Ajee' Wilson and Keturah Orji each won a fourth championship and Sam Mattis captured the discus to lead a sensational showing by New Jersey as seven athletes with ties to the Garden State earned spots on the US. World Championship team at the USATF Championships that concluded on Sunday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sydney McLaughlin, English Gardner, Nia Ali, and Marielle Hall also made the U.S. Team that will compete at the IAAF World Championships, which are scheduled for Sept. 27 through Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar.
Wilson, a graduate of Neptune High School, went wire-to-wire as she rolled to victory in the women's 800m on Sunday in a stadium record 1:57.72.
It's the third straight title for Wilson, her fourth U.S. Outdoor title, and is the best time of the season for Wilson, a 2016 Olympian and the American record holder in the 800. Olivia Baker (Columbia High) was fourth in the 800 in a season best 2:00.94, and rising high school senior Athing Mu of the Trenton Track Club, was fifth with a PR of 2:01.17.
The 23-year-old Orji, who won the 2018 Bowerman Award and now competes professionally for the Atlanta Track Club, made history by soaring 47-7 1/4 on her first attempt to become the first to ever win the women's triple jump four straight years. Orji, a graduate of Mount Olive High School and the University of Georgia, also placed sixth in the long jump.
In 2018, Orji became the first person to ever win four NCAA outdoor triple jump titles, and finished her college career with a total of eight NCAA titles indoors and outdoors combined. Orji, fourth in the TJ at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, owns the indoor American and Collegiate record of 47-8.
The 25-year-old Mattis, who set the still standing NJ high school record in the discus (218-4) during his days at East Brunswick High and captured the 2015 NCAA title in the discus for UPenn, unloaded a throw of 218-9 on his first throw. The 218-9 by Mattis, who is now competing professionally for the New York Athletic Club, stood up as the winning mark in the men's discus.
McLaughlin (Union Catholic), who made the U.S. Olympic Team at the age of 16 in 2016, ran a season best 52.88 to place second in the women's 400m hurdles to make the team. McLaughlin finished behind the remarkable Dalilah Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist who finished first in a World Record 52.20.
Since her sparkling 2016 season when she won her second U.S. title, was an Olympic finalist in the 100 and captured gold in the 4x100, Gardner missed almost a full year with a knee injury and then injured her hamstring earlier this season.
The 30-year-old Ali (Pleasantville High School grad), placed second in the 100m hurdles in a season best 12.55. Ali, who gave birth to her second child in June of 2018, won the Olympic silver medalist in the 100h in 2016 and is a two-time World Indoor Champ in the hurdles (2014 and '16).
Other NJ highlights-
- Curtis Thompson (Florence High) placed fourth in the men's javelin with a throw of 251-2. Chris Mirabelli (Holy Cross and Rutgers) was eighth and Cade Antonucci (Holy Spirit) 13th in the men's javelin.
- Josh Awotunde (Delsea) was fifth in the men's shot put with a 68-9.75.
- Jess Woodard (Cherokee) was sixth in the women's shot put (57-11) and Monique Riddick (Bishop Ahr) was 11th in the shot (55-7).
- Tim Gorman (Christian Brothers Academy) 12th in the men's 1,500m final in 3:49.89.
- Alyssa Wilson (Donovan Catholic High) competed in all three throws. She was eighth in the hammer, 16th in the discus, and 17th in the shot put.
- Sarah Pagano (Immaculate Heart) placed sixth in the women's 10K
- Nick Vena (Morristown High) was 11th (66-0.50) and Andrew Liskowitz (Christian Brothers Academy) 12th (65-4.75) in the men's shot put.
- Zack Bazile (St. Joseph Mont.) finished 15th in the men's LJ (25-0.75).
- Andrew Ghizzone (Union Catholic) placed 12th in the men's decathlon.
- Josette Norris (Tenafly) placed 12th in the women's 5K and Erika Kemp (Rancocas Valley) was 18th in the 5K.
- Sam Allen, a rising senior at Kingsway High, placed sixth in the 10K racewalk with a PR of 47:47.30.
- Eric Bethea (Piscataway) was 13th in the men's triple jump (51-0).
- Travis Mahoney (Old Bridge) was 14th in the men's 5K (14:00.72).
- James Plummer (Egg Harbor) was 18th in the men's discus.
- Dana Giordano (Bernards) ran the 24th fastest time in the first round of the women's 1,500m.
- Ben Malone (Pascack Valley), Chris Hatler (Pope John), Jeremy Hernandez (Clifton) and Rob Napolitano (Red Bank Catholic) all ran in the opening round of the men's 1500m.