Sophomore Mario Heslop Runs Amazing Double at Groups

Mario Heslop was sitting on a metal chair just behind a tent next to the finish line trying to catch his breath.

The sophomore star from Franklin was understandably exhausted after turning in one of the greatest sprint doubles in meet history at Friday's NJSIAA Group 4 Championships at Silver Eagle Stadium in Egg Harbor.

Within a span 10 minutes, Heslop took down two state sophomore records. First he won the 100-meter dash in 10.44, No. 6 all-time in state history, and then he captured the 400 in 46.84, tied for No. 16 in state history. Heslop's times are both No. 1 in N.J. this season and his 46.84 tied his school record that was set by Kevin Lyles in 1991.

Heslop, who will turn 18 in October, wasn't surprised by what he did.

"I think I go even faster next week at the Meet of Champions'' said Heslop. "I want to go for thsat state record in the 100 (10.35 by Jamar Ervin of Camden in 2000), and I know I can drop my time a lot in the 400 when I have more time between my races.''

Heslop, who will aim for the state 200 sophomore record (21.43 by Anthony Davis of Plainfield in 1998, said he was tired after the 100, but recovered quickly before the 400.

"I knew I only had 10 minutes to get ready, so I just poured a bottle of water on my head and sat down for a few minutes and got back on the track.''

Heslop said he's impressed with what he did and that is times have really motivated him to do much more.

"I want to far in the sport and have it take places in the future, so I'm going to work even harder to make sure I get the most out of myself and take myself as far as possible.''