New Jersey athletes and relay teams certainly made their presence felt with several memorable performances at the 124th Penn Relays that concluded this past Saturday at Franklin Field in Philadlephia.
Here's a look at some of the highlights.
- Sean Dolan used a breathtaking monster kick to come from way back over the final quarter mile to bring Hopewell Valley across the line first in the boys DMR Championhip of America race with a meet record and US #1 9:57.77, No. 3 in state history. That smashed the Penn Relays record of 9:59.66 set in 2001 by South Lakes of Virginia, anchored the great Alan Webb.
Dolan, a junior, split 4:07.57 on the anchor. Teddy Meredith led off in 3:02.69. Amos Barnes ran the 400 in 50.96, and Tim Dolan, Sean brother, had a 1:56.56 800 carry.
Hopewell Valley's victory also represented a great moment for the Dolan family. Sean and Tim's father, Steve Dolan, is the head coach at UPenn.
- Devin Hart, a junior at Pt. Pleasant Boro, went wire-to-wire to win the 3,000 in 8:22.24. Hart pulled away on the final lap to win by more than five seconds.
- Drew Maher of Shore Regional just missed his PR with a strong third-place finish in 4:11.94 in the mile.
- For the second straight year, East Orange was the top American team in the 4x400 Championship of America race by placing seventh in 3:14.54. EO's four runners were Immyouri Etienne (49.2), Kishaun Richardson (47.8), Ibrahim Fobay (49.62), and Akeem Lindo (47.85). Lindo also ran a NJ #1 53.40 to place 4th in the 400 hurdles.
- The Union Catholic girls cranked out two NJ #1 times, 47.42 in the 4x100 and 9:10.04 in the 4x800, and ran a NJ #2 in the 4x400 (3:54.38). UC's 9:10.04 in the trials broke the Union County record, and in the C of A race UC placed fifth in 9:10.40.
- North Hunterdon placed third in the girls DMR in a NJ #1 12:01.17. Chloe Gonzalez led off in 3:37.4. Gabrielle Beneducci went 1:00.50, Angela Kearsley covered her two laps in 2:19.67, and Emily Nugent anchored in 5:03.57.
- The Winslow girls ran a NJ #1 3:53.73 to place fifth in the Philadelphia Area 4x400. Winslow's quartet consisted of Nylah Perry (1:00.69), Janeya Hammond (58.11), Shakira Dancy (58.28), and Flora Ahiarakwe (56.67).
- St. Benedict's Prep finished seventh in a NJ #1 7:50.19 in the boys 4x800 Championship of America race. The time and place would have much better, but leadoff man Jackson Burnett took a spill for the Gray Bees. Burnett did a great job recovering, and Alfred Chawonza ran a strong anchor of 1:55.59.
- C.J. Licata of Gill St. Bernard's narrowly missed winning the boys shot put with a NJ #1 throw of 63-1 ¼, No. 2 in Somerset County history, on his final attempt to place second. Rasheeda Downer of Kingston College in Jamaica won with a 63-2 1/2.
- Kobe Roberts of Mainland placed third in the boys javelin with a PR and NJ #2 199-10.
- Reanda Richards of West Essex (59.17 in the 400 hurdles), Ashley Preston of Delsea (12-7 ½ in the pole vault) and Shelby Bigsby of Montclair (46-10 ¾) all finished third with NJ #1 performances.
- Madison Brand of Middletown South was sixth in the girls mile in a NJ #1 5:02.34.
- Nicole Vanasse of Pingry placed fifth in the girls 3,000 in a NJ #1 9:50.85.
- Jadon Watson of J F Kennedy was second in the high jump with a NJ #1 6-9.
- Khaliel Burnett of Delsea placed fourth in the triple jump with a NJ #1 49-1 3/4.