best 400 before that was a 48.38 indoors at the Armory when he won the 400 at the 2020 indoor MAAC Championships. 

Jones finished nearly half a second ahead of second-place Jadyn Tabois of Iona, who was second in 48.73.

Jones advanced to the 400 finals with a 49.25, which was the second-fastest qualifying time in the trials. Rider’s James Green, who led qualifiers with a 49.10, finished third in 49.23. 

Monmouth has only had three previous conference champs in the 400 – Ben Boyd in the Northeast Conference in 2012 (49.22) and Malcolm Chavis in 2017 (49.57) and Nadale Buntin (now at Rutgers) in 2019 (48.78) in the MAAC.

Jones led the 200 qualifiers with a huge PR 21.72 in Saturday’s trials. His previous PR was a 21.96 from two weeks ago at Fast Times Before Finals at Rowan University and before that 22.21 in a meet at West Point, N.Y., in March. Before this spring, his 200 PR was 22.24 indoors from a meet at Ocean Breeze in February of 2020.

Jones’ 400 time is No. 8 in school history. His 200 time in the trials is 3-100ths of a second out of the top-10, so most likely it’s No. 11.

Jones also ran a 48.87 second leg on Monmouth’s winning 1,600-meter relay team, which won in 3:15.52.

Jones was more of a 400-800 runner in high school. He only ran the 200 sporadically, PR’ing at 22.81. But he ran 1:55.99 in the 800 at 2017 Group 3 sectionals at Northern Burlington along with a 48.84 at 2018 Group 3 states at Central Regional in Bayville.

He’s only run one 800 in college and ran 1:55.50 indoors at Monmouth in February of 2020.

Monmouth outscored second-place Rider 295 1/2-217 1/2 to win the team title. It was the Hawks’ seventh team title in a row.

DELSEA’S JOSH AWOTUNDE JOINS THE 70-FOOT SHOT PUT CLUB WITH #6 MARK IN THE WORLD THIS YEAR!!!!!

Delsea’s Josh Awotunde joined the 70-foot club with a massive shot put bomb of 71-1 1/2 at the USATF Golden Games Sunday.

That’s No. 6 in the world this year  and No. 4 among Americans and puts the four-time South Carolina All-America squarely in the picture to make the U.S. Olympic team, which will be decided at the Olympic Trials next month in Eugene.

His throw is No. 26 in U.S. history and and No. 58 world history.

Awotunde placed second at the USATF Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif., behind only American Darrell Hill, who threw a season-best 73-3 1/2, not far off his PR of 73-7 1/2 from a meet in 2017 Boudewijnstadion, Belgium.

Awotunde’s previous overall best was a 69-11 3/4, which he hit indoors in College Station, Texas, in 2018. His previous outdoor best was a 69-3 3/4 in Los Angeles in April of 2019. That’s No. 27 in U.S. indoor history.

Awotunde broke the New Jersey alumni record of 70-4 1/2 set by Dorian Scott of Seton Hall Prep in 2008 in Tallahassee.

He broke his own South Jersey alumni record.

Awotunde opened with a 66-10 and then improved to 68-1 3/4 on his second throw and then PR’d at 69-10 3/4 on his third throw.

He threw 64-11 1/4 and 68-8 3/4 on his fourth and fifth throws before the 71-footer on his final attempt.

He averaged 68-3 1/4 on his six legal throws.