Cranley's GMC Win Ends 59 Year Drought for Highland Park

Watch the NJSIAA Meet of Champions LIVE on MileSplit

RESULTS | 1600m State Rankings

When the Greater Middlesex Conference Championships began in 1951, Highland Park's distance runners dominated the boys 1600-meter run.

Highland Park captured six of the first 10 1600m boys titles at the GMC Championships, but after Dan Vasey won the 1600 in 1960, that was the end of Highland Park's great run and the start of a long drought.

But that dry spell finally came to an end on Tuesday when senior Joe Cranley became Highland Park's first 1600 winner in 59 years when he won the four-lapper with a personal best and NJ#12 4:18.25 on Day One of the GMC Championships at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge.

That's not all.

Cranley's 4:18.25 is the third fastest time in meet history behind the meet record 4:15.8 run by Bill Lee of East Brunswick in 1982, and the 4:17.2 by Mike Szostak of Colonia in 1975. Cranley's 4:18.25 is also the second fastest time among Group 1 runners in the state this season.

Cranley, who won the 800m at the Central Jersey, Group 1 Championships this past winter and was second in the GMC 1600m last year, sliced nearly two seconds off his previous PR of 4:20.04 that he ran to place eighth at the Indoor Meet of Champions this past winter. 

GMC Day 1 MileSplit National Elites

14 performances met the MileSplit US Second Team standard.

Girls Elites

1600 Meter Run Finals5:07.44Nikhila ObbineniSouth Brunswick HS
1600 Meter Run Finals5:10.01Bella GodishHighland Park HS
1600 Meter Run Finals5:14.15Caroline SchleifMetuchen HS
400 Meter Hurdles Finals1:02.21Adelaide AsanteNorth Brunswick HS
400 Meter Hurdles Finals1:03.60Trinity EasonWoodbridge HS
400 Meter Dash Finals56.15Shauntae NelsonPiscataway Twp HS
400 Meter Dash Finals57.24Rebecca OchanHighland Park HS

Boys Elites

1600 Meter Run Finals4:18.25Joseph CranleyHighland Park HS
1600 Meter Run Finals4:22.28Reyden DaviesEast Brunswick HS
1600 Meter Run Finals4:23.97Timothy PurcellOld Bridge HS
1600 Meter Run Finals4:24.18Charles HarveyOld Bridge HS
400 Meter Hurdles Finals55.46Ramy BerberenaNorth Brunswick HS
400 Meter Dash Finals48.73Ramy BerberenaNorth Brunswick HS
400 Meter Dash Finals49.09Nicholas MedeirosOld Bridge HS