Day 1 in the Books - Groups 2/3/NP A

Some of the Things I Learned Today

* The McLaughlin siblings are beyond talented

Union Catholic's Taylor McLaughlin and Sydney McLaughlin are proving that they are most likely the best pair of siblings to grace the New Jersey athletics stage in like...forever. Viking's senior Taylor, the elder of the two, took the 400m Hurdles in a state leading 51.73. The mark is also the #2 time in the country this year. He then came back in the last individual event of the day, the 400m Dash and ran 47.63 to win. That time is only bested by his own mark of 47.37 from earlier this month. The Michigan bound He is now half way to the vaunted "Quad Club" a small group of NJ Boys who have won 4 individual events in Group Championship competition. Tomorrow (Saturday) he will seek to add the 110m Hurdles and the 200m Dash to his haul.

Not to be outdone, soph sensation Sydney followed her brother in the same events. Sydney won the 400m Hurdles in 58.82 her mark is only behind her own 58.65 which she ran at the Sectionals last week. Then, later in the program, Sydney ran the 400m in 52.59. Yes, 52.59! that mark ranks as just .13 seconds off of the record set last year at Junior Natioals by all timer Olivia Baker. As I asked Sydney last year after her sensational MOC performances, "What's Next?" We'll see.

* High School Track and Field talent in New Jersey takes a back seat to no one!

The10 day period between Sectionals and the Meet of Champions always brings out the best in the runners jumpers and throwers of NJ. While many athletes are doubling, tripling and in some cases competing in 4 events in the Group meet (Team titles on the line). The level of performances elevates so dramatically that we are often left gasping.

In the 1600m races for instance. The boys recorded 14 sub 4:20 performances, including the Group3 Boys going 8 places deep under the mark. The Girls also crashed barriers with 20 sub 5:10 marks including 7 times better than 5 minutes.

This has been a big year for the Ladiies who Put the Shot in New Jersey. Today, it was no different at Frank Jost Field. Nickolette Dunbar of Whippany Park led the parade, throwing a monster 50-7.75 at Penn. This afternoon, Dunbar again went to the head of the class with a toss of 48-4.5 in the Group 2 event. She was followed by Westwood's Jess Molina at 45-01.0 in all there were 9 girls at 40+ feet in the shot puttod ay at South Plainfield.

Tomorrow promises more great action and this is a short overview of some of the outstanding moments from Day 1 of the Group 2/3/ Non Public "A" Championships.