Boys Meet of Champions Preview

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Sprints Preview

For the second straight year, there's a lot of speculation about which races Franklin's Mario Heslop will run.

The North Carolina A&T-bound Heslop won the 100, 200 and 400 and ran on the 4x400 to lead Franklin to the Group 4 title last week, so there are lots of possibilities.

Heslop, the national champion indoors in the 200 and state indoor record holder in the 200 and 55 indoors, won the 100 and 400 last year, and owns six M of C titles (he's won 4 indoors).

This season, he's NJ#1 in the 100 and 400 and NJ#2 in the 200.

So what will he do?

According to Franklin coach Dashaun Gourdine, the plan as of now (Wednesday afternoon) is for Heslop to run the 100, 200 and 4x400. In the 100 and 200, Heslop will be chasing the state records of 10.35 (Jamar Ervin of Camden in 2000) and 20.93 (Danny Johnson of Rahway in 2001).

When Heslop ran a 10.33 to win the Central Jersey, Group 4 100 title, there wasn't a wind-gauge so it couldn't be considered for record purposes. It went down as the No. 3 all-conditions performance in state history.

The next fastest 100 runner in the state is Dana Ridley of Hamilton North at 10.50. In the 200, Heslop, who ran a NJ state record 20.90 indoors, will clash with NJ#1 Nigel Mitchell of Red Bank (21.27) and NJ#3 Richie Luzzi-Liggins of St. Peter's Prep (21.31).

If Heslop sticks with his plan and skips the 400, the one lapper instantly becomes one of the more intriguing races of the meet.

Without Heslop, this race could be between three guys who have run within .03 of one another-Jacob Leigh of Scotch Plains-Fanwood (48.02), Gabriel Nash of Elizabeth (49.03), and Non-Public A winner Sincere Rhea of St. Augustine (48.06). All three qualified in other events, so it remains to be seen who will lineup in the quarter.

Rhea is the favorite to win the 110m hurdles, and said as of now he is planning to also run the 400 and 200. His plan could change. No one has ever won the 400m and HH at the M of C. 

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