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Sincere Rhea of St. Augustine, the national indoor champion in the 60m hurdles, is favored to win his first outdoor title after placing second as a junior last year. The Penn State-bound Rhea has a US#3 wind-aided 13.52 this season, tied for No. i4 n state history for all conditions.
Since the meet record of 13.52, set in 1998 by Todd Matthews of Notre Dame, is Rhea's PR, obviously has a great shot to take it down.
While Rhea is the obvious favorite, don't sleep on Jaheem Hayles of Roselle and Naseem Smith of Deptford. Hayles, a senior, has been one of the biggest surprises in the state this state. In just his first year hurdling, he's undefeated and coming off a PR and NJ#2 of 13.95 to win the State Group 2 title. Smith is the only other hurdler in the state under 14.00 with his Group 3 winning time and PR of 13.98.
The 400m hurdles is probably the biggest toss up race of the day and could be the closest as NJ#1 Ramy Berberena of North Brunswick and NJ#2 Felix Lawrence of Freehold Township square off for the third straight week.
Lawrence won the sectional match-up, 54.06 to 54.29, and Berberena won the rematch at the State Group 4 meet, 52.10 to 52.12, the top two times in the state this season. Group 3 winner Terris Burton of Hamilton East is the only other hurdler who has broken 53.00 this seaosn with a NJ#3 52.93.