Ocean City Boys And Winslow Girls Capture SJ Group 3 Titles

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The Ocean City boys 4x400-meter relay team came up with a clutch performance to clinch the team title, and the Winslow girls rolled to its sixth title at Saturday's NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 Championship at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

The boys team title was up in the air as four teams had a shot to win heading into the meet-concluding 4x400. Hammonton led with 37, Mainland had 35, Ocean City 34, and Highland Regional 32.

Ocean City was the only one of those four teams to score in the relay, placing third in 3:38.08 to give the Red Raiders a winning total of 40 points, three more than runner-up Hammonton. It's the second sectional title for Ocean City, which also won in 2010.    

Ocean City was led by Kevin King, who won the 55 hurdles in 8.02 (7.94 in the trials), Luke Kramer, third in both the 800 (2:04.35) and 1,600 (4:31.37), Anthony Conte, fourth in the 3,200 (9:55.46), and Jaden Tocci-Rodgers, second in the high jump (5-10).

One of the biggest stars of the boys meet was Yarayah Hawkins of Highland Reg. The senior won the 800 in 2:00.03, finished first in the 1,600 in 4:27.40, and was second in the 3,200 (9:52.36) as he scored 28 of Highland's 32 points.  

Another big highlight was provided by Tyler Konopka of Tom River South, who continued his sensational sophomore season in the shot put with a winning throw of 53-2, a personal best and NJ#10 this season. 

In the girls competition, Winslow, which outscored runner-up Timber Creek, 64.5-35, racked up all its points in the sprints, hurdles and high jump, as expected. Winslow's six sectional titles is tied for the sixth most in state history for a girls program.   

Senior Tionna Tobias had a big day for Winslow. She won the 55 dash in 7.26, placed second in the 55 hurdles in 8.47 (8.33 in the trials), and was fourth in the high jump (5-0). Junior Janeya Hammond was second in the dash in 7.35 (7.29 in the trials), third in the 400 in 58.60 and ran on Winslow's winning relay (4:00.88).

Also for Winslow, Nylah Perry was second in the 400 in 58.24, ran on the relay, and was sixth in the hurdles. Shevell Higgs was third in the hurdles (8.69) and tied for fifth in the high jump, and Jaia James placed fifth in the 55 dash. (7.51).     

Tierra Hooker, who is tied for US#9 in the high jump this season at 5-9, had a big day for Timber Creek. The junior won the 55 hurdles in 8.41, won the high jump at 5-2, and was third in the 400.  

Pennsauken's Jade Pope continued her red hot sophomore season by winning the 400 in a NJ#4 57.46 and placing fourth in the 55 dash in a personal best 7.49, and she was third in the high jump (5-0).