With how great this season has been it is hard to capture everything in one article but here are a few points of interest that I'm excited about heading into the Group Championships. Remember NJ MileSplit will be providing live updates, taking photos, recording race videos, and more at every state championship meet this weekend.
Group Championships Points of Interest
- Devin Hart of Pt Pleasant Boro will definitely have everyone's attention this weekend after his remarkable 1600 and 3200m double at Sectionals. He set the all-time sectional record with his 9:10.21 US#3 to win the CJG2 3200m and that was after coming back from a 4:16.66 to win the 1600m. We'll have to see if he is going to try the double again or if he'll just concentrate on the 3200m this week. The all-group record for the 3200m is 9:02.61, held by Pat Schellberge of Delbarton since 2010, with some more competition will he go for it or save the fireworks for MOCs?
- Victoria Vanriele ready to rock the 800m. The defending Meet of Champions winner is only in her sophomore season at Governor Livingston and already took down Ajee' Wilson's venue record at the Bubble two weekends ago when she ran 2:10.27 US#2 to win her section.
- Mario Heslop's no joke 55 dash. Heslop set the overall Sectional record last week with a smoking time of 6.35 US#5, that broke into the top 10 all-time for NJ. Only a junior Heslop also set the state record in the 300 meter at the end of January with a time of 33.26, keep an eye on his 400m as well this weekend. Unfortunately the NJSIAA records only provides a hand time All-Group record of 6.2 for the 55 dash but if you add a hand time penalty to that it becomes a 6.44.
- Hebner showdown? Isabel and Monica Hebner were unstoppable two weekends ago at Sectionals running the 2nd and 3rd fastest times ever for the meet at 10:40.95 and 10:40.98. Those times are the fastest run for NJ so far and rank US#4 and US#5. The all-group meet record is a 10:30.25 from 2006 posted by Ocean City's Brittany Sedberry. Isabel inched out Monica at the line at their sectional, time for a rematch this weekend.
- One of New Jersey's best athletes Akeem Lindo of East Orange Campus... Ranked US#3 in the 55 hurdles (7.33), US#8 in the 300m (34.05), US#7 in the 55m (6.37), and NJ#2 in the 400m (49.06) this senior could bring us a show this weekend as East Orange goes for another state team title. Could that all-group 3:21.64 4x400 record from last year's Egg Harbor squad be in jeopardy as well? East Orange has a 3:23.29 at the Bubble this season from State Relays and a 3:16.60 at the Armory. His teammate Immyouri Etienne led all the Sectional meets in the 400m last weekend with his 50.03 as well.
- Jenna Rogers in the high jump, will she unfurl her wings this weekend? At Sectionals Rogers waited for the field to finish moved the bar up two inches and cleared 5-02 for a one and done showing to advance to Groups. She is ranked US#1 right now with a height of 5-11 from the Varsity Classic, second all-time in state history. Tierra Hooker of Timber Creek, US#4 at 5-10, will also be jumping this weekend though the girls are in separate groups.
- Pole Vault Mania. The over 15 feet club is growing this season as New Jersey now has four boys over that bar including state leader Seth Kricheff, Simon Schenk, David Bausmith, and Tyler Hrbek. Simon Schenk and David Bausmith battled it out last week at CJG4 where Bausmith cleared 15-00, Kricheff and Hrbek are both teammates at Old Tappan and will vault with each other once again in Group 3.
- On the girls side Ashley Preston of Delsea also broke a sectional record at 12-06. She has already cleared 12-07 this season which is top five all-time for NJ and the the overall Group record is 12-06.25 set in 2010 by Emily Urciuoli of Clifton. That is definitely in sight for her. Melissa Purcell of Pascack Valley also joined that conversation this week moving up to NJ#2 this season with her 12-06.25 clearance at Bergen County Championships.
- How far will Shelby Bigsby go? New Jersey has shown some major strength in the shot put the past few years and Bigsby picked up the national leading torch from the now graduated Alyssa Wilson. The Montclair senior threw 48-07.25 at the Varsity Classic which is US#1 by over a foot!
- State shot put leader C.J. Licata opens up his NJSIAA season. The US#4 ranked Gill St. Bernard's School senior will make his 2018 state tournament debut with the rest of the Non-Public athletes this weekend. He has a current NJ#1 mark of 66-07.25 to his name.
- We welcome the Non-Publics to the party. The Non-Public A & B Groups will join the NJSIAA action this weekend.
- This doesn't even include all the great head to head battles within each group, the and the team title showdowns about to go down. Keep an eye on our live updates all weekend to follow along with the action.